Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Life Is Short - Thank God each and every day!

Life is short…even if we are one of those that live to see 100…it goes by like a flash…a dream that can turn into a nightmare if we do not know God. There are many things in this world that trouble my spirit. Senseless wars - Children and women abused worse than animals - People so caught up in themselves that all they can do is complain about what they don’t have and sell their soul just to get more…more…

More of what?! All in this life is vanity and vexation of spirit. I have not seen 40 years yet and I feel like I have seen 200, I have had the luxury of food, and shelter and people that have loved me and yet it has not filled my soul with anything substantial…I have tasted of the “pleasures” of this world and it has left a bitter taste in my mouth and a shadow in my heart…

Why am I here? What is my purpose? Those are the questions I ask myself and those are the things that we should be asking God…

I cannot say I know, and yet I feel it…I feel that my birth is no accident and my life has a purpose, a potential I have not realized as of yet but God knows. I have never been a fan of money and riches but my struggles are no less real and involve other temptations that would lure the human mind. And yet each day I feel more and more disconnected from these things…each day I try and sit down and remember what is most important…

I am here because God has work for me to do. It is my choice whether to let Him in and allow Him to fulfill that work or shut Him out. It’s amazing when I think about it…the Creator, who holds the Universe in His hand has given wee little me the option to say..”No.” It is really something I can hardly comprehend. But the more I think of it the more I am moved to say “YES, Lord!”

Today I was taken up in my work and thinking about that and as I came close to my exit from the highway I saw black smoke and then a car burning up on the other side, the side I had taken to go to my destination only 1 ½ hrs earlier. I slowed down the car and stared and for some crazy reason took out my camera and took a few shots of the scene then I headed off home. When I put them on my computer I was amazed to see I actually captured quite a bit of the actual car burning up…I don’t know why but I was moved to post it on my other Blog earlier today.

Tonight as I was cooking dinner safe in my house I heard on the news, a person was in that car and they died in that horrific way! That could be me or anyone else at any given time in the day…how often do we take for granted getting in our car that we will get from point A to point B without incident? How many times have we asked God to take the wheel or Thanked Him when we get to our destination? How ungrateful I feel when I think about it!!

I have been feeling thankful each and every day as my real estate career thrives in the middle of a deep recession…as I see God’s hand in everything, helping me…guiding me…keeping me and my family safe and healthy and able to eat anything we want and enjoy the warmth of our cozy homes. But thinking about how my mind was on those 3 listings I just got today instead of thinking Thank God I am here and safe when seeing that fire on the side of the road that I realized yet again how easily we can get busy with life and forget the most important thing in life. Yes, we have to make a living, and no we cannot be like monks praying and studying scripture every second of the day, but I have been reminded yet again that I want to take a few minutes throughout the day and constantly remember God and thank Him for His goodness towards me.

My prayer this night…

(I grew up on the King James version of the Bible and to this day when I pray I pray in the old English, it’s more respectful to my ear somehow, though I know language is no barrier, God hears the prayer of our souls which goes beyond words and cannot be captured in words).

My Dear God and Father,

Who am I that Thou hast taken note of me? How can I ever hope to repay Thy mercy, and Thy love and Thy gentle kindness?

There is nothing Dear Lord, nothing that I can do but come before Thee in humbleness of heart and lay my life at Thy feet. Take it Dear Father and do with it as Thou wilt.

Show me Thy way and Thy truth I beg Thee each and every day and help me to live a life that would glorify Thy name, and bear witness to Thee.

Thou art Almighty and Powerful Dear Father and only Thou canst help me in my weakness. Increase my faith and increase my love for Thee and for all the things Thou lovest. Help me to hate the things Thou hatest and help me to learn each lesson Thou dost teach me.

Forgive me Precious Father, for every time that I have failed and come short…forgive me for the times that I have denied Thee, that I have hurt Thy heart, for all the things that I have said and done that offended Thy Holy Name.

Dear Father, I thank Thee ever so much for Thy love…that love that drew me even when my soul was ensconced in darkness…when my willful mind turned from Thee…I thank Thee that Thou knowest my thoughts and my deepest secrets.

I thank Thee that Thou hast shown me what it means to let Thee take control. How beautiful and sweet the rest and peace that I have found in Thee! How precious are the moments that my heart has communed with Thine.

Father mine, how can I ever thank Thee?! Words have no meaning and the human mind cannot describe Thy goodness. How Great Thou Art! There is none that can compare in sweetness, in loyalty, in strength and in any other way!

Thou art the Alpha and Omega and yet Thou dost speak to me…a mere handful of dust in whom Thou hast breathed the breath of life. How wonderous are Thy works Dear Father, that Thou canst even dwell within this body, use it as Thy temple.

Oh Precious Father, keep me clean and keep me within the confines of Thy Will that Thy Holy Spirit may dwell therein now and for the rest of days that Thou hast given me here on this earth.

I thank Thee Father for my sweet little one…the precious charge of a human life that Thou hast known even while in my womb, I thank Thee for taking care of her from my womb and even to this day…I pray Thee Dear Father that Thou wouldst help me to be an example to her and to point her towards Thee each and every day so that Thou canst show her Thyself in Thine own good time…

I pray that Thou wouldst bless her and be with her and watch over her Dear Father…Let Thine angels camp around her Precious Father, let Thy Light dispel the shadows that face her in her lifetime too.

Keep her from the evil Dear Father and help her to learn to love Thee as Thou hast taught me to love Thee!

I pray that Thou wouldst remember too, all those in my family that have a special need for Thee, that Thou wouldst deal with them and let Thy Spirit continue to touch them until they know of Thy healing touch again Dear Father!

Remember too all those in this world that suffer Dear Father, and most of all, I pray that Thou wouldst speed Thy coming Kingdom!

Oh to see Thee face to face, to fall before Thy feet and worship, to hear the angels sing in harmony in the sweetness of heaven as Thou return in glory to rid the world of the evil that so weighs it down, almost to the depths of hell, that Thou wilt once again reign over all and in all forever and ever…

Father, I thank Thee and pray Thee for these things in Jesus’ name and for His precious sake!


Friday, September 11, 2009

Life and Death...It Starts at Birth...

Today has been a day of reflection and vivid memories. It has been more than 8 years and yet it seems as if the wound has barely begun to scab over if at all for most of the families of the victims of Sep 11th 2001. I personally had worked in the North Tower for a short while as a teenager part time after school and many a time had visited my best friend when she worked at Amex at the Trade Center as well over the years. I even enjoyed the Observatory many a time, it really was something awesome to be so high up on top of the city...

I had been off on maternity leave for a few months and was due some time mid was just waking up when I got the call to put the TV on...

The rest of this post is something I wrote on Sept 17th...after I was back home with my new little was written fast and at always this is how I organize my thoughts...I thought I'd post that in this blog as well so that it is recorded here along with today's musings...

* * *

Baby Fiona is here!

After months of expecting and guessing and wondering and hoping and wishing and kicking...she is finally here!

Our little Fiona Constance Kearns was born on September 13th at 9:02am, weighing in at 8 lbs 7oz and 21" long!

On September 11 at 10am I sat in front of the TV and watched in horror as New York City was attacked...the World Trade Center, and our own Twin Towers crumbled like something only Hollywood would make up...I once worked in one of them a while back. That shock and then the realization that John actually worked on Wall Street only a stone's throw away from them rattled me so bad that without warning I started feeling contractions one after the other...

John managed to call me from a store he had ducked into just as the second tower came crumbling down, and told me he was alright...there was no going body had started the age old rhythm of labor that would ultimately culminate in the miracle of birth...

It was not to be that day one day came and went I waited to make sure and by the 12th, at 3pm I started to keep track as they were getting more and more painful by the it was my first time and not wanting to be one that "cries wolf" I waited some more at home as they grew in intensity to a point where I was handling them but knew some progress must be happening as my body got ready for the big event.

At 8pm that night John, Steve, Alina and I all went out to IHOP for a quick dinner where I advised them to ignore any grimace I may make every so the time we were through I realized that walking brought on my contractions like wildfire...with no real breaks in between. Sitting down slowed them a bit...but by midnight or near 1am I called my doctor who advised me that I was not in labor as they were fairly irregular (4,8,10,12,4,8,10,12 minutes apart). I did recall reading somewhere however that when your water has not broken they can be fairly irregular up till you're near the end...but did as she ordered...(drink a glass of wine to slow the contractions, get some sleep and then come into the hospital in the morning).

I tried to lay down but did not fall asleep...(you try falling asleep while someone hits you in the abdomen, only it feels more like your I insides are being ripped out)...and finally by 330am I woke up the “team”...(my sister and John) who had really not even fallen asleep yet either...(Ok, John had for all of 5 minutes)...and by 430am we were on our way...

When we got there I realized I could not walk! My legs were trembling like nobody's business and after plopping myself in a wheelchair, we made our way to the maternity ward. The nurses took a look and advised me that I was at 6 to 7 centimeters and assured me that the trembling was due to the fact that I was in active labor! At this point my water had still not broken but the contractions decided to come on one after the other with barely a few seconds in between...

By this time dear reader, may I just mention that my aforementioned "team" became two people I did not know...all of a sudden they were experts on "reading" the "contractions monitor" and telling me to relax and breathe, and just basically doing and saying all the right things! Neither one fainted or any such dramatic thing...I'm told the fact that I did not yell like a banshee helped keep them calm...All in all it was a marvelous experience in that it was all natural like I had envisioned and I was so set in my ways not to take any medication that it did not occur to me to ask for them even when in extreme pain...

I just wanted to hear them tell me that the contraction was almost over and to hang in there...of course till the next one started...but we made it! The worst was from 8 to 10 centimeters where you have to basicaly fight your body and not push until you're 10, not only are you dealing with the contraction but with the added pressure of the baby lowering itself into the birth canal...

The nurse had mentioned at about 8am that by 830 it would be time to push. I watched that clock every chance I could and at 830a I asked her to call the doctor as I saw she was not doing anything of the sort and she admitted to just giving me that time frame as a reference point and that I was not yet ready to push...I begged to differ and when she checked me she hastily exclaimed that the "baby is right here" and went to get the doctor as I started pushing...

When I heard them mention it sometimes takes 3 hours of pushing for a first birth, and after no sleep for 48 hours and all that labor I was in no way going to take that long! I pushed like as if my life depended on it and in half an hour my efforts were rewarded with the birth of little Fiona!

Exhausted but elated I watched as they cleaned her and then brought her to me...babies are fragile sure, but she had a very “strong” look to her, like broad shoulders and a very healthy set of lungs as manifested in her vocal outrage at being pushed out of the warm cocoon she had known for 10 months! The doctor was amazed that she was able to raise her head and commented that newborn babies were not supposed to be that strong…at this I realized that all the watermelon (cravings) that I’d consumed along with daily prayer that she would come out healthy even when I was puking my own guts out for over 6 months…all contributed to this phenomena…

As I looked at her in wonder and awe I could not believe she was my little baby. She had come from inside me! This little being was responsible for all those energetic kicks! She was our little "love child", one that John and I had "helped" to create...a miracle and an angel from heaven; a blessing of God.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

God Loves Even The Weakest Sinner - Me

I have been very busy with making a living and scheduling and over-scheduling my time to make ends meet. It’s the seeds that I must plant to gather the fruit thereof and be able to breathe and pay the bills. But my mind…it has constantly gone back to what I know is most important. Planting the seeds of faith…of righteousness…of heavenly love…and looking forward to reaping those rewards. It is not an easy task when life crowds you and pushes you into tiny corners but I find myself praying over and over again…”Not my will but Thine be done, I surrender all to Thee…” it is a fervent prayer that I feel from the bottom of my heart and yet I know I fail each and every day and the garden of my life needs a lot more pruning and weeding…but I know that God is still taking an interest in my life and for that I am eternally grateful.

Once again I am looking forward to convention, and that hymn pops into my head “As pants the hart for water brooks, so pants my soul oh Lord for Thee…Thou art my life, my hope my all, draw near I pray, draw near to me”. I feel Him near when I make myself quiet and open up my heart to Him. But there is something about the “heavenly places” here on earth…a place where so many people gather together just to feed from the bread that God gives each one and share in the fellowship that seems to multiply His Spirit somehow or make it that much more present…I don’t know…it is also the fact that one year ago, Aug 6 I had my last cigarette ON Convention grounds…and it is there last year that I felt God in a way I never have before.

I was not one of those teenagers that rebelled and went wild, I moved out at 18, worked hard and paid the rent. Even then I did not fall hard into the world…not yet…but slowly it sucked me in…and deeper and deeper I sunk into the mire and it almost drowned me to spiritual death. And yet, for some reason, God did not give up on me. There were times when I was on the train coming home from partying at 4am, drunk and all of a sudden I’d have a hymn come into my head and I’d cry like a baby and pray…”Please dear God, don’t give up on me.” And yet the next week I’d be out again on a given night…but always something would happen…many times on the train in the morning I’d hear a person preach about God and say “God loves you, and yet you turn your back on Him”…and I felt like they were talking just to me.

3 years ago I had my first cigarette and yet it did not stick as a habit right away at all. Slowly I became the “social smoker”…the one that did not need cigarettes and only smoked when I was out with "friends" and drank. *Stupid yes, I know! It was one day that a pack was left over in my jacket belonging to one of those “friends” that I figured let me have one this morning… then hey since I still have them let me have one this afternoon…and after I finished that pack I bought another one and another and another and the chain of addiction had begun. I could not stop.

I got really sick one winter and my lungs hurt me like they were on fire and raw and bleeding…and yet there I was decked out in my warm clothes and smoking another one. It was dastardly and horrible…I hated the taste (remember, when I smoked “socially” I usually had a good dose of alcohol in me so the taste was really not too noticeable), and yet I could not quit them. Strangely enough…even this time…I was being noticed and sent the message through random people on the street….an older gentleman stopped in front of me and said...”You must quit…this killed my friend if you continue it will kill you”…another time an older lady stopped in her tracks and looked at me and said “Why do you do this to yourself?...meanwhile others were smoking near me but no one said anything to them…if I were to ignore that I’d be rather foolish I thought.

Still I could not quit for the life of me…every new day I’d wake up and say today I’ll have my last one but still it would not be the day I finished with the nasty habit. I tried to hide it from my little one and when she found out I tried to quit for her sake, but even though I love her more than my life I could not do it past 2 weeks! It got to the point where I started praying desperately every time I’d have a smoke…just point my cigarette up to heaven and cry out inside my head…”PLEASE, only YOU can help me quit…PLEASE HELP ME, Please Dear Father!!!” For 6 months I prayed every time I had a cigarette…not just to help me quit but help me all around…to change…to hate the things that God hated and to love the things He loved…to save me from myself…

As June came around I turned 31 years old. I had been smoking for about 2 years or so by this time…and now I felt like convention was my life saving event…like something would happen there that would change me…that would miraculously “cure” me if you will…I did not know what and honestly if I had known I’d probably be a bit afraid…but I only knew something was going to happen there and I counted the days until Quakertown convention much like a prisoner counts the days toward her release.

A few days before convention I called up my sister and said I’d come over to hang out a day or two before convention and then we’d go together from her house. The day I got on the train to go to PA my stomach was not behaving very well but I figured it’d get better…I don’t quite recall if this was 2 days or 1 day in the making but I do know that at her house I got to the point where I felt like my insides were melting in a painful, fiery kind of torture…I could not sit or stand I wanted to throw up but could not…I could not lay down…I did not know what to do…but in the end I propped myself up on pillows and tried to sleep…instead I was up trying to throw up but it was not happening…

By morning…they were wondering if they should bring me to the ER….but I said…NO, we are going to convention…they did not know what to think but said ok. Meanwhile even THAT morning I had a cigarette or 2 I believe…don’t ask me HOW on earth I did that with what I was feeling!

I had bought 6 packs at the gas station since cigs are cheaper in PA than in NY so I was stocked up. That first night at convention I walked outside the sleeping quarters and stepped a little off the convention grounds and had what were to become my last 2 cigarettes ever.

Then I tried to go to bed.

I found that again I could not lay down and I was feeling ill…everyone was sleeping but I could not…finally in a few hours I was really ill and this time ran to the bathroom and sure enough I did throw up…then came back to the bed and threw up again then collapsed on the bed. This is when my ordeal truly began…physically.

But something strange mental state kicked into a totally different gear. Now, mayhap I could have felt “You know, I am making every effort here…trying to come to convention sick and all and I don’t even get better…what’s the point…” or something to that effect…instead I recall thinking…”I did not come all the way here to miss the meetings…I have to get just well enough to sit through the meetings”…but needless to say I did not eat anything that morning nor could I get out of bed never mind make it to the meeting. But I threw up and I prayed and threw up again and I prayed…”Dear God, I know you did not bring me all the way here so that I can sit here sick and miss the message that You have prepared for me…please, please help me be just well enough to be able to listen…if I have to get VERY sick after convention I don’t care…I just want to be able to share in the bounty of Thy goodness…please help me through this!”

And then the thought came to me…there was a microphone in one of the rooms downstairs…so I went down stairs and found a place to sit and lean over in pain but listen to hymns and the testimonies and the workers and I cried like a baby…cried with joy and a happiness that I cannot even try to explain. All the hymns that had come to me when I was drunk those times, they sang them that first meeting. A lot of the thoughts that had come to me out of the blue when I least expected it throughout the past years...they were repeated from the platform. And I KNEW without a SHADOW of a DOUBT…GOD is with me and had been with me through it all just like I had felt Him. I had turned my back on Him many a time but He knew my heart and saw my pitiful state and never turned His back on me! How can I even begin to thank Him!?!

God had brought me here to strengthen me, not bring me down…To reinforce that the thoughts and voice I had heard the past year WAS indeed HIM! I forgot I was in pain, I forgot I was sick…I forgot I had not slept or eaten in 24 hours…I did not care…so I did not miss my first meeting! Then I crawled my way back up the stairs and went back to bed.

The day came and went and I fell into a merciful sleep for a couple of hours and woke up in severe pain again…and now I was throwing up bile..there was nothing substantial in my body anymore. I retched and retched and almost keeled over but somehow one day went into the next.

Finally I was taken to the ER and though they did tests on me could not find what was wrong with me and why I had a fever and was so sick. But even in the hospital I was anxious I did not want to stay there too long I wanted to get back in time for the last meeting of the day. They had pumped me with an IV and I was more hydrated by this point and weak as a kitten got back in the car 4 hours later and back to the convention grounds, we had missed the last meeting.

Here I was told that I’d have to go to a cabin somewhere off by myself because they were afraid I’d get others sick . I cannot say I blame them at all…but I did not want to be somewhere on my own far away from people so I said I’d sleep in the car. They tried to convince me, told me maybe it would be better if I went home if someone drove me but I was adamant, no way was I leaving the convention grounds! I did not come here just to be sick and leave!

I took my pillows and blanket and retching bowl and got into the back seat. I tried to settle in and of course threw up a few more times…went to the bathroom and emptied out the bowl and back to the car…but even though I did not feel like I was getting better I knew somehow I’d be better by the next day…I sat there in the car and felt the wonderful cool breeze coming in to the car and looked up at the moon and stars and felt so close to God…I felt a warm presence like a cocoon of light surrounding me. I felt the presence of His angels all around me...felt like if I looked hard enough maybe I'd even see them...I did not see them but truly felt them there, watching over me…protecting me…guarding my thoughts, my body and my sleep…as I slowly drifted off to sleep with a smile on my face.

I woke up at 4am wretchedly sick again…but by now just matter of factly walked out of the car and threw the contents away in the bathroom, washed the bowl again and back in the car again…it occurred to me that here too I could have been thinking…"here I was praying and feeling God so close and feeling so sure that somehow I’d be better tomorrow and meanwhile here I am back to square one…” or something to that effect…instead….the thought that came to me was “I had to clean the final evil poison from my body whatever it was, and this was the last of it…” somehow I knew that…I don’t know how…and I felt a peaceful calm as I slowly drifted off to sleep again.

When I woke up it was the first day I knew I was on the road to stomach was still tender of course...and I was still afraid to eat but in 4 hours I was able to hold down a bit of water and half an apple. I fell into a healing sleep and missed the first meeting…but when I woke up I felt remarkably better and I knew I would do my best to be there on that hard wooden bench (back pain and all) for the next meeting.

My mother and others were surprised but glad to see me up and at ‘em and I’m sure glad that I could finally sit in the meeting with the rest of them. People came up to me that I did not even know and told me they were glad I was better that they had heard what happened to me…and it was nice…but nothing compared to the rest of the meetings…where every single thing I heard resonated with such a pure truth…and reinforced the thoughts that had come to me over the past year before convention…

Interestingly enough I had never heard anyone from the pulpit really speaking too much of angels before but this convention in the first meeting I was able to attend in person, they spoke about angels are real and God does use them here on Earth whether we see them or not...and I knew then...I HAD truly been right in feeling them there that night...

It was at the end of convention when my brother came with his pack of cigarettes that I realized I had NOT smoked in more than 3 days! What’s more…I did not want ANY part of it. He himself had quit previously when he had a severe bronchitis but had started again a few months later. When I told him what happened he said “Yeah, I was sick and quit too, you’ll be back on them you’ll see!”… “No” I tried to explain to him…”You don’t get it…it’s not just about the sickness it’s more than that…it’s God…He helped me do it…this is how He answered my prayers, I will never smoke again…not because of my own will power but because what God has done and what God wills no one can undo…and I don’t want to.” He shrugged and did not take me seriously…even 6 months down the road I don’t think people really believed me…really believed that I had not touched a cigarette since…but Thank God…to this day…I can honestly say my last cigarette was on Aug 6 2008.

More importantly…though it is a long road and I cannot claim to have reached even close to where God wants me to be in this life I am happy to be here and happy to be alive and want to shout out to all the world… “GOD LIVES! He is Almighty! Powerful! And He LOVES US!”. Each day I find, I want nothing more than to learn what it TRULY means for my own self and will to decrease so that God Himself can increase in me…whatever time God has given me here on Earth if I can be of help, or an example to any one soul then I will count my own soul as blessed!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Special Meeting - March 29, 2009 - Brooklyn, NY

I woke up the morning of March 29th and it felt like 4am even though it was actually 7:30am. It was cloudy and the fog seemed to cover everything from the 10th floor and up all across the city from the looks of it. (I am on the 11th floor, and on a hill to boot so I have a fairly unobstructed view). But I did not feel like rolling over and going back to sleep. I, NEVER a morning person was ready for is special like every day that I am still here and caring for my little one...but even more so because today was Special Meeting. I have been looking forward to it ever since Shannon wrote me that it was going to be on the 29th. More bread for my thirsty soul, more of the Spirit of God, and His Word in such abundance that it would surely fill and overflow. I am so glad for the need I feel now of Him and His cleansing and comfort in a way I never have in my life.

The meeting was so beautiful I want to post as much as I can recall but I will have to do it when I am a little more awake...I started this post the day of the meeting and then got sidetracked with all of the daily work that has to get done. I am going to take my time though and enjoy remembering all I heard and post it shortly.

Just really quickly I will note this, the Spirit of God is truly ONE and truly speaks to each of us...many of the workers(also known as God's messengers; sent ones) had a similar line of thought on some things and I especially enjoyed the fact that a few spoke from the book of Daniel which I had been studying myself on my own.

Final quick thought, it was lovely to see some of the workers that I knew as a little girl, more than a couple of them told my little Fiona..."I knew your mother when she was about your size". Dan Helenek and Shannon and Albert and Rosemary and Fern and Owen to name a few...but enjoyed this thought that again a few of them mentioned...we enjoy socializing with God's people but more importantly we enjoy the fellowship we share in God.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Judge Not - That Ye Be Not Judged

I know I am not the only one that has experienced this, but boy it can really feel like one is singled out to suffer some things. Personally, I hate complaining…when I have a problem, I’d rather spend my energies in seeking out a solution and if one is not to be found at the time then put it somewhere in the back of my mind and go back to it when I have a fresh perspective, and until I DO find a solution.

Problem is…sometimes things in life come at you and you can’t put them behind you because they keep coming up in FRONT of you. It seems like most of my life I have had people tell me that they just KNOW what I am thinking…and that no matter what I say or do…they just KNOW that I WANT to do this or that or that I am secretly doing this or that or THINKING this or that. I sometimes stop and think…do I have a target on my forehead that says…”Misread me and Judge me!”?

I do wonder if it is not just maybe one of the things that God has allowed to happen in order to help me get closer to Him. It is especially in these times that I look up to heaven and with a certain despair in my heart just pray for patience and thank Him for the faith that He has placed in my heart to believe and know that HE at least truly knows me and hears my every thought as well as sees my every action. He, that is the only One that can truly judge me. That said, I am only human, and it does hurt, because it is ALWAYS the ones CLOSEST to me that accuse me of the most preposterous things and it would make me laugh some times, really, if only they were not so convinced that their imaginary version of me is truly the ME that is the reality in front of them. It has been said that when people point the finger at you it is because of one of two reasons:

1. Insecurity in themselves
2. Seeing the faults they themselves posses reflected in you, even if you do not actually have those faults, rather than in themselves.

Number 2 is something that I struggle with, though I have seen it is a truth in some cases, I just can’t believe that some are guilty of the things they’ve accused me of. Either way, not much consolation in either case.

Back in the day, some would put away sane people into mental institutions due to some ulterior motive, like taking their money or whatever reason they had when the person was perfectly sane. Once in there, the perfectly sane victim, after being told over and over and over again, “you’re crazy” well they’d tend to start to lose touch with reality and their mind would indeed start to believe that they must indeed be crazy.

Well, this is something I understand. Whereas I have not been accused of being insane, the idea that another insists that I am wanting and thinking exactly the opposite of what is the actual truth, is certainly driving me a little nuts. It really can be SO disheartening when no matter what I say or how my actions are testament to the contrary, there are people who have such a strong imagination that they cannot see reality in front of their face and hold on tight to their own base ideas instead.

I am not even sure about posting this one, it has such a “whiny” tone, but since I do need to write things out and go back and re-read and update to actually put my thoughts in order I guess I will. I am also very, very aware of how much I DO have going alright in terms of the day to day things in my life, including a wonderful, smart, sweet and healthy little girl, as well as my health thus far, a roof over my head and a nice fat tummy to go with it…but frustration can be a thing that mounts over time and I do have to let it out once in a while…so here you have it!

I do think of Jesus, and how He was certainly without blame, and how He was mocked and many that did not believe Him and how it must have been hard for Him to hold His peace when it would be so satisfying I'm sure to summon all the angels of heaven to show all His mockers and unbelievers how wrong they were...and I know there is a real lesson for me in there...maybe I am too hard headed to learn it just yet?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Parents and Children

Today is a very rainy and gray sort of day. It can lead one to thoughts of bleaker times they may have experienced. For some reason, I woke up this morning and then went back to sleep and had a dream about an experience as a child that was let’s say not a pleasant one. Right after that dream, I dreamt that I was alone now, at this age, in my own home and feeling this overpowering fear that all but robbed me of my voice and made my heart beat so fast it all but came out of my chest…my knees got weak and my body trembled to the core. I felt dark evil spirits present near me…

I was weak, I was afraid and I was near a heart attack to say the least but I looked up to heaven and I prayed for God to deliver me…and next thing I know I am in the elevator and the door is not closing because this dark spiritual figure is trying to open it and at this point I cried out to God and then with barely audible voice I struggled to shout at the dark figure “You are strong Satan but God is stronger…God WILL conquer, you will NOT WIN!” and as I kept praying in that feeble voice over and over again - slowly that scary black moving shadow became like parchment and withered before me and yet I could not stop even as I saw this…my own voice woke me and the words on my lips “God will conquer!” still repeated until I was fully awake.

I don’t know what this dream means…I have had many dreams that are vivid and I know personally I still have a lot of struggles and will always have them…and one of the major tools the devil has delighted in using on me is fear. I was literally afraid of my OWN shadow at 4 years of age…oh yeah, true story…but dream aside…

Today my thoughts are leading me toward the huge responsibility that I have as a parent. There are so many ways I could screw up and I know it. I WILL make mistakes but I was just thinking not only am I responsible for the physical health and well being of my little one but ALSO responsible for her spiritual health to a degree, as she starts to grow and learn more and more that there is a right and wrong. There is a God and that there is a Heaven and Hell. God will do the work in her, but I must lead her to Him by my words and more importantly by my life – my words mean nothing if they are not backed by example. It is when she sees God’s work in me that she will understand that God can do a work in her life too.

I am just so aware of this and want to always keep this in the forefront of my mind- that I not only must be true to God for my own sake but for hers too. If I do my part then she can do hers – each generation providing an example for those coming after. If everyone realized how each of us is truly so responsible for each other wouldn’t we strive ever harder to do what’s right?

In all this I was also thinking about how helpless we can feel as parents and how we can drive ourselves mindless with worry that anything can go wrong at any point in the day that they are out of our sight…glad for the thought there that God is the ONLY One that has the ability to send His angels and protect our little ones as they are living their lives outside our line of vision. I can only do the best I can for my own little one and the rest, leave in His very Capable and Loving Hands!

We know that God loves children and it may seem ironic, but we can learn from them and be the better adults for it. I loved to read these verses...

Matthew 18: 1-5
At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, "Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me."

Luke 18:16-17

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, "Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein."

1 Peter 2:1-3

Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby; if so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Power of Prayer

Along the same lines as my previous of the greatest things that I cannot emphasize enough...prayer. Many believe in the power of prayer, others say they don't know to pray.

I say this...prayer is simply speaking to God. The beauty of prayer is that sometimes your mind cannot find the words but your heart speaks without utterance directly to the heart of God and He hears so plainly what we cannot formulate in words. Those are the deepest prayers I find...

The wonder of prayer is something that I feel is overlooked. It used to be when I was a young girl that prayer was something I HAD to I am finding myself waking up in the morning, or any at random time throughout the day and of course in the evening, just lifting my eyes to heaven and "talking" to God. Be it thanking Him for life and health or thanking Him for His help or at times sighing with despair when the things of life are just too much for me.

And I feel Him, I feel His presence and I feel I love Him more with each passing day. When you love someone you want to talk to them as much as possible. You want to feel them near, their very presence can calm you and their warmth relax away your anxiety. How much more with God! It is something that cannot be described with mere human cannot be comprised in IS a feeling that is far beyond that of any I have ever known. I often feel like my heart will overflow and my mind is filled with words of thankfulness and praise!

I have come to realize the power of prayer through experiences like these but I was reading through the Exodus and saw something that I never saw before...yes I had read that story many times but it never spoke to me like this time...I saw how Moses prayed for the people of Israel even as God's wrath waxed strongly against them when they turned to making a golden image and worshiping it as Moses was up on the mountain talking to Him. God was ready to do some serious damage, but Moses prayed and reasoned with Him of sorts...reminding Him that if He should destroy His people then Egypt and all the enemies of the people of Israel would think badly of the God of Israel, saying, "He led them out of Egypt to kill them in the wilderness..." Now, God is all knowing...I don't think that Moses brought anything new to His attention but it appealed to me in this way...God was so wroth He did not care about that for a bit, just wanted to punish them...severly! Yet, those words of Moses brought about a change of mind and God actually hearkened to Moses' words. HOW unbelievable is that!!! I mean that in how AWESOME! THIS to me is the very epitome of the power of prayer! Sometimes we feel you know, I am not worthy of forgiveness, God should punish me, I did too much wrong...I know He wants to address that. But I so enjoyed the thought that God is so much more prone to turning away His wrath if we could only be willing to go to Him and lay it all at His feet and beg for mercy and plead with Him to help that His name be not a mockery to others but rather our changed life can praise His name and be a testament to His power.

It seems like many years ago when I stood up in convention and gave my testimony...from the book of Psalms..."What is man that Thou are mindful of him or the son of man that Thou visitest him?" I don't know still but I do know this...for some reason God IS interested in every little one of us and my heart is glad for that. Even more so for the fact that He wants to communicate with us and we can be assured that there is no better ear to have than that of the Almighty and Living God! The power of prayer is an awesome thing...and I know I want to be in touch with Him as often as I possibly can each and every day..."For if God be for us, WHO can be against us?!"


In God's Image

I love to think about how God created us in His image. When we think of image we think outward appearance. There is that...but I was thinking along the lines of a more "complete" kind of thing...the inner and the outer. Yes, God is perfect. Yes, we will NEVER be perfect. But as I am getting closer to God I am looking at Him in a different way. Not the way I used to as a Supreme Being that exists but in some surreal way in relation to this "real" existence that we know on Earth. But The Creator, Father and Friend that we can find in Him when we start to view Him as the REAL thing, in other words, as a reality that is as real as and of course MORE REAL than what we know of as reality. To God, a thousand years is like a day...and to us eternity is so overwhelming a concept that our natural minds cannot conceive of it in real terms.

But it has warmed my heart and helped me to feel like God is real to me, as I search for Him in a whole new way. The way you slowly build a relationship on Earth...where you meet someone and speak to them and get to know them, their likes and dislikes, their history, etc - we form a bond and as we find we have more and more things in common that bond forms ever stronger.

So it is with God, I have found. Thankfully, He has given me the faith to believe. I know I could not be even where I am today if it were not for that. But faith alone was not enough, for years I believed and was sorely afraid, but still kept Him at was His love that drew me in...and His love that I feel will get me closer and closer to Him.

I have never taken life for granted. For me, every new day is a gift...even if there are heartaches or backaches or financial hardships...while there is life there is hope...this has been a motto that has been embedded in the core of my being. But as I grow a little older I find myself thinking more and more about the life after this one. There are many things I know I will never understand but I am grateful for the fact that The Father has seen it fit to show me things now that I have never seen before. SO many things I could probably write without ceasing for days on end and still I would not be able to put into words ALL that I have been gleaning from the Bible and times of prayer and fellowship with Him.

I want to encourage ANYONE that doubts...don't listen to people...don't believe me or anyone else...just ask God...HE will reveal His own good time.

What I have truly enjoyed as of late is this sort of parrallel I have noticed throughout the Old Testament...and even the New. And how they both complement each other in a way I never noticed before. But most notably how God is still same and ever will remain throughout the history of the World.

I realized I needed to get close to Him and that the only way to build a relationship with Him is to see Him better and to learn of Him even from the experience of others. The bible is chock full of those.

I was so amazed to see the examples throughout the bible that I could relate to...He gets mad, He gets sad, He gets jealous, He loves certain things and He hates other things - He has patience and then His patience runs out - but then He feels bad and is once again dealing with mankind and forgiving them when they turn back to Him. How many of those things are not like us? I am not making God human by any means, but I AM DID create us in His image!

I was just SO amazed how His own beloved people of Israel turned away from Him SO many times and even as His heart was grieved and His wrath was kindled, in the same breath He offered them a way of escape...a way back into His good graces..."But if you repent..." and then would follow the blessed assurance that He would forgive and bless them again.

When people say that God is Love and think they can get away with murder because "He will forgive" they are not understanding the real dangerous idea that they do not know who God is. Yes, God is love and Yes, God forgives. It is His mercy which I know has kept ME though unworthy to this day...BUT one never knows when that window of opportunity is past. Then there are those that claim, if He is so kind then how can He be so veangeful to those that are disobedient, as to send them to hell? I cannot say I know...but I DO know this...He has shown OVER and OVER again in the history of the world AND even in my own life, that His patience truly is marvelous and His love greater than that of any man on earth!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Soul's Death and Re-Awakening...

A few years back (perhaps 4 or so) I really truly felt like I had lost my window of opportunity. I had waited too long...God was not going to let me come back now...I went too deep...too far into the darkness...there was no hope for me anymore...and I wrote the first poem below..."Soul's Death".

Soul’s Death

My soul is nigh, vexed unto death!
'Tis grevious pain, to take a breath!
My deep desire, to sleep so long...
where waking up, is like a song...
unsung...unfinished...left alone...
discarded, like forgotten prose...
My body, is the living temple...
chapel of flesh, for my immortal...
that weary grows, from living life,
fighting the secret war ; at strife.
Two sides, warring to gain control,
my soul at stake ; the victors spoil...
Almighty God...fighting the Devil,
who used to be...His loyal angel!
I've given up the fight...It's done!
God was my King, and now He's gone!
The devil reigns on my hearts throne,
My lifeless carcass...lying prone...
Is that God's still, insistent voice?
I hear so distant..."Make a choice!"
"Let not that demon be the conquerer!"
"Repent my child.....'ere life be over!"
"There is still hope...put up a fight!"
My heart replies...on mournful sigh...
"I've gone too far, grieve not dear Father...
the death of one, that was your daughter"

Now, more than 4 years later I have been able to write the first draft to the "response" or Part 2 if you will, which is titled "Soul's Awakening"...

Soul’s Awakening

I heard that voice again but stronger,
It seemed to come closer and closer…
“My child, you must needs understand
A Father’s Love – it never ends…
Did you think I’d let you go?
And let the devil claim you so?
I am the One that chose your soul
I willed it would not die alone.
Your soul is precious and it’s Mine
To give; To take; To bring to life”
“But Father I have let you down
I am not worthy of the crown!”
“No one is my little one,
That is why I sent my Son”
“I have sinned so much my Father”
“And do you repent my daughter?”
“Yes, with all my heart and soul!”
“Then I shall make your spirit whole
I will cleanse you of your sin
And welcome you to enter in…”
“Oh Father I’m still so confused
Fears and doubts of which I’m full!
I don’t know how to let go
And let Your Spirit take control…”
And then I felt my Father's Hand
And it filled me with warm command.
So sweet the feeling of surrender!
So sweet His voice, His touch so tender!
My Father never did forsake me,
But wrapped me in His Love and Mercy.
He found me in the midst of evil
And gave me back a hope of Heaven

I am immeasurably happy that there is a Part 2 of my life as it were...I know the fight is just begun again, but with God on my side, who can be against me? As long as I remember to keep close to Him each and every single day, knowing the evil in this world is quick to swallow the careless whole!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Precious Youth

Back in the day when I was 12 or so I was able to go to preps. I remember it was such a privilege to be able to serve in that way, and spend time with the workers.

It was there that I practiced playing hymns on the keyboard and slowly and painstakingly learned how to play by notes (I had played only by ear till then) seeing as I practiced for hours on end once the chores were done. It was there that I had many nice chats with the sister workers both spiritual and just normal day to day stuff.

Some days on duty with Sandra Shaw other days with Audrey Brown and so on. Those days our dear Lola Brown was alive as well. Lola Brown and Charles Stefen were some of the elder workers that I admired the most and was sorry to hear they are now no longer with us.

But I digress a bit, the point is, to many others it would seem like the most boring thing in the world, close to a punishment even...sent away for 2 weeks to "slave away" (since it was not paid work) and make convention grounds ready and spend time with only adults (unbeknownst to others I was always MUCH more comfortable with adults anyway rather than kids my own age and LOVED to chat with the older folk) and another kid or two at most for the most part, and even read the bible and pray every morning with them. To those that do not understand would be a drag indeed. To us young ones raised in professing homes, it was a sweet thing and will always be in my memory a fond time in my life. It was here too that in one of my talks with Audrey Brown she mentioned she wrote a poem for the youth of today and then gave me a copy of it. I read and re-read that poem and I memorized it so well that now, 18 years later I simply had to let my fingers fly over the keyboard as the poem materialized from my memory straight into the print of the Blog.

You know, over the years I have spoken to many people who seem to think "all that prayer and bible stuff is for old people"...that is one actual quote I got and many along those lines...which has always brought me back to that verse...

Ecclesiastes 12:1
" Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them..."

Precious Youth
by Audrey Brown

Oh precious youth so tender
Your life before you spread
With your highest aspirations
Down the road you've yet to tread

The joys that await you
Mingled with the tears
How will they shape you
as you travel through the years?

Great temptations will confront you
But Jesus faced them too
In the wilderness and on a mountain
All earth's kingdom's he reviewed

Will you choose as He chose?
To worship God alone
Or will you bend to temptation
To walk a path of your own?

The path you choose each morning
is one you'll walk all day
And if you choose the Lord's path
His light will guide your way

But if you choose your own path
A path without a guide
A path that lies in darkless
With no Savior by your side...

How will you see the pitfalls?
How will you see the snares?
How can you safely journey
with no one there who cares?

Oh the voice of sin is subtle
and the voice of sin is loud
but always it will lead you
to where men are vain and proud.

The voice of God is quiet
and quiet you must be
If you would hear Him speaking
His message unto Thee

And when He speaks that message
So pure and full of love
His purpose is to guide you
To His home up above!

Oh precious youth I beg you
Heed not the call of sin
But heed the call of Jesus
and ever let Him in!


I have found that putting my thoughts down on paper (back in the good old day, now it's typing them on the computer)...helps me to organize them and even "get out" the feeling or emotion I may be experiencing. Over the years I have written some poems and I figured I'd transfer them on to this blog at some point as well...

I grew up in a family that believed in God. I learned to seek Him out myself as I grew older and even developed a relationship with Him. At 19 I drifted away and very soon after was completely aware of having turned my back on Him. It was not a nice time. Fear and doubts and unrest have plagued me over the years, as well as a nagging feeling that God never let me go and never turned His back on me. For just that alone I am grateful. But that I have been fortunate to turn back to Him again, is just a blessing and joy that I never understood before. I do NOT recommend a faithful young person to never know if you will find your way home again. But for everything there is a reason, and every experience in my life has helped me NOW to truly understand what is the meaning of love and compassion.

I have found among the faithful that do their best to walk according to God's will, it is fairly hard to comprehend the sinner and easy to judge them. In a way, I've always felt I had a fairly sensitive heart but there was a lot of work to be done for me to truly understand what it means to have a soft and contrite heart. You have to take the blows that the world and flesh and devil throw your way and know that there are only 2 options - try and fight them back on your own (a completely useless feat let me assure you) or cry out to God even though you feel He may have closed the door of opportunity for your disobedience. You have to take the correction that God whatever shape or form it comes...and you have to be thankful for it.

It is only when I understood that humbling myself and praying for His mercy is the only way to go that I finally felt I was there, at the place that is a place of true repentance.

God is perfect, I will never be perfect, not even close but whereas before I loved God in a way that was innocent and maybe not too deep as I knew Him in my youth and yet had not really be tossed about in life as of yet, I am so happy to feel a true and genuine love for Him now, as I really get to know Him a little more every day.

I knew God before and yet almost more of in a way of this Almightly Being that we must love to get to heaven but now have proven so many times His love and have started to see Him, just wee little glimpses but it almost overwhelms me with a deep feeling of happiness and warmth to really look up and realize He is Real and wants an honest to goodness relationship with me, much as I have with my little daughter.

In some ways, I understand God more because of my daughter as well, the feelings I have towards her, how I love her so much because she is my flesh and blood and a part of me as I gave birth to her and she was created in my womb and how I want only the best for her. How I feel so wonderful when she is obedient and does what she is supposed to. And then get frustrated with her sometimes and how it hurts me to punish her more than it hurts her. And I realize that we are created in God's image and if we let Him put within us His Spirit then how much tenderness and love He must feel as each child tries to please Him and how He is hurt when we turn our back on Him and what it means when I read in the bible that we surely never get the punishment for our sins that we deserve and that God will never give us more than we can absolutely beautiful is that?!

You know, I was sorely afraid of death and of God when I purposely said these words not only in my heart but even aloud to others "I don't want to think right now, I don't want to know about God right now...maybe later". Even the devil and his angels are afraid and do tremble but that is not enough to make one want to serve God. I was terribly afraid...and yet I could not do it. I was able to block out somewhat and with time it got easier as I stepped further away from the light and into the darkness...I was at a point where I was tormented in spirit as if in my own living hell and yet I STILL could not turn back to God. This is why I thank Him every day...because it was His LOVE that did it. I still fear and tremble before Him but I am feeling this newfound depth of love that I never knew in my life till now. THIS is what has turned me back to Him, realizing even in my darkest moments and in the deepest of despair that I could never shake Him. That He was there and protected me even from myself...there are so many things that could have gone SO wrong all these years had He not been there to catch my fall!

I feel like shouting from the housetops and talking to everyone I meet in the street, and every downcast face that shows a sorrowful expression I want to stop that person and tell them...GOD LOVES YOU don't you see? there is HOPE! Needless to say, I don't want to scare people away and don't want to look like a crazy person running around and attacking people in the name of the Lord or I feel I am grateful for but I cannot push that onto others, I know because when I was unwilling to listen I know that nothing and no one would have been able to convince me to listen.

I am reading things in the bible that I never understood before, it's like a veil is lifted and I GET IT! I read some things and I have a question answered, I read some things and wonder HOW did I NEVER see this before?! I feel like I want to share it with the world! I will post some of my thoughts on different things I read and questions I had in later blogs.

There is SO much to learn and SO much to share and I feel truly blessed just to be here and know this -
That this day is another day that I am here for a reason.
That I am here to get to know my Heavenly Father so that I will know His face when I meet Him on the other side, because I will know His heart and His heart will be in me if I continue to fight the fight, regardless of temptations and my own self will.
That I am here to help my little one understand that God exists and point her to Him so that He can do His work in her whatever that may be and whenever that may be.
That I am here to do what He wills me to do and mayhap I can help one other soul to see and to believe.
That nothing matters in this world and everything is truly vanity and vexation of spirit and this world is not my own.

Throughout the past 12 years, even while I was out drinking and smoking and partying up a storm that minute I was on the train and I had a quiet minute a hymn would pop into my head and then I knew God had not given up on me. I imagined people would shake their heads if they knew that many a time as I puffed on a cigarette I was not thinking how cool I looked but desperately praying that God would rid me of the horrible and deadly habit. Praying and smoking at the same time? Yes. Did God listen? Oh yes!!! But that is another story I will print another time. It was a really pivotal point in my life and it happened this year at Quakertown convention. Nothing that anyone would was strictly between myself and God but I felt Him and His angels so close and so near...

I have collected a few of my favorite hymns on this page here for anyone that happens upon this blog...mayhap it will be of some inspiration to you...

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow

There are many things I do not know about life, God and the Universe in general. But I know enough to know that God is true and He has shown me He is real. I am learning more and more every day and every day I thank God for it. I speak to people every day that feel they have no hope, that do not understand the purpose of life, I cannot say I understand it fully myself, but I know that I don't want to know what comes tomorrow, I just want to leave it in the hands of the One that has created eternity and knows what will be and know that my hand in His is all I need to face it.

I found this poem on a Facebook group and I really liked it so I had to put it here in my new Blog.

When I say I’m a Christian,
I’m not shouting I am saved.
I’m whispering I get lost.
That is why I chose this way.

When I say I’m a Christian,
I don’t speak of this with pride.
I’m confessing that I stumble and
Need someone to be my guide.

When I say I’m a Christian,
I’m not trying to be strong.
I’m professing that I’m weak and
Pray for strength to carry on.

When I say I’m a Christian,
I'm not bragging of success. I’m admitting
I have failed, and cannot ever pay the debt.

When I say I’m a Christian,
I’m not claiming to be perfect.
My flaws are too visible but
God believes I’m worth it.

When I say I’m a Christian,
I still feel the sting of pain.
I have my share of heartaches
Which is why I seek HIS name.

When I say I’m a Christian,
I do not judge.
I have not authority.
I only know I’m loved.

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