Tag Archives: Faith

Looking Ahead…

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As I think about what’s ahead in 2019, it’s hard not to reflect on the last few years. God has been birthing a change in me and my husband’s life. This started after we vacationed in Ireland and England several years ago. That vacation was a great opportunity for both seeing new sites and connecting with family and friends who live in Europe. We also met a couple who live and work in Galway.

Yet, when we arrived home, it was not where would we go for the next trip that occupied our minds. It troubled my husband (Tom) that there appeared to be so few options for going to church in Tralee, the home of his Irish ancestors. As he pondered the dilemma, God put on his heart that he could do something to change the situation.

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This seemed like a huge white canvas waiting to be painted, with us having no idea of what the picture was supposed to be. Originally, we thought we were supposed to go back in the fall of 2018, but that didn’t happen. When Tom prayed about all this, he felt the response was, “That’s okay, I’ll wait.” We became more earnest about discovering what this mission is supposed to be.

It’s been several years of praying and working through ‘life’ here where we live. The big white canvas contains a few broad sweeping strokes at this time. It is nowhere near a clear image. I laugh because it seems like we get insight and details only as we move forward, putting one foot in-front of the other on a path which leads back to Tralee; on a path which will provide opportunities to share God’s love; to help people understand God’s love is vast and wide and most importantly for them.

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You may ask, how will we accomplish that? Certainly, through prayer and God’s guidance. Tom will work with a pastor in a nearby community, building their small group ministries. We’ll both reach out in Tralee to people both in and out of the church, to help them develop an understanding of God’s love that is deeper than the hurts and hardships previously imposed by governments and the church. This is not a one time in and out mission trip. We expect we’ll spend two to three months a year in Ireland, establishing long-term relationships with people. Currently, it will just be Tom and I, but over time I expect others may take up the mantle and also spend a couple months at a time there.

 

 

You can partner with us, either financially or in prayer. Check out https://www.celticmissions.org/  for more information or to partner with us.

Fight Back

When it comes to negative thoughts and self-talk, we have to fight back against those things.

Steven Furdick’s book, Crash the Chatterbox may be a good resource if you struggle with this type of negativity.

Furdick wrote the book to help people understand how they can battle the negative thoughts and lies filling their heads and hearts and instead turn to God promises and truth.

I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to others if they will work through the questions in the back.

There are a several statements that stood out to me:

…it’s not just what this chatter says that makes it dangerous. It’s what it keeps us from hearing.

…mistakes are inevitable but disrespect is inexcusable. And ingratitude is more than a misdemeanor.

…gratitude allows us to disconnect discouragement at the power source by choosing to call God good in spite of our situation.

 

Angel Encounter

October 30th, an angel blessed me.

I planned to travel home from Huntsville, AL to Grand Junction, CO with a flight transfer in Dallas/Fort Worth. Tom would pick me up about 6:30 P.M. (or something close to that.)

The plane from Huntsville never took off. When my plane landed in Huntsville emergency vehicles, fire trucks and police vehicles met it. The airlines kept delaying the departing flight and rescheduled connecting flights for the passengers. They rescheduled my connecting flights from Dallas, first to Phoenix and onto Grand Junction.

About 5:30 P.M. they canceled the Huntsville to Dallas flight. I could either spend the night in Huntsville and return to fly in the morning or fly to Dallas tonight, then they offered me a morning flight to Aspen. Being closer to home sounded better than starting over tomorrow. I opted to fly to Dallas.

Our flight to Dallas landed after nine P.M. I talked with an American Agent who offered a voucher for a night’s stay in the local Super 8 Hotel. I called the number on the voucher to request a pickup. The waiting area, the last in the pickup zone, was dimly lit.

There were two of us from this Huntsville flight waiting. I called first to schedule our ride and then two more times to figure out when the pickup would happen and could never get an answer when they would arrive. They said; the driver had left; they were experiencing a busy night, and they didn’t know when he would arrive. At that point we had already waited over 45 minutes.

The gentleman I was waiting with said, “I have thousands of points available at Marriott—let me get us each a room.” I protested and his comments were “No worries. I have points to spare.” He called for rooms and said, “We’ll take which ever shuttle shows up first.”

Within seven minutes the Marriott van arrived to pick us up. We got in the shuttle. Thoughts ran through my mind questioning what I was doing. Here I was, in a van heading to a hotel with someone whom I didn’t even know his name. God quickly brought the scripture to mind about how some have entertained angels unaware and peace filled my mind. (En route I received a Dallas phone call. I suspect it was the other hotel. By the time the call came through, an hour had passed since I made the original request for pick up.) We arrived at the hotel. Made arrangements for the morning shuttle, and each went to our rooms.

I had an amazing room; the bed had great pillows. For me, pillows make the difference regarding a good night’s sleep. I took awhile to fall asleep, as I was bone chilled from standing outside so long.

In the morning we met in the breakfast area and took the shuttle to the airport, each of us going to different terminals. I asked if I could get a business card and was told, “No worries.” We said goodbye and wished each other safe travels.

I have no name or contact information to offer a thank you. But I’m appreciative for this angel who waited with me in a dark area in a strange town and then offered me a refreshing place to rest for the night. God provides and cares for his own. I’m grateful!

In Only a Moment…

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Things can change.

 

I experienced one of those moments on January 18th, when I slipped and fell while shopping and broke, not one arm – but both of my arms. With one elbow broken and the other shoulder fractured life slowed.

I have time to reflect on the blessings surrounding me. Beauty encircles me and resides within each of us. Family, friends and my beloved hubby are needed to help me achieve nearly everything.

God heals in many ways. Healing is a daily transformation that happens one step at a time. I’m confident His healing power is at work in my body.

 

What’s in a name?

Why Journey to the Heights?

So I share with you the different things this means.

I grew up in the mid-west and lived my life east of the Mississippi River. I spent six years in Germany. Those years were lived at less than 1,000 feet above sea level, sometimes as low as 180 feet above sea level.

My house is at 7,400 feet in the Rocky Mountains. The move was a ‘journey to the heights.’

We live in an area called: Missouri Heights.

My faith expects me to grow and mature, representing the love of God and the life of Christ more and more. For those who personally know me, you recognize some days that is more evident than others. God obviously calls us to a higher level.

For me Journey to the Heights means these things.

I’m blessed with better health living in a higher elevation with a drier climate than any I enjoyed earlier in my lift.

I’m blessed by being surrounded with natural beauty, constantly changing. One can watch the massive skies with the clouds and various colors throughout the day. Stars appear close enough to touch.

I’m blessed to that God put me here, in this location for this time of my life and He is taking me to higher levels in my faith. This is a gift!

And so, I share Journey to the Heights with you!

Eternal Justice

Disclaimer: I’m sure this topic may elicit some strong feelings from some of you. Please feel free to share your thoughts, but don’t expect any heated debates.

For more than a year, I’ve been reading or studying the issue of women in the church. All the reading and thinking, has left me feeling as if my sense of justice has been violated.

During this study time, I’ve come to recognize the power, or should I say, abuse of power by a few. The Judeo/Christian culture is primarily a patriarchal culture. I accept this as the world I live in. However, when I see how one uses their position of power and/or trust to contrive a message to fit their life view instead of accepting the original text may have been written to challenge or question that very life view, it strikes me as an abuse of power and trust. My sense of justice, or the sense that one should do the right thing because it is the right thing, feels very violated.

While sharing these thoughts with a close friend, she helped me put some perspective on this. She could understand my feelings; but told me when she feels something is unjust, she tries to step back and look at it from the scales of eternal justice. She said those who abused their power and trust, would one day be held accountable. Wow! Those words created a strong visual, and immediately brought to mind James 3:1

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers,
because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

The good news is the sense of justice being violated was replaced with peace; with the promise and assurance the eternal scales will validate the truth.

Current day teachings associated with this topic should address the failings of those who translated the original manuscripts, or of those who led the early church into placing such emphasis on scriptures designed for a particular location or a particular set of circumstances. Will that happen?

That still leaves the question of, how ‘women in the church’ is to be lived out today?

For those of you who know me, this is a reversal of my former thoughts on the subject. I want to be clear, I believe God intended for women and men to be spiritually active in the church and among others. This change in my thoughts is not a matter of feminism or equal rights. For a woman, or a man to be involved in spiritual leadership, they have to possess the spiritual gifts of the position they are filling. Those gifts are not bestowed because of gender. People (men and women) receive these gifts from a loving God when they are in relationship with Him.

Stopped in My Tracks…

The following two sentences are in the middle of a book I’m reading, the last paragraph on the left side of the page. I had to stop and just think about these thoughts. In fact, I’ve been thinking about them for four days.

This is why a defining mark of revival is that as the Spirit increases, divisions decrease. Gender divisions, race divisions, socio-economic divisions fade away as everyone encounters God together.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I’ve been working through thoughts related to Revival this year. Looks like I’m still thinking about it.

I still believe ‘refining’ is a critical component of ‘revival’. Yet after reading the above sentences I have to wonder, besides the obvious refining we each need to submit to daily, does this refining need a common focus? As Christians do we each need to take a good look at ourselves, our churches and our communities and then determine where we as individuals, might be able to help bridge some of the divisions that exist in our families, our churches and our communities? If you’re a leader, or following a leader, should you be looking for this?

No one needs to look far, to see the affects of divisions caused by:

  • Ego or power struggles
  • Desire for control and recognition
  • Financial disparity that abound around us
  • Women hampered by the glass ceiling
  • Relationships severed due to hurt feelings or harsh words

This list is unending. I’m sure you could add many more things to it, but you get the idea.

As we pray for Revival, perhaps we should be asking to be refined in a true spirit of unity.

Revival or Refining — Part II

I’ve been pondering the Revival or Refining question for a few days. Thanks to each of you who reacted to this post.

A friend on FaceBook posted a comment that simply said “Both”.

His response resonated with me. I believe he is correct.

God’s church is the people! So when we consider anything the church is experiencing we need to consider what the individuals are experiencing.

Refining happens when we submit to changes God wants to make in our lives. These changes should be happening to all believers regularly. Then those changes should bring about revival within us. We should be strengthened, changed and desire to be closer to God.

Refining may have gotten a hard wrap. People tend to consider it something negative. Sometimes the process is difficult, but that may be the result of our resistance. The results of refining are what most of us desire.

  • To be free from impurities
  • To be free from moral imperfection
  • To improve or perfect
  • To be free from what is coarse, vulgar or uncouth

If these things are going on in your life, you are changing. Those changes are reason enough to celebrate “revival”.

Here’s the definition for revival so you can see if it might already be occurring in your life:

  • An improvement in the condition or strength of something
  • An instance of something becoming popular, active or important again

I think The Church should be ready for both “refining” and “revival”. We should encourage one another to submit to the refining and live in revival!

 

Reflections

It’s that time, when I reflect on the past year. I began 2015 with no particular expectations for the year. It became the year to conquer fear. Or should I say, turn my fears over to God.

By March, I found myself on a new trajectory. I would be going to Haiti in June. This newfound knowledge was surrounded by much fear and trepidation on my part, yet I knew it was a trip I was supposed to make. I had fears about my personal health; my ability to withstand the heat and humidity; letting go of pride to ask others to partner with me and greatest of all were the words a wise elderly woman spoke to me when she said, “These trips change people. You will never be the same again.”

Those words were frightening to me. It had taken many years for me to learn to accept and appreciate myself, and my life. Now I was hearing, I would never be the same. What would that mean, and would I like the person I would become?

As I prepared for the trip, I watched God graciously erase each fear before I arrived at the action part. The departure date arrived and I was ready to go. The trip itself was amazing. All I’ll say, is if God is asking you to step out and do something like this – then GO.

I was changed! Changed in the best possible way. At the end of the year, my husband received some medical news that created some uncertainties in our life. Fear was not part of this time. When I stopped and reflected on this, I was surprised! The old me would have been fearful and anxious. The new me was able to go about the required actions, procedures, tests and waiting, resting in peace.

Though I’ve been a child of God for years, I’m ending 2015 with the following refrain from “No Longer Slaves” having new meaning for me:

I’m no longer a slave to fear

I am a child of God.