Friday, September 30, 2011

I'm Lost - Part One

            Here I sit on the living room chair (wish I had another one) thinking about last night.  He is in bed, hopefully falling asleep, as he’s been hung over and feeling like hell all day.  I guess the reason I’m writing this stuff down is not only to never forget it, but there really isn’t anybody to talk to about it.  May as well start at the beginning.  Yesterday was crazy.  It was the last day of the first month I’ve been here, it was Halloween, and he and his friend were supposed to go to Jackson, Mississippi and then on Tennessee, being his friend is retiring soon and wants to have some idea of future security - home, and possible employment.  Anyway, as things turned out, their trip was postponed because of trouble with his friend’s car - didn’t look like it would make the trip.  Actually, even tho it’s not a very decent thing to say or feel, I was thrilled.  See, just last week he was out in the field and now he’d be gone again.  I enjoy his company tremendously, although I know and understand there will be plenty of times we will be separated.  But, things being as they have this last year (me-alone), I made up my mind to accept this sort of thing, and never fully depend on anyone again to always be around.  That had been a severe and detrimental mistake in my married life.  Even though I wasn’t torn to pieces over his impending trip, I was awfully glad he wound up staying home.

            Later on last night we were invited up to his friend’s for champagne.  We accepted, and as is the case so very often, wound up getting inebriated.  I offered to drive home, summoning up enough courage in my delirious state, and did okay if I do say so myself, except that I nearly drove right on by the house!  Typical drunk!  (Reader note:  not to defend my actions, the friend’s house was on the same street, about 10 houses up the road, and it was late, no one was on the street.  I had never driven this El Camino before. We do rather stupid things when we are lost.)

            Anyway, once inside we consumed a pot or more coffee, and then he went on to two beers. While both of our stomachs were drowning, he came out with a marriage proposal to me.  And then insane me went and accepted!!  I’m not sure why I did, I know I love him wholeheartedly and would do anything for him, but to say yes again, well, I never thought I would.   At least not in this lifetime. We exchanged words, of which neither of us can exactly recall, although I later found out that apparently I was cutting myself down, and then he did something totally unexpected and took it all back and swallowed his words!

            I was at that time and still am, pretty flabbergasted, and highly insulted.  My feelings are quite mixed.  I think it was a terribly cruel thing to do, and unnecessary.  It just should never have been brought up if the true feelings were momentarily spontaneous.  Marriage is a sharing of everything possible, not something to propose with unintentional motives.  It keeps bringing back all the times I told my ex not to go around screwing up anymore heads, to learn how to communicate and be honest.

            I feel very cheated.  I feel totally stupid for saying yes.  Actually, I’m so disgusted by it; any hurt was replaced with reality, that I couldn’t even cry.  Actually, it’s pretty funny.  I was taken for a ride again.  A short one, maybe, but nonetheless, I was the fool again last night.  I think I have some idea as to how my future will be -- full of mistrust and skepticism.  What man is really that sincere?  At this point, 18 hours later, I’m relieved.  I’ve opened my eyes again to all the ridiculous nonsense there is in life. 

            I don’t think I’d ever believe him again if it came up once more.  It’s his mistake; he’ll have to worry about it.  I guess I suffered enough to remember all the bitter feelings I’ve developed in my heart.  Maybe that’s why no man, not even him (especially now) will ever break me again.  I believe in love, and I believe in honor.  I just don’t believe that that’s all there is.  Belief is the whole thing in any relationship, and all my faith has been broken before.  I’m still here, only I’m more strong now, I’m okay, and I know I can still survive.  I have me, and I’ll take care of myself the way I should, the way no man, (deceitful creatures) ever could. 

            I feel better now that it’s out of my system and think I can finally rest enough to face another day, filled with..…?  God only knows!

            Lesson - another drunken stupor and another mistake!  Kill the bottle and the bottle will return the favor somehow, someway, someday!
(Saturday, 1 November 1980)

My goodness, my life was such a mess almost 31 years ago!   I was in search of the ever elusive ‘butterfly of love!’  I was sick and tired of all the hurt and pain I had gone through in the first 24 years of my life, and desperately wanted someone to rescue me.  There had to be someone, somewhere, that would let me be me.  Someone who loved me more than anything else in the entire world, that without me they would surely die.  Someone who would listen!  Just listen, let me cry my frustrations at a bad day into their shoulder and receive comfort and understanding.  I was so tired and desperate to be in control of my own life, yet needing someone else to place my burdens on. 

I felt like no matter how hard I tried for years after this time, that despite explaining exactly what he was supposed to do (yes, we married), he just didn’t get it.  Time after time he failed to grasp what his role in my life was to be - caretaker of my ego, of my esteem, and of my emotions.  He was supposed to know everything about me, I certainly told him enough!  Why couldn’t he get it?  What was wrong with him anyway, was he deaf or just not interested?  Why did he want to marry me if he wasn’t willing to protect me against those feelings of dread and doom that walked beside me like a twin?  How could he be so blind to not see into my heart and want more than anything to heal the pain instead of causing me constant hurt with his lack of understanding or concern?  Men!  All men were useless to me.  I was determined that I would have to take care of my own life, that I would from then on be in charge of all the things that impacted my life.  Even if I had to change the lives of those around me to do it.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Proverb 3:5-6

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.”  

All of it, for everything, withhold nothing!  Believe He will fix all my problems.  Believe He has a plan for me.  Believe He has my best interest at heart.  Know He will never forsake me or let down.  Know He hears my every prayer!

“And lean not on your own understanding.”

What do I know that is more knowledgeable than God?  What do I understand?  I seek wisdom, yes, but I am not wisdom, that is God’s!  So I don’t know what is to be.  Every situation is different.  My understanding of things is very limited by what I have learned and done.  God’s is without limits!

“In all your ways acknowledge Him.”

In everything I do.  In everything I dream.  In how I breathe.  Remember He controls my life, not me.  He can stop my heart.  He can cure my ails.  Everything I do should be with Him in mind – ask permission and blessing always.  Before, during, and after things I do.  Do it all for His sake, and for His glory!  Acknowledge my life shows He is with(in) me.  I don’t control anyone’s destiny, He does.  I am not more powerful nor capable than my God.

I must emulate His sweetness, His kindness, His devotion to the Father.  His trustworthiness.

“And He will direct your paths.”

He will lead my every step.  He will guide me.  He will bring me where I need to be.  He will take care of me.

I must take comfort in this passage.  It is a backbone Word.  One that gives strength and comfort to me.  It lays out exactly what I need to do, and shows me the results of my walk with God.  He shall direct my paths!

Oh God, how I love You!  Thank You for Your promises.  Thank You for Your Word!  Every day I grow a little more in Your Ways.  Thank You, Father, for being patient and kind to me!


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Psalm 31 in My Words

While reading Luke 23:46, the footnote in my Bible directed me to see Psalm 31:5.  I read the entire Psalm, and it is beautiful.  Apparently it is a prayer of confidence taught to Jewish children.  Some of the most beautiful verses follow.  My immediate thought is italicized.  I don’t recall why I didn’t include verses 9-13.

1      “In You, O Lord, I put my trust;  for You alone are truth
        Let me never be ashamed;  You have placed me here, I trust You
        Deliver me in Your righteousness.  Again, and again, and again

2     Bow down Your ear to me,  Please, Lord, hear my prayer
        Deliver me speedily;  I can’t wait to start fresh and try again!
        Be my rock of refuge,  Always a place for me to lean
        A fortress of defense to save me.  Hide me in Your love

3     For You are my Rock and Fortress  On You I will stand
        Therefore, for Your name’s sake,  Because You love me
        Lead me and guide me.  I cannot do it by myself

4     Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me  I stumbled, help me up
        For You are my strength  I can rely on You

5      Into Your hand I commit my spirit;  Because it is safe there
        You have redeemed me, O Lord  I am saved
        God of truth  As You said

6     I have hated those who regard useless idols;  They won’t listen
        But I trust in the Lord.  Because he is faithful

7      I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy,  I am undeserving
        For You have considered my trouble;  Thank You for helping me
        You have known my soul in adversities,   And still You love me

8     And have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy;  You have forgiven me again and again
        You have set my feet in a wide place.”  Where I am stable

14    “But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord;  Because You are true to Your word
        I say “You are my God.”  And I get overwhelmed with joy

15    My times are in Your hand;  O thank You, God!
        Deliver me from the hand of my enemies.  I know You will
        And from those who persecute me.  They don’t know You

16    Make Your face shine upon Your servant;  Let me feel You
        Save me for Your mercies’ sake.  So I many touch You, O God

17    Do not let me be ashamed, O Lord  For I am trying
        For I have called upon You;  I know You will teach me
        Let the wicked be ashamed;  Because they don’t love You
        Let them be silent in the grave.  They had so many chances

18   Let the lying lips be put to silence, They followed the devil
        Which speak insolent things proudly  They don’t seek You, O Lord
        And contemptuously against the righteous.  They are lost

19    Oh, how great is Your goodness,  It is never ending
        Which You have laid up for those who fear You,   I am so proud to serve You
        Which You have prepared for those who trust in You.  I give my life to You, Jesus
        In the presence of the sons of men.  Openly without shame

20   You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence.  Protect me, guide me, love me
        From the plots of man;  Those who don’t know You, don’t know me
        You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion  Where I can feel safe
        From the strife of tongues.  It doesn’t matter what they say

21    Blessed be the Lord,  For He is mighty
        For He has shown me his marvelous 
        Kindness in a strong city!”  And I am overwhelmed with awe

23   “Oh, Love the Lord, all you His saints!  He is so easy to love
        For the Lord preserves the faithful,   and I am one of His
        And fully repays the proud person.  Watch your attitude!

24   Be of good courage,   I am with you!
        And He shall strengthen your heart,  Day after day, just let Him!
        All you who hope in the Lord.”  Thank You, God!

Have a very blessed day, dear reader.  God loves you!  Those are my thoughts, what are yours?  Please comment.

© dft

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What A Week It’s Been - The Fire Part 2

It’s amazing.  The only thing that I had with me that day except for the clothes on my back was my journal, my discussions with Jesus.  Did I even really need anything more?  My laptop and all my notes and all the files for my book were in the house.  But I had my journal, so I was okay.  I could read again and again all the times in the past 6 months that I have been told,” trust Me”.  In so many areas of my life where I try to do things my way, God kept telling me that.  Let me tell you, dear reader, trust is really difficult for me, but that is for another blog.

Anyway, as we approached the area where earlier I had been turned back, there was no longer any police cars blocking entry to my neighborhood.  Everything seemed to be fine.  There was a command post set up at one of the ranches with a fire truck and local hospital mobile clinic, and some water trucks and pickups.  The local news people were all set up filming the 500 acres of burnt land that used to be part of a huge lake, but now resembles more of a very big puddle.  I don’t know how far the fire would have traveled if there had been water there instead of grass.

Earlier, when I knew I couldn’t get to the house I called my neighbor who was still at home and asked if he would be so kind as to go inside my house and grab my laptop.  He graciously obliged, so I stopped by his home to retrieve it.  Isn't it amazing how much we store on our computers?  All those wonderful pictures, funny emails, new books in the making, and Mahjong for those times of boredom when nothing else draws our interest.

We had a small dinner and took care of a few phone calls and went to sleep.  Every morning we get up early and spend time with God.  We went for a walk that morning and prayed as we walked.  When we rounded the corner we saw the sky all lit up and knew it wasn’t the sunrise.  That was the first time we could smell it, that meant the wind was blowing different.  We got in the truck and went up the street to get a better view. 

I don’t know how far off it was, it’s hard to tell when it’s dark out.  But the flames were taking out trees, burning brightly and consuming all in their path.  We could see the lights on fire trucks spinning around in the distance.  We went home and decided over breakfast that we would pack the car and truck with what we needed or wanted most in preparation for the worst.  But just how do you choose?  If I had been told that I only had 10 minutes to get what I needed, it might have been easier. 

It was going to be 104 that day, and a cold front was coming the next day! After this it would only be in the 90s. But the worry was that the winds would change and come from the north, possibly causing hotspots to reignite and flames to blow in our direction. For now not one house was touched, thank you Father, but that could all change. Yet we both had a peace about us. It was alright, God was in charge, and we trusted Him.

We found our suitcases, which have sat in the attic unused since 2006 and brought them down.  There were certain things that I knew we needed to take, and those things were packed first.  There were prescriptions, makeup, toiletries, hot curlers and curling irons in one bag, old books in another, files in a box, computers on the back seat, bibles in a carry bag, and jewelry in another.  I took my paintings and favorite pictures off the wall and wrapped them in blankets to protect them.  I took my daughter’s first rubber doll, it was from my dad, and had 1956 stamped on the back, the year I was born.  It is the one she pointed to and said her first word, “dolly,” when my mother held it up and asked her, “what is this?”  I remembered how terrifically proud my mother was that day.  I smiled and continued through the house.

What do you take?  The check books and the registers, all of them.  The spare keys to the house and car.  The meds, the safe, guns and ammo if you have them.  (If firefighters hear ammunition going off in your burning home, they will let it burn and concentrate on the land and containment instead.  No need to get shot putting out a fire.)  The right clothes and shoes, your pillow (don’t forget that), all the phone chargers, all the change in all the jars, the stamps, oh, and for me, my mother’s high chair and my father’s hat.  I was packed and ready; we prayed and went to work. 

We were not required to evacuate at that time, but there was nothing we could do at home, and plenty we could do at work.  By the time we left we had heard that the fire was once again contained with no damage to any structures.

(More later)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What a Week It's Been! - Part 1 - The Fire

You may be asking, "Well Deirdre, where in the world have you been all week?"  Well, it has been a busy week, and I am so sorry that I have been gone.  As you must pretty much know, dear reader, Texas has been in a terrible drought for most of the year.  We are so far below on the average rainfall (I remember rain from when I was younger), and there isn't any real relief in sight.

On top of the lack of rain (by the way, my Christmas tree is STILL in my driveway in the burn pile from December!), we have had a very hot summer.  I believe I heard that we had 87 days over 100 degrees this year, which is unusual.  What's even more unusual is that the temps were way up there, like 109 and 111.  For a little while I thought I was in Phoenix, but there were no Saguaro Cacti, so I was all confused.  Turned out it was just the heat (get it?).  Bad joke, I know.  In any event, it doesn't really matter if it is 102 or 106, who can really tell the difference?  All I know is that I got a great tan just standing outside talking on the phone for 5 minutes at a time!  Seriously!

The lack of rain mixed with the hot summer has been the perfect formula for wildfires.   Bastrop, Texas, about 35 miles southeast of Austin suffered major losses to over 1400 homes and thousands of acres of land.  Our church, as well as churches all over the area (and the state, I would think) have had drives to get necessities to the residents.  Wildfires were popping up all over the state, and every county but four have had burn bans enacted.

Last Tuesday as I was coming home from enjoying lunch with a good friend, I noticed this huge fire off in the distance.  As I got closer I saw that it was in the direction of where I live.  Then I came upon the Texas State Troopers who had closed the road about 5 miles from my home and were turning people around.  I went to speak to them and they said "Sorry, can't let you through." 

What a helpless feeling comes over you when someone in authority says that.  "But I live there!"  "Sorry, ma'am."  So I turned around and headed for our Church.  I knew there were Pastors there that would pray with my husband and I.  He left work and met me there.  On the way, I 'lost it' for a few minutes when I called my beautiful daughter and told her to get everyone in the office together and pray that the firemen are protected (it was 109 that day), that the people who had pets would be spared losing them, that the residents would be okay, and that the fire would not damage any one's home.  After the initial fear and dread of the unknown, I settled back into a peaceful state. 

Our beloved dog, Rehab, went to be with our other pets in heaven in April, so at least I didn't have that awful thought to consume me.  That would have been unbearable knowing I had a pet in my house if it were on fire!  And I didn't know how close the fire was.  When I called the county police they mentioned the next street over.  Then I heard God say, "Trust Me," and I knew I had to. I knew that I would be alright.  I had just posted a blog about new beginnings two days earlier.  I felt like this, if I lose everything, I had my journal with me, and it would be a new beginning, just like this book and this website, and all the wonderful things that are happening in my life.  I knew that I may lose everything, but I felt very secure in knowing that God had something even better for me to replace those things with.  I had peace.  That was enough to get over the fear of the unknown. 

At the church, our Associate Pastor and his wife, my dear friend, prayed for us and the neighborhood and the firefighters.  We could see the smoke from outside our church, which is almost 16 miles away.  After a few hours we thought we'd try to get home again.  We would show our driver's licenses to the police and explain we needed to get prescriptions and necessities, and would leave if we had to. 

(I will continue with Part 2 very soon!  Stay tuned!)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

New Beginnings

Each day we awake to something new.  I live in Central Texas.  I leave for work just before the sun starts to rise.  My commute through the countryside lasts about 35 minutes, and is unhindered by traffic, school buses, stop lights or stop signs.  There are hardly any houses to pass, it is mostly ranch land.  I have seen some really funny things on my way to work, and things that just make me shake my head and smile.  I have seen horses lying on their backs rolling in the dirt, the same way dogs do!  Yep, all four feet up in the air, bent at the knees, rolling back and forth scratching their backs!  I have seen goats in trees!  No lie, goats climb trees if the bottom branches are low enough.  I always heard that they will eat everything but the grass, and then when they have no other choice, they eat the grass.  I don’t know if that is true or not, but it looks like it may be possible.  I have watched cows.  Cows make me laugh.  You can see 14 cows all standing around looking at each other as if they were having a meeting, and then there will be the one cow who is either blind or did something really stupid because the herd (do cows herd?) has sent him away.  He will be standing all by himself staring at a tree trunk!  It just looks so funny!

And then there are the Central Texas sunrises!  I’ll tell you, there is nothing quite as beautiful as that!  If there are no clouds in the sky, there is usually a huge red sun rising.  It looks like it is so close you could touch it.  But then there are those mornings when the sky is turning light blue from the dark black it was just an hour before.  If there are clouds, the sun begins to shine through with the most beautiful glory you can imagine!  There is phosphorescence along the very edge of the cloud; and the clouds all around are turning pinkish orange.  Then there are shadows that are like filters in the sky!  The rays flash out in all directions as the light show reaches its climax. 

I have seen sunrises that were so beautiful I had to pull over and cry at the blessing they are for me.  If nothing else goes right that day, I know that God has promised me that He will be with me.  My ride is westerly, so I am forced to look back at the progress of the celestial rise.  I will look at people driving toward me, and they are lost in their music, on the phone, or have their visor down.  They are driving toward the most beautiful scenery of the day and they don’t even notice!  How can that be?  Why don’t they notice?  I feel sorry for them, they are missing out on all that God has for them.  He is seen in the most obvious places.  Look at the sunrise and you will see His majesty!  God does the most beautiful work!  And He does it for us!

This blog is about new beginnings.  I am at the beginning of the marketing stages of my first book, A Christmas I Remember.  It is both an exciting and (could be) intimidating time.  The book is written and is being produced, and now I to sell it!  Yes, my publisher gets copies to the stores that order it, and they contact the local papers and TV and all that, and they will set up appointments for me to do readings and signings, but ultimately the job of selling a book falls on the author.  I need to be seen and I need to do readings and signings.  If I don’t put out that effort, why would anyone buy it?

I'm sure I will have people who need to pay with credit or debit, and I don’t have a cash register or credit card machine, and I know I will have to keep track of things for taxes, etc..  God has told me to not despise small beginnings (Zechariah 4:10).  This is a little book, a children’s Christmas story about when I was a little girl and a snowstorm came and I didn’t know if Santa was going to be able to get to our house (the things little girls worry about on Christmas Eve).  I know that I am never supposed to say it is ‘just’ a children’s book, because it isn’t ‘just’ anything.  It is God’s book!  He brought it all to creation, first through my friend asking me to write something, then by answering my prayers with divine inspiration, then through another friend recognizing it as a book, then through my Christian publisher accepting it.  It is small, yes, and it is exactly what God had in mind to begin with.  And it will be a success because it has already taught me many things.

He has told me that I should revel in this time, to not be worried about those things I don’t know.  I should learn from the new beginnings and appreciate them.  Like the sunrise.    He loves me that much!  No flowers or chocolates, instead it’s sunrises that touch my heart and soul.

Newborn babies are new beginnings.  When they are just days old it doesn’t look like they are doing much.  Oh but they are!  Their little brains are being formed with new sounds, sights, touch, and so many things that they never knew.  Generally they just lie there and take it all in.  They are learning words, and music, and who people are.  But they don’t consciously think about that.  They are needy.  Someone else has to do everything for them or they won’t survive.  They must be resilient to constant change.   Eventually they will be old enough to do things on their own, thanks to the efforts of those that helped them get where they are. 

So this is where I am with my book.  He will send me those that know PayPal and taxes and cold sales and where the market is.  I won’t have to do these things all by myself, because as I said, this is His book, and He knows what He is doing.  This is all a lesson for me.  I have learned that He will give me strength, and courage, and that fear is not from Him.  He has my best intentions at heart, and He wants me to learn these things now, with a small book, because He will have so much more for me later.  I must revel in the new beginnings, because that is where you learn, that is where the beauty is, the start of the innocent life, or the beauty of the new day.  Sit back and learn, He tells me, I will take care of you.  And He has, and He does.

How I love my Lord!
© dft

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Today is the Day

Today is the day You have made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it!  I begin my day in praise to You, Lord.  You are Almighty, You are Sovereign, and You are Beautiful, Healer, Teacher, and Deliverer. 

You took me from the pits of Hell and brought me to Your place at the right hand of God.  You smiled upon my life and I was drawn with a strong desire to have You in my life.  I needed You like a baby needs its mother.  I could no longer live without You in my heart.  My time of living the world’s way was no longer fulfilling, I heard death knocking at the door.  My Spirit did not want such an ugly thing, I knew there was something, Someone, better.

And You didn’t turn Your back on me when I reached out to You.  I was so ugly and filthy and full of disease and death.  And You took hold of my hand and brought me to a place on a hillside and showed me a cross. You spoke only two words, “For You.”

In my shame and embarrassment I searched Your eyes for deception, “who would die for me?  Surely not You, I don't even know You!”  All I saw in Your eyes was forgiveness and a deep and powerful love.  There was no deception, no hidden motive, only love, pure and holy.  I could tell that although I didn’t know You, You knew me.

I fell on my face in the dirt where Your blood still stained the earth, and I wept, so undeserving was I to be in this place.  I found that I was already changing; my arrogance was being replaced with humility, my fear with trust, my anger and hatred with love.

My hard and stony heart was softening, and as I cried tears of humility, I felt the burden of death released from me.  My tears mixed with Your blood as I surrendered my life to You in exchange for eternity.  We became one.  I knew in my heart that death no longer owned me.  I knew I would spend eternity loving You, with a joy in my heart I was unprepared for.  I never knew this feeling of joy, the lightness of my soul, the peace of being safe.

You took my hand and helped me up.  You brushed away my tears and told me I was Yours.  You smiled and kissed my face and held me in Your loving arms.  All the angels in Heaven smiled and shouted ‘Hallelujah’ because I had given my life to You.

I knew this is where I belonged, and I became light, just as You.  I was no longer filthy or filled with rage, I became whole as I walked hand-in-hand with You, Jesus.  I am never alone, and only You could make me feel this way.

Oh yes, the dark world still wants to bring me back,  Its grip on my life has been severed forever, yet the ruler of this dark world can’t stop his relentless pursuit to at least trip me up. When I find myself out walking alone, when I have not walked with You, I feel the darkness grabbing hold of my ankles, trying once again to steal my new found faith and joy.

But at those times that I am lost, You hold me even tighter, and reach down in love when I fall and scrape my knees, and You remind me that I must trust You, and believe You.  I must obey You, because You know the right path, the only one to Heaven’s Gate.  I can easily get distracted by the false beauty of the world, and by seeing my own reflection in the lake.  I must remember that only You are the Truth, the Light, and the Way.

So I surrender my life to You, Jesus, my Savior.  I confess that You are God and came to earth and was born to a virgin.  I believe You suffered and died for my sins.  I believe that You rose and beat death once and for all.  I believe that You are my Lord and Savior, and more than anything that You died that I might live, so great is Your love for me!  I thank You, Lord Jesus, and I gladly throw away the old and put on the new!  My life is Yours, You cleansed and saved me.  I believe I am a child of God, no longer lost or unloved.  I am a sinner, and You are my Savior.  I love You, Jesus!

So let me enjoy this beautiful day that You have made for me.  Let me bask in the warmth of Your ever-present love!  I praise You!  I worship You! You are GOD!!!  And You love me!
dft ©

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Mountain

Why, oh why is it that the harder I strive to be good, and to do good, do I manage to totally mess up?  I feel like I’ve been steadily climbing a mountain, and when I almost make it to a place where I can take a rest, a small pebble, loosened through time moves under my foot.  As my foot begins to slide, more dirt and rock is loosened and I am now panicked, throwing my arms out before me to break my fall.  I slide down, scraping my holy knees, breaking the skin on my hands, feeling the pain in my hip as I gain momentum and crash into a bigger rock and slide over it on my soft belly.

My clothes are dirty and torn, and stained with blood.  All my labor lost, I am back down on the valley floor, where I began.  All my progress halted, gone, because I didn’t watch were I was going!  So sure of myself, how well I was getting along, I never even noticed that loose place on my path! 

I’m exhausted now, and I cry tears of frustration because I have to start all over again!  What drives me to do this?  I keep doing the same thing!  I seem to get a little bit further up that craggy hill and then something will distract me or I just forget to focus and down I come crashing!

I’m hungry, but my lunch pail is up on the place where I started to fall.  I have to climb back up there to retrieve it, to eat, to be filled with the wonderful taste of sustainment.  I know I can’t tarry for long, no matter how much my bruised and battered body, my torn flesh, tells me to just “give it up, there’s got to be an easier way!”  A part of me wishes I could, but a deeper and more wise part of me says, “No, you must claim this mountain before nightfall.  Relief will come at the summit.”

So I pick myself up, brush the dirt out of my torn scabs and once again begin my journey to the light; to my food, to safety and rest.  There, at the top is my reward.  And this time I know where another danger zone exists.  I will hopefully conquer this mountain this next trip!

Authors Note:  This is what happens not only when we don’t stay focused on God and His Word, but also when we start to feel just a little too comfortable in ‘our’ achievements.  He will lovingly pull us off that high mountain of self-esteem that we’re perched on, and remind us who is in charge, and allow us to conquer our own flesh.

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"I Am With You"

“I am with you.”  What a wonderful thing to know!  He is with me.  Right now.  Here, in my despair, in my loneliness, while my body commits treason against me, while my friends and family have abandoned me.  He alone is true.  He promises me no less than 13 times in the Bible that He is with me.  For how long?  “Always, even to the end of the age.”  It just doesn’t get any better than that. 

He is with me!  When I am celebrating the birth of my newborn baby, when I am finally getting that promotion, when I received that clean bill of health!  Always, even to the end of the age!  I can’t run away from Him.  I can’t turn my back on Him and expect Him to be gone, He is right before me!  He is beside me, He is above me!  Always!

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A Morning Prayer

Dearest Lord, please bless my day today.  Give me wisdom that I may speak the words that come from You; words of life, not death, words of healing, not condemnation.  Father, I want my words to bring truth to the world and the universe.  Let them overpower the negative, death-speaking words of the world. 

Help me to guard my mouth against the deadly words of this world and speak only the living and life-giving words of Your Kingdom.

Fill my heart with love and respect for my fellow man.  Remind me not to judge, lest I be judged.  Father God, remove from me any spirit of pride I may house deep inside me.  I do not want to put myself above my need for You.  Help me to always remember that You are in charge, not me, and that You know best and do all things perfectly, in good judgment, and with wisdom.

Carry me through my day, dear Lord.  You are strong where I am weak, You are brave where I am uncertain.

Keep the enemy from me, and let all I hear today be positive so that I may relish a Kingdom day instead of an earthly one.  Let my thoughts be pure.  Let not the enemy speak through anyone else to me.  Thank You, Lord for considering my prayer.  I can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens me!  I am the armor-bearer!  I am the righteousness of God in Christ!  I am an overcomer!  Bless me Lord, in Jesus’ name, Amen.