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The Importance Of Being Vertically Centered

10954215_553447656161_602363106_nGuest Post By Josh Wallace

I grew up in a strict Christian family when I was a kid, my parents were (and still are) very spiritual and strong Christians, for better or for worse it was a sheltered life. I’m not saying being sheltered was a bad thing, just giving you a little insight on how I was raised. From the eyes of a little kid being a Christian was going to church, praying before you ate your food, before your went to bed, following the rules and getting baptized.

I was baptized at a young age; I didn’t understand why everyone wouldn’t want to be baptized. I thought I was doing what I was supposed to be doing like any good young Christian, I wish I had waited. A little while later I got caught up in the middle of some church politics and experienced my first buffeting in my faith. I couldn’t understand why anyone who professed to follow Christ would act so un-Christ like.

For many years I allowed this to affect me, I floundered along spiritually through high school and college. I would have spiritual highs during week of prayers and times spent with my high school Chaplin Fred Riffel, but they wouldn’t last long. I would refer to my Christianity during those years as lukewarm. I still went to church, I still prayed, but the zeal for Jesus wasn’t there.

After college I wasn’t able to find a job. I applied, interviewed but never got a job, it was a hard time for me. The positive of the situation was that it gave me time to spend with my grandparents. During morning worships I saw just how close to God they were, I knew of the struggles they had earlier in their life and how they overcame them with God’s help and it pointed to their being hope for me. I talked at length to my grandpa (Poppie) one day10965167_553447651171_1704685783_n while golfing about my past; he asked me why I would let anyone affect a relationship that they weren’t involved in? “What does anyone in the church have to do with your relationship with Jesus Christ?” he asked.

It started to hit me that I was allowing outside forces that were not directly involved mold my relationship with God.

It’s been over six years since that talk, but I won’t forget it. It was a turning point for me in my relationship with God. Luckily I didn’t have to travel it alone, I was blessed to spend a lot of time with my grandparents between 2009 and 2012. Having worship every morning with them was a big help for me. I started having my own worships when I wasn’t with them, whether it was reading a chapter of Proverbs or reading devotionals.

The time with my grandparents taught me a lot of what being a Christian really was, it wasn’t just following rules and going to church. It’s about building a relationship with God and then doing what Jesus did when he was here, he went about doing good. Following Jesus and focusing on a relationship produces the fruits of the spirit as listed in Galatians 5:22-23.

Would I go back and change my past? Absolutely not, all the up and downs led me to where I am now in my spiritual walk with God. I would advise others though to take your decisions about God seriously, don’t let others come between you and him. Make those decisions for yourself, don’t feel rushed, God will meet you where you are at, focus on building a relationship with him and everything else will fall into place.

As I have grown older my idea of what being a Christian has changed from what it was when I was little. I now see that Christianity is more than just praying before my meals, my bedtime and going to church. It is about having an undisturbed vertical relationship with God, and allowing him to use me to do good to others.

10962023_553447646181_327057833_nMy grandparents have taught me so much in my walk with Christ and I want to share the wisdom he has shared with me. Below I’ve added a list my grandpa gave me that has helped over the years; it is what my grandpa has attributed his relationship with God to. I hope they help you too!

The Gospel of Joy and Happiness according to Poppie

  • Have a thankful heart
  • Have a forgiving spirit
  • Have a child like trust in God
  • Have an optimistic attitude
  • Give more-expect less
  • Live simply
  • Love generously
  • Care deeply
  • Speak kindly
  • Free your heart from hatred and your mind from worries. Worry is pain suffered for something that hasn’t happened and most likely won’t
  • Get in the word-Bible- morning worship
  • 12 Leave the rest to God

I hope you have enjoyed this awesome post from Josh.  I love what he said about being in a vertical relationship with God. Take a moment to really think about your relationship with God.  Are you vertically lined up with God? This is the second post in this series that gives the awesome wisdom of “Poppie” and I hope to meet him some day. 

If you have not caught the other posts in the “Dirt, Trucks, and Faith series” you can read the other posts by going to the tab in the menu bar and clicking on the series name.  Blessings from the Midlife Domestic Goddess 

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We Are Made For More

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 7.01.52 PMWelcome back to Dirt, Trucks and Faith…Seeing Jesus through the eyes of young men.

My next guest writer is Steve Wallace.

Sometimes I think about how it’s hard for us to let God have control.  We fail to see that when he’s in control all things work together for our good.  We seem to always get stuck on the little details that discourage us from what’s really important. Doubt is created and when we question ourselves on things that are so small, they pull us away from the center of Gods influence.  I put off getting baptized until this year. All together it was a series of events that led to my hold out. Josh my brother was baptized at a young age and I was ready to follow in his foot steps but the pastor that I wanted to baptize me fell ill with cancer and didn’t make it.  More opportunities came. My younger brother Noah was baptized and I would see my friends in school getting baptized. I saw that some, not all, were only doing so merely to please their parents. So time went on…1002450_10151456945756567_1684370869_n

Many things in life can lead you different ways. I wanted to have an “ah ha” moment. I wanted God to show me the way through a miraculous adventure where my faith would be solidified and I would come to my wit’s end so that the truth would be made crystal clear.

This is my story…..

Not all stories are the same. I have had some crazy adventures, near death experiences, I partied with rock stars, journeyed far and wide but the moment that I was chasing never came.

My faith would go in and out, I fell back and forth between chasing the life of pleasure and avoidance of all the pain. Luckily, I never strayed too far but I also never truly committed

I had a ski injury a few years back, I would like to say I was doing a big trick or dropping a cliff but that wasn’t the case. I was on the most dangerous place on the ski mountain, a cat track…Some how I thought it was a good idea to plant my ski pole in the snow and that lead to me I impaling myself on it. I didn’t do it intentionally; I just didn’t think things through. I went to a few doctors and finally I made it to a 4Physical Therapist in Walla Walla who helped get me back to full health. His name was Manford and he was a strong man.

To this day he had one of the strongest handshakes I can remember. Manford was fighting cancer during my rehabilitation and we had countless talks of life and God. After I left Walla Walla I heard that his cancer had come back harder than ever and he was on his deathbed.  I went to see him but when I got to this house there was a sign that said no visitors. I called his phone and his wife picked up, I asked if I could see Manford and she told me, “no”. I started to lose hope and then I heard a week voice with a strong purpose say, “Let him in!” Manford’s wife sighed and said, “You can come in for a few minutes”.  When I was inside I saw my friend’s body had withered but the strength had not left his hands. The fight was still in his eyes. We talked for a few moments but it was hard for him to speak. I will never forget the last thing he said to me. He said,

“Whatever you do. Make God numero uno. Number one! And everything will be fine”.

I thought about that a lot and I could feel a change coming. The change came when I was on a trip to Arizona to surprise my grandfather for his 79th birthday.  We had a few good talks about life and what the important things are. My Grandfather shared what thinks are the most important thing:

  1. A vertical relationship with god.
  2. Find a good wife
  3. Find something where you’ll never work a day in your life.

One of the days we were talking, baptism came up. He asked me a simple question that made all the 3sense in the world. He said, “Are you planning on getting baptized?” I said, “yeah I’m planning on it, just some things have come up and stuff”. He then replied, “Do you think I’d still be married to your grandma if I put her off the way you put Jesus off?”

To me it was as clear as a bell. My priority was way out of line.

I hadn’t been baptized and I really didn’t have a good reason why not. Sometimes you can know something to be true but never commit to it and it can pass you by.  For example, you can plan an entire vacation to Hawaii, know exactly what you’re going to do with a full and detailed itinerary but if you never buy the tickets to go you will never get there.

Same with God, he’s offered you a gift. A gift is something that isn’t deserved. It’s not a something you can buy it can only be received.  It’s yours if you want it.

I don’t think I ever thought I would go the other way and not believe in God. I’ve always believed very strongly and probably prayed more than a lot of people because I try some crazy stuff from time to time. But I never made it a priority and that was the biggest factor. Once I made it a priority things started to happen. I started having meetings with my pastor 2-3 times a week and soon I was being baptized.

41359_425075766566_5109188_nI have learned It’s easy for us think about all the problems in front of us. We should rest assured that God has our backs. Put your best foot forward and know that you are special. I like to spend time thinking about what Jesus went through to give us chance at salvation. That helps me see the bigger picture and appreciate what’s the most important choice we can ever make. Giving it all to God and accepting the gift he wants to give us.

WE WERE MADE FOR MORE!

-Steve Wallace.

Be sure to check out Steve’s site at Huroic Clothing Co.

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The change of a young man’s heart

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By Isaac Crandall

A simple story for the men out there; Kim had asked me if I could write a small MAN segment. I am honored to be a part of “Dirt, Trucks, and Faith”-seeing God through the eyes of young men.

My Background:

Growing up in a stricter Christian home I had always gone to church in my little suit and tie. When I got older I got more freedom from my parents to make the decision to go to church or not go. As a young boy I chose not to go to church.  I would rather have fun riding my dirt bike, watching movies, playing games and, etc. Sounds pretty normal so far right?

I kept my personal relationship with God although it was distant and I only kept him there when I needed something or if something bad was happening. I had never experienced God before. I had never really felt Him or seen Him.  Lastly, I had a small obsession with cars which leads into this story.

My story:

It started when I was kind of a careless, absentminded, 16 /17-year-old boy. I had just gotten my license and I was on my way back from Schweitzer 6630_490588280991527_77155941_nMountain Ski Resort. It had been an awesome day of skiing. I was amped up! I had landed a few 540’s and that was a big deal to me.  Being so amped up I figured what better thing to do than see how fast I could get home in my Honda Prelude that I had just finished rebuilding. I was on my way through Coeur d’Alene Idaho passing a few cars, driving a bit aggressive at 85 mph or so.  When I got to the straighter part of the freeway I decided to crack open the throttle a bit more. I passed under an overpass and all the sudden lights flipped on in the distance behind me. My mind was contemplating between running to the exit or pulling over and being responsible. The Lord led me to pull the car over.

As the officer came up to the window, I was shaking and almost crying. He said,  “Son do you know how fast you were going?”  “Umm, no I don’t?” I said.   He told me,  “I clocked you at around 106 mph”.  I was thinking I was lucky he didn’t catch me doing the actual speed I was doing. “Do you have any idea how much trouble you’re in?” he said.  In a quivering voice I answered “no”.

I gave him my license and registration and he said, “I will be back”.  Meanwhile, tears are coming down my face as I am thinking of how mad my parents were going to be.  Two more police cars show up so I have a three state troopers on my case.  At that point, I thought for sure I was going to jail for reckless driving.  I started praying and praying hard. I asked God to get me out of this predicament. The officer finally came back and said, “Do you know how many families and people’s lives you took in your hands tonight driving like a fool?  These roads are slick, it is dark out and, you are not an experienced driver.”

I had never thought of it in that prospective before……

The officer then said, “I get a vibe from you that your Dad is going to kick your butt when you get home because you are an honest kid and you will tell them what happened tonight.”  I said “yes sir you are correct”.  “It’s lucky you are still in Idaho” he told me. “Here is your speeding ticket now DRIVE UNDER THE SPEED LIMIT ALL THE WAY HOME TONIGHT”.  I said “yes sir” as I slowly started my way home.  I knew I was going to get a not so nice talk from my parents, be disciplined and, have my car taken away.

After the talk it was late. I snuck out to our field by our house, knelt down and starting praying to God as if He was a great friend I had let down. Before that night I had been driving a dangerous road very aggressively. I now see that night as God’s way of communicating to me that I needed to slow down and take a step back. I needed to look at my life and ask myself, “Am I driving too aggressive? 553483_4069941953155_1067940942_nWas I driving as the world would want me to drive?”  In my personal life I found the answer to those questions a few months later. I found that I need to be driving strong and steady for Him and for the benefit of others.  By this I mean do not  just sit at an idle……God wants us to put on some low profile “Y” rated tires and really grip His highway.

I asked for forgiveness that night and asked if He would start guiding my life in the direction He intends me to go.  I prayed for myself to take more time and initiative to consider other people’s lives instead of my own.  I had been being selfish. I prayed that He would help me grow into a man of God. A man He would be proud to call His son. I asked Him to help me understand that He is real and that He is all-powerful.

Keep in mind it was a cold night and I was freezing. After I sat in silence for a few minutes a warm comforting wind seemed to come around me and almost hug me. It was like a warm blanket filled with mercy and grace, letting me know that He is was there and He forgave me.  I can’t explain the feeling even to this day.  I broke down and started crying.  From my perspective, it was as if God was showing me that He still loved me after years of turning my back to Him.  I had chosen my highway rather than His and yet He still loved me.  The same is true for you. God1613857_10203743427092415_6056444948780037742_n loves you even if you have chosen your own highway for a time.  He loved me when I fell away and He loves you too. That experience has never left me till this day; God reaches us all at different times and in different ways. I think it is amazing the way he can take an experience that pertains to you as a specific person and make you realize certain things. He can help you on your specific path.

I love the way He loves me. I have to say, “Lord I am amazed by you”.

 

You can follow me on Facebook at Heartfelt ramblings of a midlife domestic goddess and on Twitter at @Mom4Godalways.

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 7.01.52 PMI have some other great guys lined up to be guest writers in this series so I hope you check back.

 

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Plant a legacy of faith

Today I chose to read from my great-great-grandmother’s Bible. The pages are yellowed with age and the outside is worn but the truth in it still remains the same . I found myself reading Ecclesiastes 3 because it was written in the front of her Bible.

The Bible is marked “to Mama from Paul”. Paul is my great-grandfather. As I dug in, God’s word filled me with a sense of excitement1939655_620380091372648_1537100982_n. A small glimpse of my great-great-grandmother was revealed to me and God had a lesson for me to learn. I began to understand that she knew the Lord, and upon her passing, the Bible went to her son Paul and his wife Ruth. Ruth Ann Turner, Grandma “R.A.T.”, was my great-grandmother. Ruth also seemed to know the Lord.

In the Bible, there are things that my great-grandmother Ruth added when it became hers. There was a newspaper clipping about President Lyndon B. Johnson, prayers she cut out of things she had read, a couple of bookmarks and a page out of a devotional. On the devotional page, someone named Minnie had written a note to my great-grandmother Ruth. It said,

“This is for your own self. I just read this and it made me think of your life. Your smile does bless lots of folks.” -Minnie

There were a few generations between my great-grandmother and me that became unfruitful soil. Holding this Bible, their Bible, I understood that I needed to pick up where they left off. I realized that I have been given a chance to water what was once planted and then neglected for a few generations.

In God’s perfect timing, I found myself in Ecclesiastes 3. I was reading what either my great-grandmother or great-great-grandmother felt was important enough to write in the front of this Bible.

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

In this passage, I see that it is time for me to make a change in my own family to prepare for the generations to come. I want to leave a legacy of faith for my children, my grandchildren, and my great-grandchildren.

My kids know the Lord, but I don’t want to settle for that. I want to dig in and turn over the ground, pull out the weeds, and water the seed that was planted by my great-great-grandmother and her daughter-in-law all those years ago. I want to leave behind a legacy of faith. To have people remember me as a woman who loved the Lord with her whole heart, that is what I long for. It is so important for me pass my faith onto my kids and the generations to come.

As you are reading this, I hope you want the same thing for your family. Do you want to leave behind a legacy of faith? Then start with your own kids. If there’s neglected soil in your family, even if it has been left for generations, you can make a difference. Dig in! Tear out the weeds, plant your own seeds, and water them. Tend to them and grow something beautiful. Plant a legacy of faith.

Originally written for the Whatever Girls

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Living Kidney donors, 2 ladies each rocking 1 kidney to save a life of another. (The Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom,Episode #5)

Our next two “Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom” both took the idea of giving ones self to the service of another literally.  Both of these women felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to give a kidney away to a total stranger to save their life.

1888610_601121329965191_516321340_nI am honored to have crossed paths with these ladies.  I met Doni (on the right) our first of these two amazing women while standing in line at the bookstore.  My kids have rolled their eyes more than once when I have struck up a conversation with a total stranger but, I feel we are missing a lot when we don’t reach out and talk to others.  My theory was proven correct the moment I spoke my first words to Doni.  Standing in line with me was one of the most amazing women ever and I would have missed the blessing of her story and the story of her friend had I not spoken to her.

She told me she was buying the gift for a friend (Teresa on the left above) who had signed up to give her kidney away to a total stranger because she felt led by the spirit.  I remember saying something along the lines of, “That is amazing and I don’t think I have that in me”.  As the conversation unfolded I would learn that Doni had also given her kidney in the same way.  I stood there in that line, humbled by the love of the Lord that these two women had in them that would lead them to be willing to give up a piece of themselves to give life to another.

I shared John 15:13; Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends in my last episode about Toni, a women in the military who was willing to put her life on the line for her country in her service and it seems like the perfect scripture to carry on to this 2 part episode.

There is no way to tell the story of these two women in one post.  Today I will start with Doni since I met her first.  Doni is one amazing “Real Housewife of God’s Kingdom”. Her journey began in June of 2001 when she read an article in Parade magazine. It was in that article that she first learned of Altruistic Kidney Donation.

“I read an article in the Parade Magazine about a man named Harold who had given one of his kidneys to a total stranger.  As I read the article I realized that the story was no longer about Harold but about me.  I too was going to do this.  At that time in my life, this feeling was one of the most overwhelming experiences I had ever had.  It was almost as if I had heard God’s voice saying, “Doni you too are going to do this.”

Once Doni is on a mission she doesn’t stop.  She began calling the numbers on the list for those interested.  In 2001 Spokane (her home town) did not have a kidney transplant center for altruistic donors so she found herself at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Today Spokane is fortunate to have Sacred Heart Medical Center to do the procedure for people in her hometown.

In order to do this Doni would quickly learn that there was a different protocol to giving a kidney from a donor that is not deceased. She began working with the University of Washington Medical Center and going through the process of various requirements and medical testing.

Since the day I met her I have tried to roll this around in my head many times wondering, how do people do that?  As I read what she said I still find myself saying, “Could I really do this Lord?” Her words are so powerful.

“I didn’t tell many people what I was doing.  I was afraid that if I told people then I would really have to do it.  I wouldn’t be able to back out.  I began to question my motives and reasons.  Spending hours talking to God.  My mantra became – God if you want me to walk down this path then just keep the doors open.  I wanted to be obedient to what I felt I was being called to do.  My husband and I met with our pastor.  I spent hours trying to figure out how to do this as a stay at home mom in a blended family of 5 kids ages 8 –18”

God was going to have to work all this out is what Doni decided. When she began to settle into the idea that this was actually going to happen, the unexpected happened.  Three days before Doni was to fly to Seattle for additional testing everything came to a halt.  It was the day we will never forget in this country, 9/11/2001. After the shock of what had happened to our country, the holidays came and went.  Doni was asked to train for a marathon to raise money for diabetes. Her friend was rounding up six women to go to Dublin, Ireland and run with her in a marathon for diabetes.  Since Doni’s sister was an insulin dependent diabetic she said. “Yes” to the opportunity to make a difference for such an important cause. She called Seattle and put the donation on hold so she could run the marathon in October of 2002.  That would lead to a half marathon in Kona, Hawaii in June of 2003 with her husband.  Now that she had her fill of running she called the University of Washington Medical Center and said “OK, I am ready to do this now.”  Sadly, too much time had passed and she would have to start the medical testing all over again.

“Ok God, here we go again.  Was this a door closing, was this God telling me that it was too much to do.  My faith was tested so many times in the coming months”.

In April of 2004, Doni and her husband took all 5 kids to Seattle.  Doni had to have some medical tests ran and we wanted to show the kids where mom would be if this all continued to move forward.  Though all this time had passed she continued to tell very few people.  “I didn’t want to draw attention to myself.  I just wanted to focus on God’s calling,”  Doni said.  In May of 2004 she got the final word that she had qualified to donate and now just needed to pick a date that worked for her.

Insert the sound effect of screeching tires after the brakes are slammed on as I stop this story for a moment….I have to be honest. I don’t’ think I have it in me to do what Doni did. I don’t think I could pick a day that would work for me to just give my kidney to a total stranger.  My kids yes, my sibling yes, but a stranger is so hard for me to wrap my mind around.  I am guessing there may be many of you reading this that are in the same boat I am.  That being said, let’s get back to the story.

Things seemed to be moving along smoothly and then there was a bit of a speed bump.  Doni called her sister (the one who is an insulin dependent diabetic). She figured because her sister was such a huge supporter that she would be thrilled.  Instead she was met with, “How could you do this to me?  Don’t you know I have diabetes and could possibly need a kidney someday?”  Doni couldn’t believe her ears.  What was she talking about?  Things like: We had been down this path. Why now?  Was the door closing?  Began to fill her mind.

Doni shared with me that she called the University of Washington Medical Center and that they arranged for her sister and her to see a Nephrologist in Spokane.  One that didn’t know either her or her sister and that could be an unbiased third party.  After the doctor met with them he praised Doni’s sister on how well she has managed her diabetes.  He strongly felt that the chances of her ever needing a kidney were so small that by the time that would ever happen that Doni would be too old to donate to her.  No one had ever told Doni that she would be too old to do something.

I think the next part of this story would be best be told in Doni’s own words:

“Hurdles passed, faith still strong.  Continuing my mantra – God if you want me to walk down this path then just keep the doors open.  Surgery was scheduled for the middle of June 2004.  In the last rounds of blood work and a small abnormality was detected.

Seems my thyroid was off a bit.  Sure I was always tired and didn’t sleep well.  I was in my mid 40’s and had 5 kids.  I was busy with women’s ministry, school volunteer, scouting volunteer, band mom, wife, and CEO – of our home.  Of course I was exhausted.  Only that wasn’t the case.  I had hypothyroidism.  Really God?  Not funny.  The one thing I must say is that when a person decides to give away an organ they certainly get wonderful medical care.  The best specialist in town immediately saw me.  Once my thyroid was under control, I was able to pick a new date to donate.  Now my last hurdle would be to explain to my now 11-21 year old children that my biggest risk would be, being put under for the surgery.  Laying it all out on the table my children never wavered.  While explaining to them that this could possibly be the day that mommy goes to meet Jesus, my youngest said, “It will be ok mommy, Jesus will be with you.”  To witness their faith and trust was an overwhelming gift.  As I said goodbye to them when I left for Seattle, they were so strong and brave.  I will never forget the smiles on their faces as tears clouded my eyes and God assured me that they were in his hands.  The best gift of all!

I was blessed to finally donate a kidney on August 18, 2004 to a total stranger. (Doni is on the left in this and the recipient Teri is on the right) I spent 2 weeks IMG_0926in Seattle and then was home just before school started.  I was back at my job of making school lunches and driving kids here and there. Life was back to normal.  16 weeks post op we went back to Seattle where I ran – very slowly – the Seattle half marathon with Team Transplant.  It was at this time that arrangements were made for Teri and I to finally meet.  Donation is always confidential unless both parties want to meet.  Three months post op the hospital had heard back from both of us that we wanted to meet and so it was arranged.

I continued to not share my story much.  It was our pastor who first asked me to share with our church.  A story of faith and giving was what I had.  It was shortly after that, that once again God came knocking.  Now God wanted me to step out and share my story with people and continue to be able to help save lives by doing so.  Just like Harold and how he had shared his story.  Harold was God’s angel that day and encouraged me to follow.  So nowadays I work as a volunteer with Life Center Northwest, and I go into the schools and speak primarily to freshman classes about the importance of understanding the choice to mark their drivers license to register or not to register to be an organ donor.

The Life Center Northwest program that Doni volunteers for is a totally different that the DOL program.  Doni said if anyone would like to know more information about what she does please contact her at doniguyer@gmail.com.  Also she would like everyone to know they can go on line to the DOL at donate life today to register their driver’s license as a organ donor…..When a life is ended, another life can be saved by simply marking yes to organ donation.

I ask every one of these amazing Real housewives of God’s kingdom to share their favorite verse with me. Doni has many that she loves but this one sets on her desk and she focus on it everyday is Matthew 16:26 – With God all things are possible.

One of the questions I had for Doni was, “What did you learn from this?” Her answer was,  “There have been many but, the biggest is that God is always with us, he is in charge, we just need to listen and allow him to do his work.  Easier said then done.  In today’s world we often don’t slow down enough to listen, we don’t like what we hear and we want things done NOW.  It is no fun to wait.  But waiting on God, in his time, being patient, following His ways, and trusting Him and walking is faith is so sweet.”

Doni and Teri (the recipient of the kidney) continue to be wonderful friends.  They talk and email, exchange cards and see each other about once a year. She has now begun the mentoring process for another lady who is hoping to donate a kidney to her brother.  This lady lost her husband to kidney failure and now her brother is in kidney failure.  She is a believing woman but she is very fearful at this time.  Doni has only spoken to her by phone but looks forward to meeting her.  She was able to pray with the lady and hopes she give her some help to start this journey.  One of the last things Doni said was “I just love how God opens doors for us”.  I have to say I love it too.  I am humbled that he opened a door for me to meet this amazing women and to be able to share her story with you and to see how God used her to open the door for the next women in our series Teresa who was moved to give her kidney after hearing Doni and another volunteer speak.  God is good and I thank him for blessing all of us with this story.

I hope to see you back tomorrow when we pick up this story with Teresa who also gave her kidney to save a life.

Blessings, The midlife domestic goddess.

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Are you working with a trainer?

I like watching the “Biggest Loser” and the determination in the contestants really speaks to me. They are pushed so hard in their training and in one night’s episode they were bungee jumping and throwing themselves off cliffs. Talk about taking a leap of faith!

The trainer’s push, they encourage, and they support the contestants. I have worked with a trainer before; sometimes the trainer he me mad when he pushed and pushed me to reach new goals. There were times when I thought I was not going to make it and my trainer would get in my face and say keep it up, you can do it, don’t stop, keep going.

I see God as my trainer; He is the trainer of my heart, my soul and my life. I don’t meet Him in the gym and there are no outrageous fees. With God my workout consists of time in the word, time in prayer, and time in fellowship with my church. I am running the race of life and there are times when I don’t feel like I can go on anymore. Sometimes the race of life is overwhelming and when it gets there God’s word begins to scream into my life in the most encouraging way. Romans 5:3-5 has spoken to me many times in my life since I have allowed God to become my trainer. It says,

“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that sufferings produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.”  

God’s word and His love give us the strength to persevere when we want to give up. Sometimes I am mad at how He is pushing me because it hurts. Sometimes when He pulls me out of a nice and comfy place I act like a spoiled child. Many times, I have gotten mad when things don’t go how I wanted them to go and I have fought against God. When I do that He gently guides me where I need to be. He is big enough to handle my anger and He picks me up when I fall down. He is with me in all my highs and lows and He is my biggest fan.

There have been times when I have had to take a leap of faith—no, God hasn’t asked me to bungee jump or cliff jump like the contestants on the Biggest Loser but I have had to trust and take a leap of faith in a new direction that He may be moving me, there have been some difficult times that I have had to jump out in faith and trust. The contestants on the Biggest Loser were tied to all kinds of safety harness when they jumped; I am safe in the hands of God and the promise of his love and forgiveness that was given that day on the cross when his Son gave His life for me. The blood of Christ is my safety harness and I would much rather jump with that as my lifeline than what the contestants had to do on the show.

With God as my trainer, the race of life is much easier to run and the reward at the end of the race is the biggest prize ever!  We are all running that race. The question is; are you doing it on your own or is God your trainer?

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