0

In God’s eyes, I am…..

DSC_0272edited (1)God has a sense of humor! He woke me up last week with “she wakes before her family.” As I lay in bed, bits and pieces of Proverbs 31 were rolling through my head. I tried to close my eyes and ignore it but God was persistent. I heard “she is up before the sun” in my spirit. I climbed out of bed, let the dogs out and fed them, got a coffee cup for myself, grabbed my husband’s hot chocolate, and had it waiting by the coffee pot with a cup for him. A warm blanket was beckoning me from the couch so I grabbed my Bible and my Bible study and dug into the Word.

When my husband came out of the bedroom to grab his coffee, I laughed as I said, “God woke me up and told me that I am a Proverbs 31 woman.” Not part of a specific ministry, but God wanted me to understand how the concepts of this chapter applied to my life. I shared my rationale with my husband.

I was up before my family, I was up before it was light (daylight saving time helped make that possible), I had tended to the animals (that got a chuckle out of him), and I had his coffee cup all ready for his mocha.

For years I have felt inferior to the woman written about in Proverbs 31. If I could get a show of hands, I wonder how many other women would feel the same way. At times, I am a train wreck in the kitchen. I burn things; I add the wrong ingredient – only some of the time. If you read my Thanksgiving post you heard about the turkey that was steamed, baked, and set on the barbecue before it made it to the table. Just last week I had a pair of my undies stuck to a dishtowel from static cling. Thankfully my grown son who was helping clean the kitchen did not see the undies in the towel he was holding. The woman described in Proverbs 31 would never have her unmentionables in the kitchen!

For a whole week, God continued to wake me up early speaking the words of Proverbs 31 in my spirit. Yet I tried to avoid reading the chapter. Recently I have been studying who I am in Christ.  I find it easy to believe that I am redeemed in Christ, adopted into the Family of God, and a needed part of the Body of Christ. Those were just some of the things I found to be true in my search of the Bible, and yet for some reason I continued to be hung up on being like the woman described in Proverbs 31. She seems to be everything I am not.

One morning after my study, I was feeling a bit defeated because I could not get that perfect lady out of my head. God began to push back with His Word. Bits and pieces of the chapter I had been avoiding for years began to come to mind. He showed me what was written in Proverbs 31, doesn’t describe just one woman. The “she” is every woman who walks with the Lord. In my heart, God was showing me the qualities of many godly women. “She” is every woman who puts God first. Being the kind of godly woman shown in the chapter may look different for each of us based on where in the world we live, whether we work outside the home or at home, or if we are married or single. What each of us has in common is that we bring honor to God in all we do.

I began to realize why God brought me to this chapter. I was studying who I was in Christ and God was trying to show me that He saw me as someone I never thought I could be. I wonder if I am striking a chord in the hearts of others who feel the same way. Maybe even your heart? For years I thought she was some super woman who I could never hold a candle to. Again I wish I could see a show of hands. I know I am not the only woman to have thought, “Me? The woman in Proverbs 31? Yeah, right.”

I decided to read the chapter with an open heart and God showed me that I was worth more than rubies. I have virtue and a huge heart filled with His love that I want to share with others. He showed me that I was choosing to honor Him in my walk. As I read further, I was reminded that I have a healthy fear of Him and that I seek His wisdom and wait on His timing

FullSizeRenderI am like the woman in Proverbs 31. Yes, I make mistakes. My house is not always perfectly cleaned. I order pizza at times because my day was crazy but my walk honors God. My works are for Him and are done because of His love in me.

God looks at your heart not the dinner you put on the table. He would rather have you serve a PB and J sandwich made from a heart of love than a gourmet dinner made from a place of bitterness or obligation. My hope is that you will see who you are in God and never compare yourself to someone else like I did.

God loves you and you are worth more than rubies. You were bought with a price and it is the blood of Christ. You belong to the Body of Christ and you matter. You, my sister, are fearfully and wonderfully created and if you struggle with seeing yourself as God sees you, I hope you press into the Word of God and find God’s truth for your life.

Is there a scripture or scriptures that you cannot believe to be true for you? If there is, please take it to the Lord and ask Him to show you His truth and who you are in Him. You might be just as surprised as I was to find out that you too are like the woman described in Proverbs 31.

Share
0

The Real Housewives: Suzanne Niles

“He is the only one who can rescue us from our sinful self and fulfill us with love that no one else can.  I could be in a room filled with people I love, but if I didn’t have Christ I would be lost and empty.  He is truly everything to me.  I can’t say that I came to this overnight, but I will say that over the years, God has continued to be faithful to transform me into who He wants me to be for Him”- Suzanne Niles

Let me introduce you to my friend Suzanne Niles. Suzanne has been married to an awesome man named Bob for 36 years. High school sweethearts, still in love, and by the grace of God they have 3 spirit filled children, a daughter in law that shines for Jesus and a grand baby on the way. I have thanked God so many times for this amazing women. If I had to choose one person that has affected my life the most, it would be her.

Suzanne studied at Moody Bible Institute and Fullerton College. She also has one amazing sold out life for the Lord. God has used her in media in so many ways for His kingdom. She was a mom first, but as her kids became more Suzanne Headshotindependent, Suzanne said her husband asked, “If you could do anything what would that be?”  She replied, “Hum… I would like to do Public Relations”.

Suzanne told me that it could only have been the leading of God because she had never thought that or desired it nor did she have any experience in that area whatsoever!  “Who in their right mind would hire someone with no PR skills to do PR?  Little did I know the great plans God had” said Suzanne.

When God decides to call someone into something nothing can stop Him. Before long, she was getting asked to promote local businesses and artists. What she saw as a hobby became the training for what God had planned for the future. Never underestimate what God has planned for you. The Billy Graham Association needed someone to handle Communications and Media in her hometown for a Franklin Graham Crusade and God knew Suzanne was ready for that. She says, “I had ten wonderful ‘volunteer’ months where I truly grew in my knowledge of this area”.  That was the open door to an amazing line up of jobs that God has used for His kingdom.

Here are just a few of the other things she has done in media. World Compassion/Terry Law Ministries used her talents for a local event.  She has been asked to book a famous actor (a believer) into speaking engagements, done some casting, written articles for an online magazine and she has been asked to speak at various events. Along the way, ~9350897 (2)she has met some of the most amazing Christians.  Suzanne also did her share of acting over the years.  Here she is in a show I am guessing many are familiar with.

Today, Suzanne working for The Salvation Army Vision Network and God continues to use her.  She has covered not only PR and promotions, but Suzanne was an associate producer on a soon to be released documentary titled “Hard Corps”.

Suzanne is also a member of the Christian Women in Media Association which is an organization made up of women who “impact our culture in media”.

Suzanne faced the hard job of balancing a family and a carrier that came as her kids got older. I asked her if she had any advice for women who find themselves trying to balance the two.

  • “Be certain of what God has called you to”.  Really seek God in prayer for direction.
  • “While your children are young, they are your mission field.  The time you have with your children will fly by quicker than you could ever imagine and if you are anything like me, you will wish you could go back in time and do it all over again!  As they grow, they will need you to pray and help them stay on the narrow path in a world that begs them to follow a wide and dangerous road.

I ask every woman in this series to give me her favorite verse. Suzanne gave me 2 verses and the first one is why I am able to say she is the person who has affected my life the most.

 Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know”.

“What an invitation.  I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t RSVP for this immediately, going to God in prayer and hearing amazing things from the heart of the Lord” is what Suzanne says in regards to this verse. It was her boldness in the Lord that led me to RSVP to this invitation.  God used Suzanne to bring me to a new life.  Her second verse is Isaiah 53:5

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed

Suzanne is just one more amazing real housewife of God’s kingdom. She may be working in the social media world, her job may have her in the Hollywood scene from time to time but she keeps her feet firmly planted in Lord and not in the world. She is the reality of the women in my world. She is not what the networks try to push on us as the reality in their real housewives of some city series that they are running.

For more information on the Salvation Army and the work they do in the name of Jesus Christ log on to www.savn.tv. You can find out how you can help and even volunteer to work alongside them to bring the gospel to a world that so desperately needs Jesus.

Share
0

“Women In Worship” part 2 (Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom)

Welcome back to “Women In Worship”

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 11.33.35 AMToday I want to share with you another amazing woman of God. This post is going to be different from my others and soon you will see what I mean. Meet Kari who along with Whitney from yesterday’s post is on worship team at my church. She got her bachelor’s degree from Chapman University in Orange, CA, majoring in Music Therapy, with a minor in psychology and she has been married to her husband for 7 years. She says that her husband is, and I quote, “One of God’s very obvious demonstrations of extravagant love for me in this life”

Since returning to her walk with Christ 7 years ago, Kari has had the chance to serve in the worship ministry at Living Faith in La Mirada, CA. and she found time to serve at an outreach ministry to battered, abused, and homeless women and children at the Women’s Transitional Living Center in Orange County.  Now Kari serves on the worship team at City Life Church in Spokane, WA along with her husband Mark.

For now, her most important ministry is her children and you can really tell that her heart for worship is pouring into the lives of her kids. Just recently when Kari was leading worship my mom got my attention to look across the church. There in his aunt’s arms was Kari’s oldest who is almost going to turn 3 singing all the words to “Forever Reign” and he was not just singing the words you could tell he understood what he was singing. Kari by putting her family first she is serving God in the most powerful way and I think there may be a future ministry leader in her little boy. Kari shared with me that some day when her children are older and in God’s perfect timing she hopes to start an outreach for abused/homeless/mentally ill women and children, much like the one she served in during her time in CA.

This past Christmas our church had its first children’s program thanks to Kari. It is just one more way God has her serving his kingdom.Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 12.03.29 PM

As I wrote at the beginning of this, I am writing about Kari differently than normal. That is because Kari gave me such powerful words about the importance of worship that I don’t want to change a thing. She has a wonderful teaching that everyone can learn from so without further ado I am turning this over to Kari, my first guest writer within in a post I am writing. May her words write a new song upon your heart and give you a new perspective on the importance of worship.

Why is worship important to me by Kari Villarreal.

“We all know there are many ways to worship God. We worship Him with our lives, our work, our finances, our devotion, our time, our relationships…we can commit anything we do unto Him as worship! The value and importance of worship through music has several facets. My pastor in California always reminded us as we would begin corporate worship that God inhabits the praise of His people (Psalm 22:3, KJV). What an amazing thing!

The definition of ‘inhabit’ is, “to occupy as a place of settled residence or habitat; to be present in or occupy in any manner or form”. So when we praise Him, His very Presence actually takes up residence in those praises! Worship through music is one way we welcome His Presence into our places of worship…and there is nothing greater in this life than being in the very Presence of Almighty God! I love to imagine, as I look out over a body of believers united in praising God as they sing worship unto Him, seeing His Presence dwelling there in the room as the words and music are lifted up to Him. Jesus actually “hangin’ out” in the words that leave His people’s mouths and float just above them…maybe it sounds kind of strange to some, but that’s just a way that I visualize this very cool truth.

The other important aspect of worship through music that I want to address here is related to the first. So, God inhabits the praises of His people…and where His light is, darkness is driven out. I was in a season for several years of battling depression and anxiety. Part of this is biological/hormonal, but it is certainly spiritual as well; ‘darkness’ is how I have described it (and I’m sure anyone else who has walked through it could say something similar). During this season, God has shown me in many times and in many ways how worship to Him is a weapon against the darkness that fights to consume me. Most days, in order to keep my heart focused on Him as I go about taking care of my husband, my 3 ½ year old, my 1-year-old, and my home, I keep worship music playing and am singing along with it. I have found it keeps my mouth and mind busy at the same time I offer praise and indeed, my God inhabits that praise, driving away the darkness that pales in comparison to His glorious light.

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 11.51.40 AM

Photo credit to Tricia Marker, City Life women’s retreat

It is difficult to give any kind of abbreviated writing about worship for me. Worship through music (one of the many ways, of course, to worship God) has been such a hugely important element in my walk with Christ and is so multi-faceted. In my short life I feel like I could already write a book on worship—not of all that I know, but of all that He has done through it and in me. One of my pastors used to say, “Worship is a response.” A response to Jesus who He is, what He has done, His love for us…(the list goes on and on). When our lives are personally touched by the Creator and Savior of mankind, there is a response that comes genuinely; that response, in whatever form it takes, is worship. The challenge for some Christians (myself absolutely included) is to always be in that state of awe over who Christ is, so that our lives become a response—worship. He has done for us, we respond in worship. We love because He first loved us!

The bible talks so much about praising the Lord with song and instruments, singing and shouting, crying and bowing, dancing and kneeling. I think this ties right in to worship being a response. As God has created us each so uniquely, He has opened the door for our worshipful responses to be unique, genuine, and true to how He has created us to worship Him.

There’s a trap we as believers can fall into, that says worship should look a certain way. That certain way varies from church to church and denomination to denomination. We’ve all been in different types of worship services. Maybe it was a little too conservative for your taste. Maybe to the contrary, you thought people were too “free” in their expressions. Maybe it was a simple acoustic service with only a guitar, a singer, and a djembe. Maybe it was a full on 15-piece rock band. I’ve been there too. You’re out of your comfort zone or preference for worship music. The amazing thing is that when His people are gathered in spirit and truth to lift up and exalt the same God that dwells in each of them, His very Presence is there! When He is present, not much else matters. Not that when we worship Him, it is at all about us, but in His fullness, as we pour out and offer sacrifices of praise and adoration, we can fully expect to receive because that is the heart of God. Our hearts have to remain humble, open, and in awe of our God in order to genuinely worship and to receive.

This is a lesson that I am continually learning—letting go of my comfortable worship and seeking to exalt Him above ALL, regardless of the song, the surroundings, the volume, or the instrumentation. From the little progress I have made, I encourage you to step out on a limb and offer your life as a response—the response that He is desiring from you!

I came across a quote the other day that said, “When we worship the Lord, we release the emotional or mental burden that weighs us down. It is swallowed up in the awesomeness of God.” Yes! I thought. This is exactly one of the many reasons that worship is important. When I go before the Lord God Almighty to exalt Him to His rightful place, my burdens become so small in the view of His glory and majesty! –Kari.

I hope you take these powerful words of Kari’s to heart and worship God without holding back. “Step out on a limb” as Kari said.

Until next time on “The Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom”, may you be blessed by the Love of Christ.

Share
0

Women In Worship – “The Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom” series

Welcome back to the real housewives of God’s Kingdom Today I want to introduce you to a couple of women who have a talent that I have do not possess, Whitney and Kari. Just ask anyone who has sat by me in worship, they will tell you I cannot sing but these two ladies can.

 “Women In Worship” is the theme of this 2-part episode.

Meet Whitney. This newly married young women went to Southwestern Assemblies of God University where she got a Bachelor of Arts degree in Church Ministries, an Associate of Arts degree in Bible, and an emphasis in World Missions. She is a blog writer and has blessed my page with a guest post and I have to say for someone so young she is full of some great wisdom.

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 8.44.47 AMWhitney has been blessed with the gift of singing and she makes a beautiful noise to the Lord unlike myself. I think I sound more like an animal in pain when I open my mouth but that has not stopped me from worshiping as Whitney and the rest of my church’s worship team leads us.   I asked Whitney to share with me something God has shown her during her time on the worship team and I love what she shared with me,

“Something God has shown me during a worship time and continues to show me, something that I am learning to make a habit to be joyful. God shows me that joy is dependent on what happens inside of our heart, not our lives. This is huge. Everyone faces tough times, sometimes-tough days, sometimes-tough weeks, and sometimes-tough years… God asks us to leave all of those burdens and hardships at the altar and, depend on Him, and trust Him fully to take care of those burdens. He asks us to not worship with our mouths, but with our hearts. Everyone can read lyrics up on a screen, anyone can stand in front of a congregation and sing words but it takes a true follower of Christ to worship the King of Kings with all of our heart, and to lead others to do the same. The joy of the Lord really is my (our) strength and he daily reminds me (us) of this, but only when I (we) TRUST Him and LET Him!”

This is so true. We are all going to face some hard times but when we can worship God with our whole heart not just following along with the words on the screen God comes rushing into fill us with His joy. In the middle of our pain a tear cried in worship, a raised hand to the Lord when that is all the strength we can muster up is the most beautiful gift of surrender to Him. He is not listening to the notes we are singing he can only hear the cry of our heart in our worship to him.

When Whitney is not leading us in worship or at home with her new husband of less than a year she can be found serving as a Nurse’s Aide for Horizon Hospice where she helps with the terminally ill. Whitney says that for some clients she is just a hand to hold in a very difficult time, both for the patient, and for their family. For others, she helps them with all of their activities for daily living. Something she said has really got my attention and I am going to back the bus up for a moment. She said for some I am “just” a hand to hold.  “JUST” a hand to hold?  Whitney’s hand is not just a hand to hold. It is in those moments that I believe God is using her to be a reflection of the love, peace, comfort and strength to someone who may not know the love of Christ. Have you heard the expression, “Christ with skin on”? That to me is exactly what she is. In her flesh, her skin, she is the extending the hand of Christ Himself.

Whitney also helps with the Youth in the church and when you look at all her ways of serving The Lord they line up perfectly with her favorite verse. Colossians 3:23 ” Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…”

She says, – I’m not doing “this” for me, whatever “this” may be, whether it’s leading worship, or anything for Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 9.06.20 AMthat matter, this verse always brings me back, it always points me to God, and is a wonderful reminder that everything I do is unto Him, is to glorify His name, is to make Him known, it has nothing to do with me!”

It was that verse that also carried her though the most physically intense time of her life, riding 450 miles in 5 days on a bicycle to raise money and awareness for the organization Blood Water Mission and people in Africa who are in desperate need of clean drinking water wells. She apparently is not overly fond of bike riding but did this anyways to raise awareness and her story about this can be found on her blog post “Bike for Life”

This amazing “Real housewife of God’s Kingdom” plans on continuing her education and would like to be an Elementary teacher someday which will be yet one more way for her to shine the light of Christ. Until it is time for her to head back to school she will continue to bless many with her gift of worship. Those hands that she raises to Christ as she sings will also continue to be the same hands that she extends to those who are terminally ill.

Thank you Whitney for your amazing service in the kingdom and the worship you lead others in. You are truly one amazing “Real Housewife of God’s Kingdom”.

Just click here to read Whitney’s guest post about being “Picture Perfect” and I’ll see you back tomorrow where we will get to know Kari, another woman in worship.

Share
0

Act 2 “Preachin’it and Teachin’ it”, Episode 6

59020_4508193394536_906363613_nToday we finish episode 6 with Act 2 of Teachin’ and Preachin’.  If you did not get yesterdays post you can use this link to Act 1.

Pastor Karli’s story about listening to God is a beautiful testimony but, before we get to that let me first set the stage and get you acquainted with our next Real Housewife of God’s Kingdom. She is a mother of 3. She has 2 boys; one who is graduating from College and another who is a junior in College. The youngest is her daughter, a senior in High School. This June she will celebrate 25 years of marriage to her wonderful husband.

Karli spends many hours each week as the Kitchen Coordinator at her daughter’s high school and after that job is done, she puts her dual degree from Eastern Washington University in Microbiology and Medical Technology to use as biology and chemistry tutor

Both Karli and Dawn (see Act 1) have very powerful testimonies and I wish I had more time to tell them. Sadly, you get the summarized version of both these incredible ladies.

Karli was involved with a local deaf church where she taught, and preached to the deaf. She has participated in a mission trip to Dominican Republic to assist in the establishing of a deaf school and a new deaf church there. At her present church she was a Missionette leader, worship team member, and currently an adult Sunday school teacher.

I asked her when she knew that she was to become a pastor and Karli shared with me that is has been a journey to this place…

“A journey of many ups and downs, many experiences. Questioning and lots of time before God in prayer brought me to the place to answer this call. A pastor, whom I respect as a friend, mentor, as well as a spiritual father, saw something and encouraged me to continue throughout the years.  While my children were in high school, a stirring began in my heart that told me that it was time to pursue the answering of the call. I attended our church bible institute and completed it in 2 1/2 years. Recently, I have completed the credentialing process and am now a licensed minister through the Assemblies of God.”

Karli is not the head pastor at her church but she is in a supportive role to her pastor. She told me that she would step in and assist him in whatever needed to be done as The Lord leads and she currently teaching the adults Sunday class and occasionally Wednesday Night as needed. On Monday nights this real housewife of God’s Kingdom blesses our bible study with her love for the Lord.

Besides being a Pastor, Mom, Wife, Tutor, and running the kitchen at the school, Karli finds time to read, decorate cakes, do some one on one mentoring and she loves sports. Sounds like a lot of moms’ right? Things are not always what they appear to be however, Karli also has a 75% hearing loss in left ear and 80% loss in right ear. It was caused by rubella in her mother’s first trimester of her pregnancy. This was discovered after her family moved back to the states from Chile. Karli would then attended an oral deaf school where she received daily intense speech therapy. “Lip reading came naturally to me during this time” she said.  In 1973, Karli was mainstreamed into the public school system where her speech improved so much that people couldn’t tell that she is hearing impaired.  I can attest to that. I was blown away when I realized this. I still have to remember to look at Karli when we talk because she can so easily appear to have no hearing issues and I am gently reminded when she give me the signal to look at her.

Today I am going to wrap this up differently than I have done my other episodes. Today I want Karli’s powerful words to be the last thing you read. I hope to see you back next month on the Real housewives of God’s Kingdom and I leave you with this…..

I asked Karli to give me her favorite verse and she could not nail it down to just one. She says, “There are many favorite verses that I have and each one applied to each season or time in my life”.  For this however she choose Isaiah 30:21 “Whether you turn, to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”

“You see, I have been deaf since birth.  God has blessed me with residual hearing that with hearing aids, I 4561_1068094313910_7828890_nam able to hear most of everything.  My eyes do most of the listening for me through lip-reading”.

A young man once asked me, “If you’re deaf, how can you hear God’s voice?”

“I told him that there are no barriers when it comes to hearing His voice.  God speaks to us through the ears of our heart.  His voice is gentle, compassionate, loving.  He speaks to us through the Holy Spirit.  He will speak to us when we come to Him anytime, anywhere. Just come as a child.  He will not force His way to get you to hear Him. He patiently and eagerly waits for us to come to Him.  It is when we listen closely to His voice and obey Him; we grow in our relationship with Him.  I may have a physical hearing loss; I can hear Him by His Spirit within me.  As we listen more and more, his voice becomes unmistakably clear and able to resist the enemy. Let nothing stop you from spending time in His presence and listening to Him.  He wants this so desperately. He is waiting.  Won’t you go and ask Him to speak to you and help you to hear for Him at all times. A treasure is waiting to be opened.”  Pursue Him! Hear Him! He loves you!

Share
0

Episode 6, Act 1 “Preachin’ it and Teachin’ it”

Welcome back to the Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom.  In our last episode we met two women who literally gave of themselves for the goodness of another.  They both gave a kidney to a total stranger and gave them the gift of life.

In keeping with the idea of giving oneself to another I want to introduce you to Pastor Dawn  and Pastor Karli. Dawn is not a stranger to my Heartfelt Ramblings page.  She was my first guest writer when I kicked my page off in the fall of 2013.

Now let me start by saying I know these women personally and God has used them in very big ways in my life. So may I have your undivided attention, insert drum roll… Welcome to Episode 6 “Preachin’ it and Teachin’ it”

Did you catch what I said at the beginning?  They are PASTORS. These two women have been called to give of themselves to serve others. Now we are all called to give of ourselves yes however, some people are called to be pastors. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 1 Cor 12:4-6

579189_438861032830506_512536406_nDim the lights and ready on set….Enter Pastor Dawn.

Those of you that know Dawn, will agree with me, dynamite comes in small packages.  I have been blessed to listen to Dawn speak and she may not be much taller than the pulpit but when she speaks you know that God is using her in a mighty way.

Dawn told me that she knew she wanted to be a pastor from the age of 8 but that in His timing He would grow her with marriage and motherhood first.  Along the way God would also walk with Dawn as she faced some tragedies.  It was not until she was in her mid-30’s that she would get to start her studies.  I met Dawn, as she was finishing up her schooling in 2002.  Dawn was one of the women that God used over weekend retreat where I would give my life to Him.

As I type this I can’t help but smile when I read Dawn’s favorite verse. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”  I am smiling because thankfully God had some big plans for me the weekend I meet Dawn.  His plans for me have truly given me hope for my future and Dawn says that the verse 
reminds her, “He is always with me and it is my go to verse”.

Dawn is a commissioned pastor and she did her studying through the Christian Church/DOC through their Licensing/Commissioning Committee in the Northwest Region. That process took her 3 years before she was granted a license. On top of that there were readings and reports to do. Dawn currently lives in the Midwest and in the Midwest Area/Mid America Region she has monthly mentor meetings. Currently Dawn is enrolled in classes through Grand Canyon University and through Mid America School of Religion.

If I were to pick a song to describe Dawn it would be

“Hands and Feet” by Audio Adrenaline

I want to be your hands

I want to be your feet

I’ll go where you send me

After being commissioned she was an Associate Pastor at Kennewick First Christian for 2 years, then moved to Ephrata, Washington to Memorial Christian Church for 7 years as solo pastor/youth pastor/secretary and then moved to Missouri to pastor 2 yoked congregations. Dawn is now the solo pastor with a staff of a secretary and janitors

I asked her what she has learned as a pastor and challenged her to sum it up in 1 paragraph and we can all learn from what she said.

“He never gives up on us no matter where we are in our lives. Don’t fear to share your story and be transparent. Through tragedy, death, fear and triumph, joy and hope, He is my all in all, my Abba.”

Dawn’s sence of humor can been seen when she talks about her family. She calls them the “mix n match crew” She has a 
38-year-old stepdaughter in Nampa, ID
 and 27-year-old son who is a Staff Sgt in the Army National Guard and has seen 3 tours. He just recently transferred as a guard to the Airway Heights Prison in Spokane. 
Next in line from oldest to youngest is her 26-year-old son who works in Calgary as a project manner for an oil company
 and her 23-year-old foster daughter who lives in Everett, Washington. 
We are only getting started here folks.  Her mix and match crew also consists of a 22-year-old foster son in MO (He is not living in their home now) a 12-year-old adopted son and a 
9-year-old, soon to be adopted girl.  Dawn’s heart for children is over flowing with love and because of that her and her husband have also opened there home to a 13-year-old foster daughter and a 
4-year-old foster son.  In the last 4 years they have had 15 kids come and go through their home.

At the young age of 48 Dawn is also a grandma of seven foster, step and biological grandchildren ages: 19, 17, 16, 13, 11, 4 and 2. This midlife domestic goddess is exhausted just typing that.  Now just imagine if you had to balance your job, and a huge family like the mix and match crew but you had to do it with a body that had it’s own challenges.  This amazing housewife of God’s Kingdom is faced daily with that issue. Dawn wakes up each day with a body that has lots of healing to do after experiencing two strokes to the brain stem.

She says she feels blessed to have survived and to be whom and what she is today. The strokes have made her a different person. Just getting dressed can be a challenge and there are struggles to walk and use her left side and arm. “God does have a sense of humor as he has left me with the gift of speech. I think my husband might have enjoyed a few more months of quiet” says Dawn.

We all have many identities we go by. Many titles we answer too. The titles I carry are wife, mother, 972755_10151769818418992_2021631322_ndaughter, sister, pastor, child of God and the latest title stroke survivor. Some I enjoy, some I am called to be, and others carry a weight. Taken from Dawn’s Guest post, “My Identity, His Glory”

As I said earlier, Dynamite comes in small packages and Dawn if one powerful explosion of God’s strength within someone. As we bring Act 1, “Pastor Dawn” to an end I want to leave you with this quote from her.

“I am just me. I was chosen by God to speak His word. It is scary and terrifying at times. I am disliked by some, judged, ridiculed to be a woman in ministry. I have received hate mail. I don’t argue with those who disagree with that viewpoint, as they don’t want their viewpoint changed. I just love God, love people and try to show the Christ in me.”

Dawn is just one more amazing “Real housewife of God’s Kingdom” to learn more about her and her inspiring story as a two-time stroke survivor, check out her guest post “My identity, His glory”

I hope to see you back tomorrow for Act 2 with Pastor Karli 🙂

Share
2

Looking picture perfect doesn’t mean everything’s picture perfect

Guest post by Whitney Kuhn

1425737_10202673563387267_604091435_nI have happily carried the title of wife for just about 6 months now, half a year. It’s a great feeling to be called wife. I am definitely still in the honeymoon season of my marriage, that year of newlywed where when we go out in public, you can still see that just married glow upon our faces. It’s a really fun time. Marriage is absolutely awesome! It truly is the time of my life. Let’s be honest, I’ve only been dreaming about these days since I was about, oh, six years old. And I’ve only been day dreaming about these days with my husband, Jacob, since I first developed a major crush on him in the 9th grade. Yes, we are “that” couple. That couple that met in the wee years of middle school, fell in love in high school, were high school sweethearts, were Prom King and Queen, that couldn’t seem to let go when college days came around. And now, here today, we have the privilege of saying that we made it through all those formative years of our lives, those years where we faced many challenges, many obstacles, a lot of immaturity, together, and now have the honor of being husband and wife for the rest of our lives!

It’s funny. People hear our story and how long we’ve been together, and they automatically think that we’ve got it made! They automatically say something along the lines of “I hope that I can find someone someday, and have exactly what you guys have.” We look picture perfect on the surface. And believe me; I am beyond touched by this reaction by others. But I have to admit something. It’s not all fun and games in marriage. I know, I am saying that even after only six months of marriage. But it is true. 425324_10201450881060973_2072547055_nMarriage is a blast, but marriage is also pretty hard. Our marriage is far from perfect. I think this is a hard thing for couples to admit to others, especially couples who are in the church. It is hard to admit, because we want to set the ultimate example for those around us. We don’t want to disappoint or let people down. Truth is nobody has marriage down perfectly. Nor will anybody ever have marriage down perfectly. This is because everyone has weaknesses. We are all imperfect, and we carry that into our relationships, and our marriages. Weaknesses are normal. That being said, we must have grace, forgiveness, and genuine understanding for one another. Colossians 4:6 (NIV) says, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

Maybe hearing that marriage is hard is discouraging, it shouldn’t be! The challenges1461095_10202673578227638_1377933885_n make us stronger, and together. They help us grow and be better. As we are being made better with the help and example of our Heavenly Father, we are growing closer to Him, and as we are growing closer to God, we are growing closer to each other. It is a beautiful thing. In the NASB version of the Bible, Psalm 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” And Philippians 2:5 says, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.”

Believe me, we have our differences. My husband and I argue. In fact, we’re pretty good at arguing. Yeah, we’ve only been married half a year, but everyone argues, whether you’ve been married for a year, or 50 years. Arguing is normal and healthy even. It means you’re communicating with each other, and being open and honest. It’s good and healthy to share your emotions with your spouse. It’s how we do these things that will make a marriage healthy, or unhealthy. It’s a matter of learning how to argue right.

Some lessons I’ve learned so far in marriage:

Lesson 1: Good communication is how I communicate.

It is the nonverbal that takes place in conversation and communication383537_10201450894821317_1698823439_n that is perhaps more important than the verbal part. This is something that I have to work on and remind myself of everyday. My facial expressions are so important. This is something I don’t naturally and automatically pay much attention to. It is my weakness, but it is so crucially important. The way I carry myself in communication is very important.

Lesson 2: It’s okay that my husband likes to be alone sometimes.

This does not mean, I repeat, this does not mean he doesn’t love me1456647_10202673598468144_1799676549_n (or you) anymore. I must respect my husband. As his wife, I have to choose to support my husband, in everything. I have to choose to respect his space, to support his decision to make plans to do something that may not include me. This is okay, and this is healthy. Marriage is a new adjustment in life, an adjustment where a couple goes from seeing each other just sometimes when they make time in their single lives and personal schedules, to married life, where the couple sees each other all of the time. We have the privilege of waking up in the mornings together, of going to sleep next to each other every night. That being said, we experience each other’s company a lot in marriage. It is all going to be okay if he decides he wants to be alone every once in a while, it does not mean he loves me less, but it is something that I, as a wife, should embrace, respect, and support. I heard this quote once, that “blessed are the flexible, for they will not be bent out of shape.” My husband may make plans without me sometimes, it is not the end of the world if he does this, and how I react, or don’t react rather, speaks volumes to my respect for him. I should always be embracing the differences between my husband and me.

Lesson 3: Be reasonable.

74911_10202673600268189_1903000353_nI’ve learned how selfish I am after entering into marriage. I’ve realized it has honestly been all about me, and now it’s supposed to be about him? It’s so important to learn to be more selfless within marriage. Old ways won’t open new doors. I cannot automatically jump into defense mode when a disagreement arises between my husband and me. I can’t point a finger; it is not attractive by any means, and it means I am thinking about myself before him. I have to own my crud, and with no excuses. He will own his too, but I should be more concerned about him and his feelings, not myself. Change is definitely a process, and it comes little by little. Selfishness can be no more; there isn’t room for that in my marriage.

Lesson 4: Be the girl, let him be the man.

I have found myself trying to hide my emotions in a sense, in hopes of not 527336_10200462602394624_1599895718_ncoming off as too emotional, causing my husband to perhaps be overwhelmed with being married to such a girly girl. But he needs me to be the girl, so he can be the man, not having to worry about having to make up for my lack in the relationship. Sometimes it is hard for me to say how I feel, in fear of being rejected. He wants to know how I feel, and not later, but right now. He wants to know that even though I may be annoyed about him leaving the toilet seat up, that he is still my knight in shining armor, that he is the person that I look up to more than anybody else in the world. He wants to know how respected and appreciated he is.

Lesson 5: Look ahead.

575513_10201450901341480_1369569634_nLike I said before, it is normal to carry weaknesses, to have struggles, and to remember baggage you have carried in the past. Don’t look back though; you’re not going that way. Don’t dwell on past hurts or baggage. What good is that going to do? Look ahead, the future is bright! The future is exciting. Ephesians 2:10 (NIV) says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Like I said before, looking picture perfect doesn’t necessarily mean everything’s picture perfect. We’ve already faced some challenges, and it’s only the beginning. But, I’ve got to say, the challenges and new revelations that marriage brings only make it that much more sweet and more worth every single moment that we share, with God as our center. I can only imagine how much sweeter it gets over time. Thank you Lord for marriage!

Share
0

Confessions of a Pastor’s wife

Guest post by Lori Bradeen of City Life Church

When I was young, I remember how odd it felt to run into a teacher away from the school environment.  Somehow I thought they only belonged at school.  The image of them having a normal life like the rest of the world never occurred to me.  They were teachers, and that was the only way my brain wanted to see them.  A teacher friend of mine recently told me that she caught some of her kindergartener students giggling over the fact that they saw her, their teacher, eating lunch.  They thought it was funny that teachers actually eat.  So, I see the phenomenon is still alive and well today.DSC_0144 - Version 2

I experience this same phenomenon when while in a casual conversation, people find out I am a pastor’s wife. There is an invisible shift in the atmosphere of any given conversation once people learn I am “in ministry.”  A work acquaintance of mine used to send me funny emails, until that is, the day he discovered I was a pastor’s wife. Perhaps he is worried that I will take offense at something he sends.  I miss the unhindered candor that once existed when he still thought I was normal, like him.

Some of the myths people believe about me as a pastor’s wife include: my house is always clean, my attitude is always divine, my kids are perfect, and my marriage is always bliss.

So, in keeping with Kim’s current series, The Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom, I thought I would spend this guest blog post sharing with you, my reality.

I will admit that as a Christian I have always wanted to live my life in a way that would honor Jesus.  But, that conviction happened the day I made him Lord of my life, not the day I became a pastor’s wife. I think most Christians feel the same conviction whether or not they are in full time ministry.

Let’s start with my house.  I have invisible Zones.  Zone 1 is what you see when you walk though the front door (like if you happen to stop by unannounced).  Zone 2 is the rest of the house.  Zone 3 is garage.  Zone 4 is yard and garden.  There was a time, 5+ years ago, when I was a stay at home mom that all 4 zones could be found show ready much of the time. Actually, that’s not quite true, maybe 50% of the time.  However, now, working full time, that just isn’t my reality.  A clean house for me today means Zone 1 is clean.  The rest of it ebbs somewhere between decent and disastrous.  Myth one, busted.

My attitude.  Some people think if you are a pastor’s wife you ought to always have a positive faith filled attitude.  I admit, I do feel a sense of responsibility to speak faith, courage and hope in people’s lives.  I do want to see them have faith to believe God is bigger than their circumstances. But sometimes, I find myself in the middle of my own pity party or even just a stinky attitude.  Today while in the checkout line, the checker called for a second checker.  I was relieved because I was in a hurry.  The second checker came up, ignored me and took someone who wasn’t even in line yet. The nerve.  I was irritated.  Myth 2, busted.  (I could render many more bad attitude examples but this guest post has a word limit). When I start fretting over my first world problems, which I do, I have a remedy that works every time.  It’s cheaper than a therapy-shopping trip, and healthier than over indulging in chocolate.  I will share this secret with you:  My remedy has been to keep the “Book of Martyrs” next to my bathtub, (my favorite place.)  I just read a few accounts of how real people have been persecuted and even executed for their Christian faith over the years and miraculously my perspective and attitude are humbly adjusted.  I will admit, sometimes I keep chocolate there too.

My kids.  I will never forget the time when we were on a leadership retreat with our pastor friends and our young boys (all pastor’s kids) were playing together.  Four little rough playing boys under 10, quickly turned competitive and became full on fighting complete with “I’ll kick your ass!” coming from one of our little angels.  I remember the college age babysitter saying to us with disgust, “I thought your kids were supposed to be Christians!”  Myth 3, definitely busted.  Our kids are all young adults today and, it’s fun to remind them of that story because now they are all close friends who follow Jesus.  Perfection has never been the goal.  I don’t expect my kids to make it through life without recognizing their own need for the grace of God.  In fact, that is why I feel so blessed, because the fruit of their lives demonstrate to me that they too have been touched by the amazing grace of God.  But it is a journey and every child of a Christian parent must meet Jesus for him/herself, otherwise all they have is empty religion.

My marriage.  I suppose that it is fair to expect a pastor and his wife to have a solid marriage.  Of all the above assumptions, this, I suppose is the most reasonable.  And yet, I am not sure even Christians agree on what a good marriage actually looks like.  Over the years I have had women share their disappointment as they compared their marriage to what they imagined mine to be like.  While exposing my marriages faults has never felt wise, in such moments, neither does allowing people to believe that real Christian marriage is somehow a life long scene from a chick flick romance.

Solid does not mean absence of conflict. Solid does not mean we enjoy the same movies or that we gush over each other on Facebook.  Solid means we base our marriage on something that is SOLID.

And so the Solid in our marriage comes from our commitment to walking out our faith in Christ together. That is a good thing because in my marriage, conflict is pretty normal. We are two very different people, passionate about what we believe God has called us to build.  The meshing of ideas and wisdom is work and sometime the sparks fly.  The good thing about conflict is that it demonstrates that we are both engaged.  I worry when couples check out, and stop communicating, not when they have conflict in communication.  I admit there is an art to conflict that leads to greater unity rather than dissention.  After 25 years, we’ve learned a few things along the way.   So I guess I’ll throw in one of my tips on marital conflict: Own your ugly.  You read it right. We are learning to “own our ugly.” It’s another way of saying,  “stop pretending to be more righteous than you really are. “  It’s actually very freeing to just be yourself, ugly and all, own it and deal with it honestly in the midst of conflict.  Sometimes what would normally turn into a fight can become a source of humor if we are willing to own our ugly, laugh at it and let our spouse laugh along too.

Learning to capitalize on the beauty of little opportunities can be the difference between a solid marriage and one where the grass looks greener elsewhere.   For instance, my husband and I rarely enjoy the same kind of movie so when I sit though his war movie or he sits though my educational documentary, it is an intentional act of love.  Such things ought not to be overlooked.  It is these intentional moments of kindness that keep our marriage mojo alive.

I share these snippets of my life with you not because I think my life is overly interesting, quite the contrary.  I want you to know that YOUR LIFE is noteworthy.  Your relationships, your struggles, your victories and even your failures all have redeeming value that can bring hope to someone.  Lessons of love, forgiveness, courage, strength, and compassion are only as far away as your willingness to look from another perspective.  Look at your life through the lens of God’s amazing grace. I promise, the view is beautiful.

If you’d care to hear more about our journey, my husband recently shared his own testimony and you can watch it at this link under “Van’s Testimony”  It is a great story of a normal man with normal struggles who gets ahold of an extraordinary God that changes him and calls him to a life of ministry.

Share
2

Real Housewives of God’s Kingdom (Episode #3)

In our last episode “Two are better than one” I focused on the gift of friendship and today I continue on that theme with a story of three friends who said yes to God.

Episode #3- “I WILL GO WHERE YOU SEND ME” (Part 1)

Once upon a time there were three real housewives of God’s Kingdom. They were all serving at one church (City Harvest Church), raising their families and enjoying the goodness of the Lord. What is amazing about these three is that in order to be God’s hands and feet they were willing to go where God sent them. Now this was not an easy thing to do. They had to give up their homes, take their children away from what they had always known, and go to a new city.

God also did not plan on sending these three friends to the same city either. One by one they left behind what they knew and followed God to where He had called them.  They have stood in faith beside their husbands as they have planted churches and as they saying goes, “behind every great man is an even stronger woman”. So without any further ado lets meet these three REAL HOUSEWIVES OF GOD’S KINGDOM.

Lori:

Not only is Lori a friend of mine, her and her husband are my Pastors at City Life Church .  Lori has a gentle spirit and 1466118_10202308521695094_1280063267_nis filled with so much wisdom.  She is a mother of 3 and has been married 25 years. She graduated with a degree in Organizational Mass Communications, and is a very affective leader.  When she is not serving on the worship team, leading the women in our church, being a mom and a wife, she works full time as the Volunteer Coordinator for Horizon Hospice.    She also has a passion for writing, preaching, and teaching along side her husband.  A servant’s heart is a perfect description for her.  Deuteronomy Chapter 8 is the passage for the season of her life. When I asked Lori to share something she learned from God she responded with this:

“His life poured out for my sin on the cross, and that alone is worthy of every moment of my life in service to my King.  The cross is the measure of Gods love for me. Sometimes circumstances are difficult and in those seasons, it can be hard to believe the goodness of God.  But the measure of his Love for us was proven when God’s wrath and mercy met at the cross. He took the wrath and gave mercy instead.  Proof enough.  I remind myself of that when my selfish heart thinks I somehow deserve to be free of testing and sorrows that life on this earth can bring.”

I have to say I am very thankful for Lori’s obedience to the Lord.  Because she was willing to go where God sent her, I am blessed to call her and her husband, Van, not just my Pastors but my friends also.

Raydeane:

Raydeane and has been married for 23 years which is the same number of years she has been in ministry. When God put his calling on the lives of her and her husband to plant a church they IMG_1021moved their family to Idaho to plant Heart of the City Church.  She attended University of Idaho & Lewis Clark State College and has a background in retail management.  At the age of twenty-one Raydeane gave her heart to the Lord and  began youth pastoring at 23. Both her and her husband have also served as Evangelism and discipleship pastors.  Currently she serves with children’s ministry, women’s ministry and she administrates large women’s events. Periodically, Raydeane writes articles for the Coeur d’ Alene Press and she writes/records one-minute devotionals for her local radio station. When given the opportunity she loves to minister at women’s conferences, retreats and prophetic presbyteries. Some how in the middle of all that Raydeane finds time to co-lead a city business women’s group each Friday.  She loves being in God’s Word and her favorite book is Isaiah Chapter 49.  Raydeane is one of several real housewives of God’s Kingdom that has faced cancer.  She has had cancer three times and says, “I have experienced the love and power of God. It has sustained me and brought me back to health”.   Besides all the ministry and health issues Raydeane has balanced her time at home so that her first ministry, her 2 children could be a priority.  Just recently both her children were engaged and she will be busy helping to plan their summer weddings.

I have said that I am writing this series because the real housewives of God’s kingdom are not in this for fame.  All they do they do for the glory of God and this quote by Raydeane sums things up perfectly,

                                  “My passion is to make Jesus famous!”

 

Lisa:

Psalms 27 is a favorite of our next real housewife of God’s kingdom.  

 The one thing I ask of the Lord— the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in His temple. verse 4.

Lisa has been married 22 years and has served as a youth pastor, pastor over women’s ministry, 1419999_10200963698199062_1859228563_npreaching at times, and emceeing services. Lisa’s most important ministry however is her 3 kids and she says she is her kid’s biggest fan.  Lisa and her husband Matt helped to start City Harvest church in 1997 and after 13 years of service they listened to the call of God.  Just like her friends Lori and Raydeane, Lisa was willing to go where God wanted to send her. She packed up her family and they moved to the Tri-Cities to plant New Vintage Church.  Lisa is a graduate of Portland Bible College, she is passionate about what she does and she has a great sense of humor.  Put all that together and you have the perfect mix to make a strong and effective in servant/leader in women’s ministries. I was blessed to listen to some of her teachings last year at our women’s retreat and I must say she is a truly gifted speaker and teacher.   Lisa (along with her husband) has a passion to make the Gospel relevant and practical, touching all parts of life, and every type of person – a “do-able Christianity”.

It is women like these three amazing women that are a reality to me and I hope it is women like them that are part of your life too.  They are just a few of the real housewives of God’s kingdom who live their lives for His glory. They do not care about fame or that Hollywood may find their lives unworthy of TV time, they live to serve God and to share his love with others.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of “I will go where you send me.”

Share
0

My identity, His Glory

I am so excited to have Dawn as our first guest writer.  This midlife domestic goddess is so excited for you to her amazing words.

I guess introductions are in order; I am Dawn Marie Turner and I have been a pastor of 13 years. For the last four years I have been at two churches in Missouri. Before that I worked with youth and had been employed at the family’s funeral home. Eastern Washington is where I have called home for 44 of my 48 years. We have a total of seven children that we have raised; ages are 39, 28, 26, 22, 20, 12 and 8 that have blessed our lives. It is a “his, mine, foster and adopted-kind of family”. We now only have two living in our home. I am married to a great man of God who has stood with by my side in so many ways and this December we will celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary.

We all have many identities we go by. Many titles we answer too. The titles I carry are wife, mother, daughter, sister, pastor, child of God and the latest title stroke survivor. Some I enjoy, some I am called to be, and others carry a weight.

My latest title has been stroke survivor. I had two strokes to my brain stem. One on June 28 and the other July 5. I am blessed to have survived and to be whom and what I am. The strokes have made me a different person than I was in June. There are struggles to walk and use my left side and arm. God does have a sense of humor as he has left me with the gift of speech. I think my husband might have enjoyed a few more months of quiet.972755_10151769818418992_2021631322_n

It has been a struggle, as I have had to learn how to redress myself. I have a new sport I play called bra aerobics. I don’t often win at it and get stuck in some precarious positions. Recently I had to pack away 3 bins of gorgeous high heels. Anyone who knows me knows how painful that was, for a while part of my identity was wrapped in being the pastor who wore the great shoes and boots. I now am the Converse queen.

I have had to learn different ways to parent. Sometimes letting the small stuff go and picking my battles. I have had to learn different ways to work and make sure that my 60 hour work weeks became 20 to 25 hour work weeks plus Sunday. I have had to look at which nonprofits I feel called to serve with and cut back on some. There has been a learning process to not be ashamed to ask for prayers for myself. And there is power in prayer. Let that be repeated.  There is power in prayer!!

One of the things I have had to learn is that my identity as a wife was not wrapped around cooking, cleaning and laundry. Also, I had to learn I don’t have to be the strong one and it is okay to ask for help. My husband can make a meal, sweep the floor and put the laundry in the washing machine and the dryer. Those are a few other things learned. Not one of us have died of food poisoning or had our clothes turn pink.

I have learned to laugh; when finding myself on the floor or finding the invible cracks that make me stumble, when my body tightens up on one side, when there is involuntary spasms and twitches at Walmart in the frozen food aisle, when stuck in the bathtub and hollering for help, or when trying to cut that apple and it goes all over the place.  I have learned to laugh at the situations instead of crying. Don’t get me wrong there are times when it is necessary to have good, cleansing, cry fest. The times of laughter are greater however.

I am learning a lot. Learning or re-learning to rest in God’s grace and to use all I am and all I have become to His glory.  Learning that I am a new creation and as I heal more and more that I am being reformed into His creation. I have learned all things and I do mean ALL things can be used for His glory.  I will hold onto that truth and onto his word always.

But God shows undeserved kindness to everyone. That’s why he appointed Christ Jesus to choose you to share in his eternal glory. You will suffer for a while, but God will make you complete, steady, strong, and firm. 1 Peter 5:10

Share