WeepingintoDancing

Overcoming Difficult Trials

Archive for the tag “Inspirational and Gifts”

Look At Your Problems In The Light Of God’s Power

Look Prob God's Power

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)    “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Genesis 9:13 (ESV)   “I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

Dear One,

Are you someone who sees your cup half empty or half full?  Do you think the worst is going to happen in any given situation, or are you well practiced at seeing the Silver Lining?  Do you live by a hope in Christ Jesus or has your hope been swept under the rug??

God knew we would need encouragement while walking the face of this earth and He graciously gave us a reminder of His promises, every time it rains.  The rainbow was first experienced by Noah and marked God’s covenant between Him and the earth.  He said He would never forsake His people.

In Jeremiah 29:11 the scripture speaks of God’s plan for us and it is not one of disaster.  He has GOOD plans for your future.  He is sending you hope with the rainbow reminder, and in all of the promises written in the Bible. 

If you are weary, Isaiah 40 promises God will give you power and strength.  Proverbs 1:33 Promises that if you listen to Him you will live in peace and be untroubled from a fear of harm.  In Philippians 4:19, you can read how He promises to meet your every need. 

According to Everet E. Storms, there are 7959 promises in Scripture made by God. If we use one promise each day it will take us twenty-two years to use each of the promises once.  Wow, can you imagine how your life would change if you started praying the promises of God?

Try changing your perspective and look at your problems in the light of God’s power.  He created all that we know, and then some!!  Don’t let your problems blind you to His mighty strength.  The enemy wants to use your problems to overshadow the glory, wisdom, and love of God.

In Romans 5:5, we are told that…. “Hope will never disappoint.” The trick to never being disappointed is in aligning your hopes and dreams to the will of God.  If you do this, His will is your will and His plans are your plans.  How can you be disappointed when you get what you want in life??  Rejoice in the Lord always.  Yes, again I say REJOICE!! 

Romans 15:13 (NIV)    “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Alan Jackson sings ….  “Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
 Listening every moment to the Spirit’s call,
 Resting in my Savior as my all in all,
Standing on the promises of God.”

 

About Me

Me Brown Shirt

Dear Reader,

I am a retired teacher and brain tumor survivor.  My surgery to remove a non-cancerous brain tumor was on July 23, 2011 at St. Josephs Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.  St. Josephs is said to have the best neurological department in the nation and I can’t complain about the care I was given.  In fact, I give it high praise.

My walnut sized tumor was located on my frontal lobe, which affected my behavior and emotions.  I was clinically depressed for nearly 8 years.  Per the request of my loving parents, I left the life I built in a small southern Oregon town and moved to Colorado Springs to be closer to them. 

I adopted a former student when he was twelve and I have never been married. I never found the perfect man who could put up with my passion for Christ and GARDENING!

I started this blog in October of 2012 out of a pressing on my heart to encourage others living through difficult trials.  He is leading me down a new career in writing and public speaking.  If you would like to read more about me please go to:  http://about.me/CherylZ1961/

I added several links to the about.me website.  I am the author of                                “THE BARNABAS CORNER” at Good News Broadcasting & Multimedia                http://gnbm.org/

I am also a contributing writer for Inspirational Christians for Today.                                        http://inspirationalchristiansfortoday.com/

I just set up a Tweet account so you can look that up too!                                                                             https://twitter.com/CherylZ1961

Fellowship Of Christian Bloggers

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Dear Reader,

I am now a member of FOCB…. Fellowship of Christian Bloggers.  You might want to check out the many wonderful blogs listed on their site.

Blessings to you all,                                                                                                                                    Cheryl

http://www.focbonline.com.

There Is A Crack In Everyone

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“There’s a crack in everything-that’s how the light get in.”    –  Leonard Cohen

John 12:24 (ESV)      “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

Psalm 34:18 (NIV)      “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Dear Reader,

When you have a broken heart, the crack within will allow the healing power of God to enter, transform, advise, and heal it.  You are never going to be crushed beyond repair. The Great Physician will bind up your wounds and bring you miraculous healing, in His time. 

Everyone in this world experiences trials, grief, and hardships.  This is a reality of life and nobody is excluded.  Struggles are sent our way by God to get our attention, teach us lessons, develop perseverance, and build our relationship with Him.  With free will, we have a choice to lean on Him during these times, or attempt to stand on our own.  I guarantee that things will be a lot easier if you ask God to help you out. 

If you are feeling broken right now, remember that He promises to be close to you.  He will save those of you who are crushed in spirit.  He does not abandon you during your time of need.  You are never alone, even when you FEEL that you are. 

He is omnipresent and sees all.  He is omniscient and knows all, including how best to help you.  God is also omnipotent and all-powerful.  He is mighty and strong beyond your imagination. 

Trust and faith must carry you through your struggle.  In John 12:24, the Word gives us an understanding as to WHY each person must break, or die to self.  It is only in dying that we can sow seeds, which will in the proper season bear fruit.  He will give you the grace and mercy needed to accomplish whatever He is asking of you.

By keeping your eyes on your Savior and not your circumstances, you will be able to face each day.  Our God warns us not to look too far into the future for it will overwhelm us.  Each day carries enough worries and woes.  Decide to listen to His voice daily and ask Him what He wants you to learn.  Meditate on the lesson(s) your hardship is teaching you and strive to apply it to your life.  Make it a personal goal to bless others with the wisdom you have gained by walking through your trial.

Sadly, if we do not learn the lessons God has prepared for us, other circumstances will present themselves.  He loves us enough not to leave us in kindergarten.  He wants us to move up to first grade, and all the way through college…. And even beyond.

 If one storm setting is not breaking your will or sin habit, He will design another storm to once again present the lesson He wants you to grasp.  He loves the remedial student as much as the A+ student.  He has no “teacher’s pet” for we are all equal in His eyes.  It is simply a matter of how quickly you want to get through school.  There are more responsibilities required of those who have moved past grade school, but there are also greater riches to be gained through spiritual maturity.

When you have a broken bone in your body, and it is not properly “set,” doctors may have to break the bone again in order to align and heal it.  If a broken leg bone is not set properly, mobility will be hindered leaving the wounded a cripple.  Think about this regarding your spirituality. Refusing to submit to the will of God will expose you to more storms and broken hearts.  Thankfully, God heals completely and will never choose to leave you a spiritual “cripple.” Your obedience will determine your gait and spiritual health.

When you die to self and accept His will in your life, you will discover your brokenness has allowed you to learn and grow in the fruits of the Spirit.  May goodness, kindness, gentleness, peace, love, joy, patience, faithfulness, and self-control be your reward for bravely facing your struggle.  He wants only good things for His children.  He gives good gifts.  Change your perspective and look on your brokenness as a thing of beauty.  For God says that when we are weak, He is strong.

Psalm 147:3 (ESV)   “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

GOD DOESN’T COMPARE THE FLOWERS IN HIS GARDEN

Roses w:Sunshine

Iris

“You don’t need to be better than anyone else.  You just need to be better than you used to be.”  -Unknown

1 Corinthians 12:4-6 (NIV)      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. 

The refining process of becoming what God created us to be is a continuous one.  It involves extreme pressure and yes, pain.  When God turns up the heat to melt gold, dross will rise to the surface.  Dross is a collection of impurities.  Sin is our impurity.

Hopefully, the refining of our spirit will bring about a forward motion in our walk with Christ.  With each new lesson God sends our way, we should be growing in our maturity and knowledge of Him.  We are not to remain “Baby” Christians all of our lives.  Rather, we are meant to become mature, able to teach and witness to others.

There is danger when we start to compare our growth to the spiritual growth of others.  Just as every child is different in personality and looks, so are they different in their abilities to learn.  Growth patterns differ between each individual, whether it is in academics or the spiritual lessons from our Father. 

When we compare our walk to that of another, one of two things may occur.  First, we can become convicted and then inspired to follow their good example.  Second, we may become jealous and fall prey to the lies of the enemy who jumps at any opportunity to pull down and discourage the children of God. 

Just as the body has many parts, we must realize that the Body of Christ also has many parts.  Each part is dependent on the other.  We need the eyes to see and the mouth to communicate.  We need the hands to heal and serve and the feet to travel to far off lands. ALL the parts are important.  We can’t compare the importance of body parts because all of the parts are essential and necessary. 

Look to others and be encouraged, not condemned.  Map your own course of growth and monitor it to see if you are growing in your walk or remaining in the same place.  You do not want a stunted growth.  If you see yourself as still requiring milk, like a newborn baby Christian, take steps to stretch yourself.  Allow the trials in your life to bring about a maturing.  Then rejoice over the gifts your fellow man has and be thankful for your own very personal and unique talents. 

A rose is beautiful but so is an iris.  Both are flowers and both are beautiful.  However, they bloom in different seasons and they both have different aromas.  They both glorify God but in different and unique ways.

That is how we are in God’s eyes.  We are beautiful and unique flowers in His heavenly flower garden.  He adores and treasures each and every one of us.

1 Cor 12: 12-27 (NIV)      Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.  For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.  Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.  And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?  But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be?  As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”  On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.  Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

ARE YOU LISTENING? A BETH MOORE STORY

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JAMES 1:22-25 (NIV)     Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

Dear Readers,

I want to share a story I heard tonight.  It is a story Beth Moore told and I promise that It’s a good one.

Beth Moore was in an airport waiting to catch a plane.  She was memorizing scripture and didn’t want to be disturbed.  A man in a wheelchair rolled past her and she noticed that he had very long unruly hair. 

She went back to her memorizing (a good practice by the way and I highly encourage it) when she felt the Lord tug on her heart and say, “I want you to talk to that man.”  Ohhhhhh Lord, really?  I don’t want to.  I just want to memorize these verses.

A little time passed and once again the heart tugging got Beth’s attention.  This time the voice of the Lord said, “Beth, I want you to go over to that man and brush his hair.”  Ohhhhhh man, I really don’t want to Lord.  BUT SHE DID IT. She obeyed His prompting.

She went up to the man in the wheelchair and said, “Sir, May I have the honor of brushing your hair?”  “WHAT? WHAT DID YOU SAY?”  In a louder voice Beth said, “Sir, May I have the honor of brushing your hair?”  “WHAT? YOU WILL HAVE TO TALK MUCH LOUDER IF YOU WANT ME TO HEAR YOU.”  So in a very big voice Beth said, “SIR, MAY I HAVE THE HONOR OF BRUSHING YOUR HAIR??”  Every face in the airport was now looking at her.

The man was a bit reluctant but agreed.  Beth then said, “I want to brush your hair but I don’t have a brush on me.”  The man said, “That’s ok, I have one in my backpack.  Go ahead and dig it out of there.”  Beth really didn’t want to dig through a bag of his personal items but did so and found the brush. 

Beth started talking to herself saying, “I can do this, I know how to brush hair.  I have girls.  I can do this, no problem.”  So she lovingly started at the bottom of the long tangled hair and worked up.  When it was finally done, he thanked her so she knelt down right next to him.  She asked him if he knew God as a personal Savior and he said, “Yes!”  Then he went on to tell her that he was very sick and had been in the hospital. For over three months.  He was just thinking how sorry he must look and what a scare he would be giving his wife when the finally reunited.” 

 Beth was glad the man had a relationship with God but was disappointed she didn’t get to witness.  She watched as the plane attendants rolled him onto the plane.  It was then that another stewardess came up to and asked, “Why did you do it?  Why did you brush his hair?”  There were tears in her eyes.  This is when Beth was given the opportunity to witness and share the love of God.  She realized that it was not the man God was calling her to witness to but rather the stewardess

Dear Reader,

There are many lessons to be learned from this story.  First, God takes even the most mature Christian out of their comfort zone.  It took faith, obedience, and courage to go up to a complete stranger and ask if they could have the honor of brushing their hair, and that is without having a brush in hand!!

Second, We need to listen to the prompts God sends to us, even if they seem ridiculous.  This requires faith, trust, and obedience.  Sadly, if we ignore the prompting of our Lord, we will regret it later. 

Third, We may think we know whom God is sending us to bless but it could be another, a person hidden from our attention. 

We can learn a lot from Beth’s example.  We may be caught up in personal struggles today and not want to step out in awkward steps of faith, but we should always welcome opportunities to give a reason for the hope that is within us.  We should be listening and obeying His instructions all the time.  We don’t get to go on sick leave just because we are sick, heart broken, tired, or depressed.  God can use us in all states of mind and health.  All it takes to serve Him is a willingness to obey.  He will do all the rest.

1 PETER 3:15 (NIV)       But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

MY TESTIMONY: SURVIVING LIFE INTERRUPTIONS (A Brain Tumor Story)

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 PSALM 30:11-12 (NIV)         You turned my wailing into dancing;
 You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing Your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

Dear Readers,

I am asking that you humor me as i post this very long testimony.  I have entered it as a possible job that will give me a lot of publicity. It is my hope that many more folk will find this blog and be encouraged by the word our Savior places on my heart. 

I want to encourage you all by saying that even though you see your world falling apart before your very eyes, God will rebuild it into a thing of beauty.  He is doing it for me right now.  He has no favorites so He will do it for you too.  Trust Him and see what wonders are held in store for just you.

Lovingly,                                                                                                                                  Cheryl

Life Interruptions are often Divine Interruptions.  I am amazed at how my life has changed in just a year and a half.  Let me start at the beginning.

I am a retired teacher and single mom.  I adopted one of my fourth grade students and have known God all of my life.  I have served Him in several ministries including as a member of the worship team, prayer groups, and counseling women with sexual abuse issues.  My life was full and I was happy in my small southern Oregon town…. Until I had a break down. 

I became clinically depressed.  I had to take a leave of absence three times and all the times I returned,  failed to finish the year.  I eventually had to go on disability and quit my job.  Humiliation and hopelessness were my constant companions.

For over 6 years I was struggleing with guilt.  Christians have so much to be thankful for and yet, my behavior and emotional state kept spiraling downward.  I went to my medical provider many times and the real problem was never identified.  They said it was the stress of the job, a family history of depression, perimenopause, genes.  It took the love of my parents and a bold step on their part to get to the bottom of my health issues. 

I told them about being in a parking lot and not being able to stop.  My walking turned into running.  I intentionally crashed into a parked car to stop myself and fell onto the ground.  I could not get myself back up on my own, so two strong men kindly helped me up.  I decided something was really wrong with me and made an appointment with my Nurse Practictioner.  Her comment will send shivers down your spine.  “Well,” she said, “If it happens again let me know.”

There was no mention of a test or MRI.  She sent me off with more concern over my low Vitamin D levels!  When my parents heard this story it confirmed the fear in there hearts.  They had been praying for me over the past two years.  Knowing that I was not myself had them very concerned.  They decided to drive out and get me.

Understand this:  I moved to my beloved adopted state of Oregon in an attempt to forge out my own life.  Although very close to my parents and sister, I wanted to build my own family.  I was single and looking for a mature and Godly man.  My faith was strong and  I was hoping to find a relationship where we would be a team and equally yoked.  I tend to be fearful by nature but my decision to move was confirmed by God in so many ways.  The puzzle pieces just kept fitting together.  I did not know a soul in the state and I did not have a job lined up either.  It was by faith, obedience, and trust that I left behind a successful and secure life to find a new one in Oregon, which held for me even greater blessings.

So when my parents told me they were selling my house and taking me to their doctor in Arizona, I put up as good a fight as I could.  I was happy where I was planted(aside from the clinical depression).  I had finally bought my dream house and I had friends who were as close to me as sisters.  I was a respected educator and my son had roots in the only state he had ever lived.

I had grown progressively sick very quickly.  In the six months before my folks came to get me, my behavior changed significantly.  I later found out that the behavior change was because of the location of my brain tumor.  I became very anti-social and even more depressed.  I was wetting the bed and wearing diapers.  My ability to think and reason was greatly affected and I gave little thought to returning to my medical provider to give her up-dates on my condition.  I was falling a lot and had no energy.  I would wake up in the morning, eat, drink, and sit in my recliner all day watching tv.  I had no strength to clean and at one point I had used every dish in the house.  The kitchen was a mess with dirty dishes everywhere.

My son was off at college so I let things go.  When my parents arrived they were shocked at the condition of my home.  Someone once told me that my house was like a picture out of House and Gardens.  Not now!  There was trash and dirt everywhere.  Every level space and counter was littered with cups, dishes, and clutter. 

I was unable to open and read my mail so bills were not getting paid.  Twice I had to  drive down to pay my water bill as it had been shut off.  This was not me.  I was not living.  I was the walking dead.

When my parents arrived they told me they had Power of Attorney.  I don’t remember singning any papers as by this time my memory was leaving me.  They told me that they knew what was best for me and they wanted me closer to them. They are snowbirds and think very highly of the physicians and medical facilities in Phoenix, Arizona.  They also have a home in Colorado which is where I later moved and started a new life.

The process of cleaning up my house and getting it ready to sell was  a huge undertaking.  My parents are 77 years old.  My mom and dad hired someone to clean up my once pristine garden and yard.  They held a yard sale, and packed me up with little help from me.  I was sleeping a lot and had no strength to say no to them, or refuse their requests to get checked by their doctor.

Even harder than leaving friends and a dream house behind was giving up my beloved lab mix, Bubba.  He was the only thing that made me laugh during the years prior to my diagnosis.  However, because my parents had (unbeknowst to me) rented an apartment in a retirement/assisted living facility that would not allow dogs over 15 pounds, I had to leave Bubba behind. 

This was the last straw for me.  With all my strength I told my parents I would not go with them without Bubba.  My dad then had to take a very firm yet loving step.  He told me that I was going with them even if he had to carry me kicking and screaming.  He told me that he would put Bubba in a kennel or take him to the Humane Society if I could not find a friend to take him.  I was crushed.  I was at a loss as to what to do.  Then God sent me Nancy.

Nancy and I worked together at an elementary school.  She was very helpful in assisting with my adoption of Steve.  She had become a good friend and was sensing in her heart that something was wrong with me.  She decided to stop by my house to check on me.  She told me it was a whim at the time, but later informed me she felt the Lord pressing on her heart to visit.  Thank goodness she obeyed the quiet voice of God!  It was she who offered to provide a temporary  home for Bubba.  She understood that I was very ill and that mom and dad were taking me to their doctor to get to the bottom of things.  She knew I would probably not be back.  She knew I was at risk of death. 

So now with Bubba safe I could leave my home.  I remember very little of the next two weeks.  We drove to Phoenix in about three days.  Dad gave Dr. Metelits all of my medical records and like the exceptional man that he is, he poured over them for hours in his free time.  He told my dad he could tell I had a neurological problem by just watching me walk and that I should go to St. Joseph’s Hospital for an MRI.  By now I was falling even more, throwing-up, suffering from migranes, and had absolutly no memory.  I do not remember the MRI, being told I had a tumor, or of going into surgery.  I remember waking up in ICU.  What a shock it was indeed!!

I must say the care I got was exceptional.  St. Joseph’s really does live up to it’s reputation of having the best neurological department in the nantion.  My pain levels were well monitored and the therapy they provided was all very helpful in my recovery.

For over a year I was unable to cry.  What a paradox!  I was clinically depressed but unable to shed a single tear.  No release.  Well, the dam broke in ICU.  The full realization of what had just happened to me and the overwhelming job it would require to get back on my feet sent me into a long and loud period of sobbing.  I am sure every person on the hospital floor heard my cries and to their credit, they left me alone.  They let my tears bring the release I needed to face the future ahead of me.

My dad, or Pop as I call him, was my knight in shining armor.  He took care of all my insurance issues, medical paper work, mortgage and realtor needs, and me!  I made him promise to NEVER put me through such an invasive and horrific surgery again.  I told him that if the tumor came back I would not go through the agony of surgery again.  He really hesitated in promising me this, but he did.  Now that I am well, I told him that I could go through it again if I had to, with God’s strength and his love. 

When they took me home from the hospital, I stayed with my parents for nearly a month.  Insomnia was a big issue and one night my mom came into my bedroom and talked with me.   She saw that I was greatly worried about my dog Bubba and that I needed to make a decision about his welfare.  With a pained heart I concluded that I would ask Nancy and her husband Sherm Hoppet to adopt my dear companion.  They graciously agreed and I knew he would have a wonderful life with them.  This decision was a relief and a deep wound all rolled into one.  My love for Bubba had to come first.  I did not know my future and it was not fair to him or the Hoppets to say I would take him back in a year.  For one thing, I had no idea where I would be in a year and I also did not know how complete my recovery would be.

My vision was affected by the surgery.  I was unable to read and could not take my meds without my dad’s assistance.  Writing was a challenge too. I wrote and spoke slower than before the removal of the tumor. 

I worried about being a burden to my parents and wondered if I would ever drive again and live independently.  My son needed care and my attention but thankfully my parents helped out with his needs so that  I could concentrate on my own healing.

I have parents that don’t believe in letting the bad things in life defeat you.  They have known their share of sorrow, including the death of my brother in a mountain climbing accident.  I was feeling like I deserved to wear my pajamas all day and rest.  They let me have two days of pajamas and then, a week after brain surgery I was dressed and going for a daily walk.  There was no time to sit and mope.  They were loving and supportive but firm.  Life goes on.

This is when the hand of God touched me.  Within two weeks I was walking a mile and a half without my walker.  My balance was getting better and I was able to drive after my vision returned to normal.  My quick recovery was a testimoney of God’s grace.

After a month, and seeing that I was on my way to a full recovery, my parents took my son to their Colorado home while I healed in the assisted living facility.  I was lonely but God provided an old friend.  Dora is the wonderful woman who led me to God.  We had lost touch but I knew she lived in Phoenix, so I reached out to her. 

What a blessing Dora was and still is to me.  She took me to her church where we joined a woman’s bible study.  Linda Dillow’s book Calm My Anxious Heart met me exactly where I was and convicted me of all my worry.  I started to believe that there was a reason for my trial, a purpose. 

Determined to make my tragedy a thing of praise and an encouragement for others, I asked God to help me write a book.  The answer came in a five day wrting session.  It turns out that a ten-chapter bible study referencing the book of Job was something God wanted me to share with other believers.  The study is called DIVINE INTERRUPTIONS:  OPPORTUNITIES FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH.  Still a work in action, the revision is taking far longer than the initial body of work, I hope to get it published this year. 

I had never read a blog in my life.  However, I felt God pressing me to set up a personal blog and to write encouraging words for people going through difficult times.  I am a bit fearful of technology and hesitated until the pressing got to be too much.  Once again God led me to an old friend I had just recently reconnected with on Facebook, another thing I had no interest in and had never visited.  She has a job in social networking.  Thanks to her advise and coaxing, I set up an account on WordPress called WEEPING INTO DANCING.  http://weepingintodancing.com/

Oh, how God will bless us when we are obedient to His leading and call!!  In less than four months I have had 10,000 hits and over 180 people who follow my blog daily.  God provides an endless supply of encouragements to write about and I am feeling so blessed.  He is using me to encourage and help others. 

Never in all time would I have imagined a new career in writing.  I thought I would go back to teaching but that door has been closed tight.  Writing on the other hand has been a big open door.  On a whim, I decided to join a freelance writing site.  Within four days I was hired by a Christian Evangelist to write some articles for him.  He even suggested I write a blog for his new Christian Magazine.  What a surprise!  Within two weeks I got another freelance assignment writing Letters From God. 

Where God is leading me is still uncertain but I know the path will be wonderful.  I can now say that I am thankful for a brain tumor that nearly killed me and has changed my entire life.  I am excited to see how God uses me in the future.  If my role model, Corrie ten Boom, was used in her fifties and beyond, why can’t I be used at the half-century mark as well?  Maybe it took fifty years of trials to prepare me for what lies ahead. 

To God be the glory forever and ever.  This is the end of my story….. for now.  I know I will have many more chapters to add in the future.

DON’T COMPARE!!

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Dear Reader,

It is so easy to fall into the bad habit of focusing on the talents we don’t have rather than on the gifts and graces we do have in life.  The Word of God tells us that there are different kinds of gifts but that they all come from the same Spirit (1 Cor. 12:4).

Recently, I had lunch with a new friend.  I was sharing my personal testimony and the fact that I had the gift of tongues.  She confided that she had prayed for that gift and felt like she did not have enough faith or security to be blessed with the spiritual prayer language.  I reminded her of the 1 Corinthians passage that tells us that the Body of Christ has different gifts.  I believe we have the gift we need to fulfill the purpose God has for us.  We all have different jobs to do down here so the gifts would be different from person to person depending on their calling in life.

In 1 Cor. 12:7 we are reminded that the manifestation of the Spirit is to be given for the common good.  We are to serve each other.  Lifting burdens, speaking words of encouragement to those who are suffering, helping those in need are all ways we can serve God and each other. 

God has created all of His children as unique individuals, no two being the same.  This alone is incredible and amazing!  He DOES break the “mold” every time a new being is born.  Celebrate your differences and the special and individual gifts God has given you.  Don’t walk around envying others of their talents and gifts.  You have your own and they are just as amazing and the ones the person standing next to you has been using for His glory.  Now, go out into the world and use them to bless those you meet today!!

1 CORINTHIANS 12:4-7 (NIV)     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.  Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.

AMAZING GRACE IN ACTION

This child has a gift of Praise and Worship. His voice is anointed. I don’t sing like Him, but his gift edifies me and many others. Remember that you have gifts that others don’t have and you can bless them by sharing it daily.

This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise  (Is. 43:21).

 

CONSECRATED WITH A PURPOSE

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Do you believe that God called you out of heaven and placed you on earth, in THIS CENTURY for a reason?  Do you believe you have a purpose or a calling designed by God for His glory?  If so, rejoice!

The Lord tells us in Jeremiah 1:5 that God knew Jeremiah BEFORE He formed him in his mother’s womb.  God knows us before we are born!  God then goes on to tell Jeremiah that He set him apart; He appointed him as a prophet to the nations.  This scripture validates the concept that we have a specific purpose down here on earth that God has designed us to fulfill.  Whether or not we fulfill that purpose is up to us since God gave us all free will.

The English Standard version of this scripture says that God CONSECRATED Jeremiah.  Consecrated is defined as:  Make or declare sacred; dedicate formally to a religious or divine purpose.  Once again we see that Jeremiah had a divine purpose to fulfill. 

When we experience difficult trials we often loose hope.  Hope of ever overcoming our trial fades and we become lackluster in our faith in God’s goodness, provision, and love.  The enemy loves when we fall into this spiritual state of hopelessness. Remember, we are the lambs and he is the sheep in wolves clothing.  He is the roaring lion ready at any minute to devour us.  

Guard yourself by reading or recalling the truths found in the bible.  If you are too depressed to read, ask the Holy Spirit to bring a scripture to mind (another reason we should be memorizing verses) to encourage you.  Listen to the radio or have a friend read a verse a day to you.  Good friends will love the opportunity to nourish your spirit while you travel your weary path. 

YOU have been consecrated by God, preordained as a child of God and appointed with a purpose.  You may not know what that purpose is right now so ask Him.  Listen to the Holy Spirit during your quiet prayer time.  The spiritual gifts He has given you have already equipped you for His purpose.  He does not send us into battle without the weapons needed to defend ourselves and accomplish His goal.

JEREMIAH 1:5 (NIV)     Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart; 
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

LUKE 10:1 (NIV)     After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of Him to every town and place where He was about to go.

1 PETER 5:8 (NIV)    Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

MATTHEW 7:15 (NAS)     Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

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