Where You Lead Me

I stopped following my dreams, and I’ve started following Jesus, and my dreams followed me.

unkown

Here I sit, feeling like I’ve come full circle. From the time I first came to Christ, as a young woman, lost, broken and without hope…I was drawn to this scripture in Luke 7:37

37When a sinful woman from that town learned that Jesus was dining there, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume. 38As she stood behind Him at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feetwith her tears and wipe them with her hair. Thenshe kissed His feet and anointed them with the perfume. 39When the Pharisee who had invited Jesus saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, He would know who this is and what kind of woman is touching Him—for she is a sinner!”…

I had felt the touch of the Saviors hand, and my life would never be the same. I had such a desire to be like this woman who worshiped with abandon, wiping Jesus feet with her tears and then anointing them with oil. I remember weeping as I sat in my room and the overpowering Presence of the Lord ministered to me. At that moment, I was overcome with gratitude and thankfulness, and a hunger to minister unto the Lord. He was wooing me and calling me to come up higher.

I also recall during this time, kneeling at the altar after some youth event. Others had come up too, but as I sat there I had a vision of Jesus on the cross, and waves upon waves of His Presence washed over me, and I again wept in awe and thankfulness. It was overpowering, and I felt like I could have stayed there forever. I have had other amazing experiences in the Presence of the Lord over the years since those early years, and yet found myself in these last few years holding on for dear life at times, wondering if, as Peggy Lee sang in her song…’ is that all there is to life.’ As I entered my 60’s, I had begun to look back over my life and I asked God, “What about all those unmet expectations, hopes, desires and dreams that seemed to fade into the shadows of my youth? My love for the Lord, was intact, albeit, I felt dry, and there were still times He made His Presence known in a tangible way, but my passion, my zeal was waning, and I was struggling going forward. I felt I had somehow missed my ‘calling,’ my purpose for living if you will.

I was once asked what my ‘destiny’ was, what my calling was. At the time I wasn’t sure I could answer that question. I was a licensed minister (Christian Worker) and leading worship for a Women’s Bible Study, and for other women’s events (eventually with the help of my husband who is an excellent keyboardist, as well as an Assistant Pastor). We eventually began co-leading worship on Sunday mornings, but then after a few years, due to various life circumstances, I found myself sitting on the shelf; withdrawn, and I hid, struggling with hopelessness. There were many times I asked God, “Can these dry bones live again?” I felt lost and without direction, a foreigner in a strange land and then…

God began to breathe new life, new vision and I began to realize the best was yet to come. I began to step out and the walls that I had so meticulously placed around myself, began to crumble. Sometimes the weights and cares of this world distract and pull us away from our GREATEST CALLING, which is to sit at His Feet and Worship Him. I find myself starting over… getting back to the basics: a place of surrender, repentance, consecration and determination once again. Abba Father, has assured me, the best is yet to come … where He leads me I will follow.

This video is an encouragement and declaration that nothing else matters but God. At the end of the video, a minister quotes, “I stopped following my dreams, and I’ve started following Jesus, and my dreams followed me.” It’s time to lay aside our own preconceived ideas, the things we’ve held onto, the baggage, the old ways of doing things and surrender to the Lover of Our Souls. Nothing else matters but Jesus, His will, and His way. He wants all of our heart, not just a piece.

Nothing Else by Cody Carnes

I submit to you a prophetic word given at one of our Church meetings, going into 2019. It encouraged me more now than it did then, especially as my walls began to crumble. It’s time to Be Still (let go) and KNOW that He is God. It’s time to embrace the new, and let go of the old … So many of us are at a place of transition and change. Be encouraged as we forge ahead…

“A new year is upon you. New days will arise. The old things will pass away. Put this year, 2018, under the blood. Let it go says the Lord. Let go of the good and let go of the bad. Let go of all the setbacks and the disappointments – any hurts- any frustrations! Let it go, says the Lord. Let it go. Look to Me-look up says the Lord. Seek My face and you shall find Me for I have new things for each and every one of you. Old things will not hold you down, but new things will begin to lift you up. My Church is going to rise. My Church- My Church- those that are open and willing – those that will obey me and listen and seek Me- you will arise into new things, says the Lord. New things are on the horizon. Breakthroughs are coming your way. Turn-arounds are taking place- but you have to trust me on a new level, says the Lord. You will have to have not limited thinking, but open your mind to the new things. Open your mind to all possibilities. Open and you shall see it, says the Lord, for My heart is with My people. My heart is to do good things. My heart is bring My Church up and out. So look to Me in these days ahead and see the new things, for I have special things. I have called thee up and I have called thee out. Will you listen? Will you hear? Will you obey? and if you do, you shall see it, says the Lord.”

Mama: November 2014

Facebook Memory: November 5, 2014.  Six months later after this posting, mama fell in rehab, hit her head, attempting to get to the bathroom, 3am in the morning. Hours later she was rushed to the hospital with a brain hemorrhage from which she never regained consciousness. She was recovering from hip surgery and it was going well up until this point. Prior to this, she had been struggling with Alzheimer’s for a few years; 2014 was a turning point as far as the severity of the disease. When I came for an extended visit to give daddy a break and spend sometime loving on mama she hardly recognized me. It was then that I truly started to grieve. I will always cherish the time I was able to be there. In spite of the heartache at times, I experienced a deep joy in loving them and pouring into them. I was very aware of the faithfulness and goodness of God during this difficult time. There were tears and laughter, but love was always in the mix. :

“Wednesday, November 5th, 2014. We went to the Senior Citizen’s Center for Spaghetti and bingo. I took a picture of the last of some of daddy’s flowers that he brought in for mama. Pretty with the yellow deck in the background. After bingo we head out the door and drive down the road to Uncle Billy’s Barber shop. We usually sit around and chat while he cuts hair. Sometimes the customers join right in with the mini ‘ family’ reunions. Laughter and tales of days gone by oft come up. I learned this day for instance from Uncle Billy, that their mom, my grandma Atwell…or granny….had no sense of smell. He said it was because of a run in with a skunk…a direct hit in the face. I love these little meetings….and I love his barber shop where he has been cutting hair for about 30 years. The building has been there since the early 1900’s. Most of the adjacent storefront shops are empty, including the Crawdad Hole where many of the locals came for years to grab a bite in the little cafe and then listen to a little bit of  bluegrass, country and gospel. Uncle Billy said this little strip will soon be a relic of the past. It truly feels like you’ve walked through a time warp into the past….a lot of history there.”

Burning Ones

I Am Hungry Lord. Listening to this on Spotify! You will be blessed! Fill me up, Lord! My time has not passed! God let the dry bones live! I have not been on here for a few weeks. So much is happening, some good, some challenges and just plain too tired and distracted. I had to share this. As I sat here at my computer, writing this, I have been listening to the Burning Ones (Good, Good Father) playlist. Encouraging Word, powerful, anointed song. I NEEDED this today, perhaps you do too. God Bless.

Ever feel discouraged, like your life just didn’t go the way you wanted it too. Ever wonder where God is or where He went? Has it been hard to look up, well this will greatly encourage you. He has not forgotten you. He loves you and IF you’ve never known Him, or felt His touch…it’s not too late, no matter how old you are, or what you have done or NOT done. It’s time for healing and hope to arise. GREAT is the Deliverance of the Lord. Open our eyes Lord, Open our hearts and our ears to receive from You.

Do You Know This Player?

Featured Blogger: http://www.tammikale.com
I had to read this a couple of times, and yes I know this ‘player!’

Women: Each One A Survivor

moon

My name is Pride, I am a cheater.

I cheat you of your God-given destiny…

because you demand your own way.

I cheat you of contentment…

because you “deserve better than this.”

I cheat you of knowledge…because you already know it all.

I cheat you of healing…because you’re too full of me to forgive.

I cheat you of holiness…

because you refuse to admit when you’re wrong.

I cheat you of vision…

because you’d rather look in the mirror than out a window.

I cheat you of genuine friendship…

because nobody’s going to know the real you.

I cheat you of love…

because real romance demands sacrifice.

I cheat you of greatness in heaven…

because you refuse to wash another’s feet on earth.

I cheat you of God’s glory…

because I convince you to seek your own.

My name is Pride.  I am a cheater.

You like me because you…

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Transition

Over the last week or two I’ve been struggling to find time to sit down and write a blog. We are in transition right now and when I finally think I have time, something comes up. A lot of things are being put on the back burner or falling through the cracks. I haven’t had time to read blogs or connect with others much, as I’m just a wee bit overwhelmed with life right now (maybe I shouldn’t confess that) but I AM being pulled in many different directions. It’s not all bad, mind you, and God is definitely in the midst of it, answering prayer in miraculous ways.

There are ongoing medical visits for me as I try to get the diabetes back under control, and though I am on an insulin pump, it’s been scary at times, especially at night when my sugars have dropped, and now they are often elevated. I was given an opportunity to have a one week trial of a Dexcom: a Continuous Glucose Monitor which tracks the blood sugar. It will set off an alarm if my sugars go too low, or begin to climb, and it also indicates how fast or slow it is dropping or climbing. I was approved by my insurance company, and my Dexcom arrived a few days ago. On Friday of this week, I am happy to say, I will be getting hooked up, and I am hopeful this will help me to regain some control. The doctor also wants me to have a ‘gastric’ test to see if I have any neuropathy (nerve damage) in the gastric tract, as that could also affect my food and insulin absorbtion. I also, requested that the doctor change my insulin from Humulog  to Novolog, as I began to suspect my body was beginning to resist that particular insulin after years of use.  So, yes, that’s been an on going stress factor in my life, but I’m seeing light at the end of the tunnel. 

The other major transition, and it’s a biggie, is the process and ultimate moving of my precious mother-in-law to assisted living. As of now, we have just found a beautiful, Christian facility. That in itself is a true miracle. I had put her name into a couple of places over a year ago but the waiting list was at least two years, and even then, the fact she would be on Elderly Waiver, meant there were limited spaces available. It did not look like anything would open up. We were working with an organization, looked at two places, and the second place left my husband, myself and my mother-in-law feeling discouraged. In fact, she teared up. 

I had sat in my office earlier that week, and though we were working with a great organization, I had seen Auburn Manor online, and thought to myself, and said out loud to the Lord, ” That would be the perfect place!” I began praying that somehow God would open the doors.  So, against all odds, I wrote them an email. To my surprise, I received an email and a phone call from the manager. I missed the first call, so I called back right away but had to leave a voicemail. The weekend came and went, and on Monday the manager called me again in the morning. I asked him about rooms and the fact LaVera, my mother-in-law, would need to be on Elderly Waiver (government assistance). He says, ” We have two Elderly Waiver openings.” At that point, I could hardly believe it, and asked him if there was a waiting list. He assured me there was none. I knew God was answering not only my prayer, but that of our friends and family! I knew I needed to act quickly, and made an appointment for the next day. LaVera was near tears, and I just felt this overwhelming sense of joy and gratitude towards God. After we met with the manager at Auburn Courts, it was confirmed, this would be LaVeras new home; a place that I am sure she is going to shine bright with the love of God. When I returned home, I called the organization we had been working with, spoke to the owner, Rick, and told him we no longer needed his services, he was very happy for us but shocked at the same time! He said that just a week and a half ago he had talked to Auburn Manor and there were no openings! Honestly folks, this was a miracle, there are less than 50% of assisted living places that take Elderly Waver, and on top of that there are few openings available period! I would say, God’s timing was and is perfect! 

Here is the lovely lady herself, and though it will still be difficult to let go of what was, she knows that God loves her and is working everything out to her good. She can come and go as she pleases (she is still very independent) will have a great community to thrive in, Bible Studies, volunteer opportunities, events, ladies luncheon’s, three meals a day, nursing on staff at all times and more. Truth be told, this is not easy for any of us and I’ve shed a few tears grieving for her, too, but my heart is at peace. ❤ I know hers is too, she slept like a baby for the first time in days that night! I’m so grateful God is with us through this journey called ‘life.’

                                                    LaVera Valle

I Surrender All

I SURRENDER ALL

 

Oh, How I Love Jesus: Friend, Savior, Prince of Peace, Lover of my Soul, my Healer, Deliverer, Redeemer, Provider, Protector and more! I have felt the depths of His love and forgiveness and have wept as He moved upon my heart and life many times. No other love can compare like that of the Savior. He knew me intimately from the time I was young, and drew me to His side when I was broken, torn and lost. He looked beyond my faults and saw my need.  No one can touch a heart and life like Jesus. There are no words that can adequately describe Him. Sadly, for many,  He is confined inside a building structure, steeped in the traditions of men; a cold distant God, but that is because they have been blinded to His true nature. I cannot imagine my life without Him/ I have never regretted my choice to serve Him, nor have I ever looked back. The music in this video is from an old hymn, done instrumentally…and it is very much my story as well as many other Christians. So, many say they love God, but only give lip service…God wants our whole heart …for us to choose Him and to follow Him. He’s not looking for perfection but for those who REALLY desire to know Him, He will reveal Himself. Surrendering to Jesus..is a process, it starts with an act of faith when we ask Him to come into our hearts and lives, and then it continues on…each step of the way as we ‘allow’ Him to shape and mold our hearts and thoughts through His Word, and the Holy Spirit working in us.

 

All to Jesus I surrender;

All to Him I freely give;

I will ever love and trust Him,

In His Presence daily live.

 

I Surrender All,

I Surrender All;

All to Thee, my Blessed Savior,

I Surrender All.

 

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The Wrong Donations – Some Tough Words on Disaster Relief — My Best Laid Plans

Featured Blogger:  This is a blog from Angelia. https://angeliagriffin.wordpress.com/2017/08/31/the-wrong-donations-some-tough-words-on-disaster-relief/  I did not write this. Please read, some good information here! Very important if you are considering donating or helping the victims of hurricane Harvey.

 

I need to make a statement. I want to say it as kindly and gently as possible, but this message really needs to get out there. It’s important. Please hear me with as much grace as you can, because I mean it with all love and gentleness. My children and I spent hours yesterday sorting […]

via The Wrong Donations – Some Tough Words on Disaster Relief — My Best Laid Plans