Making a Difference…bit by bit


Do you ever go through your day and wonder if you are making a difference to someone, anyone or anything?  I’ve often wondered that because I’m not a big time minister yet even though I’ve been told I’d reach quite a few people…even though I’m an introvert.  Yet I know if God has plans to use me this way, then I’ll let Him work through me.

Even though I know God will use me, I had an interesting discovery this week and realized I am making a difference in someone’s life especially after writing a crazy paper about the horrors of what other people do to each other around the world…all I can say is that we need to kinder.

Anyway, we have been sponsoring a child for almost 2 years from India who was 7 at the time.  This started around Christmas as I was shopping for presents for my cat and realized we spend so much on our pets but there are kids who need our help (for animal lovers – its okay to spoil your pets).  Shortly after this thought, I was presented an opportunity to sponsor the girl and finally responded to a call I’ve heard for a long time – to sponsor!

Though money has been tight at times, God has always provided the funds for this monthly contribution.

Yet, over the years, I’ve wondered if we are making a difference or should we pull our sponsorship and find another org?  But then, I think, if I was the girl’s mother, I would want someone to keep helping her even if it’s just a small contribution.

Then, we received a progress report this week and I wept as I realized we are making a difference to at least one person as she wrote that she wanted to be a doctor and she enjoyed the classes that the org provided for her through our donation.

So, make a difference in someone’s life rather it be a sponsorship, helping the elderly neighbor with a chore, or some other small thing that won’t get you applause but will make a difference to just one person.  And, even though people on earth may not notice, God does.  And, remember, its not about just works its also about faith in Jesus.

Questions:

1) So where can you make a difference?

2) Do you often wonder if you are making a difference?  If you do know, well smile and get teary eyed.  And, even if you don’t know you are making a difference, God knows.

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Horses and Gifts


Well, I’m a big fan of the show Heartland, which is about a girl who basically takes troublesome horses and changes their behavior or even the behaviors of their people.  Furthermore, the show is about a ranch where her family takes in people who are just as troublesome and changes their behaviors.  I want to do something similar someday- either with a ranch or coffee shop – and help people walk through the life patches of life with the help of other humans, animals, and above all, God.

Yet, as I help people through life patches, like horses who were made for different tasks, humans have different gifts and talents.  For example, some horses were made to show jump, some were made to pull wagons, and others were meant to race around tracks.  Likewise, for humans, some were meant to be artists, some were meant to build houses, and some were meant to lead a corporation or even a church.

After all, according to 1 Corinthians 12:4-5 (NIV):

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.

I used to work in various analytical and office jobs at different companies; however, when I was let go from my last job three years ago, I decided to re-invent myself and use my gifts and talents in the ways I was meant to use them.  After all, i was bored out of my mind with office work but noticed I was content in ministry type roles.  Just like a racing horse would be bored in a petting zoo but would be thrilled to race around a track.

In conclusion, I was meant to be an artist/craftsperson, write, and reach out to people through ministry; thus, the reason I eventually want to open up a ranch/coffee shop that reaches out to people.   Thus, with these gifts, my purpose is to reach people through creative methods like art or writing while showing them God’s love through His Creation and helping them heal from the wounds of painful experiences.”

Questions:

1) What are your  gifts?

2) What is your purpose?

3) Do you feel like you are fulfilling your purpose in life?

Old and New Seasons


Well, today is the last day of summer and tomorrow we quietly slide into fall.  For a while, I’ve noticed the change in weather even though today, the last day of summer, was a day in the low 80s as I chilled, relaxed and watched fave shows on Netflix while enjoying a nice lasagna soup with cornbread and checking SEA-Bronco Games scores (go ‘Hawks!  Sorry, I do live near Seattle and I have had connections to the Seahawks over the  years!)   Yet even as we celebrate with a ‘Hawks victory and the last day of summer, the season continues to change to autumn.

With the change of seasons, the change in weather is noticeable especially at night with a bit of chill in the air though we have yet to turn on the heaters…probably soon since we wake up to a chill in the apartment.  No fun when taking morning showers!

With the change of seasons, things will get hectic over the next few months with holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving before sliding into winter and its holidays like Christmas (yes, I’m already planning for this holiday but I will enjoy the first two before celebrating Christmas).

With the change of seasons, life has been crazy around here with my class on Prophets, which will end soon and I start up a new one on World Religions.  Wow!  Time goes by quickly when having fun in a great class!

With the change of seasons, life is getting crazier as we prepare for more tests and another procedure with my husband.  Even I am dealing with a few health issues; yet I know God is in control.  And, He has our life and our health in His hands.

Finally, with the change of seasons, I must realize the following according to Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV)  There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

     a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
  a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
 time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace

Questions:

1) With the change of seasons, are there any changes that you are going through?

2) Are you at peace with the changes?  Or do you sense turmoil?  Or something else?

3) Have you taken the turmoil or something else to God in prayer?

One Bold Step at a Time


So, as I sit here, I wonder about my life…have I fulfilled my dreams?  Not all of them and some have yet to be fulfilled.

Have I fulfilled the dreams that matter?  Or the purpose/vision for my life?  I’m on my way to fulfilling that dream of going into ministry.

Will I be able to fulfill that vision?  After all, I’m not a perfect Christian (God loves imperfect people), I feel too old to go into a ministry (yet God used a lot of “old” people in the Bible) and I don’t even know where to go to get started in a ministry.

Above all, I am an introvert – that’s right!  Writing in the background of my home office is find; however, if you get me in front of a crowd of people, I freeze up!  Though at one time in my life, I was at an out of town church and urged to get up and speak – I amazed myself as I began speaking to a crowd of people – most strangers!  And, I’ve been told I need to be as bold as a lion so I’m working on that part of me and with God’s help and strength, I can do it…after all, guys like Moses has a speech problem and he ended up going before a Pharaoh and leading a gazillion people out of Egypt – so I guess I can speak up!

Even figuring out how to get credentials will be a long process and I face the challenge of being a divorcee…yet I know God can still use me even if it takes a while to get my credentials.

Questions:

1) So what dreams do you have that need to be fulfilled?

2) What’s holding you back?  Is it minor stuff like being bashful or thinking you’re not the right age?

Well, my friends, in conclusion, I encourage you to fulfill the dreams that matter to you the most and let God handle the “small” or “big” stuff…and take small steps towards that dream like I’ve started doing by volunteering once a week at my church.  It may be simple projects; however, its giving me the experience of working in a church/ministry while working towards fulfilling the purpose of going into ministry…a calling that I heard when I was a kid and my dad was a ministry, nearly 30 years ago as I stood on the steps of another church and swept its steps or preaching in front of a crowd of strangers…

The Clydesdale and Prayers


Have you ever wanted something so bad that you would do anything for it?  You prayed and you ran scenarios through your head as to how you would handle this thing you wanted really bad?

This happened to me a couple weeks ago at a county fair where I went to see one of my favorite animals – horses!  There was a raffle ticket for a horse – a Clydesdale mare, of all horses – but I was determined to win her as I purchased several tickets.  After all, for as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted a horse.

I spent that night dreaming of ways to care for the horse – though I don’t think the apartment management company would welcome a horse as a pet – especially one as big as a Clydesdale.  I begged my in-laws, since they have a field, and even called my parents who have a neighbor with a field

I was full of hope until the night of the drawing came and went – with no calls!  I wanted to rant at God for not answering my prayers then remembered there are times when He will say no especially for something like a horse that I would not have been able to take care of.  So the reasons for God’s no on this prayer request were understood.

After all, James 4:3 (NIV) says:  When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 

Maybe I would have used this horse for my own pleasures and not for God’s purpose?

Yet some prayers will be heard and taken care of yet sometimes God needs to say no to us.  We may not always understand like me wanting my son back in my life…yet I know God has a purpose for that and some day he will be restored to me.  Yet, other prayers like my husband’s complete healing are not so easily understand as I watch him fight the complications of T1 diabetes and yet he is faithful to God as he encourages those around him.

Yet, in conclusion, as I look back, there have been times that He has answered with a yes;   After all, Matthew 21:22 (NIV) says:  If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”  The yes answers have been about glorifying Him and serving His purpose like the prayers of giving me the right words for this blog or even allowing recent doctor tests to come back that said “no cancer” so I can continue to use my degree to serve Him.

Questions:

1)  Is there times that God has said no to your prayers?  If so, if you looked back, do you think there was a reason?  I know some “nos” maybe painful like not healing someone like my husband…and I don’t have an answer to these nos.

2)  Can you look back and see where He has answered with a yes?  If so, do you show you are grateful even if the answer was no?

Lost and Found


Well,  how was your week?  Have you been creative or reflective in your walk with Jesus?  Or even made an important decision to accept Him into your life?  Or do you feel lost rather you have accepted Him or not?

Throughout the book of Luke in Chapter 15 there are a few parables about sheep, coins, and even a son who were lost and so these parables reminded me of my own lost story this past week.  You see, I have been losing weight to fight a health issue and so my wedding ring has been getting loose.

Earlier this week, I ran a bunch of errands and noticed it was quite loose but I kept it on.  A few hours later, I noticed it was missing and went in an almost panicked mode…worst scenario – it was flushed down the toilet!  Or lost under the tires of a car in a store’s parking lot!  I even dug through the garbage, garbage disposal, hamburger, fish and so on (I’d split up the meat and produce picked up at the store)…but alas no ring!  We were both devastated and I moaned the loss of such a connection with my husband.

Then, a little voice kept whispering check the bags…check the bags…so I checked the baggie storage and then I checked on bag that had been shoved in an obsolete spot.  My heart leaped with joy as a small shiny object popped out and fell to the floor…rolling under a few more bags that had fallen!  Praise the Lord..after doing some more digging…I found my ring.

Quickly I tucked it away until I can find a nice chain to wear around my neck until the ring can be resized…

Lesson learned was that I need to tuck something precious away especially your ring if you notice it in a hazardous situation (yes I got the lecture from my hubby).

Above all, I felt like the woman did in Luke 15:8-10 whens he found one of her ten coins that signifies she has been faithful in her marriage.  She rejoiced just as Jesus rejoices when even just one sinner repents.  Or the Father who rejoices when His son returns home in Luke 15:11-32.

Questions:

1) Do you feel lost?

2) If so, where are you at in your walk with Jesus?

3) Have you said the sinners prayer?  Or even returned to Him after a long time away from Him?

4) How do you take care of your relationship with Jesus?  Are there warning signs that you are drifting away on the way to becoming lost?

5) Did you know that even if you have drifted away, God still loves you?

Wherever you are at, I’m praying for you and will rejoice with you once you are found and return to Him…

Creativity, Creation and Holy Spirit Sensitivity


During one of my classes, I took one of those spiritual gift tests (which are the gifts God gives you to fulfill your purpose in life and even if you are not a born again Christian, these gifts can be in your talents i.e. carpenter, financial advisor, technical wiz, etc.).  During the course of this test, it was determined that my gifts include artisan/craftsmanship, writer, and even music…and thought, I can understand the first two; however, music is one that still puzzles me.

After all, I do love music and have been in choirs over the year; however, I cannot read music; however, I just love to tune into music especially worship music sing with my heart to my Lord and Savior.  I tend to be more sensitive when it comes to the Holy Spirit during moments of worship, either at church, in my car, or even in my home.  Though I learned a long time ago to never drive and listen to a song that really puts you in tune to the Holy Spirit ‘cuz one tends to start crying their eyes out.

Like the music that allows me to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, so does being creative…I love sitting in a natural spot like my grandparents’ old farm, Mount St Helens, a forest, or even a lakeside beach as the sun either rises into the sky or slowly sinks into the horizon.  Then I contemplate what the scenery would like if I took the picture, drew something, or even journaled about the view.

During this contemplation, my thoughts eventually turn to God and seeking His voice as I try and determine what He wants from me or simply to communicate with Him without all of the distractions.  Sometimes I have created poetry or sometimes I just write out the words God is saying to me.  After all,  He does want our attention and we are too busy to give Him our undivided attention.

In the end, I feel refreshed and look forward to the next chat…something I haven’t done in a while until recently when I was at a church campout…I went on a walk, met quite a large beetle, and soaked up His presence.  I didn’t have pen or paper to write but I did take pictures including the beetle, who was determined to cross the path even with obstacles in his way.

Questions:

  1. How do you seek out God and become sensitive to His spirit?  What tools do you use to write or capture the thoughts He gives You?  Even if you do not have a artistic or writing gift, are there other tools you can use?
  2. What obstacles are in your way to fulfill your purpose or the path God wants for you?  Are you determined to fulfill them or is something holding you back?
  3. What is your favorite spot to contemplate God, life, or even your future?

Creative Journey


I’m back…hopefully I can keep blogging but life is a bit hectic right now…We’re now settled into our new home with a few hiccups along the way like a few health things and a battle with fleas…plus I got to go camping with a group of people from church…now that was an adventure!  Not far from a wildfire plus we dealt with several thunderstorms including a downpour in the middle of the night.  Now I know why people camp with a tarp over their tents here in the Pacific Northwest.  Even with the rain, it was a great trip and wish to do it again.

I started back to school and I’m currently in a class about the Old Testament Prophets…a learning experience and I hope to learn more about prophecy and the great people who wrote these amazing prophets, which may seem gloomy but were meant to bring hope to people.

Next, along with caring for my husband and school, I’ve started volunteering  a couple hours a week at my church as a way of getting experience working in a church while staying busy; otherwise, I was going stir crazy being home all the time.  Then had a great day at the fair earlier this week where I had hoped to win a horse…but alas…it was not to be.  Oh well, someday I hope to own one…

Well, I do want to keep this blog going…God keeps reminding me that I need to keep writing so I’ll try to get back in the groove of it but going another direction.  I want to take it on a new journey where I focus on being creative to help people through a journey to becoming whole while using their creative skills to help them along that journey.  Even if you don’t think you’re creative, this journey may help you along the right path and understand you and God while helping you heal anything that feels out of joint from within, outwardly, and even upwardly.

So stay tuned…

Question:

So, what is your creative side?  Do you like to write, paint, take pictures, or even day dream as you contemplate life or even the clouds in the sky?  Whatever your creative side is, use that to think about where you want to go in life…what does feel out of sorts?