The Son Always Shines in Storms


While writing this blog, I was sitting at one of my favorite parks, which consist of a small lake and a few picnic tables.  Actually, it’s a spot for launching boats; however, I enjoy sitting at this spot while writing, reading, or artwork.  The park is quaint – kind of hard to find – but, once it’s found, its nestled in a forest with tree covered mountains on the opposite shore.  Yet, the atmosphere is relaxing and the air smells so clean out there as people come to fish, boat, or even just picnic.

 

This park is similar to others in my new location…for example, one park appears to be a partially dried up lake but its landscape is breathtaking.  Yet, it waters sparkle in the sunlight, eagles and hawks soar high above its waves, and it stretches from my new town to another town about fifteen miles away.

 

Then there is the breathtaking commute for my job…yes, God has provided a new job and more details are coming…of Mount Rainier, which is about a twenty-minute drive from my new job in a tiny lakeside community…the job even has a peekaboo view of the mountain.

 

So, this is my new home…recently I’ve started a new bible study about rising as a lioness…the book describes being in God’s creation to understand Him and his nature.  Thus I believe I am in the right place, however, before I arrived at this place, it took going through quite a few storms.  Like the death of my husband and facing the possibility of losing my home…yet doors have been opened such as finding a church, new home, and now a job plus another door may be opening soon…one I thought had been closed a long time ago.

 

While writing, storms clouds hovered over the mountains and lake…the occasional downpour would be released from these clouds but it was refreshingly cool and warm at the same time.  Yet, this came after a message at church based on Matthew 14:22-36 about Jesus calming the storm and how Jesus tells his disciples to be courageous and not fear even in the midst of the storms.

 

Thus I was reminded of an old quote I have cherished over the years…even in the midst of storms, the Son is still shining…as the storm started to clear up before I left the still amazingly beautiful park to head for my church’s evening service.

 

So what storms are you facing?  Whatever they are, I’m praying for you and just remember, as quoted in the message, God is growing you and, as I learned since losing my husband, focus on Him as the anchor throughout the storm.

 

 

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?

One Year Later…Many Changes


Well, it’s hard to believe that in just a couple hours the first day of a New Year will be ending…

Yet, even as this day winds down, this is a time to reflect and think about the past year – the ups and downs – and how you can improve yourself in the coming years as you reflect on changes.

There have been plenty of changes since this time last year…we were living in a big house in the area where we were most comfortable living.  Soon, we realized, that we had to move since we were living on one income and could no longer afford such a big home.  So we moved to a small apartment in the middle of a middle sized city.

Yet, we felt the urge to move even further away from home – after all, God does not want us to be too comfortable.  We had previously thought of Montana – but too cold (for hubby) and too far from home.  Then we wondered about Nevada yet it was too hot (for me) and even further from  home.  After prayer and urging from family, we decided to stay in Washington and so as you know, we moved to the Spokane area.  Still close to home, somewhat cold – especially now as I hope for a ton of snow – and not as hot as Nevada.

Furthermore, I was drifting – wondering what I should do with my life besides going to school, so after taking one class, I began to blog.  I love to write!  So this blogging allows me to write while staying focused on schoolwork.

Now, I have changed schools…yet even now, as I work on homework for the class that starts on Monday, my idea of who I am is changing as I did a study of my gifts.  Use to be administration, mercy, serve, and even creative writing.  Now it is an artisan (I love art and other artsy type people and their crafts), writing, music, prophecy and a missionary.  These last two are a surprise yet they are not since I love other cultures and I often see or hear things before they are spoken or occur – go ahead and call me weird on this!

In conclusion, now I must try and understand where and how God wants me to use these gifts especially since we are called to use our gifts for His purpose within a body of believers (1 Cor 12:1-11).  like more blogging – though I often try to find time to blog and want to quit at times – I feel called to continue blogging and thus I will continue.

Yet, even with the realization of these gifts, it will mean more changes as I reflect on my life and how I can improve my life for the better in order to seek God and build my relationship with Him, in order to love other people more, while desiring to serve Him, my husband, and others within the community.  After all, who knows what will have changed between now and this time next year…

So, what changes have happened in your life in this last year?  What changes do you want to see in the coming year?

Creative and Renewed Vision with the Heart of a Warrior


Well, as the end of one year approaches and another is about to start, I have been reflecting on my life especially as I spent the last few days going through photos and reading a book about Chazown, or God’s Vision for Your Life, for my next class.  This book is about taking your life’s experiences, gifts, and even values to determine your chosen path in life.

That is one thing that I struggle with as I ask – am I on the right path with my master degree?  In just 18 months, I will hopefully be graduating and hope to be in a ministry or even starting my own.  Though I feel God is calling me to be involved before He puts me into my own ministry…so involved I will be.

Yet, in the meantime, a few interesting things have happened in the last few days that have given me a sense of what I am called to do…almost like a renewed vision for my life.

First, as I examined the pictures, I came across a few cool ones including scenic photography and even my own paintings…I never really had the dream to paint yet as I study my art and even the photographs, I have a continued dream to use my gift of creativity for God’s glory.  Yet I wonder how will I make the time with husband’s care, school, and maybe a job, hopefully soon.  Yet, I must continue to trust God to work His Ways to help me fulfill this desire to use my creative gift of writing, artwork, and even love to create things with Legos.  Therefore, I hope to start a writing project that includes writing a devotional about God’s path in life so stay tuned…and pray that I can accomplish this dream.  Perhaps I even need to make time for my creative side before it goes away…

Second, I often wondered if I would ever fulfill a vision that was spoken over me years ago as I was commissioned as a leader at a local church.  It was about doing great and mighty things for God.  Yet, I’m shy and I don’t know if I can ever speak to a crowd of people to preach or even lead them to the Lord.  Then, yesterday, as I went forward to have my husband prayed for, an acquaintance – who I would to become friends with – prayed over me and she told me that she was given a Word about me.  It was almost similar to the vision as she reminded me to be a warrior and be bold as I would be reaching a great multitude of people!!!  I was like wow and all I could say was – thank you and that was the second time I have heard that message in my life!  Now, it is time to be bold and become that warrior for Christ.

Third, our pastor spoke about boldness and walking with God to fulfill His purpose in our lives.  That we need to wake up from our slumber and speak up in His Name and proclaim the Gospel.  that we need to grow in Christ and develop a lasting relationship with God as we continue to be bold.

Therefore, in conclusion, instead of a New Year’s Resolution, I will take one step at a time in this coming year to hopefully become a warrior in the Name of Jesus, standing up boldly for Him, praying for this nation, and bringing people into His Kingdom.  This includes building/rebuilding relationships with God, family and friends, spending more time with God and focusing on Him as I strive to serve Him more and become more obedient to His will.

What are your steps to becoming a better you in the coming year?  Is there a vision that you have put on hold or forgotten?  Is there something standing in your way?

Knocked on my Noggin to get Focused


Well, we have approximately 7 weeks before we make the move and it is coming up quick. Today was spent organizing some stuff we have stored at my in-law’s garage, where during this process I managed to bang my head on a ladder. Ouch! That hurt but I’ll live.

After bumping my head, I realized we need to slow down a bit even in the midst of this rush to get things ready, we still need to remember what the mission is all about. Recently, I wrote the following for the vision that has been cast on our hearts.

Introductory

My name is Ann Cole. We – my husband Dene and I – share the vision of opening up a community-style coffee shop called Vision 63. We are being called to open this place because we want to make a change in society by reaching out to the lost and those who are considered misfits in this world. These people are hurting, lonely, and they are searching for a safe place to know and be known and to find Jesus.

 When did this vision start?

For me, this dream started when I was a kid watching my dad preach at a local church. My heart and soul has always been to minister to the lost within the community. After all, I was the kid who made friends with the least popular kids, was somewhat respected by the popular kids and enjoyed nurturing animals. Therefore, it was no surprise when I spent a weekend in a neighborhood that was known for its daily shootings during a mission trip in the mid 90s.

This trip would include cleaning up a community center house, evangelizing, and interacting with the kids. I even spoke at a local church and was given the nickname of evangelist as the dream for a community center began to take hold.

The journey towards fulfilling this calling started about seven years ago. During that time, God took me on an interesting journey when I visited the church that sponsored that ministry. As I stood in the lobby, I was reminded of my calling to minister to people within a community. Even more amazing was this church “grandfathered” the church where I was commissioned as a leader, called an evangelist once again while developing the faith to start my educational journey towards ministry.

Currently, I am pursuing a Master in Pastoral Care as it prepares me to reach out to those who are hurting in both the church and the community. I have also been involved with volunteer, and ministry opportunities for different organizations.

Finally, I am highly skilled in technology, administration, supervision, accounting, and analyzing data that will be valuable in setting up a community style coffee shop that will have the following services and programs:

• Coffee and Fellowship for people who may not go to church or anyone else who wants to be involved with the ministry

• Community-style classes such as art, writing, computer, Bible, skill training, etc.

• Meeting the needs of the community through giving of resources such as providing food, training, clothing, and possibly shelter

We are learning that Nevada is one of the least religious states in this country. They need people like my husband and I to reach out to them.

Therefore, with this in mind, what is our next step? Well, stay tuned as we fill in more information with our statements, how we plan to fill in this gap, and more stories behind the mission.

So, what is your vision or purpose for life? Are you rushing to get it done but not looking at the picture of what needs to be done? Maybe slowing down and remember that God is in control of the vision and He will help you get what needs to be done finished.

ANNOUNCEMENT COMING UP – My husband will be releasing his own blog called PrayingMan63 so stay tuned for its launch.