A Journey of Faith

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Drawing a journey

Drawing a Journey.... Anonymous

If I could draw her journey, it would not be a straight path. It would be a meandering adventure. For she has traveled thru dark, ominous forests, and beautiful meadows. She has climbed the high peaks of majestic mountains, and fallen to the bottoms of the valleys . She has stood beside the vast ocean as waves of doubt, exhileration, fear, and accomplishment washed over her whole being. Her journey has taken her from a place where there was little joy or hope, and it is ever growing closer to that wonderful place. What wonderful place? That glorious mansion that is even now being built by the loving hands of her Maker. Just for her. Along the journey there have been many voices that have called out to her. Some have been mocking, taunting, bruising. Others have been encouraging, uplifting, loving. It has been hard for her, at times, to push aside those that tear down, and listen to those that build up. But even in those despair filled valleys, even in those dark forests, those dear voices are still there, faint and far away, but there. They are telling her... 'GOD loves you! JESUS died for you! The HOLY SPIRIT wants to carry you thru these storms! Rejoice!' And she hears, and her heart is healed. If I could draw her spirit, it would be a jumble of color. There would be the brightness of joy... for those times when her soul was singing, and she wanted to shout from the rooftops "HE loves you like this too!!!". There would be the somber grayness of grief and regret when loss threatened to overcome her being and pull her away from the only One who could heal her. There would be the calm hues of peace, that though in the dark times it seemed so far away and unreachable, was there in the times that she just rested in her LORD, knowing that HE was and is the truth and the life, her life. And there would be the stormy darkness of fear and depression that has a heavy weight of its own. A weight that would have crushed her had her GOD not had her sheltered under HIS mighty, loving hand. A weight that made her want to cut the journey short, go straight to HIM. But HE said no. It wasn't time.  And so she obeyed. And thru it all, HE was there, calling her name. Often she didn't know what HE was saying, what HE was calling her to... so she waited. She did her best to live her life the way HE would want her to. But there was something more. Something she couldn't name, that HE wanted her to do. So she waited. And in the meantime, she told her children HIS story. Of how HE loves them with a love so big, and so pure, and so true, that they could never imagine it. Of how HE came to live for them... and die for them. Of how even though the people who love them will make mistakes, will disappoint them, will maybe even hurt them, HE never will. And her children knew HIM. And her heart was glad. Throughout her journey she often felt alone. But HE has always been there, walking before- and with her. When she was singing and rejoicing... HE was there singing and rejoicing too. When she was confused and unsure, HE was pointing the way thru HIS word. When she was wounded and in pain... HE gently put her finger in the wounds in HIS hands and side. And when she was on her knees begging for relief and release... HE was on HIS knees too, in a garden, hearing HIS Father and Maker saying 'no'. And some beautiful day HE will take her hand, and together they will walk thru the gates at the end of her journey. Until then, they walk on.  If I could draw her heart... HE would be there, imprinted in love.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Another trip out of my 'zone'

Only four days until Sunday. I am filling in for Pastor, doing the service on my own this time. The worship leader will do a lot of the reading (prayers and such), but I am doing the sermon and the children's sermon and that kind of stuff. I am surprised to find that I am nervous, but not panicky. I am not feeling freaked out, just nervous and a little excited. I was going to have a friend help, do the joys and concerns and the benediction, but I decided to see if I could do it. Well, I know I can do it, GOD will give me the courage to do it. I really want to see if it is something that feels right. (Does that make sense?) I don't know that the sermon is anything spectacular, but it is from my heart. I don't know that anyone's life will be changed, or if anyone's heart will be moved. But I will give it my best, and serve my GOD with joy!

So.... keep me in prayer! For strength, calm, courage, and a clear mind. And that I will listen to the HOLY SPIRIT!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

GOD did it again :)

 HE did it again!!! I put little tiny bits of nothing in the ground, and GOD made them grow!
<-- look!! carrots!!! (ok, they are really small still, but they are there!!)

This wind chime makes beautiful music.

I had to tie the peas back because they were going crazy and threatening to attack anyone who walked down the row :)

The lettuce is growing, I should have planted more!

I am going to have plenty of onions this winter. I planted three different kinds.

I am still amazed at the miracle of planting those little tiny flecks of promise. Every year GOD follows thru, and good things begin appearing. Despite my decidedly brown thumb, every year food comes from those seeds. Go figure!!!
Thank you GOD!!!!!

hymns and prayers

Today Pastor did the sermon about singing, singing in church specifically, but I of course have been pondering on this since. I have posted before that I love music. I love listening to it, I love singing it, and more recently I have learned to love playing it on the piano. When I am in a song... in whatever way I am enjoying it, it fills me and moves me and takes me places I can't go on my own. Sometimes, when my soul is aching, and I need to get closer to my GOD, music is what gets me there. When I want to tell HIM something, and can't find the words, often it's a song that says it for me. When I am singing a song (because,even when I am listening to or playing a song, I am singing), it is a connection between me and my Heavenly Father that isn't possible in any other way. Pastor talked about a (for lack of better word) disagreement that happened in our church a few weeks back, some people wanted to cut the last hymn short, and others of us didn't. I understand that some people want to finish on time, they have things they have planned or whatever. But cutting short a hymn is like cutting short a prayer. Would we say to GOD "sorry, don't have time to say all I had planned to you today, I have to get home to see the game" Of course not. So why cut short hymns, which for many are a prayer?
One thing I have trouble with is looking up when I am singing. Pastor pointed out that we should look up, smile, have fun... and I agree. But, sometimes for me, when I am in the 'zone' (sounds tacky, but couldn't think of how else to word it!) I don't want to see everyone out in the congregation. I just want to sing from my heart to GOD's and not be distracted by the fact that people are possibly looking at me. Silly I know, but it's one more thing to work on :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Pocket Rocks

I started something recently. I began collecting rocks and writing Bible verses on them (well, mostly Bible verses... I have one that says 'Let go and Let GOD' and one that is heart shaped that has my husbands initials and mine, and says tla (true love always)). Every day I think about what has been on my heart, or what I have been struggling with, and find a rock (or two or three or more!) that will help me with that particular struggle, and I carry those rocks in my pocket. I'm finding that it really helps to have GOD's word in my pocket, ready to reassure me and remind me that whatever the situation, GOD has words of comfort and power for me to claim.

Last night I led the midweek service at church for the first time. I was nervous, and chose about a dozen rocks (too many by the way, they were weighing down my pants!). I chose ones like "Do not be anxious about anything" (Phil. 4:6a) and "GOD did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and love and of self discipline". Also... Matthew 19:26 (With GOD all things are possible"), Isaiah 41:13 (For I am the LORD your GOD who takes hold of your right hand and says to you 'do not fear, I will help you'), and Gen. 18:14 (Is anything too hard for GOD?). It was very comforting to have HIS word right there where I could read them and feel HIS comfort. When it was time to do the service, it was much easier than I thought it would be. Pastor's husband had to remind me once to speak up, but other than that I think it went well! I really concentrated on speaking clearly (I tend to speak very quickly when I am nervous) and being loud enough for everyone to hear. I think it was good that I had the chance to do it, I am doing the Sunday service the beginning of July, and I think it will be a little easier now that I have had a little practice. And I was surprised to realize that I kind of enjoyed it :).