Sunday, January 16, 2011

January 16, 2011

Charles Stanley is so in my head right now! Thursday, I completed my book. Friday, I submitted it. Today, Sunday, I turn on Charles Stanley while getting ready for church and what is he talking about folks? His introduction is: Everyday you have time to pray. Every day you have time to read the Bible. Every day you have time to spend with God. Every day you have time to have your own personal worship service. Serious? That’s my entire book. As I continue to listen to his message, he hits about eight out of the ten points I make.

So what exactly does that mean? Confirmation, y’all! Doubt loves to come in and make a happy home right next to faith. It’s kind of like that Mucinex commercial. The slimy uninvited guest moves right in and makes us feel all terrible inside. But then faith, hope and love conquer like the medicine in the commercial and wipes it all out clean! Amen people, amen!

Now, I didn’t go around all day filled with doubt about the need for my book, but it did sneak in every now and then. But now, listening to my brother’s message I am so much more encouraged and inspired! Whether I win the contest or not, the job remains the same: reaching a hurting world with a practical application and guide with God’s purpose for their lives individually.

I love how the Holy Spirit goes around to his children and whispers words of wisdom. We find ourselves looking at each other thinking, “I was just going to say that!”

Plugging ahead.

Friday, January 14, 2011

January 14, 2011

I’m shaking. I’m really shaking. I usually don’t get all shaky and nauseous – for anything. Oh wait, yes, when I gave my testimony. Yikes! Was a shaky then. And man, I’m so nervous now!

I just submitted my entry in the Women of Faith writing contest. I found myself staring at my email inbox waiting for a reply to shout something like, ‘Wow! That was the best submission I ever read!’ I feel like the little boy in A Christmas Story, you know, the scene when he gives his teacher the essay he worked so hard on but it really wasn’t that great. In his mind he drifts to imagining his teacher and classmates singing his praises… and then reality sets in and he’s standing there with that stupid grin. Oh that is so me right now!!! Ok, it’s alright. I can wait until March to get a reply. Right?

The last blog I wrote I sounded like a spoiled little girl who was mad because someone else got a pink pony for her birthday. Trust, that didn’t last too long. God snapped his fingers and said, ‘Get with it!’ And so I did. The reality is I find my purpose in life in writing this book. Oh so many moments where my heart was so full ideas, thoughts, words, Scripture – I had to write or else I would burst! And so I did. What a great feeling to work on something I am so passionate about. That fire in my belly just got a little bigger. I wonder what God will do with the pages. Hopefully touch the lives of so many people that are in search for something; and they will realize they are in search for God.

During my devotional today, I landed on the Beatitudes. Strange how that happened. But anyway, I realized the blessings Jesus talks about are the result of our authentic actions of being poor in spirit, mourning, meek and humbled, mercy and grace, pure in heart, sprinkling peace in every thought and deed. It’s through these life circumstances that we are blessed because we can experience God. Man, God is deep! Preach it Jesus!

I’m much calmer now. Time to clean my house. Thanks for listening.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

the real August 28th post

I am so angry. I’m so angry that I’m shaking. Why did I wait so long? Is this God telling me, “I told you that you should have finished this already.”? UGH! What does this mean for my purpose? I just left beautiful Martha’s Vineyard. I have returned calm, with a slight smile on my face. Going through the mail can make your world come crashing down in 3 minutes. I was flipping through the mail because I saw the corner of the YMCA catalog sticking out. I thought, “Oh good! I can schedule myself to take care of all those puffy areas I’ve been looking at all summer.” And the envelop that made all this optimism switch gears – the Ministry Training Network. I took one course a while back. It was on preaching. The teachers said I had a gift. It was a class that sent me further down the road of pouring out my purpose.

See, in a day and a half, I inhaled a 260 page book all about writing from your heart. This was the inspiration that only could have come at this time, found on the bookshelf of this Inn, with the only title that could possibly grab my attention. But now, I find in the MTN catalog of courses where I once found validation, I find the very course that is the vehicle for my purpose. Already written, ready to be taught to the imaginary people that I envisioned enlightening, by a Reverend Doctor no less! January through March. So then this cute voice from inside chimes in, “Take it.” And then the hunger of envy takes over screaming, “Are you kidding?”, with a definite NO! Inside I growl, I waited too long. I can only be mad at myself!

After penciling my thoughts frantically in a notebook, I start feeling a bit different. Actually a bit better. So now I settle down and think, “Why this interruption?” Maybe the reason is to spur me into doing just this – writing. This is the authenticity of documenting my purpose in life. Sharing it’s moments with people because my prayer has always been Psalm 25:4. And so even with this I pray the Psalm. Maybe this is a confirmation that it can be done because someone is already doing it. There must be a bigger market of hungry souls wanting this teaching. Maybe I should take the course. Get in the boat and take a ride on the very vehicle I thought was a hidden creation. I’m learning that it’s okay to not be the only or the first. So that’s the lesson in this (the word said with contempt still) course. Yeah, I’m still a bit jealous. Yes, people, I follow Jesus and have a negative human emotion of jealousy. Nicole is breaking one of the 10 Commandments right now. So here’s an opportunity to share a truth: Forgiveness is easily given. The hard part is learning how not to become a repeat offender. Like everything, it’s a process. So in continuing on my purpose journey, I will learn how this discovery, at only this moment in time, given all that has taken place in my heart the past 72 hours, will be a piece in my puzzle. The last minute get away which led to the happenstance discovery of a “wow, this author is in my head” kind of book, which led to the fanning of a rekindled flame, which led to taking in air a bit deeper and more magical with a constant slight smile, which led to – the course in the MTN catalog.

The frown and shaky anger is gone, replaced with – I wonder.

Back to my YMCA exercise schedule half open under the notebook I just beat up with a pencil.

Thanks for listening,

August 28th, midnight

The problem started as – Oh my goodness, I have so much to write! Where do I begin? Then it became – This is too hard for me. I can’t begin. Which evolved to – Oh yeah, I was writing a blog wasn’t I? So much time has passed. Maybe I should just give up. But then the nagging need to fulfill my purpose (which is unfolding and taking on a new form frequently) would not let me stop. There is something to give. The pain of not giving it is greater than the pain of having to sit down and write it. So here I am now, contemplating, opening up, thinking, praying, feeling a bit naked. No turning back? No turning back. It’ll take a while. Longer than I have patience with myself. What am I writing about? Commitment. Discipline. Purpose. Vision. Finding God, for real. Forgiveness. Love, the real kind. Pouring out what’s inside. And really letting God move into your heart and create the most beautiful masterpiece He has ever created. YOU!

With knuckles cracked, sleeves rolled up, and Bible and prayer my ritual…here I go.

I can’t stop realizing that all people – no matter who you are and what you believe, you are in search of something outside yourself to make you find purpose in Life. People are desperate for something that makes sense, and helps them make sense of senseless things. People are searching for something to belong to, which doesn’t hurt anyone else, and at the same time makes them feel something. People want to feel something other than what they are feeling – even if it’s just for a moment. If what they find does the trick, even for a moment. But then the question: Is this really what I desire?

I will make no apologies and no excuses for what will be written. I believe in Jesus. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. What does that mean, Nicole? It means...Love will be the language that will be written. I’m sure you’ll be able to understand it, if you listen.

Enjoy and I beg for patience,

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March 31

Oh my journal, how I have neglected you! It’s not that I have forgotten about you. No! I have thought of you often. It’s just that sometimes I find it difficult to write in you. Sometimes there is too much to write. Sometimes my thoughts are overwhelmed. Sometimes I simply don’t have enough time. I long to color you with all my life has experienced in the past month or so.

God is so amazing! How can I tell of all His wonders?

One of my Bibles, The Living Bible translation, spent some time with one of my friends and I got it back the other day. I read through the entire Bible using this one. In it are so many highlights of verses that really spoke to my heart. These Scriptures just have to be shared. Here are some:

Psalms 51: 7-15, “Sprinkle me with the cleansing blood and I shall be clean again. Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. And after you have punished me, give me back my joy again. Don’t keep looking at my sins – erase them from your sight. Create in me a new, clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires. Don’t toss me aside, banished forever from your presence. Don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me again the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. Then I will teach your ways to other sinners, and they – guilty like me – will repent and return to you. Don’t sentence me to death. O my God, you alone can rescue me. Then I will sing of your forgiveness, for my lips will be unsealed – oh, how I will praise you.”

Psalms 66: 16 – 20, “Come and hear, all of you who reverence the Lord, and I will tell you what he did for me: For I cried to him for help, with praises ready on my tongue. He would not have listened if I had not confessed my sins. But he listened! He heard my prayer! He paid attention to it! Blessed be God who didn’t turn away when I was praying, and didn’t refuse me his kindness and love”.

Psalms 116: 1-2, “I love the Lord because he hears my prayers and answers them. Because he bends down and listens, I will pray as long as I breathe!”

Psalms 92: 1-4, “It is good to say, ‘Thank you’ to the Lord, to sing praises to the God who is above all gods. Every morning tell him, ‘Thank you for your kindness,’ and every evening rejoice in all his faithfulness. Sing his praises, accompanied by music from the harp and lute and lyre. You have done so much for me, o Lord. No wonder I am glad! I sing for joy”.

Today, this day, is yours my God. Be glorified in all I say and do. Help me by the power of the Holy Spirit to love YOU with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. Thank you my King, Brother, Savior and Lord for being the Gate in which I can enter in the Presence of God.
Your Servant.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

February 23

God's comfort was completely evident today through my friend. Yesterday she deeply mourned her brother. She clearly experienced that great pain of sorrow. Today he was buried. Today, she stood with the strength of the Almighty. If there was ever a doubt in the minds of those attending the services, that God is real and relevant to our lives, they should doubt no longer. She stood in front of her friends and family and told them (without a tear in her eye) of God's grace and mercy and comfort and love. What an amazing witness! It's moments like this that encourage all believers! This I will cherish!

I will not post a blog until next Monday, MARCH 1ST! Can you believe it will be March already?! Yes, spring is in the air.

I will continue to read in 1 Samuel and Romans.

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generation, forever and ever. Amen." Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV)

Friday, February 19, 2010

February 19

What a difference a nice quiet house makes. My son is sleeping a little late this morning, and I am able to concentrate in prayer and reading the Bible. Yesterday was not so productive. As I was trying to pray, all I could hear was video games and boy noises. Most of the time things like that don’t distract me, yesterday was not one of those times. I think the reason is because I am just starting the fast and focusing more in prayer. Spiritual growth is funny like that. When we are determined to give more energy and focus to our relationship with the Lord, it seems like more things get in the way. This is especially true when fasting. All of the sudden you are hungry when normally you would not be thinking about eating. When you are praying, all these extra thoughts surface causing you to think about something totally different than what you want to pray about. The answer? Perseverance. Pushing through, because God is so much more necessary and important than anything else. You just have to have Him more in your life.

This morning’s devotional went something like this:
“Show me your ways, O Lord. Teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior and my hope is in you all day long”. Psalm 25:4. I never get tired of my favorite verse. I could say it in prayer a thousand times and it will still give special meaning.

Show. Teach. Guide. In your -Ways. Path. Truth. There is a dependence of us as students and children of God to be taught and guided through God’s ways, paths and truth. Along with that is a certain independence to do our homework, study and act in obedience.

“For you are God my Savior”. He is our Savior. Not because we deserved it, ONLY because he loves us so much Jesus would rather die than live without us. Our Savior. This alone is why we can worship Him.

“Whenever God gives us His inspiration, suddenly taking the initiative becomes a moral issue – a matter of obedience. Then we must act to be obedient and not continue to lie down doing nothing. If we will arise and shine, drudgery will be divinely transformed”. Oswald Chamber, February 19.

Living life with purpose and meaning is my focus to get me to the next level in life. Taking this inspiration from God and doing something with it – this is my focus and goal. Not meant to be glorious or easy, but good hard work still.

I closed in prayer on behalf of my friends and loved ones who are hurting right now – in so many different ways. I also prayed for my daughter’s future.

There is a blessing waiting for you today. Seek after God to find it. It’ll be just what you need.