Love goes with you…


amen and ehmen!

A snapshot of Ross and I when I first met him in person. He loved God, his friends and his bikes. When this was taken in the summer of 2009, he had not been able to ride for quite some time. Our prayer during that time that God would shower him in both peace and comfort as he continued his battle with cancer and that pray that he regain enough strength to ride his bikes again. God answered those prayers and Ross took a little excursion on this very Chopper a few months later....God is good!
A snapshot of Ross and I when I first met him in person. He loved God, his friends and his bikes. When this was taken in the summer of 2009, he had not been able to ride for quite some time. Our prayer during that time was that God would shower him in both peace and comfort as he continued his battle with cancer and that he would regain enough strength to ride his bikes again. God answered those prayers and Ross took a little excursion on this very Chopper just a few months before he passed….God is good!

Writer’s Note: Besides Denny and Neil, Ross was one of the first across-the-border friendships I forged. We talked back and forth online and on the phone for quite some time as he battled cancer and it was so special to finally get to meet him in the summer of 2009. What is below…

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It’s His job!


Writer’s Note: Some of you who know me, know that I have some pretty major challenges and important decisions facing me regarding my employment. It has been a most dear goddifficult couple of weeks, through which I have had a host of prayer warriors praying on my behalf. I, myself, have been talking to God…a lot…and to others even more…so much so that I didn’t leave much room for listening. This morning when He woke me up for some one-on-one quiet time, that changed. My Lord and Savior never, ever fails to amaze me. Below is our exchange from just a few hours ago. 🙂

June 25, 2016 5:30 AM

I am here, God, and I am listening.

Brenda, my child, have I not always been there for you? No matter what has happened in your job, I have worked things to your benefit and I will again.

But, you, child, must keep the faith. You must not look away at the storms around you, lest you sink, swallowed up by the sea of your own disbelief, discontent and weariness.

You can’t do this on your own. You know this and yet you fret and stress as if you can; as if it is your responsibility and within your control.

I have given you the freedom to make choices. With this comes great reward, but also great risk; for when you let that freedom become what drives you and you leave Me out of the equation, it becomes a snare. You begin to walk a very thin line between choice and self-reliance and it is easier for you to take your eyes off of Me. This becomes stressful and that stress pulls you further away from Me and the vicious cycle continues.

Choose Me, child. I am your Helper. Redeemer. Savior. I love you and care for you and want everything that is best for you. I will never leave nor forsake you. I will never ask you to fight battles in your own power, for those battles will never be won. You must choose to keep your eyes on Me. You must choose to take Me with you into every situation.

And that includes your job. I have this, child. You must choose to trust Me. I will give you the right decision; the right things to say and the right timing; if you will just choose to honestly and completely cast your cares on Me. I will give you clarity. You will KNOW what to do. Just rest in Me. Let Me take this from here. Write your stories. Consult with Me and then send the emails and make the calls that I tell you, when I tell you. I have this. 

Go read Exodus 4:12

“Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.” –Exodus, 4:12 

Oh, my sweet, sweet Father. Please accept the tears that are falling at this moment as tears of praise and gratitude for Your great love. It is overwhelming, because I know that I don’t deserve it. I am so ashamed of how many times I focus on my weaknesses instead of the unstoppable power that I have in You. Lord, thank You for continuing to be patient with me. I am so much like Moses who also wrestled with similar struggles. But, I guess you already know that as what You sent me this morning were actually Your words to him when he was having difficulty understanding that You were with him in the mission that You were sending him on; that it was about Your power, not his.

Jesus, thank you. Thank you for never failing me. For being there and giving me such clear answers from Your Word when I seek and listen. I say this every single time, but I have to say it again. I will never get over You planting a scripture address in my mind and heart and me turning to that one verse that speaks the most applicable and perfect words into my situation. That ONE perfect verse out of 31,173 verses. And, in this very case, the NINETEEN most perfect words out of 807,361. I don’t care what anyone says, but that is not, nor will it ever be, a coincidence. That is all YOU! May I never get used to this beautiful gift. May I never forget that You have chosen me. Help me to always choose You. I love you, my dear Father, will all of my heart and soul. I commit this situation to Your capable and powerful hands. My eyes are on You. Please help me to keep them there. Amen and Ehmen.

 

Living Persistently in His Presence = Pathway to Perfecting Purpose


Writer’s Note: It’s been awhile since I spent the first moments of my morning communing with my Maker.  But, no matter how much time passes, He is always willing to meet me; to love me; and to lead me.  He SHOWS up!  Thank God.  Below is this morning’s exchange which started with a blank page and an open heart.

June 20, 2016

Dear God,

I often worry that I am being like King Saul and not being completely obedient to your dear godinstruction? I don’t want to disappoint you and have you pick someone else to fulfill this purpose you have planted deep within me. Please speak to me, for I am listening.

Child, you lack only one thing to completely fulfill My purposes for you and that one thing is trust. Like Peter, this is an area in which you waver and is a direct result of you trying to live in your own power.

I don’t fault you or Peter for this as most of my sons and daughters throughout the bible and history have suffered the same. If this human trait kept people out of heaven, there would be no one here. And, that is not what I want.

What I most desire is that you keep bringing your focus back to Me. Learn to recognize the signs that you are taking back control. Feelings of  worry, confusion, stress, and of being lost are just a few red flags that should make you stop in your tracks. Yes, child, every time you feel yourself trying to take back control, stop and simply whisper My name, out loud or under your breath. I will hear you. Focus on Me. Talk to me. Cry out to Me. And then listen.

I am pleased with you, Child. Know that. You never get too far away before calling out to Me. As long as you keep plugging away, I will continue to bless you in the purpose I have chosen for you. Yes, I would like for you to spend more time with Me. Yes, I would like for you to quit worrying so much about your job and your health. I have you in My care and there is no better place to be. Trust me, dear child. Remember that deer that I showed you recently. He signified that no matter what is going on behind the scenes of your life, you have no reason to fear; for I am in control of it all and you live under the protection of My love, power and will for your life. Nothing, but nothing will be able to take you from Me and from My purpose for you. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Trust me, My child. I am the light behind any shadows that may pervade your life. I show this darkness to you so that you can walk around it and into My Glory light. You are never alone, yet you don’t always see Me here. Read 1 Corinthians 2:15-16. Find it in your Bible. Then look at the study notes in your bible. What does it say, child?

***

1 Corinthians 2:15-16: Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. For, “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

Study note: No one can know what the Lord is thinking, but through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, believers have insight into some of God’s plans, thoughts and actions. They, in fact, have “the mind of Christ.” Through the Holy Spirit, we can begin to know God’s thoughts and prayers. Are you spending enough time with Christ to have his very mind in you? An intimate relationship with Christ comes only from spending time consistently in His presence and in His word.

Oh, dear Lord, how can I thank You for being so patient and loving toward me? The word consistently jumps out at me as I know that this is where I falter. I am inconsistent when it comes to spending time in Your Presence and Your Word. I let worldly worry and worldly life get in my way. I don’t go to sleep soon enough. I don’t wake soon enough. I numb my mind with distractions. I don’t mean to do this, Lord, but it just happens. And, yet, when I do wake up and call Your name, You are there. Patiently and lovingly waiting. You speak to me on this written page. You send me to just the right scripture in Your Living Word. You love me. You lead me. All I have to do is stand close enough to hear You. Lord, I want this more than anything. Help me to stay close to You and live in obedience to Your leading. I can’t wait to see what You have in store for I know in the deepest reaches of my heart that it is what is best and it will be good.

1 Corinthians 2:9 comes to mind.

“That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, ‘No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him.’

*Sigh* Again, twice in just a few moments with You, the perfect Scriptures at the perfect moment. Thank You, Lord, for this morning and this reminder. I love being in Your Presence. There is no place I would rather be. I love You. Bring on this day. I can do anything with You standing right beside me. Amen and Ehmen.

Missing You Moments


Gary and his convertible

 

Today as I was riding down the road, blue skies and puffy clouds overhead, I saw a convertible Mustang. Convertible Mustangs always make me think of you.

As I pulled up beside it at the red light, I could hear that they were listening to country radio. Singer-Songwriter Cole Swindell was singing “You Should Be Here,” a song he wrote about his beloved and dearly departed dad.

“…Ah this is one of those moments that’s got your name written all over it. And you know that if I have just one wish it’d be that you didn’t have to miss this. Aw you should be here,” the radio blared as memories flooded my soul and overflowed onto my cheeks.

Oh how I wish that it was you behind the wheel. I sure do miss you, brother, but am thankful for the memories and the moments that still have your name all over them.

Amen and Ehmen.

 

Father’s Day Feelings…


Writer’s Note: My dad was on the receiving end of a robber’s bullet many, many years ago, when I was just a little girl, robbing me of the opportunity to grow up with a father in my life. I have since forgiven the one who took him from us, but it still hurts, even all of these decades later…

 

I sit and stare at the photograph. Like my memories, it is faded. I just don’t seem to dad and girlsremember much. Black and white, shades of gray memories. I know you once existed in physical form, but, unfortunately, our life together was way too short; pretty much just a foreword and preface to my own story. Sometimes I wonder if I have blocked memories of my childhood, just because your untimely departure hurt so much. Because I know if I remember the good times then I will also have to remember how those good times ended. Those were dark days, even for an 8-year old whose most pressing decision was whether or not to climb the tree in the backyard. One day you were there and the next you were gone.

And even though my present mind sees our days together as a mere outline, like the beginning of a sketch without the details filled in, today, on this Father’s Day, I sit here and FEEL a flood of memories. I FEEL your warmth as we cuddled up on the couch and watched Elvis movies AFTER my bedtime. I FEEL your strength when you’d catch me as I leaped into your arms when you came home from work. Please forgive me if I ever hugged your neck too tight as I searched for that ever-present piece of gum in the pocket of your starched white shirt. I FEEL your gentleness and compassion as—after being banished to my room to “just wait until your father gets home—you arrived to lovingly correct me and, with the fluffy wallop of a pillow, forgave me of my transgressions. I FEEL the pride I felt when I was up at “daddy’s work.” Yes, that was me that was always rummaging in your desk drawers for change for the coke and snack machines, and no, I still do NOT want a piece of the fruitcake you sold for the Civitan Club. I FEEL thankful for all the family times, the vacations in Clearwater, Florida at the Sandlewood Hotel, the holidays, the dinners around the dining room table and all the moments for the eight years that we were together. For though I don’t remember many of the details, I DO remember the FEELINGs of LOVE—feelings powerful enough to help me navigate through your most devastating and tragic departure; through the difficult years that followed as we tried to put our lives back together; through the many years and many milestones that would have been so much more with you here; all the way through today as I spend this Father’s Day weekend feeling memories made more than four decades ago; memories that turned into a life time of love.

Thank you, God, for my earthly dad and for this walk down memory lane. But, most of all, God, I thank you for YOU and for your promise that one day my stroll down Memory Lane will bring me to Heaven’s Gate where I will once again have the chance to jump into my Daddy’s arms. Make sure you have Juicy Fruit. It was always my favorite. Happy Father’s Day to you both. Amen and Ehmen!

amen and ehmen!

dad and girlsWriter’s Note: My dad was on the receiving end of a robber’s bullet many, many years ago, when I was just a little girl, robbing me of the opportunity to grow up with a father in my life. I have since forgiven the one who took him from us, but it still hurts, even all of these decades later…

I sit and stare at the photograph. Like my memories, it is faded. I just don’t seem to remember much. Black and white, shades of gray memories. I know you once existed in physical form, but, unfortunately, our life together was way too short; pretty much just a foreword and preface to my own story. Sometimes I wonder if I have blocked memories of my childhood, just because your untimely departure hurt so much. Because I know if I remember the good times then I will also have to remember how…

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Suit Up and Pray for Orlando and the World


Pray for Orlando

With one finger, a deranged man takes the life of a beloved singer.

With one finger, a madman pledging allegiance to ISIS takes the lives of 50.

Within just hours two different men pulled the triggers that cast the happiest place on earth into a sea of heartbreak and tears.

What triggers such heinous actions?

Fear and hate. The same thing that triggered the heinous crucifixion of Jesus Christ. But our Lord and Savior defeated death once and for all so that all that believe in Him shall have everlasting life. Thank goodness for Him for, in my opinion, He is the only thing that makes any sense at all in a fallen world left gasping for air.

Indeed, as the seconds, minutes and hours tick off, as the days turn into night, it seems as if the darkness is completely overtaking us. Satan is hard at work and knows just what to use to cloud our souls, to hurl as many souls as possible into an abyss of hate, confusion, loneliness, hurt and depression. The prince of darkness knows full well that is harder for us to follow and find comfort in our Great God when our eyes are shrouded by clouds.

What that devil can’t comprehend, however, is how our faith can still rise up like a phoenix from the darkest, nethermost reaches of his hellish plantings. How, just when he thinks he has us in his evil grip, the majestic bird adorned with colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet scoops us up and drops us safely in the lap of our Father.

Oh my, please don’t you ever forget, no matter what, that we are safe in our Father’s lap. And from that place of safety, we should lift up our eyes and voices in prayer, not just for Orlando and Florida, but for the United States and the entire world. Don’t stop with the victims and their family and friends, but pray for each and every aching heart on the planet. We must stand together in solidarity; we must stand in the gap and intercede; we must be fervent and relentless. We must keep crying out to The Father who loves us. We must curl up in His lap and receive comfort and healing as well as training and power. In His Name, we can and will make a difference. Our weapons are bigger than anything the enemy can muster and, unlike him, we are indestructible. The Bible tells us so. Stand up. Suit up. Live and pray in His awesome power.

The Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Ephesians 6:10-18

Amen and Ehmen!

Doggone, Dagon, What You Gonna Do Now?


I have been reading and listening to 1 Samuel this week and just can’t seem to quit thinking about Chapter 5. I keep getting the funniest vision in my head that keeps playing over and over, kind of like an Instagram Boomerang video, those little one second video loops. In fact, if Instagram had been around in those days I’m pretty sure God would have posted a Boomerang clip of Him tipping the Philistine’s God, Dagon, right off of his pedestal. With a smile and a quick flip of the very tip of his pinky finger, I see Him flicking Dagon right flat to the ground. The caption? “Doggone Dagon, what you gonna do now?”

Silly Philistines. Here they thought Dagon had helped them defeat the Israelites, and in turn, captured the Ark of God and placed it in Dagon’s Temple as a trophy for him. Perhaps if there really had been a Boomerang video of what happened next, those stubborn Philistines would not have come up with trivial explanations as to why their precious god was laying prostrate, himself bowing down, at the foot of the Ark of God of Israel. They would not have wound up starting a game of hot potato among the Philistine kingdoms which resulted in debilitating plagues and, ultimately, in the decision to send the Ark of God right back to the Israelites.

The really sad part about this to me is that, instead of experiencing suffering and judgement, the Philistines could have benefited from the presence of the Ark of God had they repented and turned towards Him. The same is true today. It is amazing how far humankind will go to glue our Dagons back together and to reject and send away anything that requires a change in our way of life or way of thinking. We can keep setting up other gods, but what they provide will always be temporary and fleeting and they –and, most especially, we –will all eventually stand at the feet of the One True God. I intend to be there of my own free will, on my knees, hands and head lifted high, praising and glorifying Him. The only thump needed here is the thump of a heart that belongs to God Almighty. Amen and Ehmen!

funny-football-over-reaction-to-ear-flick

1 Samuel, Chapter 5

5 After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. Then they carried the ark into Dagon’s temple and set it beside Dagon. When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained. That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor any others who enter Dagon’s temple at Ashdod step on the threshold.

The Lord’s hand was heavy on the people of Ashdod and its vicinity; he brought devastation on them and afflicted them with tumors.[a] When the people of Ashdod saw what was happening, they said, “The ark of the god of Israel must not stay here with us, because his hand is heavy on us and on Dagon our god.” So they called together all the rulers of the Philistines and asked them, “What shall we do with the ark of the god of Israel?”

They answered, “Have the ark of the god of Israel moved to Gath.” So they moved the ark of the God of Israel.

But after they had moved it, the Lord’s hand was against that city, throwing it into a great panic. He afflicted the people of the city, both young and old, with an outbreak of tumors.[b] 10 So they sent the ark of God to Ekron…

***

It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.'” Romans 14:11

 

A Purposeful Conversation with God


Writer’s Note: This is an excerpt from my personal God Journals which was written in June of 2014.  It’s a theme that has come up often for me in the past seven or so years and, in fact, continues to do so. Thank Goodness our Father in Heaven loves us so much that He isdear god willing to continue reminding us of His love, grace and promises as many times as it takes. Amen and Ehmen!

6/21/14

Good morning, God. I know you’ve been urging me to open a blank page for a while now and I also know that I have been stalling. I’m not sure why. Our blank page conversations have always been incredible. Just know, and I know you do, that I am so very sorry. Being close to you and living out the purpose you have planned for me is what I genuinely want most in this life. And, now, I turn the page over to you. I love you, Lord.

“Dearest Brenda,

I have missed our blank page time, too. You know how much I love words. My Word is from whence all creation sprang; it is the glue which holds it all together, a living, breathing instruction manual and map to guide all of my children; and it is the answer, the truth and the light which shines so bright allowing my children to actually see their ultimate future.

Yes, I love words and this is why I have given you that same love. It delights me to see you opening your gift and I wait patiently for you to start actually using it. It does no good to sit it up on a shelf. This is not a keepsake. It will not grow in value unless you USE it. Think of it as potter’s clay. What beauty or purpose would a lump of clay have if the potter just put it on a shelf? What are the chances others would find it of any real value? But, if the potter uses that clay and molds it into a new creation, then all of a sudden, it takes on new life with real value.

I remind you of the parable of the talents. If you recall, there were three servants and each were given the same amount of talents. Two of them used their talents to increase their Master’s wealth and one just simply buried it. I do not need more wealth, for all is mine, but I do want you to increase my kingdom. Use the talents that I have given you to grow My kingdom. Weave letters into words and words into stories in which my children can see Me. My stories and miracles did not end with the penning of the Bible. I am ALIVE and creating stories of beauty, miracles, and everlasting life every minute of every day. Don’t forget, my dear child, that I breathed LIFE into the nostrils of Adam and thus every single human that breathes today has MY breath in them. Use it, child, to breathe life into your gift, your words…do it for Me; do it for My Glory. It’s what I created you for.”

Oh wow, I forgot how good this makes me feel. I’m sitting here with a smile that keeps growing with every letter I type. I’m off to look up the parable of the talents. I think this shall be my Bible study for the day. Lord, help me to use the talents you have given me and keep me on course. I want nothing more than to grow Your kingdom and make You happy. Much love from earth to heaven. Amen and Ehmen!

Click here to read the Parable of The Talents for yourself… The Parable of the Talents