A few years ago I returned from a trip and recall experiencing a wonderful time. There were many joyous moments. As I prepared to return I unexpectedly experienced a life defining couple of hours. The experience changed my life forever. It changed how I view life. It changed who I am, from the inside out.
Yes, it was a life defining experience. It was a suddenly in a far away land. On the long flight home, I made a decision. I sealed my decision when my feet landed in the USA, and I reentered my country. The decision was not difficult for me to make. It was a decision to no longer live in the past.
It was a decision to appreciate each breathe that I breathe in and each breathe that I breathe out.
Occasionally people will approach me who still try to drag me back to my past in conversations, or they desire me to be the person they say I "use" to be. Or they have a long list of plans and expectations for me and my life. Expectations of others that bothered me in the past no longer bother me today.
I refused when I returned, to live in yesterday, because I realized today is more important. I can't go back and live it again. Instead I approach each day to live it out, as simply me.
Today, I enjoyed the day, because God gifted me with the breathe that I breathe. As for tomorrow, I will continue to live in the day, and allow those who desire to bring up the mistakes I made in my life, to live alone in that land. For there will be times that I will make a mistake again.
I am standing in a new thing, and not afraid to step into it, with my entire being. Stay tuned, my new season is arriving with surprises.
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Isaiah 43:19 NLT
As Always, Serving with you,
I stood and I cried. I stood longer and I continued to cry. You continued to say, "Keep standing daughter and in between pray on your knees."
I continued to stand, and I continued to pray and then I found joy.
Our power is not in ourselves. Instead it is experienced in the power of Jesus Christ that resides in us.
The world is filled with people who are struggling in daily life. People experience; divorce, the unexpected loss of a spouse, the loss of a child, the loss of homes, and jobs. Without community when this happens the struggle and the pain multiplies as the person begins to feel alone. In fact they may intentionally isolate themselves, from people. When this happens those who see this going on should speak up and bring the person into community.
Not long ago God began to tear down a few walls in my life that were built around my heart that I did not know existed. He used many hurting people, to break through my protective shield. Coming out of this state was not easy, because when we finally let down the walls and let other people in we are opening ourselves up to hurt.
It is true that hurting people hurt others, but those of us on the receiving end, must be careful that we don't become one of the casualties of the sharp tongues of the hurting. For years I listened to and assisted hurting people, so my protection for a few years was to stay away from the hurting, to learn how to handle the hurts of others in a different way.
Most people who are hurting do not realize that the words they are speaking to others are covered with barbed wire. Those of us who are the listening ears and Pastors for the hurting, must learn to be authentic, transparent, and open, and at the same time guard our hearts. It is a challenge when we are on the receiving end of the barbs. We must ask God to give us wisdom, discernment and understanding so we do not get sucked into the undertow of anothers pain.
Jesus brought people out of their pain, he did not crawl into their pain, stay there and allow their pain to pull him off of his mission. He loved them. cared for them, and even rebuked them. His mission was about people, but he could not help people if he wallowed in their pain with them. Jesus is about healing. He is about restoration. He is about redemption.
This week I am hurting a bit from a few words that were thrown at me with a tongue covered with barbs. Yet, I know that God calls me to forgive, and so I do. He calls me to be Jesus with skin on, and at the same time go to him with my own pain. He is the great physician.
A precious one went home to be with Jesus a few days ago, a friend was in a serious accident, I waited for biopsy results for a small child, messages and notes poured in and the relational pressure seemed to be pouring into my life from many directions.
Yet, as I sit here tonight I am doing ok, because in my journey of listening, giving guidance and praying with and for hurting people, I go to God and pour out my heart in prayer for the people that contact me. I am transparent with my pain in prayer before God and I connect with a friend,. She is willing to listen to me, we listen to one another, and she does not push me away.
I am comforted in knowing that;
Isaiah 43:2New International Version (NIV)
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze
As Always, Serving with you,
#TheRelationshipProject Where ALL people are important.
What a week! Have you ever experienced a time in life, knowing that you are to dig in and work, work work! This week is one of those weeks for me. I would love to go somewhere to sit in a chair outside and look at the beautiful blue sky.
Instead this week, in my area there is no blue sky. Instead it is rainy and cloudy. Since the weather is bad, it is not bothering me much that I am inside and preparing for the unknown.
Have you experienced times in your life when you cannot prove it by what you see, but you feel it is necessary to finish all projects that are on your desk? I am in this type of season. It feels as if I am being pushed along to be prepared for something that will be happening in the future.
I have no idea what is waiting for me in the future, only that I am moving full speed ahead to finish everything that is on my desk.
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Isa. 30:21 NIV
This is what the LORD says-- your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. Isa. 48:17
Listen closely friends and follow the still small voice. He does not always reveal everything that is up ahead, but when we listen closely and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, we will be prepared when the "what" arrives.
Reprint Emphasis Magazine, Missionary Church USA, March/April 1995, All rights reserved Nancy J. Watta
In the month of April my life began to change. I really didn't understand at the time what was happening to me until one a member of our church passed away. Her name was Robin. She was 46 years old when she went home to be with the Lord. She left behind a son, a daughter and a husband who loved her very much. Robin was the strength and sunshine of her family. Robin's light shown right up to the very moment of her death, She had cancer, left this earth, but won, because now she is with the Lord.
Matthew 4:14-15, You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bow. Instead they put it on it's stand and it gives light to everyone in the house.
Robin and I were not best friends, yet I prayed for her and her family daily as fought the battle of cancer to the very end.
Something drew me to Robin's grave two days after he funeral. As I turned to leave I picked a daffodil. God whispered in my ear, Robin is not here she is with me. A flower dies, but my spirit lives. we shine as lights while we are on this earth." Now sitting on my desk I have taped the same daffodil. Although it is now a dried flower, it serves as a reminder to me; with Jesus Christ w are survivors and most important we have eternal life.
Lately my life is pretty tough, yet like Robin I will not give up. I will stand firm with Jesus Christ at my side, until he calls me home to be with him.
(Reprinted with permission by Glenn C. Burris Jr. 2012)
Relationships; When you evaluate life's best moments and life's more painful moments, it generally revolves around relationships. The bible gives us many examples of the complexities, the benefits, the challenges and the truths about relationships.
Some are love stories like Boaz/Ruth, Jacob/Rachel. Some are enduring friendships like David/Jonathan. Others are mentor-based like Paul/Timothy. Some are family tragedies like David/Absalom, or Cain/Abel. Some are disasters waiting to happen like Ahab/Jezebel. Regardless of the extremes we have before us, I am responsbile to live out my life in a way that adds value to people around me.
My goal is to leave them better having been with or around me. Of course, there are always difficult or impossible situations where we give 100% and it's just not going to work. Jesus could of given more to Judas, but at the end of the day, even the Son of God could not turn Judas from his fateful decisions. I've witnessed people soar due to healthy relationships. I've also wept with others who have been devastated/victimized by, or deceived by relationships gone badly. Ultimately, I only have control over my part of the relationship.
I can contaminate, bring conflict to, or contribute to the relationships around me. The absolute KEY to healthy relationships is having a selfless, redemptive, honoring, transparent, forgiving and truthful commitment no matter what. Every situation is looking for someone to step up and lead with grace, love and a servant's heart. Try it. God will be pleased and your relationships will be given the greatest gift of unlimited possibilities.
There are times when I travel I feel like I am viewing a postcard, especially when I am gliding across the water on a boat. If I am sitting on the shore near water in any location in the world, I could sit and gaze at my surroundings forever. I gave up years ago trying to figure out why gazing at water is comforting to me. I guess it is how God wired me, because I have friends that have no desire to sit on the shore or glide across the water with me.
This photo is one from my travel collection when I was gliding across the water on a tour boat with a friend. As I look at this photo it brings comfort to my heart and my entire being. It brings a quietness to my busy world, and reminds me to be still before the Lord. He will guide me and he is the miracle maker who makes the way when there seems to be no way. He is the great, "I AM" and absolutely NOTHING can stop God's hand when he moves.
He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost, from the spring of the water of life." Revelation 21:6 NIV
Nancy J. Leader of "The Relationship Project."