Tuesday, October 31, 2017

To Have a Friend you must be a Friend

I am not sure how or why Joanne and I were so close. She was just one of those people that you meet and sit down and talk. We were so different in some ways but in other ways so alike. She was extremely creative, which is how I met her, and I was more business minded. We seamlessly blended together with respect and encouragement and our love for God.  

On reflection, I think I had the biggest admiration for the things she could see with her creative eye. She painted, she crafted, she wrote children's books. wrote poems,  and the creativity was apparent in all that she was a part of in life. When I would listen to her and see things through her eyes the things of God just popped out and became clear. As we talked, she probably had no idea that my mind was taking God out of the box I put Him in but expanding my view of who He is and what love He has for us. So simple and yet so complicated sometimes. We all need that friend that draws us closer but also give us a bigger picture of who God really is in our life.

A few years ago, she received the  news that she had cancer. When they found it they didn't give her  more than a few months, I met her about two years later after her diagnoses and she was as vivacious as ever. She was standing on the promise that God had given her more time and more energy to fight. A fight she gave that cancer. She held on for two more years. Even through the pain and her body giving out on her, she kept fighting. There were things she wanted to finish before she left this world. Things that God had put on her heart and she finished each one. When she walked through those gates of heaven she talked all the way there. She was ready and happy, if you can even say something like that at that moment, but peace and happiness seemed to be what the family felt as she walked on to another place where she no longer has to fight.

Through this journey with her, really on the outskirts, somehow our relationship deepened. It became something very special and honoring. Her Pastor spoke at her funeral and talked a lot about relationships. Relationships with each other, with family and friends. That this is the most important thing in life. Jesus constantly talks about it and encourages us to love one another. It's not what you have, not what you want but learning the heart of God and that He truly desires our love for Him.

Time is short, life can change in a moment, standing and being a friend is a life long honor and privilege that we don't always see. I have had my own battles with health and almost dying a couple of times in the recent years. Somehow, this message makes so much sense to me. It's just not what you have, it's what you have to give and the most important part is YOU.

Monday, July 17, 2017

By Barbara King 

The writings of Paul

I always picture Paul as a humble and unassuming man after he met Christ on the Damascus Road. But, the thing that draws you to him in his writings is his passion for living a life following Christ. In his writings, you can feel the compassion, the mercy, the correction, the standard that he places on himself to not lose one ounce of time so he can spend it knowing God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, as much as he could here on earth. He was a man with a mission.

That passion exuded through him and around him. So much so that people were healed when they were in his presence. Can you imagine being so close to God that when you walked by miracles just happened through nothing about you but through the supernatural power of God.

As my studies have brought me to really meet Paul, learn more about him. I see that the possibility to be that close with God is available to us today as well. That deep walk with God is not just for those in the time of the early church but this time 2,000+ years later. By no means have I arrived at that place, in fact I think I am just stepping out on my journey. My intention is to press in, to know God more and to have a passionate walk with God. A hunger and thirst for righteousness. It will mean that I will have things in my heart that I must face and deal with, it will mean that I will have to give up some habits and some things I love but the prize is running the race! The prize is knowing Christ more and more and that I know him intimately, “to be still and know that I am God”. To obtain that confidence and trust in God that I know “all things come together for good for those who love the Lord”. Standing strong in the face of adversity and instead of me fighting the battle, knowing that God has already gone before me. It is one thing to know the scripture and it is another thing to know

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Spring Cleaning of the heart

Spring Cleaning of the Heart

I am not sure when it happened, or even how it happened. I believe it must have started with my Mom. You know how their habits, that you will never mimic because they rubbed you the wrong way, you tend to end up doing. Spring cleaning I believe must have been one of them. How do I know? I hear the groan from my daughter every time I announce we have a new project we need to get done! Cleaning out a closet, a room re-organization, new painting that might need to be done. It seems the list can keep you quite busy for some time. And somewhere in the deepest part of my brain I hear that still small voice, no not the Holy Spirit, my Mom telling me what to do, when to do it and would you please get rid of all those things you don’t need.

But the thing that is happening along with cleaning is that still small voice of the Holy Spirit. As the air is filtrating through the house, clean and fresh, it seems my spirit is longing for that same clearing out of the clutter. Dispensing of old habits and thoughts that do not line up with my Father. The Bible says “Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit in me”…we need that renewing, that refreshing, I could go on and  on and let you know the tears that I have cried over my selfishness in the light of my heart or I could tell you of my skinned knee's trying to make myself honorable in God's sight but you have your own stories where this story fits you and only you. You know your mountains and the re-shaping, re-thinking of your circumstances that only God can show you to change you. The hardest reality I have faced is seeing the love of God. Realizing that no matter how "honorable" I try to be, that the reality is that God doesn't want me to work so hard at it. He just wants me to be "me" because that is who He made me to be.

 If you are like me you don’t just go to the Lord in prayer and ask, I am prompted by reading (or washing of the Word), sermons that go down deep to that inner being and wake it up where it has been asleep, and that quiet time where I know to “Be still and know that I am God”. That place that trust, faith and love intercept and He takes me by the hand to yet a deeper walk on the water than ever before.  So the clearing out, the skinned knee's, the heart wrenching rears are all worth it when you walk into the deeper love that you thought could never exist.

Happy Cleaning ladies :)