A Blog a Day

The tornado that hit Joplin, MO yesterday was devastating.  My heart is heavy with the loss this city is having to cope with and my prayers are going up often for them and for the rescue workers on scene.

I am blessed to hear people thanking God they are still alive and when asked what they will do now – they say rebuild.  That touches me in a deep way.  Jesus knows their hurt and their loss and He is a God who builds.  I know He will continue to build hope in their hearts and their lives.  As a family who has lost a loved one in a natural disaster I feel the pain deeply.  BUT I also have experienced the loving arms of our Father as we made the decision to continue and rebuild.

“Every house has a builder, but the Builder behind them all is God.” Hebrews 3:4 – The Message

cb

Never Ending Story

Remember the movie “Never Ending Story”?  My kids and I watched that over and over.  It was great.

I was thinking of the part when the fantasy world was falling apart and the princess girl said to Bastian, “say my name”!!!

Jesus wants us to “say His name”.  There is power in His name.  Simple as that.

cb

Different Strokes

I heard the most beautiful thing today.  I was sitting in the sanctuary of a Nazarene Church this morning waiting for a community event to start.  It was a beautiful sanctuary – wide open with very tall ceilings and just a very pleasant setting overall.

One of our team members from Deeper Waters got up to talk for a little bit about this event.  It was an event acknowledging “Hope Heroes” in the Kansas City community.  People who have humbly given of themselves to help others gain hope and love in this life.  They ranged from school coaches to TV news reporters.  A very diverse group of people.

As he began he pointed out the stain glass windows in the sanctuary.  They were beautiful!  No pictures in them just geometric shapes of many colours pieced together.  He simply pointed out the colours being pieced together to make a lovely setting of beauty (my words) and how that’s how people should come together in community.  It’s a beautiful thing to have such diversity around us.  I think it would be awful if we were all totally alike.  BORING!  AND most of all the coming together of these different colours makes a magnificent glorious image especially when the sun (Son) shines through.

cb

Just a Word…….

I have been involved in a Deeper Waters event yesterday and today and it continues on tonight and tomorrow.  Deeper Waters is a ministry my husband and I stumbled into through Facebook of all places.  It’s a ministry that brings hope to people, businesses, nations, etc.  Hope?  We all have hope if we are Christians, right?  I thought so until I stumbled into Deeper Water’s very 1st meeting of “Champions of Hope” almost one year ago.

Hopelessness can creep up on you when you least expect it.  And no one is exempt from it.  No one.  When you listen to those little suggestions about yourself that is demeaning and negative – hopelessness and despair can set in.  Those things are all lies because God thinks so much more of you.  He sees you in a totally different way – the way He made you to be.  You are everything to Him.

Well, you may be surprised how hard that is to believe about yourself.  Oh, we all believe that we should love our neighbors as ourselves – but most of us do not love ourselves.  Therefore we do not love our neighbors. OH!  Sorry. Ouch.

Well, today at one of the meetings, a nice man from Indiana (I think) wanted to pray with me when we were asked to pair up and pray and encourage each other.  He told me a story of something that happened to him as a very young boy.  He felt he should tell me this story and then related it to me and how God feels about me.  Wow.  It is so amazing how a simple childhood story that happened to someone else can have a wonderful impact on another!  It did just that.  Impacted me and put a big warm fuzzy smile on my face!

Get close to Jesus, listen to the heart of God.  Take the time to really listen and know that what He longs for from you is to just love on you and spend time with you.  He knows you best.

cb

www.bobhartley.org for more info on Deeper Waters (and check out the team members – you’ll see me)

Dream a Little Dream

I have the best memories of going to see the horses in the field across the street from our neighborhood.  My dad would take my brother and I and I loved it.  I was very young but those giant creatures with the deep intriguing eyes were calling me.  My father would tell me that I had chestnut coloured hair just like the chestnut mare in the pasture.  That meant the world to me.

My father passed away young but my brother would take me to the stables now and then.  I loved it.  The man who lived in the stables and cared for the horses was a kind man named Congo Jones.  The only thing I feared were the Chinese chickens that seemed to run in circles absently.  They were creepy.

I’ve only sat on a horse a few times in my childhood.  I dreamed of riding.  My favorite TV show was National Velvet.  I use to ride my imaginary horse to the bus stop and tie her up to a bush until I got off the bus at the end of the day.  If I walked with a friend I just “secretly” untied my horse and she walked behind me.

I never stopped dreaming of riding a horse (don’t worry, I gave up the imaginary one many years ago).  And I want to tell you to never give up your dreams no matter how big or how small because at my age of 59 I met a young lady who offered to give me riding lessons in exchange for cooking lessons!  Yes, it’s true.  I had one lesson so far on the back of Pochantos and my friend learned to make lasagna.  I can’t wait to get on that horse again.  The smell of a horse barn is sweet to my senses and I want to learn it all.  I’ll even clean a stall!

I believe that this thing I have for horses is a gift from God.   Don’t give up, beautiful dreamer.

Story Time

My husband and I and our sons and several friends all decided to get a tattoo as a reminder of someone we all love and lost a few years ago.  One of our sons designed the tattoos and they have a very special meaning.

Recently, we met a couple who spend 1/2 of every year in an African nation.  They knew the story of our “family tattoo” and commented that in the nation they live the local tribes have their own tattoo that represents their specific tribe.  They viewed our tattoos as our family tribal tattoo.  This made us feel really good about our “mark”.

Well, today, my husband and I were in a prayer meeting and a team member prayed for us just because they felt they should.  They covered several things with the Lord and then they simply said we were the “Butterfly People”.  That put big smiles on our face because the tattoos our son designed are butterflies and this person who prayed has no idea of the meaning of our “markings” and may not even know that we all have one.

Those seemingly “little” things that God puts in our mouths to say at the right moment of each day are awesome!  Lord, use me.

Another Day, Another Story

The last 24 hours were a little rough.  Got to keep looking up and keep looking!

I have found that when you go through a major change in your life you need a focal point; a constant in a way.  Like in LOST when Desmond was loosing it on the freighter (sorry if you’re not a LOST fan – don’t want to loose you) – he needed a “constant”.  In his case it was Penny, the love of his life.  Well, in my life since I moved to this “new land” it’s whatever reminds me of where I came from.  Just a simple little reminder of what was and then I can look to what is and what is to come.

Too Weird?  I don’t think so.  It is something familiar.  So, today while feeling a little out of sorts I wanted tacos.  Not Taco Bell kind of tacos, they can be had anywhere.  I wanted something that reminded me of Southern California.

I spent most of my adult married life in Southern California and South Jersey.  So it had to be tacos smothered in fresh cilantro.

I thank my wonderful Lord that there is a small Taqueria here that sells just that!  Boy were they good and yes, the comfort food works!  Changed my outlook on the moment and I was able to see deeper and more healing things in a better perspective.

Ah, the small comforts of life that aren’t related to what we are going through but definitely have a wonderful sweet effect!

😉

Story of the Day

When you’ve been spending a lot of time trying to settle in to a new location and things go slower then you have ever anticipated, well let’s just say that sometimes it’s hard to be thankful; difficult to look on the bright side of life or keep on the sunny side.

That’s why this “project” of mine to post a “testimony” or “story” a day can be a bit difficult.  But I do know that in time it will get easier because I totally expect it to change my perspective to the sunny side of life.

So, with that in mind, I took my wonderful dog outside last night for her final relief before bed.  While heading back toward the house I looked up.  What I saw took my breath away.  The sky – the beautiful big mid-west sky – was full of fluffy multi dimensional white and gray clouds with a full moon shining brightly behind them.  The art work above was absolutely beautiful from this earthly perspective!  And to think that I know this artist.  Overwhelming!

Does Anyone Have a Testimony?

At the beginning of 2011 I saw several people posting a “Photo a Day” or other such projects on the internet. I like that.
So, now that it’s almost half way through the year I feel strongly that I NEED and WANT to post “A Testimony a Day”.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines testimony as: an open acknowledgment; a public profession of religious experience; a divine decree attested in the scriptures.

I think this will be harder than I thought and that is probably the biggest reason I want to do it.  It’s hard to be thankful when we all live a life so involved with circumstances.  Circumstances that most of the time are not good or appear to be hard.  But on the other hand, I believe there is something to attest to in every circumstance no matter how hard things look.  We are surrounded by “stories” waiting to be told.  I want to find them.

God has a different view of our lives then we do.  I want His perspective more.  I’ve changed my whole approach to prayer over the last year.  Instead of asking all the time for something from Him I spend more time being thankful to Him and meditating on His goodness and love and more time looking back on situations and seeing how He got me through it and where He was when certain things happened.  It’s life changing.

I recently went to a local art museum to see Monet’s Water Lilies.  All 3 panels were on display (normally they are in separate locations).  Seeing such a magnificent work of art in person is eye opening.  You can enter the room and look at it and see it one way.  But as you approach the work every few feet the scene in front of you changes.  You get a different perspective the closer you get.  A different depth, a different opinion even.

So, I want these simple “testimonies” to do that for whoever reads them.  May they change your perspective on your life.  I am counting on them to change mine – to open my eyes wider to the things around me. To have a story no matter how simple or complex each day.  Enjoy.

Testimony #1

Today I attended a church 20 minutes from my home.  I had only been there once before and liked it.  So, 2 months later, my husband and I went again.  I am thankful for people who gather in the name of their Lord with happy hearts and have the freedom to worship Him together and individually with confidence and freedom in who they are and who they were made to be.  It was truly an uplifting experience full of peace and strength.  It was a room FULL of creative people who gathered together to celebrate the most creative person they know – The Creator.

Dead Mouse Walking

King:  “I’ll check the mousetraps before going to bed”

Queen:  “OK”

Voice from kitchen – “One is missing.”

“How can one be missing?  What are you talking about?”

“I put one in each drawer and one drawer has NO mouse trap”

“Perhaps you thought you put them in both drawers.”

“No000, I know I did.”

“Well, do think our son moved it while we were out?  He did come by.”

“I don’t know.”

“You could call him.”

“Son, did you move the mouse trap?”

Son, laughing hysterically, “What are you talking about?”

After longer conversation son replied, “This is the weirdest phone call ever.”

King Mouse Hunter: ” Oh well, don’t know where it went.” Proceeded to ready himself for bed.

Queen of Mouse Hunter: “Uh, it has to be somewhere.  Can a mouse walk off with it?”

At this point strong visions of a mouse on two feet bumping into cupboard walls adorning a mouse trap on it’s head.

King:  “OK, I’ll look.”

Pokes his head into cupboards and says, “Not here.”

Queen:  “Has to be.  They don’t just walk off.” (shutters)

King:  “Oh.  Here he is.  OH!  He’s still alive.”

Queen exits while saying  something to the effect of – throw him over the fence so the dogs don’t get him and bring him back in.

King:  “You got gloves?  I’ll flush him!”

Sound of flushing toilet then, “Oh crap! He didn’t go down!!”

Flushing again.

King:  “There.  I’ll reset the traps.”

The End.

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