"Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Monday, June 29, 2009


There's something about children that brings the wonder back into my world.

I see it in my grandson Jack -- the wonder of learning, gleaning, wanting to be like his dad and his mom.

I see it in my grandson Thatcher. His honesty. It would behoove me to try to be more like him.

I see it in my granddaughter Margaret as she is amazed by the wind blowing in the trees and by the birds in the sky.

I need to learn more about what they see...and less about what I know.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Valley of Baca

I am so tired of living in the past.

I was just rereading something I wrote in a private diary from over 3 years ago. The way God worked through a near disaster was awesome and only God could have worked it out.

The main theme in those three months of diary entries was that I must listen, I must hear and I must not act until I do.

The way God spoke to me at that time was miraculous and was only God. Only He could have thought of that particular way to get me to listen to what He was trying to teach me.

Not too long ago, I saw the lady that had delievered the message I needed to hear during that hard time. She had no idea that God had used her in such a wonderful way. I'll never forget the tears she and I cried when I shared with her about the message she gave me and what it did to change the outcome of a very very serious, life-changing event.

Even now as I think back on that time when I heard God's voice through a cassette tape she had insisted I listen to (not once...not twice...but three times)-- I long, I desire, I crave to hear His voice again.

Last night, a friend and I were talking about someone we both love so deeply. How this person had been given a REAL warning from God and yet they have chosen to thumb their nose at the warning.

I told my friend last night that I had been limiting God in answering the prayers I've been praying for this person. Teach them I would ask God, but don't let anything disasterous happen. Help them to learn without having to go through Hell to learn it. I told my friend last night, one of the hardest prayers for me to utter would be: whatever it takes to bring this person back in line with Your will...just do it, Lord. My friend shuttered over the phone. I told her that I have to let God be God and not limit Him to my limitations.

I still haven't gathered the courage to pray that prayer. I have walked through that Valley of Baca, of sorrow, of pain, of the unknown and of Hell...

but when I came to the mountainside....I was a different person... a little more purer... a little more pliable...a little more moldable. That's what I wish for this dear friend of mine. I want this person to know God's love...even if it means walking through the Valley of Baca. And my prayer is to let me be the one to help carry them through---and I'll weep right along with them.

"Happy are those who are strong in the Lord, who set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs, where pools of blessing collect after the rains! They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Zion." Psalm 84:5-7

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Just Writing Out Loud

Martyrism runs in my family. I get it honestly. It's a part of my personality I fight minute by minute.

I really want to delete my post "Just Love in Return" because there are days...weeks...months that I'm not so cocky. One of my biggest hurts is allowing people's unintentional words or lack of words to hurt me---to the core. Deep into my heart.

I struggled in my past church about a certain person who would walk down the hallways of church, pass me and not even acknowledge me. They'd walk by me and not say hi--even with me looking right at them and saying Hi....even...even if it were just us in the hallway. They knew me...they knew me well. We had conversations before...yet they would brush right past me...and I'd start dealing with my own struggles, my own 'demons' if you will.

I finally sat down with the minister I was working for at that time and talked to him about my struggles. Out of a grown woman's mouth I'm sure it sounded more like "so and so won't play with me." Thankfully he didn't laugh, roll his eyes or excuse himself from the room. Me being a fairly new Christian and learning about things 'of the spirit', he took this time to teach instead of scold my lack of maturity.

He said something so profound that it changed my perspective of that person. He said "Ouida, everyone has a darkside--even you. We all have something in our personality that we don't want people to see. Just some of us see those hidden things a little more clearly."

He went on to remind me of the spiritual gifts test I had taken. Discernment and Faith were the two largest gifts I utilized in my Christian walk. He said, "You are gifted with discernment. God gave us this gift so we would know truth from untruth, real from unreal and evil even when it's shrouded in godly. It is your responsibility to know the truth."

I shrugged my shoulders and said "What does that have to do with this?" He said just because someone treats me with disregard, I need to know it's usually not evil--just ignorance. He told me that with my wonderful heritage of "martyrism" that my 'critical spirit' begins to take it all personally, and after I beat myself up for a while, I start beating them up in my mind, and finally come to the conclusion they are evil.

One of the worst things people with discernment can do is JUDGE everything as evil. The battle I fight and am fighting at this moment, is trying to keep my heart correct and see things--feel things--know things from God's perspective.

I just need to keep reminding myself that it's not about me...even though this post is.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Writing to Understand

Merrimam's online dictionary defines hopeless as: 1 a: having no expectation of good or success : despairing b: not susceptible to remedy or cure c: incapable of redemption or improvement

I've just sent the third obituary to our crisis prayer line. Third suicide in 2 weeks by Christians who came to our church. Christians...ages 24, 19 & 17. Christians who became hopeless.

I cannot wrap my mind around this. I keep trying to understand how someone can get to this point of being so hopeless that the only solution is to put a gun to the head and end it all.

They chose to die--selfishly...they chose to be their own god. They chose death over redemption. It's backwards...it's awful...and I cannot seem to comprehend the mindset it takes to be your own executioner.

It's interesting that one of the defintions of hopeless is "incapable of redemption". Even though Jesus was executed for our sins...these people did not/would not/could not believe they were worthy enough to be forgiven...to truly be one of the redeemed. They must have thought they were the exemptions to God's Word. How horrible to live in that mindset of unforgiveness...a mindset of no hope...a living hell in the mind.

All I know is that we as Christians have allowed the world to penetrate our belief systems so much that Christianity from generation to generation has become so watered down, there's no purity in it at all. It makes me sad. . . because. . .

there's this 42 year old recently married man, who didn't want to die...didn't choose to die...He wanted to live with his newlywed....he was living a life of hope...

cancer took his life last night.

I just can't wrap my mind around this.