Oh Those Quotes…

“Failure is an event…
Not a person”
~Chuck Obremski~

“Life is hard!
So you got to have something in your window.”
~Author Unknown~

What’s in your window? Is it temporal and fading or eternal and secured? Do you have a vision of your eternal reward to help carry you through difficult times? Do you have a hope that is greater than yourself…one to cling to in stormy seas…or when everyone abandons you? What’s in your window?

A Different Kind of Hero…Jason McElwain

If this story doesn’t bring a tear to your eye…check your pulse…because you have no heart. Click on the link below…to view the video of this exceptional young man. This boy…is the kind of boy that heroes are made of.

Autistic basketball player creates mayhem at game

To read the AP story…click on the link below:

Autistic high schooler scores 20 in debut
Team manager McElwain finally plays, and becomes instant superstar

A Kid’s Take on Love

Extracted from Gordon Kirk’s sermon…on God’s Love…here’s what some kids think about love.

Harlan age 8 – Why does love happen between two particular people? “I think you are supposed to get shot with an arrow or something, but the rest isn’t supposed to be so painful.”

Mike age 10 – What do most people do on a date? “On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go on a second date.”

Jim age 9 – When is it okay to kiss someone? “You should never kiss a girl unless you have enough bucks to buy her a big ring and VCR because you will want to have videos of the wedding.”

Judy age 8 – What’s the proper age to get married? “Eighty-four, because at that age you don’t have to work anymore. And you can spend all your time loving each other.”

Ted age 7 – What is falling in love really like? “If falling in love is anything like learning to spell I don’t want to do it, it takes too long.”

Roger age 9 – What is falling in love like? “It’s like an avalanche where you’ve got to run for your life.”

Jan age 9 – Why then does love happen between two particular people? “No one is sure why it happens. But I’ve heard that it has something to do with how you smell. That’s why perfume and deodorant are so popular.”

Tom – How do you make love endure? “Spend most of your time loving, instead of going to work.”

Bart age 9 – What’s a sure fire way to make someone fall in love with you? “One way is to take the girl out to eat. Make sure it’s something she likes. French fries usually work for me.”

Eva age 8 – What does it take to be a really good lover? “Well one should know how to write a check because even if you have tons of love, there is still going to be a lot of bills.”

How could you love someone…and not say it?

When listening to Gordon Kirk’s CD about God’s Love…one thing stood out to me.

Gordon has a real love for God and for people…and he is very tenderhearted. One thing he mentioned towards the end of his sermon on God’s love was that some of us grew up in homes where “I love you” was not said.

When hearing that I was gripped with a deep and profound sadness…because as a kid growing up the words, “I love you” were not uttered. Not by my mother, nor by my father.

My dad was a rather harsh individual…especially so with my older brothers. My mother was not so much harsh…as just not very maternal. Neither was her mother.

Not only were the words missing…but so was the affection. Hugs, kisses and a gentle touch were absent too.

Do I think they loved me? Yes…I think so. It was perhaps a different era…and emotions were not spoken of so freely. But at the same time…it strikes me and stunning that parents would not tell their kids that they love them.

They provided a good home, shelter, clothing, food, education…and more. But three simple, little words…did not come from their lips.

Even though intellectually I can say I think they loved me…there will always remain that nagging doubt. You can be certain that an absence of an express loved has impacted my relationships…past and present.

How could you love someone…and not say it? Especially your children? I don’t understand.

Now as an adult…I hope that the man I marry has a loving family. That his parents might embrace me as their daughter whom they love. As I love their son…and the man whom he has become. And that he might have brothers and sisters that would welcome me and love me as their sister.

I do find that love in several places…one of which is my church. I’ve never known a more loving church family than Kindred Community Church.

While my dad died…almost 37 years ago…my mother remains alive. However her mental capacity has diminished through Alzheimer’s. She is not able to answer the questions that I have. The one thing that has changed…she is now somewhat affectionate.

As a child growing up…there were not hugs and kisses and I love you. But now…when I see my mom each week…she likes her hugs.

Maybe in her diminished mental capacity…walls have been torn down. Walls that prohibited her from expressing and verbalizing love.

I don’t know the answer. But I do know this. Parents…tell your children that you love them. Don’t miss a day in which you hug them, kiss them and tell them that you love them. Let there never be a doubt in their mind…even when they behave badly…make sure they are certain of your love for them.

Remember…your love for your children…and their ability to feel, know and grasp that love…will directly influence how they perceive God…and their relationship with God. No doubt…a heavy responsibility…but one that is most important and will impact your children forever.

Now go tell your child “I love you”…daily!

God’s Love – by Gordon Kirk

In November…Gordon Kirk was the guest speaker at Kindred Community Church. He did and excellent series about God. About God’s Omniscience, Omnipresence and Omnipotence…all of which are incommunicable attributes belonging solely to God. The last week he spoke about God’s love…which is the one attribute of God that is communicable. One in which he expects us to have and grow in and act upon in the power of the Holy Spirits. Below are some of the notes I took from this message.

The theme of the series was “It does make a difference who you know”.

God is love…what does that mean? Love is one of the most misunderstood words in the English language…or misused. From I love my spouse to I love rocky road ice cream.

How do we understand a God who says he is love? 1 John 4: “God is love.”

It’s a fact…not a definition. Love is an essential attribute of God. Love is something true of God. But love isn’t God. Love expresses the way God is. As does holiness, righteousness and justice.

Because God was self-existent…God’s love had no beginning…and his love will have no end. Because God is infinite…his love has no boundaries. Because God is holy, because he is immense, his love is incomprehensible, vast, and bottomless and shore less.

Here are some kid’s definition of love:

Harlan age 8 – Why does love happen between two particular people? “I think you are supposed to get shot with an arrow or something, but the rest isn’t supposed to be so painful.”

Mike age 10 – What do most people do on a date? “On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go on a second date.”

Jim age 9 – When is it okay to kiss someone? “You should never kiss a girl unless you have enough bucks to buy her a big ring and VCR because you will want to have videos of the wedding.”

Judy age 8 – What’s the proper age to get married? “Eighty-four, because at that age you don’t have to work anymore. And you can spend all your time loving each other.”

Ted age 7 – What is falling in love really like? “If falling in love is anything like learning to spell I don’t want to do it, it takes too long.”

Love’s Realities:

1) Love is a choice. Love is not uncontrollable or something that happens to you. Love is a decision.

Roger age 9 – What is falling in love like? “It’s like an avalanche where you’ve got to run for your life.”

Jan age 9 – Why then does love happen between two particular people? “No one is sure why it happens. But I’ve heard that it has something to do with how you smell. That’s why perfume and deodorant are so popular.”

The most important piece of clothing you must wear is love. God wants us to dress for success…clothing ourselves with love. You need to do it…put on love. The most important piece of clothing you can wear.

Love is a choice…everyday…24/7, 365…we have choice, after choice, after choice if we are going to act in love. Every moment you have a choice if you are going to put on the clothing of love…that represents God’s people.

2) Love is an attitude and an action. Love impacts our emotions and attitudes.

Tom – How do you make love endure? “Spend most of your time loving, instead of going to work.”

Love results in an action, how we respond and how we live our lives.

1 John 4:7-8 – Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God; and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him]. 8He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love.

Four standards to evaluate if our love is empowered by God and whether our love for others represents God’s love

1 John 4:9 – In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or [f]unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him.

1) God’s love, true love, seeks the best interest of others.

How are you able to share that love? Ask yourself what are you doing in the best interest of others? So often our love isn’t God’s love, but instead a narcissistic love.

Bart age 9 – What’s a sure fire way to make someone falls in love with you? “One way is to take the girl out to eat. Make sure it’s something she likes. French fries usually work for me.”

God’s love seeks the best interest of others. That may mean tough love. People know when it’s about them and about their best interest or you…and because you are embarrassed.

In Gary Chapman’s “Love Languages”…he teaches each of us has an internal love language. When someone else speaks that language, we do feel loved, appreciated and valued. 1) Quality time spent together; 2) Gift Giving; 3) Physical Touch; 4) Acts of Service; and 5) Words of Affirmation.

One of our problems is that we try to give others what we like. We don’t sense what they need…but instead give what we need.

2) True love takes the initiative.

1 John 4:10, 19 – 10 In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins. 19 We love Him, because He first loved us.

Some three word statements that seem simple, but they are really tough.

First one to say, “Can we talk?”
When asked what’s wrong…do you try to express what’s wrong…as opposed to making them work to draw it out of you?

“I am sorry.” After an argument or difficult moment, the person who says “I am sorry” first, is the winner.

“I was wrong.” If God’s love is empowering our lives…we will be willing to step out and admit when we were wrong or made a mistake. Real and authentic.

“You were right.”

“Please forgive me”.

Some of you grew up on homes where you never heard these kind of words. Everyone was fighting for their turf and trying to prove a point. Being able to say, “I was wrong, please forgive me” really helps to build trust and opens us opportunities.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean you diminish the wrong. It may not mean you forget the wrong. Instead it means we do not continue to try and get even. We give up our right to get even.

God forgives us…he doesn’t try to bring back what he has forgiven us for. He doesn’t try to throw it in your face or hold it against you or bring it back. Some of you have gone through some very difficult moments.

“I forgive you.”

“I love you.”

Take the initiative to say, “I love you.” Some of you have grown up in a home where that wasn’t said often. I hope that God can provide a relationship for you where that can be a very constant, continuous thing for you.

Are there some areas in your life you’ve been waiting for someone else to take the initiative? Don’t wait. God’s love will empower you. From Genesis to Revelation…God repeatedly says, “I love you, I love you, I love you.”. Nothing you can do to make him love you less. Conversely…nothing you do can make him love you more. God loves you with a deep and passionate love. He wants to fill your love.

3) God’s love is self-sacrificial.

1John 4:10 – In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins.

Eva age 8 – What does it take to be a really good lover? “Well one should know how to write a check because even if you have tons of love, there is still going to be a lot of bills.”

Do people in your life sense that you are self sacrificing?

4) God’s love is transferable.

This is one of God’s attributes that is transferable. God is Omniscient, Omnipresent and Omnipotent. God does not ask us to be all knowing, everywhere present or all powerful.

Love is communicable, catching, and infectious. He wants us to be known by love.

Mark 12:30-31 – And you shall love the lord your god with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ “the second is this, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ there is no other commandment greater than these.”

“Let’s practice loving each other for love comes from God. Those who are loving and kind show that they are children of God.”


“What if I show that love and they don’t return love?” How often does that happen to God?

“Love is sort of a risk, I sacrifice and put myself out there and they don’t respond.” True…but God’s our model.

“Love is dangerous.” Yes…but it’s worth the risk because God says clothe yourself with love and watch your relationships grow strong.

Tomorrow Never Comes – by Norma Cornett Marek

If I knew it would be the last time
that I’d see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.
If I knew it would be the last time
that I see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time
I’d hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would videotape each action and word,
so I could play them back day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time,
I would spare an extra minute or two
to stop and say “I love you,”
instead of assuming you would know I do.

If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day,
Well I’m sure you’ll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.

For surely there’s always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything right.

There will always be another day
to say “I love you,”
and certainly there’s another chance
to say our “Anything I can do’s?”

But just in case I might be wrong,

and today is all I get,
I’d like to say how much I love you
and I hope we never forget,
tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young or old alike.
And today may be the last chance you get
to hold your loved one tight.

So if you’re waiting for tomorrow,
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes,
you’ll surely regret the day
that you didn’t take that extra time
for a smile, a hug, or a kiss,
and you were too busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their one last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today,
whisper in their ear,
tell them how much you love them
and that you’ll always hold them dear.

Take time to say “I’m sorry,”
“please forgive me,” “thank you,” or “it’s okay.”
And if tomorrow never comes,
you’ll have no regrets about today.

Danke Schōn, Grazie, Merci, Mahalo Nui, Thank You!

Kind of expecting a nothing much, nothing special kind of birthday. You know what it’s like…as you get older and when you are single…it kind of becomes “just another day”.

But my expectations were proved incorrect when I got a call yesterday. I had taken a couple of days off from work to deal with all the things I let slide in my way to busy life. While I was cleaning away, Veronica called me to let me know that bouquet was delivered for me at work. She raved at how pretty it was…a big spring bouquet with an assortment of beautiful flowers. Then she read me the note with birthday greetings from my sister Denise…hubby Pete and the Silvestri family Alyssa, Travis and Reed.

So as soon as my house was presentable…I slipped over to work and picked up this lovely, gorgeous bouquet. And indeed…as you can see from the pictures above…Veronica accurately describe this lovely birthday surprise. My heartfelt thanks to the Silvestri family.

In the mailbox await birthday greeting my friend Margaret. Always one to let me know she loves me. She even enclosed a special note about the sweetheart of my dreams…the gentlemen whom I daily pray for.

Thanks Miss Margaret…you are always close to my heart…and in my thoughts daily!


Yesterday marked the fifth month since our beloved Pastor Chuck Obremski went home to be with the Lord. While I still miss him greatly…I find that as time has passes by…that it’s not as painful when I hear some of his old sermons.

At first…hearing a CD of Chuck’s was both comforting and painful. Comforting to know that Chuck was no longer suffering from the devastating effects of cancer…and that his body has been made whole. Comforting to know that he is now in heaven with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Also it was wonderful to have a library of great Bible teaching that Chuck had left behind.

But it was also somewhat painful. Painful when listening to the CD’s of Chuck preaching after he had gotten sick. And a bit sorrowful in knowing that until I get to heaven…I won’t hear new sermon from Chuck. But by golly since he has a head start…and has met our Lord Jesus Christ and knows first hand the Disciples and the people of the Bible…both Old Testament and New…I’m expecting one heck of a sermon. With maybe even a guest present who actually lived out that passage of scripture.

I am grateful to God for so much. I’m grateful to have witnessed God’s hand upon this man and strengthening him and enabling him to do His will and teach His word. I thank God for the example I saw before me in which a man of God…remained strong and unwavering in his faith…through the power and strength of the Lord during desperate and trying circumstances.

Seeing God work in the life of Chuck was amazing…and seeing it first hand…makes giving out God’s Word to those in need so very easy. I was able to see what a difference Jesus Christ made in the life of a man committed and obedient to God and His will for his life. So it’s exciting and I know with confidence that I am handing God’s word and I know it has and can make a difference in the lives of those in need. Be it someone who has not yet received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior…or a fellow Christian who is in need of encouragement and strengthening from God’s word…it’s wonderful to hand out those CD’s.

God has raised up our church, sustained it, comforted and enabled us each step along the way. Giving out CD’s has been made possible in part because of the commitment of the Elders at Kindred Community Church and the Obremski family…and also the tremendous work by the Audio Ministry who tirelessly to make sure CD’s have been copied, sent out and are ready for people to pick-up each Sunday.

If you are interested in availing yourself of any CD’s…please click on the link to Kindred Community Church…and take advantage of some great Bible teaching.

May God bless you and strengthen you in the coming week. May His word fill your heart and mind and enable you to walk a steady, unwavering path and bring glory to His precious name…Jesus Christ.

Meditating on the Word of God

On Charles Stanley’s In Touch Ministries radio broadcast this last week…he was talking about God’s pathway to success. During this message Dr. Stanley talked about meditating on the Word of God.

Being that I dabbled in new age philosophy before I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior…I’m a little bit leery when I hear the word meditation. But Dr. Stanley quickly laid to rest any concerns I had when it comes to Christian meditation. It’s reading God’s word and going before the Lord with an open and teachable spirit…and asking God how you should apply this passage to your life.

Below are some notes I jotted down from Dr. Stanley’s message.

Meditating on God’s Word doesn’t just mean reading through the word of God over a year. It means reading the God’s word and asking the Lord to, “Speak to my heart”.

So how might you meditate on God’s Word…just using Psalm 1:1?

Psalm 1

New International Version
1 Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.

Look at the words in the passage and say, “Lord you said walk a certain way, don’t stand with certain people, don’t walk with them, don’t stand with them, don’t sit with them. What are you saying to me Lord about my life?”

When you are meditating about the word of God…you are thinking strongly about it in light of what it’s saying about your life. What is it saying to me? What steps do you take to meditate on God’s Word?

1) Read it carefully
2) Think about it
3) Apply it to your heart
4) Ask several questions:

  • Is there any sin in this passage that I am to avoid?
  • Is there any truth that you want me to understand or comprehend that I have not understood before?
  • Is there any promise here that I have been unwilling, or not been able in my lack of faith to believe you for, and accept as true in my own life?
  • Is there some victory that I am to have in my life according to this passage of scripture?
  • Is there some blessing that I am to enjoy?
  • Is there some truth that I have missed?

Read the passage today, tomorrow and the next day. Take note pad in hand. Say to the Lord, “Speak to my heart and show me in this passage what you need to say to me about my life.”

One suggestion that I have that’s proved helpful in Bible Study Fellowship, is looking up a passage in several different translations. It may be phrased differently or stated in a way that helps you to understand the passage more fully. See a couple of different translations below on the same Psalm 1:1 passage.

New American Standard
1How blessed is the man who (
A)does not walk in the (B)counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the (
C)path of sinners,

Amplified Bible
a]BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather.

May God enrich your Bible study as you meditation on God’s Word daily.

On My Own Power

So how do I know…when what I’m doing, is on my own power and not God’s?

‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6

It’s not necessarily something bad or sinful…but I know that I’m overexerting myself and nearing the end of my strength. I hit wall after wall…and I’m not exactly acting very gracious or Christ like in response to those walls. And some of those walls are people…and they deserve a better response than what I give.

I get frustrated and my nerves are on edge. The fruits of the spirits…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…are not very evident in my daily life right about then.

When I look closer to see what’s going on…I see that I’m not staying connected to the Source of my Strength…Jesus Christ. I let the busyness and demands of this world…take first place. I get distracted by things, which while of value and necessary, they are not the most important thing. Right about then…I feel discouraged…or angry…or feel helpless, alone and unloved.

That’s when I most need to realize…that it’s time to refocus and get my priorities back on track. That’s also when it’s hardest to reach out to God.

But thank goodness I have a Father in heaven…just waiting for me turn to Him. He doesn’t leave me or forsake me…but patiently waits. He doesn’t leave me alone either. Instead…the Holy Spirit within me…is kind of nagging at me. He’s reminding me of God’s word…and the wisdom contained therein…to help with any situation that I might encounter. But mostly He’s reminding me that I need to turn and reach out to God.

Sometimes I think God must just want to swat me right upside the head. He’s saying, “Yo, Susan…what are you doing? Get a clue kid. When are you ever going to learn? You need me, you need to stay connected to me through my word and through prayer. Alright…if you insist…knock yourself out. I’ll be here waiting when you come to your senses and are ready to come back.” Golly, gosh gee wiz…it’s a darn good thing my God is so loving, patient and forgiving.

The parable of the prodigal son remains one of my favorites…in part because I know that God is like that father…who is awaiting his sons return. He’s watching and waiting…and while the son is afar off, he sees him coming and runs to greet and welcome him home. He embraces him in his loving arms…and kisses his son whom he missed.

Thank you God…for loving me. Thank you for sending your Son Jesus Christ to pay the penalty for my sins…so I might be with you in heaven one day. Thank you for giving me your Holy Spirit within me to guide and direct me daily. Thank you for not giving up on me or turning your back…when I need you most. How blessed I am! Thank you Jesus!

The Most Wonderful Time of Year

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…with those daffodils blooming…and Girl Scouts bringing those yummy cookies.

Ah yes…it’s that time again. Winter is nearing its end…and spring will soon arrive. But in the mean time…there a few things to look forward to. Top on that list is daffodil bunches from Trader Joe’s.

Now I don’t normally buy flowers for myself…and if I do…it’s the kind you get at the grocery store. Never have I ordered an arrangement from the florist…that’s what makes its special when your sweetheart sends you flowers…it’s something that just never do for yourself.

But my one exception on buying flowers for myself is when it’s almost spring time…and you can bunches of daffodils at Trader Joes for a mere .99 cents a bunch. I buy bunches and bunches of these lovely bits of sunshine all wrapped up in a daffodil. They are positively miraculous.

When you buy them…they are tight little buds…not yet opened…and not even a hint that the will open soon. But you bring them home…snip off the ends…and place in them in a special vase. Don’t take your eyes off them for long…because you will see them open before your very eyes.

I buy a bunch for home…and one to take to work…and one to take to my mom’s each week during this season. At work…they sit at my desk…and you can almost watch them open. In fact…sometimes you will hear the crinkle of the little paper-like wrapping that surrounds the bulbs.

And when you look at the bulbs as they open…the bright, beautiful color shines through…it almost seems as God had his angels capture rays of sunshine to place in each little bulb. A treat to behold.

In keeping with something special…I must give you a recommendation for an incredible TV show/video you must order if you love flowers. Huell Howser has a program on PBS called California’s Gold. A number of years ago…he broadcast a show on California’s flower fields. Huell visited three of California’s most magical places. Daffodil Hill in Amador…up near Sutter’s Mill…where over 300,000 Daffodil bulbs are scattered on the hillsides. Next…was a trip down the coast to Carlsbad Ranch…to see the Ranunculas in bloom…on a hillside across from the ocean. It is a sight to behold.

Now I’ve not been to Daffodil Hill…but if I’m ever up in northern California…you can be sure…that will be on my travel itinerary. But I have been most fortunate to go to the Ranuncula fields in Carlsbad. It’s a wonderful mixture of row after row of vibrant color from the Ranunculas in bloom. Then the sea breeze is blowing…and when the sun is shinning…you feel as if you are almost in heaven…or about as close as you can get this side of heaven. You can walk up the hillside…and get a closer look at the flowers…and take in the most magnificent ocean view. If I lived down that way…I’d have the season pass. Get my daily exercise…and fill soul with that beauty. You can be sure I will be paying a visit to Carlsbad Ranch…in just a few short weeks…to partake in its beauty. Camera will be in hand. Each year…they have an Easter sunrise service on the hillside. Now that would be lovely!

Lastly…Huell headed up the coast and inland to see the Poppy fields near Antelope Valley. The program ends with an aerial view of the fields as a helicopter flies overhead. Music befitting this view plays in the background. If this is any preview of heaven…my goodness we will never want to leave.

All three places…are a marvelous creation…bearing witness to the magnificent Creator.

So…it is with a big thumbs up I recommend you order this video. You will not be disappointed.

If you find yourself in California…in the springtime…be sure to plan a visit to these California treasures. In the mean time…don’t forget to go to Trader Joe’s…and buy yourself…those lovely little bits of sunshine called daffodils. Ah…springtime…just wonderful.

God’s Talking…Am I Listening?

Have you every gone through one of those times…when you feel like you’re just getting slammed? Repeatedly…no let up! You feel like you’re taking your last breath…and going under.

That’s kind of what today felt like. Yet it did have moments…when the gentle form of ever-present God reached out to me. Like a soft whisper or a gentle breeze…subtle…but there, nonetheless.

When driving home tonight from Bible Study Fellowship…the thought struck me it’s Satan who uses trials and tribulations to drive us away from God. But God uses these same circumstances in our lives…to draw us to him. And for those of use who are not so quick to obey or listen…he will drive us…like a shepherd taking care of his flock. When danger or trouble is near…the shepherd is more forceful in directing the sheep where he wants them to go.

God was forcefully driving me back to him. Not that I’ve run away…but goodness knows there are many distractions competing for my time and attention.

My reaction to these adverse circumstances was not one of anger towards God…but one that wanted to retreat. To hide away…and lick my wounds. Defeated and alone. It hurts to think that no one cares…and I think sometimes I almost take for granted that God does care. Maybe because I don’t fully comprehend it…and maybe because there is not a physical or visual demonstration of his care coming directly from him.

That’s where we can be tools and instruments of God. God has created us for, and allows us to be used to demonstrate his love towards others.

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Now that is something that ought to make us pause at the enormity and privilege that God has given us. That the God who created the universe would use us to reach out to others on his behalf. Wow!

It ought to also make us tremble with fear when we choose to act and go our own way. You can be certain that Satan will use that as a hurtful and destructive influence on others. Some of which are hurting, needful souls. Souls that just need a loving hand to reach out to them. We don’t know when we encounter these people…that it may be a crisis or pivotal moment in their life. Our actions toward them…how we treat them…can push them one way or the other. Compel them towards God or drive them away.

And if we are Christians…who are known as such…and have that title…when we err, when we drop the ball, when we hurt others…it brings aspersions our Lord and Savior. It’s at those times we don’t look a whole lot different than the rest of the world. And probably a little worse…you the word…hypocrites.

So as I go to bed tonight…and lay my head on the pillow I am thankful to God. Thankful that he pursued me…when I was hurting and just wanted some space…he kept walking right along side me. I thank him for the reminder on what it is to hurt so deeply…so that when I see that in the eyes of another hurting soul…I will recognize it and seek to love and reach out to them.

I’m trying God…honest! I’ll try not to forget this lesson. And when I do…I’m grateful that God…is not only a God of second chances…but thousands of chances and more. Thank you Jesus!

Valentine of Old

Three and a half years ago…when faced with the challenging of selling my mother’s home…one of the chores was going through years of accumulated memorabilia, photos, paperwork, furniture, clothing and a heck of a lot of other stuff.

One of the nice surprises was discovering that my mom had kept a few of the papers from my youth including some early art work. Among those treasures I discovered a valentine that I had made for my mom.

Not sure exactly when it would have been done? Kindergarten or first grade? We would have been living Alamosa, Colorado at that time…either in town…or out in the country. What makes it even more special to me…is that my mom kept it all these year. Considering how many times we moved…that is truly amazing.

Another Treasure

Please check out Debra’s latest writing at As I See It Now. It’s called “So, Like, How am I doing?”.

It’s wonderful…very convicting, challenging and ultimately healing. She talks about how she reacts when offended by others.

Like Debra…I can say that I have learned over the years…it’s much better to choose not to be offended, forgive quickly…and move past the issue. Do I always succeed at that? No…but I’m getting better.

Two points I’m walking away with from Debra’s post is:

1) When offended…going to God and asking him, “God…how am I doing?”. Sometimes this can be a dangerous question…because when I erred…the Holy Spirit will let’s me know. Sometimes gently and sometimes it feels like more a whack upside the head. (Which I usually need right about then.)

2) Remember…that God give me the grace to forgive and change. He does not give me the grace to remain in unforgiveness, bitterness and anger. When I choose to remain offended, angry or bitter…it’s very draining, wearing and done entirely on my own power.

Wow…great article…please be sure to click on the link and read Debra’s article. As I See It Now…is a website I have bookmarked…and check regularly. Debra’s writings are wonderful. Always open and transparent…encouraging and feeds the soul. Also some fun and whimsy too. Thanks Debra…Atta Girl!

Wishing you a Heavenly Birthday Grandma

Today would have been my Grandmother’s 113th birthday. Grandma lived to be 93 years old…and passed way June 2, 1986…coming up on 20 years ago in just a few short months.

My Grandma and I were not very close while I was growing. For a lot of reason really…but mostly because we just had very different personalities and interests. Hurts that we each suffered in our lives may have put a barrier between us.

My Grandmother was a Christian and while she was still alive I was an unbeliever. I think that was one of the obstacles to a good relationship between us. Several years after she died…I did accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Now when thinking about Grandma…I wonder how our relationship would have been different if I had become a Christian earlier.

Anyway…Happy Birthday Grandma. I’ll see you in heaven one day. Perhaps then…we can be friends…and really get to know one another. And those flaws and limitations that hindered our relationship down here will go by the wayside. Say “Hi” to Grandpa for me.

I don’t have a lot of things from my Grandma…but do have an assortment of awesome photos. Enjoy!