“In the Beginning…”

How often do you look back on your life, only to ask the question: “what happened”?

For many of us, we tend to revisit fond images of our youth. But there may be other memories of regret. I believe God, our creator, has planned it so. It gives us the opportunity to ask His forgiveness. It gives us a moment to ask for a second chance.

I was recently asked to teach a class for new believers. There are some students who have made the decision to rededicate their lives to Christ. This is all a glorious thing, and I rejoice in their commitment to a new way of life. Unfortunately, in order to lead them through this journey, God has caused me to revisit mental images of my past. As a woman who was saved many years ago, the experience is very challenging.

My Pastor has taught us a spiritual truth: “whenever you preach the Word, you must walk in  it”. And I must confess, I have never sympathized with that statement, until now.

For the past few weeks, God has forced me to remember what it is like to walk through life without His divine guidance; without His mercy and grace. He wants me to understand what it is like to be lost; controlled by “things of the flesh”. He wants me to recall those days; so many years ago, when I was a new babe in Christ.

Unlike my Pastor, I cannot testify about: “never tasting alcohol”. I know, and understand, some of the forbidden fruits which Satan uses to makes us stumble. The knowledge makes me all the more grateful, when I read: “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son…” (John 3:16).

So, no matter how uncomfortable the experience, I understand I should walk this path, if only to point out the pitfalls along the way.

For those of you are still struggling, I hope you remember the boundless love of our creator.

Be Blessed, Donna

Healing the Hurt

I recently explored the definition of the word, “minister”. I discovered several options: “care for, take care of, look after, nurse, treat, attend to”.

Since I am a Registered Nurse, I have spent many years caring for the sick. In all that time, the most important lesson I learned is realizing my limitations. I can treat the symptoms, but God is the only power able to bring the actual healing.

In God’s Word, I remember reading about the body of believers; the Church. We are united: “The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body…If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” (1 Corinthians 12:12,26).

If we each come together to form the body of Christ, I find it impossible to ignore when another member is hurting. Just as a small tooth ache cannot be ignored, spiritual problems affect all of us.

In class, today, I attempted to explain to my students about the origin of sin; in the garden of Eden. I had to remind them about the serpent who tempted Eve. That same spirit of deception, and temptation, is still able to attack the body of  believers.

I was reminded how much Jesus suffered to deliver us from sickness and sin. I must remind my brothers and sisters; if you yield to things which create sickness, the entire body is affected.

I pray for strength in our faith, as we remember: “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes on Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Be Blessed, Donna

 

 

Imperfection

Have you ever been disappointed in someone you admired? I’m sure you can think of at least one time you found a flaw in someone’s character.

It is part of our emotional “needs list” to be loved and accepted by others. We are also born with an  expectation to have our own “needs” met. When a child is hungry, they cry and expect immediate gratification from their mother. That is part of human survival. But there comes a time when we must mature from our infancy. That usually happens when Mother doesn’t come the minute we cry out. We become impatient, frustrated, and finally, anger sets in.

Have you ever considered what it must be like for people in authority? When ever I think about leadership, I remember the story of Moses. I doubt his name will ever be forgotten, and yet, people grumbled against him. So, I wonder…how difficult it must be for our church pastors. How can anyone fulfill the needs of each person? If Moses found it impossible, shouldn’t we realize the same is true for our spiritual leaders, today?

How many times have we looked at Church leaders and felt disappointment? The truth we must face: they will never measure up to our expectations.  Jesus once asked the question: “why do you call me good?” (Mark 10:18).

I sympathize with leaders who carry the mantle of “preacher, teacher, and minister of compassion”. Even more, I grieve for people who leave the Church due to disappointment in their lack of perfection.

I understand why God’s Word tells us to pray for our leaders. Most persons called by God to serve in leadership have a desire to be perfect. Their goal is not focused to receive admiration from others. If you are called by God, you desire to please Him; to be perfect in everything we’re called to do. Again, we must remember, we are not perfect. God doesn’t expect perfection, for He knows  we are: “only dust”. ( Psalms 103:14)

So, the next time you feel disappointed in a leader, stop, take a moment to pray for yourself then pray for that person. Prayer  will give you restoration and peace.

Be Blessed, Donna

 

 

 

The Thimble

Have you ever found something from the past; thinking it was lost? I’m sure you will agree, memories come rushing forward like a gust of wind.

Today, I found my grandmother’s thimble. Of course, it had never been truly lost. It was right where I left it. But it reminded me of my childhood, when she taught me to embroidery lovely pictures. She would tell me stories about her mother, and explained the art had been past down from generation to generation.

Her story didn’t explain the fact that she learned to sew during a time when there was much need in our world. History calls it: “The Great Depression”.

Now that I am older, I am able to fill in the missing pieces about her life.

You see, my father was born in 1929, the year of the stock market crash. I have seen movies about that era of history. I understand there was great need to many people.

Now that I have children, and grandchildren, I realize they lived in a time when sewing was not a pleasurable past-time. When my father’s clothes were torn, Mom couldn’t run down to Walmart and buy something new. Whatever was torn was stitched. If something in the house became broken, it was mended. Knowing that, helps me to understand my father a little more. There was times when I judged him as being consumed with a need for money and material things. He found it hard to trust, and spent many years with a fearful outlook on life.

I realize, now, his heart needed mending; even more than a worn out pair of jeans. I’m thankful I was able to pray for him, when he asked. I hope I get to see him in Heaven. I wish I had another chance to say the words he needed to hear: “Jesus loves you. He wants to heal your heart.”

For anyone who feels their heart is torn; in need of being mended. I wish to say the same thing to you.

Be Blessed, Donna

Focus on God

Some days seem to be filled with worry: war news, sickness, medical reports, financial stress, or broken relationships.

Jesus warned us about such trouble, but he also offered hope by saying, “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

So, what can we do when trouble strikes? How do we continue to pray in faith, if we are surrounded by the clamor of darkness? God’s Word says: “We have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16) When Jesus wandered in the wilderness, he was tempted by Satan. But Jesus was never defenseless. He fought against Satan’s attack by declaring with confidence: “It is written.” (Matthew 4:4)

If we truly have the “mind of Christ” we should remember who we are; Children of God, created in His image. We are protected by His “ministering spirits”. We are given “Weapons of warfare, which are not carnal, but are mighty to the pulling down of strongholds”.

Jesus never forgot His identity. He was fully man, but also fully God. If we are filled with His presence, purchased by his blood, and guided by His Spirit then we should keep our focus on these truths above all else.

Not matter what happens, tomorrow. I pray this will give you “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.” ( Philippians 4:7)

Be Blessed, Donna

“This is the way”

Have you ever looked back on your life, and considered a moment where God directed your steps?

I just noticed today’s date. I was reminded: thirty years ago, my family moved to Brunswick, Georgia. We bought our first home, I enrolled in Nursing School, and began my first job in the medical field. Of course, I was only a Nursing Asst. at the time, but it was my first step in following God’s instructions: “take my Word to the hospitals; to the sick and dying.”

After 30 years, I continue to hear his voice. It is a voice of love, and compassion. For those who struggle with decisions, please remember to ask for His guiding hand. “This is the way, walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21).

Be Blessed, Donna

Creating Something Priceless.

Have you ever walked along the beach in search of pretty seashells?

When I was a little girl, I loved the seaside; the beautiful blue water, the sound of waves rushing on shore, but especially the treasures which washed up with the tide. Seashells could glitter in the sun like  precious pearls. Sometimes, a broken pebble would reveal crystals which reminded me of diamonds.

Have  you ever wondered what makes a diamond a thing of beauty? It takes pressure; cutting with a  hammer and sharp chisel then the stone is polished with more pressure. To put it simply, a diamond takes effort and much patience.

Now, I realize no one likes the word, “Patience”. When I read my King James Bible, the term is called: “Long suffering” (Galatians  5:22). But in God’s eyes, it is a necessary process to transform us from a simple stone, to a perfect jewel.

I realized we have all experienced trouble in this life. Jesus told us, ” in this world  you will have trouble” (John 16:33). So, if you are still breathing, you will find times of trouble. It’s part of life. But have you ever considered that trouble to be for our good?

Paul explained it  like this: “we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:3)

So, dear friend, no matter where you are in this journey of life, we can all EXPECT that season of pressure, trouble, trial and tribulation. Don’t allow yourself grief by asking, “Why me?” The answer is simple. God loves each one of his children. He is in the process of creating something beautiful. Perhaps I should use the term: “something of value”. The end process will be a priceless jewel.

To all those I love, I pray you will rest in this hope.

Be blessed, Donna