Monday, January 11, 2016

Red-roofed


There is something about this crimson-roofed, white church, nestled on the beach and blanketed in snow that keeps speaking to my heart.  I've had the picture on my desktop for many weeks now. Every so often, I stop to contemplate what it is saying to me but as of yet I've come to no conclusions.

I think it's the steeple.  Against the white water-colored sky, the crimson steeple points UP.  Up to the Cross, which stands as a showcase against the ordinary muted colors.

If you can zoom in, the Cross is quite ornate, which seems odd on such a plain little church.  The round-topped windows are just clear glass covered in a thin layer of frost, which has painted ornate designs on the glass.  Nature's handiwork. The Cross and frost are marks of beauty amongst the simplicity of the church and scenery.

Hmmm....

Bits of ornate amongst the plain and ordinary....

....Hmmm....

Recently, it was said of me that "Diane is plain".

....Hmmm....

The bits of ornate of my plain life, of my "plain" being, is my God.  He lights up my life in such ornate ways, showcasing His Handiwork and beauty.  My "rooftop" is also painted in crimson - the crimson Blood of Jesus Christ.  The Cross, which is the life-source of my being and lifestyle, hopefully stands just as high and points UP - points up to God Almighty, Creator of Heaven, earth, and sea. Creator of the wood and frost. The Only God.

The God Who Loves me deeply, intimately, and longingly; Who has created me "plain" on purpose.

....Hmmm....

For what purpose, LORD?

....Hmmm....

(Drawing in a deep breath)  So His Beauty is what is seen.

(Slowly exhaling)

....Oh, Father, You take my breath away....

Thank You, my Father, my God, for the awesome revelation You just gave to me through this photo, which has been a work of art to me.  I bow before You and thank You for making me Your work of art.  May my crimson-stained life point to The Cross.  And may The Cross point to You. May Jesus Christ be lifted high through me and that You will draw those who "contemplate" my life unto Yourself.  Thank You, my Father, for making me such a beautiful work of art.  Thank You that Your beauty is what is seen in "plain little 'ol me". I love You so.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Holy Agita, Batman!

Oh, the joy and agita of anticipation.

In 13 days, I will meet someone face-to-face who I know intimately but have never met.

What started out about 20 years ago as a ministry of writing to encourage someone in prison, has progressed over the years to a friendship and taking up a cause.  All through correspondence and recent phone conversations.

As of late, in anticipation of actually meeting for the first time, we banter back and forth about the mishaps that could occur due to being nervous.  We have had some hearty laughs about it all!

But, the agita remains.  And will on that day in particular, I'm sure.

I question God's timing in all this.  I flew down to meet him two and a half years ago (before my life imploded), but because of computer glitches, the state of Virginia would not allow me to visit.

Now, after all my shocks and dealing with the devastation in the wake of Joe's secrets, his plots and plans to destroy me, and causing me to lose my home, my car, family and friends.  NOW my Father asks me to go and meet someone for the first time?  Holy agita, Batman!



NOW, LORD?  Really???

My self esteem has been on a slow upswing for a bit now (thank You, LORD!), but it is nowhere near where it should be.  So, NOW, You want me to go, LORD?  UGH.  A G I T A !   (For you non-Italians, "agita" is an Italian word for a nervous stomach.)




So, I will dig my heels in and start changing my "self talk".  I will cast down the vain imaginations that exalt itself against the Promises of God.  I will start speaking aloud positive confessions over myself. And It will be an awesome meet-and-greet!  With NO mishaps!  And I will share with you all when I get home.  God is going to do some awesome things!  (I'm praying that I may even have the opportunity to meet Alex or Thomas who shared Christmas Eve with me.)

I need to think about my Father so much so, that I no longer think about Diane.  I can do this!  Yes, I can!  Because the Spirit of The Holy God is in me! (Dan. 4:18b)

Oh, the joy and agita of anticipation!

Because of Him and Unto Him, 



Friday, January 8, 2016

Self-Grace



We know that God’s Grace - His Mercy - is new to us every morning. Oh Hallelujah! for that. 

We “shoulda, coulda, woulda”.  We can wallow in the regrets of words spoken or deeds done or not done. Or we can apply God’s Grace toward ourselves.  
We should be as kind and gracious toward ourselves as we would be toward others.  




If God’s Grace - His Mercy - is new to us every morning, then shouldn’t we apply that same Grace to ourselves?  

Self-Grace should be new every morning, too!  

Hear that Diane?

I love it when I preach to myself!

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Testimony Time - Christmas Eve - Part Two

The testimony of God's goodness continues...please read the previous post for the beginning of this awesome Christmas Eve.
~~~

I'd like to share the significance of Thomas' song, Momma Liked the Roses by Elvis Presley. Coming up to the Eve, I kept thinking why would he pick this song above all else?  It made no sense to me. But, what a surprise awaited me.

After listening and signing along, Thomas shared with me that his Grandma loved roses and she had many rose bushes.  When she passed away when he was young, his uncle (the Grandma's son) and he, together, would sing this song every Christmas Eve in remembrance of Grandma.

This year, Thomas sent his uncle a Christmas card and the uncle reciprocated with a note inside the card saying that he would still be singing the song and that he would be thinking of Thomas as he did so. Thomas now gets to tell the uncle how he, too, got to sing the song on Christmas Eve, as if they were together once again remembering Grandma.  Together. Yet so far apart.  Tears of joy gently flowed!

Thomas' gratitude to me was overwhelming.  When I shared God's Word with him and the Scripture, he was quiet.  When I finished speaking he was praising and thanking God.  

RD told me that these two men could speak of nothing else all Christmas Eve night and Christmas Day.  They were telling everyone how this stranger invited them to share Christmas Eve with them and the special "gift" I had given each of them.

Here is the kicker:  The phones were turned off immediately after I hung up with Thomas. I never even got to speak with RD again until midday on Christmas Day when the prison turned them back on. That's when I got to play him his favorite carol.  Had they not called me before their church service, that opportunity to share God's Word and Agape Love with them would have passed them by. 

Here is the second kicker:  I cannot understand accents.  Not a Spanish accent, an American Southern accent, or even a British or Aussie accent.  I use CC on my TV all the time when someone has an accent.  While I was sharing with these individual men, RD was in his cell praying.  Suddenly, he realized he forgot to prepare me in advance that both men had accents - one Spanish, the other a hard-core Southern drawl.  He started to panic thinking I won't be able to understand them. Just then, RD looked up and on the TV was a scene from a Jesus movie.  It was the Upper Room Holy Spirit experience.  His heart was assured that this would be my experience - that I, too, would be able to understand their utterances.  And I did.  Every word. 

All I could do was worship God Who Loved these men so much as to orchestrate this whole scenario and get His Word and Love through to them.  

For whatever time RD has left to serve, I do hope this will be my new Christmas tradition.  And I hope and pray next year there will be more than two men! 

Because of Him and Unto Him, 


Testimony Time - Christmas Eve - Part One

"Your sins and your crimes are forgiven you."  I said that twice on Christmas Eve to two incarcerated men in Buckingham Correctional Facility in Virginia.

In my aloneness this Christmas, all I wanted to be was to be about our Father's business.  And He gave me the desire of my heart.

The son of dear friends is incarcerated in that prison. RD has been in prison for 23 years of his life so far.  I've been writing to him ever since I met his parents about 22 years ago.  We've never met.  But, we have a fruitful, Godly friendship.  Over all these years, reading one of his letters is like getting a letter from the Apostle Paul. They always minister to my spirit and bring me up higher.

I told RD what The Holy Spirit deposited into my heart regarding Christmas Eve.  He was to pray and then pick some men who would like to hear their favorite Christmas carol.  RD would then call me and one by one, put them on the phone. I would play their song for them and share what God wanted me to.

You see, RD has told me that most of the incarcerated treat Christmas or any other holiday as just another day.  It is too painful to think of it in any other light.  So, they don't allow themselves to go there.

But, he found two men who were willing and wanted to hear their special song.  One was Alex, a Spanish man; the other Thomas, a good old Southern boy. Their song choices made absolutely no sense to me.  For Alex's choice, I had to dig through the internet to find it.  But, God led me to it. I downloaded it to my computer.

They were supposed to call after the prison's Christmas Eve church service ended, around 8:15 PM.  However, around midday, I got the distinct impression that they were to call before church.  By God's Hand, only, was I able to get that message to RD in time.

About 5 PM the phone rang.

The message God wanted Alex and Thomas to know was that their sins and crimes were forgiven them and that He now considered them kings and priests unto God.  They needed to start seeing themselves as such. I was to share Rev.1:5-6 with them.

The anointing was strong and The Spirit did His work on both their hearts.  I was brought to tears both times.  These men were so appreciative.  Alex declared afterward that this night would now be a part of his testimony. I was the third person - since his incarceration - to gave him that same Scripture verse.  He never "received it" until this Christmas Eve when a total stranger was willing to share her Christmas with him and give him such a special gift.

(To be continued...)

I hope you all had a most blessed Christmas!

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Monday, December 14, 2015

Flip Flop the Blessing Thinking

A dear friend said to me today, "I pray you have a blessed day and that you will be a blessing."  It stopped me short.

How many times have you and I said to someone, "Have a blessed day"?  Quite often I am sure.

How many times have we encouraged someone to go out an BE a blessing to someone else?  I'm sure not quite as often.

If we reside in God's Kingdom, then we already know we are blessed of God. We don't need to ask for God to bless us.  We do need to remind each other, though, to put others into the forefront of our thinking; and to ask our Father what can we do to be a blessing to someone else.
Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. ~ President John F. Kennedy
Ask not what God can do for you; ask what you can do for God. ~ Me 
Let's make this a season of true gift giving.  Let's pray and ask our Father what we can do for Him this Christmas season to be a blessing to someone else.  


You just never know how we might affect someone else's' life.

Merry Christmas!







Monday, December 7, 2015

The Dancing Shadows of Dignity

My Christmas “tree” is bare this year.  No ornaments, no tree skirt, no pre-wrapped presents.  Bare.  Except for the wooden Cross tree-topper hand-made by my son, Michael, when he was a young teen.

As bare as it is in this moment, it will stay.  This will be my first Christmas alone.  And I’m looking forward to it.  I’m looking forward to forging new traditions for myself.  Starting with no ornaments.  So I can just enjoy the beauty of the lights and the form of my tree.

After re-arranging my plants that adorn my living-room windows, the white-lit, white-wire, Charlie Brown-tree stands in the middle and beckons to all who pass by.  I don’t think you could help but notice it, for it shines so very bright.

In the past two years, I’ve been stripped bare kind of like this tree.
  
In the past two years, there has been no adorning “ornamental-ness” about me or my life. 

I certainly haven’t felt much like a gift anyone would want to unwrap.  

Yet, all is well.

For our Father reminds me that I am His Light in this world (Matt. 5:14-16). I’ve been told, throughout these monumental-life changes that came about, that my Light has never gone out but has continued to shine. 

I question that.

But, I guess in the midst of total darkness, even the smallest flicker can be seen.  And grateful I am that my Light did not completely die out.  Flickered, most definitely, but is now burning brightly once again. And hopefully, creating dancing shadows for others to enjoy.  Oh, Hallelujah!

I heard someone say recently, “Don’t let any man steal your dignity.”  I had to meditate on that for a while.  When in the face of absolute betrayal, deception, and a long-term con against me that was pulled off so prolifically, my dignity took a walk.  But, through the prayers of so many who care for me and my God-ordained counselor, I grabbed dignity by the hand and pulled it back to me.  I now walk with my head held high.  Dignity intact. Light still ablaze.  All is well. 

Yes, I’ve been stripped bare. Down to nothingness, just like my Christmas tree.  Down to just me and my Saviour.  

Me and my restoring Saviour.  
Me and my healing Saviour.  
Me and my rescuing Saviour.  
Me and my providing Saviour.  
Me and my comforting Saviour. 
Me and my advocate Saviour. 
Me and my husband Saviour. 

And Jesus Christ was stripped bare in a most undignified manner for all the world to see for eons to come. Yes, He gave up His dignity so that I might retain mine in this time and place.  

Thank You, my Lord God.  Thank You! Yes, dignity is one of the many tiny lit-up facets on the branches of my tree-like life. If I can remain with my dignity intact while dignifying Love toward others, then my Light will continue to shine, shine, shine creating dancing shadows for others to enjoy.  It’s my dignity that is shining so bright!  Like a lighthouse in the darkness.  Just like my little Christmas tree.  Oh, Hallelujah!  Thank You, my Jesus!

Monday, November 30, 2015

A Lesson In Life from Kodak

Oh, the patience of Kodak.  

My collie and I played together this morning with his favorite toy - an empty box.  Kodak loves boxes - of all sizes.  After a few minutes of tug and war with an empty tissue box, I lost interest as the box began ripping apart.  I returned to my business - cleaning up the kitchen.  

About twenty minutes later, I walked into the living room.  Kodak was laying on the floor looking at me.  In his mouth - still - was a remaining piece of the tissue box.  

For Kodak, time had gone into suspended animation.

He patiently remained waiting for me to be done with my busyness so we could continue with our game.  The cardboard was soaked from his saliva.  He never released his grip.  He held on firmly yet gently.  Patiently.  Waiting for me. 

It almost brought me to tears.

A blog post began to take form. So, here I now sit.

Our Father never releases His grip.
He holds us ever so gently, yet firmly in His Hand.
Patiently, He remains awaiting us.

As you and I go about our daily lives, doing and doing and doing, there He remains. 
Patiently. 
Waiting for me.  
Waiting for you.  
To come and "play" with Him.
He never releases His gentle, but firm grip.  


Suspending time, our Father just waits and waits and waits. 
Remaining forever faithful. 
As if to say,"Are you done yet?  Can we "play" now?"








Oh, Hallelujah! 

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Friday, November 27, 2015

Will You Play Your Drum for Him?

                        Little Drummer Boy

Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum 
A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum 
Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum 
To lay before The King, pa rum pum pum pum, 
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,

So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum, 
When we come. 

Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum 
I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum 
I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum 
That's fit to give The King, pa rum pum pum pum, 
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, 

Shall I play for You, pa rum pum pum pum, 
On my drum? 

Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum 
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum 
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum 
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum, 
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, 

Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum 
Me and my drum.  
                 ~ lyrics to Little Drummer Boy 

What is your “drum”? 
What do you “play” for the honor of The LORD? 
What are your talents?  Your giftings?

Do you play drums?
Is your talent musical, lyrical?
Is it poetry or writing?
Is it cooking, sewing, or woodworking?
Is it mechanical or playing a sport?
Is it teaching?
Preaching?
Hospitality?
Is it giving?  
Is it praying?
Is it hugging or speaking words of encouragement?
Is it listening with ears to hear?

Whatever your ”drum” is, play it unto the Glory and Honor of The King as a gift back unto Him.
Play for Him.  
Play the best you can for Him. 
And He will smile upon you.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Pre-Dawn of Dawn

The Pre-Dawn of Dawn


The atmosphere is enlightened by the moon and stars You’ve hung
A dim glow outlines the mountainous-looking trees 
Just before the dawn sky awakens
Ever so briefly it goes into a deep, dark sleep

Deep darkness follows the dimly glowing sky
Why, my LORD, does this happen?

It’s like You put nature asleep to gain strength
For the burst of energy it takes to awaken nature

It’s like the darkness is the moments before the alarm goes off
Awakening us from our slumber

I watch with anticipation:
Here it comes!

Slowly, the atmosphere is beginning to glow once again
Ever so subtilely

Tree formations can now be recognized
As the lighter sky now peeks through the branches

A tiny bit lighter
All is so very still and quiet

Ever so minutely lighter
The trees seem to reach out and lift the shade up

And the birds awaken
Going through their morning rituals

What a glorious day this will be 
And You made just for me

I am glad
I rejoice
I am thankful