If Not For….

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Psalm 63:2 So I have looked for you in the sanctuary to see Your Power and Glory

Isaiah 41:10 Fear not for I am with you, Be not dismayed for I am your God

I will strengthen you, yes I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

James 1:2 My brethren count it all joy when you fall into various trials

If Not For….

If not for painful trials I endure, how would I know of Your great faithfulness

If not for all my failures, how could I know the depth of Your forgiveness

If not for Your death on a cross for me, how could I begin to understand Your mercy

towards my sinfulness

If not for your protective sanctuary, how could I ever begin to see Your glory

If not for my hard times, that you worked for my good, how could I ever tell your story

Of  a tender God who carried me, when my human strength  was spent

If not for a loving God, how could I bend my knees and tell You the things that I repent

If not for all the unpleasantness of life, how could I learn to trust You day by day

If not for the tender grace that You give to me, could I try to submit to You in all my ways

If not for all the many blessings You bestow to me, even though there is nothing I

 could ever do to deserve it

If not for Your very Presence, which brings me untold joy, how would I ever be free from evil’s darkest pit

Revive me, O’Lord

Revive me, O’Lord according to

Your loving kindness , The sum

of Your word is truth, and every

one of Your righteous ordinances

is everlasting.

Psalm 119:159-160

Many things have changed since the last entry I posted. I have given up all but one client and have taken on a full-time job to help my husband Jim keep up with the bills that seem to be never-ending on the farm. I work at a call centre and the hours are grueling and getting use to shift work has been hard on me. That’s why it’s been such a long time since I have put pen to paper.

Since I talk for a living now, dealing with a tooth that has  absessed has been a little bit draining but it has given me some time off to rest and to write. When trials persist I turn to the Lord and  when I read this passage in scripture it reminded  me of God’s gifts and how he can work in the darkest of circumstance and pick me back up just when I thought I was down and out for good. “Revive me O’Lord according to Your loving kindness” that line made my mind’s eye recall all the people who the Lord had worked through to reach out  and touch my life. But the one who stands out the most is my husband Jim. I had for so many years prayed to God to send me that certain one who would love me like no other and I have no doubt in my mind that Jim is the perfect guy for me. Over the years we have had are shares of up’s and down’s but through life’s trials we have learned how to appreciate each other’s strengths and forgive each other’s weak spots. Learning about how God loves me has made me more aware of how much me husband love’s me and how much I see the Lord reside in my husband. I have always said to Jim that if we did not have the Lord there is no way our marriage would   have survived the things we have been through. Never was I so aware of this fact when I stumbled across an old journal I had in college. I had just broken up with a guy and I was heart-broken. Determined to never have that happen again I made a list of attributes I would look for in my perfect guy and I also gave a physical description of what he would look like and where we would live. Much time had passed and I had long forgotten that list by the time I had met Jim but the Lord had not forgotten that list and knowing how to give good gifts to his children he brought me Jim. When years later I stumbled upon that old journal and read the physical description of my perfect man it was as if I was looking straight at Jim and saying out loud he is tall with dark hair and a moustache, we live on a farm with  horses etc. (the only thing that did not match the list is we do not have a pond or a boat)  All his character traits like being honest , patient and a good sense of humor were one the list. When I wrote the list I remember being patient was very high up on the list because I am always forgetting my keys, my purse, where I parked the car etc. and it always drove my boyfriend at the time and some of my friends crazy. I remember being a little bit amazed when I read that journal  because that is one of the traits I admire most in my husband is his ability to be so patient with me and others. He never gets mad when he has to go back to the restaurant or church or friends houses because I have forgotten my purse, my keys and so on. I have no doubt that Jim was hand-picked by God to be my perfect match. To quote a famous movie ” He completes me”. but only because the good Lord designed him for me. I am so glad that the Lord made me wait for Mr. Right and not for Mr. right now. The Lord has reached out to me through my husband so many times and his touch on our lives has revived me through some of the toughest times I have ever faced.  When I put my trust in the Lord and ask him to reveal himself to me it is truly amazing when he shows me how much he was involved is my life right from the very beginning. It is a reflection of just how much he knows about me and how much he loves me, I have no doubt that the Lord’s word is truth and the things he ordains will stand as an everlasting testimony of his love and righteousness because he shows me how those words play out in my own life

I am giving it to the Lord

My body is flawed and not perfect

I am giving it to the Lord

Sometimes my thoughts are scattered and ineffective

I am giving it to the Lord

In some situations I feel scared and vulnerable when pushed outside my comfort zone

I am giving it to the Lord

My good intentions are occasionally misunderstood

I am giving it to the Lord

Some people can be cold and rude

I am giving it to the Lord

I am not perfect and make mistakes

I am giving it to the Lord

Sometimes I dislike the path the Lord has set before me and wish things were easier

I am giving it to the Lord

I do not love enough

I am giving it to the Lord

At times I can be hard headed and stubborn

I am giving it to the Lord

Sometimes I say the wrong things

I am giving it to the Lord

In every weakness that I give to the Lord he replaces it with his power and his strength to do the impossible so I surrender my burdens along with my praise and

I am giving to the Lord

The Gift of Love

Psalm 42:1-2

1 As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So my soul pants for You, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God;
When shall I come and appear before God?

Psalm 34:5

5 They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces will never be ashamed.

Philippians 2:15
15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,

The Gift of Love

Here I am and You called to me on my sick-bed

Knowing that I could hardly take a breath full of anxiety and dread

Six times to the hospital and my lungs are still not fixed

A second virus shingles squeezes in and gives my body another kick

But in the midst of all of this there was so much pain upon my soul

For being the one to hold our family back and now no drug coverage, has dug a financial hole

It’s been three weeks and I still don’t know, when I can return to work

Sitting here feeling so useless, I felt like a failure and a jerk

But than You Lord called to me and talked me through my daily devotions

And I was so surprised to hear from You in the midst of all this emotional commotion

Now that I had the time You talked with me and explained how much You miss me

And how there could be joy in the midst of trials if I would bring those fears to Thee

You were tender when You pointed out were I had gotten way off track

How I let bitterness and anger misconstrue some crucial facts

I was seeing You as an angry father , a taskmaster I could not please

It seemed so impossible to be that perfect Christian, I tried so hard to be

So full of pride at my failing I avoided spending time with You

At one point I had started to think, this Christian walk was something I couldn’t do

As soon as I thought of  that my heart was full of shame

And You said my precious child I love you just the same

For all fall short everyone that is why you need me

To help guide you and protect you and give you the strength to see

Not with eyes that reflect this world but with spiritual eyes that see things differently

First you have to take on faith that My love for you will never end

That no matter how you sin I will be here to restore you and pick you up again

You are my little lamb that is walking by my side

But suddenly your chasing butterflies and you have wonder out just like the tide

I will always call you back, but little lamb you have to listen for my voice

And if your late on hearing it than you have to make a choice

To believe in me and understand I am a Lord of Love

And come running back no matter where you’ve been, with your eyes focused on Me above

I will always love you unconditionally in a way that you can never understand

That’s why my death at Calvary was done freely, to save every man

Not because man could ever do, something that was worthy of my gift You know

It was because I love them all regardless if they choose to acknowledge Me or if their friends or foes

I know you have walked through lots of trials and I am so happy you endured

But my little Lamb I need you to pay attention to my word

Try to do the best you can to follow where I lead with a heart that’s full of thanks and praise

And regardless of your circumstance I will fill your heart with joy and give you peace for the moment, even on the hardest days

Now for the first time ever, I know how much I’m loved by Jesus, the Awesome God of Love

And that feeling pushes out the anger and the bitterness and ushers in forgiveness that was undreamed of

Although I still am very week and my Lungs have  a ways to go, it so nice to know

That everyday You meet me here, You fill my heart with joy that over rides the pain I feel, because I finally know how much you love me so.

Faith for Me

Acts 17:27-28
“27 that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though he is not far from each one of us;28 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, for we also are His children.”

Hebrews 11:1
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for,
The conviction of things not seen.”

Faith for Me

Faith for me is believing that You won’t leave me in the condition You found me in
Faith for me is believing that You do exist and You cover all my sins
Faith for me is knowing Your there even if I can’t see You
Faith for me is when You cause something to happen that verifies Your listening before I ask You too
Faith for me is when You answer prayer in a way I know it must be You
Faith for me is learning about Your promises and watching them come true
Faith for me is the blessings that You give, for things I really don’t deserve
Faith for me is seeing miracles happen for God’s people who I serve
Faith for me is looking for Your light when evil comes to call
Faith for me is hearing no and learning to take a fall
Faith for me is sharing all I think and feel with You
Faith for me is knowing that You feel the same way too
Faith for me is searching to know Your character, the essence of who You are
Faith for me is knowing that You searched for me, my Awesome God the one who made the stars
Faith for me is to know that Your perfecting me, to be the person of Your heart
Faith for me is knowing that I am accepted as You daughter unconditionally and we’ll never part

Failure is an Event not a Life Sentence

Psalm 34:5

They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces will never be ashamed

Ephesians 2:7-8

so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and [a]that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;

Jesus knew we could never live our life’s as the perfect image of his Son that’s why we were saved by grace through our faith in Jesus Christ. We as Christians are in Jesus eyes exempt from that label of failure. When we try and fall short and we confess it to Him we are immediately forgiven and He instantly restores us to Himself and wraps us in His unconditional love.

It is only in the flesh that we give others the power to hold past failures over us and if this is done be someone we hold in high esteem that one failed event can become a life sentence. Where sorrow, self contempt, and self loathing eventually can derail a person into a life sentence of regret, remorse bitterness and sometimes total destruction.

When we really start to read and understand the scriptures that tell us about the Lord’s character we really start to understand how much the Lord loves us. We can drop our guard and when we turn our faces up to him we can be radiant with joy because we know that we finally have a father that will never leave us or forsake us or be ashamed of us.

Ever since she lost her business

Her life never was the same

Someone accused her of fraud

And she had to fight to save her name

Friends and Family don’t stand by her

I guess they  were  ashamed

It didn’t even occur to them she

might not be the one to blame

Even though she went to court

and cleared her name things were not the same

The never said that they were sorry

that they misjudged her so

and misery filled her heart

and her self loathing would not go

Financial problems started it was

hard to hold a job

panic attacks soon followed

and her self-confidence was gone

Constant illness followed and

for a long time she just wished that she would die

Nobody ever really knew how close she came

to following through with suicide

For it was on that very night when

she planned to take her life

Jesus Christ was waiting to end her

pain and strive

He talked to her very soul

and filled her heart with his sweet peace

He told her that he would be there

for her and his love would never cease

It would be many years later

after seeking high and low

that she would start to really

understand him and how he loves her so

But now when something happens and

things they don’ t work out the way she planned

she knows the failure is  but a moment and she

can place it in Jesus hands

Knowing that she is forgiven forever

She can finally forgive herself this day

She has already forgiven the others

who helped to make her feel this way

From now on it doesn’t matter

what other people think or say

the only person she seeks to please

Is Jesus Christ this day

Pain management

Pray continuously                                                                                                                                                   sk for  everything than believe
I ntercession is what Jesus does on our behalf  let Him bridge your pain
N othing is impossible with God trust Him

M ake room for healing learn to forgive
A lways remember Jesus loves you
N ever forget that somewhere people are fighting bigger battles
A ppreciate the small victories and celebrate them
G ods beauty is everywhere look for it in everything and everybody
E very tear that’s shed is seen by God talk to him even if your angry
M ake the effort to help someone else that’s hurting
E veryday should be celebrated, find something to be positive about
N ever give up God will give you strength and joy for each day
T ell someone about Jesus so they too can be embraced by a loving savior

The Hand

Romans 8:15-16

15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

My sweet Lord my only refuge from life’s storm

(The following poem was written about a near death experience that happened to me when I was around eight years old. I was in the ER room because of an asthma attack and was given a drug that caused an instant allergic reaction that sent me into convulsions. I am reminded of this experience because I am having a hard time with my asthma and had to be rushed to the hospital where they discovered a lung infection. As I write this I am having pain in my right lung and it is still uncomfortable to breathe sometimes but I am getting better. It is a scary feeling not being able to breathe but it is comforting to remember what happened when I was just eight years old. The memory of those events always reminds me of how faithful the Lord has been to me. Because he reached out to me as a child who could not begin to comprehend who or what he was but he was there to give comfort, love and to be a true and present help in my time of need)

I remember as a little girl in the hospital emergency room
the doctors gave me a drug and I felt the impending doom
the panicked feeling that something was wrong
than the lights went out and everything was completely gone
I felt like I was falling down a well and I could see nothing all around
than suddenly I heard a voice say, I got you you’ll be alright, than sweet peace was found
I had the sensation of being held in a giant hand
A pleasant place, warm and comfy I seemed to land
Now I became aware of voices in the emergency room a long way off
it sounded like a lot of commotion but I was lost
in the peaceful world of love stored in this hand
I thought again what a safe warm and comfy place to land
I never questioned the voice or the hand, I just enjoyed what it had to give
On entering that place all fear was gone, I never questioned if I’d live
I could hear the emergency room voices clearer now and I heard someone say she’s coming back
I did not know how long I was gone, but I knew that I had met the Lord that’s a fact
Than the lights came on, and I could see, I was back in the emergency
the doctor said how do you feel with urgency
I never told them about the hand I just told them all that I was fine
At eight I did not know how to tell them, I was with my Lord divine
Now as an adult and I am really scared, I think of that moment back in time
And I remind myself, that I will never be alone, the Lord is with me always
And I can cry out to Him, to take the fear away and ask Him to lead me all my days
I have the chance to tell the world, that the Lord is completely real
And He loves us no matter what we`ve done,where we’ve gone or how we feel
All you have to do, is confess that you need Him and invite him in,
ask Him to reveal Himself to you so your journey can begin
Take on faith and believe, that His Son Jesus died for you
So you would not be alone, in a sin sick world, even in death He will come through
And guide you to eternal life it`s true
Please don`t wait to accept this gift, we don`t how long we have in life
He gives us all free will to choose and now the time is ripe
For the Lord won`t force us to accept this precious gift that protects us all
from facing hardship all alone even in death he wont let you fall
All to many will die alone and it`s really such a waste
That so many will leave this place and never seek his face

Reader Update : Thank you for your prayers

092

Psalm 29:2

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due

His name; worship the Lord in the

splendor of His holiness

I am pleased to report that my husband has a new job !!!!!!!! I want to thank all the readers who prayed for us and tell you how the Lord worked in our lives during the last 5 months. My husband was let go the 2nd week in Dec and it came as a shock. Winter always brings large bills due for Hay, Wood, Hydro and feed and it is the worst time to be unemployed. I have had some health problems that have forced me to down size my work load and I work part time twice a week . It helps but it certainly won’t pay the bills. My husband was offered a small severance pay after working for the company for ten years and we were forced to sign off on it because we could not afford to fight it in court. Employment Lawerys in our city start at $300.00 per hour and I needed the money to pay the bills. Our bank account was already drained because we had to put on a new roof, drill a new well, and replace the septic system. To say the least we were tapped out. To make matters worse there had been a lot of drought like conditions in the United States so farmers were sending trucks up to Ontario, Canada to buy hay. This drove hay prices thru the roof ! In the past we had bought our hay from a local Cash Cropper and once again again just like last year we called to make arrangement to pickup our hay. The Cash Cropper called us and assured us that he would still supply us for hay. On the morning we were supposed to pick it up he phoned my husband and told him not to come over he had sold all the hay.    By this time round bales of hay that were usually $30.00 a bale were now $100.00 a bale and small square bales $3.oo a bale were $7.00 a bale and most people were all sold out of squares in a matter of days.   We went to God in prayer and asked others to pray for us because if we could not get Hay the horses and goats would have to go. I was beside myself with fear and I remember crying out to the Lord and saying Lord I have two options the first being to trust you to provide when we had no money or try to find a rescue to take the horses, the goats, the donkey, the cats and the dogs or put them down if no rescue was available. Everytime I thought of this I would cry and feel sick to my stomach. I told the Lord that I believed that I was safest in his hands and whatever he decided to let happen in my life I would do my best to trust and accept. I did mention I would be a total mess at first but if the worst happened it would not change the way I felt about him and God. The day after that prayer my husband went to our local feed store and told the manager what happen in regards to our hay situation he gave Jim the name of a farmer in Beaverton who might have some hay. When we went out to meet this farmer we did not realize what a blessing he was about to become, but God knew. This farmer decided to give us some hay at the regular price even though he knew he could make 3 times the money selling it to some one else. He said he did not feel good about taking advantage of neighbour’s and friends when times were hard. So as time went by and my husband could not find a job and money was getting tighter this wonderful farmer said not to worry about the money he would keep us stocked in hay and we could pay him at a later date when Jim was working. We were truly amazed that he would lend a total stranger $1000.00 in hay with nothing but our word as collateral but he did. Since we did not have to pay so much out for Hay we could now use that money for animal feed. Now that next hurdle to climb was heat. We heat entirely by wood so we need quite a bit of it to split and stack to get through the winter. We needed at least four bush cords maybe more and once again we did not have the money but the Lord stepped in and thanks to a wicked fall storm that knocked down a few large tree`s  on my neighbours property we had some wood to start. We also collected quite a bit of dead fall wood in our bush that surrounded our property. My sister`s husband was also sending us hardwood pallets that he got at work . We would chop them up and they make great kindling. My neighbour also sent over a bunch of old wooden fence poles because they were re -fencing their property so we cut up these as well. Jim spent most of his time at home splitting and chopping wood with an ax but the real problem came when the mild winter weather gave way to freezing rain. All the wood that was left to split was soaked and it was hard to dry out. In March we realized we did not have enough wood to get through the winter (piles of wood  stacked on the ground always looks like more than there is once they are cut.) once again we hit our knees and prayed. My husband than called the person we usually deal with for wood and explained that he was out of work and out of money and that we were short on wood and he sent over 2 bush cords and told my husband just pay me when you can. It`s really amazing when you pray when your in desperate circumstances how the Lord goes before you and open`s the doors that you need to walk through to get that need met. But the Lord was not finished with us yet we had payed the mortgage for Dec, Jan, and Feb but our phone, cable, internet and Hydro bills were piling up and we had used all our money up on feed and paying the mortgage, once again we prayed and I bought a lottery ticket and we had won just enough to pay the outstanding bills. We had made it through most of the winter but my husband still could not find work. When we started praying about my husband`s work situation we asked the Lord to close every door on all but the one place where the Lord wanted him to work. By April we were wondering if it was a mistake to pray that prayer but we were already commited to waiting on the Lord for the right job. Finally after many job interviews he was hired by a great company that offered a great territory to sell in. The only hitch was my husband`s severance pay ended March 30th and the new job did not start till May 1st. And even when he was hired in May because he is a commission salesman we would have to wait until the end of May to get paid. How would we make it till than. I remember bursting into tears when he told me. It was not that I wasn`t thankful for the job but I was sure God must be tired of helping us by now and I had know idea how the Lord was going to get us through sixty more days with just my part time job for money. My husband did have 25,000.00 locked up in a retirement savings plan with his old job but in order for us to access the money we would have to qualify for a hardship discharge and we were told that it would take at least 6 to 8 weeks for a cheque to be sent if all the requirements were met. Jim and I decided to apply for a hardship hearing knowing full well that we did not have the money to last another 6 to 8 weeks. Acting in faith that the Lord would once again go before us to open up doors we were stunned when our application was approved in 24 hours and they told us we would have the money in the next seven to ten days. When the funds arrived on the tenth day we had just spent the last of our money on feed and groceries.  Our bank account statement reflected that we were down to 62 cents in the bank, talk about just in time but the Lord`s timing as always was perfect. Now I would never want to go through that kind of trial again but it has really shown me how faithful the Lord is to provide a way for his children when they turn to him in prayer! I also firmly believe that the prayers that were sent out to the Lord from all the people that were praying for us were answered as well. Thank you so much for your prayers and support  and the animals thank you as well! God Bless!

This is not Goodbye

Although this is spring which is a time for  fresh starts, and new adventures we usually can’t step out on the road without saying goodbye to something or someone. While I consider my options for this year I find myself looking back over the events of 2012 with a  few tears. Some tears of joy and some of sadness. In 2012 I said goodbye to a ministry that was very dear to my heart. I did not want it to end but sometimes the Lord allows situations to happen that force us out of our comfort zones and launches us on the next step of our journey. I will always be blessed for the tears, the laughter, the teaching, and the love that graced my life during the time spent in that ministry and I am forever changed by it. I will miss each person that participated in TFNC program and I will always hold them in my heart forever. Despite the pain I felt when it was over I would not have missed it for the world and I am so grateful to the Lord for allowing me to take part in it. It has been very hard for me to let go and watch you all go on to other phases in your life and I think it is time I do the same. Until we all meet again in this life or in the next  I would like to dedicate the song This is not Goodbye by The Sidewalk Prophets  to Donna, Eleanor,Franco and all the members of the TFNC.

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