Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Restoration ~

I know God goes to great extremes to bring his children back to Himself. I've had my own attitude adjusted several times. Thank goodness I had sense enough to come to Him with a spirit of repentance before I was completely eaten up by bugs!
Joel 2 ~
12"Yet even now," declares the Lord, "return to Me with all your heart, and with fasting, weeping and mourning; 13 And rend your heart and not your garments" Now return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and relenting of evil. 19 The Lord will answer and say to His people, "Behold, I am going to send you grain, new wine and oil, and you will be satisfied in full with them; and I will never again make you a reproach among the nations. 25 Then I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust, my great army which I sent among you. 26 You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied and praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; then My people will never be put to shame."
As Matthew Henry states:
"God is Lord of hosts, has every creature at his command, and, when He pleases, can humble and mortify a proud, rebellious people by the weakest and most contemptible creatures." (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible, p. 632)
I'm not a Bible Scholar but from what I've gathered, the land of Judah was ravaged by locusts and grasshoppers and various other insects. The prophet Joel called the Jews to repentance and God answered them and promised His blessings and restoration.
In my daily life I see people who have been ravaged. They've had their lives eaten by insects. Or they've been chewed up and spit out and find themselves in places they never thought they could be. I've been there myself on a smaller scale. Recently I spoke with a man who related his sad, sad story to me and he ended up with, "And then I cried out to God." And I heard the sincerity and hope in his voice. Immediately the image of a grasshopper appeared in my mind and I spoke softly, without even thinking, "God can restore what the grasshopper has eaten - the Bible says so." (The Bible actually says 'locust' but I saw a grasshopper in my mind and went with it). And I do believe that when we sincerely surrender our hearts to God and admit our mistakes, He will redeem the time and help us make up what was lost. I've seen it happening in my own life and now I plan to sit back and watch it in someone else's life. What a privilege it is to serve God and be a witness to His wonderful miracles!

Speak, See, Hear No Evil ~

(Posted with the permission of the subjects in the photograph)
Here is a picture of some of the guys that live with us at the Crisis Respite/Residential Unit - Larry, Wayne, and Leroy. As you can see, we have some wonderful characters there!

(Posted with the permission of the subjects in the photograph)
And here are a couple of the guys (Leroy & Eric) helping with the laundry. WOW!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Blessings & Thankfulness ~

This week has been a good week so far! I can see many ways that God has blessed me. As I posted before, I was blessed with some beautiful porch plants and flowers. Yesterday the buds opened up and I have all colors of beautiful flowers to greet me when I walk out my front door! Beauty is all around if you take the time to pay attention. Secondly, I was able to talk to my supervisor at work and she gave me permission to take the residents to church on Easter Sunday. 3 of them have signed up and I'm hoping that some more will decide to go as well. I'm so excited! Then, this morning I had an interview for a part-time job. It is only 8-10 hours per week, doing clerical work for a business consultant in the cultural district of Fort Worth. Exactly what I need to get caught up! He hired me before I left his office. Then I headed on over to the gym where I met with my new work-out buddy :) I was able to get a free 7-day pass and she is going to ask her trainer if I can get a 30-day pass so I can decide if I want to join. Today was the first day of weight training and I can already tell you that I will be SORE tomorrow. I can barely raise my arms to drive already! But anything I can do to make my body healthier is worth it. My next goal is to find a puppy-sitter for Tug. I hate leaving him alone for the majority of the day and he needs to get out and get some exercise once in a while.
Dear God,
I am sooooo thankful for the week you have given me and for the many, many blessings that you have poured out. Thank you for lifting my head so that I could notice the "small" things that bring such beauty and color to my life. I feel like crying when I think of the good things You have done for me... what have I done to deserve them?? Please continue to order my steps and help me to say only things that are positive and good because I know that words are powerful. Please let me be a blessing to those who are in my life and also to those who will be in my life for only a season. I know you are touched by the things that concern us, so please help me to find a sitter for my little boy dog - someone I can trust in my house and trust with my puppy. Prepare the hearts of the men that I will take to church with me on Sunday, that they will be able to see how much you love us, that you sent your only Son to die in our place. God I give You my everything and I love You! Amen!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Cletus Take the Reel ~

I found this to be hilarious! I hope you enjoy it and laugh too, as laughter is the best medicine!

My Home ~

When I moved in here, I didn't want to. I would just as soon kept everything packed in boxes and thrown my mattress on the floor. My friend bought me a beautiful turquoise chair with a matching pillow and my mother found a used couch that was almost like new. It took me about 2 or 3 weeks to get my one mirror hung up over the couch and the rest of the walls have remained bare. The things that I have now were gotten out of either necessity ~ or desperation to appear as if I had everything together. But the one thing that I refused to do anything with was my porch. That's because when I was taking the tour of the property, I was told that each unit had a porch instead of a balcony so that the residents would feel more at home. But in my mind, this wasn't my home, it was just temporary until I could figure out how to fix everything. I didn't want to be here and I sure didn't want to be here alone! But now my heart is finally healing over and I have noticed how beautiful everything is here. When I look out my front window I see a beautiful lake with trees surrounding it and grassy rolling hills. I was truly given beauty for ashes!! Just last week my mother gifted me with 3 beautiful plants and yesterday we went together to pick out 5 more. With anticipation I opened the bag of soil and began planting my 5 baby plants and they look so content sitting on my porch with my red and white striped chair. Although it may still be temporary, I know when I walk up the stairs and see my porch, I have come home!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Do You Believe in God? ~

I heard a man say something that I thought was funny at the time.
"People feel uncomfortable with the concept that there is a God, so they try to throw Him away. But throwing away God is dangerous. It is like the man who got killed when he tried to throw away his boomerang - it came back and hit him in the head."
I recently sat with a person as they poured out their philosophical beliefs about God and... well, mostly just God. Or more accurately, the God that might or might not be (probably isn't) there. He had some very good arguments and at the same time they sounded so hollow to me. I'm not saying that I've never doubted because that would a lie. I am not going to get philosophical or Biblical or try to prove that there is a God because some things can not be proven in that way. It is just something that I know because I've seen Him work in my life in ways that could not have been coincidence. And at the risk of being diagnosed as schizophrenic, I also have conversations with God (more commonly known as prayer) and I'm in love with Him! (I know, I probably just jeopardized my job). I don't believe in him only because I need something to believe in. It is because I've seen evidence of Him at work in many personal situations. It takes faith ~ to believe in God or not ~ takes faith.