Monday, September 19, 2016

Unlike Floyd

My blogging friend, Floyd, of Finding Floyd, consistently publishes his posts every Sunday.  Like clockwork.  I expect to read him.  Usually on Monday mornings.  Like clockwork.  That so impresses me.  His consistency in publishing reveals he is a serious writer.  Even the place where he writes - in his local eatery.  There he sits, coffee and pen and paper.  Focused. He is a "ready writer" as Scripture calls it.

I have tried many times over the years to do that very thing.  But, unlike Floyd, I get so distracted. People watching, birds singing, etc. calls my attention away from my inner creativity.  Inspiration wanes.  Words get stuck somewhere unknown to me.  Thoughts hide as the intruders intrude.

In this new place where I live, they have a small "business area" where you can go and use their computers.  I've thought maybe that would be a good place to write.  Nope, too sterile an environment.  We have an outdoor "cabana" area adjacent to the pool. Comfy couches, TV, etc. I've thought, that might be a great place to write.  Nope. Too humid out. And because I imagine there must be bees drinking in the nectar from all the different flowers, I prefer not to disturb them.  (Yeah, sure!)

My pen
And so, here I sit, in my chair in my living room. In the dark.  In the stillness.  In the quiet. Encased in The Holy Presence of God. Focused. Wondering as I type where the words will lead. It's usually a surprise to me.

I'm not sure the path these particular words have taken, but this I am sure of: It's OK that I'm not as consistent as Floyd or other bloggers, like my daughter.  I am me.  I am the writer that my Father created me to be.  Different. Undisciplined at times. Challenged in the focus department sometimes.

But, this, too, I am sure of: My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I write compositions concerning The King; my fingers are the pen of a ready writer.  (Psalm 45:1)  I write truth. I seek to inspire others to see the goodness of our God. I write to encourage and it's all Because of Him and Unto Him,

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Not the Band

Jars of Clay.

No, not the band.  Us.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.  ~ II Cor. 4:7
I am an indoor-plant lover. When I was a girl, my mother's plants adorned our home.  They were all in the same nothing special, nothing pretty, terracotta, clay pots.  That was the only kind of flowerpots there were in the "olden days".  Today, everything is plastic and colorful; ceramic and decorative.  

The eye is drawn to the planter
My friend, Isabel, is also a plant lover and her plants are housed in those kinds of decorative ceramic flowerpots.  One is prettier than the other. When I travel to visit her, one of the first things I do when I get to her home is step into her plant room (she has a plant room! Oh, a touch of Heaven...).  I walk around admiring her pots thinking, I need to start buying some of these kinds of flowerpots.  I check to see if there are any new additions to the room. And then I notice the plants.  I serendipitously take a second walk around examining them, as I ooh and aah.  

God wants us "earthen vessels" to be like jars of clay: plain, unobtrusive, ordinary pots which hold His extraordinarily beautiful Agape that is to be poured out of us to a hurting world.  

Why ordinary clay pots?  Why not expensive ceramic ones?  

So that others first see and admire the beauty of God within us, not the vessel containing that beauty.  He doesn't want us to be like me walking around Isabel's plant room where my eyes first go to the planters then to the plant.  No, He wants "the plant" to be the first thing others notice.  We should be enamored with the God we see in someone, not someone cause they have God.  There is a huge difference!

As my fingers are typing, I realize that 99% of my plants are in cheap, plastic flower pots.  You would think that I, as a plant lover, would invest money in beautiful pottery to house them in.  I never have.  And even though, as I leave Isabel's plants behind determining in my heart to purchase beautiful planters, I never do.  And I could never understand what my problem was.

It just dawned on me as I'm typing: It's my beautiful plants that catch the eye.  Not their containers.

Hmmm....

...Maybe all this about back and forth for years about pots for my plants was more about a blog post - a lessened learned - than actually upgrading my flowerpots.  Oh, thank You, Abba!

Don't you just love the way our Father teaches us His most valuable Truths?  I sure do!  

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, August 29, 2016

On The Heels of Victory

Oh, if I could teach Believers one thing, it would be this:

Always, on the heels of victory comes demonic onslaughts.

And for one purpose only: to knock the victory right out of us; to steal the joy that comes from that awesome thing God has done for us, in us, or through us; to shove us back into the flesh so that we react.  Maturity and growth come from such encounters.  If we allow it.

Not being ignorant of Satan's tactics, and understanding that it WILL most CERTAINLY come, is half the battle.
...lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices. ~ 2 Cor. 2:11
The other half is no matter who the attack comes through, that we recognize that it is a diabolical plot and not take offense with the person in whom it does comes from. They are just being used like Geppetto masterfully puppeteered Pinocchio. Our problem is not with them, but with God's enemy.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. ~ Eph. 6:12
Stand your ground with the belt of Truth around your waist - Truth of the above Scriptures.  For by doing so, you give the evil one a black eye!

And...

AND more importantly...

Greater will be your victory! Greater will be your maturity and reflection of Christ-likeness.  Oh, Hallelujah!

Because of Him and Unto Him,



Monday, August 22, 2016

Is it Snuggle Time Yet?

Kodak and I do this "snuggle" thing every night.  I lay on the floor and "spoon" with him and I talk "sweet nothings" in his ears.

No, this is not Kodak. And that is not me.

I just got up off the floor and I was asking him if he wanted to eat.  As the words came out of my mouth, I had this revelation:

Kodak never stresses about his daily needs: food, water, going out to pee and poop. And even play time.  He knows - KNOWS - those needs will be met by me for he is totally dependent on me.

Totally.
Completely.
His survival is based on my faithfulness.

His provision for daily care is met by me.  He doesn't stress about whether or not I bought his food. He doesn't wonder if there will be dinner tonight.  Nope.  He rests in peace knowing I will meet all of his needs.  He will verbalize those needs.  When he needs to pee, he lets me know.  If he's hungry, he lets me know. And I, faithfully, "read" his needs and I provide.  Even if he is so patient and he doesn't give me signs, I know what he needs, wants.  And I take care of those things.

Well...

We are not any different than Kodak.  Our Father knows our needs and our wants.  His provision is already there.  I don't need to wonder if He will provide because He just does.  I don't need to wonder if we can have "snuggle time" together.  Of course, we can.  He waits patiently for me, just as Kodak does every night.  If I get caught up in something or a TV show, Kodak lays quiet. Every now and then, he "talks" to me, as if to say, "Here I am, don't forget me".

Our Father does the same thing as our faithful companions.  He gently nudges us as if to say, 'Here I am, don't forget Me".

As Kodak is totally dependent on me, I am totally dependent on my Father.

Totally.
Completely.
My survival is based on His faithfulness.

A W E S O M E!  

How about you?  Are you TOTALLY dependent on Abba?

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Shadows of Night

Within the night-time light, shadows play and dance
Images in black and white create a unique perspective


Eyes created to see light struggle in darkness
What is that in the corner?

The scene does not change in daylight vs. nightlight
So, what is different?

The brightness of light

In the dimness, eyes focus on the shadowing effects and coloring
No longer seeing the truth in its entirety

Secrets stay hidden
Deceptions lay in wait

The actual truth of the scene is obscured
Eye and mind work hard to comprehend details

As daylight begins to overshadow nightlight 
Clarity slowly emerges 


The hidden now exposed
Truth emerges

Truth that has been there all along
Yet not seen due to the shadowing of nightlight

Truth that has been there all along
Now stands un-mistakingly visible
For Light has come


The Light has surely come into the shadowy night of my life
The Light shows forth clarity, Truth, and 20/20 hindsight

The Light has surely come into the shadowy night of my life
The Light illuminates all that is good, just, right, pure, and holy
And in that Light, no darkness can stand and sin is exposed

Eyes no longer focused on shadowy effects and coloring
Mind and eye fully comprehend

Ever so grateful for The Light that exposed the secrets, deceptions, plots and plans
And dispelled the darkness of all that laid hidden as a snare

Only in the brilliance of Light can Truth stand
He brought me out of shadows into the fullness of Light
Out of evil’s darkness
Into the technicolor of the Glory of His SonLight

All praise, honor, and glory be to my GOD, my Father!  
Arise, shine! For your Light has come!And the Glory of The LORD is risen upon you.For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people;But, The LORD will arise over you,And His Glory will be seen upon you.       ~ Isaiah 60:1-2
Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, July 11, 2016

Enlightened Counter Tops Enlightens the Soul

Well, I moved into the new apartment complex.  In the process of still being built, I'm on the ground floor of one of the two buildings that are complete. Everything is brand spanking new.  Want to know what brought me to tears as I took possession of my new home?

No, this is not my kitchen, but
mine lights up just the same
Lights under my kitchen cabinets.

When I tried a switch on the wall to see which light it was to, the counter tops lit up.  I burst into tears of joy and praised my Abba for His Goodness and His delight in pleasing me...

For years I had asked my husband to update our old kitchen. Nope. I asked to have someone come (because the husband couldn't have been bothered) and install lights under our kitchen cabinets.  Nope.

What man cannot/will not do, our wonderful, good, good Father does!  And for one reason only: to please His children, to bring delight to their souls, and tears of joy to their faces.  Now, that is Love!

A simple thing such as this.  Something never "prayed" about. Not even a deep "longing" on my part. Just a little something He knew about me.  By blessing me with this tiny desire, Abba showed me His Intimate Love toward me.  And if He did this tiny little thing, how much more He will do for the huge things I need?  Lesson learned, Father.  Thank You!

I don't know which is brighter: my counter tops or my soul.  For He has enlightened both!  Oh, Hallelujah!

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, June 27, 2016

Yes? No? Maybe?

Phone call #1:

“Diane, the new tenant was wondering if she could have your air conditioners.”

“I’m sorry, no, they are promised to others.”

“Are you taking them with you?”

“No, they are promised to others.”

Phone call #2:

“Diane, the new tenant will give you $300 for the air conditioners.”

        Temptation #1:  Man, $300 would come in handy right about now…

“No, I’m sorry, they are promised to others.”

But, Diane! $300!

       My word is worth more than $300, isn’t it?  
              He who swears to his own hurt… ~ Psalm 15:4
       LORD, my word is my bond, my word is my oath - even if it costs me.

“No, I’ve given my word.”  

"Are you sure?"

        Temptation #2:  Am I?  I could just come up with an excuse to the others.  They would never know...

"Yes! I am sure."

I gave my word (He who swears) even unto my own hurt (not receiving $300). I may be shy $300, but my heart is wearing a smile.

YES, I am sure!

Because of Him and Unto Him,







Friday, June 17, 2016

North Carolina Highlight #1

For this child I prayed ~ 1 Samuel 1:27 
Little men - Keith and DJ
Twenty years ago I was head of the Nursery Department in my church.  We had two separate rooms - one for infants and toddlers and the other for 3-4-year-olds.  One day, Isabel came in with her two grandsons in tow.  Keith and DJ were just three years old. Cousins who were the same age. I will never forget that day they walked in - they were dressed like little men. My heart melted with love for these two boys. They were raised to adulthood in this close-knit family, where the "village" of this family all helped raise them. Cousins, yet closer than some brothers.

A bit after arriving at Isabel's home last night, her daughter Marion came in with a surprise home-made birthday cake for me and with DJ.  This handsome young man, now 23, recently came home from his tour of duty.

Handsome man
As a child, I prayed for him and Keith. Last night as a man, we embraced.  I looked into his eyes and saw the fruit of my prayers.  That same smile he had as a three-year-old is the same now 20 years later. Joy filled my heart to see the fruit of my prayers. There was much I wanted to say to him but I couldn't for I knew if I did, the tears would flow.

Man.
Soldier.
Man/soldier who could embrace this old lady with fondness. The kind of hug that only Love can produce.  Man/soldier with a gentle spirit and Love in his heart...(now the tears are flowing).

Next Wednesday, the day before I leave to go home, Keith arrives.  He will be home on leave.  Our Father arranged for him to arrive while I am still here.  Oh, thank You, LORD.

Man.
Soldier.
I cannot wait to look into his eyes.  More than that, I cannot wait to see cousin/brothers side by side once again.  

Boys who used to play soldier.
Men who are soldiers.

As men of valor, their military experiences are incomprehensible to me.  I want to be able to hold them and erase all that they may have seen, heard, witnessed, done that may have scarred their souls.  Of course, that is not in my ability to do so.

But what is in my ability is I can pray as I did so long ago, and trust DJ and Keith into our Father's Hand of healing and graciousness.

Hhmmm...which is the highlight?
Birthday cake?  DJ?
Birthday cake?  DJ?

Clearly DJ.  Thank You, LORD, for this gift unto me. 

Because of Him and Unto Him,




Thursday, June 16, 2016

What A Difference Five Months Makes

Five months ago, I sat in this same airport.  I had written a post while sitting in a holding pattern just waiting.  I ended up never posting it.  At the time, I was surrounded - literally - by businessmen. Some, you could clearly tell, were on the prowl.  It caused me to wonder and wonder about all my husband's "business trips" and if he, too, was on the prowl?  It was unnerving and a very negative experience.  Even though I love people-watching, all I could see were these men eyeing all the woman trying to connect.

Five months later, I'm once again in the airport going to the same destination.  This time, I'm surrounded by families, children, teens, single men, single woman. Some may be businessmen. Some may be on the prowl, but my eyes aren't picking up on that.  And my heart is carefree and free of wondering.


And I'm enjoying my people-watching.

Oh, Father, thank You for all the healing you are doing in me and for growing me up in my now-new-life.  

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Monday, June 13, 2016

All It Takes Is A Pinch

Seems you can take anything good and decent, no matter how big, how grand, and even a pinch of pride can poison the whole kit and caboodle.                                                                     ~ Floyd Samons
A pinch of pride is all it takes to ruin something good?  Such a minute amount?  UGH.



I'm right, you're wrong. 

No, I'm right, you're wrong.

Such thoughts and attitudes can ensnare our hearts.

Such was the case a week ago with a friend.  I KNOW what she said.  She KNOWS what she said; however, we have two completely different versions of what she said.  I am not a fighter.  I usually concede quickly as to keep the peace.  However, this day was different for some reason.  And even though I could hear Dr. Phil in my head, "Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?", my mental reply was, "I don't WANT to be right, I AM RIGHT!"  Woah! The pinch of pride that I started with was quickly escalating into a mound.

The prideful attitude of "I'm right, your wrong" can set into motion circumstances that we may later regret.  Yeah, OK.

STUBBORNNESS IS AS IDOLATRY!  (1 Samuel 15:23) Ok, that did it.  I conceded.

We both apologized and decided to move on, putting our "rightness" behind us.  A few days later, I read Floyd's words on his blog.  I was being set up: the whole kit and caboodle (our friendship) was about to be poisoned.  By MY pride.  UGH.

Thank You, Abba, for Your Word being that two-edged sword to my soul and thank You for Floyd's words confirming that I did the right thing.  

Can anyone relate?

Because of Him and Unto Him,