Saturday, December 31, 2011

Benediction

From our family to yours,
In 2012, 
May
The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His Face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His Countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

A New Year has arrived,
A new beginning has dawned!
And 
With God ALL things are possible
in this new year!

Because of Him and Unto Him,
                  Diane


Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Unveiling of A Word

My One Word for 2012 is actually two.  Last week I was reading The Scriptures and I looked up the Message Bible version of I Corth. 13. My heart leapt within me as I read vs. 13 and I immediately knew this was my One Word for 2012:
Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.  ~ I Corth. 13:13
I have read this passage of Scripture countless times in my life, just not that version.  I've written about it and taught from it; I've prayed it over other's lives and prayed for it for my own life.  And always from the standpoint of loving each other.  But, not until last week did I see it in whole other Light. What spoke to me was the wording "love extravagantly".  And I understood it, for the first time, to also mean love GOD extravagantly.  We trust in Him, hope in Him, and we should love Him, which we all know and do (hopefully).  But, to love God extravagantly?! If I love Him extravagantly, then that love with overflow to people...Oh, my, what am I committing to?!

I'm a very plain and simple woman.  There is not an extravagant thing about me in the natural.  Nothing about my clothes or home; I don't shop or do anything in an extravagant way. I have, at times, been so caught up in the Spirit during worship, that I would say I've experienced worshiping The LORD extravagantly. But, that's been The Holy Spirit's doing.

My One Word 2012 goal may change more than I think...
I really don't know what loving God with an extravagance looks like, but I've already started praying.  I want this to be my major goal this coming new year. I want to live my life in such a way that I can be called an extravagant lover!  But, it scares me...What if I don't really have it in me?  What if my walls and other emotional barriers won't allow extravagance to come through?  That will mean those walls have to come down...oh, no!...What if...? What if...? But, what if I do accomplih my goal?  How will I impact my world?  How will I change?  How awesome will my relationship with Jesus become? Will it change the dash on my headstone when I'm gone...?

I feel like I'm standing on the edge of a cliff ready to jump off, trusting Jesus' Arms to catch me; trusting my blog family to be supportive. It's one thing to have your list of goals to accomplish or not, quite another to publish it for the world to see it.  I am now accountable to work at loving my God with an extravagance, but with no picture of that looks like in my mind.  The Holy Spirit is really going to have to teach me.  This is truly scary to me...aahhhh....here I go...

My official One Word for 2012 is Love Extravagantly!

It might change what I accomplish and how I touch humanity!
With only a few days left, I hope you will join me.  Please share your One Word for 2012 (no explanation necessary if you don't want) or share it on your blog.  Then we can hold hands and encourage one another on our journey into a brand new year and all that may bring.

Because of Him and Unto Him,
                  Diane

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

ONLY One Word Is Needful for 2012

With the ending of Christmas, we began to think about ringing in the New Year. Here in New York, we watch the infamous "Ball" drop in Times Square to signal the moment of this year's end with a simultaneous beginning of the new.  This has been a long, difficult year for me and quite frankly, I'm ready for a new "beginning" and some positive change.

This week brings a myriad of new resolutions resounding all over this planet. I don't think it matters what country you live in. It's human nature to desire positive changes. If you are like me, you have great intentions for the new year and so the list-making begins. I remember a few years ago I wrote resolutions for all areas of my life - physically, emotionally, spiritually. It was quite an extensive list! Next year will be a better year because I will do...And the only thing that long list produced was guilt. Rarely, have I ever kept more than one resolution on my well-intentioned list each and every year.  If even that!

Two New Years' ago, my daughter, Alece, came up with a a one-word resolution for her personal life - something that was uncomplicated and that she could focus on all year long. She posted her word at home and on her blog. Her readers encouraged her along the way, as she would intermittently share her challenges and successes in meeting her one-word goal. Alece was successful.  So, last New Year's, Alece began the "One Word" Resolution on her blog, Grit and Glory

Her post and encouragement caused her readers to do the same.  It sparked something world-wide.  Individuals, churches, ministries, and even corporations are now planning their One Word New Year's resolutions.  I even saw online that there are calendars and all kinds of commercial things for, and I quote, "One Word".  

Please take time to check out Alece's last year's post and start thinking and praying about what your One Word will be.  It can literally be one word or a phrase or a Scripture. Something that you can keep before you and focus on throughout the year, without complication.  Maybe it, too, will have a chance to truly become your reality. 

Alece is preparing her site for "One Word 2012".  I would like to participate and ask you, my family of readers, to do the same.  Hopefully, I will be able to have Alece explain to me how to put the "button" on my blog.

Please let me know your thoughts after you click on One Word 2011 . Do any words come to mind?  I read a Scripture a couple of weeks ago and had a real "Ah ha" moment.  I had read that same Scripture many, many times, but now I saw a meaning in a whole different Light. I knew in that moment, it was to be my One Word for the new year ahead. I will share my revelation and One Word (which is actually two) in a couple of days. 

Let's journey into 2012 focused and resolute to encourage each other in the twelve months ahead.  We are a small group so I think we shall gain great traction in encouraging each other's One Word goals throughout the coming year.  We can pray for one an other's One Word to come to pass in each of our lives.  Maybe...just maybe...our one little words will bring much needed positive changes. 

Will you please join me?

Because of Him and Unto Him,
                   Diane
              


Sunday, December 25, 2011

And the Consensus Is?


I am a glove - a leather glove - girl.  My grandma bought me my first pair of leather gloves the first winter after my Confirmation.  I took it as a sure sign of coming into womanhood. I've worn only leather ones since then.  Except, if I'm about serious winter activities. Then my mittens come out.
Walking through the snow to take in it's magic, serenity, and beauty - I seem to enjoy the walk so much more in my cozy, comfy mittens. 
Nothing like a snowball made from mittened-hands...and for rounding out a snowman's head!  (Not that I've done much of this winter activity in many years.)
          Aah...snow angels...you have to wear mittens to make a perfect snow    
          angel.  I did this a few years ago with my niece who grew up in
          Florida. She had never seen snow before.
And for the dreaded shoveling!  My hands stay much warmer in my mittens.  The rest of me is freezing, but my hands are nice and warm.
I guess you can tell we're not an outdoor-activity family.  But, I do love my gloves and mittens!

          My mittens do have leather on the palms. :0)

          My son wears gloves with no fingertips.  :0(

          My daughter wears the new - but much needed - gloves with
          thingamajigs in the fingertips so she can use her iPhone and not have
          to take her gloves off.  :0?

Are you a glove, mitten, fingerless, or finger-thingamajig person?

Because of Him and Unto Him,
                  Diane

From Our Family to Yours...


Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Untraditional Christmas Carol

I was singing my usual worship song in the shower this morning. Even though it's not a traditional Christmas carol, it is one nonetheless.  Merry Christmas!

Willow Tree Nativity
Hallelujah! My Father

Hallelujah! My Father
for giving us Your Son
Sending Him into the world
to be given up for man

Knowing He'd be wounded 
and crucified on earth
Hallelujah! My Father 
in His death is my birth


Because of Him and Unto Him,
                   Diane

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's a Christmas Secret


When I was in 9th grade, I desperately wanted to learn to play the drums.  However, my parents weren't about to have all that racket disturbing their peace, so I was persuaded to learn the flute.  I think that backfired somehow because my flute practicing certainly wasn't peaceful to the ears! However, the flute and I just didn't bond; so the end of 9th grade brought the end of my musicality.  

Over four decades later, drumming is still a part of my soul.

I'm going to share a secret with you...

When I worship, I picture myself playing the drums.  I can hear them, feel them, flow with them.  As I picture myself playing for the King of kings and Lord of lords, I lose myself in His Presence.  Sometimes, afterwards, I am left wondering if maybe that's what happened to King David as he worshiped...

Josh Groban's passionate rendition of The Little Drummer Boy stirs my soul no matter what season of the year I listen to it. I turn up the music LOUD and I sing.  I sing and I play.  With eyes closed and hands drumming, I'm the little drummer playing and signing to my King. Playing my best for Him; playing to honor Him. 

I usually end up weeping and praying that Jesus is blessed with my make-believe drumming. It truly is a soul-gift that I offer to Him and Him Alone.

I invite you to sing (and "play", if you're so inclined) along with us...


Merry Christmas!

You're welcome to share any Christmas secrets you may have!  I won't tell anyone...hee hee...

Because of Him and Unto Him,
                  Diane

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Whimsical Christmas Thought

In Christian circles, we've all heard - and maybe even our cars have the bumper stickers - "Keep Christ In Christmas" and "Jesus Is The Reason for The Season".

I certainly understand - and agree - that sometimes we need to remind people that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ and that it has nothing to do with the commercial Santa Claus.

But, hopefully, Jesus doesn't get put away with the Nativity, lights, and ornaments come the first week of January. 


Let's Keep Christ In Us
and
In Every Season!

New bumper sticker anyone? 

Because of Him and Unto Him,
                   Diane

Saturday, December 17, 2011

It's In Us All

I saw the movie, The Help, yesterday and it has stirred a myriad of emotions within me. I've started several posts each stemming from what was going on within my soul from watching the movie.  I even managed a whole Christmas message through it.  But, I wasn't at peace with any of them, so I knew that wasn't what The Holy Spirit wanted me to share. So, I deleted again, and here I am this morning typing out yet another portion of what watching The Help caused to surface in my heart.  Please bear with me as I try to communicate it...

One of the things that impacted me from the movie was the courage of these every-day women. African-American women lived life as they did in the 1950-60's, because society was slow to change.  But, these women found courage from deep within and regardless of what could have been a life-threatening outcome, they courageously moved forward. It resulted in history being changed. There was a high cost to their courageous acts. There always is. Courage and cost go hand-in-hand.


After watching the movie, I went to sleep thinking, I don't have courage.  I've never faced insurmountable odds and had to take a stand for something like these women did.  I haven't changed history.  I fell asleep feeling so inadequate in comparison to these courageous, risk-taking women.  As a result, the wonderful The Holy Spirit played some of my life back to me this morning.  He reminded me that I am an intercessor and it's in prayer that I am most bold and courageous.  I've taken stands against evil in the Spirit realm on behalf of many. I have plowed through the realms of darkness so that other's could get a glimpse of God's Light. Many have been set free or had dramatic, miraculous changes in their lives. And as a result, their personal history's changed. This morning The Holy Spirit also reminded me of the occasions when I've taken bold, courageous risks in the natural world as well.  One in particular changed our personal history.

Thirty one years ago, my father did the unspeakable to one of my children.  After many agonizing hours on my face in prayer, I made a decision. A war raged in my soul as I counted the cost and mustered all the courage I could to implement my decision. I severed all ties to my immediate family. Extended family members and friends of the family didn't understand my actions, so they, in turn, wrote me off. Through all these years of raising my children, I had none of my family to rely on. I had none to visit with, no birthdays to celebrate, no one to chit chat on a phone with, no one to get angry with, or to laugh or cry with. And now that I'm an empty-nester, it seems the loneliness can be soul crushing at times with no family to interact with. That was the cost of my stand. It's only through The Holy Spirit showing me this morning that I realize it was a courageous act on my part.  With all my fear and trembling back then, it certainly didn't seem so at the time.  I've paid a high personal price to keep my children safe from the deviant predators in my family line, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. The Holy Spirit showed me this morning that taking that stand against evil did require courage and it did change history. l know my children probably don't fully realize what they were spared from. And that is a good thing. Only I know - all too intimately - what perverted harm my family was capable of inflicting upon my children.  I thank God our history was changed.

Courageous acts come in all forms, shapes, and sizes.  What makes the act courageous, is that you take that risk knowing that there could be some perverse outcomes. Jesus was a risk-taker, as were the Apostles. Men and women who have shaped The United States of America's story have been courageous, risk-takersWith The Holy Spirit's stamp of approval, I share a minuscule part of my history - history that was changed through a courageous act.

Courage is in us all just waiting to be needed. And when it is, that courage will be a history changer!


Because of Him and Unto Him,
                  Diane

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Word Does Glow

"The end of life is like blowing out the evening candle because the morning has come…"
Please read the Apples...of Gold blog. Pam's writing is stunning and will warm your heart this Christmas season.  She is a gifted writer who has touched my heart over and over again.


Because of Him and Unto Him,
                 Diane

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Hand made by our friend, Ralph Panella

My Christmas wish for you: 
Peace to your soul as you take a few moments throughout this harried Christmas season to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.   

Because of Him and Unto Him,
                    Diane

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Ripple Effect

i love to gaze upon droplets hitting the surface of still waters
there is a simple profoundness to my soul as i behold 
the gentle drops producing circles of ripples - tiny
wave-like effects - in constant motion.


as I stare into the ripple effect, 
I am drawn to ponder...
what are these droplets saying to me?

a still, small voice speaks to my heart, 
"Thoughts be silenced.
Peace. Be still."


Because of Him and Unto Him,
                Diane

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Angels from the Realm of Glory

Willow Tree.  Do you like Willow Tree figurines?

I do. I just purchased a small Willow Tree Nativity along with two angels. I set the scene up up in-between my living room and dining room, so I pass by it many times throughout my day. The "Song of Joy" and the "Dance of Life" are in the background of the Nativity. Each time I stop for a moment to ponder the scene, I am mesmerized by the angels dancing with delight at the birth of our Saviour.

www.willowtree.info
I have a healthy love of angels - the Scriptural kind - not the kind that man has made them to be. We turned these Glory-realm beings into a commercial gimmick. The "now thing" is to wear an angel on your lapel or hang one in your car; have an angel bookmark or one on your coffee mug. I don't worship them, but I certainly do rely on them as the ministering spirits "who minister to the heirs of salvation" (Heb. 1:14). I am blessed to have a handful of my own testimonies involving angels.  So, every time I pass these Willow Tree angels dancing over the Infant Jesus, I am deeply moved. Angels, who from the realm of Glory, worshiped the King of kings and Lord of lords at His human birth.  Angels, who in the realm of Glory, still worship The Almighty. I believe if our planet's atmosphere were silenced, we would hear their worship. And from experience, they sound like a Divine, reverential, philharmonic choir.  The realm of Glory is a vibrant, worshipful sphere. And from the realm of Glory, the angels came. They prophesied.  They worshiped. They protected. Restrained, they stood by in silent obedience as The Holy Christ was crucified. They heralded the news to mankind of Jesus' resurrection. The angels worship The Glorified Jesus Christ back in the realm of Glory...

Hallelujah! Glory to God in the Highest!
"Angels we have heard on high,
sweetly signing ore the plains... 
Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Gloria in excelsis Deo!"
I cannot look upon the Nativity scene without my heart standing still in reverence. And I cannot think of the Nativity without thinking of angels.  Angels, who from the realm of Glory, danced and sang in unrestrained, majestic veneration.
Glory to God in the Highest!

Because of Him and Unto Him,
                Diane

Sunday, December 4, 2011

'Tis the Season...

Wow...December is here. My son's birthday is this month as well as The Son's Birthday.  Ideas for a present for a family member is not usually a problem.  But, what can I possibly give to Jesus Christ that conveys my love and gratitude for my eternal salvation and my changed heart and life?
"Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me." 
Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, "Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me." ~ Jesus Christ, as recorded in Matt. 35:34-40
The way I live my everyday life is my thank you to Jesus Christ for all He has done for me. 

'Tis the season to be kind and generous.  
'Tis the season to be an open present!