Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Forever Etched On the Tablet of My Heart


You are manifestly an epistle of Christ, ministerd by us, written not with ink but by The Spirit of The Living God, not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. - II Corth. 3:3 

To my blogging friends:
 Your names are forever written on the tablet of my heart
Etched by The Holy Spirit, Himself
And as I come before our Father's Throne,
you are with me.
Always.  

Thank you for being my friend.

Because of Him and Unto Him,
                  Diane

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Shroud Exchanged for Grace

On Saturday morning I ministered again for the first time in six years, at our church's women's meeting, Church Without Borders.  It is called such because these monthly meetings are open to women from all churches, Believers or not. I am very new to Crossover Church. Very new. So, it was to my surprise that my pastor invited me to minister this month.
I shared my message - Won't You Please Take Your Clothes Off! - but, little did I realize how God had planned to minister to me the Word I shared with my sisters of faith.

My message was about Lazarus being resurrected from the dead and coming out of his tomb still bound in his dirty, old grave clothes. Jesus called him forth from his tomb and back to life, but He didn't remove Lazarus' grave clothes. Instead, He turned to the body of Believers who witnessed this magnificent miracle and tells them to "Loose him and let him go."  My message included different hurts, habits, or hangups that can be grave clothes, and that those grave clothes still be tightly wound around us not allowing us to be free, transformed, or having an abundant life. I shared how God had been setting me free from some grave clothes within the last few weeks since committing to Crossover Church.

At the invitation to come up for prayer, I told the precious women of faith that Jesus is asking them, "Won't you exchange your shroud for My grace?"

After the message I prayed over the women who wanted to be free of their grave clothes. I went home blessed beyond measure that God had used me as His vessel to minister Life to His other daughters.

I got up yesterday and went to church. Joyfully, I listened to the message. At the conclusion of the preaching, a song was played. Upon the first few words of the song, God Divinely intervened into my soul. He knew I was still bound with a grave cloth. The Word I had ministered to God's daughters, He now ministered back unto me, which is most definitely His Way!

I went home and meditated throughout the day on all that happened during the last moments of the service. Unbeknownst to me on Saturday, the voice of my own preaching was readying me for the removal of my own grave clothes. God had a plan and He was about to unfold it. It is His desire to use me in ministry in a church once again, His desire that I should be loved in the Body of Christ at Crossover. But for me to walk in the fullness of His Perfect Will, He had to loose some things from my soul. And He used the Body of Believers, just like He did for Lazarus.

I sat early this morning and penned the following poem. I share it with you for one purpose and one purpose only: To my Father, be all the Glory!


Shroud Exchanged for Grace
By Diane Ronzino

An eruption of tears
  Hands overlaid to suppress the extruding wails
    At the hearing of a few words

Where was this down in my soul?
  What had suppressed this secret fear all these seven years?
    How did the hearing of those few words so suddenly release the floodgates?

Bowed over like an infant
  Alone, yet amongst many
    With eyes closed tight, I retreated into myself

Within moments soft, delicate touches
  Women surrounded me
    Soothing, gentle prayers

Allowing me to release the torture from my soul
    They companioned my heart
      Without judgment my head they lifted up

Encouraging words
  Love encircled me
    Through them, The Lover of My Soul comforted me

Deep breaths
  Deeper breaths yet
    The effusion ceased

Uprooted was a cancerous lie
  Embedded deep within my being
    A lie, from the enemy of my soul, I had allowed to take root

With each covered wail
  The lie dislodged from the deep within
                 Surely, God will use me once again; surely, I will be part of a church family once again

With each quiet prayer,
  The two-fold lie was vanquished
    The grave cloth unwrapped

Loosed and let go!                                      Freedom!
Transformation!
Abundant Life!

To those who prayed for me before Saturday, with all my heart I say thank you!  For those of you who prayed for me at church on Sunday, with all my heart I say thank you!  To my Father, Who once again has delivered and healed me, with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength...thank You!  

It truly does take a community to raise a family - a family of transformed Believers!

Because of Him and Unto Him,
             






This post was featured on Tell Me A Story

Friday, February 24, 2012

Who Rescued Who?

I was driving down the road today and came up on the car in front of me.  There was a great big dog paw with the words WHO RESCUED WHO? on the back of the car. If you are a dog lover, you understand what the question means.

That immediately got me thinking about my salvation through Jesus Christ.  I know Who rescued who. Jesus rescued me! No question about it.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.  ~ Jesus Christ, as recorded in John 3:16

The word "saved" in the original Greek language means to:

  • deliver
  • protect 
  • heal
  • preserve
  • rescue
  • do well
  • be made whole

That word "saved" emcompasses every aspect of our lives - spirit, soul, and body. It is a whole-man salvation.

March 7th marks my 29th birth day - the day I was born again and made into a new creation. Although, I have been on the receiving end of all on the above list countless times in these 29 years, I've always summed up my salvation as: I had been rescued. Jesus rescued me in the nick of time from:

  • myself
  • my negative, unhealthy thinking
  • mental breakdown
  • illness ravaging my body
  • unhealed inner wounds that caused me not to be whole
  • from an act that would have caused me to spend the rest of my life in prison
Hallelujah! I know Who rescued who!  And I pray you do as well.

Because of Him and Unto Him,
                  Diane

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Introducing...

Introducing: Compassion @ Work

It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to my friend's blog, Compassion @ Work. Lolita is Filipino - from the other side of this planet.  God led her to my blog via Pam's blog, Writing...Apples of Gold and it has been a Divine Appointment in my life. Her writing touches my heart deeply. I've learned and grown just from her comments.

Lolita is deeply spiritually mature, and writes eloquently; and she just released her first post.  I hope you will take some time and go on over and encourage her.  If you hunger for the deeper things of God, you won't want to miss her wisdom, insights into God's Nature and dealings with us, and humble, gentle spirit.

I do believe she could be a Divine Appointment in your life as well!

Because of Him and Unto Him,
                  Diane

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cancel the Cruise Control

Highway driving and cruise control go hand-in-hand. With a click of a button, we can just cruuuise-on-down-the-highway.

But, what about life? Are we on cruise control - doing the same old things, saying the same old things, writing the same old way; praying and praising The LORD the same old way? Have you ever stopped to think, "Is my life on cruise control?"

Hhmm...Is mine?

We remotely go through our daily lives without much thought because we're on cruise control. We get up at a certain time, have so many cups of coffee in the morning, shower at the same time, and walk out the door at the same time, eat meals at the same time, etc.

Isn't that a good thing? After all, we are creatures of habit, right?

Habits can be good.  Habits can form guidelines in areas of our lives. And guidelines are good, unless they become just another habit, in which case, we just cruise on through - remotely.

Does cruise control also dictate the flow of our spiritual lives?  Even in non-denominational churches, we go through each Sunday service the same, week in and week out.  We worship with a set number of songs, allow this much time for the preaching of The Word, we end the service at the same time, etc.

Do we pray the same way all the time (close our eyes, bow our heads, fold our hands; in the morning/before bed)?

Do we worship in the same manner all the time? (Standing in reverence, but don't ask me to lift my hands, or to kneel, or can you imagine...?  Dancing.)

Notice the words: cruise CONTROL.

How much of this cruising along is really us keeping control on our lives?  Or have we given creative license to The Holy Spirit?

God is a creative God and He infused His creativity into the human race. He desires us to walk through this journey of life creatively, not the same old way, day in and day out like robots.

As someone who has walked with Jesus for almost 29 years, I want to cancel the cruise control on my spiritual life and give creative license to The Holy Spirit. I don't want my prayer life, my worship life, my anointing to be the same old, same old. I want to be free to receive, free to experience, free to express the newness of the Abundant Life that Jesus has each day for me.

Will you join me in clicking "CANCEL" on the cruise control on our spiritual lives?  We will be in for the ride of our lives! FREEDOM! WAHOO!

Because of Him and Unto Him,
                  Diane

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What Joy Can Come From a Click!

I learned from a wise-hearted woman today. Her name is Betty.  She gave me the courage to "click".

I've wanted a new look for my blog for quite some time now.  I've been looking around at other blogs to see what I like; checking out the blog designers, etc.  But, in the meantime, I figured I could just try another template with Blogger.  For about two weeks, everyday - sometimes more than once a day - I'd go through the whole change-the-template procedures. I'd come to the final "click to save". And I couldn't do it.

Fear stared me in the face.

As one who is definitely challenged in these web things, I figured if it got screwed up somehow, I'd be sunk.

In the wee hours this morning, I visited Betty's blog.

And...

She had a new look to her blog! And in BOLD, DEEP, VIBRANT RED!

Somehow, COURAGE overtook the fear and I went right to it.

And I "clicked".

Yah!  I hope you like the pastel-ish shades.  I do like the BOLD, DEEP, VIBRANT RED, though!  WAHOO!  Go Betty!

Thank you, dear Betty.  You are a true pioneer!

Because of Him And Unto Him,
                  Diane

Monday, February 20, 2012

Father Knows Best

Sometimes we need a visual...




Because of Him and Unto Him,
                  Diane

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Voice of The Martyrs

Many years ago, I cut the following story out from The Voice of the Martyrs magazine that I am subscribed to and I pasted it in my Bible. Mrs. Ying's story still causes me to weep and to question my own faithfulness to the value of God's Holy Word.
~~~

Clinging to The Word

Mrs. Lu Ying had tears in her eyes when she received The Bibles from the courier. She clutched The Books with a firm grasp.  Holding The Bibles wasn't easy for this tiny woman, her hands were deformed.  When asked about the swollen and twisted fingers, Mrs. Ying related the following story: 

"I have not always been like this.  My fingers were straight and strong.  During the Cultural Revolution, the young Red Guards came to my home like everyone else's.

"They took what little furniture I had and all my other belongings.  In searching for Bibles, they overturned everything, and found my precious Book.  The four soldiers could easily have pried The Bible from my small hands, as I grabbed it.  Instead, they mocked me, asking if I really believed in a book of myths.

"I told them the Book contained all that I needed to know about my dear Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and that I did not want to part with it.  The Red Guards took me outside.  For three hours, they mocked me, spat on me, and hit me until I could hardly stand.  Others joined in their cruelty.

"I was then asked a second time if I still believed in that book of myths.  Clutching The Bible close to my heart, I gave the same answer as before.  This infuriated the young soldiers.  They threw me to the ground, trampled on me, and with iron bars, they smashed my hands, causing The Bible to slip out of my grasp.  I lost my Bible and ended up with crippled, deformed hands."

It is impossible to place material value on this dear Believer's Bible. Knowing the solders would eventually confiscate her precious Book, she held on until her hands were physically broken and unable to secure The Bible.  Over 20 years would pass before this elderly Chinese woman would once again cling to God's Word, her hands a reminder of it's worth.

How Much Is Your Bible Worth?

~~~
I encourage you to click on The Voice of the Martyrs badge on the right side of my blog, but take your time visiting their site. There are different ways you can help those imprisoned for their faith in Jesus Christ - from interceding, to collecting blankets, or sending cards of encouragement to the imprisoned or letters to those in authority asking for their release, or just sending money to the ministry.

We, in the land of the FREE, can do something to help our brothers and sisters in Christ who are held captive in the bowels of prisons clinging to Hope and being tortured just because they are Believers. On their site you can order a FREE copy of Richard Wurmbrand's book Tortured for Christ.  Your Christian walk will never be the same!

May your heart be broken by the things that break the Heart of God!

Because of Him and Unto Him,
                 Diane

Thursday, February 16, 2012

With Gavel in Hand

To continue along the vain of my last post on judging, I'm going to share a very personal story with you.  One that dramatically impacted my life and transformed me. I pray that this post is a catalyst for your life as well.

Growing up, my mother was sick with Crohn's Disease.  She suffered tremendous pain and many times humiliation during the course of my young life and passed away when I was 19.  Growing up, mine was not a happy home.  Mom was heavily medicated and I knew that had changed her personality.  But, I was relieved when she died, as I was now free of her anger and hostility toward me.

When I was 16, my father left us to be with his long-time girlfriend. I guess because ours was such a love/hate relationship, I subconsciously blamed my mother. The day we buried her, I buried her in my heart as well.  I never again went to the cemetery or gave her much thought.

FAST FORWARD MANY YEARS.

I'm born again, spirit-filled, ministering God's Word, and receiving and learning to give Love for the first time in my life.

And at that time, I would drive my children 45 minutes to their school and come back home. On this daily drive, I would pass the exit on the parkway for the cemetery where my mother was buried, but never gave her much thought. Until, The Holy Spirit started to impress upon me to go to the cemetery.  Go to the cemetery? What on earth for?  Well, this can't be God!!! 


This went on for months, making my drive to and from the school very difficult because every time I passed that exit, I could hear in my heart, "Go to the cemetery". The Holy Spirit is gentle and patient, but He is also very persistent. I didn't want to go to the cemetery. I didn't want to face whatever it was The LORD wanted me to face. What would be the point?  I had already forgiven her, so I couldn't imagine anything good coming from it, so I stubbornly apposed to the idea.


After months of disobeying God's leading, I finally surrendered to His will. One bright morning after dropping the children off at school, I got off the exit to the cemetery. After obtaining the location of her grave, I ever-so-slowly drove to it. I left the safety-zone of my car and walked with my Bible and journal to her grave. OK. Now what? Now what am I supposed to do? 

Eventually, I sat crossed-legged on her grave facing the head stone. I just kept reading it over and over. "Mary L. Weiss, Wife of Charles E. Weiss, etc., etc." I opened my journal and started writing - questioning God as to why I was here.

I lifted my head, and for the umpteenth time, I reread the headstone. Suddenly, WIFE OF, was illuminated as if in neon lights. In that instant, I broke.

Sobbing near hysteria, I realized I had judged my mother for my father's leaving us. In that instant, The Spirit of Truth illuminated my mind and soul. I was convicted that what I perceived as truth was far from it. That misconception had altered me, altered my life. What I perceived to be true, wasn't. I had judged wrongfully. I blamed Mom for something that she wasn't responsible for.  And I did so for many years.

In that one supernatural instant, I knew that I knew, how wrong I was. You see, my father was not only an alcoholic, but a very sexually perverse man. She was a victim just as much as I was. More so, because she had to lie in bed next to him every night. Suddenly, in that God-ordained moment, I was conscious of how horrible their marriage must have been for her, what she must have endured. God allowed me to see through her eyes.  There was no consoling me.  It was a private moment of facing real truth and repenting between Mom, God, and myself.

That morning I spoke to my mom for the first time since her death, begging her forgiveness. As a result, in that same instant, I was filled with love for my mom. A love I had never, ever felt before. And that love has never wained since then. As a matter of fact, just days before she died, I sat bedside in the hospital. For the first time in my life I heard words  from my mother - which at that point in time that meant nothing to me - "I love you".  I sat stone-cold and didn't even respond.  But, in the miraculous moment at the cemetery, I not only begged her forgiveness, I kept proclaiming my love for her.

Hours later, I left her grave, but she has never again left my heart. I was forgiven. I was free. And I know Mom was freed as well from the judgmental soul tie I had to her.

However, judging is not without consequence.
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. ~ John 7:1  And it was.
FAST FORWARD.

Years later, I reaped what I had sowed (Galatians 6:7)  I sowed judgement and now I reaped it back upon myself. A family member judged me for something she perceived my motives to be during a very painful, family situation. The consequences of that almost caused me to lose my sanity. Literally. Words, like a curse on me, were spoken of me and finally to me. I was now the one judged on appearances, just as I had done with my mother so many years before. It's a spiritual law, if you judge, you will be judged in kind.

So, I've been on both sides of judgements and t's exremely painful no matter which side you are on. Judgements are powerful forces of a demonic nature that can alter the path of our lives unless Jesus intervenes.

I'm eternally grateful to Jesus for the powerful inner healing I received all those years ago - on a morning God ordained and orchestrated.  And grateful for the lessons learned in being judged in return. As painful as it was for me, it was a life lesson I, obviously, needed to learn. But, it was salt upon my wounds of sorrow. By being judged in return - a lesson The Holy Spirit was years in making - dramatically drove the point home. But, He was right here to tenderly pick me up off the floor and hold me until it was all worked through. Both parties had to forgive, both parties had to be forgiven.

Remember, "Well, this can't be from God", was my thoughts while being nudged  to the cemetery? That was my perception of truth in that moment. But, in declaring my argument, I was making a judgment against God. Just the opposite was true. It most certainly was from God!  And I'm eternally grateful for His Love and Mercy toward me and that I am forgiven of that as well!

Love and Mercy are waiting for you, should this ever be a situation in your life. God is Gracious and oh, so Merciful.  May He walk you through inner healing if you require it. As painful as it might be in that moment, it will become, as it did for me, one of the highlights of your life.

Because of Him and Unto Him,
                  Diane
~~~
This story was shared over on Tell Me a Story. Please drop by and read other true-life stories. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Plank Removal

As light dawns a thin line on the horizon, I'm sitting in my unlit living room with a cup of coffee, gazing out the window. I look over at my sleeping Collie. I focus my eyes. What is that next to him?  Lying next to him is...what is that? My shoe?!


Puppy, Kodak, with my moccasin
Kodak is just a little over two years old now.  As I was preparing to bring a puppy into my home, I saved an old leather moccasin of mine as a toy for him.  He loved that moccasin!  I saved it intentionally, figuring that if he went after one of our shoes, I could reprimand him and hand him the moccasin.  It worked. It only took two corrections and Kodak never again went after our shoes.

So...now, I'm sitting here staring at the shoe and trying to figure out why Kodak would go into my bedroom and take it, and wondering if it now had teeth marks in it. I gaze out the window and then turn my head back to look again. My eyes refocus in the darkened room. Yep, it's my brown shoe!  I huff a great big huff and my heart starts pounding. At 6 AM, I'm already upset. But, I continued to sit in the stillness. I'll deal with Kodak later. 

I turn back to the window and light is slowly transforming the nighted-sky. I keep my gaze and my thoughts. But, my living room is a little more illuminated now, so once again I turn toward the shoe.  The brown shoe has "transformed" into Kodak's brown, stuffed toy. I sigh. Not a sigh of relief, but of conviction.
Everything is not as it appears to be. Do not judge according to appearances, but judge with a righteous judgement. ~John 7:24
We can be very quick to judge each other. We perceive this and that about this or that situation, this or that about a person, or this or that about ourselves.  What we perceive may not be real, but it certainly is our reality and we adjust our lives accordingly.

We know that we know. So, doesn't that make it true?

I was convinced this morning the dark thing next to Kodak was my brown shoe.  It took the dawning light to illuminate my mistake in judgement.

And so it takes the Light of Jesus Christ to illuminate the dark places that cast shadows upon our mental or verbal judgements.  We may perceive something to be true, but just the opposite may be truth.  It may very well just be a mistake in judgement.

If you have ever been on the wrong end of someone's perceptions about you, it can be life altering.  Your motives and actions aren't just questioned, they are qualified. The other person knows that he knows that he knows this and that about you. They believe it to be real and thus they adjust their lives and their relationship with you according to that belief - all to everyone's detriment, causing much pain and sorrow.

The pain is real, but the cause of that pain may not be.  Acknowledging a wrong perception of someone's actions can bring remarkable healing to a very painful situation. So, I encourage you to apologize if that is the case. And if you are on the wronged-side, I encourage you to not only forgive, but to tell that person - sharing from your heart. As the act of forgiveness can truly be healing to the situation or relationship.

May God's Word illuminate our thoughts and intents of our hearts.
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother's eye.  ~John 7:1-5
I'm so glad I didn't get up and reprimand Kodak.  Although I know he would not have pointed out the plank in my own eye. Dogs are great about things like that!

Because of Him and Unto Him,
                  Diane

Monday, February 13, 2012

Our Beloved God tells us: 
I
have
loved you
with 
an everlasting love.

Everlasting.
Forever.
Perpetually.
Unqualified.
Undeservedly.

And He sings over us:


And I-I-I will always love you-ou

The cry of God's Heart

May His Love warm your heart,
strengthen your soul,
and lift your head.
And
may you pour out your love to Him in return.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Because of Him and Unto Him,
                       Diane

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Oh, The Blood of Jesus

I'm studying and preparing for our Bible study on Thursday.  I just read this Scripture in Revelation 1: 5-6:
To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father... 
Art by Feytene Grassesechi
Notice it doesn't say, washed us from our sins "by" His Blood. It says "in" His Blood.  If I want to get something clean, I will submerge it in water to wash it.  We have been submerged and washed in the Blood of Jesus and have come out totally cleansed and sanctified - set apart for our God.

Because He loved us, He washed us from our sins.

With His own Blood.  

And then "made us..."

After washing sin from us, He made us into kings and priests.  I don't know about you, but that boosts my self-image.  We are not mere insignificant beings. If we do nothing else in this lifetime, we are kings and priests unto God, with full access to His mighty Throne and all the rights and privileges thereof. 

I love how John tells us that we are kings and priests to Jesus' God, His Father. Isn't that something?! God Almighty wasn't just Jesus' Father, but He was Jesus' God while He lived as a human being. Wow!
To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever.  AMEN!
And Amen!

Because of Him and Unto Him
                  Diane

Monday, February 6, 2012

Fear Is Only An Excuse



Has God called you to do something specific, but fear has a strong hold on you?  Do you have a dream in your heart, but fear holds you captive so that you do not pursue it? 


Joyce Meyer says, "Do it afraid", which is just what Jamie Pugh did and it changed his whole life. Courage is not the absence of fear. It is a decision to do it no matter how how strong the spirit of fear is manifesting in our lives. I applaud his courage to stare FEAR right in the face and do it afraid, thus breaking it's power over him.  

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love                                         and of a sound mind. ~ II Tim. 1:7
May we follow in Jamie's footsteps!

Because of Him and Unto Him,
                  Diane

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Love's Force

For the love of Christ compels us... ~ II Corth. 5:14 
       Food for Thought: What is Love compelling you to today?




Because of Him and Unto Him,
                  Diane

Friday, February 3, 2012

Yeah for Web Cams

I'm working on my computer and while doing so, I'm watching a South African watering hole from a web cam set up on the game reserve.

Sometimes, I just have it playing in the background, listening to the sounds of elephants, antelope, or hyena's drink or play.  Right now it's daytime here in NY and nighttime in South Africa.  There are birds that sing and make calls in the night there.  At night you may not see an animal, but you can hear the stirring of the water.  Right now it sounds like something is bathing. Since I cannot see it  - I just hear the splashing of water - I assume it's a little creature. Under the cloak of darkness, I just heard a lion. She's probably waiting for her dinner to come and drink. Now, that I wouldn't want to see!

It stirs my soul and causes a smile to come on my face. Before you know it, I'm praising The LORD. I am so grateful for the technology that allows me to watch His creation in magnificent Africa from my computer in New York!

How does the song go? Give thanks with a grateful heart.

Thank You, thank You, Lord Jesus, for African web cams!

Is there anything unique that you are thankful for today?  Please share it.

Because of Him and Unto Him,
                  Diane