Friday, March 30, 2012

The Power to Resurrect Is Alive and Well

Do you need a boost in faith to keep believing for an "impossible" situation?

Watch this 10 minute video documentation of Bronson's Miracle.  It is extraordinary! The hospital staff even allowed this baby to walk out of the hospital on his own accord. And that's a no-no - at least here in New York. You won't be  able to help yourself, you will be praising God (maybe with tears running down your cheeks)! 

The faith of the parents of little Bronson is evident by the smiles on their faces - joy, even while the prognosis was the worst a parent could hear. Their faith, despite what they saw and heard, astounded me.

And I believe it will build faith for when you, or someone you know, will need a miracle. The resurrecting power of The Holy Spirit is alive and well in this day and age.  What a wonderful testimony to witness just before Easter.

The God of Miracles is our Creator and our Beloved, Risen Saviour, Jesus Christ. 
To Him belongs all glory, honor, and praise 
for raising to life this lifeless child!   

Hallelujah!


Because of Him and Unto Him,

Thursday, March 29, 2012

She's Not In Kansas Anymore, Toto

When each of my children left home, they left to pursue serving The LORD either through missions or youth ministry.  I think because I was so at peace knowing that they were in the perfect will of God, that I never experienced the "empty nest syndrome". Never. Not for one minute.

Until yesterday.

My daughter, Alece, is finally settling into American life, living in Nashville, Tennessee. In all her years since she left home, New York has always been her legal address. She has only had a NY driver's license since she first began driving.

Yesterday she texted me. She was at the Dept. of Motor Vehicles in Nashville.  She was becoming an "official" Tennessean by having her license changed.

When I enlarged the photo, I cried.

My daughter has traveled to places I can only dream of, and had made her home and life in exotic Africa, but always came "home" to New York when in the States.

Mail still comes here for her.

But, Alece is officially not a New Yorker anymore. She is officially a Tennessee resident, so she will put in a change of address, and her mail will eventually stop coming here.

I'm sad.

Not really understanding why. But, I am...

...

...Maybe...because I had that connection to her by receiving her mail and then forwarding it on...maybe because in the last three years I've lost so much of her life. It just slipped through my fingers. Gone. Never again to have that daily connection with her through her ministry. Now, once the mail stops coming, that last little bit of connection I had with her will be gone too.

What's a mother to do with only a text here and there?

My nest is now "officially" empty and I'm going to cry.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

The Kingdom's Guardians

Oheka Castle, Long Island, NY
Photo: Hank Waxman
As Americans we don't relate to kingdoms, kings and queens, or lords and lordships. Nor do we have many castles in our country. (But, Long Island has one.)

Yet, our Lord Jesus is The KING of all kings and The LORD of all lords, and He has a Kingdom, of which we are a part of. "Seek first the Kingdom of God..." (Matt. 6:33)

So, how can we possibly relate to King Jesus and His Kingdom? Like anything else in His Word, by faith.

I don't have to understand gravity or Internet or how a jet stays in the sky in order to use them. I just do so. I just trust that every time I click "SEND", that somehow my words will appear on your screen. Do I understand it? Certainly not. But, the first time I did it, I became a "believer". So, now I just do it. By faith I know it works. 

I don't have to think about gravity. I just throw the ball up for Kodak and it comes down into his mouth. I just go about living, never giving gravity a thought. But, the law of gravity is in constant motion, whether I need it or not, whether I acknowledge it, or even whether I choose to believe it or not. It is a fact. By faith I accept this truth.

God has His Kingdom principles - spiritual laws - that are, likewise, a fact. Whether I think about them or not, whether I choose to believe or not. I read them in His Word, therefore, by faith, I believe.

My friend and I had been praying for Mozart, my friend's sister's dog who escaped the dog sitter a few days ago and ran. And ran and ran.  For days the family has been out searching for Mozart. A couple of sightings by people, but no Mozart. This morning, I prayed differently. I called upon God's angels to bring Mozart into the light, we're his family would see him.  A couple of hours later, Elaine emailed me. They found Mozart.  Thank You, Lord Jesus; all glory to You!

(So, now the answer to prayer turns into an opportunity to share God's Word.  I just love it!)

Angels are a vital part of God's Kingdom. Whether we see them or not; whether we understand or not. They minister to the heirs of salvation - that's us! (Heb. 1:13-14). They harken unto the voiced commands of God (Ps. 103:20).  Speaking Scriptures in prayer releases the angels to move and do and accomplish on our behalf.
By faith we accept this Truth.


By faith this morning, I called upon the angels of God. After all I am a "subject" in this great Kingdom of our God. My reason for doing so? Because I believe Hebrews 1:13-14 and Psalm 103:20 to be Truth. I also believe the Truth of Psalm 91:9-13:

Because you have made the LORD, Who is my refuge,
Even The Most High, your Dwelling Place,
10 No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
11 For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.

12 In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
13 You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.



Now that's protection!  


Do you give voice to God's Word, thus activating the angels to act on this Word?


By faith in God's Word we can relate to Kingdom of God and His Kingdom principles. 


By faith. By faith. By faith.


The Kingdom's guardians get their orders via the spoken Word of God (Ps. 103:20) 


I think we should be speaking forth God's Word more than we do!  What do you think?


Because of Him and Unto Him,





Monday, March 26, 2012

Friends with Benefits

My "Circle of Sharing" has so enriched my life.

Just recently, Veronica made another Shtick depicting her and I as we are coming to know each other. Seeing Veronica's visual brought me to tears.

Original creation by Veronica Anderson   www.theshticks.com
Photo by: Travis Isaacs

Isn't Veronica's Shtick so apropos of what blogging is all about - how it connects hearts and lives? Through keyboards and monitors, we get to "reach out and touch someone" that we would never in our lifetimes have an opportunity to actually meet.

We rejoice with those who rejoice. We cry with those who are crying. We lift each other up in prayer. We learn from each other, and adorn each other's lives. It's a sisterhood/brotherhood (we're not exclusive to women, men!). In a dark, dog-eat-dog world we live in, the encouragement and positive affirmations of our blogging community is like an oasis where we can rest and be rejuvenated.

So, if you are one of those out there who trying to decide if you should blog or not, I encourage you to do it!  Don't worry about your writing skills - you will grow as a writer.

If you are one of those out there who reads blogs, but doesn't actively participate in frequent commenting, I encourage you to do so. There is a whole world (and I mean world) out there needing to be supported, encouraged, and cared about.  You never know what your one comment will do for someone's day; for someone's life. As you dare to "reach out and touch someone"*, you will grow as a human being.

And you will make new friends - friends with awesome benefits! (I mean that in the purest of ways).

* For our Filipino friend, Lolita: "Reach out and touch someone" was the tag line in a commercial for our phone company many years ago.


Come on! Reach out and touch someone, today!

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Recap

"It would be as if you had seen one another yesterday. The flood of remembrance will come even if it was just in childhood; but, the heart that knows another heart will never forget. You only have to fill in on the gaps...update each other, and it would be like you never parted ways."
These were words Lolita encouraged me with in her comment to the post about yesterday's reunion with my childhood friend, Marie (I won't post Marie's photos, as I didn't think to ask her permission yesterday.)

How absolutely prophetic those words were.

Memories came. We laughed and teared up; we hugged and embraced each other's life-stories. And our hearts truly seemed to know each other. We even have, today, things in common.

I must say that our balconies and backyards that we used to play in seemed so much smaller than we remembered. We were in awe of that.

We walked by the "witch's" house and passed Margie's house. I did stop and reflect, but the trauma of standing alone on that sidewalk was gone...there was only pure joy at the remembrance of Margie and Connie.  Now, that is inner healing that only Jesus can do in us. I praise His Name!

We walked by our old school, and sat in Kissena Park talking for a long time.

Marie treated me to a delicious lunch and then, purposefully, drove by my old Lutheran Church - still standing on that city corner with it's red doors.

There were a few real highlights. But, I'll only share two:

Marie told me something about my father that her mom told her - something I needed to know (even if it is almost 60 years later).

The second highlight:

I parked my car by our apartments and I got out. I stood still looking up at our balconies on the second story - mesmerized.  Then out of the corner of my eye I saw red. The red emergency box was still on a pole on our corner. I ran over to it, caressing it, feeling the childhood familiarity. The little girl in me truly felt like I had come home.

In the 1950's there was no such thing picking up a phone and dialing 911.  If you needed the police or there was a fire, you would have to run outside to the nearest emergency box and open either the fire or police cap, then press the appropriate button.  We were fortunate enough to have the emergency box on our corner - close enough to get to in an emergency.

There must have been a sense of security in that for this young girl, because when we moved out to Stewart Manor (the country), there were no emergency boxes on any street corner. None. I can remember the day that I realized that.  Fear came over my little heart.  What do you do in an emergency?!  It was most unsettling to this little six year old and I think that added to the misery I was already in.

I can't help but wonder this morning what life would have been like had we stayed in Flushing. If I had grown up a "city girl" rather than a "country girl".  Wow...with my family's tendencies toward certain bents, I would have been in big trouble! Plus, I never would have met my husband, nor have my children that I have.

God knew then.

God knows now. Yeah for that!

I leave you with a few verses from my favorite Psalm - 139.

For Your formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Marvelous are Your works and that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret,
  and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your Book they were all written,
The days fashioned for me, when yet there was none of them.

God knew then.

God knows now. Double yeah!

Thank you for sharing my journey back home with me. 

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Saturday, March 24, 2012

To Know Such Love and Trust

What does this photo speak to your heart?


Because of Him and Unto Him,

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Artistry of Love

Lolita has this quote on her blog: Friendship is the art of overlooking the shortcomings of others. I've been meditating on it.

And I've come to realize that not just friendship, but LOVE, itself, is the art of overlooking the shortcomings of others.  

In my BC years, I only saw only the negative, only the shortcomings in others. Somehow, it made me think I was better than I really was. I subconsciously compared my good soul to their outward behaviors, never to my own outward behaviors. This became my coping mechanism. But, it was the furthest thing from Love.

But, in my AD years, God has done so much healing of my wounded soul that I finally started to love myself. REALLY love myself - as I was.  Therefore, I was able to love others, even with their shortcomings, and to stop comparing my inwards to other's outwards.

Mom (Love Personified) had mastered the art of overlooking the shortcomings of others (me).  And because she was able to do that, I learned tangible, true Love. After all, doesn't Jesus Christ overlook our shortcomings?  Doesn't He still love us in spite of ourselves? And just as we are?

The artistry of LOVE is overlooking the shortcomings of others.



Because of Him and Unto Him,

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

BLOG SPHERE

When spiderwebing from one blog to another, I always look for the blogs with smaller "followings" and blogs "of like precious faith" (II Peter 2:1) or like precious heart.

Is it that I kind of feel small and insignificant on blogs with large followings? Yes.

Is it that I feel my blog won't be read by others on that blog because there are already so many "followers" ? Yes.

Is it because I like to cheer on those who have small beginnings. YES! UNEQUIVOCALLY, YES!

As one who has known the solitude of not having a cheerleader in my corner, I seek to champion others. I seek to be a source of encouragement to others, rather than seeking a blog "following". And I know that is a no-no in the blogging world.

You cannot escape the finding of blogs that offer tools and tips to gain large followings for your own blog. I came across two new ones this morning. I huff and click out of them. It's all about numbers to a majority of bloggers, because their blog is used as a marketing tool - a way to advertise the books they authored or their speaking circuit or even as a way to brand their company, ministry, or personal lives.  There is nothing wrong with that. It's just not my reason for writing.

I'm not looking to brand or market. I'm not seeking a "following".  I'm looking to bless others via a gift God has bestowed upon me. an encouraging word is a natural outflow of the Spirit of God within me. If you would like to read about the birth of an encouraging word, click on the Small Beginnings Page at the top of the blog.

I posted on Tell Me a Story this morning. First, I examined my heart-motive for doing so.  There are so m a n y blogger "linkskies" - link to this one and to that one, on any day of the week. There is nothing wrong with this either. It's just not me. So, I had to ask myself before attaching my blog to Tell Me a Story, Why am I doing this; what is my motive?

I believe it's because my true-life stories are worth telling. Jesus has done so much in my life that want Him to be glorified. Hopefully, it's life-lessons that someone can use to their benefit.

I am blessed by my small "circle of sharing" bloggers. I'm blessed if one word of what I write and publish on this blog touches someone's heart, brings alive a deep Truth of God's Word, causes one to praise God for what He has done in my life, or causes one to reflect on Jesus Christ because of something I wrote, thus building their faith.

an encouraging word was birthed by The Holy Spirit and I pray I will always be led by The Spirit of God in what I write. I take my blogger's "voice" seriously - as an extension of God's voice to encourage, inspire, build hope, and grow faith.

Have a purposeful day!



Because of Him and Unto Him,

Sunday, March 18, 2012

On Bated-breath I Wait

The date is set - Saturday, March 24th. 11:30 AM. With child-like anticipation I look at the date on my calendar and get excited. I can't wait! Can you hear my hands clapping? I'm not even concerned with my weight gain and what to wear (which is unusual for me).  This is a God-thing - His Divine Appointment. And I am like a racehorse chomping at the bit for the gate to open.

Courtesy of Google Maps
Marie was my next-door neighbor when we were children in Flushing, NY ("the City"). We used to meet out on the balconies in the mornings while still in our jammies. I moved out to the "country" when I was six. I don't remember ever seeing Marie again.  One time when I was engaged, Joe drove me Flushing and I knocked on Marie's door. Her family was home - all except Marie. I was very disappointed.

Fifty years after moving, I'm googling in search of Marie. (What did we ever do before Google?!) I found no traces of her or her family.  But, I continued to search and a few months ago I found her brother, Leo. He is still living in "the City". (You'd have to be a New Yorker to understand the whole "the City" thing.)  Long story short, Marie and I finally had a phone conversation.  We caught up on almost 60 years of life in 45 minutes. That's a lot of talking! She's still in New York, still a city girl.

Our reunion will take place on Sat., March 24th @ 11:30 AM.  We are going to meet outside of the old apartments across from Kissena Park where we used to play. We're planning on walking around the block past the "witch's" house, then around to our old school - PS 163 (PS stood for Public School), and then back to the apartments. Hopefully, even swing on the swings at the park! Then off to lunch.  I'm so pumped.

Marie was the BFF that I mentioned at the beginning of Forgiveness Rendered (page tab at the top of the blog).  It's my story of leaving Flushing at age six and the regret of unsaid goodbyes.

God truly brings us full circle. If you've read Forgiveness Rendered, you will know the story and hopefully, you can picture the sidewalk where I froze. Marie and I will walk past Margie's old house. I'm not sure I'll remember exactly which house was hers (as all the houses used to be exactly alike on 160th Avenue in Flushing), but that's OK. God knows. I know I will stop and reflect.  If you've read the story, you will understand why I will do that.

Maybe I should have private time on 160th Street, as Marie has already said she doesn't remember Margie. What will Marie think if I get emotional?  LORD, this reunion is ordained by you. I give it all into Your Hand.  Maybe I should have Marie read Forgiveness Rendered before we meet... ??? Lord, please direct me.


Can young, childhood BFFs forge a new friendship over 50 years later?  With God ALL things are possible!  So, I will go with a positive attitude and we shall see what the outcome will be. Maybe, somehow, there will be a sequel story to Forgiveness Rendered. God already knows the completed story, I just have to follow His lead and see where it all goes.  And if He's so inclined, I will have another chapter for my memoir.

Photo by Julie Williams Dixon
I'm glad you are making this journey with me back to Flushing - back in time. I know you will be with me in spirit, and please know, I'm so grateful for the moral support! I'll be sure to post and let you know how our reunion goes.

I sent Marie a Send-a-Ball in the mail.  I wrote on the ball, "Can Marie come out and play?" Hehe...Wish I had a Flip camera to capture these two almost-sixty-year-olds chatting, giggling, and "playing". Kissena Park swings, here we come!

Because of Him and Unto Him,

And His Praises Are Continually In My Mouth

If You love God's Holy Word, you will love Timothy Botts' interpretations:  inkwellgreetings.com

Blessed Sunday!

Because of Him and Unto Him,



Friday, March 16, 2012

A Trinity of Pleasure

He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?
~ Micah 6:8

I love this Scripture. God is a Triune Being, and this one verse has three components of behavior to it. 

1. DO Justly - Always do what is right, good, and honest. This is a morality issue and deals with our integrity and outward interactions with our fellow man.

2. LOVE Mercy - We must delight in being merciful, just as Jesus Christ is merciful to us. We are to be the extender of second chances and the ministers of reconcilliation wherever possibe. This has to do with our inward man and the thoughts and intents of our heart. The fruit of which will be seen in our merciful choices with others.

3. WALK Humbly with God - Be humble before God and live in continuous fellowship with Him so that we may know Him - truly know Him - and therefore behave as He would. This is with our upward relationship with God, causing our light to surely shine in dark places. 

Our Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled Micah 6:8.  He remained obedient and loyal to His Father, and became humble to the point of death on the cross (Phil. 2-6-8).  Jesus was the ultimate mercy extender, extending mercy even to you and I. He always acted justly and walked so humbly before God that He did nothing except what He heard and and saw His Father do.  In living out this verse, He justified sinners who would believe in His sacrifice on their behalf. And became our Living Example.

Inward, outward, and upward - a trinity of pleasure unto our God. 

Oh, Father, please forgive us where we lack, but show us, Dear LORD, how to manifest these three components in our lives. Place opportunities before us to live as Jesus would, so we might accurately portray Him to this hurting world.

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Such A Rich Word!

"Your life will be enriched."  I wrote that on a comment in response to Veronica this morning.


And I've been meditating on that word ever since I wrote it.

I just love that word. It's so full of...

Life and goodness.

Enrich means: to make better or improve in quality; make wealthy or richer; to increase the abundance of.

Sounds like God's BLESSINGS to me.

My life has been most enriched since meeting all of you.  Daily, each of you adds a little something that improves the quality of my soul.  Thank you!

May I, in turn, enrich (bless) other's lives.

And so it goes, doesn't it?  The ripple affect.

May you be conscience today, with a grateful heart, of how your life has been enriched.

P.S. I think I used "affect" correctly!  WAHOO!  Thank you for your help on that word!  You've "enriched" my vocabulary!

Because of Him and Unto Him,



 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bird's-Eye View

I flew over the Great Lakes once while flying to Michigan to visit my son.  I was mesmerized as I peered out that little window of the plane. The shear size of the lakes were spellbinding to me. I had a bird's-eye view, that had not been for the invention of air travel, I would never would have seen.

Hindsight is kind of like a bird's-eye view of life.

I look back over all the situations in my life that The LORD has protected me from and it's as if I'm seeing my through a wide-angled lens. The enormity of His Hand on my life, even before I was born anew, still makes my heart stand still.  I am so grateful for His banner of Love that covers my life.


You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.  Selah                                        ~ Psalm 32:7
Remembering that Jesus delivered me from being raped at knife-point (the rapist ended up just stealing money and credit cards), and how He stayed a knife from entering my husband's chest (protecting both Joe and myself), causes me to still drop to my knees in gratitude. The course of my life would have been so radically different.

...God's bird-eyed view just allowed me to see that both those incidents in my life were with a knife. Oh, my gosh...The instrument the invader of my life used - the very instrument that yielded such terror upon me - was the same that I used years later on my own husband. Oh, God...thank You for Your Hand of protection over us; thank You for forgiving me...

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You for Your Grace and Mercy!

Because of Him and Unto Him,




* This post is written because of today's writing exercise over on Allume's 31 Days to Become a Better Writer.



Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The "When To's" of Life

When to use ice or heat?

In much pain, I went to my chiropractor yesterday. I had prayed for him to have God's Wisdom as to what the problem was. So, I take what he said as truth.

Pain in my hip, but severe pain in my knee.

"Sciatica." OK, so when to use ice or heat on the pain?

For some inflammations "they" (THE authorities on the subject) say ICE.  Other they's say HEAT.  My Chiro took the decision making away from me. NEITHER was his counsel. i,yi,yi.

Another "when to" for me is when to use the words "effect" or "affect" in writing. My whole life I've struggled with these two words.  I don't know why I just don't get when to use those words. Anyone have a little trick that might help me remember?

The one "when to" I'm so sure of is this:  I run to Jesus first and foremost.  He is my "When To" Guy! (with absolutely nothing but respect intended).

"When to go to Him vs. my friend, my blog, my therapist, or my support group?" you may ask.

To me, there is no decision making needed here either. Jesus, first and foremost!

JESUS, FIRST AND FOREMOST!

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday Morning Mistake

Writing Forward is having a little contest this week. You have to write a haiku, which I had never heard of until this morning.
Or.
You could write a six-word story.  I chose the latter.  Here is my entry:

Father. Son. Holy Spirit. Three yet One.

Ut oh...I just realized that's not six - it's seven.
Well.
I'm not winning this contest!  

I guess I don't think of The Holy Spirit as anything other than a One. If you used my full birth name: Diane Cathy - it would be two words, but still one me.
Oh, well.
I tried.  

As I'm sitting here watching the sunrise display it's majesty across the eastern Long Island sky, I've just come up with a new 6-word story:

Good morning, sunshine. Son shiny day. 

I wonder if I can send in another entry?
Nope, only one.
Oh, well...It's still going to be a Son-shiny day today no matter what!

What would your six-word story be for today?  If you know how to haiku, please write one. I'd love to read it.
And.
If you can pronounce "haiku" the Japanese way, good for you!  That's too much for me on an early Monday morning.

May your Monday be Son-shiny!

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Friday, March 9, 2012

Random Acts of Insight

I've had it happen only seven times in my whole 58 years of living that I can remember.

1. In 11th grade, a boy named Frank brought me a gift - a bottle of English Leather cologne. He knew how much I enjoyed that scent. To this day it's the only scent that has an affect on me. It was the first time in my 17-year-old life that I felt someone really saw who I was. It was a gift I've never forgotten, nor the giver. My junior and senior years of high school were the most difficult years of my life. Frank's random act of insight into my soul helped sustain me and gave me hope that I wasn't doomed to a lifetime of being an unknown entity.  This was a pivotal moment in my young life. 

2. About 22 years ago, Michael, my oldest son - who was then a young teen - gave me a lighthouse pendant, acknowledging a prayer I've always prayed: LORD, let Your Light shine from me like a lighthouse in the darkness.  The original pendant was given away. But, soon thereafter I was able to purchase the same lighthouse pendant. My son's gift was an integral part of my identity and still adorns my neck and is part of my email address.  His acknowledgment of this side of his mother did so much to help heal my wounded soul. 

3. For my 40th birthday, my husband, Joe, gave me a gorgeous, expensive, red w/silver trim pen. He believed in the writer within me before I could even acknowledge, "I'm a writer". That pen symbolized Joe's vision of my gifting.

4. About eight years ago, a dear brother-in-the-Lord gave me a color-by-number set knowing how much coloring was a form of R&R for me.  It touched me deeply that he saw that minute part of me.

5. Around that same time, Alece and Niel gave us a cruise to Alaska, knowing my "I'd-move-there-in-a-heartbeat" love for our most northern state. That cruise to Alaska with Alece was the highlight of my life. 

6. Several Christmases ago, my youngest son, Andrew, gave me a framed drawing of a laughing Jesus.  Andrew knows that I don't know an angry, stern God, but a loving, joy-filled One.  My son knew me.

7. And recently, a friend sent me a cardinal figurine. Cardinals are my favorite bird, and birds cause my heart to sing! I was deeply touched at the fact that she tapped into that aspect of who I am.

These gifts were chosen for me because the giver cared enough to hear and see me. I felt as if the REAL me was acknowledged with each gift.  These handful of random acts of insights over my lifetime have had an unfathomed impact on this soul, which subconsciously was longing to be truly known.

It has just happened again.  Number eight.

But, this time from a total stranger - who no longer is.  She saw me.  She cared enough to look into my soul via my blog. Her creative spirit depicted me to a tee.  Veronica "Shticks" Anderson tapped into my being - the very essence of who I am - and created a one-of-a-kind depiction of Diane Ronzino.

Entitled "Diane Cum Lux" (Latin for "Light-filled Diane"). PHOTO BY: Vinoth Chandar
I've been moved beyond expression. I was not able to sleep last night for the sheer joy of the anticipated finished product, but not really understanding why until I got up early with The LORD this morning. The Holy Spirit showed me all I just wrote about and the purpose of this newly embraced Divine Appointment.

I've just come through a LONG s e v e n - year wilderness journey. During this seven-year drought, I thought the essence of who I am was gone - killed off by unrelenting grief due to much loss, loneliness, and despondency. Yet, Veronica has shown me through her creation that I am still who I've been for 29 years (as of March 7th) - a worshiper of Jesus Christ.  The One Who died that I would be made free, whole, and healthy; Whose death on the Cross afforded me an abundant life of freedom.

If you zoom in on the "Shtick" figure, you will see a tear on my cheek. For anyone who really knows me, knows I cannot help but weep as I worship and thank my LORD for all He has done for me. Weeping, worship, and Diane go hand-in-hand.  Veronica depicted the very essence of ME. 

We all desire to be known - deeply known - and loved.  My Heavenly Father showed me, through Veronica's "Shtick" interpretation of me, how intimate His insights into my soul are; and to what lengths He will go to - to show me His Love and to lift my head up toward His Son. 

This second one, "Pretty Lighthouse Lady", was an added surprise. I have to say that I think these creations are equal to the Alaska cruise, as highlights of my life.

Entitled "Pretty Lighthouse Lady". PHOTO by Paul Bica
Veronica, thank you for being a vessel used by God to get His vital message through to me: No matter what I've gone through, I am still me!  I am still here!  The essence of who I am is still alive and well.
You have honored my life by your creations, Veronica.  Thank you!  
May God bless your gifting beyond your wildest dreams!

Because of Him and Unto Him,


               
~~~


Something new for me: Jamming on Faith Barista.  Come on over!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

"Calgon...Take Me Away!"


Aahhh...Isn't this inviting?  
I can picture myself at this place reading God's Word.

Besides God's Word, what do you enjoy reading?

Because of Him and Unto Him,
                  Diane

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Refuge


What is this photo saying to you?

Because of Him and Unto Him,
                  Diane

Monday, March 5, 2012

Jammie Lesson

I was in the middle of watching a movie. The scene was morningtime and a woman getting dressed. She put her pajamas under her pillow and made her bed.

BLOG POST INSPIRATION!

PAUSE the movie.

When I was a little girl, every morning I would fold my jammies and put them under my pillow. Then I would finish making my bed. I did this up until I got married.  When I became a "big girl", I no longer put my jammies under the pillow.

Hhmm...I wonder why...

Why did my mother teach us to put our pajamas under the pillow? I truly have no idea. I bet she didn't either. I'm sure her mother taught her to do it, as I did my children, with no explanations as to the reason.

It was just a tradition.

Traditions can be comforting.  Ask anyone who goes home for Christmas.

However, the problem with traditions is that we can just roboticly do them without giving much thought to it, as in the jammie tradition.

And sometimes traditions can be box-producing, because they lock us into thinking only one way, leaving no room for the Holy Spirit to teach us the ways of God.

I can just hear Tevye singing, "TRADITION!" from  Fiddler on the Roof. He was a good example of how traditions can cause us to be close-minded.
Thus you have made the Word of God of no effect by your tradition. ~ Jesus Christ, as recorded in Matt. 15:6
Let's make sure that we don't allow traditional thinking to keep us from all that God has for us, as ascribed in His Word. God's Word is meant to renew minds; to transform us more and more into the imagine of Christ (Romans 12:2)  But, how can that happen, if our thinking is boxed-in by traditions?

May you allow The Holy Spirit show you what traditions have you boxed in, and may you give Him permission to remove the box and renew your mind.

OK. Back to the movie: PLAY!

Because of Him and Unto Him,
                  Diane

Sunday, March 4, 2012

To Me, For Me

The pondering of my heart this morning:

Do I want my readers to be drawn to the "way" I write??? (As in "Wow, look at how she writes!")
                                   Or
Do I want my readers to be drawn to the content of what I write??? (As in, "Wow, how inspiring that story was!")

Do I want to use picture-words so that I create a true-to-word mental images??? (As in, feeling, seeing, hearing the words)
                                  Or
Do I want to use wording that causes the reader to truly hear my message??? (As in, "Wow...that really ministered to me!")

Which is more important to me as an inspirational, creative non-fiction writer??? 

What does my writing "voice" sound like???

SIGH...

If only I could read my writings through other's eyes...

SIGH...
                   ...
                               ... SIGH...
                                                      ...
content...hear...content...hear...content...hear...???

Comparing emits insecurity. So, LORD, I ask You to please show me my individuality as a writer.  I think I know down deep in my heart, but I continuously compare my writing to other writers who so eloquently use fluid, picture-words. Please show me the writer You created me to be, so I can settle it in my heart once and for all, and get off this merry-go-round. Thank You, my Abba!
"Content. Hear."
"Just write."

Yes, LORD.  I'm sorry. Thank You, thank You, thank You for your patience with me!!!


"I created you to be an inspirational, creative non-fiction writer.  Enjoy just writing."


Yes, LORD, I am sorry...I will enjoy and leave the rest to You!


Because of Him and Unto Him,
                  Diane

Friday, March 2, 2012

Springtme of the Soul

At my weekly Bible study, I consistently encourage the senior citizens to keep growing, changing, and developing more and more into the image of Jesus - no matter what their age.

Spring has finally arrived in my soul and my eyes have been opened to see new growth all around me - in the young and old alike. And it has been inspiring.

Blogs I've been reading are even growing. From authors daring to make a little change here and there to their blogs, to full blown remakes. Writing skills are improving and evolving, as the writers are finding their voice.  It's like spring has sprung all around me.

After coming out of a seven-year drought, my soul is as thirsty as a new plant breaking through the hardened, cold, winter ground seeking delight from the early morning dew.

I'm thirsting for more and more intimacy with Jesus. I'm thirsting to be used as a vessel for other's growth. I'm thirsty for this little old blog of mine to make a difference in someone's life. I'm thirsty for The Living Water to flood my soul to the point of overflow - overflow in the extravagant Love (my One Word for this year) department.
Oh, water my soul, my LORD. As I soak in the water of Your Word, cause me, oh God, to be saturated to the point of overflow. Water my soul and cause me to be living water to those around me coming into their springtime. Better yet, cause me to be living water to those in a desert, wilderness season. Even if they can only swallow one drop at a time, let me be the bearer of that droplet. May extravagant Love flow as an unending river, supplying life-sustaining substance to those who thrist.
I not only prayed this prayer for me, but for you as well.

Because of Him and Unto Him,
                 Diane