Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Words Fitly Spoken

God is sooo faithful. Truly faithful.

My pastor was ministering on relationships on Sunday. The first Scripture she referred to was about Cain and Abel, found in Genesis 4:7-8.  As I turned to the Scripture in my Bible, this portion of those verses stood out to me, as if in neon lights: 
If you do well, will you not be accepted?
Wow!


Knowing I'm facing the church BBQ on Saturday; knowing what the internal dialog with myself has been, my wonderful Holy Spirit, knew I needed an encouraging word.  As I read that Scripture, I heard in my heart:
Diane, You do well. You will be accepted.
Wow...just what my insecure heart needed to hear.  Just what I needed to silence the ungodly internal dialog going on.  


A huge smile came over my face and a weight lifted off my shoulders in that very moment. That spirit of heaviness? Gone.


Free.  Hallelujah!


Thank You, Precious Holy Spirit, that You encouraged me through Your wonderful, Holy Word, and set my heart free. Thank You, my Beloved Companion. Thank You!


God is always speaking to us through His Word.  I'd love to hear what encouraging Words has He spoken to your heart lately.  


Won't you please share?




Because of Him and Unto Him,

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Treasures from a Guest Writer

I have been blessed by my Circle of Sharing here on this blog. What treasures you all have turned out to be - enriching my life in so many ways! 

I had been praying for men to become a part of our Circle here. (We could use a little man-perspective on things.) And thanks to Hazel's, Tell Me A Story, I found Floyd's blog, But By The Grace of God, There Go I.  And what a treasure his blog is! Truly. And low and behold he joined our Circle here. Thank You, Father, for answering my prayer with a man-writer whose heart is deep and tenderly reflects Yours.

I invited Floyd to share one of his writings here on an encouraging word. For those of you who may not be acquainted with Floyd's storytellings, it is my pleasure to share one of his stories. I hope you enjoy it and will frequent his blog. Your life will be enriched from reading his often-times deep messages hidden within his stories. 


Thank you, Floyd, for blessing us with your words!  God bless you!

                                                               MY TREASURE
                                                                                   by Floyd Samons
  
The old downtown main street was a world almost all but gone. Corporate giants have swallowed up the little main street shops like sharks do minnows, but these were the last of the Mohicans. People, individuals determined to give their all, go to the end.

Those are my type of people, so it made shopping and window-shopping a little easier while we were on vacation. Shopping isn’t my specialty, but it was vacation and we were with my wife’s brother and sister-in-law, so I tried to make them believe that I was a decent guy… No small task…

We strolled through all the old down town history. I patiently walked through or waited with Denny outside as my wife and Lisa meandered through every shop in town looking for the evasive once or twice in a lifetime treasure. I was still amazed at how seemingly insignificant things can become monumental, but like most situations in life, I was about to learn another lesson.

We were just past it when it caught my eye, “Hey!” – “Look at that?” -  “We’ve been in every other store, how bout’ that one!” I announced while pointing.

“A used book store,” my wife said flatly as she made the obligatory turn toward it.

It was old, small, really low ceilings, with the books stacked all the way up to it. It was like a treasure hunt, and I was the willing pirate. All of us found books we’d seen or heard of, but the treasure would be the one you didn’t know was the treasure until you found it.

My wife and Denny had already given up on their hunt as Lisa and I continued ours. Up high on a shelf, in the middle of the little store where the lighting was the poorest, I spotted it… My treasure…

I knew it immediately, in the cowboy paperback section of the store. I said it out loud as if I’d just changed the world… I didn’t, just mine… “Louis L’ Amour!” I plucked it out of the mass of books like it was gold. “Sackett,” I whispered.

I moved toward the check out table, “Look what I found!” I presented my treasure to Lisa as if it might be a treasure to her as well. She cocked her head sideways, politely letting me know she’d never heard of him. “You’ve never heard of him?” I asked a little shocked, “No, I haven’t,” Lisa admitted.

We were only a couple of feet from the cashier that experience told me was the owner. “Oh yeah, I read this book as a kid – it was my dad’s – he had tons of his books!” I explained to my sister in law. Turning to the owner, I asked, “How many books did he write?”  We book lovers know other ones when we see them, “About 57 or 58 I think,” she replied in a friendly tone then admitted to Lisa, “They really are quite entertaining!”

“Well I gotta have this!” I said sliding the book carefully toward the owner. She smiled again punching the old cash register, then slipped a book mark inside the old pages, slid it back, “No charge today,” she said kindly with a genuine smile.

I nodded, swallowed the lump in my throat from thinking about how my treasure got me a piece of my dad’s memory, “I can’t tell you how much this book means to me, thank you,” I said. I think she already knew…

I guess I understand a little bit more of how my wife and women in general feel about shopping. You never know what you might find out there that might remind you of a heritage passed down from a parent, mom or dad…Kinda like I did that day.

The day I found my priceless treasure… that didn’t even cost me a dime…
~~~~

Because of Him and Unto Him,




Friday, July 27, 2012

To Sing Among the Stars

Let everything that has breath praise The LORD. 
~Psalm l50:6

Do you have breath in your lungs? Yes, of course.

Then praise The LORD God Almighty!

Have you ever really let yourself go in praise before God?

Did you ever get so caught up in worship that you are not even aware of what your body was doing?

Have you ever put on worship music in your home and when you were all alone, you just let loose?

When you go for a walk outside, do you stop to praise The LORD in the beauty of His creation?

My mentor, Jane Haile, was an older woman of 70 when God ordained for me to sit at her feet. She shared with me that in the middle of the night, she would have to get up to go to the bathroom. As she did, she would begin to praise The LORD for His bountiful goodness. By the time she would make it back to her bedroom, she was dancing. Many, many nights she would dance before The LORD - sometimes for hours. And with only the music from her own soul and from every cell in her body. She had an extraordinary ministry anointing, and I believe that is one of the reasons why.

Everything that has breath worships God Almighty: animals, plants, stars, whales, etc.  Every cell in your body breathes. Every cell in your body worships.


When the morning stars sang together...
~ Job 38:7


If you would like to hear the stars and whales sing, please listen to this 14 minute YouTube of Louie Giglio's mashup of creation worshiping The LORD. Listen all the way to the end to hear the symphony.  CLICK HERE to go to the YouTube of stars and whales singing.


                 Psalm 148
Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!
Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all you stars of light!
Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
And you waters above the heavens!
Let them praise the Name of the LORD,
For He commanded and they were created.
He also established them forever and ever;
He made a decree which shall not pass away.
Praise the LORD from the earth,
You great sea creatures and all the depths;
Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
Mountains and all hills;
Fruitful trees and all cedars;
10 Beasts and all cattle;
Creeping things and flying fowl;
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples;
Princes and all judges of the earth;
12 Both young men and maidens;
Old men and children.
13 Let them praise the Name of the LORD,
For His Name Alone is exalted;
His glory is above the earth and heaven.
14 And He has exalted the horn of His people,
The praise of all His saints—
Of the children of Israel,
A people near to Him.
Praise the LORD!

P.S. This is how you get rid of that spirit of heaviness that I wrote about two posts ago, Kicking Off the Cement Shoes: you praise The LORD. A garment of praise replaces the spirit of heaviness.  Hallelujah!

Because of Him and Unto Him,


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Stories Rescued for Posterity

I'm not sure whether you are all aware or not, but Hazel Moon of A Joyful Noise and Tell Me A Story blogs, has just published her book, Rescue the Stories, Book One.  And I'm very excited to share it with you.


Click HERE for Purchasing Info


CONGRATULATIONS, Hazel!  

I'm so happy for her. I love that it is Book One, because that means more are to follow. WAHOO! I love reading Hazel's stories on her blogs. I have laughed and cried, as her words can uplift or touch deeply. 

I speak blessings over your book, Hazel: May the readers be able to identify with your stories; may The LORD encourage, strengthen, heal, and bring joy through your words; and may your book get into many, many hands.

~~~~~~~


And here is an update on the South African students writing competition that some of us help sponsor.  This just came in from the Director of Ignite South Africa who sponosred this program to get students to write their personal, true stories:


Diane,

I just wanted to send off a quick email to let you know that we have been reading the essays - wow.  
We have received them from over half the schools we invited to participate, and have many incredible stories.  Right now our plan is to whittle it down to the top twenty and a team will go out to interview headmasters, teachers, and families of those students.  We'll make a video of these to share (I am hoping to be able to figure out how to upload with our internet here, or find someone who can help me stateside while I am there)

Our celebration will not be held until 27 October- this will allow time to get the videos and put them together as well as prepare for the festivities.  We have secured Show Tell to hold it in and are hoping to get the schools, radio, as well as families to attend! (Keep that in prayer, we REALLY want to bless these students)

Our goal is to also put together a book of student stories to share with supporters... or perhaps we'll make it into an ebook as well.

A few things that have stood out in those writings we received is the vast number of orphans who shared.  Mothers, sisters, brothers dead.  Fathers dead, abandoned, or never present. Many dealing with harsh treatment from those currently caring for them.  I hope to share some of the poems and such that has also been sent along.  The stories themselves will need to wait until after the final announcements.

Anyhow I'll keep you in the loop.  Thanks for your prayers!


June

June Blanshan
Exective Director
Ignite South Africa Inc.


So, let's keep praying for these young writers who have overcome adversity just to put their stories on paper!  As soon as I get word of the videos or the printed stories, I'll share it with you all. 


Because of Him and Unto Him,




Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kicking Off the Cement Shoes

LORD, be gracious to us; we long for You.
Be our strength every morning,
our salvation in time of distress.
~ Isaiah 33:2


Our salvation (Deliverer) in time of distress. Hallelujah!

I've been in distress for the last few days now. Feeling - truly - as if my feet were in cement shoes. 


That's what the spirit of heaviness feels like. 


Oh, Jesus, be my salvation! Deliver me and replace this spirit of heaviness with Your garment of praise.  (Isaiah 61:3)


For those of you who have been on this blogging journey with me, you know that eight years ago we left our church. In so doing, I lost every relationship we had, along with my job, and my ministries all in one day.  It nearly destroyed me. Just as I began to heal and come out of that dark pit, Satan hit me with more loss. My son-in-law was unfaithful to my daughter. Again, I lost relationships, my job, and their ministry which was a part of my very being. It has been a long road back.


Back to trusting.

The mainstay in this healing process has come through my blogger community - you, who have embraced me, allowing me to get my feet wet again in community.  In relationships.


Which allowed me to take the next step of progress: getting involved in a church again.  Which, as you know, I've done.

Which brings me to the last few days of distress: The pastor is having the whole church to their home for a BBQ in two weeks. I finally feel safe in my "pew" at church. And now I must venture beyond the walls of the/my sanctuary to a social setting.  Aahhh!


Joe and I have always been part of the leadership teams in our churches, but in this new church I don't have any "identity" of any sort. So, I still feel as if I'm bobbing and weaving on an ocean with no land in sight. So, my confidence is shaky - pitching high then low as only a wave can toss you.


This truly is a battle as I take a stand to break this assignment off my life.

I HAVE DECIDED I AM GOING to the BBQ because I won't let the devil win. 


I just wish I could snuggle into the middle of my huddling, safe Circle...


...sigh...


I know I have to do this! And I know I can in the strength of The LORD. Since you guys can't be with me, I will reply on God's holy angels to encamp 'round about me and huddle me into their Circle.


Garment of Praise
Painting by Linda Harris-Iorio





Because of Him and Unto Him,






And I will praise my God and kick off these cement shoes! The spirit of heaviness, replaced by His garment of praise (Isaiah 62:3)






Because I am a tree of righteousness, the planting of The LORD for 
His Glory and Honor.
~ Isaiah 61:3










Saturday, July 21, 2012

Morningtime Psalm

the day's beginning
by Diane Ronzino

washed in the water of Your Word
blanketed in the warmth of Your Love
i sit.

cleansed
loved
at peace.

spirit to Spirit
heart to Heart
i rest.

basking in Your Light
the dark nooks exposed
i remain.

humbled by Your Majesty
blushing at Your Know-all
grateful at Your Tell-not.

i, your daughter,
kissed by Your Grace
hugged by Your Mercy
go forth.


Because of Him and Unto Him,



This post is shared over on Oikos Living

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Embracing Truth

In the beginning was The Word,
 and The Word was with God, 
and The Word was God.
~John 1:1


Embrace The Word 
as if embracing God, Himself.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Outside Looking In?

As an avid bird lover, I am drawn to this photo for a few reasons -


- the brilliant blues, greens, and reds that make a bold statement; and the fact that the birds are all huddled in a circle around the seed, sharing their bounty as a community.

But, my eye and heart is really drawn to the one left out of the circle, standing all alone watching the others eat.  I get a lump in my throat just typing these words.

I want to swoop him up and place him into the circle.

Human beings, as well as birds, are created for community, not isolation.

As one who is battling the feeling of being an outsider at my new church, this photo really hit home. Initially, it was difficult to walk through the doors at Crossover Christian Church. But, people have embraced me, loved on me, and invited me into the circle of their lives.

So why do I still feel like an outsider?

I know it has something to do with my last church and losing all my relationships when we left that church. There is a deep-rooted fear, and it is something Jesus and I will work together on.

I reiterate:

Human beings, as well as birds, are created for community, not isolation.

So, I invite those who would like to be a part of my Circle of Sharing here on this blog, to enter in. We will take a step back so as to enlarge our Circle to make room for you - embracing you and our differences.

You are welcome here at an encouraging word.

You will find an awesome embracing, accepting, and loving community here, too; who, believe it or not, gave me the courage to step through the doors at Crossover Christian Church to begin with. It was this community Circle that strengthened me to make that very scary step out in the real world.

So, I bid you to enter in - join us - whether you are a blogger or not; whether you think you can write well or not.  Enter into our Circle of Sharing and Friendship.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Permission Granted

Nothing resembles more of our Father God's Heart, than a mother's. Oh, how we can ache and grieve for our children. 

Did you ever get to the point where you give God permission to allow anything in your adult child's life, if that is what is going to get them turned around?

I have. Permission granted, LORD.

That is a desperate place to be.

I close my eyes, as if an impact were coming, just like I did when I was a child riding my two-wheeler and heading straight for the telephone poll. BAM!

I'm waiting for the BAM! 

I know that God has my child's best interest at Heart. He loves our children even more deeply and Truthfully than we possibly could.  And He causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him. I love Him, so I know that whatever the BAM may be, God will cause it to work for good.

While waiting for the impact, I pray. 

Hard.

I don't want there to have to be an impact. I would love it to be a painless and effortless turn-around. One that is embraced. 

But...

...Permission is granted. Can anyone relate?

Because of Him and Unto Him,




Friday, July 13, 2012

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Story of Two Unsung Heroes

It may be too late for Memorial Day and the 4th of July, but it's NEVER too late to honor a war hero - regardless of the date.  So, I do that here, by sharing Lt. Billie D. Harris' and his wife, Peggy's, story.

This story pulled at my heartstrings in a few different ways, and the end of this video clip was such a surprise that I found myself thinking, Shame on our government!  But, if Peggy Harris can forgive, then so can I.

Peggy and Lt. Billie D. Harris
This story is inspiring for many reasons. But, I am writing about it to honor Lt. Billie D. Harris and his service to our country and to France; and to honor Peggy Harris' marital commitment and faithfulness to a husband she was only married to for 6 WEEKS before his life ended.

Peggy Harris at Billie Harris' gravesite in France







Billie is an unsung wartime hero (until now). Peggy has also been an unsung hero - for many decades.  Until now.  And now, she has become a hero in the faith to me - a woman I desire to know personally; to sit and glean from.

May Billie and Peggy's story touch your heart.


God bless the memory of Lt. Billie W. Harris and God bless the remaining years of Peggy Harris' life!

Please watch the video clip:

Please watch it to the end and then let me know your thoughts. If you are like me, you may need a tissue.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, July 9, 2012

Blogger's Misison Trip to Ethiopia

As bloggers, we have clout in this world.  Believe it or not.

Some of us do anyway.

Alece Ronzino aka GritandGlory
My daughter, Alece, does work for a non-profit organization called Food for the Hungry.  While a Missionary in South Africa, Alece had a dream for a bloggers mission trip.  That dream has now become a reality through Food for the Hungry

Alece has spearheaded this blogger's mission trip to Ethiopia that begins today.  Food for the Hungry is sending six bloggers, a photographer, and some staff. These six bloggers must post daily of the sights and sounds of Ethiopia and Food for the Hungry - their thoughts and hearts for what they are experiencing.

Please share in Alece's week-long mission trip on her blog: www.gritandglory.com beginning today.

For those who truly live in the 21st Century, you can follow these blogger-misisonaries' tweets at: http://tweetchat.com/room/fhbloggers.

On Thursday afternoon - 2 PM - Eastern Standard Time, Alece and the other bloggers will be having a LIVE Twitter chat at that same Twitter spot. You Tweeters can join in the conversation if you like.  I have no idea how to do that, so if anyone in my Circle can help me figure it all out, I'd appreciate it. Cause I do need HELP!

Blogging has become a powerful force in today's world. Companies are using us as a way to market their businesses. And successfully, I might add. We have a voice. People listen, peopled are moved. Some make decisions off of what they read. This is Food for the Hungry's hope, I'm sure - that people will be moved, and be decisive, to help their cause.

A blogger's mission trip. Birthed in the heart of my daughter.

As Alece's marriage ended and she had to give up their Mission and move back to the United States, her dream of a blogger's mission trip seemed to have died along with all her other dreams.

But, we have a resurrecting God! 

And He resurrected this dream in Alece's heart. No, it's not happening with her own ministry, but it is happening all the same - and in Alece's beloved Africa! It is for a time such as this.
For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. ~ Romans 11:29
Hallelujah! 

So, I'm inviting my Circle to join Alece's Circle for the next week. Share in her heart's journey to Ethiopia. See the land, the children, and their needs through Alece's eyes. Read Alece's first-hand reports of how Food for the Hungry is making a difference in this world.

If nothing else, please rejoice with me for the goodness of our Father to my daughter - His servant - in restoring the years the locust had eaten from her life; and in praying for all on this blogger's mission trip - for their health and safety.

And if you are so inclined, pass on the news of this important blogger's mission trip within your Circles. Let's make our blogger's voices be heard!

Because of Him and Unto Him,






This story is shared over at Tell Me A Story

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Oh, To Hug a Friend

Joe and I have friends who moved off Long Island about 8 years ago. In that time, I've only seen them once when they came up to NY to visit family.  We don't talk very often but when we do, it's as if we spoke yesterday.

Our relationship is a deeply spiritual, loving one. We can be genuine with each other. No masks needed.

Well, they are in NY again. Yesterday, I drove over to see them, and then Isabel and I went out lunch together. We sat for hours sharing what has been happening in our lives. We cried together, rejoiced together, and before we parted ways, we prayed and blessed each other.  Our hugs were long and heartfelt.

This morning, I find myself wanting to do that with each of you in my Circle. Truly. 

We have come to know each other spiritually and genuinely, with no masks. I have laughed with you; cried with you; laughed 'till I cried; and cried as I've prayed for you.

Can tears be bonding?  Yes, I believe they are.

I want more than anything to meet my blogging Circle. Truly, it is a desire of my heart. We must make this happen. Somehow, someway. Because I desire to look into your eyes and touch you to physically, and because I need a hug - a group hug!

But, we can start through Skyping.  I just signed up for group Skyping. Only one of us needs to do that.  I did, so there is NO need for you to do it. But you do need Skype 5.0.  If you already have Skype, please make sure it is 5.0. If not, you need to upgrade to the 5.0 one.

Next, Lolita and Lidia, do you have Skype? If not, can you look into getting it on your computer. We cannot do this without you!

We must remember that Lolita and Lidia are 12 hours ahead of us in time. So, we will have to make this group call either in the morning hours or evening to be able to have time with our precious Filipino sisters.

My friends, please let me know when you have Skype 5.O, if you want to be in on the call, and if morning or evening is best for you. Then I would need your phone numbers. You can email me: lighthouse.diane@gmail.com with your info.

I'm so excited at the thought of us all getting together SOON via this wonderful tool that God has given to us.  It certainly doesn't replace the face-to-face meeting that we WILL have, but it is a start.

I look forward to getting an email from you all!

Because of Him and Unto Him,
 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

What A Way to Start My Day!

In responding to someone's email early this morning, I typed away. My fingers just flew across the keyboard.  I had experiences to share.

I typed and typed.

I read what I typed and reread it. It was good - it would drive the point home.

But...

With a smile on my face, I hit delete.

I erased all but a couple of opening sentences.

Love keeps no record of wrongs (I Corth. 13:5b) sprang through my thoughts. Oh, how I love The Word of God!

I have TRULY forgiven those traumatic, dramatic incidents I just shared with my friend. Truly. Not only forgiven, but have been healed by my Lord Jesus. By typing it out, I would be recording the wrongs.

As much as it would give her a broader picture of what I was explaining, when I was all finished and ready to hit send, I hit delete instead.

And I feel good. Real good.

Extravagant Love is at work in me. 

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Jesus Culture Experience

Anyone who knows me knows I am a worshiper of our God. I can enter into His Presence, no matter what is going on around me.

My pastor blessed me with a Friday ticket to a three-day Jesus Culture conference here at the stadium on Long Island. The conference was geared toward young adults.  I was in awe of the speakers and their messages, and witnessing thousands and thousands of young people on fire for Jesus.

 But, more than that was the worship.

Jesus Culture only worships. They take you to the threshold of Heaven and deposit you.

At the evening session, we worshiped for almost two hours, and I was lost in Heavenly places as thousands of voices were raised in adoration of God.

I had three supernatural experiences in that two hour period. My Father truly bestowed His Extravagant Love on me.

Then I came to church on Sunday morning, already full to overflowing. Worship began and our beautiful sister, Claire (from Claire's Teaparty), who is a vistor from Singapore, came up to the microphone and began to sing a prophetic song. Her voice was angelic. Truly ablaze in The Spirit of God, she poured out an Extrvagant Love song from our Father.

I was left in humbled silence. I had no words, only a very grateful heart.

I am eternally grateful to my Father for allowing me the experience to worship with Jesus Culture, and for His Extravagant Love poured out to all - simultaneously, yet very different for each of us. It was a life-changing event for many young people, I'm sure. Even for us older folks.  There is hope for America's future as God is pouring out His Spirit on this generation.  I witnessed it.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, I am having lunch with precious Claire. I expect it to be a special time of getting to know each other in the natural because we already know each other via our hearts through our blogs.

Truly, I am blessed.


Because of Him and Unto Him,








PLEASE EXCUSE any typos. Blogger's spell check is not working.