Take It Down…

As I am sitting in church and I do love my church but the sound system is one part I despise at times. While again in a service last night, the sound was so loud that it hurt plus it was hard to hear the words. The singers are just mixer and microphonescreaming in the mics, it seems. I assume it is the sound controllers or bad mics are all combined. Maybe they think the louder it is, God will hear them. All these thoughts enter my mind as I am trying to cancel out the sound.

MC0720FBB-4E78-453C-B580-E39390FCB613any times I know the pastor gets frustrated over the lack of involvement from the congregation and perhaps this is why. Too loud and we cannot make out the words and hard to get past the pain to worship. Will he listen? Will others listen to comments made? Probably not. I’ve been there long enough to know it goes in one ear and out the other. Could be because they cannot hear anymore due to hearing damage. It won’t be long until another sound system is purchased in hopes to make it all better. Odds are because they have blown the amps out.

I find it funny that when the singing stops, I do say hallelujah. I just find it annoying as I would like to sing and worship but it hurts and the desire to stick my fingers in my ears is a constant thought. I wanted to go to the sound people and tell them to take it down a notch or two, please.

Anyway, I survived and others also as I see many look at one another with the same thoughts of it is too loud so it is not my age. I just do not understand but a common occurrence through the many years being a member and only getting worse. Perhaps we need to have a hearing screening done to prove the point there is a problem. Or perhaps if many had hearing aids, this would remedy itself.

Okay, thanks for ‘hearing‘ me out through this rant. Time to get flesh colored ear plugs. Until then, Hallelujah will be said but in a sarcastic tone, not spiritually. Lord, forgive me.D0D0E99A-5419-4A4A-BE81-79DB078B8998

The Wilderness

B112A881-D709-462B-8110-422DF57971B5Many years ago I went through one of the toughest battles ever, feeling lost in the darkness of my thoughts and feelings with nobody to turn to.  It’s interesting, twice this past week, this time of my life came up in conversations.  I discussed with my counselor but also listening and encouraging a friend the other night, who is experiencing total hopelessness in her life, wanting to die.  Sadly, I knew exactly what she felt and heard the screams of her begging God to let her die.

Taking day by day but really just existing, it got so bad I remember feeling actually numb and not knowing how I got from home to work, vice versa, and dealt with life.  I remember driving to work, knowing deep within that 7C031C4F-1822-45B7-AFEE-4A4AF7B3E0E0God was carrying me. He had to carry me. The Footprints in the Sand picture and the words that I have read many times, became real. One of those moments when you think or say, so that is what this feels like.  Yes.  He was carrying me and at times dragging or pushing me. Had it not been and had I not had my faith in Him, I do not know what I would have done.

Many in the church were present around me as I tried to go and worship but still, even in the midst, I felt invisible.  I worked closely with the Pastor with typing and tending to his paperwork and correspondence, but even he did not discern, acknowledge or offer to see through my heavy heart or hear my silent screams.  Alone in the dark for years not understanding or able to confide in others. I had been hurt so much by those that said they loved me and cared so how could I trust another.

Perhaps the walls surrounding me were so high, that I had built and rightfully so and normal, that they could not see or reach out to me. Still, if you cared enough, chip away at the wall to help me tear the walls down, as I needed freedom from the hell within. Desperate and hopeless, just as my friend.

Years progressed to more years and I felt I finally gave up.  One last straw broke me. Isolation and depression attacked my very being. My life was between going to and from work and home to repeat the next day. Being an empty nester, I did not have to act as though I was fine because I was not.  My husband was present in body only but nothing more, just keeping the legal form of our marriage license intact only.814A9057-3FDA-4418-9080-178EC9794093

Even though the dark days of this wilderness journey was horrendous for me, today I am much stronger in my faith.  It was through those times and many nights curled up in my chair struggling to live through the emotional pain and mental torment, but I had to trust in the Lord. He said in His Word that He has a purpose and a plan for me, He would not leave or forsake me.  I had to trust Him. Even when I was so angry with myself, others, my life and even God and then to express such anger to Him. My faith deepened even through my screams of anger at Him. He knew I was angry anyway, I had to be real with Him.

Wildernesses are not wasted by God.

As bad as it was, I know the trials that come now won’t last forever and hopefully not as long as the wilderness experience I had.  Tomorrow will be better.  No matter what comes, I must trust Him. You, too.

Know He loves you. He knows your name.  He knows where you are.  He knows all about you.  Trust Him! ✝️

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God does not waste any of our life experiences and promises that although, life might not feel good right now, he works all things for our benefit and for the purpose of transforming us into the image of his son, Jesus Christ (Rom 8:28-29). https://asistasjourney.com/2012/06/29/a-wilderness-experience-depression/

Wilderness Experience https://www.gotquestions.org/wilderness-experience.html

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Bracelet Beauty

DED2117F-6DF0-433D-A905-12FA4A37EBF0I have a sweet friend that I met in Sunday school, sitting next to me, many years ago and we have been friends since that morning.  While we lived miles apart, we managed to meet several times a year to shop and soon developed our routine of favorite stores, etc.  On my birthday about a year or two ago, we met and she had a gift for me, a beautiful bracelet of friendship.  Soon, she and husband moved further away, in another state.  In that last shopping trip together, I gave her a friendship bracelet.  This move was good for them but we both missed our girl-time together so we decided to meet half way for a few days to shop back in the spring.  What fun it was to get away and enjoy hours talking, laughing, sharing and at times crying.  True, best friends.  In that time together going from shop to shop, we found bracelets and sure enough we bought the same.

Just recently, while she was in town, we met, shopped and there again found ourselves looking at bracelets.  So now we have a new theme to our time together. Bracelets.

It was this last trip that I was telling her about my first bracelet many years ago, that I had forgotten about wearing.  Some things in my past, I wanted to forget.

It was back, almost twenty years, I was dealing with some issues that no wife needs to experience or words to hear 14C97E8C-B4F1-4F96-BEBE-51E23A0968E3from her husband.  I was lost in the emotional turmoil and nobody to turn to due to shock and shame, thinking maybe it was all my fault.  I felt hopeless, ugly, unworthy and whatever negative word you want to throw in this mess I was in and dealing with.

A little girl on our street, about ten years old, would often come to see me when I was out in the yard.  I had boys so I was outside with them or checking on them.  The girl was selling jewelry for her class at school so, of course, I bought one.  I still remember that day, as if it was yesterday.

686BAD4C-585C-492D-ABD5-AE8A4BBFC909It was a stretchy soft-color bracelet and I thought how pretty it was and happy I bought it.  It was when I put it on to go to church one day, I guess I felt good that day.  I put it on, then I realized I felt different.  I felt pretty.  In shock with that feeling, I took it off, as I noticed a difference in me.  I put the bracelet back on and wore it all the time, thereafter.  It helped me to feel pretty when I did not feel pretty at all.  It gave me a sense of hope in myself when I had rather disappeared in life.

I still have the bracelet.  While I do not wear it nowadays, I keep it to always remember where I was then and how it helped me climb through despair.  There were a couple of years where I bought or was given bracelets as gifts so I have quite a few.

In those years, I wore the cheap, school bracelet mostly or another here or there but in time I took the bracelet(s) off as well as my wedding rings; I wore no jewelry at all but my post earrings.  Done.  No need to feel or look pretty.  If I had a good day, I knew it was short-lived.  No wonder I wanted to forget this period in my life.

0615FC93-BAED-4A83-9D80-6EF86150919AIt was just a month or so ago, I bought myself a new watch, I slipped on a bracelet with it and again the feeling came, I felt pretty but also knowing I am worthy to wear this bracelet.  Isn’t it interesting that just a cheap or any other bracelet can change the thoughts and feelings by wearing it?

9B3B740D-C2A7-45B5-8B6B-BDF675A6FE9CLife issues, marriage, relationships, etc., can take all hope from us at times but knowing the One who gives hope is what matters.  I gave up on everyone and even God through those years although knowing deep down, he was there for me. He was all I had but I even doubted Him..

Questioning the Lord of why I had to go through everything295382E6-CCC1-4B9D-8139-F816E2BAD317 that I did.  He knew that I would question Him.  He knew I was and felt hopeless and that I was angry.  He knew where I was and what I was going through.

I said this so often and I still do, as it keeps my faith alive: He knows my name and He knows where I am. 

You are welcome to use that, too!  No matter what you are facing, know that you take one day at a time.  Trust Him!

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Fire in my Hands

It was in my early twenties, attending a local church, being somewhat taken under Millie’s wing to teach me and mentor me, we became like a dynamic duo.  I was more confident in myself as a now adult and being a Christian.

Parcel wrapped in mottled brown paper with coarse rope and buff tag

Millie led a class called, Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts, relating to what our spiritual gifts are, an 8-week class, I believe. I just remembered this tonight and still the excitement floods my mind.   When she was out of town, I would lead the class and no intimidation or fear was there.  I did it.  I forgot the joy. 055B49EB-BA84-45A6-AFEE-62456C25305A

On several occasions, we would travel to different locations to attend conferences.  The first one was unforgettable and life changing.  It was at this time, a desire to write a book became alive in me.  Since, it has always been on my mind.

Millie moved away due to her job and I moved to another church and got involved there. Life changes and while some things halted, other things moved forward. Life.

A lot has happened between my early twenties and now, almost sixty years old.  Still, my mind is always thinking and writing whether I do write a book or not.  This blog has helped me this past year to open up and share. Thank you for reading.

D5D95F50-E590-46A1-9184-2BAD57550D3FAs for a book, doesn’t everyone want to write a book?  Why would anyone want to read mine?  Questions I keep repeating all of these years.  Who knows but God.

About two weeks ago though, I had something interesting A24BEBD7-5675-47B8-8BE9-A1AFCFA7409Ehappen.  I am at yet another ladies conference.  I am standing by myself with my hands lifted up in front of me, palms up and looking at them, praying.  Lord, if it is meant for me to write, let fire of your anointing flow through my fingers as I type.  A simple prayer and I moved on enjoying the service.

At the end, during the altar call, I stood.  A lady behind me and to my left side tapped me on my shoulder asking if she could pray for me.  Sure.  With that she grabbed another lady for prayer, too.  The three of us, hands held, and she prayed.  There was a hesitation, she stopped and asked me if I was a teacher. No, I am not.  Again she asked, are you sure?  I’m sure.  Now I began to wonder where this was going.  I mentioned my office work and that I write, I love to write.  Again, she stopped, looked at me and said, ‘You do know that a writer is a teacher and a teacher is a writer.’  No, I did not, never gave it a thought.  Other things were said, too.  It was then the third lady holding my right hand in 1B8E3F64-2FDE-4D71-87E1-E321B276776Cprayer, she also took my left hand, holding them both up and said, ‘I see fire coming from your hands.’  Now being still, taking this all in, it was like wait a minute.  I am thinking, Lord, I know she did not hear me pray, my prayer earlier.  Then she said to me, ‘You are like a Wonder Woman.’  Then I stopped and no doubt my mouth dropped open.  I know neither of these women knew me but with the prayer, prophetic word, the fire in my hands and Wonder Woman being mentioned, I knew God was in the midst.  Plus, I had just wrote about Wonder Woman that week, and I said that I was Wonder Woman.  (The blog is called 002969B5-4848-4AB9-A8FD-C6C3EEEC1304Kryptonite.)

Talk about a WOW moment, my faith was sky high and there was a laughter within me. Still. Not of disbelief with the laughter but of amazement because only the Lord could have pulled that off through these ladies that I have never met before and He used them.

I do not know what the future holds, if there will be a book although I have the title ready, or how this will come about, etc.  One thing I do know is that the Lord will open the doors if so and will be glorified from the beginning to the end.90EED108-0511-49E3-8AF2-FA826494C5EC

I have to trust He has placed a spiritual gift(s) within me years ago.  To just now remember that time and the class, and teaching it, I am amazed.  It’s like, Lord, just what are you doing?  In all those years, I had to walk through some dark places to be where I am.  What I do know, too, is that He knows where I am today and He knows where I am going.

Same with you.  You have a story, a testimony and gifts to help another and many others, to give hope. Trust Him.

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Zoom In?

D033BD35-324B-4B9F-85AD-CB34C5C90FDESmile, you are on camera.

These days, I sense ‘frown’ you are on camera. They are everywhere. While very handy, they can also be intrusive.

I have cameras inside and outside of my home. I get that. Our cell phones can take great pics and I like that until used wrongly.

Where I am going with this, is in the church and those emotional moments at the altar or in worship.1486566F-A67C-4548-8816-9D2414A8F116

I don’t mind the cameras rolling to get the service so the service can be shown for many to view to shut-ins, around the world to spread the Gospel, to watch again, etc.  What I do mind whether it be me or others, please get that camera out of my face and allow my private time in prayer or worship whether in the congregation and especially at the altar.  630FBAFC-E0B4-4D5B-8A99-C2EAA3243044

Then you know the cell phones and in church. People feel they can video or snap pics of the same.  Please have respect.

One service I was at, one heavy set woman was touched by God and she was worshiping. I could see her fat jiggling as she was dancing and joyful, being touched by the Lord. I was happy for her but would have been mortified if she knew behind the scene, the cell phone camera.  The mother and daughter in front of me were giggling and videotaped this of her.  I was livid. No wonder I do not move out in such services.  There are other reasons but the cameras are hindering the move of God, not just in me but for many, which is not right.

Many, as I stated, not just me feel the same. They, too, will stay seated and not move anywhere the camera might zoom in.  The altar for one, and the most important place of a church.

Respect! Where has it gone?

15CB6338-7CDA-4FE4-888A-28DB1CECF8B9This past weekend, I was at a great ladies conference and while no large camera was rolling, I saw many cell phones out and being used more and more as the conference continued.  It was like, monkey see monkey do.

I would say that many would be intimidated by such and freeze. This action halts the flow of the Holy Spirit. While we should not hinder His move, it does.  To bring this up, it goes in one ear and out the other of those in leadership. Sad.

I myself attend a late church service when I know no camera is used and it is less drama and theatrics.  I know some love the spotlight and I understand the 3E63E732-FAFC-4D5B-8670-3810AD8D6CEEplatform of those to be on camera, close shots, etc., but the congregation in worship and prayer, it is not the place.  To cover the whole service from the back of the sanctuary is sufficient and still allows a freedom.

This is my pet peeve, as you can tell, but I have heard so many say the same.  How about you?  What are your thoughts?  Do you experience the same?

Please be considerate and respectful during such spiritual moments. Reconsider your camera use. If your church and mine and video techs are zooming in on the ugly cries, please stop.

6301DAB7-F907-4F46-8F7C-5E945BB9D65AThe ugly cry. What is it? Urban Dictionary defines it as “a type of crying that feels really good and really bad at the same time.” But it’s more than just that. In an article for New Republic, Rachel Vorona Cote writes that “to ‘ugly cry’ means to weep so fervidly that one’s face contorts in ostensibly unattractive ways.”  

These days, more than ever, people need God. Those camera moments can be made from a distance and the message received for the hearts to receive instead.  Newcomers are fearful enough and dealing with sinful matters that they do not need to fear this, too.  Even professed Christians are dealing with matters, we all are, so let’s pull back the cameras and let God move.

Let God move on the hearts of those in attendance. Please!

We all need a move of God more than ever in our lives and in our churches.

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Back Off Girlfriend!

I realize people have a good heart and Christians want to witness and make contact with church members and/or friends/family that need to be in church and become a Christian. We are all to show ourselves friendly and to help others.

There comes a time though when it is wrong for a single, divorced woman to text me about my husband’s church attendance and if she can contact him and encourage him.  No! 3B8113F5-CED4-493B-A900-31D1501F8164What makes me crazed about this situation is that she should know better. We have heard the same messages at church.

How or what would you do?

There are many of us women (wives) that attend church alone, I see it all the time.

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I want to text her back and might at some point or see her at church and if asked, say that her requirement as a single, divorced woman should only be to pray for him.  For a woman to contact a married man is not okay in my books.  This opens up a whole can of worms, as they say.

Whether or not my marriage is perfect is none of her business or others; there is still a marriage license in force.

I’m just floored that she had the gall to contact me but I guess she feels we are friends, close enough that is to either get the scoop or my permission.  No!  If I was not so nice, I would rip into her.  If there is definite contact made, I will.

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Sometimes, I just shake my head and this was one of those moments.  Crazy enough and just like the Lord, I was questionning her a few months back about an interest in him, figuring it was just a fear on my part.  Now, I wonder if that was a warning.  No matter.  No!

Pay attention to your gut instincts!

If he goes to church with me or not.  None of your business.  He is a grown man, too, and he has choices of his own whether to go or not.  Not mine.  Not yours.

As Christians, we are to pray for others.

In passing, to invite to church is one thing.  There are other men in the church that should be reaching out to care and witness to other men, not a single, divorced woman. Same with women contacting other women with care and concern.  It’s conservative and respectful but for a reason.

Sometimes, I am just amazed at people and crazy enough, church people.

God Winks

B2EA2A90-D200-4A8E-A23C-07AA7ED8872BIn all of these years, I had never heard the term, God Winks. Why is that? I have had many, to think of, just the Favor of God. Basically the same. I have and no doubt you have had situations come about that only God could orchestrate and faith would be increased with joy in your heart to experience.

This past week, I was telling my present counselor about my week and this one situation. While I was thrilled, he was quite ecstatic because he promptly said that was no coincidence, that was a God Wink. I totally agreed.

1DDC170A-AB01-468C-8496-763D21B1BDE6The more I gave thought to it, I was just thankful to God all this time, but then realized how he was so right, it was no coincidence. Thankfully, I just tend to have stuff like this happen in my life and think how cool is that but also thankful and happy. It is so God. He is showing me that He knows exactly where I am. How cool is that?!?

Last Sunday morning was running a little different and out of routine, as my son was in for the weekend but leaving to go back to his place. I was getting ready for church but was getting off kilter, as he is never rushed. I managed and we still enjoyed our time talking. Knowing my church service was the late one, I still had time. Soon though, time got away from me but finally got him on the road and me, too.

Living only ten miles from the church, I had time to get there on time. I travel a windy two-lane highway and usually no problem at all, nice and slow they say. Well, that is exactly what happened. Moving just fine and then nice and slow. Traffic was backed up for several miles. I’m thinking a wreck perhaps but later learned a detour from the main interstate. Slowly inching my way toward church, I come close to a church where my former counselor attends.

It has been now seven months since our last session due to her leave. I have so missed her and have struggled with abandonment and fighting depression but improving. Trying hard to understand but there is still a grief. After four years together in weekly sessions, she was a big part of my life.

So as I approach the parking lot to her church, I could see her car at a distance. Just seeing her car as I pass weekly, as I go to my church and seeing she is at her church, it makes me feel good, knowing she is there and okay.

As I inch my way up the road, the thought came that I will miss seeing her once again although the parking lot was pretty empty.  I was kind of bummed but then I see her car move and come toward the exit. My car was coming up on the church exit, which allowed her to pull out in front of me. It was just as if we planned it.  No, that was the Favor of God or a God Wink, as my new counselor said.

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As her car is now in front of mine, my heart was beating so fast of the excitement of this happening and also seeing her.  Sometimes I am just amazed how such a rare situation can happen with me. It does but it has been a long time. I so needed that whole scenario to happen and no doubt the Lord knew I needed just that. He is so good.

Looking ahead of my car, she was able to pull out on the road with many cars in line behind me and no traffic coming in the other direction. It was like the cars all around us stood still. We could not have timed this any better, only God could. I think she was happy to see me, too.

God Winks. Look for them. 2FAE5D2A-7F51-4487-846C-D547B1E10B98

“Every so-called coincidence or answered prayer is God’s way of letting you know He’s thinking of you.

“An event or personal experience, often identified as coincidence, so astonishing that it is seen as a sign of divine intervention, especially when perceived as the answer to a prayer.”

God +‎ wink; coined by SQuire Rushnell, author