The Chance to Love and Be Loved Exists No Matter Where You Are

Posts tagged ‘gift’

Today’s Gifts

This morning, God woke me up and told me He wanted me to go to worship. He said He had a gift for me. As usual, I wondered if this was just me and my crazy brain, or if this was really Him, so I asked Him for a sign that it was really Him. Then, I opened my Bible app (just as I do every morning) to check the daily Bible verse. This morning, it was Psalm 47:1.

“Clap your hands, all you nations;

shout to God with cries of joy.”

Psalm 47:1

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That was my sign! So, after I got my daughter off to school, away I went! There’s a church near me called Crossroads, Oakley and they do an early morning worship on Tuesdays. As I entered the church, God asked me to find a new way to worship. Not the out loud, over excited way that I normally do. So, I remained seated the whole time, singing out loud very little, and just basked in the worship of those around me. It was a very calming, peaceful feeling. And in keeping quiet, I heard the beat of the drum so much clearer! It was electrifying and I wanted to jump out of my seat and dance, but I stayed obedient. I felt like I could feel it deep in my soul!

As I sat there, my eyes closed, all these faces of strangers flooded my mind and I heard God say, “I love these people, but not all of them know Me. I want them to know Me!” It felt like I was falling asleep and instantly dreaming, but I was wide awake. I’ve definitely been tired in church before, and almost fell asleep, but never to the point that I’d had a dream. In this dream, or vision, there was an older woman with white hair and shades of gray. She wore a brightly colored button up, collared shirt. I saw pinks, oranges and yellows on her shirt. She had a stern look on her face as she turned to look at me. Then, I saw children playing at a park and a woman sitting on a bench, watching them. I asked God what this was about and what it meant, but got no reply. I figured He’d let me know if I needed to.

I left the church and asked God what was next? What are we going to do together today? Again, I got nothing, so I started to go home. When I was about 10 minutes from my house, I remembered that I needed to go fill out a police report because my car had been “broken into” a week before. I’d had major inner conflicts about reporting it and had been praying about what to do. My car was in my driveway at the time, unlocked. There hadn’t been much of anything of value in it. I’d forgotten to take my purse in the night before because I was so tired. But that night, I had also filled up my gas tank and put my credit card in my pocket instead of back in my wallet, like I usually do. (Total God-moment there!) So the thief had dumped my purse next to my husband’s car, out on the street. Everything was there! The one thing they did take was an extra wallet that was in my car console. I’d had my extra debit card in it that went to an account that only had about $20 in it. So, really, they didn’t get much.

When I discovered what had happened, I was a bit annoyed that someone went through my car, but thankful that nothing major was stolen. I stopped and prayed for the thief and the life they must be leading to have them living this way, stealing from others. I prayed that they find true happiness and freedom from whatever had them there. Then, I asked God if I should report them. It was such a small, minor thing and no one was hurt. Jesus tells us to turn the other cheek, and to forgive. Plus, there were others on my street who had been robbed as well. They would likely report theirs, too, so why did I need to report mine? I asked God for a sign on what He thought I should do. I was content to let it lie. Then, a few days ago, someone contacted me through Facebook and said they had my wallet. They only identifier was my debit card which was still in there. My driver’s licence was still in my purse when we’d found it, so I still had that. I believed that this was my sign that God wanted me to report it. When I prayed about it, He reminded me of a mission trip I’d just gone on in March.

We’d gone to a small jailhouse in Southern Kentucky. The warden there had said that we should not pity the people there. They had done bad things which landed them there. But the fact that they were there was a good thing because it meant that they could get the help that they needed and were not going to seek out on their own. So, by being there, he was able to help them get off drugs and straighten out their lives. It was a blessing that they were there. So, in finding my wallet, I had a clue as to who might have taken it, which would help detectives find this person, not only for the purpose of stopping them and the crimes in my community, but also to help this person who committed the crime with whatever they were going through.

This morning, after church, I stopped into the district office, still praying I was doing the right thing and asking God to guide my steps, guide my words, and help my memory with anything the officers might need in this case. I walked in, spoke to a man at a desk behind thick glass and filled out some paperwork. While handing it back in, I spoke to a detective who’s name was Mike. He asked me more questions about what had happened. I answered him and I also told him about my inner dilemma and the battle I was having with God. He then stepped out from behind the glass that divided us and told me he was a man of God, too. He was an assistant pastor at his church! THANK YOU, GOD! He spoke to me from a Biblical standpoint as to why this was so important that I report even the smallest incidents! It’s not about getting someone in trouble. It’s about helping them find the help that THEY needed! Or enabling those around that criminal find the help they were praying for. He said he saw things that we never get the chance to see, nor would we want to! Because of little tips and reports like the one I was making, they were able to rescue children of drug addicts, find lost loved ones who were buried in the backyards of people who had done things like this, and so much more. This might be a minor thing to me, but it could be the tip to a case that cracked the whole thing wide open and saved someone’s life!

I asked him if he thought it was a good idea or a bad idea to keep your car unlocked in front of your house. In my thinking, if I have nothing of value in there, why lock it? If a criminal breaks my window and I have nothing in there, then I have to pay for a new window for nothing! He said he couldn’t tell me what to do, but that he agreed with me. He also said that some of these thieves keep track of their findings and tell their friends, just like when you find a good deal at a local store and you tell your friends. So, if there was something of value in your car, and they stole it, they’ll wait a few weeks for you to get comfortable and feel safe again, and then come steal again, or maybe one of their buddies will. Even for something as small as change in your console!

Mr. Mike walked me to the door, opening both doors like a gentleman, and we said our goodbyes. I am grateful for Godly men and women like him on the force, as well as all the other upstanding good people that work there, keeping us safe and guiding us on the right path. I am so thankful he was there today to help me through this process!

I finally drove home, thinking about everything that had already happened. As I turned onto my street, I saw the woman with the white hair and the brightly colored button up shirt! She was stopped at the light at the end of my road and as I turned onto my road, passing her, she turned and looked straight at me with a stern look on her face, just as in my image! I’m still not sure what this means, but I prayed for her anyway. Maybe God will bring us together one day and I’ll hear her story. Who knows. Maybe God just wanted someone to smile at her today, and that’s enough for me! God, use me any way You want to! I’m all Yours!

So, while this day is still young, there have already been so many blessings God has given me! I am so crazy in love with Him and how He weaves these blessings into my days, when I ask Him to! I wish more people could experience God the way that I do. I wish more people could see Him the way I do and feel His love so clearly. It’s such a wonderful feeling!

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I Believe…

I know that I am still working on part 2 of day 2 of my mission, but something happened to me last week that I feel begs to be told.

I was cleaning out some old junk from my mother’s basement and somewhere along the line, I sprained my ankle. It wasn’t one of those sprains where you KNOW when you did it. It was more like I must have twisted my ankle the wrong way at some point and didn’t feel it until I had slowed down after I was close to finishing. I was taking some things out to the trash can when it suddenly started to throb to the point that I couldn’t even put weight on it. I hobbled back inside and told my mom I was finished for the night. I prayed over it and asked God to please, PLEASE heal my ankle! I had a long walk from the parking garage to the chair in my office every morning. I couldn’t imagine that walk while having to limp like this.

When I woke in the morning, the pain was still there. I hobbled around the house getting my daughter and myself ready and out the door, praying again for healing for my ankle. I dropped her off at school, then drove the 5 minutes to my work, parked, and made the long trek (which isn’t really that long on a healthy ankle) into my office. It did take me longer, and it really sucked.

As I sat down at my desk, I felt defeated. My ankle was really hurting by that time and I couldn’t understand why God wasn’t healing it. I’d seen videos and heard about friends who had been healed. I had gone to a prayer night at a local church and even had someone pray over my knees, which had been hurting, and they were healed then. That same night, I had been told that I was destined to be a healer one day. I had felt unworthy, but was willing. But as I sat there, I wondered if that really was something I’d ever be able to do, especially if I couldn’t even heal myself! I was doubting not only myself, but the message I had been given. I asked God, “What am I doing wrong? Why aren’t you healing me!”

Then, I heard him. “Walk expectantly.”

What? So, that was what I was missing?

Just then, my boss asked me if I would create a list of our items in stock in another room. It would take me a bit of time and I would need to be on my feet the whole time, walking around the whole while.

So, here goes, I thought. I gave myself a pep talk. I know for a fact that God loves me, and I know that He wants to heal me. I just had to believe it. Then, the story of the woman who was sick and simply touched Jesus’ cloak flashed across my mind.

43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.

When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”

46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”

47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”  

Luke 8:43-48

And I heard the verse:

29 ….“According to your faith be it done to you.” 

Matthew 9:29

Oh, so, I now I understood! Jesus wanted to heal me, and was probably trying to, but I needed to believe He would and that He was able to. This wasn’t just a “maybe He will, maybe He won’t” kind of thing. After all, the Bible says that if we ask for things, God will give them to us.

“WALK EXPECTANTLY!”

I heard again. So, I got up, and walked into the storage room. NO PAIN! It was absolutely pain free! I’m not making this up! It really happened! Not only did I walk into the stock room, but I put on my earbuds and I danced around as I scanned all of our items!

Later that night, as I relaxed at home, the pain returned just a bit. I thought, Now, why is it returning? Was it only temporary or do I have to do this whole thing over again?

“WALK EXPECTANTLY,” I heard again. What I realized was that I had been sitting there, thinking about how much it had hurt that morning, and how it felt so much better now. Was it real? Had that really happened, or was it just one of those weird pains that is there and then somehow just goes away. and had coincidentally gone as I had prayed. Was I making this all up in my head?

Then, God reminded me of the story of Peter, as he walked on the water towards Jesus. He had no problems until he looked away. The moment he stopped focusing on Jesus and started to worry that he would sink into the water, he did just that! He started to sink! So, what God was trying to tell me was that I needed to remember to focus on Him! To remember that He had healed me. And every time that pain or any other issue would rise up, I simply needed to focus on Jesus and I would make it through and everything would turn out fine! It was an amazing awakening. Since then, my ankle has not hurt again. I began praying and believing in healing for my knees and my feet and everything has been fine! I feel so much better!

To be clear, I no longer believe in coincidence. I don’t believe things “just happen at the exact right time.” I believe those are God moments. But every once in a while, I have a moment where the thought “what if” creeps into my mind. I just have to remember to squash that thought! THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS COINCIDENCE! I have no doubt that Jesus healed my ankle that day, and I have no doubt that He is preparing me for something more, something bigger! When I step up and make the full commitment, that’s when He will start setting things into motion. One day, I WILL be a healer! One day, I WILL be out on the streets healing God’ children! Just like Jesus did. Just like Todd White does now, and many others as well.

Aside

Happy Father’s Day

Father’s Day is quickly approaching, and as it is, all of us, sons and daughters both, are running around trying to think of the perfect gift for that one man who has done so much in our lives. I had a friend ask me the other day if I thought dads really did enjoy getting ties for Father’s Day. I said that maybe some do, maybe if they are professional business men. Other than that, I don’t suppose they do. But yet, we give them these ties every year. So, we went through a list of gift ideas and tried to think of something that our dads didn’t already have.

You know what the problem is with getting a grown man a gift? Like most adults with jobs, if they want something, they go out and get it. They usually have everything they need! Sure, you can buy them another car wash gift certificate packet. They could always use more of those. But, is it going to mean anything?! Are they going to look back at that car wash years from now and think, “Wow, my kid really loves me?” Probably not. So, the question still stands, what is the best gift to give your father?

Reflecting back to memories shared with my own father sometimes helps me to come up with the perfect gift idea! I think my favorite memory is of the day that I was playing in my room with my dolls. He called me to come into the living room quickly! So, I ran into the room and he was sitting on one of the chairs with the radio on. He said, “Do you hear this song? They made up a song about you!” It was the Rolling Stones playing “Angie”. He patted his knee and I crawled up into his lap. He sang the whole song to me while I looked up into his eyes with awe. I don’t remember if he sang it well, or if he said all the right words. But I do remember feeling loved. My daddy was singing a song that was written about me and was playing on the radio! I was thrilled! Best memory ever!

I also remember a vacation where we stayed at a hotel on the beach. Early one morning, before the sun even came up, my dad woke my brother and me up, whispering to tell us to hurry up and get dressed, but be quiet so we didn’t wake anyone else up. I slipped out of my pj’s and put on my shirt and shorts and we quietly tip toed out the door. We walked on the peaceful beach until we found a good spot and sat down and watched the sun come up. It was the first sunrise I think I’d ever seen. It was beautiful, and I shared it with my brother and my dad!

Thinking back on these beloved memories, I wonder what I could do to show my father that I love him and am thankful for the memories that he has created for our family. And the answer comes to me! Create more memories! Father’s Day isn’t about buying your father something. It’s about celebrating the memories and the love he has shared with you! It’s about thanking him for being a great dad to you. Thanking him for everything he has taught you, for every time he has worried about you, or been proud of you. Thanking him for a lifetime of love. So, the only real way to honor that is by sharing with him the one thing money can’t buy, your time!

So, whatever that means to you, be it taking your father on a picnic, or going to a ball game, your valuable time is the most precious gift you can give to your father! One that I am sure you both will cherish for years to come.

Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there. I hope you have a wonderful, fun filled day packed with beautiful memories!