Archive for the ‘God’s Faithfulness’ Category

Crack Petunias

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

The sight of pink blossoms peeking through and around an old iron wheel caused me to pause. The flowers were not planted in fertile soil or growing in expensive pots of clay. Instead, these plants were the product of seeds that had fallen from petunias cascading from a display of hanging baskets. As the seeds fell, the wind gently blew them into a crack in the concrete. The seeds lay in the crack undetected as the gardener watered the petunias above. And when the petunias had drunk their fill, the baskets overflowed and fertilized water dripped into the concrete crack.

crack petunias in wheel (640x360) (450x341)The petunia seed rejoiced by sprouting—expending a portion of its energy in search of the light above and all the while sending roots down deeper than the boundary of concrete.

This crack petunia is every bit as authentic as those hanging in baskets above. Its DNA had just as much life, wonder, and ability inside its seed. It only had to choose to bloom inside the crack of concrete. Today, the plant was blooming in unexpected places, and encouraging me to do the same.

Have you ever fallen through the cracks of life? Are you surrounded—even now—by cold, hard walls of circumstances and challenges?

If so, remember the crack petunia. Seeds of talents are every bit as profound—and teeming with potential—that fall into the cracks as those whose blooms are on display around us. We only need to humble ourselves and allow the seeds of destiny to open up and sprout, and steady our souls by sending our roots deep into the life-giving soil of God’s Word. We can bloom even in the cracks of life.

If you feel you’ve fallen through the cracks and it seems your lot in life could be to live there—choose to bloom in the crack. Choose to live happy even in adverse conditions that you had no part in choosing. God can give you the ability to prosper—right where you are—right now. Rely on God and release your ways to Him. You contain the DNA to grow and bloom wherever you are.

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (II Corinthians 9:8 NIV)

Give Thanks

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Thanksgiving is the season to focus on the provision and goodness of God

Much of life is consumed with long days and short nights in hopes that our hard work will lead to enough provision to get us where we want to be in life.

The first Thanksgiving living in a foreign land may seem vaguely similar to the past year. It has been a year of hardships, surprises, struggles, and a lot of hard work. However, it has also been a year of new beginnings and God’s blessings. 

New beginnings are wonderful! I love the vision part the very most because the passion is fresh, the picture is clear, and obstacles have yet to be imagined. As with all beginnings, there is an uncomfortable stage that involves the unknown questions and answers that can create doubt regarding where the conquest will truly end. Will we really succeed? Will life ever feel normal again?

And, then, we make it! Through it all we stop and count our blessings. We often find ourselves weary, but blessed indeed. 

When I focus on what I don’t have, I overlook obvious blessings that I do have. But when I focus on my blessings I am able to live in the moment with a greater inner peace and positive energy.

Focus on how far you’ve come by counting each blessing that you truly treasure in your heart. Take time to be thankful that God is God! He promised to go with you and complete the good things He began in your life.

Take time to celebrate your gain and always give thanks.

This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24 NASB)

I need you – you need me – and we all need God

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

In times of trouble, in times of great need, there is but one place where my heart is secure and my thoughts are understood. There is only one power that can quiet my busy mind and soothe my desperate soul.  When my faith is shaken, I must know there is a safe place above — called heaven — where life’s pieces actually come together in a land of perfect peace.

Today, I walk below the celestial sky.  I live on earth’s imperfect soil where both good and bad intermingle along the path.  I seek to connect with the creator of heaven and earth to make sense of the now and receive courage for tomorrow.

I find a refuge — in prayer to the God who understands a language of tears and sighs. I open the Bible and personalize promises that were given to me when I accepted Christ as my Savior…. The Lord is a very present help in my time of need.  Jesus has said that He will never leave me or forsake me.  God will make a way in my every trial so that I will not be crushed entirely beneath the weight of devastation.  When I don’t know what to do, I will ask God for wisdom and the Holy Spirit will give me direction.

Dear friend, if ever I should be too weak to cry out would you please say a prayer – for me.  In the middle of grief and loss each kind word, plate of food, and act of kindness gives me strength to keep on standing.  Please don’t stay away because you don’t have any words to say- for at times the greatest energy came when you said- nothing at all.  What mattered most… was that you were there.

“Amicu certus in re incerta cernitur.” (Quintus Ennius – 3rd Century BC) This quote translates from the Latin as ‘a sure friend is known when in difficulty’.

Ode in Dark Times

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

When I read the book of Psalms I think of each chapter as an ode. Maybe it’s because an ode, in the classical form, would be writing a poem for the intention of singing it. David, the shepherd boy, who wrote most of the Psalms, of course sang them as he played the harp. When I read the Psalms I find verses that are still being used to write many of our praise and worship songs today. David defined his problems, wrote them down, reasoned them out, recognized God was on his side- and burst into song.  He declared the circumstance for what it was and began to sing about the answer- well in advance of its manifestation.  In the face of each new obstacle David would choose to compare each gigantic problem with God.  God was always bigger. So, David would choose to declare that the immediate enemy to his peace was ‘no different’ than the one from last year or yesterday and then he would realize he would be ok.

Here is one of my ode-psalm-songs that I wrote during some dark times. “Satan is no match for my Lord. When He does the fighting, there’s no way that I can lose. Victory is sweet with my life at His feet. Now, I have Jesus who knows no defeat.” ©RW

Dare to compare. Write down your thoughts. Then, begin to sing a new song of overcoming joy- today.

Winds of Change

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

“Sometimes in the winds of change we find our true direction.” Author Unknown

Sometimes the winds are worse than change itself!  I have often wondered why it is that I who love change, still fight so hard emotionally, to make the turn to go another direction!  I remember when I worked for Northeast Tech Center. The job was awesome until I reached a plateau of learning and creating.  I loved the people I worked with and the campus was a beautiful place, nestled among trees on the side of a hill.  I felt the breezes of change for days- maybe even a year- ahead of my resignation to resign.  I had reached my limit.  I just didn’t know where I was going next if I quit what I was doing.

The winds blew harder and unrest turned into dread. Early one very dreary, cloudy morning, on my drive to work, I started looking at a very tiny mobile home that had a light on.  And, I began to imagine that the lady of the house was home having coffee.  I thought of the joy she must have being able to sit and sip. Maybe she was taking time to read, talk to God and the cat.  She might actually have breakfast on the table.  Maybe she would be able to clean her own house, or see her children, or go out with a friend.  I just knew she would be feeling very fulfilled and would fling her head back and laugh at the rain—for she was happy.  I was not!  My goals of making more money to create a better car and house seemed way down on the list- compared to a moment of being true to myself- even if it meant downsizing.  Although, some of my greatest concerns were that I would never get to trade cars or replace the carpet.

My scenario of the lady was pure imagination.  The winds of change were very much a reality! Would I be true to myself and try new things or shrivel up inside a shell- with a known paycheck end?

Yes, I quit and tears spilled onto the page of the resignation letter before it was sealed and signed!

It was quite funny that first week after.  Someone donated me an entire box of toilet paper!  Strange, but, it made me laugh at God’s humor. Forget the ‘if God cares for the birds’ story in the Bible.  I now had my own version which went something like, “If God cares if Reba has toilet paper, then He can also provide for food and clothes and carpet—and fun.”  I love God.  He’s personal to me. And, He likes to make me laugh.  People say He’s awesome- and I know  He is. Spiritual people say cliché words… I mostly think God is funny- in the very most Highest, Holy way!  Think about it. He made a donkey to talk, fed a prophet steak flown in by a black bird, divided a sea by lifting a stick, fed 5,000 people with a little boy’s lunch!  I tell you He really works to make us smile.  He pushes it further and wants me to be ‘full’ of joy the Bible says.  Well, that’s where the toilet paper came in!

Yes, I bought my first new car after that, founded the WINGS women’s ministry, became an ordained minister, started writing this column and began pastoring a church alongside my husband.

Breezes of change are a sweet relief- yet still emotional.

Winds of Change ever blow, redirecting us, charting our course, so that we arrive, totally spent, every gift opened and honed to the limit, having stopped at every port, and boarded every connecting flight, before arriving… at heaven’s door.

Reflect, Release, and Resolve

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010

Before we rush ahead into the New Year, let us pause and see last year in retrospect. What is the one sentence that best describes your past year? I think mine was a year of readjusting. I moved Mom from my home into her new house, changed the format and times of our church’s services, hunted ways to have quality time with my husband and children and worked on my attitude.

There are special dates marked in ink on last year’s calendar as celebrations of where I’ve been.  I’m asking myself what were my greatest joys, the best use of my time, and the worst time wasters. Reflecting on the faithfulness of God during the past year gives me confidence to face the future.

Reflection helps me recognize where I am. A time of meditation refocuses me from myself to God’s direction and where I dream of going.

I must Release the old year to make space for the new. My Resolve is to daily choose those things that are Relevant- in the coming year.

Now, it’s your turn. What is ‘one sentence’ that would describe the goals you hope to achieve in the New Year?  Write it down … then go for it!

Archive #184 – Girlfriend, God is Faithful!

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

When we see people who are attaining heights we have only seen in our dreams we could be tempted to slide into rose colored glasses and think “they” are in a league by themselves. Our imagination could say that they had it easy or at least knew what to do – all the time.

Or we could glimpse into their lives for a moment and find they are sooooooo much like us. They even thought they should quit or felt at times they were losing their minds.

At those down of the down times Christians have found that God is faithful.

That’s what I’m here to tell you. “Girlfriend, God is faithful!”  That’s our theme for the Wings ladies conference April 24th and 25th and for our lives!

I know you all have awesome times you’ve spent with Christ. Funny how it’s during those trials we find how faithful He is. In times of trial timeless songs, ideas and leaders have been born.

Will we ever get to the point we run toward the obstacle—knowing God’s going to give the victory?  I don’t know.  But, I do know that through every trial He’s sustained me.

He didn’t bring us here to die-but- to take the life we release- and create far futures than we dreamed. Rest and let faith arise even in your darkest times. God is ‘faithful.’