August 17th, 2017

Tam’s Trench Truth

Welcome to Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Tam’s Trench Truth, things he’s learning from the trenches of life. Grab your coffee and come on in.

Hello and welcome back everyone. Hope this all finds you well. When I say I hope this all finds you well, I really mean that. You’re familiar with that saying, “it takes one to know one,” right? I was thinking about this very saying just the other day…and how this applies to me and my brother.

It has often been hard on me to be there for people, and yet I feel people are like my church. I can see them at stop lights beside me and I’ll glance over real quick just to see the look on a person’s face. Sometimes I see happiness, stress, torment, fear, but the one I pick-up most on is heartbreak. They say it takes one to know one.

In these moments when I see people in this sadness, something in me wants to reach out and hug them, talk to them and lend them a word of encouragement that time will help the heartbreak. Or is it really patience that does? There are so many of us running around working to pay bills, raise children, get to work… yet at the end of the day so many of us are found wanting… wanting of someone to just love and care for us, someone to come home and laugh with, talk with, maybe even fight with when those times are there.

I have never stopped loving anyone I was ever with and regardless of how I was treated I don’t want to live bitter. But the most loyal experiences in my life have been with my brother and a dog named Bella. I feel overwhelming gratitude and thanks for all the love I received from my dog Bella while her four paws walked this earth.

And then there’s my brother. We have a strained relationship, but he’s my brother and really the only family I think who ultimately cares. Lately I have determined to not be so sad about not having my own family, and focus on what I can change: my relationship with my brother. If I would die for him because I love him, why wouldn’t I first live for him and try and be a better brother.

I have not been the easiest person to get along with and yet he was there when no one else has been. I am definitely my brother’s keeper, but I still feel guilty that my needs have left him short of maybe living a different life than what he wanted to. I want to see him fly with a freedom because life has weighed him down. I want to see him spread his wings and attain more things that he wants out of his life. I don’t want to be the anchor or the one who keeps him grounded.

If I can find this sense of satisfaction and joy when helping others then I know I need to reach out and go it a new way as well with and for my brother. I find myself, or should I say I have already found myself trying to change things up with my brother. It’s hard to make changes but I love him and he deserves it. I know he has wings that he still needs to flap, to rise into his own fresh world. I find myself praying for my health to better so I don’t have to rely on him as much. Usually my prayers have been “God please help me get through work tonight because the pain is so heavy on me.” But now though I may pray the same thing, it is for a different reason, for my brother’s well-being as well.

Yes, I am learning to count my blessings, and there’s one right before me, my brother. It’s time for me to treat him as a blessing. Would you all join me in prayer, praying not only for my health and for my pain to subside, but for my brother’s to find his wings.

Much love to you all, oh how much I really mean this for all of you whoever you are and wherever you come from

John

August 16th, 2017

Wednesday’s Word

 

 

There are all Kinds….

Revelation 1:5b: “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood and has made us kings and priests” — (witnesses)—“to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever, Amen.”

Thanks so much for stopping by Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and our Wednesday’s Word with Trench Classes United. I just love Wednesdays…and His Word that never, ever fails to steer us in the right direction.

Did you know that you qualify as a witness? Yep, that’s right, a witness to what He has done for you…not what you have done!

I was reading in the Book of Revelation the other day, and this subject of being a witness came up, and He gave me such a great analogy using my job to help me relate and understand in a way I could share with you: court-reporting.  I just love how He does that, speaks to us, about us, for us so He can speak through us.

Anyway, let me share this analogy with you.

There are many types of witnesses, and as a court reporter, I have reported them all. J For example, there are hostile witnesses, those who are angry at being called to testify about what they’ve seen or experienced. There are third-party witnesses, those who say he said/she said; in other words, gossipers, or unrelated parties. And there are those I call unprepared witnesses, those whose answers are 90% “I don’t remember” or “I don’t recall,” and these are usually witnesses for their own case! J Then there are expert witnesses, those called because of their expertise in the subject that the attorneys are there to talk about. And lastly, the most common kind of witness I’ve reported as a court reporter is a percipient witness, or an eyewitness. This is a witness who testifies about what he/she actually has seen, perceived with their own senses.

As I was reading John’s first letter to the churches and to all of us, this thought hit me like a ton of bricks – well, maybe a bit more gently than that – but if we all qualify as witness for Christ, what kind of witness are we?

Are we the hostile witness, angry at or with God because of a tragedy and our need to understand everything?

Do we tend to slip down that slippery slope of gossip in the name of “prayer,” acting as a witness to someone’s misfortune or bad choice, or talking about our own mountains, making them bigger and bigger, instead of looking to the mountain mover? Are we so focused on others that we are a third-party to our own walk with Christ?

Are you the type of witness who forgets all He has done for you, allowing your troubles to outweigh His triumphs in your life? Forgetting to have an attitude of gratitude?

Or are you an expert witness, one who professes their faith and lives it and is paid by His protection, provision and promises and guided by His principles?

Oh, I want to leave a legacy that says: she lived what she knew; she was so in love with Jesus that many considered her an expert in her faith!

Witnessing…

Evinda

August 15th, 2017

Tuesday’s Trench Truth and Invitation, Too!


Sometimes our brain needs a lane change!

Thanks so much for stopping by for Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and our Tuesday’s Trench Truth with Trench Classes United. Come on in for a moment of truth that came to the surface of my heart just last week.

Last week, I had an incredibly long drive to what turned out to be a short deposition. But oh, how thankful I am for that long ride to Glendale. I had determined in my mind that I was going to make it a great time of worship and praise, a time for me and Abba to hang out, and a time for me to hear Him above the noise of life. He’s such a joyous God, with a crazy funny sense of humor, and He will go to great lengths to sit us down, causing us to be still so deep can reach out to deep. And the parking lot of the 210 freeway proved to be that quiet place!

The entire two-hour drive was spent listening and agreeing with so many pieces by Hosanna Poetry, words that worked as coals of fire with sparks of conviction into a couple of areas of my life, sparks burning away deeply-buried resentments, resentments that were close to growing roots but now with the cry of repentance melted away like a dying ember.

There were moments of such deep conviction driving me right there in the parking lot of the freeway to cry out for God to forgive me for what had been growing, unbeknownst to me, inside my heart because of an ongoing situation.

And then there were moments of just thanking Him, of feeling His arms reach out and enfold me in a huge and gentle hug all the while keeping the hands on the wheel of my car driving me to my deposition.

What could have been a real bummer of a drive turned out to be such a time of refreshing renewal…it was as if my brain had a lane change!

Coffee Hour friend, sometimes we just need to be still in the most unsuspecting places and times and soak up His presence, allow our brain to experience the ease of a lane change that will propel our heart right back to Him.  What goes in is what comes out!

Are there people, circumstances pulling on your mind, taking you down the roads of resentment, bitter, angry? Join us to learn how to experience that brain lane change and live fearlessly!

 

Love,

Evinda

August 14th, 2017

Megan’s Mantra

Is it mandatory to experience an “AH HA” moment when you commit your life to Christ? I sure hope not, because I didn’t!

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Megan’s Monday Mantra with Trench Classes United. Warm up that cup of coffee you’ve been carrying around all morning and join me in my salvation story.

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Jesus knew how much I already needed Him, so He snatched me up early…

My Mom thought the neighbors were undereducated. In other words, STUPID!

She reluctantly let me play with Bobbie and Tom because they were the only kids in our neighborhood close to my age. I thoroughly enjoyed their company but Mom always wished I had someone more my “equal” to play with.

One Sunday morning, Bobbie and Tom’s parents asked my Mom if I could go to church with them. To my surprise, she allowed me to go. I will never forget pulling into the parking lot of a pink brick church. At the impressionable age of 6 years old, I had never seen a pink building let alone a pink brick church!

There were no Sunday School classes, everyone just filed into the church and filled the pews. I can still distinctly remember where we sat – fifth pew from the front on the left side facing the altar.

No one could ever accuse my neighbors of being a traditional prim and proper type of family. They worked hard, played hard, and then some. My playmates, Bobbie and Tom, were always into some kind of mischief, which was what I liked most about them. Today was different though. Today they all sat in a neat row, backs straight, hands folded in their laps, and feet firmly planted on the floor, waiting expectantly for the sermon to begin.

The most colorful character I had ever encountered, up to this point in my short life, confidently approached the pulpit. His presence was so huge that the pink brick church could hardly contain it. His booming voice filled the city block surrounding him and he wore the coolest cowboy hat I had ever seen. His name was Preacher Cowboy George!

I know he delivered a great sermon because the congregation was on fire. The only, and most important, part I remember is when Preacher Cowboy George asked, “Have you committed your life to Christ? Have you asked Jesus into your heart? If not, then come on up and we will do it together here, today!”

My first reaction was to jump to my feet and head straight to the altar, but not before looking to my neighbors to do the same. There they sat, calmly watching and smiling at those who were making their way to the front of the church. UH-OH! I didn’t know anything about asking Jesus into my heart, yet clearly my “undereducated” neighbors not only already knew – they already had! I was ashamed.  I lagged behind on the way out of church. I had been too afraid to stand up in front of the congregation, to accept Christ, all by myself.

That lone “UH-OH” moment led to a nightly prayer for Jesus to come into my heart for the next 16 years! That lone “UH -OH” moment has led to some very special “AH-HA” moments throughout my lifetime.

I’ve not felt concerned with the kind of moment I experienced when I committed my life to Christ. Instead, my biggest concern has been whether or not I am allowing Christ to work visibly through me, so that others might recognize His presence and be blessed by their own type of “AH HA” moments as they commit their lives to Him.

So, as you work your way through this week, remember, oftentimes God’s “UH-OH moments” actually turn out to be “AH-HA’s”!

In closing, I’d like to share one of my husband’s favorite Monday morning texts to me,
“Enjoy this day that God has given you.”

Your comments are always most welcome.

Lovingly in Christ,

Megan,

 

August 11th, 2017

Foster’s Faith-filled Friday

Welcome to Foster’s Faith-filled Friday. I’m so humbled and excited to have Breanna on our blog team. Today’s blog is so transparent, heartfelt and if you’ve ever lost a loved one, well, grab your tissues…this one’s for you!

I miss my dad.

The grieving of my dad’s passing has its ebbs and flows. Most days I’m coping well but some days I’m completely lost. Today was one of those lost days.

On the way to work, my car began to display some serious issues beginning with a loud and frightening noise. When I pulled over and got out, I discovered that my wheel well was hanging down and dragging against the road while I was driving. Scary! Scary! Scary!

The first thought that came to my head was “Call your dad. he’ll know what to do,” and reality hits me like a ton of bricks, I don’t have that option anymore. I don’t get to call my daddy when I’m scared and don’t know what to do! In that moment, I lost it; I cried and cried for him. I needed my dad in that moment so desperately; my heart couldn’t bare the pain. I could feel him; I knew he was watching over me. I couldn’t see him, but he was occupying space. There was no question, and again I spoke to him.

How many times had he seen me cry in such pain? How would I ever learn to cope with things life throws at me without my daddy to save the day? The tears came so powerfully I bent down and braced myself against the steering wheel. I watched my tears fall below me, and the pattern they made on my jeans, pulling me out of the hole I was falling into.

I was able to compose myself and told him I loved him, and continued driving to work.

Most of the time I go on as if nothing happened, because I don’t know what else to do, and if you ask me how I am, which many people who care about me do, I would say “ok,” because it seems that way at the time. But things have started cracking. I drive to the bottom of my street and can’t remember if I need to go right or left. I have no idea why I’m here or where I’m going.  I felt so emotionally drained.

When I got home after work, I crawled straight into bed. My spirit was grieving. As soon as my soul was still, I remembered, I’m not alone! The Lord is covering me with his love. He sees my pain and He comforts me.

Ecclesiastes3:1-4 – To everything there is a season, a time to every purpose under the heaven: a time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal, a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.

I remember one thing my pastor told me, “It will always be hard. But it won’t always be crushing.”

This was a moment I broke down and now I need to build up. I need to continue pushing forward knowing I’m so loved and I have two dads in heaven waiting for me and that brings me so much peace.

The loss of a loved one can be extremely difficult, but we also know that our grief is temporary, limited to this life. In heaven we will no longer experience the sadness associated with lost loved ones. For now, I will let that thought hold me, take me into a deep sleep.

Breanna,

 

August 10th, 2017

Thursday’s Trench Truth

Welcome to Tam’s Trench Truth and Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United.

Today I went for a short walk in a park and ended up lying down under a tree. Since I was a child I have loved to do this, lie there still, looking up, watching as the wind blows the leaves and branches. I have always found it most relaxing. Today as I laid there looking up, I thought of this invisible force and how it’s possible that something you can’t see can have so much power. Man has long used the wind to his advantage to hoist the sails and to move across the ocean. To use wind to grind grain and pump water. It’s used to drain the wetlands and make room for agriculture. For so long, man has harnessed the wind and used its power all without ever witnessing its physical form. Still we believe in it. We cannot direct the wind, but we can surely direct our sails and our rudders to work with the wind to move toward a destination of our choosing.

I find myself always wondering about God and His will. Wondering about the Holy Spirit and how it all comes to fruition. Are we not all part of God’s wind and God’s power? Can we not fill the sails of other’s reaching out for love? You see, I think God’s wind and power also takes no physical form, yet we can see its power all around us. If love is the wind and we are the power that feeds it, why do we not push to spread its power more in this world? Might I suggest that so many of us get caught up with our own issues and problems that we forget to take the time to be empathetic toward others?

We should not only project this wind of love but also harness it. Sometimes we give so much of ourselves we forget to let love in. Perhaps we justify blocking love out because we are busy giving it, and still not absorbing it.

I want to love but I always want to be loved. I admit that I think I might have come into a place in my life where I have become tainted, where I feel the need to block love… maybe from small places, but nonetheless shut it out, especially considering the people I wanted it the most from refused to give it.

Yes, as I lay there, I felt God in the trees blowing through. I’d like to think so, that God has my back in such simple ways, It begs this question: Why do we see the dramatic loss of love before we see the calming love in the clouds?

May we tune our eyes to not only observe, but feel these clouds that fly by so effortlessly.  Let’s take the time to take in the trees, harness the wind, feel the clouds, to believe in its power. It’s all God’s love.

To help you do that, plan on joining us for A Night of Purpose, an evening sure to answer questions, give you great information and meet you right where you are!

 

Much love everyone,

~John

 

August 9th, 2017

Wednesday’s Word

No Expiration Date!

Happy Wednesday and thanks for joining us for Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Wednesday’s Word @ Trench Classes United. I just love diving into His Principles and Promises for us and finding new truths that illuminate hope, wisdom and joy for the journey. Grab your coffee and come on in. Oh, and don’t forget your Strand of Faith as I am praying that the truths shared today will tie a few knots in your faith!

Have you ever gone through your coupons to prepare to go grocery shopping or any shopping for that matter and found coupons that you needed, gotten excited because you found them where you put them, only to look at the expiration date…that just passed? I think that’s why I don’t collect coupons and go through all of that, because not only is it time consuming but it can be really disappointing to keep running into expired coupons. I have literally hit myself in the head too many times over this. Or how about that gift certificate that you tucked away for a rainy day when you really need it? You pull it out, make your plans and suddenly the date glares at you as if to scream EXPIRED! Yeah, I’ve done that too!

I was thinking the other day how incredibly inspired I get when a promise from His love letters to us comes to pass in my life, a promise from a book written over 2000 years ago, with no expiration date!  For example, when I read the promise in Joel 2:25 that says He will restore what the locusts have stolen, I realized years ago that that means He will give back what the enemy tries to steal, for example, the enemy does his absolute best to destroy family, and though my own childhood family has not been restored, He’s blessed me with in-laws whom I love so much now. How about that wayward child who tries their best to self-destruct and go down the wrong path? Oh, friend, I’ve seen Him restore that, too, and the time that I lost may be gone but He has blessed me with so many other moments that took my breath away and filled my heart so much I thought I would burst!

And how about the several promises that talk about His protection and provision; have you ever looked back to count the ways He’s protected and provided?  What if we were to live like we believed in His promises for us?

Well, recently I have been feeling like I’m floundering, not sure of what I’m supposed to be doing, let alone when and where. There are just so many things up in the air, so many things on hold, and it’s a strange time in my life. Have you ever felt like that?  Well, in a recent coffee hour with Abba, this particular promise – which I’ve read so many times, and it’s even one of my memory verses – hit me with a fresh wave of assurance, encouragement, and a strength to continue to withstand the storms that continue to come in the weather of life.

There was just a new meaning for me this time, and that’s what I love about His promises and principles that are definitely alive! They speak t o us right where we are in a way that we need it in that moment and this also adds to the truth of His love for us. Romans 8:38-39 says:

38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So the words I put in bold are what seemed to work as a hand that lifted both my chin and countenance where it belonged: To a loving Father whose love cannot be stopped, not by anything happening in my now, and certainly not anything to come my way. So no matter what happens, Coffee Hour friend, isn’t it comforting that His love will not only bring us to it, but bring us through it? Oh, to ride the wave of His love through the storms of life!

Love,

Evinda

 

August 8th, 2017

Tuesday’s Trench Truth

 

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Tuesday’s Trench Truth with Trench Classes United. I’d like to introduce you to our new Tuesday Trench Truth blogger, Megan Pilarcik: Megan Pilarcik has been journaling her life experiences since she was 13 years old and when she was diagnosed with cancer, she didn’t stop journaling the journey. After a major lung surgery, thanks to the Lord, she is now cancer free.
Megan spent 25 years in media advertising sales and management. She has been a dog trainer and handler for competitive dog sports for the past 20 years. Megan feels the Lord most often teaches her through her dogs so I’m so excited to see what she brings to us each Tuesday! Without further ado…Megan’s first blog…ALL THINGS!

Stunned, I navigated my way through the Medical Center corridors out to the valet area and found a seat. “After all, I rationalized, world-renowned cardiothoracic surgeons aren’t known for their skill in sugar coating the facts.” Yet, I was not ready for this. I was positive God had a different plan for me. I was wrong.

I’m not sure what upset me more, the fear of my uncertain future or the sudden evaporation of my trust in the Lord. Up to this point, my promise to trust Him no matter what direction my path took had been remarkably effortless. From scans and biopsies, to expedited appointments and test results, the Lord had held me up and carried me through these frightening experiences. I felt at peace, even euphoric at times. My friends and family could not believe how strong I was … But now, I was facing a major lung surgery and the removal of 17 lymph nodes to determine if I had cancer, what stage it was in, and what treatment I would need. I was scared, my faith was weak, and I had just broken my promise to the Lord.

My deep apprehension was interrupted by a sweet voice with a smiling face. “Is this seat taken?” she asked. I scooted over to make more room. Looking straight at me, she pointed to the Medical Center and said, “Those people are not in charge of your future. HE (now pointing to the sky) IS and He’s got this!”

WOW – the moment my fear sabotaged my faith, the Lord sent this gift of a woman to deliver His message to me. Even though I had doubted, He continued to make Himself known though His gifts and intervention.

Five days later I had my surgery followed by six days in ICU and a twelve week recovery period. My diagnosis was Stage I non-smokers lung cancer in my upper left lobe, which was removed. No cancer was found in my lymph nodes which meant no chemotherapy or radiation. I WAS CANCER FREE!

After my first post-op appointment with my surgeon, I thanked him, expressing how grateful I was. He humbly shrugged his shoulders and said, “I just do the work, God does the healing.”

This is not something I would prefer to ever go through again, although I am honestly grateful for the experience and thankful that it happened. It has changed me, my life, and the way I view things. It has given me a deeper, more intimate relationship with our Lord and I often thank Him for it. Yes, God uses all things…good, bad, painful, ugly…for our benefit and His ultimate glory. Are you going through a difficult situation, circumstance or relationship right now? Then I invite you to A Night of Purpose, a night sure to answer many questions and meet you right where you are!

 

 

Looking forward to sharing more of the journey with you!

Megan

August 7th, 2017

Monday’s Mantra

I Want to Do What He Does!

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Monday’s Mantra @ Trench Classes United.  I’ve determined in my heart to have a good Monday, and I’m praying you will too. Grab your coffee and join me for another one of my court reporting stories, a spiritual principle He spoke to me yet again, and a beautiful splash of grace.

Last Monday I showed up at my office in LA at 8:45 a.m. for a 10:00 and thereafter, a 2:00. I take the train, which alleviates all the self-inflicted stress and aggravation of driving and it’s really a great way to travel. The only bummer is I have to get up before the birds, at 4:00 a.m., which the older I get, the more challenging that gets! Oops, not being negative, just keeping it real!

Anyway, I had some time to take care of a couple of things, and then I was asked if I could have a court reporting student sit in with me as she needed her internship hours.  I explained they were getting two for the price of one, that I would be reporting the questions, and any arguments, and she would get the answers. You should have seen her face…and theirs! It was so funny and I wanted to just leave it at that, but I’m not that cruel. “Just kidding,” I nearly shouted.  You could feel the tension lift and a cloud of laughter swept the rest away.

The witness was a soft-spoken guy whose consistent answers to questions were “I can’t recall.” Now, inside I’m thinking, well, when it comes time to settle with you, the defense isn’t going to recall how! In other words I was already beginning to judge him….until the last half hour of the proceeding where the truth came out and we all discovered he had had a heart transplant. Oh, my goodness, that explained so much. As I’m writing – with one side of my brain – the other side of my brain was beating me up. There was this convo going on: How could you even be critical of this guy? You know better than to make judgments on others, to form opinions about them without hearing all three sides of the story, defense, plaintiff and the truth.  To say I was frustrated with myself, well that is an understatement.  My only comforting thought was I was so, so thankful I hadn’t blurted out my opinions to our client or the court reporter student.

That wasn’t the case on the next job. Within the first five minutes the preliminary questions are asked, like name date of birth, if she had drank anything of an alcoholic nature the night before – to which she said yes – after learning that she had drank the night before, she was asked what her address was.

“I don’t have an address.”

 Question: “Are you homeless”?

Answer:” Yes, I’m homeless.”

I was punched in the gut yet again with my own critical spirit. However, the rest of the deposition revealed that this woman was/is definitely a victim of her circumstances and definitely is having a hard time in life due to her choices – but that doesn’t meant that the workers’ compensation system should pay. It also doesn’t justify my critical opinions I had no problem sharing LSometimes I wish I couldn’t think during these things, just be completely plugged into my Source.

The next morning in my quiet time, conviction met me, washed over me, and I begged God to help me with this weakness. He is so very, very faithful, Coffee Hour friend. I just love how He speaks to me – He uses what He knows will speak to our hearts, because He knows how we will listen, and when he speaks, there’s no denying His love.

Anyway, He took me back to the night before on a much-needed walk I took with my husband, our two dogs and one grand-dog. The weather had just cooled off as we headed up Oak Glen and then cut into the golf course.  We like to let the dogs off their leashes here and just let them run. It’s so fun to watch. And they know the routine. Instead of heading straight towards Fifth Street, my little one actually led the way and went in the direction of the gate to the golf course. She’s almost 14, and aside from the night-blindness, and the being deaf, she’s full of life and still so adorable and sweet to cuddle.

About ten feet into the course, and surveying the area to make sure no golfers were there, George and I agreed we could let them all go. I bent down and unclipped the leash from my baby, and George had a double leash he removed from the two boys. I never tire of watching each of them, different in their personalities as night is from day. Sparky bolted forward as if being shot from a torpedo, Alvin, our grand-dog, was a bit uncertain of what he was being allowed to do. I swear dogs have a language because Sparky turned around as if to say “what are you waiting for,” and Alvin took off. And little Evinda trotted close by my side.

I stopped to watch them for a moment, and time stood still. It was just a perfect night. I stood there basking in the sound of the warm summer breeze rustling through the trees, causing the leaves to dance in the wind. It was just so refreshing after a long day on the record. And laughter, I love to laugh and these dogs rarely disappoint in that area. as my heart nearly burst with a smile that quickly reached my face. I began to giggle as I watched them.

Now being boys, Sparky and Alvin find it necessary to water every bush, and every tree and I have no idea where they get all that pee!  It’s like a competition between them, to see who can out-mark the other! And then here comes little Evinda (formerly named Baraca’) a safe distance behind them, to remark their territoryJ But the almost hilarious thing about it is she does it just like them; or she tries to! It’s like she thinks she’s a boy dog or something and mimics them, sniffing around the spot, going in circles, crouches down and then finally, ever so carefully and precisely, she lifts one of her back legs and tinklesJ  Now she doesn’t do it every time, probably because she’s half their size and has the bladder a size of a grain of pepper, but when she does it, it’s so stinking cute and hilarious at the same time. On the way back she did it in such a precise and succinct way that I just couldn’t help it; laughter burst out as if contained for too long, belly-hurting kind of laughter that cleanses the soul and just thrusts all cares away.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because that’s the reminder He gave me the next morning, reminding me that He wants me to imitate Him just like my little Evinda mimicked our other two dogs: from the locating the spot – analogous to being on the lookout for divine opportunities to be Jesus to someone – to getting in the right posture – analogous to prayerfully inviting Him into the moment – to letting it flow – analogous to allowing Him to speak through me…which means His thoughts of that person/situation, versus my own critical thoughts! I want to do what He does…and would do in any of my situations He allows me to be present in.

Oh, to be like Him…as much as humanly possible

Love,

Evinda

August 4th, 2017

Foster’s Faith-Filled Friday

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Foster’s Faith Filled Friday with Trench Classes United! You are going to love Breanna’s transparency as she shares about something most of us can relate with for sure, difficult co-workers! Grab your coffee and come on in!
Have you ever dealt with a difficult coworker?

Recently, my office hired a new employee that – well, let’s just say she rubbed us all the wrong way, and that’s putting it mildly. My office is very much a laid-back, small group of women that get along very well together. We are all able to chit-chat while we work, potluck often, and even hang out outside of work. We all have a genuine bond with each other.

Unfortunately, this new employee was not receptive to this type of atmosphere and didn’t care to be a part of anything we did and made this very apparent with her attitude toward us. Talk about some serious tension in the office.

 

I found myself becoming snappy toward her and developed a sense of bitterness that even I could taste. So one night I prayed about it, for the Lord to soften my heart toward her and help me to give her grace. I heard the Lord say to me “Still show her My love.”

It was hard, trust me, but I continued to try and include her. With every attempt to do so, she would push me away even more and almost become angry. But still I continued to try and scale this wall she had built around herself.

 

I didn’t know this woman and I don’t know her story or why she does the things she does, but I was determined to be as nice and loving as I could. Eventually, I became tired of the negativity and considered it a “waste of time.” A couple days passed and she was let go and I instantly felt this sense of relief (sad right?).

 

I reflected on my attitude that night and realized I was treating her like an enemy. With enemies, it’s a natural reaction to want to overcome them and win the fight. But Christ tells us something different:

 

Matthew 5:43-45 43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

 

The true test of our Christian walk isn’t how we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ, but how we treat those who are openly hostile to us. We were once enemies of God and are still plagued by sinful nature that is at war with Him, but while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)

 

Who are we to decide which one of us is deserving of God’s grace when we ourselves are not?

 

I realize now that I did not treat or react to my co-worker out of a heart of love or how Christ would have treated her. Instead, I judged her and was so quick to want her gone.  If only I had dealt with this from a Biblical stand point, maybe I would’ve had an eternal impact on her. I missed my opportunity.

 

Finally, consider this; are they really your enemy? They are not. We might not like the way they act, but we do need to love them. Speak life, show love, and point them to the Gospel of Christ, the only one who has set us all free, the One whom I know will grant me another opportunity to be more like Him the next time I encounter a difficult co-worker..

Thoughtfully,

Breanna