Posts Tagged ‘#TrenchClassesUnited’

Thursday’s Trench Truth

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

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

 

Wednesday’s Word

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

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

 

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, August 7th, 2017

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

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, February 27th, 2017

“Likes” & “Loves”

Welcome to Monday’s Mantra & Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. I’m so glad there is you to share this journey with. Grab your favorite break-time drink and come in as I continue the saga of being without a publisher!

One of my closest friends called me the other day to tell me she sent me an email containing a blog post that she thought would speak to me. She’s really sweet like that…and yet, there are times that I wish she wouldn’t be so sweet! You know what I mean? She speaks truth into my life, and there are times when that truth just hurts! Are you catching what I’m throwing at you? Well, those types of friends are the best for us, truly, especially if our heart is after God’s heart, and hers is and so is mine, so it’s a good thing. Anyway, let me share my experience of reading this blog post by Rebeka Lyons. It was called audience of one, I believe.

It started with her experiences as a speaker/author, and her striving to get where she thought she should be and how one night in her hotel room after a speaking engagement, that ultimately led her to her knees, a most painfully beautiful place to land. As I read of her experience, I could feel every feeling she was writing, as if I was right there with her, down on my knees! Because when it’s all said and done, I know that that truly is where it all begins: on my knees and often on my face! There are just those times when we have to bow down in order to get up! Some of my biggest breakthroughs have come from humbling me in this way.

Anyway, as I read her blog, I nearly stopped breathing as the truth of her words hit a bulls-eye, right smack in the middle of my heart, and conviction began to ooze out and a holy presence filled my space. My eyes filled up, blurring my vision but still I could see: “I don’t live as if you are enough.” Ouch!

I so related to her confession of counting the “likes” or “hearts” on her stuff she puts out there, her heart soaring when there were many, and plummeting when there were few.  Why is it we base our self-worth on how many “likes” or “loves” we get on something we post on social media? Where does our confidence truly come from? It’s a frustrating conundrum truly, because my editor from New York actually told me last week, “Your platform’s too small. You need to get your numbers up because your social media platform has become just as important as what you write”!

So how does one get away from the necessity of social media? Well, maybe we ought to consider why we’re posting what we’re posting. Is it for attention, popularity, to fulfill a need, such as being liked, loved and accepted? Or is it simply to encourage, lift up, inspire and motivate?

We have got to remember who we’re really posting with! See, we can’t do it for Him because if we do anything “for” Him, it’s in our own strength and often for own need or purpose; but to partner “with” Him before we hit that “post” button, well then we’ll never run out of strength…or words and the “likes” and “loves” won’t matter because our Audience of One loves it and isn’t that all that really counts?

As I finished reading Rebeka’s blog, she cited something that she heard Ann Voskamp speak, and the echo of it is still speaking to me as I write this for you:

“Those who keep score in life just want to know that they count. When you work for an audience of One, you always know that you count.

My Coffee Hour friend, maybe it’s time to stop counting the “likes” and “loves” and trust that if we’re trying to send a message of encouragement to anyone, He will carry it right to the hearts that need it, and in the process, as it picks up speed in cyber space, the seed will scatter and reach many unseen “likes” and “loves.”

Love,

Evinda