Posts Tagged ‘weapons of warfare’

August’s WOW – IRA or ERA

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartProverbs 23:5 Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle towards heaven.

Wow, I don’t know what you think when you read that verse, but my head and my heart so need this visual truth. It’s almost like you can see dollar bills of every denomination sprout wings and fly away, especially after a session of bill paying, huh? Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by today for our Coffee Hour! It’s that time again, our WOW time! Whew, I can’t believe August is almost gone. Where has this year gone? Anyway, if you’re new to CPM and TCU, WOW stands for Weapons of Warfare and/or Words of Wisdom so grab your coffee and your strand of faith and let’s go tie some knots as we put ourselves into our WOW for August.

Just last week, I parked my car in the credit union parking lot, ready to bang my head on the steering wheel as I contemplated what I was about to go do: — no, I wasn’t about to rob the bank; J however, I was going to withdraw yet again from the savings account. My mind raced with all sorts of thoughts, positive, negative and everything in between. I was getting closer and closer to the ledge of despair as I calculated how much we needed this month. “But at least we have it,” I muttered aloud. Another negative thought pulled on my emotions, and again I pushed it away with a positive thought. I reminded myself that it never pays off to put our hope in money.  But let’s be honest: it sure does help us along, doesn’t it?

I tried not to dance with the enemy by entertaining the constant thoughts and questions flitting through my head as if they were all doing the fox trot on hallowed ground, but I wasn’t quite able to send all of them out on their butts. I had sort of a scowl in my heart, and honestly, I questioned God, asking Him why I had to be tested so much; I’d surrendered to my calling in ministry; what more did/does He want? A groan escaped me as tears ran down my face, tears that cried “When will you put my husband back to work?” More tears came trickling down as more questions surfaced unspoken: When would I have to stop simplifying and minimizing in the name of a budget, and when would my needs be met according to His riches in heaven? (Phil. 4:19)

What an emotional tug-of-war that was, aka, a pity party and I was the only party present! Have you ever been present at anyone else’s pity party, or thrown your own? Well, there’s nothing positive about a pity party and the longer we stay there, the more uninvited guests will show up; you know, negative Nellie, desperate Debra, sad Sally…you get the picture.  I blew my nose, wiped my face and gathered my purse and phone, ordering the thoughts to go away.  Truth pushed me out my car door and into the door of the credit union, the truth that at least we have a savings account to take from.  Funny thing was I walked right up to a teller; there was no one in line. I guess God didn’t want to give me any more time in my pity party.  I was in and out of there so fast my head was sort of spinning!

By the time I got home, I had left my pity party, physically and emotionally; I had moved on to the next thing: my last class for the semester! It wasn’t until the next morning in my own Coffee Hour with my Abba that He reminded me of that pity party with Proverbs 23:5 and I can still hear Him in a gentle kind of stern voice ask me: “Will you set your eyes on that which is not?” Oh, His Word can really render me silent and humble! And then I finished reading:”For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away like an eagle towards heaven.”

Oh, Coffee Hour friend, there is nothing concrete about money and as I continued on with my time with Him, I was reminded that to have an Eternal Retirement Account is so much better than to have an Investment Retirement Account. What are we investing in? Are we diligently and consistently seeking after the things of God, with God and for God? How do we spend our days? Are we too busy worrying how our next bill will get paid, so much so that we miss out on those moments where we just know His fingerprints were left upon us and He provided?

Really what it comes down to is we just need to be about His business because He’s all about ours and He does have our every need in His heart and will meet it. Perhaps we confuse need with want and when we focus on a want, perhaps that want may escort us right into a pity party. Will we walk into that party, or will we turn the other way and seek to find a praise party?

The more I learn, the less I know, but this I do know: HIS WORD NEVER LIES! His promises are checks that will not bounce! You can deposit them…in the depths of your soul that you may withdraw from them whenever you need them.

As you read this, I pray that you will hear Him ask you these questions in such a loving and assuring voice and that you would know that you know that you know that He will never leave you high and dry, never leave you or forsake you and He will never leave you in time of need…as long as He’s invited to the party of your life!

Love,

IMG_8444-2 blogEvinda

July’s WOW Worship…or Worry?

Thursday, July 30th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heart“Cast your cares on the Lord; He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22

Happy day to you and thanks for returning for our Coffee Hour and our July’s Weapons of Warfare and Words of Wisdom! Grab your coffee, journal and your Strand of Faith. I’m praying you will tie some major double-knots in that SOF! I left off with hearing the words “worship or worry”!

I shook my head with conviction as I pondered on those words. Immediately I confessed my choosing to worry instead of worshipping. I got the movie and watched it from where/when it had started, ever so slow and sneakily. I should have harnessed it right back on track, but instead I followed the pull and rewinding it and really looking at it, I can see the track it took me to: seeking control! That’s not living up to God’s standard…to trust Him in all things knowing that His plan is to lift us up, not tear us down! Oh, how true it is, another mini download He gave me: the more we seek control, the more we worry.

Oh to be utterly and completely out of control trusting the “One “who has all the control. I guess a good way of saying it is the more I relinquish control the more in control I am.  But there’s more; He wasn’t done with me yet and He added some distance to my intended run! And what I heard next did stop me in my tracks…I nearly tripped over this gentle form of conviction: “Did you know that worry is a form of worship?”

As I stood there for a few minutes, I repeated those words with my own question attached to them: “How and who?”

“Worry is a form of self-worship!”

Ouch… Yes, my Coffee Hour friend to worry and be anxious about anything is missing the mark by not living up to His standard by failing to believe He loves us enough to carry us over and above all that worries us and causes us anxiety. Oh, how I love these promises that come right after the simple directive of casting our burden upon the Lord, our Abba, for He will sustain us and He will never let us fall…so this is as much for me as it is for you, Friend. Are you crumbling under worry and anxiety, or you casting all that concerns you upon the One who loves you and will never leave or forsake you?

Father, forgive me for thinking higher of myself than I ought to by trying to tend to, hold on to every detail physically, emotionally and spiritually. Please help me to worry less and worship you more…knowing YOU got this!

Letting go…hourly…of worry,

IMG_8444-2 blogEvinda

July’s WOW Worship…or Worry?

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartPsalm 55:22 “Cast your cares on the Lord; He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall.”

Thanks for taking time out of your day for our Coffee Hour! I almost forgot about our monthly WOW, Words of Wisdom and/or Weapons of Warfare. Oh, how true it is that the Word is our greatest tool, turned weapon , in times of difficulty, times of reaching out to others, times of joy, sadness…all the time the Word is powerfully refreshing, granting a new perspective, especially if we make a habit to feast upon it! Grab your coffee and your Strand of Faith (SOF) and let’s go and talk about worry!

I am really good at minimizing this word, offering a cliché statement like, “everybody does it,” or “who doesn’t have worry?” Well, over the last several weeks, more than I care to admit, I’ve been in a constant state of worry and anxiety, finding it difficult to take a deep breath, let alone breath normal. Let me tell you, I am learning that neither of those statements actually negates this truth: that while the Bible doesn’t call worry a sin, He does grieve when we worry. Why? Because to have worry and/or anxiety as a constant companion is actually a failure to trust the “One” who loves us so much He sent His Son to die for all that I/we worry about, for every ounce of our worry and anxiety! I so wish I would have had this vision earlier of disappointing Him. I can almost see Him standing there, looking at me run around like a chicken with my head cut off, shaking his head not in frustration or anger, but in sadness, holding His hands out, asking ever so quietly, “Are you going to give me that which worries you, Evinda, that which is causing you so much anxiety?” Oh, what a visual.

I can honestly see how easy it is to get caught in a whirlpool and undercurrent of worry! Why oh why did I minimize the dangers of worry and anxiety? There is absolutely no excuse, especially since many of His promises have come alive in me in my lifetime! Well, I am guilty as charged and now because of what I know, I must choose a different way of stress management.

Let me share how I came upon these truths:

It wasn’t until I was out for my run just the other day that this hit me…nearly stopping me dead in my tracks while allowing a source of lightning of understanding pulse through to my soul. There I was, running…not very fast. As a matter of fact, my thoughts were definitely running faster than I was, felt like at the speed of lighting. Inside my head was what felt like a thousand details to tend to for our Five-year anniversary party which was just a few days away at that time and you would think the faster the thoughts came, the more I picked up speed. Normally that’s what happens…but not this time; I think a turtle would have caught up to me!

As I wrestled with several of the details, I’m sure if someone were to take a picture of the inside of my brain, they would have seen a giant roller-coaster whose track went in every single direction, including dips and climbs, and someone resembling a freaked-out mouse on the track! 🙂

I can hear you say, “Why didn’t you delegate?” Oh, I did, trust me…but could have done so even more! Anyway, I’m running along and all of a sudden, in the quietness of my soul two words came up and out and I mean I actually spoke them after I heard them! “Worship or worry”?

I almost stopped but I wanted to hear more…and I did!
Join me tomorrow for the conclusion to our July’s WOW!

Letting go of worry…one minute at a time

IMG_8444-2 blogEvinda

June’s WOW Life in the Fast Lane and the Narrow Road

Thursday, June 25th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartMatthew 7:14 “For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Thanks so much for joining me today for our Coffee Hour and more of our WOW for June. Can you believe it; June’s about gone! Whew, talk about the fast lane! Grab your coffee and your strand of faith, and let’s get back to my car situation where I had completely blown by a dummy light, which turned out to be a real warning sign!

There is a double edged sword to being in ministry because what I teach, I must live and as I write from my heart to yours, I have to tell you, I have told/taught my trench students over and over again to pay attention to the emotional dashboard, analogizing it to the dashboard in our cars! Well, hello! My car was trying to tell me something and I was too busy to listen! Really!?!  Yes, because I was too busy, and didn’t make the time to take the time, I blew right by the warning signs.

A few days after telling my husband the first time, I got in my car…in a hurry, and saw the light again. Hey, at least I was slowing down enough to see it! I dug into my memory bank, deeper … farther … oh, yeah, there it is! I remembered! This light was trying to tell me something about my tire; that’s right. I breathed a sigh of relief and pushed it back, though not as far down, but still down the hallway of my mind, moving on to my next destination. It could wait for later, I thought. Besides, the car felt fine. I didn’t feel anything different.

Well, later didn’t come until a week later, and only after my husband had asked me, for the “inth” time, if I had gotten it taken care of and got tired of hearing me say, “I haven’t had time,” did he take it to our local tire place. When he came home, he was a tiny bit irritated with me, letting me know that, unbeknownst to me, my tire was screaming for help and what apparently started as a little hole, became a bigger one and had to be replaced!

How in the world did my car even know that? As I realized the possible ramifications and just how many angels He must have had watching over me as I went here and there and everywhere on the crazy freeways of California, and how wonderful my husband is to take care of things I just don’t make the time to take the time for…my heart squeezed with humble joy, knowing I am loved that much. Oh, how I take so many things for granted.

I hugged my honey, and thanked him for taking care of it for me, for making me feel taken care of as well, and didn’t think too much more about it…until the next day when I got in the car to go to a meeting that required some freeway driving.

I don’t even remember where it was I was going; all I remembered noticing a difference in how the car drove! It was ever so slight, but I noticed that the ride was smoother and there wasn’t this pull … to the right.

That made me think; wow, life can be like that, right? Little by little, day by day, if we don’t do our tune-ups, do our maintenance, meet with our Maker, aka the Tour Guide, life can tend to pull us off track, off the narrow road and onto a path more traveled, and before we know it, we are going with the flow and against God’s will. When that happens, Coffee Hour Friend, stop, right where you are and allow yourself to be guided back to the narrow road!

Love from above,

IMG_8444-2 blogEvinda

June’s WOW Life in the Fast Lane and the Narrow Road

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartMatthew 7:14 “For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and thanks for joining us for this special time of the month, our Words of Wisdom and Weapons of Warfare. Oh, how awesome it is when something in our lives collides with a circumstance and fills it with wonder, with hope, widening our knowledge while narrowing the road in our journey. Come on; grab your coffee and let’s go talk about the narrow road.

As I read this verse, and did a little research on it, I was reminded of something that actually brought it to life for me. Before I tell you how and why, I have to ask you this: did you know that gate and road are analogous to “way” and that “life” is used in this context as eternal life? So let’s rewrite it just to wrap our hearts around it: For the way is narrow and the way is hard that leads to eternal life!

Wow, in other words, the high way to heaven is the hard way, a narrow way but the good news is that the closer we stick to our Travel Guide through this life, the more we’ll hear and see the warning signs and the less we’ll detour. I must admit, there are times when I’m moving so fast I forget to acknowledge He’s even there.

As I was driving along the other day, I noticed one of my, what I refer to as, dummy lights on the dashboard … “what is that telling me?” I wondered aloud. Well that thought was fleeting, as I pulled off the freeway headed towards my first to-do of the day, thinking about the rest of the day’s appointments and things I needed to get done at the office … until I got back in the car several hours later and there it was again.

Later on, I told my husband that the light was on, thought it was something to do with the tire, but I wasn’t sure. His response: “You should take it by Good Year tomorrow.” Again I pushed it into the crevices of my brain!

Oh, how many times have we done that when temptation of any kind strikes? You know what I mean, when we ignore that little still voice of the soul that warns us not to do something? I know I have my hands raised and anything else I can to admit: I’m guilty! Those warnings are there for a reason: to keep us from danger and/or harm!

Our bodies give us signals; for example: I know my body doesn’t do well with too much sugar, especially the chocolate kind, but it’s even more dangerous for me right before bed. Why? I’m so glad you asked: Because I wind up in a full-blown hormonal panic attack! Do you think that has stopped me from doing it again? Uh, well, no. I have repeated it but not very often. I try to pay attention to that warning within.

But what about those life-altering warnings that had we heeded, just maybe things would be different; for example, a not-so-healthy relationship choice, or a temptation to return to an old not-so-healthy habit/behavior because, what the heck, everyone else does it?

When we are so busy living life in the fast lane, we can tend to lose our way, wind up on the wider road, go in a direction we shouldn’t…but the good news is that God can right the wrong turn, the wrong choice, the wrong road taken…if we slow down enough to take the time to make the time to seek Him in all things. The farther we stray from His Spirit, the more we’ll miss those warning signs and the wider the road comes. The wider the road, the faster life goes. I know this because in ministry, though I know what I believe and am confident of my relationship with Him, life can get very fast and though the road is still narrow, I can tend to lose my way if I get even just a step ahead.

Join me tomorrow for the conclusion to this month’s WOW! And remember, keep your eyes and ears open for the warning signs that try and keep you away from the road less traveled…and try to avoid the fast lane!

Love from above,

IMG_8444-2 blogEvinda

 

Coffee in Cabo April’s WOW

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartJoshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Welcome to our Coffee from Cabo and more of our WOW! I can’t believe April’s gone … almost. Grab your coffee and your Strand of Faith, and let’s go tie some knots as we learn more about courage in the face of discouragement.

Before I left to come to Cabo, I did do a word study on this word in the Hebrew and Greek concordance and I thought it would be fun and a bit enlightening to share with you a couple of the definitions for this particular context found in our WOW. “Be strong, strengthened; moral strength combined with physical. To be alert physical or mentally in courage; established, steadfastly-minded.”

How many of us are alert physically and mentally enough that when we are in the world we don’t act like the world? How does one find courage to go against the grain without compromising themselves, their faith and their courage? Or how does one find the courage to do what they know they need to do but have struggled to do it? Oh, but this question has plagued me on this trip, truly! In fact, it hit me like a forceful wave in the ocean that pulls at one’s emotions in its hardest hits. See, book signings are a bit of a struggle for me but I have to say this year, it was easier and I think it’s because my focus is now more on/in my calling of helping others in the trenches, and the books were the platform that He used to lead me there. Let me tell you, though, it takes courage to put yourself out there, to invite people to your table to look through the books. But with a little help from my friend, Cheryl, and a whole lot of “Lord, help me’s,” I did better than I ever have at a book signing, and I don’t mean book sales. By the time the afternoon one came around, I was much more confident, and ready to meet more people.

I need to give you this little piece of the puzzle to help you understand why this was courageous, if you will, for me to do what I did: I’m an introvert; in other words, I get my energy from being alone with my God and because I allow Him to pour into me daily, I can pour out. But the more I pour out, the longer I need to sit still and allow Him to pour in. I hope that makes sense. Okay, let’s get back to the afternoon session of the book signing.

As we were 20150421_104645-1finishing setting up, a man stopped by and began talking with me, and out of nowhere asked so why do you write? I was sort of startled by that question and immediately thought, well, do I share my faith? “Courage won and I just said, I write from a place of healing because of an active relationship with my Living God.”

Well, he began to ask me all sorts of theological intellectual questions, and as I rewind the conversation – it was a long one – I realize that with each answer I gave, that prompted another question with a whole host of scriptural addresses. Now, that sort of thing intimidates me just a bit and I didn’t have a problem letting him know that while I’m nowhere versed on all the addresses he had quoted, I was familiar with the context. I also said I had much to learn and study as it relates to the Bible and in my journey, much of what I’m learning has come to life in my life. He then asked me this question: “At what level of spiritual maturity do you write?”

Again, I hesitated, but I know that I know that my God gave me the answer as I pointed to each book: “Well, this one was the first one and so the level of healing experienced when I wrote this one is nowhere near this one,” as I pointed to my latest book. He seemed pleased with that answer, but now there are people starting to come to the table and I need to end the conversation … as politely as I could, but he wasn’t having it! Here’s what he told me: “I’m here to tell you you’re in sin; using your faith to make it big, but I’m here to hold your hand; remember, there’s now therefore no condemnation”! Emphasis on the!!!!

I was stunned… and discouraged, but only for a moment and in that moment God filled me with courage, enough courage to ask him why he would say that and then more courage to reply to him that I was there to not make a name for myself but to offer hope so that others would see the reality of the necessity of our loving God. I also shared with him that the journey I’ve been on has been divinely orchestrated and I couldn’t have dreamt it, let alone created it. Then I invited him to write his email address down and proceeded to tell the others at the table that I would be right with them.

Oh, courage is necessary to push past the discouragement of what others may or may not think of us! Let me share one more example and then I’ll let you go.

It was the day after the book signing and we all were out at the pool and suddenly the whole scene just punched me hard and all I wanted to do was run. It’s not that anyone was doing anything wrong, per say; it’s just that I don’t fit in with the party scene, don’t even want to and yet, I needed to feel like I belonged somewhere! So you know what I did? I got up, told my husband what I was feeling, and got up and left!

My head and heart were a jumbled mess, like seaweed all tangled up, tripping me up so before I blurted something out I didn’t mean or even understand, I needed to go be alone with God, sort of work through all those weeds of thought. Have you ever felt like that, like you just don’t belong where you are currently? It was incredibly discouraging!

I headed to our room and once inside, I couldn’t sit still, so I walked outside our back door onto the sand and toward the beckoning ocean.

Oh, but the sea has a way of singing just the right song at just the right tempo, always different, but doing the same thing: calming me. As I sat there and talked it out with God, wondering why I had such an overwhelming feeling like that of not wanting to be where I was and not fitting in, I realized that I’m getting to understand me better, and my needs, my likes and dislikes and my inner struggle and/or convictions don’t need to change anyone else’s.

I asked Abba to give me courage to stand for my convictions and not get lost in a need to be understood, or in my desire to belong somewhere, somehow with someone. I’m not sure how long I sat there … enjoying the seagulls gliding in for a landing to take a little siesta, right at the ocean’s ebbing, and I thought about the truth that it takes courage to be discouraged, especially when you are still fitting into your new God-given skin!

Yes, Lord, you have commanded me to be strong and of good courage; to not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for You are with me wherever I go! Go ahead; re-write the verse according to this moment of time in your life!

Until tomorrow,

IMG_8444-2 blog

Evinda

Coffee in Cabo April’s WOW

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heartIt Takes Courage to be Discouraged!

Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

 

20150422_154229-1Welcome to our Coffee Hour and our WOW for April! For the next couple of days, we’ll be having our coffee in Cabo and as I write this for you and to you, imagine the sound of crashing waves, one right after the other. There is a seagull flying just out of our view now. The sand is warm between our toes, and all is right in the world in this moment. So before April’s gone, grab your coffee and your Red SOF and let’s go talk about courage.

I actually chose this WOW before I left to come to Cabo and set it aside to begin writing it when I got here, but my interest was truly piqued about this topic from one of my professors who spoke on this subject just last week. He began the class by asking us to shout out one word that described the best characteristic/virtue needed to live a fruitful Christian life … and courage was not up there, not even once! The majority of the virtues given were words all having to do with integrity and faith.

He then went on to share that he felt that courage was the most undervalued virtue in the Christian life. Talk about proving his point in the first few minutes of his lecture! Have you ever thought about it, the fact that it does take courage to live a life of faith-filled fruitfulness? Just two weeks prior, I realized the value of courage as well as the necessity and was able to see that God had indeed given me doses of courage along the journey of writing and ministry, but I don’t think I quite gave it the placement it needs to have in the realm of virtues.

So let me get back to our professor and this lecture on courage. He went on to share a couple of quotes that really tugged on my heart; the first one is by Aristotle: “You will never do anything in this life without courage.” As I rewound the years that had brought me to that night, I could see that courage was a big piece of the puzzle of my life.

Professor Cervantes gave us another quote, only this one by C.S. Lewis: “Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point.”

Don’t you just love those truths?

So these quotes, especially C.S. Lewis’s got me to thinking; uh-oh; that’s dangerous! 🙂 Anyway, if courage is the form of every virtue at its testing point, then that means, for example, when tempted to not be completely honest, it takes courage to defy the temptation and keep your integrity. It takes courage to love someone, especially when they are unlovable. It takes courage to work through fears. I mean think about it; anyone can be happy when things are going right, right? But it takes courage to choose joy when surrounded by trouble; it takes courage to overcome sorrow. But how can it be that it takes courage to be discouraged? Because at the testing point of courage is discouragement!

Here’s the definition he gave for courage: Courage is the capacity to persevere through fear, uncertainty, doubt, disappointment, pain and injustice for the sake of something greater than one’s self.

Isn’t that what God told Joshua in our WOW? And not just once; but three times in His pep talk to Joshua He told him not to be afraid, dismayed, discouraged as He prepared him to take over Moses’ position to lead the Israelites into the promised land … finally!

Oh, what courage it takes to get to our own Promised Land. And while everyone’s Promised Land is different, each of us will need courage to go where He sends us, to let go of what He takes, to give what we didn’t know we had, to trust with abandon the One who tells us: “Have I not commanded you, ______?” (Fill in your name.) “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go, _________.”

Oh, I can hardly wait to share a dose of courage I gained as I worked through a bought of discouragement, and more than once, on this trip to Cabo!

Join me tomorrow for more

Encouraged …

IMG_8444-2 blog

Evinda

The Waiting Room … In the Hospital of Life March’s WOW

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.: Phil. 1:6

Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to share Coffee Hour with me … and more of this month’s WOW, The Waiting Room in the Hospital of Life. I truly hope you are enjoying what we are discovering as we walk through the rooms in the Hospital of Life with our Great Physician. Grab your coffee and your Red Strand of Faith.

So I shared a couple of exam room experiences, experiences that truly changed my life and the direction of it. Let me return to that first example, because it was shortly after the exam where He told me He was going to be taking me off of work that He actually came and took me to the O.R. room!

The morning after the county’s doctor called in an off-work order, I remember being somewhat dazed and bewildered by the events leading up to that very moment. Memories of His words spoken to me in the exam room in the mornings preceding the actual work release came flooding back to me, offering me hope, peace, beckoning me to let go and take His hand, to let the deep work begin.

I sat in my big, comfy chair with my thermos of coffee, my journal and my Bible. I remember I literally cried out, “But I’m a court reporter,” and He countered with, “No, you’re not; that’s what you did for a living. Now you will become what I’ve created you to be.”

In the months that followed, through what I deemed a spiritual open-heart surgery, He peeled back many layers, revealing lies that I had bought into, removing them through extensive counseling therapy. While on that first operating table, He also cut away a lot of bitterness and un-forgiveness I had buried towards my abusers all the while exposing some of the many painful memories. These memories were what the bitterness and un-forgiveness were wrapped up in and bound by; but now that they were out in the open, no longer suffocated by life, they left me completely, now powerless over me.

Then my Great Surgeon closed me up, temporarily, and gave me glimpses of what He was preparing me for by sending me out to speak, transparently, about my open-heart surgery and my Great Physician. Those were some powerful, out-of-body experiences, kind of like being in a recovery room sort of dazed, but cognizant of what has just happened!

That was just the beginning! I can’t even count the number of open-heart surgeries that He’s performed since then, and promises to keep performing, that I may become more like the image that He created me to be: Like Himself. (Genesis 1:27)

And in between surgeries, I walk through the hallways of The Hospital of Life, and God introduces me to so many other patients, patients in so many different walks of life. When I am discouraged, He brings nurses into my life to encourage me to stay in The Hospital of Life.

Because of all my surgeries thus far, I am able to recognize those who are in pain, and I am able to encourage them as we pass each other in the hallways of The Hospital of Life. But there are those that He brings me to walk alongside of, those other patients that have consented to open-heart surgery, allowing the transformation process to begin in the Hospital of Life, that I may comfort them with the comfort I’ve been given after each surgery. (2nd Corinthians 1:4)

Yes, knowing that He who began this work will be faithful to complete it until the time of Christ keeps me looking in all the rooms of The Hospital of Life, that I may be His heart, His hands, or His feet. I’ll see you in The Hospital of Life!

Love,

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Evinda

The Waiting Room … In the Hospital of Life March’s WOW

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heart“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.: Phil. 1:6

Thanks for stopping by for our Coffee Hour and more of our March WOW! We hopefully we will be done with it before the month is gone! Grab your coffee and your Strand of Faith and let’s go ties some more knots in the exam room of the hospital of life!

I don’t mean to sit in this room In the Hospital of Life, but there are some pretty powerful things that happen in this room! I remember several pivotal meetings in the exam room In the Hospital of Life … and exactly when the serious exams began. But the funny thread of commonality in those exams is I had to consent. I was in the habit of meeting with Him for our time each morning, which could also be considered preventative medicine, spiritually speaking. But it was in this exam room that I thought I heard some life-changing words, words that spoke of something that would change the direction for the rest of my life. I remember gasping with confusion, wondering if I had heard Him speak of His enemy. See, I had just purchased a brand-new home, filled with lots of upgrades, got my dream car – after asking for His permission, of course – and what I heard in this exam room was definitely life-jolting. He said: “I’m going to take you off work.”

Seriously I was speechless, which doesn’t happen too often with this girl! 🙂 How could that be, I wondered. I’m trying to think of something to compare it to, how bewildered and frightened I was at the first mention of such a directional life change – ah, got it!

It was just a couple years prior to that, I had to go in for a checkup for my tongue; I had noticed there were a couple of spots on it near the back. Oh, did I mention I was smoking at least one half of a pack of cigarettes a day? 🙁 That’s why I was reluctant; I just knew that whatever they found, it was going to force me to quit and, darn it; that was going to be incredibly difficult because I actually enjoyed smoking!

So I made the appointment, reluctantly, knowing I had to. There wasn’t as long a wait as I had anticipated; in fact, they got me in within two days, which for that medical group was a miracle.

As I sat on the exam table, with my mouth open, the doctor’s eyes staring through his instrument that was crammed in my mouth opening it nice and wide, I waited, and waited … and waited as he pulled it out and my mouth tried to return to normal. He turned his back, shook his head and then ever so slowly turned around suddenly spilling out a medical term so long with an accent thicker than peanut butter I was forced to ask him to tell me what he just said in English!

“It looks to be tongue cancer. We will have to do a biopsy to confirm that, but I would advise you to quit smoking. See my receptionist to schedule the biopsy.”

I got up from the table, stunned! My eyes threatened to spill over, but within seconds, I was able to sense this peace because He had spoken to me in the exam room at home during my quiet time before leaving for this appointment: “This is just a warning.”

As it turned out, by the time I had the biopsy, God had healed me and I did quit smoking … for a while!

I share these two instances with you because oftentimes, our Heavenly Father often prepares us in the exam room for things to come, just like He did all those years ago when He warned me that I would be taken off of work. I fought it for several weeks, and heard the words “He maketh you to lie down in green pastures.”

Two days later, I was in Human Resources, unable to even hold a pen to fill out the report to go see a company doctor, and the next day, there I was in the exam room in the Hospital of Life, crying out to God, “I’m a court reporter.”
His response; “No, you’re not; that’s what you did for a living. Now you will do what I created you to do … you will write, teach and encourage others.
Oh, friend, be sure and make at least one stop a day in the exam room in the Hospital of Life for you never know when He’s going to put you on the operating table of life!
Join us tomorrow for a possible conclusion to this series!
Loving His ongoing Physician’s touch …

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Evinda

Shades of Greed

Thursday, February 19th, 2015
Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power...

Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power…

EL pen Logo with heart

Luke 12:15

And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

Thanks so much for taking time out of your day to come have coffee with me, to turn it all off for a few minutes and just encourage your soul. I pray that this month’s WOW has given you plenty of knots in your red Strand of Faith. After all, there’s nothing like a splash of perspective to put out the fire in our souls that can often send us off on a desire to acquire things that make us spiritually haywire!

So I left off with a questions/cry out to God, what are you trying to teach me? I got my answer and it came in the form of a vision at a sweet time of prayer with our connection group. I don’t remember who was praying, but my soul was quietly agreeing, my mind on the prayer requests when He reminded me of a sweet time years ago that He brought me to and through: It was the morning after being placed on workers’ compensation. I was sitting in my big comfy chair, sipping my coffee, trying not to choke on my sobs. I was almost yelling at Him, telling Him I was a court reporter and I didn’t understand why He was allowing this carpal tunnel and tendonitis situation to become so unbearable that I could not even hold a pen, let alone report the oppressive family law matters we heard every day that relentlessly filled the court room five days a week, six hours a day!

His gentle response told me that that is what I did for a living; now He was going to perform open-heart surgery, spiritually speaking, so I would be equipped and ready to do what He created me to do. And I remember what happened right after that, as if it were yesterday. I saw a huge mountain, and there were waterfalls all over the place so you can imagine the sound … the beauty … from atop. What happened next was so beautiful … I jumped and as I jumped, I said I trust you, Father, to provide for me. I trust that you will never leave me or forsake me. I trust that the plan you have for my life is not to harm me, but to lift me up and give me a hope, a future … The funny thing is I have never landed … but I do remember feeling a peace that transcends all understanding that has guarded my heart and mind and kept me mid-air, so to speak, my life no longer mine but His.

As He replayed that moment for me, He gave me a different ending: this time in the vision, there were two people, holding hands, getting ready to jump. This is my husband’s time to take his jump off the mountain, trusting the Lord our God with all his heart, soul and mind for a new direction that will lead him to his purpose in life, not land him in a job that will simply pay the bills, but to be spending his life on eternal things.

See, the shades of greed can keep us from our purpose; the pursuit of money, love, acceptance, achievement, power, food, sex … whatever it is that we require to acquire which causes us to count on our own resources and keep us believing we are independent of God, these are all detours.  Tweet This!

God never intended for our financial blessings to divide families, cultures, religions …He never intended for us to desire anything more than Him which is why He warns us against idolatry. Anything that we desire to acquire that rents more space in our head and heart is a form of greed/idolatry! Everything we have is borrowed, gifted to us temporarily. What would our world look like if we were to spend our external blessings (time, money, ourselves) on eternal purposes?  Tweet This!

Let’s not forget what money and/time cannot purchase! Let’s give ourselves completely over to eternal things.

All of us are presented with choices when the desire to acquire things comes upon us; our choice will determine the height of our jump or the depth of the term haywire. In such a time as this, I can resort to the desire to control and return to my vocation of court reporting to give us the money to acquire more, pay bills, taking me further and further away from my calling and purpose, or I can grab the hand of Jesus, and my husband’s and jump … who knows, our purposes may entwine!

As George and I begin to jump, hand in hand, there is a warning to us as well as a reminder for us as we begin this jump of faith: Take heed, beware of covetousness (shades of greed) for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of things he/she possesses, but in He who possesses all.

Thanks for joining me … be sure and come back for Faith-filled Fridays with Debbie!

IMG_8444-2 blogEvinda