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An Honest Account of Love, Grief and Walking With God
Finding God's Goodness in Life's Disappointments

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

His Amazing Love Enables Us to Love Others

One of the outstanding characteristics of God is his constant, everlasting love for us. When someone says the word God to me, two words frequently pop into my mind: His faithfulness and love. No matter what is going on in my life, His faithfulness and love are my anchor and security. How about you? What pops into your head when you hear the word God? Opening our hearts and our minds to God’s love will bring many benefits into our lives and those we are around. February, a month we focus on love, I think it would be good for us to spend some extra time loving God and practicing loving others.
I have seen in my own life that the more I open my heart to God’s love and spend time loving Him, the better I am at loving others. We are all born with a need to be loved, and we are born selfish and self-centered. Love thinks of others first. I’ve been asking God to reveal to me when I am self-centered or selfish, as I want to love others better.
Love is a connection of hearts. Real love is based on relationship.When we love God with our hearts, instead of our mind, we are able to love others with God’s love. Actually, when we love those we are around well, it shows our love for God. 1 John 4:7 state,”Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”
All of us can improve in loving God and loving others. When I think of those in my life that have loved me well, they are people that love God, are sensitive, compassionate and are not self-centered. They are the people that believe the best in me and stand by me no matter what. They are people that demonstrate their love for God by how they love me and others in their lives. Humble people and those not afraid to admit when they are wrong, are usually good at loving others — people that love in their actions, not just in words. Think of the people in your life that you feel love you. What are their characteristics? Do they say they love God or demonstrate that they love God by loving others. Loving others is proof of our love for God.
Believing God loves us takes faith. Faith and love are linked together. More than 55 times in the Bible, the words faith and love are mentioned in the same Scripture. We cannot really believe in God’s faithfulness until we really believe God loves us. I can trust in God’s faithfulness to me, because I’ve learned of His love for me. I will never forget the day I admitted to some friends and my late husband, that I believed God loved other people, but wasn’t convinced that He loved me. Let me confess, I had been a believer for 20 years. That confession was the beginning of a great journey of discovering God’s incredible love for me. That love has become the bedrock of security and trust in God. It took courage to admit what I felt, as my late husband and I were leading a Bible study, but it was a gut level confession, and God heard it and honored it. Do you need to get gut level honest with God? I had been taught since I was a child that God loved me and believed it in my head, but not my heart. It wasn’t until I was honest with others and God as a 30-year-old woman, that I really began to understand God’s love for me. Let me encourage you to be honest with God. He already knows your heart anyway.
Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (NIV). We see in this Scripture that our faith in God is directly linked to knowing His love for us. Let me encourage you, if you lack faith in God, you need to discover His love for you. Personally, I want to be known as a woman that loved God with all her heart and loves others.

I challenge you to ask God to reveal more of his love to you, then, look for it!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

One Little Girl Walking With God

The past 6 months have taken me out of town a good bit for work. I have been working on a project in Lubbock and in Abilene. When I was tasked with the project, I was only out of town once a month but as the projects have come closer to deadline, I have had to travel weekly. My Abilene project was complete last week and culminated with a Men's Breakfast for the Abilene Transition Center.

Tables at the Steak and Egg Benefit Breakfast
The beauty of spending a lot of time on the road is you get lots of time to talk to God. I knew from the beginning of both projects that I was not going to these communities just for the job. God made it very clear that there were kingdom purposes for me in my travels so each time I entered each community, I would keep my eyes open for what God's purposes were in taking me to the Big Country and the South Plains of Texas.

Going into a community where I did not know anyone was quite different than in the Texas Hill Country where I have lived almost all my life. How on earth would I raise awareness of what our transition centers contributed to their community when I didn't know anyone? One thing I have learned in my life and am totally confident in is that God
Vintage baseball decorations 

 is with me and when He calls me, He equips me. I saw that over and over as I simply showed up in each community. God gave me incredible favor with the local TV stations and radio stations as well as community service organizations like Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions and others. It has been amazing to see Him put me right next to key people that can help me accomplish the mission of my job.

I have numerous stories as well as numerous obstacles God has helped me overcome. I have had the privilege of ministering to numerous widows and praying with others from staff at the hotels I've prayed at to staff at the transition centers I've worked at. God has brought the volunteers I've needed, people to come along side and make my life easier and people that share the passion I have to help those in need. 

One story I will share began as I showed up for a Rotary meeting in Abilene. I just happened to be presenting that day and just happened to sit at a table with a retired judge and author. Through the conversation, I was invited to speak at the Abilene Writers Guild. Although I felt inadequate to speak at this kind of event, I said yes as God told me He was going to open doors and I was to simply say "Yes" and trust him. When I showed up at the event and shared my story of how I began writing for local newspapers, I shared the tragedy of losing my late husband. I also told of the goodness of God and how my writing was a gift I never knew I had and how it was a blessing that came from a loss. At the conclusion of the meeting, I had at least 5 and probably more widows that came up to me and said, "You were here just to speak to me." How cool is that? I was able to encourage each of them in where they were in their own journey.

Jim "The Rookie" Morris was our feature speaker for the Men's Breakfast
One of the young adults I've had the honor of working with
From the woman that is a recent widow that I met and have shared lunch a few times to the young girl struggling with her self esteem, to the older gentleman at the Marriott, each one is precious to the Lord. So special to Him, that He gave me the privilege of touching their lives. God is looking for people here on earth that will listen to the Holy Spirit and obey when He wants to use us to touch someone.

After seven months in a community where I knew few people, the Abilene Men's Field of Dreams Benefit Breakfast was this past Thursday and $39,000 was raised! Yea God! Actually, that was over $10.000 more than I raised last year in my own community! 

God loves it when we simply say "yes" to Him and show up and hang on. I've seen him do above what I can ask or think. Life to me is about spending time with Him and loving the people He puts right in front of me each day.

I challenge you to ask Him for divine appointments, listen to Him and love those He puts in your path.