The Journey Continues: Sept. 30, 2016

Life’s journey is connected in many ways to those around us–working relationships, family relationships, community ones and informational ones.  However, our personal journey is still our own.  In the same way others connect to us and impact us, we do the same for them.  I serve on a board for a start-up organization for teen girls who have been taken off the street for sex trafficking.  I’ve mentioned this several times over the weeks of blogging.  After the meeting a month ago one of the members contacted me saying I need to be cautious in how I communicate about this group.  A person who I know told another person we were no longer going to build this.  She thought I should know.  I didn’t even know who she was talking about and I’ve stewed about this for a month.  I’ve never considered myself a gossip and I actually hate even being around it.  In last night’s meeting this topic came up again.  I told the one member I still didn’t know who she was referencing that I’d talk to.  She said that I hadn’t talked to them.  They had only heard this information and knew I was on the board for the group.  I just found it amazing how a relationship can influence.  This morning God told me to now let it go.  There was no truth to the accusation and I can go forward.  I’m sure there is a lesson in this for me but right now I’m just glad to know I didn’t cause a circle of gossiping.

I would ask for prayer for this start-up work.  We are trying to find land to build or a site we can occupy.  The need is huge in this area but for some reason the Lord is not ready.  I’m calling the realtor working with us this morning to get moving on a couple sites we could occupy.  Anyway, your prayers would be appreciated.

A year ago when I was cleaning my flower beds for the winter I found that voles had eaten many of my tulip bulbs–hundreds of them.  I was so disgusted and poisoned them.  They are gone but so were my tulips this spring.  Yesterday the box of new bulbs arrived that I ordered this summer.  So, much of today will be rejoicing in the flower beds anticipating what next spring will look like with all new bulbs blooming from today’s planting!

The Journey Continues: Sept. 29, 2016

Have you ever slept until noon?  I awoke this morning about 5:00 am thinking I’d try and sleep a little longer.  I then awoke at almost 7:00 am.  I had that sense that my day was half gone.  Now, onto real life.

I was at our church yesterday morning having a needed conversation with a couple of our pastors.  I then went to complete some materials needed for our Celebrate Recovery last night.  When all of this was done it was approaching noon and I was going to go see my brother in law who had broken his leg and is physically very fragile.  He, by the way, came through his surgery very well.  His kids and grandkids were preparing for the worst but God gave him more time with them and they were all praising God for this.  Before heading to the hospital I was asked to have lunch by our newer pastor which I did ahead of visiting the hospital.

I enjoy this young man very much.  We engaged a conversation about living a Spirit-filled life.  My denomination use to preach a great deal about being sanctified which meant giving full surrender of your life to live for God.  This would take place sometime after you accepted Christ into your heart.  The abuse of my past had always caused me to struggle tremendously thinking I was never good enough for God’s Holy Spirit to live in my heart.  Now this is being corrected in my beliefs.  However, the consciousness of living fully awake to God’s Spirit is just starting.  I know this is important.  I also know I don’t want to live outside of God’s leading.  I’m going to be intentionally learning what I can but to also apply all I can.  I know this is about “being” spirit-filled and not just “doing” spirit-filled.  I want to be God’s servant.  I want to do because of what I am.  I don’t want to do to hopefully earn the rights as I lived for so long.

The Journey Continues: Sept. 28, 2016

Yes, indeed, the journey continues.  It seems today’s assignments continue to address what wasn’t finished yesterday.  There are a couple more confrontations to contend with and then to some family items.  Last night I was called by a family member informing me that my oldest living sis fell and has a few stitches and much bruising, my brother-in-law (who was married to my oldest sis) fell and broke the femur bone.  He is really fragile but they need to do surgery and set the bone.  My nephew in law’s cancer treatment has been stymied with complications.  I was asking God this morning what He was wanting me to do in all of this?  It was instant that I sensed Him reminding me to simply be present for them.  He is their Savior and Lord and I don’t need to try and step into any of His work.  I just need to be a loving family member.  It is funny how I know this, but it is good to be reminded.

The Conquer Series our church is sponsoring right now for men and women struggling with and from sexual addiction met for the second time last night.  I led a small group which followed watching the DVD.  We were starting the accountability within the ones coming.  In the small group we each told what specifically we needed to be asked when called. We want the calls and questions asked to trigger the truth of our struggle and truth for the times of temptation.  I found myself telling the others that I needed to be asked how I am doing with my relationship with God my Father–am I anchored in my value to Him?

Since I’ve begun to journal to God my Father these past few weeks, I find myself needing to do two things:  anchored the day with His leadership in my life, and secure my knowing that He really cares for me.  When this two are anchored I have trust and faith that I don’t need to succumb to old habits in order to feel good about living.  The others said this would be helpful for them too.  Somehow, we get into our heads that overcoming is about our work.  God is so faithful in reminding me about His Work through His Son Jesus Christ and His Gift–The Holy Spirit.  When I am anchored in my day with them, I can move forward through the day facing whatever is ahead.  Temptations will come, but fighting them is not what I do–I surrender them to those who have defeated them already and the one who is triggering them.

The Journey Continues: Sept. 27, 2016

God is bringing clarity for me about my human and my spiritual natures. My human nature is so instinctive that I automatically think it is the driving one and the right one.  Let me explain–Yesterday I had a day of addressing several “issues” which needed man addressing man about problems that had been created.  In each case man took charge of areas which needed attention, but in so doing, he chose to do it his way rather than checking to see if his way fit with the others involved.   Why so many had come to head all at once was a mystery.  However, for me, it was a wake up of surrender.  I had prayed about the situations and knew I must face them with the others involved.  Just as one would predict when standing on the sideline and watching God do His work when asked, each problem was resolved without incident.  No one wanted to be a “hog of leadership”.  Each one was wanting to do what he thought was best.  All I did was point out the issue and asked to bring the others connected into the decision making ahead of taking action.  The spirit of human nature is a selfish nature instinctively.  However, when we surrender our will to the Will of our Father, our spirit becomes empowered to complete God’s purposes.

So, this morning I was journaling about a person who is struggling with some physical battles.  God promised him several months ago He would bring healing to him.  In the meantime he has taken many human steps to find the answers to the physical pain wondering all the time if these steps were ones God was wanting him to take.  Now he is questioning his steps–were they steps of faith or steps of humanness?  He has found no release and instead, more pain.  I was asking God to make His ways clear to this man.  All of a sudden I was challenged to ask God what He was wanting me to do in response to this man instead of asking God to respond to him.  God reminded me He was already responding to him.  This man needs his support team to be responding to Him in ways that minister to this man with spiritual guidance.  I sure don’t want to be a friend like Job’s friends were to him.

God is truly amazing.  I know that when I accepted Christ into my heart, He gave me His Holy Spirit to lead me.  I want to become a great responder to The Holy Spirit’s leading in my life.  God doesn’t need me telling him what I’d like for Him to do as much as He wants me listening to His Gift–The Holy Spirit and doing what He leads me to do.  Lets pray for one another to be great listeners to our Holy Spirit within.

The Journey Continues: Sept. 26, 2016

It is nice to be home from the men’s retreat and especially nice to sleep in one’s own bed.  I’ve never been too fussy about the bed in which I sleep, but that wasn’t the case this weekend.  However, I don’t think that connects too well to any journey–just a fact of life.

I was journaling this morning about what I’d taken from the weekend.  The list contained several items, all of which I needed to confront something or have a talk with someone.  It was troubling over the weekend because I’ve never been one to back away from a confrontation when needed, but I’ve always wanted to confront something in a Christ-like way rather than just man’s temper or emotions.  As I was taking this to God this morning I felt Him confirming in me to trust my heart.  He lives there.  This reality is being awakened in me and that I can trust it.  In fact, I wrote in my journal to trust my heart and not my mind.  This was a brand new statement.  I’ve always trusted my mind.  However, in the past weeks I’ve truly begun to learn that it is in my mind that I am tempted, it is not in my heart.  My mind responds to my heart, not the other way around.  I’ve always thought my heart was the home of my emotions.  Now I’m realizing more fully that, yes, emotions play a big part with my heart, but they also play a big part with my mind.  The new reality is that my heart knows how to work with them while my mind wants to separate itself from them.  There’s much more to experience along this line, but this is the most current for me.

The other thing from the weekend that is being strengthened is the truth about each of us needing to work with a team.  This team must be one we can be fully transparent with.  We do need God’s Team on this, but the human element of the team is critical.  Being fully open and honest with God and someone we trust (James 5:16) is a must for living in freedom from one day to the next.

God’s faithfulness is my closing paragraph.  I am continuously amazed as I live in my new self.  There is just nothing about God that resembles the old fears I had.  The Jesus Christ we love, respect and cherish–The Holy Spirit given as our gift are not to replace the love of our Father, they are the love of our Father.  God our Father is the very One who gave them to us so we could better know and understand Him.  How much I want to grow in all of this.

The Journey Continues: Sept. 23, 2016

God is working to awaken in me His Spiritual Strength which I’m surrounded with throughout each day.  In our egotistical self we somehow think we manage and create what is around us.  Little do I (we) comprehend the immense strength and power that can at any point annihilate all of this.  Let me put some substance to what I’m writing about in this.

Yesterday I started with what a collision looks like in this Spiritual world we live in.  Somehow the collision I was thinking would happen in the Tuesday and Wednesday events would be noticeable.  Well, they were hugely noticeable within me but no one knew anything about them unless I said something.  We notice things from the outside and in what we see humanly.  Inside me I was getting so anxious that I was consumed and only wanting the events to be done.  God was faithfully assuring me to stay surrendered to Him and let Him work.  I also needed to stay “present” in the events.  I was not to go into that protective mode where I was physically present but mentally someplace else.  This mode was what I called my cave in times past.  OK.  That’s my collision reality.  I can’t begin to tell you how many people have commented to me, text me and thanked me for the music our quartet brought Wednesday night.  What was a collision for me was once again a tool of God’s Spirit working.  He wanted me to know this and that the ministry of music I used to use to hide behind is now able to be used with my recovery message right in my recovery meetings.

This morning God was prompting me to take a look at the darkness of night dissipating with the morning dawn.  It doesn’t happen quickly, but it does happen.  All of a sudden it is fully light.  God was pointing out that His Spiritual Light is not different in how it works  within us.  When our human darkness is being penetrated with God’s Spiritual Light there is spiritual friction that we intensely feel within. This was the collision I was sensing earlier this week.  What wins?  Every time God’s Light wins if we stay with Him in this.  The promise of this is just what He was showing me with the morning dawn.  There has never been a day where His sun’s (Son’s) Light didn’t shine.  In our world there is a 24 hour pattern to this which is very predictable.  However, our spiritual light is just as predictable if we remember the God who created both.

Last night I went to another Celebrate Recovery that meets on Thursday nights.  It was their kickoff and I wanted to support them.  One of their men came up to me.  He had been to our kickoff on Wed.  He thanked me for our quartet’s music.  He said the songs we sang were just for him.  He had come to support us but he left feeling supported by God.  This is just one example of God’s Light penetrating man’s darkness.  Our God is truly Amazing and Almighty.

The Journey Continues: Sept. 22, 2016

Do you know what a collision looks like in God’s Spiritual world?  I think I’m only beginning to understand this ever so slightly.  When God’s Light meets the darkness of this earthly world and the darkness of sin it is simply amazing.  I was expecting a knock-down fight.  Well, all it was for me in both Tuesday and Wednesday events was God’s amazing presence working in the lives of people including mine.  I found myself free to speak and sing God’s glory and hear and see the effects of God’s miraculous healing in the lives of those who gave their testimonies.  God’s light obliterates fear and that’s what happened last night.  There were 62 present for our Celebrate Recovery kickoff.  I stand amazed in the presence of this Almighty God we serve!  There are things man does to help men fell safe.  However, there is nothing life the presence of God’s Holy Spirit to expel anything unsafe.  His presence simply does not allow the presence of evil.  Why it has taken me so long to begin to realize this is just the facts of my journey.  I hope my blog writing will help others expel their fears of trusting God to work what He is wanting to do in your life just as He is in mine.

I had a man call me yesterday afternoon while I was driving home from work.  He had heard about my book and wanted one.  He told me briefly of his sexual abuse when he was a boy.  It has haunted him for years.  I invited him to come last night to our kickoff and he came.  He told me afterwards how his fear had dissipated during the evening.  God was showing him it was safe to bring his story of abuse out in the open for help.  We do not need to live in the bondage of our past.

To God be all glory!

The Journey Continues: Sept. 21, 2016

The collision hit last night.  There were 12 men who came to the start for our church’s Conquer series dealing with sexual addiction.  I found myself glad to be there and fully ready.  There was no angst, only eagerness to learn and apply from my heart and leadership of God’s Holy Spirit within me.  I am so grateful for the awakening of yesterday.  I cannot say I’m fully at peace about tonight, this seems much bigger to me–facing this giant of singing as a mask to cover who I am.  I now know the truth and am going to trust today.  I am a new creation and will live within this truth trusting each moment.

Yesterday, as I was going through much of my Celebrate Recovery materials preparing for tonight I found a poem I’d written in 2010 and revised in 2011.  I don’t think I ever shared it with anyone, it simply expressed what God and His Team were and are doing in my life.  It fits well with my present realities in this journey so I’m going to post it today.  It is called:  Freedom At Last.


 The freedom of Christ, what glory, what a prize

That I could ever have it was a hope much too sublime.

For 60+ years the chains held me tight

The promises of God were for others’ life plights.

Mine was embedded so deeply within

And Satan had me believing there was no hope for my sin.

It’s a paradox truly, my life unfolding

For the Savior was within but I thought for others He was holding.

To me, He showed His love by answering my prayers

Always for others who were needing God’s tender loving care.

Much satisfaction I found and it’s actually true

That God does love others and showed it using me too.

Little did I know my torment within

Was fueled by a belief–I was worthy just of sin.

The damages of a brother and father as well

Had removed the word “treasure”, for this soul deserved hell.

On the surface most knew I loved Jesus through and through

But when I called His name no one came to remove my awful shame.

Don’t feel bad however, for the saga doesn’t end

With promise unfulfilled–for Christ this boy does fend.

Through Celebrate Recovery and counseling too

Christ began to show He’s real not just for you but for me too!

The walls of protection I had built so long ago

Began to be identified, denial and insanity were beginning to show.

I didn’t know them by such terms for that was denial too.

For me, I used humor and sarcasm to promote laughter for me and you.

Celebrate Recovery promoted ways to freedom regardless the cost.

Counseling revealed the layers causing me to remain so lost.

Pain and sorrow, guilt and shame were a few of the demons I now call by name.

A heart made of flesh, not made of steel

Is what I’m now finding for that’s what makes me real.

God loves me–He made me–I am His child

He sent me Christ to be with me all the while.

The Holy Spirit is mine–Christ’s gift for inviting Him in.

His throne is my heart–my heart I’m just beginning to comprehend.

It’s not what I do that makes me God’s son

It’s who I am–His creation–made to be one.

This treasure I now know has a heart of flesh that’s called Christ’s home.

I’m humbled to find it within me–within this once damaged soul.

I was healed but didn’t know it but now I’m becoming free.

For the bondage of sin is broken–the debt of sin is paid for me.

I will forever celebrate this truth and from now on there is no doubt

The struggle is worth it, God’s plan is real, no one: not you or me is left out.

 Forever grateful,


The Journey Continues: Sept. 20, 2016

My journey today and tomorrow is bringing my past and present to a head.  I mentioned a few days ago about my angst with my quartet singing for our Celebrate Recovery kickoff tomorrow.  Tonight I’ll be attending the kickoff of our Conquer series which is for people who struggle with sexual addiction.  Both of these events have “collision” written in them for me.

My past sexual abuse left me with a propensity for sexual addiction.  It wasn’t until Celebrate Recovery and my years of therapy that I could separate my part from the abuse part.  The propensity for sexual addiction is my part and I must admit it (not staying in denial) and stay in close contact with my accountability.  This specific accountability  will be built in the next few weeks with the men who come.  Secondly, tomorrow night’s kickoff for Celebrate Recovery brings our quartet to front and center for me.

I say in my Celebrate Recovery testimony and in my book that God provided me with a teacher in high school who gave me the opportunity for singing.  I found when I sang that people were “blessed”.  They would tell me so.  Over the years I began to sooth my troubled belief system about my self worth with the fact that my singing made people feel good.  I somehow thought God gave me this gift so I could find worthiness.  Well, as the years progressed I never found worthiness, I only found singing to be my mask.  It was even a mask for the sexual issues I faced.

This morning as I was journaling with God regarding both of these He enlightened me with a few items He wanted me to now realize.  Both the sexual abuse and my singing to hide the effects of it are parts of my old self.  Today and tomorrow He wants to bring them to the forefront in the “new creation” He has given me.  I don’t need to be anxious about any of this for the old self has been replaced.  He wants me to trust Him to use all of this as part of His message in taking the mess of my life and turning it into His message for me.  He now wants me to honor Him by sharing His message of work within me.

The last thing He showed me this morning is the significant difference between my heart and my mind.  Once again He reminded me that I was created as a spiritual being in human form.  The home for the spirit being is my heart.  This is where Christ is on the throne and His Holy Spirit resides.  Satan cannot touch my heart for this is where Christ is and the power of His Holy Spirit–The Angel Army.  In my mind however there is ample room for Satan to work.  Sadly, our mind is where man places so much strength and authority.  This is what man educates.  In human flesh we live from our mind rather than from our heart.  This morning, God told me He wants me living from my heart.  Let my heart speak to my mind rather than my mind speaking to my heart.  This may sound trite, but in reality it was an awakening for me.  All spiritual power resides and waits for us to access it but it won’t happen from our mind.  We need to awaken to the fact our mind is Satan’s playground.  I see this so plainly today where I’ve been confused for so long.

I hope this makes sense for you that read it and hopefully it will be of assistance for you.  God is an amazing God.  I am now ready and wanting to go into today and tomorrow as a victorious saint, so grateful for God’s miraculous work in my life.