Archive for April, 2011

What an interesting first quarter to a very interesting year! 2011 is the Year of Opportunity, and just a quick recap of some of the opportunities that have been afforded me this first quarter:

* Spent time with Laura and her family as we witnessed her mom’s transition from life to death. It was the most intimate thing I’ve ever been a part of, and I thank Laura and her family for letting me be a part of this awesome moment for them.

* Received the second half of my 2008 tax audit bill (the state portion for $3100). This has been an interesting distraction, but a true reminder to me to trust God. The IRS bill was paid in full, but this one I will have to make payments; thus incurring interest and penalties. However, the upside is God is still in control!

* Unveiled my new community forum for Nonprofit Connectors. Several years ago I started Nonprofit Connectors, a consulting business to assist individuals/groups wanting to start a nonprofit organization by doing all the paperwork. I had a vision for this business that it would be a place that connected people, and now that vision has come to fruition. Be sure to check it out! The website has changed, and the logo has been given a facelift! 🙂

* Spent a week of quality time with my friend Thea! Thea and I were best friends in high school, through college, and most of life! We had a difference of opinion that broke up our friendship for 13 years. But God has shown me great grace and mercy by renewing our friendship. Sadly it was over Thea’s mom’s death that we reconnected (miss you Ret); but happily we’ve reconnected. God is so very gracious.

* Spending quality time with Ryan’s mom! I’ve loved Ryan’s parents from the beginning, and when his dad passed (February 1, 2011), it was a sad day. However, we rejoiced because we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that his dad was a born again believer! 1Thessalonians 4:13-18 reminds us to rejoice in a believer’s death!

* Then the best opportunity this year has afforded me (thus far), was spending an entire weekend getting to know my husband deeper and better! We attended our first, ever in 13 years, marriage workshop put on by our church, Capitol Hill Baptist Church. We talked about things we haven’t discussed since pre-martial counseling. So, it was like a kiss from God to spend this time with my husband getting to know him all over again. We’ve even decided to read a book together, “A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers” by D. A. Carson, and then we’ll have book discussions.

Looking back on this first quarter, I’m excited about what God will do with the next quarter! 🙂

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I love you, Ryan!

Sunday past, I was reminded of the following mealtime prayer:

God is Great, God is Good;
Let us thank Him for our food.
By His hands we all are fed,
Give us Lord our Daily Bread.

The preacher broke this pray down into simpler language.

God is GREAT – God is all surpassing! There’s nothing that compares to God. Nothing is as vast as God, as old as God, and since God is the ONLY non-created entity in this enormous universe that alone exhibits his GREATness!

God is GOOD. Some days I’m good, meaning I stayed on my food plan, and I exercised. Some days the weather is good, meaning it was sun shiny and warm. However, when the Bible says that God is good, it means ALL the time. God’s nature, his very being, is GOOD! God is good!

Then the rest of the prayer reminds us that apart from God (without God in our lives), we would have nothing. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

I thank God for bringing Ryan into my life. My husband’s love for me is evident every day! Just recently we decided to read a book together, and have discussions. Well, I’m out of town, and the book discussions start next week. Perfect time you would think to be able to read, but I’ve been preoccupied with hanging out with my friend, having uninterrupted TV (NCIS) time, and just playing/working on the computer time! No time for reading. Yet, faithfully every night, and gently without judgment or sarcasm Ryan asks, “So, have you been able to read?” I know he means our book, and not my Anne of Green Gables or Jane Eyre books I’ve started. And, every night for the last three nights I’ve replied, “Not yet!” (With attitude, because I feel convicted.)

It’s got to be hard to be called to lead, and your followers are wanting to go their own way. And, even still harder when the troop that you lead is just one person who insists on having control and doing it her way; thus, rebelling against your leadership.

Ryan, I don’t mean to do this, and I am so grateful to God that you are patient with me. Please don’t stop guiding our family, gently instructing me, consistently following up; in other words, don’t stop doing your job description just because I’ve strayed from mine. I’m reading Chapter 1 today! And, I look forward to having a great discussion with you about it next week, Lord willing!

I love you, Ryan!

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This Sunday past, Thea and I visited  First Baptist of Micanopy just outside of Gainesville, FL. And the preacher’s text was Psalm 42 and 43. He had a full page outline, but I’ll sum up what I got from him message.

I have read Psalm 42:1, “As the deer pants for the streams of water; so, my hearts pants for you, my God.” I walked away with the simply understanding that David was pining after God. Yet, the preacher on Sunday helped me see that panting happens after long periods without. That deer running through the woods looking, searching for water. She needs the water to revive her; to get give her strength to keep running. Then I thought about when I start panting during my exercise programs, and how exhausted I feel, until I take that sip of water.

Ah! So, David was desperate. He was panting after God. His was LONELY.

The preacher went on to say that during this period (13 years exiled to avoid Saul, but after being anointed as God’s chosen King), David hid, he ran, and while he was surrounded by loyal soldiers he felt alone. People around him asked, “Where is your God?” I thought this was an interesting statement, because just because I’m a Christian doesn’t mean I’m immune to hard times, disappointments, hurts, broken hearts, rejection, loneliness, sinful behavior. No!

It’s during these dark, darker, DARKEST times, as David expounds upon in these two Psalms, that we must TRUST that we are not alone, nor are we forsaken. God NEVER takes his eye off of EACH of us. However, (and I liked the way the preacher said this) there are times when God is silent. Silent! I know, what a concept.  Most of us live in noise. I’m surrounded by noise, what plays in my head, on my TV, on my iPod, and let’s not leave out the noise of my computer dinging and beeping always calling me to it. (Such a needy machine!) Yet, through it all God has never left. He’s there waiting through the darkness with us. This was very comforting to me, because I have had many friends lose a love one, and what they have often said is, “Thanks for just being here.” I haven’t done anything, I have nothing spectacular to say, but just my presence has helped sometimes.

It was reassuring for me to realize that as I go through some of the loneliest moments of my life, I am never ever alone. Thank you God!

PS: Thank you the congregation of First Baptist Micanopy for reminding me that wherever Christian’s are gathered I have automatic family present! I enjoyed meeting each of you, and while our paths may never cross again here, I look forward to being neighbors with you for eternity!

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