Creation, God’s Gift To Us And Himself

Age has a way of reminding us how great the gift of life and time is. I love fall, and the range of colors it brings.  One of my great desires is to be a “leafer”, and travel all the beautiful scenic routes.  I feel very close to my creator at this time of year.  Unfortunately, my finances and life are not equal to this ambitious travel desire, so, I’ve made a promise to myself to make the most of the colors and beauty around me.

My area of Nebraska doesn’t have the glorious abundance of orange and red leaves of hardwood trees like the eastern United States. I live on the Platte River, and it’s lined with the striking beauty of weather hardened cottonwood trees.  Their scarred branches reach up across the water proudly displaying their medals of honor.  Stunning gold, sunlight-reflecting waxy coated leaves that refuse to drop until the last frigid windy moment.  I’ve grown up with the cottonwoods and their sturdy familiarity and the soothing clacking sound their leaves make while bumping together in the western plains wind. The trees awaken family memories of my childhood  and cover me with peace.

In town, there are orange-hued maple trees and bright red shrubs. We baby the flowering blooms of hardy fall mums, covering them with old sheets when a hard freeze threatens and I’m not ready or willing, to give up their fall color.  Eventually, to my dismay and outspoken wishes for them to hang on, the trees drop their showy brilliance and the mums succumb to the cold. Life happens and moves on. It takes me longer . . .

You notice I said life, not death.  The trees still live and the flowers will sprout again in the spring.  Their appearance changes, but they do not die.  This last month, I’ve meditated on life and spent time praying and reading the bible during my lunch hours.  This fall I chose a few of those hours to drive around town and thanked God for His majestic creation. How blessed I am to see and enjoy it.  I noticed on the days I concentrated on God’s goodness, my attitude was much improved when I returned to my job after lunch.

During my drives I asked God questions, like, “Am I making a difference for Your kingdom here on earth?  Does what I do and prayers I pray really matter?”  He reminded me that I, too, was part of His creation, a very important part, as we ALL are.  He created us to have a relationship with Him, to know Him, not just know about Him.  A personal, intimate knowledge which comes only through spending time with Him.  I was doing this on my lunch times by praying and reading His word and asking the Holy Spirit to speak with me, but the state of being quiet before God and meditating on Him was how He answered a large part of my questions.

In the stillness, with a heart and mind focused on Father God, I could hear Him speak.

I’m learning to pray all the time, but especially at night, when I can’t sleep.  I ask God to forgive our nation for the sin of abortion, and I ask Him to do whatever it takes to stop it, not just here but everywhere.  I ask God for mercy and to shake what has to be shaken in order to make our country realize their need for Jesus Christ and the salvation and life He offers us. Yes, God is glorified in His creation, but His Son died and rose again for people.  People of all nations, that He loves and desires to dwell with in relationship. Abortion takes the life of His greatest creation.  Human beings, created in His image, for His glory, to be His sons and daughters. Each of us is unique and gifted with the qualities and talents to do His will on earth.

So, when you look and appreciate the beauty in nature around you, remember, we, God’s children, are His greatest and most valuable creation.

Father God gives only good gifts to His children.  We need to do the same.  Give our children life.

God bless each one of you.

Donna

 

 

 

 

 

Strongholds-Lies We Believe

Although the majority of my posts are about abortion, adoption and infertility, I want this blog to be about the whole person.  Because the choices we make in life are often dependent on how we were raised as children, how we see ourselves and how we think society views us, I want to talk to you about strongholds.  Mental strongholds are lies and distortions we believe about ourselves, things, opinions, reasoning’s and offenses. So, I’m going to tell you about a lie I believed about myself and how it shaped a huge part of my life.

Infertility mimics a slow agonizing death.  The emotional and mentally draining wait each month hoping you’re pregnant usually ends in despair.  It can and does, consume all of who you are if you allow it.  In my post, Adoption An Answer For The Pain.  I share my hopeless feelings about my miscarriages and the way I perceived myself because of the infertility.

At the time, I didn’t realize my response to my inability to have a child was related to issues I’d had most of my life.  Poor self-esteem from being the “fat child in class”, and a teacher who in front of my entire 5th grade elementary class, continually, openly criticized me for having a weight problem.  I never told my parents what was going on.  I was too ashamed.  When you’re in 5th grade, you think teachers are always right, and this was proof that I was not “good enough, not worthy”. That year created a major emotional scar and a lie I believed about myself took root in my mind.

This was 1965.  Eventually, my mother found out, and God bless her, did everything she could to have the teacher removed from the classroom. During the process we found out the woman had been moved around from school to school with similar problems of verbally attacking certain students she particularly didn’t like for various reasons. (not just weight)

When people met me, usually I was told something like this, “You’re so pretty, what a lovely smile, your blonde hair is beautiful.”  But then they glanced down, below my face to the rest of me and the look on their face said it all.  “If you’d just lose a few pounds, you’d be acceptable.”  What I saw in their eyes was, “You’re not good enough”.  The teacher’s critical attitude securely reinforced this same belief.

I made friends when I could shove the lie down deep enough, but the pain always lurked just beneath the surface, threatening to jump out and tell everyone how unacceptable I believed myself to be. I share this with you because what we believe about ourselves and our circumstances has a major bearing on the choices we make in life.

When I speak to you about abortion, I stress how much God loves us.  How He made each of us unique, with special gifts and talents to expand His kingdom of light on this earth, and be a service to others.  Strongholds keep God’s light from coming through us. The lies we believe distort how we see things and judge our circumstances. They argue against who God says we are, His creation, formed in His goodness and glory and how very much we are loved and valued by Him.

Strongholds are open doors, opinions satan can use in our lives. We need to close these doors, slam them shut, lock them up and throw away the keys.  The lies cloud our perception about what God is doing and thinking about us and others.  When you don’t agree with God, you empower satan.  Lies form attitudes in our life and keep us from seeing our responsibility in situations. The spiritual side of ourselves becomes clouded, and we justify the sin in our lives and the choices we make from that belief as if they are “OK”.  The lie that abortion is legal, therefore it’s not murder and acceptable to do is a stronghold in our thinking about the value of life.  Satan uses this untruth promoted by our law and society to destroy life before the baby has a chance to be born and become a part of God’s family on earth. When you want to not be pregnant, it becomes a lie you can embrace to justify changing your perceived dreaded situation.  Strongholds take your mind to a place of negativity and hopelessness.

God says we are His precious creation, His children.  Believing abortion is acceptable keeps us from embracing God’s truth, and instead we believe our actions are justified.  Strongholds are the exact opposite of what God wants to happen, His knowledge about you and your child’s destinies and purpose.  Acts 17:26 (NIV)  26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.

Strongholds are not demons.  You don’t cast them out.  You pull them down and out of your mind using God’s word.  2 Corinthians 10:3-5  New Living Translation (NLT)  We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. [a]We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to pull down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

Ask for God’s help.  Use His word to take your thoughts captive to who Christ says you are. Pull down the lies you believe. Ask Him to speak His truth to your mind.  Repent for the falsehoods you’ve thought were true about yourself and your life.  Ask God to show you how He sees you and your child.

Donna

Walk In The Light In Front Of You

During my work week, I spend lunch times reading, praying, listening to my favorite music, or to the radio.  Today as I flipped through the stations, I heard a minister say, “You know those old lanterns didn’t cast much light.”  I remained on that particular station and listened to a few more minutes of his story.  He said when he was very young, he would follow his dad down a road in the countryside that didn’t yet have electricity in that area.  His father held an old lantern in front of them to see where to walk, and as long as he followed his dad, he was safe, and didn’t get lost.  The lantern only shined light at their feet, and did not show them the road beyond.  They had no idea what lay ahead.  Was there a ditch, a bend in the road, a washout, an animal or snake?  They could only see far enough to walk the path right in front of them.

I changed stations to catch some music, but couldn’t put the minister’s lantern comment out of my mind.  The Holy Spirit nudged my heart and said, “That’s how the Father leads you most of the time.  His light to guide your life path, but always wanting you to stay close to Him for safety and direction, and when you do, you make it to the destination He’s leading you to.”

Wow, how many times in my life has that been the case?  Almost every day!  God lights our path with his word, during prayer as we ask for guidance or help, the Holy Spirit speaks to us if we keep our heart towards the Father.  Sometimes, He lights our path through people and circumstances, through pain and joy.  These are just a few of the things that come to mind.  He may use nature-His creation, or a song, artwork, a book, but something illuminates right in front of us.  I love that about God, when my light bulb comes on and I say,” O.K., I see what you’re doing, now.”

I believe God gives us dreams and prophetic words to help guide us, but usually, it’s the constant truth of His word, prayer and the voice of the Holy Spirit. 

I wish He’d say, “In six months, this particular thing is going to happen, so get ready, or, next year you’ll be at a different job and there will be a new child in your life.”  We think that would be good, if God just audibly told us our future; but we would worry, try to manipulate details and avoid doing other things He wants us to do.  Being human, we’d probably mess it up.  He knows our frailties, and He wants us to get to know Him.  We can only do that by spending time with Him, talking, worshiping and LISTENING.  So, for our good, Father God knows to shine light on the path just at our feet, and trust Him enough to follow along behind to the destiny His great love has provided for us. 

Besides, how many people would hear God if He wanted to give you His long-term plans for your life?  I’m sorry to say, not very many.  Being able to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit takes a personal decision to make Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior. Even after that, it takes time to recognize His voice, which is usually “still and small”.  You need a repentant heart, and the genuine desire to seek God’s face and get to know Him.  It’s something I seek in my life.  I ebb and flow.  I feel close and far away, but I know His Spirit lives inside me, guiding me, loving me, and like a good parent, chastising me when necessary.  Unconditional love.  

So, when something happens in your life you don’t understand, or when you make choices you wish you could reverse, or choices you shouldn’t have made, He’s there, moving the lantern, saying,”It’s alright.  I’m here.  Follow My light. I love you, and if you’ll ask, I’ll forgive and cleanse you.  Don’t be afraid.  I have a plan.  I KNOW THE ROAD AND I’LL LEAD YOU IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.”

Donna

Jump Into New Beginnings

In the last six months, I’ve had two different dreams about me jumping off mountains.  Don’t laugh.  Keep reading and I’ll explain.  I sincerely believe one of the ways God speaks to us is through dreams and visions.  In the first dream I appeared on an extremely high, rugged, mountainous terrain.  All the mountains were purple-gray, void of vegetation with vast cavernous areas between one mountain and the next.  Mountains and boulders as far as I could see, and they seemed impossible to cross or climb.  I saw myself running to the edge of one mountain cliff, and as I approached the cliff, my speed increased and I lunged off the edge of the mountain without hesitation.  Immediately, I sprouted two beautiful wings and flew above the mountain ranges and off in to the distance.

In the next dream, I stood on the side of a mountain ledge with normal landscape and colors like the Rocky Mountains.  A vast canyon separated this mountain from the one I could see across from me which was lower and had a smooth flat area on top.  Once I viewed the lower mountain, I jumped towards it, flying effortlessly across the open chasm below, and landed safely on the flat ground, completely unscathed.

I’d been struggling with job issues, and wanted desperately to leave my job.  I worried I was being selfish to the people I worked for and to my family for finances.  At night, I prayed and paced the floor, wanting desperately to hear God’s voice to tell me what to do.  I was afraid of making the wrong choice.  Leaving the job would require big faith, and I had worn myself down listening to the doubt and fear satan whispered in my ears.

Worry and faith cannot coexist, and without faith, it’s impossible to please God.   Finally, I told God, ” More than anything, I want to do what You want.  I know that is the path to true peace.  If You want me to stay, God, I will, and I will trust You to make a way for me to work there, and if it’s o.k. to leave, just let me hear You.”

Through my dreams, I believe God told me to JUMP! Take a leap of faith.  He’d be there to hold me up, to help me land, and everything would be alright.  My husband stood behind my decision to leave, and we made plans to tighten our financial belt, because I was leaving without another job waiting for me. I gave my employer five weeks notice, and I had a job offer the day following my last day of work.

God is good!  He is a God of promise!  He loves us!  He will hold you up.  It pleases Him to see His people step out in faith and trust Him to provide.  He gets the glory and praise and you reap the benefits of His amazing love.

I spoke of God in relationship to a job, but this is how He wants to respond to us in every area of our lives.  Let go.  Jump off the cliff in faith for whatever you need.

If you’re asking God for a child, or you’re thinking about abortion because you can’t see any other possible answer.   Don’t give up!  Ask Him to speak to you and tell you what to do.  Ask for that baby you so desperately want.  You may conceive, you may adopt.  He can give you a child.  Children are His blessing to us.  If abortion seems your only answer, jump off the cliff and into His loving arms.  He will catch you and make a way for you to get through the pregnancy and to live in peace after the baby is born.  Perhaps you’ll keep your child, or maybe you’ll be the answer to the family who is praying to receive a baby.

He wants only good for you, not evil.  Give Him a chance to catch you.

JUMP!

Donna