Faith, God teaching me learning

Mountaintops and Valleys

 

 

Badlands- South Dakota

After every Mountain Top experience, there will always be a valley….

If only we could just stay on those Mountains and never ever have to face valleys…..

Oh that would be the life.. don’t you think?

I will most definitely do another post of our wonderful June-July that flew in and out like a whirlwind.  Lots of excitement, lots of GREAT things happened!  And just like that, before I even have time to post about them… the real world sneaks up on you and like a HUGE wave that crashes you down onto the bottom ocean floor,… you are taken by surprise… and hurt,… disappointed, ..overwhelmed…. struck.

<REWIND>  This past week, after returning home from our first family mission trip, I was just knocked down,.. over and over again… and I mean in ALL different directions!  I told Matt, I felt frazzled, at my wits end, at the end of the rope, ready to scream, and about ready to throat-punch anyone who had the next smart-remark that was handed to me!  ( I know that sounds so Christian-like.. but, at LEAST I’m not fake…I call it like I see them! )

It.was.a.week!

I’ve been reading “AHA” by Kyle Idleman. Kyle is the famous author of “Not a Fan” (If you haven’t read this book… you seriously NEED to!)  It was because of the “Not a Fan” book that I even gave the title of this book a second glance… well, that and the fact that it was only $5 and I thought HEY, why not!  It has sat on a shelf for almost a year (NO LIE) and last month,.. I thought I would get a little further in the book that just the first chapter.

AHA is an acronym for

Awakening

Honesty

Action

Kyle talks about how we all have an Awakening of our true spiritual condition, and then we reach a true Honesty with our Savior which then leads to Action!  An AHA moment leads us home to our Heavenly Father just as the Prodigal son.

And then this morning I was reminded… by a good ole Man by the name of Tony Evans!  He says in his book Victory in Spiritual Warfare

“The tragedy today is that many Christians think they are fighting flesh and blood in their marital and parenting issues, rather than realizing that Satan has an agenda to destroy their home. Whoever controls the family controls the future.” 
― Tony EvansVictory in Spiritual Warfare

Another AHA moment came to me..

Awakening– Satan is the one with his agenda to destroy… we do not wrestle with flesh and blood…. it is satan that is on the attack.  When we recognize who we are fighting..,,we pick our chin up cause that battle is already won!

 “We are fighting FROM the victory and not FOR Victory.” -Tony Evans

HONESTY:  Now about that earlier comment of staying on the Mountaintop….

If we stayed on the Mountain top all of the time… How would that grow us spiritually?

“The number-one contributor to spiritual growth is not sermons, books, or small groups, the number one contributor to spiritual growth is difficult circumstances. AHA comes out of the suffering, setbacks, and challenges of life.”  -Kyle Idleman

ACTION: There isn’t much I can do about some situations…but PRAY.. and THAT is ENOUGH!

IT .. IS.. ENOUGH!

So,.. as I went to work this morning, feeling somewhat better… but still, had a lot of un-answered questions….  I had a visitor come by and drop something off by the church.   It is a person who I have the up-most respect for.. and he asked me if I would sing at his funeral… when ever that time may come.

I was honored and humbly said yes.

With tear filled eyes he told me the song and the chorus and as I wrote it down… I was reminded of how we are all just passing through this land… this is not our home… here is a chorus from the song… I pray that it may speak to you today, in whatever you may be facing…. We all have mountaintops, just please don’t forget HIM in the valleys… cause even in the valley He is Still GOOD!

This house of flesh is but a prison
Bars of bone hold my soul
But the doors of clay are gonna burst wide open
When the angel sets my spirit free
I’ll take my flight like a mighty eagle
When the hills of home start calling me

 

 

 

 

God teaching me learning

How can I be a better friend?

A good friend is hard to find.

I once thought I had a lot of good friends, but Honey-child let yourself get caught up in the gossip ring and your friends run like cockroaches when the lights are turned on in the kitchen!

Having a tough season in life is bad, but the lessons & growth that we’ve experienced through it all has been priceless!

Lessons learned:

  1. Don’t be a crowd pleaser!

I have always been a people pleaser, but, God has broken me of that now. It is apparent by the lack of close friends, in my life. Going with the crowd and tickling ears makes You WEAK! Makes you lose FOCUS! Paul wasn’t liked very well either… why?.. he spoke the hard truth and he had scripture to back himself up! He was blunt.. he called people fools! Gotta love Paul!

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ! (Galatians 1:10)

To be obedient and pleasing to God is far greater than anything or any friend you will ever know on this earth!

2. Be a better friend!

I’m guilty! I will be the first to admit it! But, through this trial we’ve learned how to recognize a true friend and how to be a better one ourselves!

The Bible says that Jonathan and Davids’ hearts were knit together!(1 Sam. 18:1-8)

David was running from his besties’ daddy! True story! But NEVER ONCE, do you read of Jonathan’s disappearance in David’s life! Instead, he gave him his armor! WOW! What a friend! Are YOU that type of friend? I’m sure David was in the gossip ring.. as a matter of fact it was the gossip ring that made Sauls anger burn!!! “David’s killed tens of thousands to King Saul”   Where was David? By his friends side! Believe that!

I recently listened to a sermon by Dr. Charles Stanley. He gives 11 Building blocks of friendships that are crucial! They are the characteristics of a genuine friend. Here’s what a  friend does..

  1. They delight in us and they are a joy to be around.
  2. They develop us, encouraging us in our faith. They help us to become better than what we are!
  3. They drive us, they push us to jump out of our comfort zones.
  4. TIME- here’s one we all struggle with! Be available!
  5. Triumphs, share those victories in life! You rejoice in what they are accomplishing!! When your friend has done something you Facebook and Instagram it! Buddy you let the whole world know how proud you are of them more importantly you let that friend know it! If you don’t.. then you’re just a jealous Nenny!
  6. Trials, be there …during trials!! We all have them, don’t be an ostrich with you head in the sand! Remember, one day you will have a trial… where do you want your bff to be???? “Geniune friendships aren’t built on when everything is going right!
  7. Have a thankful heart❤️ and be loyal. This friend you can call anytime & tell them anything and you are so thankful you have a friend like that!
  8. Be thoughtful! Little cards, texts, an invite over for dinner! “Thoughtfulness comes from the inside”
  9. Tolerance. Be willing to forgive and be patient.. but don’t be a doormat! A person saying they’re sorry… fixes the problem or action! Remember that!
  10. Transparency. Don’t hide things about yourself! Be real.. People. Dang! That’s were God gets the Glory …is in fixing your mess of a life! Amen?!
  11. Truthfulness.  “If a person isn’t truthful you can’t have a friendship!” That means in all things you speak the truth in love! ❤️ Then you hang around them, you don’t coward and run away! Hearing hard truth is … well.. hard! Why would you share it …then abandon someone. Check on that person. Pray with them, let them know you care!!!!!

In closing I will say this.. it all starts with YOU! I’m thankful that God used Dr. Charles Stanley and this article below to HELP me become a better friend and to recognize true friendship when I see it!
http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/the-value-of-showing-up-for-a-friend/

God teaching me learning, Uncategorized

The Fly that needed Jesus!

As I was putting on my makeup yesterday I heard the buzzing of a fly.  It was a long buzzzzz…an annoying buzz… a buzz that made me get up out of my chair to see what was going on.  Actually, I hate a fly and I was going to put it out of its’ misery.  What I didn’t know was that we had a spider web behind my window shutter and the fly… was … caught!  Caught in the web!   At first I thought.. eewww…gross, gotta clean the windows!   I then became entranced with what happened next.  It was like watching a episode on animal planet.  I know this may sound crazy, and maybe you’re thinking that I have too much time on my hands,.. maybe I do.. …?…..NO! I don’t! I just got side tracked for a minute, but seriously.… Have you EVER watched a spider after they catch their prey?  It’s kind of freaky, the smarts of a spider…  they’re rather patient too.  They spin a web, and wait for something to fall into it.  I watched this spider after the fly had gotten trapped, it was trying to break free!  It was moving all around, and I thought well it’s going to fly out of the trap and then annoy me, better get ready to swat!  As I waited I watched the spider begin to spin under the fly and all around.  I thought, What in the world is that spider doing?  Taunting the fly..?? maybe?  ….

Nope.. the spider was busy spinning a backup plan in case it escaped it would fall into another trap!  Then it connected to the two major webs holding the fly into position and it begin to move up and away from the fly,… pulling it tighter and tighter until the fly STOPPED buzzing.

After waiting for the fly to stop buzzing, the spider would climb down toward the fly to inject it’s poison.  But, nope,.. the little fly kept buzzing, and the spider climbed back upward, holding tight till the fly gave up hope.  This happened several times.  It was like a tug-of-war.  Finally, the fly gave up, and stopped buzzing.. and just like that, the spider had lunch.

As I thought about this it reminded me of sin and satan.  Here we are, little flies in the world, we get caught in a web, and there’s satan trying to have a back up plan to catch us yet again!  Maybe it’s a WEB of lies,…one lie leads to the next lie, which leads to the next…… on and on.. it goes.  Many of us give up HOPE, we try to control things in our own strength and we end up getting caught,… AGAIN.. over and over!

In that moment, I wanted to free the little fly… but I didn’t.  The poor thing, helpless,… he needed a friend, …

The fly needed JESUS!

When Jesus enters in…. he sets things STRAIGHT!  He is our chain breaker!  He breaks the chains (webs) of sin, lies, and destruction.  He is the HOPE giver!

If you are suffering today, in your web of sin…..

Cry out to The LORD!  Only HE can save, restore, and redeem!!!  Stop falling for the schemes of the enemy.  Stop trying to do it YOUR WAY!  You’re just going to get caught again.

I shared with a group a ladies this week Psalm 61!  I thought it was so fitting for this story! May it encourage you! Lead me to the ROCK that is HIGHER!

 

1 Hear my cry, O God;
    listen to my prayer.

From the ends of the earth I call to you,
    I call as my heart grows faint;
    lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,
    a strong tower against the foe.

I long to dwell in your tent forever
    and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
For you, God, have heard my vows;
    you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

Increase the days of the king’s life,
    his years for many generations.
May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever;
    appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him.

Then I will ever sing in praise of your name
    and fulfill my vows day after day.

 

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God teaching me learning

A lesson from Jeremiah

Can I just be real?…
 
I’ll admit.
 
Sometimes… life is just hard.
Sometimes I think “If the world just didn’t have mean people… it would be a great world.”
But then, I’m reminded… the world is full of mean people and evil doers. It’s been full of them since sin entered the world. 
Satan’s cunning and persuasive tactics are used on many. Millions blinded.
Billions without hope. I too have fallen prey to his schemes at times. I’ve been that mean person. I’m not perfect.
God convicts me of my sin & I cry out to Him to make me whole and forgive me of my sins. He so graciously Loves and cares for me!
 
Recently, I started a new bible study with our ladies group at church. It’s a study of Jeremiah.  
The subtitle:
“Daring to Hope in an Unstable World”
 
As Jeremiah pressed on in obedience, life really wasn’t that much easier for him.
 
Yesterday , I longed for an easier life..in this unstable world!
You see, I will be the first to admit that I’m a people pleaser. I don’t like it when people are upset with me.
I don’t know WHEN I will ever learn that old saying…
“You can’t please everyone”
But..
Really we should revisit that and think Why am I trying to please anyone other than God?
I also do not like lies being spread about me …or anyone for that matter! It’s just nasty! I don’t think you are ever more like Satan than when you lie and deceive someone! It’s truly shameful!
But,..
Sometimes some people will not accept the truth…even if proof is right in front of their faces! 
It’s truly sickening!
My first instinct is to try and fix it, get to the horses mouth and stamp that lie right  out of there! “Somebody give me a microphone ..Please.” Or in this day.. let’s do a Facebook live and tell 1,000+ friends the truth!
 
  But really, would it make a difference?
Sometimes…maybe.
But in our case it’s better to leave it where it’s at.
Let God handle it… 
and He will handle it!
Oh… but Yesterday 
I didn’t want God to have that thing!
I struggled 
I’m not going to lie
I wrestled 
I fumed
I fussed
I may have cussed.
Sometimes we just don’t understand things that happen in our lives.
One thing is sure,
If God brought us to it,
He will bring us through it!
As I stop and look at our lives.. I see that
He Has!
Brought us so through it!
He’s blessed us in so many ways! He’s surrounded us with such Good and Loving people!
And, he’s not finished with us! 
I’ve learned to look for the good!
When friends leave…
I don’t hang my head for too long
For I’m PRASING GOD THAT He Sifted those who need to be in my life …and those that don’t!
I give Him the Glory! And if there’s any chance of reconciliation of that friendship…that He will be our guide through it!
 
When handed a lemon… I ask the Lord to help me make lemonade!
 
When faced with opposition…I give it to the Lord.. and guaranteed if He’s not going to remove the obstacles He Will show us the way through that obstacle course!
 
And just like yesterday when I was low..
Thinking people would believe lies
God gave me this verse….
 
 
And I was reminded of how Jeremiah was just a messenger from God and was treated with such disdain.
With Hatred!
My little lies being said about me didn’t seem to be such a big deal
At all!
 
People wanted him dead
All he was doing was being obedient to God. 
You would think his life would be easy.
Nope.
Not even close.
But God protects his children and he promises them a reward in heaven..
That is what I will cling to.
Heaven.
I will press on.
I will pray on.
I will lift my head.
And adjust my crown 
Cause, I am a daughter of the King!
 
The storms of life will come and go but We will Praise Him in the storm!
 
 
 
 

God teaching me learning

The lost calf..

I was reminded yesterday of God’s goodness to his children through a “lost calf”

On Wednesday we had a two day old calf get away from us and through the fence, crossed the road, and darted into the woods! Sound crazy?! We thought so! Lol!
After hours of searching… it was clear, the calf wouldn’t be found and it would probably be coyote bait. 
We couldn’t stand the thought. We even road back that night to the location and listened to see if we heard it.. and again. .. nothing!
   The next morning the search and rescue team went out 😂 including myself (Lord help them) but I just couldn’t sit at home and worry about that baby. I wanted to help! 
After about 20 minutes of briar infested woods..😱 the calf was found Alive and Well! Well enough that he had Much energy to run and try to escape from us! What he didn’t know was that all we wanted to do was save him and put him back with his mom! Crazy calf! No lie, .. Matt put his football skills to good use and tackled him…. as we closed in on him! And y’all …. he did it without getting poop all over him!!! 
That is talent! 🙂 Love that Cow wrestling man of mine❤❤❤❤
We loaded him up and brought him back to the pasture where his Mom was anxiously waiting! That was scary! 
Never ever get between a Momma calf and her baby!  I felt like I was in the scene in Jurassic park where that momma T-Rex was coming after her baby! Yeah.. scary!
Anyway, after kicking Matt a few times 😳 and once where no man wants to be kicked …the calf was reunited with its Momma!  Success!!! 
As I was watching the baby and Momma reunite, I was thinking of how God teaches in his word about the parable of the lost sheep and how the shepherd would leave the whole herd to find the ONE lost sheep! (Luke 15:3-7) 
“”What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭15:4-7‬ ‭ESV‬‬
This was what God did for us! He found us.. who was once lost….afraid, hopeless, “coyote bait” lol
Why? Why would he do that you ask?
Because of LOVE!❤️ He loves us! He never ever wants us lost and in darkness! 
As I was closing in on that crazy calf …who was looking at which way to run to escape… I thought about how we often run from God…
All he’s doing is trying to save us!  He brings Salvation! Then, there are times when we are far from God even as a Christian and He comes to rescue us and bring us back to the “fold of God”
 Or in this calfs’ case.. back to the herd! Lol!!! 
I have a book that I would like to recommend for you to read! It’s a short one I promise! It’s called “All We Like Sheep” by Mary Glenn Peeples
Matt and I read it many years ago but it has stuck with me and God has used it as a reminder for me many times! 
It talks of how we are just like sheep! Lost without a Shepherd! She talks about the characteristics of sheep and correlates it with how we too have those characteristics.  It’s a great book!!! Go check it out!

 

I hope that today you aren’t like our little calf, lost,.. afraid., and trying to escape the one who can help! Turn to Him!!! Don’t be coyote bait!😳
Be blessed!!! 
Here’s a picture and a quick video of the reunion! To God be the Glory!!!!
I
It was a family afair! 😂
The Scary Mad Momma! Yikes!
Finally Home!

Click the Link below to see the sweet reunion!
 

 https://youtu.be/c_zSf68hZgU

 

God teaching me learning

Welcome 2017! Two challenges for your new Year!

WOW!  What. ..A… Year 2016 was!  You never know at the beginning of a year.. what it will look like in the end.  
-Lots of plans….
-Lots of new dreams/goals….
-A Clean slate so-to-speak

I have learned a lot in 2016! In fact, I would say that even though I may have nothing to show for it… I KNOW I’ve learned a lot.  I have it in my heart, & mind.  It helped shaped me for what’s to come.  

When I was in college, one of my favorite classes was Art Appreciation!  I used to love learning about artist, and the stories behind their paintings.  It intrigued me!  So,.. lets think about art for a moment and how.. every artist begins their masterpiece with a blank sheet/or canvas…. then, as the colors fling to the page,.. it’s hard to see or make out what it’s going to be,….. a MASTERPIECE is created!   I mean really, who would have thought that Pablo Picasso would have made it BIG?!  Take his painting “Seated Woman” picture below…


Who would have thought that there was an ACTUAL REAL Woman sitting in a chair for his inspiration!  Could you imagine how this lady felt when she finally got to look at what “she” looked like?!  
Confused maybe???
Insulted???
I mean REALLY?  Blue hands?!  

But, Picasso was a legend! He has Masterpiece, after Masterpiece!  EVERYONE knows who Picasso is, and he is known for his abstract art.  But, if you had a chance to sit down with the artist he would tell you the REASON for every unique detail, blue hands and all!  As we look at the painting right now, it may make you want to giggle…. but, each piece of art.. has a story!  

That’s how GOD…..each day, week, month, year.. is painting for us! This beautiful piece of art.. in the making!  Though we can not see the finished piece,.. every now and then.. .he gives us a glimpse of the art.  He tells us why ….”we may have those blue hands“…  or “a twisted mouth(OUCH) wonder what that’s all about?!

I’m thankful so say, that even though this has been a Tough YEAR for the Walker Household, as we are one-less member…

Our GOD has been FAITHFUL still!
He provides for us each and every step and has taught us so much about life, living for him, being a friend, how much encouragement means to someone, lifting others up, making hard decisions ..even in the face of adversity.  
So MUCH GOOD.. that I honestly want to cry and SHOUT for JOY!

Do you want to know how I came to this attitude after a very difficult year???!!

One year ago, I started a prayer and scripture journal.  I had NO idea what the year held for us as a family.  NO IDEA!
But God did! He knew I needed some of those scriptures… like the one below…

Count it all JOY, my brother’s when you meet trials of various kinds….

Joy?!
Sometime this year, .. I literally screamed out… JOY?! REALLY GOD?! (Yes, I am real.. I did .. I’m not proud to say that I did… nonetheless.. GOD knows my heart.. before I even speak it!)  It was a tough season.  But HIS word got me though.

I may not have scripture journaled everyday… but, those days that I did.. they helped carry me! 
Might I add.. .. that this year… I can TRULY relate and actually “FEEL” the footprint in the sands poem.
I’ve heard it… all my life,.. but, never felt the meaning… until this Year.  I KNOW HE CARRIED ME.. and my FAMILY! PRAISE MY FATHER, HE CARRIED ME! 
  


I’m so very thankful to GOD, that I was introduced to this little website called Sweet Blessings.

Each month, she posts a new scripture challenge.  You don’t even have to THINK.. the day,.. the verse, is right there for you! 

Challenge #1
 I would like to encourage YOU, wherever you are in life… to start a scripture journal!  It will change your life! You don’t have to be artsy-crafty to do this.  You can just write it out. 
Another thing that I started, well… because our church wanted to be more intentional about prayer I really DID NOT want to do it, was a prayer journal!  I knew, that my prayer life,…well… lets just say.. I needed HELP!  
God, also knew what kind of year we would have and knew I needed to be “PRAYED UP”  
What was happening to me, was I had SO much to pray for … I became overwhelmed, I was stuck in the muck.. and didn’t know where to start.. so I didn’t ask!  Or forgot! 
What in the world was I thinking?!  
As I began to write down prayers,.. not just mine.,, friends’ prayer request, facebook request, etc. etc.  
I became more in-tune.. to my life and the lives of others.  More focused!   I knew what to pray for and what to ask, following up on those prayers, cause not only do I make the list… I split my page down the middle cause I  KNOW MY GOD is going to answer!  And, when he does,.. I JOYFULLY write it down!!! Praising HIM!  
Often times, those answers do not look like what I thought.  I wanted something different, but, God in HIS SOVEREIGNTY answers a different way.  I have also grown in that area of my life as well.  It’s not in my control… it’s in HIS CONTROL.  And, I’m ok with that.   For you control-freaks.. you may struggle with this area.  Trust me, I know…about this.  I too, struggled with my need to be in control.  You better, get a handle on it now…GOD will show you.. one way or another. 
 See, I’m telling you to control your control! GEEZZ Louise! 
Okay.. well, I am a work in progress 🙂  
So… in comes the next and final challenge….
Challenge #2
Keep a prayer journal.  Write it out.  You don’t have to be detailed.  God knows the need,.. this is just helpful for when you pray, to not forget anything.. and to let your prayers be known to HIM!  
These are just two challenges.  JUST two.  Will you accept the challenge?  OH,  I hope so! Your relationship with HIM will GROW SO MUCH!  
Have you got any you are already trying this year?  Share them below or in the FACEBOOK comment!  
Happy New Year Friends!

God teaching me learning

Thankful for closed doors!

Lately, God has closed a lot of doors for us! But HE is Faithful to show us the way through each slammed door! To God Be The Glory! I still love my Lord even in this time, & NoThing can separate His Love for me and my family! Nothing! 

To those who are in a quandary… wondering what God is doing..??
Read About Paul & Silas’ Journey in Acts 16: 1-15!
It is encouraging to know that we are not alone in our distress… God is right there!