But really God… I can fix this one.. Trust me..

 

I ran into my victim a day or two back.

You know, the poor soul who’s life and esteem I ripped from stem to stern with my  “dominating attitude”.

Dominating?
Hmmm, maybe stubborn is the word… no, no, that’s not it either….

How about unsubmitted, disobedient, selfish, uncrucified not-quit-dead-yet flesh…

Ya, I hurt someone  deeply because I think I know better than God.

Because I can’t let my wants, my desires, my ME, stay dead at that cross. And I don’t keep my mouth and my logical understanding, from trying to run the show.

Well, I ran into that person the other day.
It broke my heart.
It was all I could do to stop shaking.

More than anything I wanted to grab them, hug them, put some Star Trek Mind Wiper thingy on them and erase every memory of all past iniquities.

But, alas… I think its finally sinking into my noggin that the harder I try to fix things, the worser it gets.

I can do nothing in my flesh.

There is nothing that I can say.
There is nothing that I can do.

All that person wants of me is to honor their request and vanish… poofity poof…

It is Easter soon.  I think alot about the Ressurection.
I know God is the God of the Ressurection.
I think He get quite a kick out of  ressurecting things.
And I am still counting on the God of the Ressurection to do what He does best and breathe life into what is dead.

I try to remind myself that God quite delights when I take my hands off of things.
That it pleases Him when I sit in quiet expectation, counting on Him to come thru for me.

If your heart is aching over strained and broken fellowship, regrets and remose, please, take hope.
There is so much hope. He is our HOPE!

God will not share the Glory.
If we are fighting and straining to fix something, He will not interfer.
He will lovingly sit and watch us dig our hole deeper and wider, until the hole becomes a grave, and that thing  insides dies.

He will watch patiently until we come till the end of our own self.
Untill we get to the very deep, very clear realization that we can do nothing of our own selves and we need Him and all of Him in all of us.

But He is the God of reconciliation. It is why He sent Jesus to that Cross.
His mercy is beyond description.

It will come.
I believe Him. I know Him.
I know His Heart and I know His love for me and my victim.

Reconciliation will come for you too.
I am praying that for you  tonight as I try not to listen to much to the empty hollow banging in my heart.

Easter is a season of miracles.
Death to life.
Thats what He is all about and I believe Him.

Time to dig into Key 1 and Key 2…. Oh how my Daddy loves me.

He loves me in my pain. He loves me in my lonliness. He loves me in my repentance.
He is also using this time to walk me and “victim” into a new place of healing, and death to ourselves.

So when that day comes, we can shout to the world LOOK WHAT GOD HAS DONE.

Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray for anyone today who is wadding thru strained fellowship, disappointment, heart break.
God, you be the healer. God you are the restorer.
Thank you for the amazing work you are doing. Work that we may not know, may not see, but we don’t need to.
We know you.  We know you heart and it is beautiful.
I pray you touch my bloggie friend today when the darkness sneaks in.
When doubt and lies scream.
I pray that the truth of your word rises above all else.
Everything is possible!
YES!! This is possible.

And when our miracles happen, you will get all the glory and all the praise.

In JESUS Name,
Amen, so be it.

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Irene’s Day

 

I opened the little card.
It was addressed  “Joanne Smith, c/o Neepawa Furniture Centre”.
With the words  “PRIVATE!  Confidential!!” written in large shaky handwriting across the front.

It was a little THANK-YOU card.
It had come from Irene, and it was an answer to prayer.

Her husband, Thomas, had died a month ago,  and I hadn’t heard from her since.

Part of me wondered if our friendship, which had been built around Thomas, will now dissolve.
A lot of me hesitated to contact her, because of the obvious upheaval her life would now be in, but also, secretly, because I felt an enormous weight over Thomas’ death.

I had to lay many what-if’s at the foot of the cross over my darling Thomas;  many questions I will never have an answer to on this side of the pearly gates.

But, here it was in my hand.

A lovely little note, thanking me for the flowers, the support during Thomas’ illness and an invitation for tea.

Today was TEA DAY.

As I drove out to Irene’s,  I reminded myself of what this was about, and why I was doing this.
I went over my BLESS keys in my head. I prayed them.

Yes, I pray them.
They are not just a “to-do-list” of proper behavior or etticate.
No,  they are keys that can supernaturally release the power of the Spirit of God in your life.

I know me.  I know that all I would want to do during  during tea, would be talk.
I would want  to talk about me. I would want to talk about my world, my problems.

If I let it, I would make this entire visit all about numero uno.

But Irene is a gift. Irene is a divine set-up.  Irene was my purpose for today.

So, today,  I chose to put me, myself and I to the side, and make Irene “numero uno’

BLESS does that. BLESS has trained me to do that so easily!

And the best part of  BLESS keys is that, not only was I able to love on Irene, but  none of me felt like I was missing a thing!  I never feel begrudged when I placed myself “second”.

I never feel like I have “missed out”, or “not been heard” anyway shape or form.

The beauty of this is that when the steps are working, I am the one that walks away floating on air.

Strange, I know, but completely true.

God meet me, by being a blessing to Irene!

What an amazing day!  What an amazing woman!

Thank you God for Irene!!

I LOVE HER!

Family Drama Christmas Style~ Turkey, Stuffing & Stuff

 

Ah Christmas.
Tis the season for cascades of twinkling lights, the scent of the evergreen and cinnamon, everything chocolate and of course, the family drama..

Our traditional Christmas meal includes turkey, potatoes, stuffing and STUFF!

Amongst the twinkling lights, we have the fireworks.

Don’t get the wrong idea.  We are by no means nasty, violent folks.
My family isn’t  drinkers and gamblers and buffoons, and even with our variety of  personality quirks, there is tremendous love and support.

But the one personality trait that is consistent in all of us is our immense aversion to confrontation.

My mom, my brothers, and yes (believe it or not) even moi, can beautifully dance around a situation for as long as it takes to successfully avoid it.

So as things have it, when we all get together at holiday shing digs, things happen, or most likely don’t happen, which ever way you want to look at it.
Opinions and thoughts that should clash, don’t, and things that should be said, stay silent.

Instead nothing happens. Nothing moves forward and nothing changes.

The truth is this family needs a break.
It needs something to break.
A very big break, the sooner the better.

Well, this year the big break presented itself at Christmas dinner, with “Suggestion X”.

“Suggestion X’ is the  idea that was dropped into someone’s heart by God, and brought to the table as an option for all to consider.

“Suggestion X” is brilliant.
“Suggestion X” really is the change and the answer that this family needs.

“Suggestion X” was shot out of the water.
Boom!!
It was “Crazy” and “never gonna happen”. Period. Never to be discussed again.

So what does all this have to do with “May I BLESS You” and walking the keys out in my life?

I was the one who’s heart “Suggestion X” was dropped into.

I was the one who was shot out of the water.
Boom.

It has now been a  few days later since the shooting,  its New Years Day and mom is on her way over for dinner.

And I know in the privacy of our quiet dinner, I know I’m going to hear things.
Things that I am going to need to know how to respond properly too.

I am mom’s closest confidant, whether or not I want to be.

Mom did not like the idea of “Suggestion X”.
It made her very uncomfortable. Perhaps,  fearful.

Tonight, I am going to have the opportunity to speak hope and life to her. Sweetly and gently.

This is where I work my BLESS keys.

Because of them, I have become confident enough to be able to put aside any need to be right.
There is no room for ego or agendas.

Because of these precious keys, I have become secure enough to not have to argue a point.

There will be no fireworks tonight.
There will be no power struggle over what is right or who is wrong.
It will never get to that.

Nope, because God has already begun a deep work in this family. It is His work.

Being solid in the BLESS keys, help me keep “me” out of the way so God can continue to do His work successfully.

So I slip away for a few minutes and quietly work the keys in my heart before dinner.
And I share this with you.

I am asking and believing God for a heart of exceptional love tonight.

I am expecting for my mouth to be full of the right things to say.
Words of life and encouragement.

Words of wisdom and the knowledge to know when to speak and when to shut up.

Words that will give mom the sense of security and love that she may need.

That she will feel safe in the love of God and the hope God has promised each and every one of us.

She’s walking through the door.

Thank you for your prayers.

On a Fast Road to Hell

 

If a man was on a fast road to hell, is there anyway to turn him around in a hurry?

I still hear those words just as clear in my ears as I did that morning.
I can hear his thin, frail voice and I can see his eyes staring at me in absolute terror.
His face was hollow, and white with an oxygen tube out of each side of his nose.
Thomas clenched my hand with strength that should not have been in such a tiny body.

“Bob So-and-So had to go on oxygen and once they put you on that, its just a matter of time” Thomas informed me,
“If a man was on a fast road to hell, is there any way to turn him around in a hurry?”

My heart sank and as quick as it sank, it leaped for joy, “Oh yes, Thomas,”I grinned from ear to ear “ it is so easy and you don’t have to be afraid of anything ever again!”

Tears ran down his cheek.

We all have Thomases in our lives.
One day, when we expect nothing but they ordinary, they just walk in, and our ordinary has suddenly  taken on the resemblance of something  of purpose.

We aren’t quite sure what to do with them or why they are there.

But we do believe there is a reason, and it doesn’t take long to figure out that the reason isn’t about us.
God is the most purposeful being there is, whether it’s a someone or a something, when our lives are His own,  there is significance in the insignificant.

I met Thomas 9 months ago in the  spring.
He was a dear sweet unassuming man, but wise in the simple things of country life.
His sweetness had a humor about it that would make me grin ear-to-ear, a little mischievous, and brilliantly witty.
You would find your self caught between wanting to hug him or slug him.
Mostly I wanted to hug him.

Thomas was a man with little time on the clock. He had several heart attacks, and was in and out of the hospital regularly with close calls.
He was a man that did not want to die.
He was desperate to live and that is how we met.

Thomas invited me to be his nutritional consultant (the other hat I wear) to see if I could find any flaws and glitches in his diet that may be stealing valuable years of life.

I found Thomas, doing everything right, and then some.
He raised his own chickens, ground his own flour and dug the dandelions out of his yard for salads.

This man ate better than I did, and the brutal truth was that his 88 years old body was just wearing out.

On a professional level, there was nothing I could do for Thomas.
How badly he wanted to throw away the rainbow of pills that he was taking every day.

But as a nutritionist, by law, I could not even discuss his medical condition with him, just his food.

All summer, I drove out to visit Thomas and his wife, mostly asking myself why.
Sometimes grumbling to myself.   More often, however, just praying.
There was nothing I could say or do that would turn back this man’s days.

Only a miracle from God.

I explained that to him, but still he wanted to see me.

So I would drive out early on my mornings off for a house call. The one hour consultation would turn into a morning of tea and bran muffins, and I found myself telling him to put his wallet away when time came for me to leave.

I would tell him to keep doing what he was doing, and there was nothing I could teach him anymore;  my service was now a friendship.

He would smile delighted, and ask me to come back soon.  Come early in the morning, but not before 6.

I would leave, discouraged and heartbroken, like I was failing him, and thinking of all the “better” things I could be doing with my  one morning to myself.

Our odd little friendship continued to blossom.
Thomas would go into the hospital, and as soon as he was out, I’d receive a call from his wife, asking for a visit.

Visit we did.

My  son, who has a wonderful knack with the elderly, would come to.

Trevor would captivate them with all his profound 12 year old knowledge and dimples. Personally, I think the dimples charmed them more than his knowledge.
Trevor took a particular fancy to Thomas’s  chickens, and Thomas loved to share stories about “the flock”

Shortly before winter, “the flock” came home to roost with Trevor and mom, when Thomas and Irene decided to leave the farm for  an apartment.

Thomas was obviously displeased at the thought of leaving home and  of the apartments.  “All those people and all those germs”. But I never saw him complain or refuse.   He would just have to take more garlic, he would say.

I believe his love and support of Irene and her decisions was far to strong.
They would go together, what ever may come.

Thomas was  scared to die.
Although he made jokes about cheating death, it was breathing down his neck, and Thomas knew it.  Fear emanated out of him.

It was during these drives out to Thomas’ that I would let my mind work through my BLESS steps.

I felt lost. I didn’t know what to do, or what to say anymore.
But I did know that this man and his wife were in my life for a reason and I had to keep my heart ready.

Off of myself, my thoughts and my plans and ready for what ever God wanted to do.

The beauty of the 5 keys in  BLESS is that they prepare you to do that.

With these keys you are trained to  be ready for when the insignificant significant invades your world.

You are prepared, and while you may not know exactly what to do, you will have all the tools and guide lines that will lead you.

With BLESS I have learned to effectively give God my hands, my words and my heart.
And I trust that He uses them exactly as He desires.

Because of BLESS I can have confidence that I am making a difference in the live of everyone who crosses my path. Whether I ever see the evidence of it.

I know God did that in Thomas’ life.

I believed God would use me and speak through me and touch him. I let my heart open up to fall hopelessly in love with this little man and his wife, and trusted the love of God flowing through me to captivate and  draw them.

Because I now know how to BLESS, I know that every thing I do and say is seasoned with the power of life.

I was just planning to sit down and write a Christmas card to Thomas and Irene, when I received the news.
Thomas stepped into eternity yesterday. December 9, ironically my son’s birthday. My heart broke into a million pieces.  I shocked myself at the thought of how much I will miss him and how much I loved him.

Over the last few visits Thomas let me pray for him.  I think he realized only God could heal him, and prayer was his last option.

When he begged me for a way to turn him “from his fast road to hell”, I had the honour of praying for him.
Sadly, Thomas could never find the courage to pray with me.
It is a question that I will carry until I, too, walk over into eternity.

I must be real with you at this point, dear ones, there are many times when we may never know what God has done with and because of us.
We may very well have to walk out our own days wondering.

You will have nagging questions as I will always have that question in my heart about Thomas.

But what you learn in BLESS will anchor you to a confidence and a peace you have never dreamed, so that the questions never become unbearable.

Tears streamed down Thomas’ face and he marveled at the simplicity of the “good news’ and the saving love of the Father.
“Thank you” he smiled softly “now I have something I would like to give to you…. a hug”

Its funny how you always think you will have the chance for that one last visit.

I had mentally prepared one more appeal to convince Thomas to trust God.
But tomorrow is not something promised to any of us.

It is the one thing that Thomas has forever changed in me.

I am thankful for it.

I am humbled because of it.

I will never look at my minutes, days and moments the same.
They are an immense precious gift.
A gift that many would desperately do anything to have more of, as Thomas did.

Bless you Thomas.  You made a difference to me.

man feeding chickens

I Guess Its a Compliment

 I guess it all means good things…

For all of you on the edge of you seats, abated breath, anxious anticipation for your copy of “May I BLESS You”
the hold up seems to be this…

I am just too wonderful!

Yes, its true.  The book could have been in your hands a week ago except for two things.

1.  Frankly, it is  just to long to upload/download.
NO!!!  Not because I am long winded!  But I wanted to make certain that you had everything you needed, nothing missing, nothing overlooked.
God is never stingy with me and I also wanted only the best for you and for Him.
You work hard for your money and I wanted you to get very penny’s worth! 

Friends, by ebook standards, this is one HUGE BOOK!

But I refused to chop and edit.  There is nothing in here that is not important. So, I have been busy as can be reformatting and mulling over every option to find an effective way to get it online and for you to get it off line.

Well, as of this morning, I can officially say, it is up, tested, tried and true!
WHOOP! WHOOP! WOO HOO!!

2.  Second problem.  I AM JUST TOO GENEROUS!!!!
Absolutely serious!  Hard as I tried, I  could not find a shopping affiliate
that would respect my 100% money back guarantee!

They all thought that it was absurd! Too risky.  Way over the top.
But it was what was dropped in my heart , and I believe that is exactly what He wants you to have.
Nothing is ever too absurd. Too risky. “Or over the top” when God is behind it.

Well, ok, maybe “over the top”…. But a little climb and leap of faith can be a good thing!

I am pleased to announce that, once again, God came to the rescue.
I found a wonderful little vendor site at www.paydotcom.com who are fabulous to work with and let me control the guarantee COMPLETELY!!

Between them and PayPal we are FINALLY days away from being up and at em..

I thank you for your patience and prayer during my adventure. 

Some how, I expected the writing to be the complicated side of this, little did I know!
  But God definitely knew.
He has kept it under control, on “His” schedule, and on budget. 

Somedays I feel like I’m just along for the ride.  😉

Yielded but UnStoppable

 God and I seem to be having a reoccurring conversation.
Honestly, it is more I that converses, and God polietly humors me and listens.

I rant and rave about why so many hold ups, how I am tired of snafu’s,  and doesn’t He remember my GRANDE announcement that the book would be released and in your hands this PAST WEEKEND!  After all, didn’t He think a THANKGIVINGS release date, sound great for PR?!?

Quietly, after the steam from my ears clear, He nicely reminds me that the PR and the Thanksgivings dig is really my ego slipping into overdrive.

God can do His own PR, thank you very much. 
And, God in perfected tact  sweetly reminded me that this was about His book and not my pride.  

Instead this is about Jo leaping out of her comfort zone.  Trusting Him, tuning in my listening to get the directions straight, and learning all sorts of crazy computer talents that I never thought I use in a million years.

Sigh.. yes this is why I love Him.

Only He can graceously reshift stinkin self centered thinking, and leave you feeling like you are on the recieving end of His favor and not His condemnation.  All these delays are for ME! So I can learn one more thing, so I can walk into webmaster world with one more tool in my tool kit. 
All these delays are for YOU!!!  So you can be assured that you will recieve a product designed and crafted by God Himself!
In the past couple days I have already had to redesign, add and edit a few things. 

All in the attitude, my friends. 

Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.    Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.

James 1:3-4