Thursday, May 30, 2013

Spiritual Lesson from a Shearer...

My family and I went to an alpaca shearing on Saturday. We learned a lot. 
Such as, the alpaca must be tied down during the process for their own protection. 

If someone looked at the process and didn't understand it was for the alpaca's protection, they could misconstrue the intent of the shearer. There are times in our spiritual walk when God needs to "tie" us down for our protection. Others may not understand God's intent and believe He is being a cruel shearer.  Yet, we know the process is necessary. How does one know?

The answer is simple: Spending time with God. 

As we spend time with our Great Shearer we will we comprehend the need for the shearing. However, this is not once a week time in the bible while attending Sunday service. It is intentional time daily in our bibles and talking to our loving Shearer. There are benefits from being sheared. At the alpaca farm they weigh the alpaca before and after the shearing to see how much weight has been removed during the shearing process. God's shearing has benefits too. He wants us to free to walk in His grace. He doesn't want us to be held down by unnecessary weight. No...I am not talking about physical weight here. However, God can remove this too, if this is what is holding you from walking in the freedom God desires for you. 

What is holding you down from walking in your freedom? Each of us have something...
The problem is we fight Him. The alpaca fought too. She did not willingly let them put the straps on her. The difference is the alpaca's shearer can't explain the process to her, even though the pinning down is for her own good. This is where we are different than the alpaca's I saw on Saturday. Different because I can communicate and more importantly connect with the Great Shearer. Yet, even though there is communication and connection available to me. I don't always take advantage of it. Furthermore, I have been known on more than one occasion to fight during the shearing. Upon being nicked because of my fighting, I have the audacity to blame the shearer. Can I get an "Amen" or am I alone here in this reaction? 

While we were at the alpaca farm, the shearer got cut during the process. His words resonated with me as he sprayed a solution on his cut. He stated, "It is always better for the shearer to be cut than the alpaca." His love and care for the alpaca reminded me of all the sacrifices God makes for me on a minute-by-minute basis in my life. 

It is time to stop fighting and understand that God has my best interest at heart. 

Where are you today? Are you fighting God while He is trying to shear? 

P.S. While writing this I remembered a great video by The Skit Guys who represents how we are with God when He wants to remove stuff "weighing us down." May the video and the alpaca shearing come to mind this week; when God is removing the stuff in our lives "holding" us from walking in the freedom He desires for us. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Week in Pictures...Adding to my OBS Blessed List

"Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ"
Ephesians 5:20

 This weird creature in God's Kingdom above made me think this week. 
In case you don't know, this is a cicada. He is from a particular brood, whom only shows up every 17 years. You can learn more about them here and here


With all my thinking, it became apparent that I am one extremely blessed woman. Therefore, for my OBS Blog Hop post this week, there will be additions and some reminders of my blessings.

He is so Handsome!
First, today is Sweetie and my 26th wedding anniversary.
He was able to get back from his business trip in time for our anniversary.

"Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!"
2nd Corinthians 9:15

Second, I got to spend time with my daughter and Boo.
Aren't they adorable walking together on this path?

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!"
Psalm 100:4

She was working on the "big" hill and stopped to encourage us to "come on" :-)

Third, watching Boo enjoy God's creation. Her grandma (my Aunt) helped her hold him. 
She is so much braver than me. 

"And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name"
1st Chronicles 29:13

Fourth, Girl's Movie Night...but I didn't get any pictures of that. 

Fifth, studying the Bible and participating in OBS Bible studies.

"And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:15-17

I am a truly blessed woman and God takes such good care of me. 

How have you been blessed this week? Remember a blessing is anything that brings you closer to God. 

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
1st Thessalonians 5:18

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

God's Precious Gift...An Encouragement Cafe Guest Post

“Holding on to Jesus and knowing He is good.” 
Those are the words my mother has spoken to many people since the beginning of 2013. 
Her reason for this statement being her current mantra all started on December 29th. 

To learn more about Mom's mantra and how God gives each of us a story, come over and see my guest post at Encouragement Cafe:

Photo Credit: Dew Photography VA

The picture above is one of my Mom's favorite pictures. I took the picture in 2011 before they tore down this barn out on the Etheridge property in Spotsylvania County. After all they have been through the last four months, it was only appropriate for me to give her a framed version of it for Mother's Day.

I love you Mom.
 Jesus is using your story to touch lives.  

Lifestyle of a Prophet: A Book Review...

"Wasted on Jesus" was my first introduction to James W. Goll. Ever since then if Goll has a new book, I have to check it out. His newest offering, "The Lifestyle of a Prophet"is definitely a journey and in true Goll fashion, he focuses on the Father and explains this should be the lifestyle of prophet. 

"Yes, the true heart of the prophet is the testimony not of how great you are, but of how
 awesome He is!!!" (emphasis mine)---James W. Goll

Goll further explains prophets need to 'worship God passionately' and 'build His kingdom.'

Prophetic ministry is so misunderstood in today's church. Goll's book should be studied by anyone in prophetic ministry. Church's focusing on prophetic ministry should pick up a copy. 

Goll discusses how at the Last Supper John leaned on the chest of Jesus and heard Jesus' heartbeat. Yet, the amazing thing is John, "would have heard something else: the Messiah's very breath as He inhaled and exhaled."

Let's take the 21 day journey and then maybe each of us, like John, will be able to say:

"I hear Him breathing"

**The book's publisher provided a preview copy of the book in return for an unbiased review of the book**

Monday, May 6, 2013

Home Run: A Book Review....

Yes, I freely admit it, I am a Travis Thrasher fan. Have been ever since meeting him in Beaufort, NC many years ago. However, this will not cloud my observation and review of his novelization of Home Run. Home Run, the movie released on April 19th. 

The story is one told before... hot shot player is sent to be the coach of a little league team as punishment for their continued bad behavior. Thrasher, at points, even references some of the other titles out there within the book. I found myself wrapped up in the story of Cory Brand, his family and his hometown. You will find yourself rooting and being angry with Brand's character all at the same time throughout the book. 

Speaking of hometown, my advance electronic copy had two different spellings throughout for Brand's hometown. Therefore, I am not sure of Cory's hometown. 

Celebrate Recovery is featured in the story. 
Celebrate Recovery, according to their website, 

"is a biblical and balanced program that helps us overcome our hurts, hang-ups, and habits.  It is based on the actual words of Jesus rather than psychological theory.  20 years ago, Saddleback Church launched Celebrate Recovery with 43 people. It was designed as a program to help those struggling with hurts, habits and hang-ups by showing them the loving power of Jesus Christ through a recovery process."

Without being a spoiler, this blogger liked the ending of the novelization of Home Run. 

***An advanced copy of the title was given for this honest and unbiased review***

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Stressed-Less Week 4: My Wee Step into Transformation

My Wee Step into Transformation began with a blog titled simply "Hi, My Name is Dawn."
 I am resharing it here with all of you to help me be accountable. 
Accountable to live and celebrate who God created me to be. 

Hi My Name is Dawn...

In August 2011, I had what would be termed as a mental/emotional breakdown.
The events leading up to the break down are not what is important at this time. 

What is important...
I have learned a lot about myself and my JESUS since then. 

Jesus has shown me ...the breakdown does not define me but it has changed me.

Jesus has declared on multiple occasions:
My status as His Yahweh Young-un is what defines me. 

Therefore, the question becomes how have I changed? Are they good changes or bad changes? 
The answer to these questions may differ depending on who you ask.

These are some of the changes Jesus has revealed over the last few months:

~I am not STRONG. 
It is Christ who is STRONG.

"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, 
so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2nd Corinthians 12:9 ESV

There will be no more of me always being the strong one. The one who has to handle everything. I will admit to my weaknesses and let Jesus handle them. 

~ I am a DIFFERENT person. 

This has been the most difficult aspect for people to come to grips with over these last 18 months. 
Even after moving back to VA, reconnecting with friends here has been challenging. 
Plugging in with people, talking to strangers, or even socializing is no longer easy and simple. Actually, it never really was but I played an "extrovert" role for so long that I almost lost who God created me to be. For now on there will be more embracing the personality to God gave me.

Upon telling my Sweetie, since I am no longer the woman he married it would be totally understandable if he left me.
 His response, "I meant the vow spoken when we married and am here until death do us part." 

Yes, my Sweetie is a GREAT GUY!!!

~ I am an Introvert

For years, I saw this as a weakness and did everything in my own power to be an extrovert. Our society looks down on introverts. Jesus is showing me there are introverts in the Bible. He wants me to be who He created me to be. This means I am not at every event anymore. I take time alone to refuel. 
As I learn about being an introvert, it is becoming clear why the perspective and passion of this blog, "Connecting in a Communcation-saturated World" is so dear to me. 

Jesus is teaching me everyday what He is doing in me. He is preparing me. My job is to trust Him. 
Thanks for being here as I journey through this adventure with my Jesus on Dawn's Dialogue.