Sunday, May 21, 2023

May 19, 2023 DDF Breathes New Life Post/ Gratitude


So, a senior walks in to pick up his cap and gown. We are all smiles as we hand it to him but him not so much. He flatly says he may not make it to graduation. We inquire why not? He just says “my mom is having brain surgery today and we don’t know if she is going to make it.” The silence fills the room and I am so caught off guard that my brain, empty of all thought escapes me. I just say dumbly “I am so sorry to hear that.” Then “let us know if there is anything we can do?” He leaves and we both realize we were holding our breath. Then the tears come with the weight of this young man just about to enter the world of adulthood which should be a time of celebration. Ugggg!

Then today at church prayers for a family who just lost their son who was set to graduate to a motorcycle accident. Brings back memories of my graduating year where a group of girls was in a car rollover coming back from Lake Mead. Our friend, Tina lost her life and another was paralyzed. Tina’s mother walked the stage to receive her daughter’s diploma. Life can be so wondrous, but being alive also comes with it sometimes great pain and sorrow. Prayers for healing to both the families in the season of sorrow and uncertainty.

“Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint; heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony. My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long?” (Psalm 6: 2-3).

It is okay to question as David did-the boy shepherd who would one day be king. He went through many trials and tribulations in his lifetime. In 1 Samuel 13, he tells King Saul that “the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people.” Even in his darkest moments, David had gratitude in his heart for all God was doing in his life.

What is the difference between being thankful and having gratitude? David expressed gratitude over and over again-the strongest connection between his heart and God.

Thankful: Being thankful or thanking someone often implies you are acknowledging your thanks for something that someone has given you. You can exhibit your thanks to the world through acts of service or words.

Gratitude: being grateful is about appreciating what one has, as opposed to what one wants. gratitude is felt by the soul alone, a soul connected intrinsically to a higher power. Gratitude embodies a general state of thankfulness.

On my blog, I talk about being grateful. As I was leaving from my kidney ultrasound I am thankful to have access to my medical needs. I am grateful Jesus walks beside me everyday. When I am stressed. worried, overwhelmed, depressed, or anxious waiting on test results. I am grateful that God put it upon my heart to finish central academy so I am thankful for my family showing up to my graduation on Monday.

So many instances to be thankful and having true gratitude for the God who loved me so much he died on a cross for me, rose again, and will be coming back to take us to his kingdom where there will be no pain or sorrow ever again.

The song “Gratitude” by Brandon Lake was played at our graduation. Then at church this morning. I played it every morning headed to work this week. I can’t express the power of worship. Let the words of praise wash over you today.

So come on, my soul
Oh, don't you get shy on me
Lift up your song
'Cause you've got a lion inside of those lungs
Get up and praise the Lord

Prayers for each of you in whatever season this post finds you in. May you be blessed. May the healing come. May the heartbreak cease. May you be comforted in your grief. May your soul find your inner heart’s gratitude.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

May 12, 2023 DDF Breathes New Life Post/Mother's Day


A little bit of history. You never know when one small act will grow into a national day to celebrate the blessings of being a mom and the expression of respect, honor, and love towards mothers.

-during the Middle Ages, the custom allowed those who had moved away to visit their parishes and their mothers on Laetare Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent.

-Laetare Sunday: In medieval England simnel cakes (special rich fruitcakes) were consumed on this day. In the Anglican churches it is sometimes called Mothering Sunday, with reference to a verse in Galatians (4:27)

-this became Mothering Sunday in Britain, where it continued into modern day although it has largely been replaced by Mother’s day

-what we celebrate today called Mother’s day originated in America

-Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia whose mother organized women’s groups to promote friendship and health so when she passed Anna wanted to honor her mother. She held a memorial service at her late mother’s church in Grafton, West Virginia on May 12, 1907

-that small memorial service has grown into what we know now as Mother’s day

-Jarvis promoted the wearing of a white carnation as a tribute to one’s mother

-the custom developed wearing a red or pink carnation to represent a living mother or a white carnation for a mother who was deceased

-president Woodrow Wilson made it a national holiday in 1914

-Twist: Jarvis didn’t like how the day became commercialized that associated the day with sending cards and giving gifts. She spent her last years of her life trying to abolish the holiday she brought into being in protest against its commercialization.

***side note: Greeks and Romans paid tribute to mother goddesses. India still has a festival honoring the goddess Durga.

In the book of Proverbs is chapter 31. It is an epilogue to the character of a noble woman

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

As we reflect on our valued mothers, here is a reminder that we are also valued children:

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139: 13-14).

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1: 5).

Blessings and prayers to each of you today. May today be filled with love and appreciation. May we appreciate those who fill our hearts with gladness and support who we are meant to be in the future.

The song “Priceless” by For King & Country is a reminder of our self-worth when we see ourselves through the eyes of God who sees us as precious and beyond valuable.

Monday, May 8, 2023

May 5, 2023 DDF Breathes New Life Post/Health Update & another crazy story

A little overdue this past week. It just takes my body longer to get over a simple head cold. My head hurt so I didn’t write over the weekend and at times I make a goal for myself and when I miss a timeline then I think I am harder on myself than others would be. I am not short on stubbornness until some illness lays me flat out. Think I would learn a lesson from myself. I mean I don’t have the hardened heart stubbornness that has turned away from God by rejecting all He has done for me. But, the stubbornness that I want something done that I don’t listen to my body when I have pushed too hard. The kind of stubbornness that I will get it done even if God says it is time to slow down or just enjoy the journey and stop running ahead. Look at what you missed by rushing through life. Then the most powerful reminder came in the mail today. I have listened to Dr. Charles Stanley since I was in middle school. His “Celebrating A Life of Obedience” tribute mini-book sits on my lap. Reading some of his quotes that warm my heart. “Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.” As he holds that Bible in his hand. How beautiful is this quote: “You don’t have to preach, sing, or go to the mission field to serve God. But you are responsible to obey Him out of love and devotion–to live a godly life and serve Him until the day you take your last breath or He returns. So make every moment count until you see Him face to face. That, my friend, is life at its best.” Here are words of wisdom for us all-I know I want to live by these words: “The most respected and powerful people in Christ’s coming kingdom will be the ones who have proven themselves most obedient, wise, and faithful here on earth. That gives us an amazing motivation to live a strong life in the center of God’s will while we have breath in our lungs.” Last one-What a harvest of life he had over his lifetime. Just a very beautiful soul. “You can do a lot of things for people that do not result in lasting fruit. But when you feed others the truth of Jesus–praying for them and talking to them about what the Lord has done in your life–God will use you to reap great, eternal harvests in them.” Flipping through the pages of this mini-book all I could think about is that song about when we all get to heaven, what a rejoicing there will be where we shout in victory. He would be one I would like to walk along the streets of gold and just talk with. Blessings, He will be missed, so in tribute to him here is an old school hymnal sung by Allen Jackson

June 7, 2024 Posted thoughts on burned bridges

  So, what would you do if someone burned every bridge with you on every level and then comes back seeking to make fake amends with you? It ...