About Rhea Beaudry

I am a retired person who loves to find many ways to share the love of God with others. I love to blog; I also love gardening, photography, sewing, quilting, and crafts. My passion is to see people connected with each other and helping each other to grow and flourish.

Get Yourself Closer to God

 

Jennifer Camp  (ibelieve.com)

You are the beloved. You are adored. You are worth fighting for.

Even if the opposite of this feels most real.

Even if you don’t know how to take the first step to believing this.

Even if you don’t know how to get close to God.

I want to share with you what practical things I do to fight for my own heart when God feels oh, so far away. It has been a season of hard things—and a season of blessing.

There is so much more to say. But for now, let’s start with a simple list.

Are you ready?

1. Get your eyes off of you.

When we are focused on our own self—our problems, our issues, our worries, our fears—we forget to look at God. This is super hard to do, right? Particularly when we feel overwhelmed. Stuck. Alone. But we need to do this.

We need to keep the eyes of our heart on God. His abundance. His presence. Right here. Right now. So, be bold—and, even if you don’t feel like it, praise Him for His goodness. Praise Him for His love. Name His attributes and look up verses that remind us of who He is. Speak them aloud. Write them down. Declare their truth over yourself.

Remember:

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge” (Psalm 91)

2. Confess to God your brokenness.

Screenshot 2015-11-04 17.47.46

Ask Him to show you how your heart is struggling. Be specific. Don’t hold back. Don’t worry about your words—how to communicate what your heart is saying.

 

“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts, and see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (Psalm 139: 23-24).

Just say what is on your mind. Trust your heart. The Holy Spirit will guide you toward Him.

3. Make note of what He’s given you.

Ask God to show you how He has shown up for you in the past. Remind your own heart of His faithfulness, the gifts He has given you, the way He continues to press in. How has He healed you? How has He pursued you? How has He helped you? This is a prayer He loves to answer.

4. Listen to music that creates space in your heart for God.

When we are stuck—when our mind knows that God is close, but our heart struggles to believe it and move toward Him, it can help to listen to music that opens up our heart to Him. There are certain songs I turn to when I am lonely, when I am far away from my Father and I am desperate for Him to pull me close. They are songs that help my heart be receptive to the Holy Spirit. They usher Him in. They open up heart and mind and spirit to receive more of Him—more of all He has.

5. Change your posture.

Wake up. Get your body positioned to better receive the presence of the Holy Spirit. This might mean finding a place of quiet, of removing yourself from distractions. Do whatever it takes—physically—to help yourself be present to Him. Get on your knees. Or stand up. Lie down. Or raise your hands. Dance. Or run. Walk. Or be still. Concentrate your whole self on thinking about who He is, how He loves you, how He is with you, how He never leaves.

Screenshot 2016-03-10 20.43.286. Let your imagination run beautifully wild.

Picture yourself with Him—with Jesus, or with God, the Father. Invite in the Holy Spirit and give Him full access to your mind. Let Him open up your heart. Ask Him to show you a scene—just you and God or Jesus. Stay there. What does He look like? What is He doing? What are you doing? Where are you with Him? How do you feel? Stay there as long as you can. Stay. Let him show you what it is He sees when He looks at you. Let Him love you. Let Him come.

7. Do something different.

If you normally sit down and worship—stand up. If you normally stand, sit down, kneel, or lie down on the floor. Tell your mind to get out of your own way. Let your body respond to your heart. It is telling it what to do to wake yourself up to God’s presence. Trust it.

Screenshot 2017-06-22 09.49.078. Just do it—(do what you love).

This might mean finding beauty—immersing yourself in it. Or going on an adventure. Or resting and reading a book. You are created to experience God’s presence in a way that is unique to you. Invite in the Holy Spirit to steer you toward an activity that brings you joy—and, in that joy, helps you experience God’s presence. And then do it. Break the agreements you have made with the enemy about who you are, and who God is. Then you will hear Him and see Him and move with Him more easily.

9. Be a rebel.

Go against what your mind is telling you is true about yourself, and about God, and about the world that is actually false. Our Savior has risen up against the lies about ourselves and about the truth of who God—and who our Savior—is. He rises up again and again, just as the lies sneak in again and again. Jesus never forsakes us. He never leaves us. He knows our hearts and how we need Him. He knows the false messages of the enemy and entreats us to pray—activate the armor He has given us. We can’t be passive, sisters. We have what it takes to stand, to be bold, to send to the foot of the cross the lies that threaten to pull us under.

10. Accept healing.

This is big. This is the beginning of our life with Jesus—the laying down of our old life for His. This deep healing is difficult to do on our own. God welcomes us into community with Him—and into community with Saints—so that we can help each other toward healing.This pursuit of deep healing can mean counseling. It can mean sharing our stories and receiving healing prayer. It definitely means doing the hard (and usually painful but necessary and good) work of letting Jesus into the places where we have never let Him in before. We need to let Him transform our wounded, broken hearts and make them whole again.

Let’s fight for our own hearts now. He gives us the tools. He will guide us deeper into Him. We are not alone in this fight.

Father, let us step toward you now. Let us see You. Let us hear You. Remind us how we are Yours. Let us live this day believing You are right here.

Connecting the Pieces

by Rhea Beaudry

I am not a fan of putting together jigsaw puzzles. I do not have the patience to sift through all those pieces to find some that fit together. I get frustrated and cranky, and usually give up before I have matched even two together, rather than see it through to completion.

screenshot-2017-02-24-18-46-23Life can be like a 4,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. The one in front of me is an artistic rendition of the map of the world, all in blues and greens and browns. Lovely. But there is a definite disconnect between the depiction on the box cover and the 4,000 piece pile of confusion before me on the work table.

 

We want our lives to look like that beautiful finished composition, but in reality it resembles the messy pile of random puzzle pieces so much more!

All this disconnection! It brings frustration. Frustration tells me that I should NOT have to deal with all of this! This raging inner anger brings discord, dysfunction, discontent, disability, disillusionment, despair, discombobulation. When you take the D for Disconnect and add it to ANGER, you have DANGER!

Ephesians 4:26 says that anger “gives a foothold to the devil.” The anger and disconnect do not have to own me. I can come into connection! I can “make it” without “losing it.”

The book of Ephesians sets a backdrop for the whole idea of Connection. Without Jesus we cannot be connected to each other in relationships, or to Him. He is our purpose for living. Connection with God through Jesus will overflow into our lives. We will win, and we will have relationships that cannot be broken.

What are our options when dealing with in the disconnection and frustration of our inner thoughts and our outer relationships? Matthew 5:28 clearly indicates that disconnection begins in the heart, and then is carried through into action. You cannot be both happy and frustrated at the same time. It is said that we “cannot keep birds from flying over our heads, but we can keep them from building a nest in our hair.”

Option number one is to react in the old way—the way of the flesh, the way of one who does not know and trust Christ. We will either explode, or implode.

“With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity.”      Ephesians 4:17-19.

What a hot mess we are without Christ! We are hopeless in our disconnection!

“So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.  But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good.  So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.  But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.  I love God’s law with all my heart.  But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.  Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?”   Romans 7:14-24

Option number two is to react in the new way—the Life in Christ. Turn to the One who is the author of the puzzle and knows exactly how to put it all together. Be renewed—made new, restored to freshness, vigor and perfection— “by the transforming of the mind” (Romans 12:2).

Our passage from Ephesians 4 continues,

“But that isn’t what you learned about Christ. Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” Ephesians 4:20-24

Throw off the old, put on the new. These are active choices which we can make.

Our passage from Romans 7 continues,

“Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 7:25

It is during the disconnected, temptation-ridden moments of life where there is an intersection between the mind which is unrenewed and the choice to live in Christ that we must be ready to take action. We must be prepared ahead of time for enemy attacks. King David was unprepared and had drifted off course when the temptation arose to sin with Bathsheba. He was lounging around on the rooftop when as king, he should have been out on the battlefield. He let his fleshly desires take precedence. It is in the moment of exposure to the negative bait of Satan that we need to be ready to speak Truth. That Truth can only be assimilated into our spirits by the transformation of our minds. And that can only be done by the Lord.

Jesus sets us free, the moment we invite Him, from our slavery to sin. That moment of frustration and disconnect is the moment to open up to Him. “The Truth will set you free.” (John 8:32). These moments are the puzzle pieces that God puts together, causing “all things to work together for good” (Romans 8:28) in the lives of those who belong to Him.

As we learn to be fully connected to the Lord, and remain in this blessed place, we will see Him at work time after time in our lives, putting together those pieces of our life’s puzzle that we could never hope to accomplish on our own.

Let’s pray together:

Dearest Lord, we come to You, knowing that You designed the masterpiece of our lives according to how You desired us to be. All we see at times is the tangled, disconnected mess of random puzzle pieces that is impossible for us to work with. We try to put things together, make the pieces fit, and even compromise the corners so that we can try to squeeze it into the mold we think is right. But it doesn’t work! Lord, You are the puzzle maker. We choose to trust You–in Your time, in Your way, under circumstances of Your choosing–to fit the pieces together so that we may be connected. Connected to You first of all, and also to each other, for the glory of Your Name and the work of Your Kingdom. In Jesus name. Amen.

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Enjoy the messages of Pastor Peggy right here (below)

 

The Language of Love

This week, I am sharing a TREASURE from one of my favorite authors, Graham Cooke. This is the word that I need desperately at this time, and I could never say it as well as Graham does. Here’s a quote from THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE by Graham Cooke:

TREASURE HUNTER

Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus spoke to the treasure God had deposited in people. He even blessed the spiritual treasure that the person themselves did not realize they had. In Luke 19, Jesus met a crooked tax collector named Zacchaeus. Not once did Jesus reveal the man’s sin. All He did was bless him and honour him. Humbled, Zacchaeus knew what to do: “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” The man simply stopped cheating others, signed away half of his possessions, and made a contract with Heaven to restore what he had previously stolen. “I robbed you of a hundred dollars; here’s four hundred back”—that’s God at work in one of His special treasures. 

God has placed His fingerprint in the people around us, and we need to speak to that spiritual treasure. In John 1, the disciple Philip brought his brother, Nathanael, to meet Jesus. Nathanael, at first, was skeptical: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” he asked. But when he finally met Jesus, the Lord spoke to the treasure in him: “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit,” Jesus said, noting that He had prophetically seen Nathanael sitting under a fig tree earlier that day. “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel,” exclaimed Nathanael, who left everything behind and became a disciple. Jesus had spotted the treasure—that piece of God’s Spirit that had been deposited in Nathanael’s life—and spoken to it. Nathanael, in turn, became a pillar of the early Church. 

SPEAK TO THE TREASURE 

Jesus knew that whatever He spoke to would rise up in people. Humanity always speaks to the earthen vessel, noting every crack, flaw, and warp: “If you put this right, and change that, then we’ll let you in and accept you.” God is not remotely like that. He speaks to the treasure in a person and releases it from the captivity of the flesh. He extracts the precious from the worthless. We often try and do the opposite; we take out the trash and see what’s left. When we speak to the treasure in people, it moves to the surface of their lives, from the hidden to the obvious. The rubbish always comes with it. When people see their own worth, they get rid of their own carnality. That’s why the prophetic and the pastoral go so well together. But God knows there is treasure in each of us and He wants to bring it to the surface. Don’t let your view of the worthless obscure that which is precious about a person. 

“I HAVE FOUND THE PARADOX THAT IF I LOVE UNTIL IT HURTS, THEN THERE IS NO HURT, BUT ONLY MORE LOVE.” MOTHER TERESA

THE LANGUAGE OF PROMISE 

We have got to change the way we think of, and behave around, other people. We don’t have any enemies except for the devil and his demons. The Apostle Paul believed this: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places,” he wrote in Ephesians 6:12. We don’t have any human enemies, only people who we are not finding treasure in. Fortunately, God can give us a different type of vision to help us see people in a new way. 

“Let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God,” Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:4. “Incorruptible” in this verse means that the beauty will not pass away; unlike a flower that blooms and withers, that which is precious in God’s eyes stands forever. When God looks at you, He sees what is precious—what He most loves about you right now.

Last week when I took my friend to her PT session, I encountered the Lord’s treasure in a suffering lady in the waiting room. I had the blessed opportunity to encourage her and pray for her. I think I was at least as much blessed as she was! How wonderful it was to touch another soul in Jesus’ name.

Let’s pray together:

Lord help us to remember, it is not about me.  Open our spiritual eyes to see the precious treasure You have placed in each person we encounter,  and bless and honor them as You do. Let us be Your channel of grace to others, loving them as you do and bringing them UP…up to Your presence and grace and favor and blessing. Amen.

Autumn Leaves Me Happy

I am enjoying my first Autumn with my “new” eyesight. I can’t begin to tell you of the wonder of seeing “new” colors. Photos such as these don’t even begin to capture the magnificence of nature around me. What a gift I have been given! New eyes to see! And I love the heart shaped scar on the trunk of that tree I walked past! What a beautiful reminder that You love me, even my scars.

In the spirit, Your glory surrounds me, always, as I seek God for the next adventure in my life. The seasons change.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.” (Jeremiah 29:11-12)

The photo with the cross and the rainbow is the one I used on a recent postcard mailing to our congregation, with the scripture Jeremiah 29:11. Our church is standing at a new door which is open to us. The people must determine whether or not to go through that door. Each must lay down their individual desires and seek the desires of the Lord for our community. We must work as a TEAM: Together Each Accomplishes More.

Every new day for the Believer in Christ is a new doorway through which we must decide whether or not to pass through. Will we stay with the comfortable old way, or will we be brave enough to leave the comfort zone and venture forth into the unknown with a clear mission in view to follow? Will we begin to think outside the limits of our own individual agenda, preferences and desires in order to make ourselves available to the best plan that God has for us? Change is difficult and uncomfortable.

I am not feeling particularly brave right now. I still care ever so deeply what people are thinking of me, saying about me, and feeling about me. I long to be so faith-filled that I am able to lay my life down–to die to myself and live only for Christ. It’s not about me. It’s all about Him–His Kingdom, His plan, His purposes. So, why is there still that place inside me that screams for validation? Let it go! C’mon! Why is there still a part of me that wants to hide from conflict, from leadership, from church life in general? Why is it so important that I stay “alive”?   Don’t I yet realize that I must decrease that He may increase?  The leaf must let go of the tree and cast itself upon the whim of the breeze.

I remember a poem I wrote while in a forest on a perfect autumn day.

How many leaf dances did my eyes see

While resting below this rare golden tree

Skies of azure, wispy cloud

All praising Creator, not out loud 

A single golden leaf lets go

And spirals and spins to ground below

If I were not here to see it fall

Would no one notice its dance at all?

But “Yes” on the whisper of gentle breeze

I am Jehovah, the God who sees

Twas not wasted as downward it drifted

To earth below it has now been gifted.

From tender bud to earthy floor

Back to the soil to nourish it more

From earth-floor to roots it is soaked with delight

More growth to begin after winter’s dark night.

Gods eyes see all—the littlest piece

Is part of the plan he delights to release

And if he sees even the tiniest leaf

He surely sees me, is my belief. 

Rhea Beaudry

Will you pray with me?

Lord, help us to see that we are each a beautiful, unique part of the grand scheme of things in Your plan. Not one single leaf falls to the forest floor without Your notice and enjoyment. You love and care for each one. All of those individual golden leaves together make up the whole glorious scene. Lord, please enjoy my twirling dance as I release myself to the change of seasons. And let me become a vital part of Your Kingdom wherever I am blown by the wind of Your Spirit. When I feel unseen, unheard, and unvalidated, help me to remember that You validate me. You love me AS I AM, and You desire me to walk beside you as You go about Your mission. Give me peace as I dance for You.

Lord, we also lift up our Pastor Peggy to You this week for Your continued lovingkindness to rest upon her as she recovers from her back surgery. You are her Comforter. We ask that she be blanketed with Your peace, rest and healing. Let her feel Your loving Presence every moment.

We ask these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

 

The Purple Crayon

Some of you know I have been doing a creative writing exercise, in which I am daily given an assignment to write about a random subject that they just throw at me. The purpose is to develop the skill of writing on demand and writing to meet the needs of others. One day the assignment was to choose a favorite childhood book and write about it. My mind immediately went to the children’s book “Harold and the Purple Crayon” by Crockett Johnson.

What would it be like to be able to create up my own world just by using a crayon and my own imagination?

Harold, in this captivating story,  lived in such a magical place. He was able to bring to life anything or anyone he wanted just by drawing it. He could draw a ladder going down from his bedroom window and then use it to escape the confines of his home. Out exploring in his magical world, he could draw the weather he wanted to experience–snow, rain, sunshine, whatever his heart desired. (He desired a moonlight walk, but there was no moon, so he drew one to light his way.)  Then he could draw a new path to explore and set off happily down it with his purple crayon. How I would love to be able to do that! If Harold encountered something scary or dangerous along the trail, he could draw something to solve the problem. A snarling dog coming toward him? No problem! Just draw a cage around it!  If he was feeling lonesome, he could draw a friend to walk with him and talk withimages him.  If he got lost, he could draw a GPS (or map, back in those days) with which to find his way home. When hunger pangs rose up, he could draw a favorite snack, plus a table and chair at which to sit and enjoy it. Later in the day when his legs were tired from all that walking, he could envision a taxi all ready to take him home, and a nice warm bubble bath to relax in after all his adventures before crawling back into bed. As a child I loved to climb into this neat little imaginary world with Harold and make sure that all of my stories had perfect happy endings.

Let’s take this a step further!

What, or Who, is the Purple Crayon in my life? A first read-through of this delightful children’s book suggests rightly that the Purple Crayon is Harold’s imagination. It is a well known fact that if you can instill a love of reading into the heart of a young child, it will carry him all the way down the pathway of life into a world far beyond himself. There is no limit to the places he may visit, the philosophies he may explore, or the beauty he may behold. There are no limits on where he can go, what he can do, who he can become. The things he discovers about others who have lived life before him will mold his own future as they influence his thinking.

So in that sense, I do have that magical ability–and I have just now been using it! I can enjoy a world of my choosing by creative reading and creative writing!

All the more is this true if I dedicate my creative writing and my imagination to the Lord Jesus Christ! What an incredible adventure!

We have something much more valuable than a purple crayon to rely on.

Prayer is my Purple Crayon!

The Lord Himself is my Purple Crayon!

As I write this, our dear Peggy is undergoing very serious back surgery. How I would love to just be able to draw a picture of her standing straight and tall and even dancing! And it would magically be so!

But in our hands we hold an infinitely more powerful tool.

screenshot-2016-06-07-07-46-34
In Christ, all things are possible! He has already DRAWN a lovely PICTURE of Peggy perfectly whole and well!  He has DRAWN OUT a plan for her life.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

We all want our loved ones to have THE BEST. If we could, we would let our imaginations soar with all the possibilities and DRAW a very beautiful detailed scenario for them to live in–and we would gladly live in it with them. But our best surges of sanctified imagination cannot begin to DRAW UP what is in the heart of God!

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” Isaiah 64:4

So, as much as I enjoy the thought of using the purple crayon to design a perfect life, I will gladly exchange it for the heart and mind of Christ and His plan for my life.

Will you pray with me?

“Lord, together we lift our spirits to You and we hand You all of ourselves-our dreams, hopes and imaginations. We hand You our purple crayon. We exchange it for the gift You have given us that is FAR beyond what we could draw with our purple crayon. We accept You as Lord of our lives, and we purpose to follow the perfect plan that You have DRAWN OUT for our lives, and the lives of those we love. We hold our dear ones, especially I think of Peggy today, up to You, trusting that everything You design is GOOD, and we can totally trust the future to Your hands. We DRAW UP Your promises into our spirits and we walk in them today!

In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

 

Have You Heard God’s Voice Today?

God is the kindest Person I have ever met! He NEVER thinks a thought about me that is not kind.
His kindness and His love never fail, run out or dry up.
He does not grow tired of me, no matter how negative, lost, fearful, or cranky I become. No matter how tired of me everyone else gets when I don’t bounce back from a major upset, He is always FOR me. He takes delight in me, and in His thoughts of me. His love for me makes Him smile!

Recently, I have been learning that the Lord will speak to me through the most unlikely methods I can imagine. Just to get my attention! Lately, everything I touch is being used to speak to me.

I love art.

I have been coloring lately, and totally enjoying it. It’s good therapy. I am able to sort my inner thoughts a bit easier when my hands are busy. I like the coloring books that are journals. I will be all involved in designing the look of the page, choosing colors, precisely coloring the tiniest of places with my .002 markers, and the Lord will begin to speak. So I journal what He says, or what I am struggling with. Here’s an example:

IMG_4187

Lord, show me the way past this sorrowful place of being “stuck”.
I don’t want the sad parts of the last segment of my life to bleed through into  the pages of the new chapter of my life.
Sometimes, it seems I will never get past this brokenhearted feeling of loss. It is just as if I’ve had a death in the family.
Some scars are indelible, just like the marks on this journal page from the ink bleeding through on the previous page without my knowing that it would. These marks cannot be removed.
The enemy voices pointing out all my weakness and flaws and failures are overpowering at times.
Only God can stop the voices and bind the lies of the enemy.
It is very difficult to be excited about decorating a new picture over the ruins left over from the last one. But You, Lord, have a design in mind.

Holy Spirit, come close to me. I need you. Kiss my eyes that I may see things the way You see them.
Re-design my life—right over my scars and wounds—using Your brightest, most opaque colors so that the marks will not show through. Or, find a way to arrange it so that the scars blend in with the design.

Day by day the healing grows, a new picture is being colored. I am starting to feel some energy returning to my spirit. I choose to do all that I can to at least retain some civility in the relationship that has been shattered, even though I don’t foresee trust being a part of it ever again. I choose to forgive and move on.
I am being set free from my well-meaning but over-done desire to help and fix things that can only be fixed by You. I choose to let go, again and again. Each time I experience this, I learn more about Who You are to me. Do I dare to believe that I am becoming more like Jesus? Let it be so!

I also love sewing. Most of my sewing involves self-designed items from recycled materials.I enjoy holding something in my hands and asking it what it wants to become; then diving into something new.

The Lord spoke to me one day while I was making a piece of patchwork from T Shirt scraps left over from the creation of a rag quilt.

The Lord said,

Don’t listen to worship music today while you sew. I have things to say to you through thIMG_4151e process of sewing.

See if you can find a spiritual application for these thoughts in your own life. This is what He pointed out to me as I worked.

The squares are cut exactly the same, but if they aren’t sewed precisely and carefully together, they will not match at the corner meeting places. Follow the plan that has been determined for you.
There is a right and wrong, forwards and backwards way to set the squares in place. Pay careful attention in positioning them in relation to each other. Sometimes it is very difficult to tell the right side from the wrong side.
Design carefully the manner in which the rows and columns will interact to present a pattern of colors. Lay it out on the table. Look at the whole picture.  Make changes as needed. Then number the rows and columns, to keep from getting confused when putting it all together. Proper identification and order are essential to keeping the integrity of the pattern whole. It will not be easily obvious to you when you are not looking at the wider picture, putting together the individual blocks.
Do not stretch the fabric while sewing. It will lose shape, and pull the surrounding blocks out of shape.
If an error is made, refrain from discarding the project in frustration; and patiently rip out the stitches and redo the section until it is done correctly.
Mend any tears or holes caused by ripping out stitches, even if they are very tiny. They will cause raveling and damage to the project later if left untreated.

The Lord showed me that there is a purpose for every little part of the process that I am going through, and it is not wise to rush through or disregard any part of it. There are things to gain right now, through the exact things I am experiencing; and there is no other way to gain them. As He spoke to me while sewing that day, I realized that I am a work of His hands and He is following all of the procedures just right to guarantee that I will turn out to be His perfect work of art. IMG_4195Sewing with people’s treasured “memory” fabrics has taught me that no matter how severely I might botch a project, I cannot throw it out. The fabric is a treasure that cannot be replaced. Therefore I have to patiently remove every errant stitch, reposition it and do it over, again and again if necessary, until I get it right. It may need to be re-designed around the “scars” of my errors, but the identity of the material must always be retained. This little bear at left is a case in point. I had totally ruined the face pieces and became so frustrated that the rest of it was actually in the trash. The Lord wouldn’t let me leave it there. There was no more fabric to replace the ruined pieces, and I went through my box of scraps until I found a piece that made a good contrast and re-invented the face. I found that the unplanned change actually gave him more character!

Would you like to hear more about how much God cares about you and the things you are going through?    Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mvKgZBZf3w&feature=youtu.be
“Why Wounded and Betrayed Believers are so Useful to God” by Graham Cooke.

What are some of the things you love to do? Find a way to do them with your heart and spirit wide open–God may choose to speak to you through the things that mean the most to you!

Let us pray together. God is with us. God is for us.
Nothing can come against us when we are abiding in Him.
I choose not to forget the glorious cleansing and growth experiences I have had in Him.

Lord, silence the voices and circumstances that are lying to me, and lift me up above them. Renew me by transforming my mind and its thought processes (Romans 12:1).

Where there was death, You bring Life.
Where there was fear, You bring Courage.
When I am afraid, You are with me.
Thank You for the Cross. Nothing can come against Your work. No one can stand against You.

I thank You for revealing to me those lying voices that were shouting within my spirit just below my consciousness level. Even though someone I loved tried to sabotage that revelation so that I would be robbed of my power over them (in YOU), You have given me the victory. Glory to God forever!
You are “God-With-Us”, the “God-Who-Sees-Us.”
I choose to stand firmly in You, and I choose to believe on all of Your promises and spoken Words.
You are the Solid Rock, my Sure Foundation. You are faithful and You will never fail.
I won’t turn back, no matter the circumstances. I lay down all my doubts and fears and take hold of YOU, going forward in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

This week we want to remember our dear friend Pastor Peggy, as she recovers from a procedure that requires her to lie flat for several days. Lord speak to her—and make her smile as we remember her with our photos of “Flat Peggy”. Have you sent yours? Please join the fun!IMG_4186Screenshot 2016-08-12 16.17.33