Thursday, April 5, 2018

God's Priority

I found me a new Tom.  Ed is now the new Tom in my life.  My ever-so-needed handyman.

Ed is an older gentleman who married his childhood friend a gazillion years ago.  They had been friends from age 5.  They grew up and old together.  She is his numero uno priority in life and he is a man who deeply loves his family.  It shows.

As he shared, I got teary-eyed.  Emotional. I actually had to walk away.

I've never been anyone's priority in life.  I've never experienced the security and well-being that must come with that kind of dedication and care.  And at this stage of the game, I probably never will even though I did tell The LORD I would like to be  s o m e o n e' s  priority in this lifetime.  As a woman, I would like to know how that feels.

But, I do know that I'm God's priority.  I'm His numero uno.  And I DO know the security and well-being that comes from that deep-seated knowledge.  So for THAT, I'm mightily blessed.

So, if I had to choose between an Ed or God, God would win hands down.  No contest.  Abba DOES make me feel safe and secure, loved and cherished. Adored even.  Yes, i AM God's priority.  And so are you!  Oh, Hallelujah!

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Three Dog Night Experience

Anyone who is a leader in ministry can experience overwhelming loneliness at times.  The responsibility of your position cannot be shared with anyone.  It's just you.  And The LORD.  No one truly understands.  Except for The LORD.

I love this photo of this particular lighthouse.  I am drawn to the very desolation of this place.  Outside of the lighthouse keeper, I'm sure there are not many visitors.  Who'd want to walk up all those steps?    God bless the keeper, for this is one lonely job!

When loneliness weighs us down, what do we do?  Complain?  Sulk?  Isolate?  Drop out of ministry?  Stop serving? 

We do. But, we shouldn't.  We should take it to The LORD, Who is our Burden Bearer. 

If anyone understands bitter, unrelenting, weigh-you-down loneliness, it is Jesus, The Christ.  From birth He was different.  His own siblings didn't believe He was Who He was, never mind townfolk.  Most of the time, His own Disciples couldn't figure Him out.  In the Garden of Gethsemane, He was alone.  At His arrest.  Crawling on the Via Dolorosa.  Hanging on the Cross.  ALONE.

Therefore, He understands.  He will sustain us during the times when Satan whispers "I'm so lonely" in our ears making us think this is how we feel.  Satan makes us feel as if we have been abandoned.

If The LORD Jesus Christ - the Champion Overcomer of loneliness - is by our side willing to sustain us, why, oh, why do we not throw what we are experiencing onto Him?
Cast your burden on The LORD and He shall sustain you.  ~Ps. 55:22a 
We seem to stay - wallowing - in that feeling of isolation and self-pity.  Loneliness and self-pity go hand-in-hand.  As leaders in ministry, we must take authority over that demonic, mental stronghold.  For we certainly are NOT alone.  We have The Spirit of The Champion Overcomer dwelling in us, with us, and for us. 

I don't know about you, but I sure am "preaching" to myself.  No, Three Dog Night, one is NOT the loneliest number I will ever do.  Thank You, LORD. 

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Thursday, March 22, 2018

God's Kiss

A day without being of service to mankind for me is like living like a fish out of water - just flapping around.  If a fish is not swimming in the sea, he is not a fish. These past two months that's how I have felt.  

And because God has not yet directed me to what He would have me do, I've been told, "Just come back."  

God doesn't do "back" unless He has emotional healing in mind.  Even with CareVan.  I cannot go back to what is familiar and comfortable.  This is a new season.  A new life.  And a new assignment does await me.  And He may have already given me a glimpse.  He has shown me where society hurts.  And I pray that I might be His Kiss to those specific wounds.  I sure hope so.

The Yankee in me is not adjusted to this Southern lifestyle of slow and easy yet.  I'm like 10 steps ahead...slow down, Diane.  I'm ready to jump in.  Into what I think is the "glimpse".  But, time will tell.  Time...slow down, Diane.

In the midst of the unknown, I'm practicing patience.  And patience will have its perfect work in me.  And maybe that is what is absolutely necessary for me to be the "kiss" He wants me to be.

When I know for sure, I'll let you know.  In the meantime, I encourage you to go out and be God's Kiss to someone today.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Little God-things

It's the littlest of God-things that bring me such joy.  Wanna hear how Abba does me?

I grew up in a German family who had corn beef and cabbage once-a-year.  Only once-a-year.  On St. "Paddy's" Day, as we called it.  When I married my Italian man, we continued the tradition of the once-a-year St. Paddy's day meal. 
(I even have a funny story about how my serving corn beef and cabbage on St. Paddy's Day one year caused the Montreal Canadians to lose to New York Rangers.  NOW it's funny story.  It sure wasn't back then, as Ken Dryden (the Canadians goalie, was family.)
So, for forty years of marriage, we had corn beef and cabbage.  The last four years, however, I didn't cook it because I was now alone.  Why bother?

This week I went to the grocery store and bought a corned beef and a head of cabbage and I thought to myself, What in Heaven's name am I doingWhat am I going to do with all this?

Last night I asked Isabel if she liked corn beef.  I thought I would cook it and share it with them.  But, her reply deflated me.  "No, why?"  I told her I was going to cook it.  "Rene just said last night that St. Patrick's Day was coming and he would love to have some corn beef."

Oh, did my heart smile.  It's the little God-things that are so very special.

You see, my buying and preparing the meal was not for me, but for Rene.  Abba knew the desire of his heart wanted to bless him

So, I'm taking my uncooked foods to their house later to prepare a wonderful St. Paddy's day meal for my Puerto Rican friend. 

I guess you can say that I have found this to be a muti-ethnical meal.  It's not just for the Irish. Even Germans, Italians, and Puerto Ricans love it. 

And God loves Rene and is going to bless him.  And I'm blessed beyond measure that Abba is using my corn beef to do so.  I love when He does little things like this.  Because any little thing God does, is really a BIG thing to the recipients and that truly makes my heart smile.

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Saturday, March 10, 2018

A Wagon's Tale

A Wagon's Tale

What do you see when you look at this wagon?
Does it look old?
Well used?
"Put out to pasture"?

What I see:
Memories. Stories. Adventures.
What untold stories are chronicled within this empty,
worn structure?
What was the silly talk children spoke riding to and from?
What family taradiddles or gossip has it heard?

Does it echo with its previous life that only those 
who have ears to hear can hear?
What carvings may be branded into its wood in a secluded spot?
Oh, to Sherlock Holmes up, down, in, and out of it...

How many times did a wagon wheel break down in an inconvenient place?
How long did it take to repair?
Did the cargo need to be unloaded?  Then reloaded?
Were prayers prayed for help?

Oh, the tales the loads could tell about the owners...

What kind of horse was assigned to engine this wagon?
Did he resent the long, hard paths not of his choosing?
Did his body hurt from hauling the heavy loads?
Did he long to be liberated?

Old wagon put out to pasture. 

Does anyone care?
Does anyone have ears to hear the long-silent laughter? 
Eyes to see the long-dried up tears this wagon has transported?

Just an old wagon?
It's the history of a family. 
Their story.
Left now only to my imagination. 

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Birth Day Revelation

I saw this on FB this morning:

It's a deep question.  One worth diving into I think.  


We all have wounds that have been inflicted upon us from this world.  Just because we are alive. 

I have been procrastinating on moving forward with a legal issue due to the trauma of the last five years of life.  My spirit is telling me to sign the papers and get it done.  My wounds are telling me, no, be careful; look at what he is capable of.  My wounds are screaming FEAR.

The Spirit within me is gently encouraging faith.

Gentle Faith vs. Screaming Fear.  

Fear needs to be loud, arrogant, and stand-in-your-face.  Why? Because fear is a BULLY!

Faith?  Just the opposite.  Quiet, gentle, mild-mannered; I'm-here-if-you-want-me kind of attitude.  

All I need do is hold Faith's hand.  Faith will do the rest.

Thank you, Toby Mac!  And Thank You, Abba, for this gift to me on this particular day - the day You created me anew - 35 years ago.  Thank You that I am holding Faith's Hand and will, courageously, move forward.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

My Need-Meeter is Running

Some mornings I awaken just needing to "create".  In other words, write.  Today is such a morning.

I've had a little time - now that unpacking and setting up is winding down - to contemplate on what could possibly be the purpose for me to be here in Charlotte.

I'm living in a multi-cultural area and I know there must be "Oh, God, help me" needs all around me.  As I go about my business, I'm in tune.  Listening for the Still Small Voice to speak.  And at the moment, all I can think of is CareVan...CareVan is such a part of who I am, that I cannot imagine not providing for needs down here...

One of the first things I did this week was visit
and start my search for areas to volunteer at.  I found an organization of local churches, who together, meet the needs of widows, single parents, and elderly in a variety of ways out in the communities.  Guess what they are looking for?  Someone who can provide non-food essentials.  Hello?!  CareVan!  I will definitely respond.

Today, I think I will knock on a door to introduce myself to a neighbor.  I'm asking The LORD to show me "where it hurts" - in other words, what the needs may be.

I've always been a "need-meeter" and it's time to get started!  I'll keep you posted.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Suddenly the Kick Came

Toward the end of 2017, when I chose my 2018 OneWord365, I could not imagine I would be put to the test so quickly.  I did know it would come, but I was not prepared for the suddenness of the thrust.  I was most comfortable in my life-nest.  2018 barely started.  Pushed out of the nest via a swift kick, I could do nothing but flap, flap my wings from Long Island to Charlotte.

SOLO was the word I chose for this year.  One of the definitions is to "fly alone".  Somehow, I knew 2018 was going to be a pivotal year in my now retired-wife life.  Little did I know though.  Little do I still know.  I'm walking in the dark by the Light of His Spirit.

Abba likes it that way.  He loves to surprise us.  He loves for us to only know the next step - not the end of the pathway.  One step at a time.  So why am I now down in NC?  I truly have no idea.  I came to this uncharted land strictly out of obedience.

What ministry lies ahead in my solo-ness?  I truly do not know.

I think of all the ways God has used me over the past 34 years.  Extraordinary ways.  Above and beyond my natural capabilities.  I look at my ministry "resume" and I am amazed what God can accomplish through one human being who partners with Him.
(I just had a revelation that almost everything I've done to serve The LORD in my married, supposedly partnered-life, I've accomplished solo. Just me and The LORD.  So, Diane, this is no different!  Hear that girl, NO DIFFERENT!)  
I'm hoping this Divine Assignment, in this solo season, will be a cumulation of all the years combined.  I'm hoping this last hurrah of my life will be BIG.  Bigger than me, bigger than my natural capabilities, bigger than all the years of servanthood combined.  For then, God Alone, will be glorified.

Here I am, LORD, use me..."Where does it hurt?"  Show me the hurt and equip me to be the answer.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Umm...Confirmation Please

This is my first blog post from my now new life down in North Carolina. My first day in Charlotte, which was only two days ago, I received two confirmations that I am supposed to be a Charlottean now rather than a New Yorker. 

1.  Feb.1st was the move-in day.  Alece (my daughter) and I slept in a hotel the night before.  We left the hotel at the crack of dawn to get some breakfast at Panera Bread.  We ordered breakfast for us and a take-out order of coffee and bagels, etc. for the moving men.  The total came to $50. 34.  I dig in my wallet, and I had a $50 bill but no change.  Nor any singles.  I apologized to her and said I had to give her another 20.  She replied, "No no."  She dug into her pants pocket and pulled out change and dropped it into the register as she said, "Welcome to Charlotte!"   I was so blown away!  It was a tear-filled eye moment for me.

2.  Later that day, Alece and I had to go to the local cable company to pick up my box.  In that area was a diner, "where the locals come to eat." Oh, man...we walked in, and it was packed to capacity.  We had about a 15 min. wait.  So, the hostess chit-chatted with us.  I told her I just moved down here from NY. "Where in NY?"  "Long Island."  "Where on Long Island?" "Wading River."  "Wading River?!"  That was the beginning of our long convo.  Not only was she from Wading River, Regina Weiss had the same last name as my maiden name; and her grandparents owned a summer home one block from where my grandparents (Gussie and Eddie Weiss) had a summer home in Wading River - where I spent summers, where she spent summers. 

Coincidence?  NO!  GOD. 

Plus: all the wait staff used iPads to take our order.  Wow!  I'm now in the 21st century.  It makes Long Island seem as if it were in the dark ages. And the food...probably one of the best diners I've ever eaten in.  What a burger! And so began my start here in Charlotte.

So...when ya'll come down to visit, you know where we will be going. 

3.  Yesterday (on my second day here) was confirmation #3.  We went into the leasing office to take care of some business.  There was a young man (maybe in his 30's) at another desk.  While Colleen was on the phone, I tuned-in to his convo at the other desk.  I turned around and asked, "Are you just moving in?"  "Yes."  "Me too.  I just got here from NY."  "New York?  I hate NY!"  "Well, I love my New York."  With that, he jumps up and says, "I have something in my car I want to give you.  I'll be right back.  Don't move."  As he ran toward the door, he said, "I've had this in my car for six months.  I guess it is meant for you."  He comes back in and hands me a white mug that says, "I (red heart) New York."  As I respond, he threw his arms around me and hugged me.  Actually, we hugged twice.

I had said to myself previously that I have to get something that says, "I (red heart) NY.  Abba saw to it that I got something.  Another tear-filled eye moment. 

And so, I begin today (day three) with a tired, but very grateful heart.  Grateful for the confirmations.  Grateful for my son, Michael, who helped pack me up and my daughter, Alece, who put her life on hold to travel to NY on moving day and then drove down with me to help me get settled in.  She is a work-horse.  We got so much accomplished in two short days. We worked hard and laughed easy. 

I am where I am supposed to be.  Thank You, Abba, for my now new life. 

Ya'll come down now, ya hear! 

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Friday, January 19, 2018

From a Battlefield Handbook

Have you ever been battle weary?  I have.  Many.  MANY times.  And that is because I've battled in the flesh and/or half-hearted in The Spirit. And when it was over, I felt like I was bruised and beaten by unseen foes.

Have you ever been discouraged that God seems to not hear or move on your behalf?  I have.  And discouragement comes for the same reason.

When battles are truly waged via The Spirit of God, there is no weariness.  But, there are results.  RESULTS!  I could write a book about the times when I have waged war in the heavenlies via The Spirit of God within me and there have been miraculous results.

Painting by Agnes Cecile
This painting reminds me of someone who is battle weary.  Look at the bruised knuckles and the dark circles under her eyes.  She has battled; kind of like we do as Christians (in the natural, in the flesh), ending with us being bruised and beaten down.

Several weeks ago a friend called me.  I did not know it at the beginning of the call that he was most discouraged and lacking faith at the moment for a miracle he had long been believing for.  Just as we were hanging up, he spoke out his fear.  I (just so happened I was feeling the same as him for his situation) shared that I, too, felt the same way.  In that moment, our call was cut off.  

Within moments, I had a revelation from The Spirit of God about how we left off - having spoken such defeat to each other.  I emailed him to call me ASAP.  Thankfully, he called within an hour or so.  When I  answered the phone, I first apologized to him and then told him not to speak a word, just listen and agree by faith.  And by The Spirit of God, I took authority in the spirit realm.  I went to battle.  And NOT in my flesh.  It was productive and so powerfully effective that he was in tears on the other end of the phone because faith was rising.  And rising.  AND RISING.  In him.  In me.  We spent the last part of our call just praising God for the outcome we were once again able to see with the eyes of our hearts.

Today he called to share that the miracle that he and his family have long believed would come, came.  Today.  A few weeks after that powerful heavenly battle took place.  I do believe had we not taken authority over the negative, binding words we spoke and the devil's interference, his long-awaited miracle would still be in the unmanifested waiting zone.  Our battle in the heavenlies allowed God's army of angels to do what they had been waiting to do. 

Tonight, this girl is NOT battle weary.  Tonight, this girl is just grateful.  Grateful for the outcome.  Grateful for the lesson learned on the battlefield of life.  Grateful that I serve The God of Miracles.  Grateful that Abba Father called me to be an Intercessor - His watchman on the wall.  Grateful for The Spirit of God Who lives, rules, and reigns from within me - not out there in the cosmos somewhere, but right here from within my being.  And most grateful that the battles belong to Him.

P.S.  I just purchased this piece of art.  It will hang in my new home as a reminder that the battles belong to The LORD.