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.  

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Goodbye Meal

The Last Supper, as we call it, was a celebration of Passover.  A holiday meal.  It was also a goodbye meal.  It was Jesus' last meal with the 12 men closest to Him - those He poured His Love and Word into.  Those Whom He loved deeply.  And to them, He was saying goodbye at their very last meal together.

Yes, the Last Supper was a "goodbye" meal, although I'm not sure it's ever looked at from that point of view.

Knowing He was facing a crucifixion, He wanted to be bolstered up by the Disciples love and care.  A little holy TLC was needed.  But, that He did not get.  Their trivial and trite conversations and questions to Him revealed how clueless they were to the pain in Jesus' Heart.  They didn't even realize He was saying goodbye. Oi, vey!  Jesus' compassionate Heart must have been aching for He was also concerned for those He would leave behind.  Oh, how He had to trust His Father for their future care.  I understand, Lord, I feel as You must have then.

Jesus faced what He did, solo. Yep, all alone.  And you know, even though surrounded by loved ones, each one of us goes through life solo.  Individually, we must make our own decisions, face the heartache of tribulations, and get through the storms of life.  Yes, others can have compassion and empathy, others can give us their opinions, but ultimately the decisions are ours alone.  Ultimately, no one can know our pain. No one truly understands the complexity of heart and mind in certain situations.  As individually unique as we all are, so are our responses to life's tribulations, changes, and heartaches.  Only our God knows and understands completely.

Oh, LORD, forgive me for the times when I've expected others to respond as I would; to feel as I would; to love as I would. Forgive me for the angst it causes within me when I think I'm not understood. And You know I hate goodbyes.  I've been saying them my whole life.  
"So, what's one more, Diane?  All the  past "goodbyes" prepared you for this one.  I have not left you ill-equipped. Yes, My Daughter, you love deeply as I do, you pour into others as I do.  Afterall, you are your Father's Daughter.  This is just one more goodbye.  You can do this.  Cry on My Shoulder when needed.  I am here."
Thank You, my Abba, thank You!

(PS: My story, Forgiveness Rendered, is about my very first goodbye on my life's journey.  And it was traumatic! Life-altering traumatic. Maybe that is why goodbyes are so painful to me.  Oh, LORD, my God, please let me have no regrets at these goodbyes.  Give me courage and strengthen my inner man to do and say everything I desire to.  Thank You, LORD.)

Because of Him and Unto Him, 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Yes, LORD, Yes

"Not my will, Your will be done."  How many times have we read that Scripture?  Sung that verse as a lyric in a song?  Or spoke it to The LORD in prayer, or just glibly declared it amongst friends?  Well, Abba takes our words most seriously whether we do or not.  When Abba finds a heart that He can count on to truly mean "not my will, but Your's be done", He orchestrates circumstances.  Like chess pieces, He maneuvers us.

And we don't realize how painful obedience can be until we are asked to die to self and say yes. I've been in my own Garden of Gethsemane before.  And I'm back here again battling my own heart to look at this maneuvering by God as something to rejoice about. Since the day after Christmas, I've cried out in anguish. Repeatedly. Today, during worship in church, I totally surrendered my will to His.  Come what may, I am His servant first and foremost.  I go where He leads.

After church, I emailed my friend, Don, and mentioned I heard that the Blue Ridge Parkway in NC is very scenic and I'm looking forward to driving it.  He then sent me this photo that he had taken during sunrise on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Photo Courtesy of Donald Case
Oh, how I love mountains and sunrises.  This is what awaits me on my new venture.  Oh, how my heart is now able to rejoice for I now know His goodness - if in no other way other than in the mountainous sunrises and sunsets - has gone before me and awaits me getting there.

Thank you, Don.  Abba used one of your photos once again!  And I thank You, Abba, for Your Grace - poured out to me and over me - truly IS sufficient.  And we journey on together.  

Excitement is beginning to mount.

Because of You and Unto You,

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Up, Up, And...

I do not like roller coasters. Born and raised a New Yorker, The Cyclone at Coney Island is well known to me. Although I've not ridden it ever again since my initial "flight" as a young child, I can well remember what it is like coming to the crest of that climb. The downside would cause me to be breathless with fear. No, I do not do roller coasters.

On the track of life, I'm inching my way up to the crest of the "roller coaster" of my life. In a few weeks, my car will carry me over the crest into the unknown. And only God will hold me in my seat for I will be breathless. Hopefully, more from a positive anticipation rather than fear of the unknown.
I'm the girl who reads the last pages of a book to tell whether or not I want to read it. I read magazines from the back cover to the front. Yet, life does not go in that order. So...I'm holding onto Him as I inch closer to the downside of the coaster. What is over the crest? Oh, how my heart wants to know.
All I know is the downside is the next phase of the journey I call my life. And right now, I'm holding on for dear life.
Because of Him and Unto Him,

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Think Vertically

Photo Courtesy of Donald Case

Life can be a hot-mess sometimes.  Don't you agree?  It can be kind of like the tree on the left.  Sometimes it's hard to focus, as life draws us into multiple directions all at the same time. 


But, the straight vertical lines of the background trees are kind of like our communication with God.  A straight line from the hot-messes directly to The One Who Can Do Something About Those Messes.  All we have to do is focus in on Him.

As this year draws to a close, may the new year bring forth more clarity, faith, and joy even in the midst of any hot-messes you may encounter.  Think vertically.  

God bless you and Happy New Year!

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Friday, December 15, 2017

Singed Loveliness

Photo Courtesy of Gianni Zanato

The beauty of this white rose has not diminished because of its singed petals. It seems to, somehow, add to its beauty. It seems to define it somehow as it makes the petal's swerves and crevices more pronounced.

The same with you and I. As we get "signed" by life's circumstances, we have two ways of looking at that which has seemingly burnt us.  "Yes, I'm now disfigured" or "Look how unique I now am".  The singe-ing of our hearts and souls can cause a type of disfigurement or we can allow the searing to adorn us - adding loveliness to our souls.

It's always about choice.

I choose the latter.  How about you?

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Monday, December 11, 2017

For Crying Out Loud

...Jesus, The Mediator of The New Covenant, and to the Blood of Springling that speaks better than that of Abel. ~Hebrews 12:24b
God told Cain that Abel's blood cried out to Him from the ground. (Genesis 4:1-16)  What were the cries of Abel's life-force? Vengence?

Think of Cain for a moment.  He had never ever experienced blood before. When he struck down his brother and Abel's blood spilled from his body, I can imagine how the red stuff must have shocked him and stiffened him momentarily.  But, with no police, no laws in place, Cain didn't think this act would bear consequences.  Until God Almighty tells Cain that Abel's blood cried out to Him. Phew...I can imagine how fearful Cain must have been, not understanding what we know about blood and DNA today.  Due to our revelations of DNA, we know that blood does "speak". 

So, Jesus' sprinkled Blood speaks better things than Abel's did.  What does His Blood say? Forgive, for you are forgiven? Believe, for My Eternal Blood was shed in place of yours?

We know there is a life-force in blood.  We know DNA speaks.

So, if Jesus' Blood is Eternal, it still has Life and It still speaks to anything we declare that Blood over.  There is an authority in His pure, holy, life-giving Blood. An authority which annunciates to whatever we are in need of.  It bears witness to the Goodness, Faithfulness, and Love of our God. 

Oh, yes, Jesus Christ's Blood is still crying out loud. Do we hear it?  Do we allow His Blood to speak into our adverse circumstances?  Into our minds as the enemy of our souls invades our thoughts? Do we appropriate His Blood - His authoritative, Life-giving Blood - over ourselves, our loved ones, and our circumstances?

Birth is a bloody mess.  Dying can be a bloody mess.  His "mess" is our solution, our benefit.  Thank You, LORD, for your Blood that still speaks over my life.

Because of Him and Unto Him,