Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The "O" Number

I'd like you to stop and think about this statement for a moment:
If you were ONLY known for the worst thing you have done in your life, think of the labels that would come with that, and the opportunities you may lose out on in your life, and the guilt and shame you would be covered in.
Heavy isn't it?

That question was poised to us at the beginning of an orientation class I participated in at Changed Choices -  a ministry to women in prison and after their release.  That statement pricked my heart.  

I know the labels that were put on me from childhood and the labels I used to put on myself in my BC (Before Christ) years. Oh, I thank God for Jesus Christ and that I'm now label-free.  
But, what If you were ONLY known for the worst thing you have done in your life? 
Those in prison live day in and day out under the weight of labels.  The politically correct term is no longer "prisoner" or "inmate".  It is now "offender".  "Offender #12345".  Day in and day out, year in and year out, those in prison are reminded of their worst moments, their worst choices, their worst offenses.  After release, they get a new label "Ex-con","Felon", "Sex Offender" so that society knows how awful a human being they once were.

But what about the men and woman in prison who have truly repented and have worked hard a making better choices in life?  Like you and I have done.

Some Christians do not have a past to be ashamed of or a past that could have ended with them becoming Offender #12345.  And they, I'm sure, cannot relate.  But, I do.  I know what God has forgiven me for.  I know how close I came to being just an "O" number - Offender #12345.   

God Almighty does not remember our worst offenses.  Our sins (offenses) are thrown into the deep and are remembered no more.  Our American society needs to be a little more Grace-oriented and forgiving. It can only happen society-wide if it begins with you and I as Followers of Christ.  If true Believers would forgive and extend Grace - as each of us have been forgiven and covered by God's Grace - then as a society we would see positive change.  Even within our prisons.  
Where sin abounded, Grace abounded much more. ~Words of the Apostle Paul, THE SERIAL MURDERER , as recorded in Romans 5:20b
Because of Him and Unto Him,
I'm not an "O" number,

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Celebrating Father's Day - Early

Love - real Love - truly is Divine in nature. It is pure, holy, chaste, gentle, unconditional, giving.  It loosens freedom, strength, forgiveness, encouragement, and joy to the soul.

Love Divine lifts us up. It embodies God to us, cocoons us in His protective embrace, and showers our soul with a joy that truly cannot be explained.

Love Divine affords us the ability to love the unlovable one, go the extra mile when needed, and to put another ahead of ourselves once in a while.

Love Divine gifts us with the ability to forgive the most unforgivable acts, to embrace other sinners until they change choices, or even release those we so desperately want to hold on to.

And as we know, Satan is the Perverter of everything God.  Hence, we have the passions of the body and mind that we are brainwashed into believing is love.  And that is so so far from true Love Divine, which is our Father's gift to all of us.

My Daddy holds my heart and soul ever so gently, tenderly cupping me within His Hand.  He provides companionship of the God-kind in the loneliest of times. He listens intently as if I were the only human child He has.  He speaks in controlled softness even when correcting me.  And since He knows me best (cause He created me), He and I are soulmates.  He fulfills every emotional need I may have. He walks with me - next to me. Not two steps ahead or with casual-uninvolvment behind me.  My Abba makes me feel cherished and adored, which is His Divine Goal.  I've had a few people in the last few years say to me, "You look like a woman in love."  I'm so happy it shows.  For I am.  With God.  And the best is, His Love Divine spills over onto others in my sphere of influence.

Thank You, Abba.  May I forever be adorned with the residue of your Divine Love.  And when all human, carnal "love" lets others down, may they choose to know You and Your Love Divine intimately.  May they desire what You and I have - for themselves. As I know that is Your Heart's Desire for all Your children.  

I love You, My Abba
YOUR Diane

Friday, May 11, 2018

Come and Be Filled

Some Sermons-In-a-Sentence (in the same theme) 
offered as nourishment:

~ If Agape Love (God Almighty's unconditional Love) were a bank, how much would be in your account?

~ Eph. 5:18 says, " filled with The Spirit...(The God of Love Who has no measure).  That word "filled" means "a continuous flow".  So, are you continually being filled to overflowing with God's Character and Attributes?

~ Do you know that the treasury of the Most High God is inexhaustible?  We can never deplete it for it is a continuous flow.  We can, however, choose to never withdraw from our account.

~ Do you look at "the treasury” of God as being His Blessings or His Character Traits?  

~ If unconditional love, compassion, or long-suffering were a bank
account, do you think you need to make a withdrawal or do you look at those attributes just like we do pennies (not worth much so why bother?)?

~ I believe one of the reasons why the American Body of Christ so kicks and wounds each other, judges, points fingers, and typically does not like each other is due to the fact that we are not filled (to overflowing) with The God of Love's attributes. 

~ The American Body of Christ, for the most part, wants God to “bless” us, not transform us into His image and likeness; not have our carnal, dysfunctional minds renewed to be One with the Mind of Christ. 

~ If God's Love is unconditional, how then do we - His Body - put conditions on who and how we will love?

~ For the most part, The American Body of Christ is selfish.  We desire to be a "bless me" club that subliminally says, "You are not good enough to enter here because your sins are an 'abomination'".

~ If all sin warranted God Almighty to send His Son to pay our penalty, why then do we classify degrees of sins?  So, we feel better about ourselves, that's why.  

~ We should desire to be filled (in a continuous flow) with The God of Love, Who has the ability to transform us into a conduit for His Agape Love to reach every human being in our circle of influence.  We dam up that flow because we judge who is worthy of wrapping our arms around and loving on no matter what their lifestyle choice may be at the moment. We forget that it was the unconditional Love of God which brought us to repentance and the unconditional love we extend will do the same.  Jesus never told Mary Magdalene that her sins were an "abomination".  No, He embraced her and loved her without judgment causing her to seek forgiveness and change choices. 

~ If we are filled with The God of Love, HIMSELF, rather than just the Love of God, we would be filled to capacity and be overflowing with love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, compassion, and a knowledge of right-standing with God to which no law can stand against. Why? Because we would be filled with God Himself (the FULLNESS of Who He is) not just one of His attributes.

~ Why settle for just the attribute of Love when we are offered the FULLNESS of God?  ALL of Him, not just a portion.  Why?

Have a grateful Mother's Day.  

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Soulmate One, Three, and Four: CHECK

I've been doing much thinking about soulmates lately. I've been writing, contemplating, and writing some more.

I've realized a few things:

1.  You can have a soulmate in a pet. Check.
2.  You can have a soulmate in a life partner.
3.  You can have a soulmate in a friend. Check.
4.  You can have a Soulmate in God.  Check.

I've been oh, so blessed by having a soulmate in 1,3, and 4.

"The LORD is my Soulmate God - the Essence of who I am", I wrote.  And how true that is.  Afterall Jesus prayed that I, Diane, would be One with The Father, as He was One with Him.
That they all may be One as You, Father, are in Me and I in You; that they also may be One in Us; that the world may believe that You have sent Me.  ~ Jesus, The Christ, as recorded in John 17:21
I know my relationship with God is rare (in the valuable kind).  It is deep and intimate, filled with Love Divine (as Seal calls it in his song, Love Divine).

My Divine Soulmate keeps encouraging me.  He keeps on loving on me.  He keeps on fulfilling me.  The Essence of His Being is Love.  And It has melded to me causing me to be One with Him - the greatest, most value Soulmate there could ever be.  I think Hallmark should come up with a Soulmate's Day.  For surely it is worth celebrating.

The one area I've not experienced is with my husband, so if you have experienced having your life's partner as your soulmate, please share so I can feel what it is like vicariously through you.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Thursday, May 3, 2018

On My Way...Finally!

As you all know, I've been on a journey of healing and finding myself at the same time.  Finding out who I am separate from a spouse.  I came to realize that over the longevity of my marriage, I picked up some disturbing behavioral patterns - after all, we were one.  Patterns that I am consciously and diligently working on to nullify from my life. And so I share with you, my friends, a bit of who I found myself to be.

As I'm working on change, I've also come to realize, AND APPRECIATE, one of my greatest character traits over the longevity of my life has been a kindness. 

And I've also come to notice that it angers some people, causing them to judge me. I've even been berated for my kindness. It seems to cause people to "glitch" on the inside somehow.

It takes an inner strength to "be" what doesn't come natural in this world. That's why America needed a "Random Acts of Kindness" campaign. I believe that inner strength is the character of God within me. He and I are a "well-oiled machine" as the saying goes.  We flow together. As one.

And so as I come around to almost a year of being a retired wife, I'm finally at a place of starting to be able to CELEBRATE me - the me God created me to be; NOT the one I morphed into through childhood and from being one with who I was married to for so many years. I know that doesn't sound very humble, but I am most humbled.  For God is within me and it is He who I am one with.  One with Abba's behavioral patterns and character.  And since He is The Potentate of Kindness and I am my Father's Daughter, I can finally see His Kindness attribute in me.

And so with all that is within me, I thank You, Abba.  Thank You for the continual transformation of me back into the woman You knew before I was conceived in my mother's womb. I am eternally grateful that kindness is a part of my legacy. For kindness can only blossom from a heart that is overflowing with Love. Thank You, Abba, for filling me with Your Love.  My vocation, Dear LORD, is to make my life an act of worship unto You. And I'm finally on my way. May You alone be glorified and honored. 

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Friday, April 27, 2018

The Pick-the-petals-off-the-daisy Syndrome

Do you remember the summertime pick-the-petals-off-the-daisy game?

"I love him. I love him not.I love him. I love him not. I love him. I love him not..."

Oh, the heart is so very fickle. In the last (almost) five-years, I've learned how fickle my heart really is. For one moment I do.  One moment I do not.

Even though this was a four-year ordeal of lawyers and courts, it's only been 8 months since I am a retired wife.  Eight months of a new life. Of retirement. So, yes, the back and forth fickleness is still very much alive and well. One minute my heart attitude is, "Thank you for setting me free into my now new life."  A little while later, I hear a song or someone says something that takes me back to the good days of life lived. Together.

Fickleness.  I do think it is a torment.  One minute I'm laughing and secure.  A moment later I can be teary-eyed for what once was. That is why James tells us to not be double-minded (James 1:6-8).  But this now new life is still a journey of inner healing. 

So....what do I do in one of my fickle moments?  I buy PacMan. For the light switch in my bedroom.  As a reminder of the husband of my youth.  The only one I will ever have.

I remember the day Joe brought home the PacMan game for our new Atari system.  He was hooked.  He loved that game back in 1980 and probably still does to this day.

I keep going over to it and touching it.  A smile comes over my face but a moment later a tear forms on my heart and I must walk away. After 44 years of marriage and 2 pre-marriage years, I don't even have to close my eyes to hear the sounds PacMan made as he gobbled up the ghosts. And I don't have to close my eyes to picture the excitement produced by those sounds Joe so loved.

But, I do have to close my eyes to remind myself that it is OK to have this kind of fickleness once in a while.  As a woman who loves with the God-kind of Love, I've chosen to allow that Love to rule and reign my life.  So, PacMan will always have a place in my heart.  As will the husband of my youth.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Empty Tomb, Full Heart

This Easter I designed a card and this was the inside wording:
His empty tomb revealed His Glory.
Our hearts reveal His Glory to each other.
During Easter week, I had been meditating on the words in that card, as was my friend to whom the card was sent.  We had an in-depth discussion on the meaning of those God-inspired words. The two of us were blessed and most humbled by what we saw of the Goodness and Character of God in each other, which has caused the both of us to know God more deeply.  More intimately. 

I'm going to try and put our 40-minute discussion into a nutshell for you:

In Exodus 33:18-19, Moses asked God to see His Glory. In response, God showed Moses His Goodness. THE GLORY OF GOD IS HIS GOODNESS.  And Moses was allowed to view the goodness of God Almighty in a tangible way.  We cannot even begin to imagine what Moses must have experienced.

As Jesus Followers, as His Disciples, our hearts - the inner essence of who we are - should reveal The LORD's Glory to each other.  SHOULD reveal The LORD's GOODNESS to each other.  

I feel we should know God in a deeper, more intimate way because of His Goodness being revealed to us through each other.  That is what the world needs to see.  That is what CHRISTIANS need to see. IN EACH OTHER.  

If we are not, why not?

"More of Him and less of me."  We say it.  We sing it.  Do we even understand what we are saying?  John 3:30 says, "He must increase but I must decrease."  What about Jesus must increase?  His Goodness, His Character. IN ME. His Goodness and Character should override who I used to be.  CHANGE.  GODLY CHANGE.  WITHIN ME.  REVEALING MORE OF HIS GOODNESS.  
Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? HE WHO HAS SEEN ME HAS SEEN THE FATHER; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?           ~ John 14:9
If Jesus' Spirit is ruling and reigning from within us, then The Father should also be seen IN US.  I dare say that we should be able to say, "If they see me, they see The Father."  Whoa!  

We are told in the Book of Acts that when the Holy Spirit comes upon us we will be witnesses of Jesus Christ.  BE witnesses.  Not go out and knock on doors and witness; not go to public places and witness.  No. BE a witness.

Our lifestyle. the changes taking place within us. are to be the witness. to our families. to brothers and sisters in Christ. to the strangers in the marketplace.

May others see The Father's Glory when they observe us.  And may they be drawn to a deeper, more intimate relationship with God.

Because of Him and Unto Him,

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.  

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,