Monday, June 25, 2012

God says so

God spoke the world into existence. He didn't wave His hands, snap His fingers, or use some kinda wand or staff to create everything. He spoke and it was.

God's Word is not only powerful, it is defining. He said, "Let there be light" and there was light. He made everything; His definition of everything is the only one that matters; the only one there truly is!

That works for us too.

On the way home from work God revealed this to me. For years I believed I wasn't something that He has called me to be, given me the gift to be, defined me to be. I didn't believe for all kinds of reasons. Because I didn't have the proper training, because I wasn't as good at it as other were, because I failed, because I looked stupid. Because....because...because.

And God spoke to me today, telling me I was what He said I was, because HE said so. Not teachers, not friends, not people, not the "world". Him. His Words. They are what define me, what I should listen to.
I was sorrowed and repented for not believing The Creator of the Universe, The One who spoke me into being. The God of everything, who without Him there is nothing.


I want to encourage you today. Whatever you are feeling, whatever has been spoken over you by people, even well-meaning people, whatever the world of man has said to you, put it all aside. Actually, kick it out the front door!
And let the life-bring, beauty-creating, majestic Words of God flow into you. Soak them up. Listen to Him and be covered by His Words that He is singing over you. Ask Him what you are, who you are, what He has given you. And let that be enough. For it is more than enough.

Please try it, and be blessed beyond measure by what Words God has for you!

"God, I am ________, because You said I am, and I believe and trust You. Your Words bring life. They create wonders I cannot even fathom. They restore me and bring me peace. Thank You Lord. I love You."

Sunday, June 17, 2012

It is all about You Jesus

This is Bebo Norman's song "Nothing Without You". I do not own it, nor did I write/create it. I did sign this song for my Mom, because she has modeled a worshipful heart and life. I hope it blesses you all!

                                                                  God loves you!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

And all God's children said, Ohhh Yeah!!!

About the title of my post: a very special person once told me that another way to say amen was, "ohhh yeah!", because both meant that you were wholeheartedly agreeing with what had just been said. Even though I learned this as a child, I still use and love that phrase!

This past Sunday we had a very special guest at my church. Well, he was very special to me. His name is Tom Michaels Zahradnik, and that is the name the world at large knows him by.

I call him Mr. Z. Always have, probably always will. It is a name, a term of endearment rather, that means so much more than a sign of respect, although I do hold this man in high esteem.

You see, Mr. Z, he was my Sunday school teacher.

We called it Kids Church, and he and his wonderful wife Cathleen, or Mrs. Z, taught it for most of my childhood years. They were such a wonderful team, and I continue to look back on those Sunday mornings with much joy and thankfulness. But there is one thing I remember more than anything else, something I hold onto and count as precious in my heart. I don't think I can rightly describe what it is without this verse from the book of Matthew:
             Jesus said,"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."          Matthew 19:14

Mr. and Mrs. Z took this verse to heart, and lived it as my Kids Church teachers. Throughout our worship, singing, and teaching time together, their purpose was always to bring us kids closer to Jesus. It was their joy to do so. I can remember Mr. Z encouraging us to memorize God's word, praise Him with enthusiasm, and most importantly, listen quietly and patiently for His voice. Mr. Z told us that we, even as children, could hear God, could obey God, could do mighty things for God! So many times I came to Mr. Z with an idea, a prayer, a word from God; never was I laughed at or turned away. Instead, I was encouraged to do or say what God had put on my heart! I was a child, and Mr. Z never kept me from Jesus, or from sharing the love He had given to me to share!

What a powerful and beautiful gift to give to a child. I can tell you it made a sweet imprint on my young heart, one that has stayed with me through the years. But bad experiences, disappointed dreams, and a few judgmental people later, and that imprint of child-like faith got covered up with negativity, pride, doubt and despair.
That's why it was so special to see Mr. Z on Sunday. As soon as I saw him, all those sweet memories, all that encouragement, all the truth of who I am in Jesus Christ came flooding back to me in an instant. I wanted to cry, and at that moment I didn't understand why. But I have been thinking of Mr. Z all week, all the times he encouraged me, spoke blessing into my life, delighted in me and my desire to love Jesus with everything I am. He was not the only one; I have been blessed beyond measure by loving people who I cannot thank God enough for.

Mr. Z is one of those people. He rejoiced in "letting the children" come to Jesus. And without knowing it, this man has once again helped me go to the loving arms of Jesus. Once again I know I am His beloved child, and I don't want anything to rob me of that. 

Mr. Z will forever be precious in my, and I know many other, "children's" hearts.
Thank you Mr. Z!

And everybody said, "Ohhhhh Yeahhhh!!!"

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Yes waiter, I'll take the dirt with worms please...

This is a skit that God gave to me, and my brother and his friend performed at our church this Sunday. I hope you are blessed by it; word pictures really help drive the point home with me!

Imagine that you are in a nice restaurant, having dinner with a friend, spouse, whomever. Now, picture in this restaurant, a table, not far from where you are, with two gentlemen sitting at it. There is nothing about these two gentlemen that catches your attention; they are very ordinary. You go back to eating your meal, when your attention is suddenly drawn back to the two men. Not because of them, but because of what the server has just brought out for them to eat. Actually, it’s just the one gentlemen’s choice of dinner that has you shocked and very grossed out! One gentleman, the normal one, is eating a juicy cheeseburger on a whole wheat bun, stacked with tomatoes and lettuce; he is washing it down with a big glass of fresh milk. The other man, the extremely strange one, is devouring a plate full of dirt! Not only that, but he is washing it all down with what looks to be mud! You look closer, and see that the dirt he is eating is filled with worms, and he is eating them too! You shake your head, hoping you aren’t seeing what you thought you saw; but as you look again, there he is, stuffing his face with dirt and worms! You have suddenly lost your appetite, and hurriedly ask the waiter for your check. As you leave the restaurant you ask yourself, “How could anyone do something that disgusting and unhealthy?”

The answer is this: Every single one of us has done that.

No, I am not talking about eating dirt as a kid. I am talking about feeding yourself dirt, that is to say, lies. Every one of us has “eaten” a lie at some point in our life, maybe even this very day. We sit down, devour them, digest them and then do it all over again. We give up the beneficial, nutritious, life giving food we are offered by Jesus, and instead choose the muddy muck of the enemies’ lies. Why?

Jesus is singing over you every moment, speaking life giving and life changing words to your heart constantly. It is a simple choice: Lies or truth? Which will you believe?

And if it ever becomes unclear to you, think of it this way; dirt or a cheeseburger, which would you choose to eat?

John 8:32

32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Daddy, My Hero!

Today is my Dad's Birthday. I am so thankful he was born, and that he is my father. As I was thinking about him today I decided to list the ways he has blessed my life. Here they are!

    Daddy, you have always loved me. From before you could see me you have prayed for me, cherished me, waited expectantly for me. You have held me when I hurt, comforted me when I was afraid, and never passed up a dance with me! I have never doubted your love for me
    Dad, you have always protected me. You guarded my life ever since you knew I existed. From bullys on the playground to enemies in the spiritual realm, you have stood as a shield to defend me when I could not fight for myself.
    Daddy, you delight in me! From your special nickname for me, to the way you smile at me, to the way you would stop anything to help me or listen to me; you show me how precious I am to you.
    Dad, you are encouraging to me. All my life you have offered correction, guidance, and words of affirmation that have filled my heart with joy and my spirit with hope for my future.
    This one isn't least, it is the most important. Dad, you have showed me the Father's love for me, and have taught me to follow after God with everything I am. What a gift for a daughter to receive from her earthly father!
 I love you Daddy, so very much. Happy Birthday!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Queen for a day...princess forever!

Saturday, my friends and I went to Medieval Times in New Jersey. We had a ball! All the sword play, horsemanship, falconry, medieval style food; it was fantastic. After the Knights had finished their tournament games they each got to give out a sash to someone in their part of the audience; the woman or girl they picked would be Queen of the Tournament. The Knight that I was cheering for rode up to our section, looked right at me and lowered his lance, which had the sash on it, and said,
"This is for you."
I was too shocked to do anything. I just sat there thinking he meant someone else. So I asked him,
"For me?"
He smiled and nodded, then asked,
"Can you stand?"
You see, I couldn't reach the sash from where I was sitting, and he couldn't lower his lance any further, (there was a Plexiglas wall in the way), so I had to stand to receive my gift. It required effort on my part; I had to choose whether or not I would accept the beautiful gift being given to me.

It is the same in our relationship with Jesus

Jesus stands before us, smiling at us, holding out His salvation, His favor, His faithfulness, His unending love for us. He is consistently and forever saying,
"This is for you."
But He won't ever force it on you; He won't throw it in your face. He will wait for you to accept Him, all the while gently asking,
"Can you stand?" 
"Can you receive my gift?" 
"Can you receive my love for you?"

I encourage you to accept whatever gift Jesus is giving to you today. Whether it be salvation, freedom from sin and death, friendship, grace, joy, a closer walk with Him; whatever it is, rise up, stand up and accept with a heart full of delight that which He is lovingly bestowing on you.

Be blessed!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Does your life feel like a waterfall?

Waterfalls are majestic, powerful, breathtakingly spectacular. Some waterfalls, like Niagara Falls, attract enormous amounts of attention; the small, man-made ones in some backyards offer relaxation. No matter the size, they are mesmerizing. And not just waterfalls, but what comes before and after them too. I don't know about you, but watching water on its journey from streams and rivers, to lakes and finally back to the ocean is fascinating. It travels over rocks, through narrow passages, around fallen debris, under ground, drops hundreds of feet off a cliff, passes any structure that would deter it from its goal; the water cycle, set-up by God, is unstoppable. It is amazing to watch at whatever part you might see it.

Do you ever feel like a waterfall? 

Or maybe I should ask it this way: does your life ever feel like a drop of water in a waterfall?

Think about it. Despite all the beautiful and amazing qualities I just mentioned above, moving water is still one of the most chaotic things in nature. Think of yourself as a water droplet in a stream, river, or waterfall; battered around by whatever was floating along with you, slammed into rocks, twisted and pulled by the strong currents around you, travelling in the dark, underground, maybe even in sewage. Finding peace in some quiet pond or brook before being ungraciously swept back into the flow. And then, just when you thought it couldn't get worse, you get catapulted into the air off a three hundred foot cliff, and yes, there are sharp rocks at the bottom.

Now, would anyone of us want that? How could this painful, crazy, discouraging mayhem be the same as the beautiful, majestic, peaceful and intricate design of God that is the water cycle? How?

Isn't life that way?

I don't know if there is anything that is more hurtful, discouraging, hopeless, and chaotic as life in this world. All of us have gotten bashed by unkind words and actions, turned around by the overwhelming force of our shifting emotions, left to fend for ourselves or seemingly forgotten, in the dark because we have absolutely no idea what to do. Every once in awhile we find a safe spot, some peace in our lives, only to be hurled off that high point into the sinking depths of despair. That is the fact of this life.

But the truth...

The truth is that Jesus redeemed your life. The truth is that He holds you, that nothing gets to you without first going through Him. The truth is that He guides you, leads you on all life's adventures. The truth is that He has a plan, a good plan, for you. He designed the flow of water throughout this earth; He also designed your life. While the fact might be that there is hurt, confusion, chaos and difficulty in your life, the truth is that Jesus is with you, holding you, loving you, through it all. Through the pain, despair and confusion, Jesus is speaking His love, comfort, and hope.
You might feel like a drop of water, being carried where you don't want to go, getting tossed about, banged around, but that's not the truth. The truth is that Jesus is carrying you through His plan, His purposes for your life, to bring you closer to Him. Your life is a waterfall! Your life brings glory to God; it draws others to Him when they see His faithfulness to you. That is the truth.

One last thought...
 You would praise God for the beauty of a waterfall you saw on a hike, why not praise Him for the waterfall that is your life? Praise Him for your life today, for His great love for you. He has such good plans for you, trust and praise Him; you won't regret it!

Be blessed

A Dance with my Beloved, Jesus

Hello all!
I thought I would use my first post to introduce my blog, what its purpose is. I hope to use this blog as a tool to encourage anyone who reads it, by sharing what God is speaking and showing to me. I hope to do this not just through writing, but other creative ways, like signing, dance, singing, pottery, and whatever else God puts on my heart.

The title of my blog, A Dance with my Beloved, is what I want my life to be. I want to dance with Jesus every step, every moment, with Him leading me through each song that makes up my life. Looking in His eyes as He holds me close, listening to His life giving words as He sings over me, never leaving His embrace. This is the purpose of my life, my greatest joy.

May you be blessed today with the knowledge that the One who ransomed you from sin and death, the One who called you by name, the One who loves you, He is holding you. He will never let you go.

"All that the Father gives  me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away."
                                                                                                                                        John 6:37