Monthly Archives: January 2013

365 Moments Of Gratitude: Thankful For Snow

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I love the snow. I wish it snowed more here. I live in a place that should get more snow than we’ve seen the past two years, but alas – not so much. That said, we had some beautiful snow today. It was short lived, and no real accumulations – but beautiful nonetheless.

Here is a shot of the snow:

Beautiful Snow

Thank you, God, for the snow – can we have more?

365 Moments Of Gratitude: Thankful For First Responders (Prayers Requested For Newtown, Connecticut)

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As I sit here, tears flood my eyes. Again. My heart breaks. Again. If I could send a message to Newtown, CT – it would be this: You are not forgotten! You are loved. Thoughts and prayers are still going out on your behalf.

It’s interesting. The saying is true. Time doesn’t erase horrible things that have happened, but it does make them easier to deal with. That’s true. However, and I wasn’t even there that day, the emotions are still very real. My heart breaks, and my tears still fall. As I read accounts of those who followed that call of duty – to what has undoubtedly become one of the most horrible days of their lives, I still cannot imagine.

I read a really great article last night. It was so real. So down to earth. It was that day, all summed up. There was a massive amount of information (I’m sure) not put out there, mostly out of respect for the families, as well as to protect the integrity of the ongoing investigation. However, I am grateful to have read it. Not because I like to cry, but instead because I like to pray. This article is a recipe for how to pray. If you ever aren’t sure how to pray, read it. It’ll break your heart, but it will help you pinpoint your prayers.

Newtown, CT – you are not forgotten!!

I wrote about this on Facebook last night. This is what I had to say:

***Warning: Tissues needed!!****

I don’t normally post stories like this, especially ones that have me in tears over and over again. However, God’s got Newtown, CT on my heart – and this article explains a little bit of why. As I sit in tears reading this, my heart continues to break with all those who lost someone that day, as well as with all the first responders still healing as well.

Please take a moment to pray for those involved. They still need it. This article is heartbreaking, but it is a recipe of how to pray.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/29/nyregion/horrors-of-newtown-shooting-scene-are-slow-to-fade.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0

Spotlight on Chris Lockwood – Coming Alive: I’m Still Standing

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Did you know that Chris Lockwood has a new EP out? Have you purchased / downloaded his Coming Alive EP? You can find out more at his website.

I can’t think of enough words to adequately describe this music. Full of heart and passion. My goodness – some phenomenal talent. The vocals and music are amazing. I will share my thoughts on the other songs on this EP as well, but this song – man, it’s good! The raw emotions – the perseverance – the fight — so real.

Do you ever feel out of place – like the new kid on the block? Like an outsider peeking in?

This song tackles the idea that life isn’t always easy. It isn’t always going to be smooth sailing, and you won’t always want to plaster on a fake smile. There may be times where you look around, eager to grasp onto anything – anything at all – that will give you strength. You may realize that things that were once of paramount importance are nowhere to be found. The question is – will you give up?

There will undoubtedly be times when you look around, and simply do not like what you see. Even when it seems like your world may come crashing down around you at any moment, never give up. Don’t ever allow life’s circumstances to get to you to the point that you lose your footing. Stand firm. Even if you find yourself staring life in the face, and feel like you’re losing that staring contest, always remember hope — and to stand. Keep on standing.

Never give up. Life’s not always going to be easy, but keep on standing.

Chris – I just want to thank you for creating this EP. Talk about moving and powerful. It really speaks volumes, on so many levels. You, my friend, are an inspiration.

365 Moments Of Gratitude – Thankful For SWAT: The Shoes Of Peace

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SWAT – The Shoes Of Peace. This is the title of the message from the current series – and yes, I am thankful for it. The truths found and shared in this message speak for themselves. I am so grateful for a pastor and a church who seek the face of God, and share Him with our community and beyond. The words spoken – in this case about the shoes of peace – are powerful. We have discussed the armor and weapons necessary to keep you safe during times of battle.

This is the video from this past Sunday’s service.

Spotlight On 33 Miles – Let It Be Glory

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This new CD “Let It Be Glory” from 33 Miles has, literally, a message for anyone – any living breathing human being. I cannot tell you how many times I have sat listening, tears in my eyes, as God touches me and blesses my heart – exactly where I am, exactly when I need to hear the words. When this CD is released, you need to get your hands on a copy. If you, or if someone you know is hurting, your heart will give thanks for playing this CD. I can speak from a personal place when I say this is God’s heart poured out right here.

This song, also entitled “Let It Be Glory” is so very powerful. It speaks volumes to the hurting heart. It contains a powerful reminder to those who are struggling – who are walking through life, dealing with what may seem to be a sequence of unbearable trials. In a way hard to put in words (yet they did so beautifully) this song brings peace by explaining that you are not alone. No matter what burden you bear, there IS hope. Things may be hard, and you may not be able to see the light at the end of the virtual tunnel. You are not, however, alone. What you are going through right now will not last forever.

The biggest thing I walk away from this song knowing is that I am not alone in my struggles. In the midst of those, there is – and always will be – HOPE. No matter what I am, or will go through, God’s hand is in the midst of it. There is a reason for every tear, for every moment, for everything that is a part of my story.

God is God, no matter what. He is in control.

If this speaks to you as much as it has to me, I urge you to pick up a copy of this CD when it comes out in a few months. In the mean time, if you would like to talk about it, please don’t hesitate to post below, or send a message via my “contact me” page. I look forward to connecting with you.

Smile. You are not alone. Hope is real. Don’t ever forget how very loved you are.

To 33 Miles, you have my gratitude (again) for following after the heart of God continuously with such passion. You may never know the impact your music has on people, but never doubt the difference it makes. Your hearts and love of God and people touch and bless so many countless people, myself included. Also, never doubt how loved and appreciated you are.

365 Moments Of Gratitude: Thankful For New Friendships

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I am honored to walk through life with friends. What I really like is when God opens up doors, and allows for new friendships to emerge. Something amazing happens when people open up and share – strengths and vulnerabilities. Opening up, and allowing friendship to happen – priceless.

You may be like I am – or at least WAS – and think you are okay walking through life alone, or with very few people by your side. And, while that may work for a season, it will not ever work long term. As I have mentioned time and time again, we were created as community people – to do life together. We weren’t meant to walk through life alone.

I am grateful for friendship – that beautiful relationship that grows and turns a friend into family. I am grateful to God every single day for my family – those especially that I am connected to by blood, but on a different level, those family connected through friendship and the body of Christ.

It is nothing short of amazing to see how God can connect people and provide grace, love, hope, support, encouragement, and so many other things as people link arms and do life together.

365 Moments Of Gratitude – Thankful To Have A Story To Tell

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Today at church, our pastor spoke about having a story. Each and every one of us have a story to tell. It is ours, and ours alone. The good, the bad, the beautiful and even the ugly make up who we are and the life we live. Our past, present and future comprise our story. It is this story that people will see whatever we are a witness of.

As Christians, God gives us a story. He doesn’t erase the “bad” parts and keep only the good. No! Instead, He redeems us, and allows every part of our story to share grace, hope and peace with others. The things in my life – the ups and downs, the peaceful moments and struggles alike, will be a living testimony of who Jesus is – through us.

Something I have said before, and that was mentioned today is that we are very well the only Jesus some people will ever see. As I was explaining to my husband, there are many people who do not know Jesus. They don’t attend church, and the Bible is nothing more than “just another book” in their eyes. To that person, I (as a Christian example) may very well be the only church, the only Jesus, and the only witness of who He is that they may ever know.

I want my life to be a witness of who He truly is. The life change and personal transformation I have experienced – and continue to experience every day – is something I want every living breathing human being to come to know. When people experience even a fraction of the love He has for us, life change happens.

I want to live my life in such a way that my story – my experiences in life that brought me from where I was to where I am today – speaks for itself. It is my desire that my story share the same amount of peace, grace, hope and love that was shared in such a real way with me. If anything I have been through in the course of my life (good or bad) can be used to share Him with another human being – to share grace, peace, hope and love — it will have a purpose greater than I could imagine.

I am one person, with one story – and it is with that story that I want to share gratitude and thanks to God for giving me. It’s my story. I am the only one with this story. I am thankful for my story – for all of it – for it is what has made me who I am.