Today I took a dream to the landfill. Literally. I loaded a maroon recliner chair into the back of my Honda Element, surprised I could lift it on my own. The chair had been one loved one’s gift to another some years ago, and the significance of the chair I realize no words could truly touch. “Hey, I have a donation for you,” I told a friend at a local thrift shop. He told me he would take a peek in the back of my car before he decided whether he could accept it as a donation. I knew in my heart it was no longer in the perfect condition from whence it had come.“Sorry, can’t take it,” he said, truly apologetic. He knew I would have drive a good distance and pay – for the landfill to take it. “We charge you after,” the Spanish speaking man at the landfill said. “Can you do it yourself?” “No,” I said. “I can get it out of my car, but not into a dumpster without help.”“There is nobody there to help you,” he said. “See the top of that big hill? You need to drive all the way to the top. Follow the gravel road. Then just leave it there.”The road to letting the chair go was so much longer than I had realized. One year of hoping the chair’s owner would return and take advantage of the inherited gift. The other chair owner went to heaven a few years back. The chair was a symbol of dreams, and it was also an obstacle to them. The first chair owner was too old and frail to spend much time out of the chair. The second chair owner was too young with too much potential to spend so much time in it. And then there was person who watched the chair through the years. I was the one who dreamed the second owner would leave the chair behind and find God’s dreams. Today I took the chair and all the dreams that came with it to the landfill. The first owner went to heaven. The second owner left the chair behind not to find God’s dreams, but to leave God’s dreams behind with the chair. And I, who never cared for the chair much anyway, was left with the chair. A heavy weight upon my heart. I had never seen a landfill such a long drive from the entrance. It was up somewhat of a mountain, with gravel so big and sharp I worried about my tires. I wound round and round, and round some more before I finally reached the top. Birds were everywhere, and I felt the presence of death. The landfill was so very far away from civilization. The only two humans there were virtually silent as they left behind their garbage. The birds and rot and garbage formed hills of old dreams everywhere. People’s histories, their food, their possessions, the things they once wanted and needed or could use had formed their own cemetery. I opened my back door and stood watching my chair. I was afraid when I took it out my dog would jump out into the land of death so I did nothing. I just waited. The van with the man and his son began to drive away. I would be alone with everything, saying goodbye to the chair and the lost dreams it represented. “I can get it out of my car,” I had told the man at the entrance to the landfill. He was a long distance away now, and so was my confidence. I did not move. The van stopped. The father got out of his car. The son got out. Silently, they came to the back of my car – weighed down by dreams that had lost their lives. Like God’s angels, they did for me what I did not have the strength to do. They lifted the dreams from my heart and put them in the landfill for me.“I can get it out of the car,” I said, “I’m just worried about my dog.” But it was more than that of course. When it is time to let go of what we love most in life, the person we planned to spend a lifetime with, the dreams of where we would go together, hand in hand, heart by heart, one, in the Lord, it can be impossible to release our cares to the Lord by ourselves.The Lord says: “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you (1 Peter 5:7 KJV).”What happens when our care is too heavy for us to lift and cast upon the Lord? When we go the distance for the Lord, when we wind round and round, up the gravel that threatens our tires, when we watch the birds eating the remains of life’s dreams, the Lord sends His angels. As I made my way carefully back down the hill, round and round, over the gravel, down the hill, to the entrance to pay my bill, then back to the rest of my day and the rest of my life, I cried hard – casting my tears upon my Lord. I cried for my dreams that lay in the landfill – and I grieve for the chair’s first owner who went to heaven with unfulfilled dreams – and for the chair’s second owner who left God’s dreams behind. And yes, I cried for my own dreams – the ones that would not be fulfilled because of another one’s choice to leave the chair – and dreams – and myself – behind. My heart grieves. And the Lord knows. And He grieves with me – even as He smiles, knowing He is a God with endless dreams. Surely He has more of them for me. Surely, He has more for you, too. When you cast away your dreams you have no choice but to let go because of the choices of others, remember. God, the Creator of the universe, is also the creator of dreams. Surely, yes, He has more for us. Amen. “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might hae life, and that they might have it more abundantly (John 10:10 KJV).”Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.
I do not stumble when I walk in the light, and I always stumble when I walk in the dark. Do you do the same? I am not talking about tripping over a twig on the sidewalk, nor I am speaking of falling on black ice I cannot see. Do you know what God has to say about walking in the light?”He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him (1 John 2:10 KJV).” Do you know what God has to say about walking in the dark?”But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes (1 John 2:11 KJV).”So who stumbles and falls? The person who hates his brother stumbles and falls. Who stands and walks in victory? The person who loves his brother walks in God’s light – His love. In these scriptures, the word “stumbles” also translates into “occasion to fall” and “thing that offends.”Holding onto hurts, bitterness, disappointments, anger, wounds, and resentment is the perfect occasion to fall. Holding on to these forms of unforgiveness is an offense; it goes against the will of our Lord. If you are stumbling through your life like I have been, if you are tripping over yourself in a failing effort to move forward, if you are disgruntled with stubbing your toes – and heart – time after time, try walking in the light. God is love, He is the answer, and the answer is love. Try forgiveness. I can think of no better way to begin a new year, have a new start, learn the way of the Lord, and walk forward in His will than to do as He does. Love like He does. His love forgives.Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.
I have been writing since I was a little girl, with plenty of breaks along the way, but I can honestly say I am happier than I have ever been in my writing life. I am deep into writing a light Christian novel and loving every second of it. In fact, the hardest part is being away from the computer, distracted by life’s daily happenings. When I am writing, I am lost within the book – enjoying it as it unfolds, unplanned, before me. This is the book that will not be published by Walk by Faith Ministry, though I pray it will bless the ministry’s friends and supporters once published. The other book, to be published by the ministry, is about to move to the front burner. Leave it to God to move me forward in such a signifcant way. Glory be to Him!Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.
Yesterday Mother Theresa had her sutures removed following two big surgeries needed after a devastating attack from a fellow rescue dog who is now in heaven playing in the presence of the Lord. Mother Theresa, thanks to God and her awesome helpers and prayer warriors, is doing beautifully. Believe it or not, her neck – after two hours on the surgery table the first time followed by a second surgery very recently – is almost back to normal. Praise be to God!Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.
Hobble. Cane. Limp. Cane. Forward. A step. Cane. Limp. Forward. Again. I honesty only saw the man out of the corner of my left eye. Too cold. Too windy. Too winter to stop. Why would I stop anyway? What could I possibly say anyway? So we continued into the convenience store from the parking lot. His hobble. My hurried step. I got indoors much quicker. And I began to pray. I saw the man so briefly in my rush to find the heat inside that I do not even recall his face. But I felt his pain in my spirit, and I began to pray. We did not meet until we crossed paths at the front counter, his purchases a bottle of wine and a pack of cigarettes. I had my own version of the too – yet another too big mug of caffeine and sugar. The man did something we don’t ordinarily do in public if we can help it. He groaned in pain. Outwardly, uncontrollably for anyone to hear. “You’re in a lot of pain,” I said. “I’ll pray.” Honestly, I cannot remember my exact words. They were not mumbled, but there was not much heart behind them. I will talk about the Lord anywhere to anyone, but the kind of words that matter come from the heart – not any sort of obligation. I paid and left. But I got stuck. I could not even hobble. I did not need a cane. There was no need to limp. I could not go forward. I was stuck outside the front door, in the very bitter cold I had rushed to get away from when I had come into the store. But I could not get out of the cold. I was planted right at the door, holding it open, then letting it go partly shut, but never letting it go. The Holy Spirit, who moved upon the waters within verses of the very beginning of the entire Holy Bible, had moved upon my heart.I held and held and held the door, until finally the man hobbled out from the store. This time, I came face to face with him. “You’re in a lot of pain. Are you on pain meds?” I said, not sure why. “No,” he replied grimly. “I can see how much pain you’re in. I couldn’t really see you when I came into the store, but as soon as I entered I started praying for you all the way until I got to the back of the store.” I do not remember how he responded; I was caught up in speaking. “Is the wine for the pain?” I said. It was too late to take back the words, but they did not matter. They did not come close to his heart. I believe he was too wrapped in pain to notice my silly blunder. Or perhaps I was meant to speak them.”The wine goes with dinner,” he said. “Do you believe in the Lord?” I asked.”Yes,” he said. The next words rose from my mouth with no intention, with no plan, blatantly not from my human flesh. They could only have been from – and for – the love of the Lord. “There is some pain only the Lord can take care of. I will pray and ask others to pray.” “Thank you,” he said simply before we parted from one another. Some time ago as I plodded along my faith walk, the Lord spoke to me and told me I would raise people from the dead. I believe with all my heart and have heard testimony after testimony – including from a dear friend – of people who walked so confidently in their faith in the Lord and His Words that they literally raised people from the physically dead – in the Lord’s authority and power purely for His glory and purpose. But I was clear the day the Lord spoke to me about raising people from the dead that He was not speaking to me about people who had taken their last physical breath. The Lord was telling me that day that He wanted me to raise people with His love and my mouth from the dead – the spiritually dead, the emotionally dead, the dead in dreams, the dead in hope, the dead in pain, the dead in circumstances too big to handle, the dead so many of us have been known to walk in while perfectly physically alive. I have so much experience speaking from a hardened heart words that the Lord would never have wanted me to speak with a heart He never wanted me to give from to another that it is altogether new to me to learn to raise people from the dead from my heart and my mouth. But it is purely possible in His strength and love, with His heart inside me, and today was one of the days I saw it. Not once, but twice. First, I saw in my spirit a man whose light was relit – a man who was in such horrific pain that I believe He had forgotten He is in the palm of the Lord’s hand and the bosom of the Lord’s heart. But when I spoke the simple words I shared with Him, He remembered His Creator. He had risen from the death of unrelenting pain and hopelessness just long enough to know only God is His answer. And I knew when I left there that I would ask others to pray, and that God would answer. But before I ever made my prayer request, I began more prayers of my own – and sent them straight to the heavens where they and my Lord belong. Second, I heard from a woman I had not heard from in years – someone who had hated me with all her heart. Though she had never said why, I knew deep in my heart she hated my love of the Lord and my boldness to share about Him. Today, in her words, she reminded me how disgusted she was at my loyalty to include God in all that I do. How easily I could have flung words of hurt, bitterness, rejection, and more at her. I did not. I replied in the love of the Lord, and I went away realizing only now I was getting another opportunity to raise someone from the dead – this time a person who does not know the Lord at all. Please do me a favor. Please pray for the man who is in such great pain, as the Lord leads you. Please, too, pray for the woman who has never known the sovereignty of God and His precious Son Jesus. And please, dear friends, ask God if He would give you the privelege as we walk united as Christ’s Body to share with me the humbling blessing of raising people from the dead as He leads us with His love in our hearts and His words from our mouths. Amen.Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.
I have never had children, but it is my understanding pregnant women like to have just about everything planned before they go into labor. The right doctor. The right family members around. The right hospital. The right clothes packed in a suitcase. The right babysitter for the other kids. It is also my understanding that an increasing number of doctors are inducing labor to even ensure the baby is born on the right day. Today the Lord laid it on my heart how I have falsely believed that I need all the right circumstances to be in place for Him to birth His will through me.I truly believed that everything needed to be in order for God to use me the way He desires. I had to feel good, be healed, know enough scriptures, and have absolutely everything in order. How could God possibly birth one of His dreams through me if my circumstances were not just right? Today I thought about Jesus. I may be wrong, but I am guessing Mary envisioned a comfortable place to birth our Savior. I am guessing she had a particular location in mind, a good time of day, surrounded by her loved ones. Everything would be just right. Doesn’t any pregnant mother expect the best birth to take place in the best of circumstances?Our very Savior was birthed in a manger, surrounded by animals, wrapped in swaddling clothes. There was no room for him to be born at the inn. If our Lord was birthed in the least expected, least orderly circumstances, why would I expect God to birth through me His vision and His dreams in what I consider to be the perfect circumstances. I am currently working on two major book projects. Over the past several days, I have moved greatly forward in a Christian novel. I have also been almost consumed with depression and fatigue following an incredibly painful year. I could not think of a less likely time for the Lord to call me to write for Him. I also look back at the past year. I believe the Lord touched more lives through my writing and testimony in one of the most painful years of my life than He perhaps ever has before. I could not fathom a less appealing time for me to have given birth to touching lives with His love. Who are we to choose the time, the place, and the details of when the Lord wants to give birth to dreams through us? Is it possible if we lay aside our limited vision, if we put down our plans, if we become willing to let the labor pains come where and when and how they may, that the Lord could do something extraordinary with our ordinary lives? Please put down your plans. Give Him your life for His. Today.Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.
Walk by Faith Ministry’s rescue dogs are looking for safe and loving forever homes. If you are looking for a dog to foster or adopt, please visit them online at https://www.walkbyfaith.petfinder.com/ to learn about the process and to see photos and descriptions of the dogs seeking homes. Please help us spread the word by forwarding information to friends, family, and co-workers.Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.
I am so weary, ever so weary. I am tired from a lifetime of too many trials and tribulations. I have come up for air over and over again, excited to finally arrive at a place of rest and refreshing, only to sink back down to where I grow weary gasping for air. I have just come up for air, now I am down gasping again, wiped out. But I am reminded of one thing more than any other. The Lord loves me, and I love Him more than ever. And now He asks me to trust Him, for He sees the whole picture rather than all the pieces and parts. And He sustains me even in the midst of it all. Then, with His Word, He reminds me of what I am led this day to remind you. There is a harvest to come. And though we may not know the day or time it shall come, God has a promise: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not (Gal 6:9 KJV).”Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.
Samuel this past week headed for his new home – with dad, mom, brother dog, and five-year-old girl in tow. He was last reported to be enormously happy with his new family, proudly displaying a decapitated doll and letting his new family know he could not tell the difference between a little girl and a puppy dog. He has his new family on its toes and is quickly filling their hearts with their new love. Samuel, who was found running at large only months ago in South Carolina with a collar embedded in his neck, has received miracles galore. He was rescued from euthanization, his embedded collar was removed, God gave him a miraculous recovery from an infection the vet said required surgery that ultimately did not, and now he has the wonderful new family we prayed for! Please consider fostering or adopting a dog in need by visiting https://www.walkbyfaith.petfinder.com/.Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.
Ever been to police academy for your thoughts? I have. The Lord has showed me I have not taken one of His scriptures seriously enough. When He tells us to cast down our imaginations along with anything that tries to rise against knowledge of Him, He gives us a command that cannot be missed. He tells us to “bring into captivity” our thoughts to the “obedience of Christ”. I have heard the scripture so often through the years of my faith walk that I quite frankly missed the significance of the words. There is an action involved, a vital action, and God used the work of a police officer to show me just what this means. The government and police chief give the police officer authority to enforce the law. They also give the police chief the power, or ammunition so to speak, to use this authority bestowed upon him. The police officer uses his authority and power to deal with people who break the law. The officer arrests criminals and brings them to jail. In jail, the criminals are held captive in order to come under the law they have broken. The Lord gives us His Word, which is His law, along with the authority through faith in Jesus Christ to do His work for His glory. He gives us His power through the Holy Spirit to use the authority bestowed upon us. Who then are the criminals? The criminals are the thoughts that rise up against God’s Word. The enemy, and sometimes the flesh, send us thoughts that run contrary to God’s Word. So what do we do? A police officer does not stand back and watch the criminal run by. Nor does he sit around waiting for the criminal to throw himself in jail. He takes action. He “brings into captivity” the offender. The offender, in captivity, is forced to bow down to the law. More often than not, I have expected the thoughts that run contrary to God’s Word to march themselves into jail. Too often, I have allowed them to build up strongholds that have become a life-threatening hostage crisis rather than a simple arrest that would have occurred if I had taken action in the first place. God has taken me to police academy to teach me His Word. He wants me, and you, to take action where criminal thoughts and words are concerned. We are to live by His Word, not the enemy’s or flesh’s thoughts. We are to use the authority through Christ and power through the Holy Ghost He has given us to live by His Word for His glory. The next time you see criminal thoughts headed your way, remember what you learned in Police Academy. You have the right to place them under arrest, to take them into captivity, and to make them bow down to the Word of the Lord God almighty. “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (2 Co 10:5 KJV).”Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.