Friday, August 29, 2008

(heartlight.org)

The past few weeks have been an amazing time of revelation and growth; however, I must confess that the weeks prior were a real struggle. A mentor and friend told me, "This is all about faith, Kim. It is all about faith." Faith . . . confidence and trust in God. Did I really have it? Did I really believe and if I did was it to the fullest or just halfway, you know 'playing it safe.' At times it felt like an isolated mountain climb. A time where I could either choose to keep climbing even though my footing was slipping and the top looked too far away or a time when I could have started on my descent to the what looked like 'green grass' below. I chose to keep climbing. I reached out to friends, mentors, and my husband crying for help. My friends listened and encouraged, my mentors told me to read my bible, and my husband said, "You are just like the Israelites! When things are not going your way you whine and want to go build a golden calf. You keep forgetting all that He has done for you." Ouch!!! He was absolutely right. So I started reading, continued reaching out to others around me (I can easily isolate myself), and sat in awe of the stories of Daniel and Esther. I admired Daniel's faith as he lived in a pagan world. Mordecai and Esther taught me about prepartion, timing, patience, faith, and importance. I became so engrossed I did not want to put my bible down. In the meantime, the visits from male cardinals surrounded me.

Throughout the summer I received e-mails from Julie concerning the cardinals in her yard. Another friend also told me that Joy kept seeing a male cardinal. I had never experienced something like this before and honestly I thought, "Are they really making more of this, come on!" And then a male cardinal visited me. In late July we went on a last minute getaway to SC. One morning while sitting on a very, very small screen porch drinking my tea a male cardinal flew up next to the door and sat on the banister. He looked right at me and chirped for a very long time. I giggled and asked him what he was saying. He continued to chirp and eventually flew away. When we came home I started seeing a male cardinal in our backyard. Then the diving began. When sitting outside or taking a walk around the block male cardinals would dive only a few feet in front of me and swoop to the opposite side. This happened day after day. One day while driving down our street a male cardinal swooped in front of my car, I slammed on my brakes, it furiously fluttered and then flew away. My children in the car claim that there was nothing there. I shared my cardinal encounters with Julie, did a little research, and sent it onto Joy. She responded with her interpretation and her recent accident. Honestly I thought her interpretation was good but it had to be much bigger than that. The next morning I took my children to school (something my husband does 99% of the time), encountered an unexpected detour which caused delay, pulled into an area which I rarely use, and after my giggling children got out of the car I slammed into an oversized cement curb. When I put my car in reverse I could hear my front fender being ripped apart. Okay God, I got it! Slow down and pay attention. It is of the utmost importance. I started thinking about Mordecai and Esther. They took it slow, paid attention, it was of the utmost importance.

Male cardinals, His word, mentors, close friends, a spouse . . . all tools He used to reveal Himself to me once again. Looking back I had two choices, give up (which looked more appealing at the time) or press on. Frustrated, disappointed, and with tears in my eyes I chose to press on and once again it was all worth it. Amen!!!
Kim

Disclaimer: My writing on what Joy and Julie experienced and shared is to the best of my recollection. Any errors I have in thier interpretation is my own.

**On October 11th I will be leaving for a nine day trip to Romania. Two other women and I will be ministering in Oradea and a very remote gypsy village. Please join us in prayer as we prepare for our trip, keeping in mind the words revealed through the male cardinal. More details coming soon**

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Of the Utmost Importance



It didn't take long, but already we have an update on the "Dive Bombin' Male Cardinal". If you have no idea what I'm blogging about, read this post first.


Before I could even publish the post about the cardinal, Kim and Joy both experienced very similar dive bombing cardinal experiences while driving. With the previous information about cardinal meaning "of the utmost importance" and that in the past the cardinal has been used symbolically as a sign of God as our defender (if we'll let Him), all three of us were still in the dark on the true meaning of the cardinal in our lives.


Monday things started to shape up. Joy shared that this summer driving she's also experienced feelings of almost backing into things that weren't there, etc...On Monday she has no explanation but she was driving and suddenly in the back of a car. She's fine, the car, not quite totaled.


Just so you know, the ministry her and her family are involved with, Real Living Ministries, in the last month had major direction and favor. God is doing something with the Real Living Team and they will be meeting a very hungry need in the community for the glory of Christ. Ever since that direction became clear, it's been one spiritual attack after another.


Post car accident for Joy, she felt "of the utmost importance" was to slow down. It would be easy to go so full steam ahead for the Lord that we leave Him in the dust. I've done it. Joy knows God's plans will go forward, but in His time and way. Without knowing the details behind everything going on in Lakeland, she drew wisdom in thinking saying yes to the Lord does not mean a trade off. Dying to self doesn't mean we lose our marriage and kids, that is never God's plan. Joy feels now by slowing down she can not only clear from Him and allow even greater things to happen through obedience, but she'll also have her focus on Him to deal with the circumstances around her. I know for me, I can get so lost in the serving, I forget everything else and it is a cost. A cost this week I realized I'm not willing to pay. I want it all, not a trade off. To Joy, she felt the cardinal was a divine warning to slow down, and that message is now of utmost importance to her.


Kim leaves a message Tuesday. She took the kids to school, something her husband usually does. She parked a different place. Kids were laughing. She pulls away and gets caught on a small slab of cement. Gone is her fender. The timing and cost on this could not be any worse.


When Joy and I shared the slowing down---of utmost importance, it struck a chord for Kim too. I'm sure she'll blog about it here (hint, hint), especially to clear up anything I got wrong! But God has given such vision and favor right now, and there is so much Kim could do with it. Today we realized without proper alignment, steps, and relationships in place, it would be easy for this to take a turn the Lord doesn't want.


As soon as I got Kim's news, I gathered the kids and we canceled in agreement any plan the devil (defeated one) has against any of us and our families. I asked for divine wisdom and resources to help me have His senses as I go about my day for Him. I asked that for all Kim and Joy have sown into the Kingdom this summer, that the Lord would reap and restore the finances needed 100 fold for these repairs.


Slowing down---of the utmost importance is obviously resonating with each of us. For me, stepping out more in writing, encouraging others in marriage and finding freedom through Christ made me feel like I was fighting a Leviathan alone in the forest. This week I realized I'm not fighting that beast, God is. I am in a forest, but not alone. It's where I'm protected by my Heavenly Defender. And in Jesus' name I don't have to move forward in Him and lose everything, including my sanity. I just know for me, I need to slow down. It's of the utmost of importance.


By the way, on my way home I think out of the corner of my eye I saw a cardinal flying off as I drove. Joy had to put on the brakes to stop for two cardinals who were in the road not flying off. Kim is still seeing the male cardinal.


Slow down. It's of the utmost of importance.


Disclaimer: My writing on what Joy experienced and shared is to the best of my recollection. Any errors I have in her interpretation is my own.


Julie Arduini is a surrendered writer with her own blog, http://thesurrenderedscribe.blogspot.com/. A graduate of the Christian Writers Guild, she also blogs for the Christian Writers Forum Sundays as the mommy blogger. She is active with FaithWriters and has several writings ready to publish in different books and anthologies in 2008-09. One of the books will be a quote in Kathy Vick's Simon and Schuster/Howard's gift book, "Run Like a Girl."
You can also find Julie the third Thursday of each month over at
Take Root and Write with her column, Finding Freedom through Surrender. She facilates a group by the same name at the sister social networking site, Christian Women Take Root.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Finding Treasure



This summer I was introduced to something so simple and so God I dare say some people will dismiss it, mock it, or run from it. Their loss.




It's called a treasure hunt and instead of trying to find gold, material things, you find a person.




It goes like this. You invite a group of people to the treasure hunt. Have papers and pencils, transportation if you wish. The papers should have the following:




Location:


Names:


Need:


Something Unusual:




Then, you pray. When I attended, it was one person who prayed that the Holy Spirit would show us who we could bless in Christ's name that evening. It wasn't profound or long. We put pencil to paper and went at it. Instead of lingering, we jotted whatever came to mind.




I'm getting used to funny looks because I like my simple faith, it works for me. I believe kids are the gateway NOW to the kingdom, not later, so I'll bring them into an opportunity if I can. I brought the five year old with me and honestly she had as many answers for the paper as I did.




After writing, we broke into groups. Our group had five people I think, including two under the age of sixteen. We looked at our sheets and found the things in common. It will shock you that yes, there will be things in common.




For our group, we had red cross, a dad, and flags. We were next to a hospital so off we went. Our mission was to find someone matching our papers and just (not all of us) let them know we are on a treasure hunt and that they are God's treasure. That's it. No salvation message, no come to my church, just that. If you feel the need to pray, do so, but only after asking. Be sensitive to things that you might be comfortable with that a stranger might not.




We walked around one entrance at the hospital and just did not see anyone who matched our papers. We decided to walk out the emergency exit which was another way to get back to where we started, closer to the road.




Directly across from that exit was---the American Red Cross. We had no idea. We walk over and see no one, so we pray for the workers, the programs, the clients, etc...One of the men looks across the parking lot and notes all these flags. The building was a Masonic Lodge. A place with lots of "dads". We prayed as we felt led and apparently as I prayed for men to rise up as God created them to do, the clouds over the lodge broke and a ray of sun shone right on my face.




We did not find a person to share with, but we felt we hit a goldmine anyway. When we returned to "debrief", we learned another girl had the same experience of sun shining on her as she prayed. One group went to the mall in search of someone dressed in Goth attire with a neon sign and a pop machine. The group had a specific thing listed on the paper I can't remember, and I think a name attached, but I can't remember. For my example I'll say abandonment and the name John. They go to a store that usually has people dressed like that and nothing. One of the kids in the group was hungry and wanted something to eat. He visits a kiosk and guess who waits on him?




A girl dressed in Goth style. She took his order next to a pop machine and the kiosk had a neon sign over her head. An adult in the group just shared the treasure message with her and she was very taken that God would think of her and send strangers. She was going through the very issue their paper had.




Another group found a man who fit all the criteria but was skeptical and didn't want to be prayed for, but when he saw the paper, he was amazed. The next day his daughter was having surgery, and I believe the name and/or the need matched the group's papers.




What I found curious (and hysterical) was that some people who started the treasure hunt felt weird and left before the hunt started. They broke off and went to dinner. Guess what, they found the person on their list at dinner. They didn't approach the person, but guess how life changing it was for them to realize God was working even when they didn't want to.




I encourage you to give this a try. We live in a hurting world and who couldn't use a message of encouragement? I remember years ago hearing that a pastor called a 1-900 type number after hearing an ad about how this number could help you feel special. The number was for a psychic. The girl on the phone answered the pastor's questions. Turns out most of her calls are from hurting people who just want to know they matter.




They do, and so do you.




Isn't it about time we told someone?


Julie Arduini is a surrendered writer with her own blog, http://thesurrenderedscribe.blogspot.com/. A graduate of the Christian Writers Guild, she also blogs for the Christian Writers Forum Sundays as the mommy blogger. She is active with FaithWriters and has several writings ready to publish in different books and anthologies in 2008-09. One of the books will be a quote in Kathy Vick's Simon and Schuster/Howard's gift book, "Run Like a Girl."
You can also find Julie the third Thursday of each month over at
Take Root and Write with her column, Finding Freedom through Surrender. She facilates a group by the same name at the sister social networking site, Christian Women Take Root.





Friday, August 22, 2008

Sit Still

Sit still . . . words we ask of our children all the time. Sit still at the dinner table, sit still at your desk, sit still in the physician's waiting room, . . . sit still. When we ask we expect obedience. Yet when He asks what do we do?

Sit still.

Still.

Do not go and fold that basket of clothes. Do not answer the phone that keeps ringing. Do not get in the car and take care of your errand list. Do not sweep the dust bunnies that you can now see hopping under the couch. Do not keep thinking about all the things that you have to do, sit still.

Why is it so hard?

Confession time. This week I realized why it is so hard for me. I am afraid that I am not going to like what God has to say so it is easier to stay busy, make excuses, and hide from Him. Flesh in full force!

I fear that He may lead me into a different direction, one I may not like, want, or understand. Or He may ask me to do something I really do not want to do. Or He may want me to just rest and be still. I like being busy. Or He may ask me to wait . . . and I really do not like waiting. And the biggie, He may (He will) ask me to trust Him and that means I have no control.

Psalm 46:10 says, ""Be still, and know that I am God."

Be still.

This week, after months of trying to do things my way and feeling frustrated, abandoned, and disappointed, I surrendered. One morning when all was still quiet I sat in my family room with Him. I sat still. The first moments were very uncomfortable. But I continued to sit still and think about Him. I talked, He listened. Then I stayed quiet and soon I began to feel at peace. The rest of the day I tried to stay in that peace. I did not make any phone calls, I kept to myself, and I sat outside while my children played and tried to keep my mind clear. And in the stillness came revelation. Revelation that He needs me still to talk to me, to help me grow, and to ground me in His word. I realized things such as, How can I expect to go out and do, do, do when I do not really understand who He is? How can I expect to know and understand Him when I am not reading scripture? How can I share His love when I am unwilling to open myself up and let His love in? And how can I really expect Him to fully move in my life when I do not fully trust Him?

Trust Him. Big revelation. Not a little trust, not a some of the time trust, not as a last resort trust. Trust Him. Fully and completely. Trust Him. I really need to work on this one!

Stillness.

Be still and know that He is God.

Blessings, Kim

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dive Bombin' Male Cardinals


Remember my post about the blue heron?

Apparently this year, the male cardinal is the new feathered friend God is using to speak to my life.

It started in the Spring. There was a male and female that every day for weeks would visit our yard and chat. I don't mean just sing, I mean they would position themselves at the right angle so I could see them. One time they were so close they were on the deck and just talking away. To me. I'm not kidding.

One day I was pulling in the driveway after an odd act of obedience at Starbucks and the cardinals greeted me and flew with me until I parked, and I didn't see them for about a month.

This summer, it has been all about the male cardinal.

There was a male cardinal following me both times I was in Upstate NY. There is a male cardinal in our neighborhood that is often in our yard. I believe three times a cardinal has dive bombed me either while I'm driving or walking.

I am convinced this is a God message for me.

What's funnier, is it isn't just happening to me. Kim is experiencing the same thing, and so is a friend of ours, author Joy Chickonoski.

Our research so far has yielded the distinct ardinal call, which to some sounds like "pretty". This would be a good message as I know I struggle with self esteem issues. We've learned that the male is a defender and guard. That's a good thing to know as each of us are moving forward in ministry to places, people, and situations we've never known. There is a saying "new level, new devil" and for me, it's accurate. I hunger so deeply to know the Lord more intimately and each step forward seems like another blast into the wilderness.

Kim shared that the word cardinal, from Wikipedia, means:

The word cardinal comes from the Latin cardo for "hinge" and usually refers to things of fundamental importance, as in cardinal rule orcardinal sins.

Both Kim and I were both reading about Daniel and without the other knowing, wishing he were around to interpret this cardinal thing for us. I believe in His timing, we will know, and it will be good. This I know because He is good.

I just am thankful so far the dive bombing cardinals are not leaving me any messy presents!


Julie Arduini is a surrendered writer with her own blog, http://thesurrenderedscribe.blogspot.com/. A graduate of the Christian Writers Guild, she also blogs for the Christian Writers Forum Sundays as the mommy blogger. She is active with FaithWriters and has several writings ready to publish in different books and anthologies in 2008-09. One of the books will be a quote in Kathy Vick's Simon and Schuster/Howard's gift book, "Run Like a Girl."


You can also find Julie the third Thursday of each month over at Take Root and Write with her column, Finding Freedom through Surrender. She facilates a group by the same name at the sister social networking site, Christian Women Take Root.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Chains



I wrote this at a retreat I attended a few years ago, and just revisited it…
My prayer is that you can declare it for yourself…
Be Blessed,
Maria



I am ready to receive all if the promises and blessings form the Lord. I am left most days with exhaustion from holding on so tightly to my chains from the past…I want only to be worn out from serving the Lord more fully. To do what He’s called me to do with my whole heart. I want His light to shine through me wherever I go; in all that I do. With this freedom from my bondages will come peace like I’ve never known.

In my natural mind, I always thought I needed to be tied down to these chains, strive every day to push down the Mary in me. My version of Martha has been guilt-driven. “ I need to do more of this, I need to be more like that/her.” In my world, I ‘ve always thought that Martha’s are more loved, more accepted-so I need to be more like them. I’ve always thought I am not a good mother unless I am constantly outwardly worrying about my kids. I am not a good wife if I’m not always outwardly commenting on all of the housework that has to get done-to prove to others that I care about it, after all, there are so many women I know that “get it all done.”
Why can’t I? There must be something wrong with me, that I want to take some time just for me; even though I work full-time—just for me…to prioritize my relationship with God.
Who has time for that? What would all of my Catholic family thin k of that? They would think, “She’s gone off the deep end….she actually believes she has a relationship with God. Who does she think she is?”

I will no longer be sucked in to this fa├žade the enemy has created and wants it to be my reality-forever. He knows I am a Christian; and I have accepted Jesus. But he knows exactly with what and where to take captive my thoughts and direct them in the path he wants them to take. I will no longer allow him to take control.

God is in control, He has forgiven me and He loves me unconditionally. He wants me to be free—He wants me to love myself the way He loves me.


Maria and her family reside in NE Ohio. She and her husband are the parents of two. Their daughter is a person with hemipelegic cerebral palsy.Because of her experiences, Maria provides parent-to-parent support for families involved in her local early intervention program.


Her gift for writing has come directly from the Lord since her daughter’s diagnosis.She writes a monthly column entitled, “Special Parents, Special Kids” for the Mahoning Valley Parent magazine in Ohio; and has expanded into Parent magazines in parts of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. She is also a contributing author at www.mommiesmagazine.com.


Maria's first published work is in Jan Ross and Jeanice McDade's Women of Passion's anthology, "Ordinary Women Serving an Extraordinary God". The book is available for purchase by clicking on the book image on the right side of this blog.Maria is very passionate about getting the word out to special parents that they are not alone in their journey of raising their special child; and that they were chosen by God to parent their children. Maria welcomes comments and communication as well as invitations for her to speak to your group.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dispensers of Grace



Maybe I'm getting older, wiser, or more mature (I can at least vouch at the older part) but lately when negative news comes my way, I no longer feel like wagging my finger in disgust and writing that person or situation off. It wasn't that long ago I was a champion of sending political forwards off in rapid fire that would insult a candidate I wasn't voting for.






The last few weeks I felt God preparing me for something I'm not even quite sure of. I know the following words and sermons have hammered me though: perseverence. covering. dispenser of grace.






I watched the Saddleback Forum with both presidential candidates and left impressed. Both men are intelligent and passionate. They are in the position they are because they care. You can bet they will carry perseverence through these next couple months. Passion too. I found Rick Warren's questions well done and extremely telling.






Senator McCain sounded authentic when he admitted his biggest moral failure was his first marriage. Senator Obama was forthright on his stand on abortion. He could've spun it til the cows came home, but he even acknowledged not everyone is going to agree with where he stands. He's right, I am not on the same page on that issue, and to me, life is the top of the pyramid. If you are passionate for life, my thinking is you will have wisdom to take care of the economy and foreign relations. That's my opinion.






Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the interview and I felt the lines were clearly drawn on the issues and where voters will stand. Any hesitation I have is gone, I know where my vote is going come November. But the best thing of all is I truly want both men to prosper these next months and beyond. I wish neither humiliation, failure, or anything that is easy to get tripped up in during a presidential campaign. The Lord is molding me into what I see as a "dispenser of grace."






It's not just me, though. Over the weekend I read that Todd Bentley stepped down from the Lakeland outpouring and other ministry efforts. It appears that his marriage is in jeopardy from his own choices. I read interesting things from condemnation, sorrow, and everything in between.






For me, I hate when marriages are on shaky ground. I absolutely believe in having a covering and accountability for any ministry. I'm certainly not on the front row to anything in the limelight but I have a team that covers me and they have before I wrote one word for Him. Even with that covering I can't explain in words how hard I have felt attacked to quit, turn away or walk in the ways I used to travel. The very last thing I want to do is sneer at anyone going through such a public heartbreak.






Like Todd Bentley or not, people were radically healed. The glory from those healings go to Jesus Christ. And in my mind, the devil didn't want any part of that, so I'm grateful for all the people involved to date in the outpouring. I pray the healings continue---worldwide, right down to the Bentley family.






Wagging finger or dispenser of grace. Which would you like to be


Julie Arduini is a surrendered writer with her own blog, http://thesurrenderedscribe.blogspot.com/. A graduate of the Christian Writers Guild, she also blogs for the Christian Writers Forum Sundays as the mommy blogger. She is active with FaithWriters and has several writings ready to publish in different books and anthologies in 2008-09. One of the books will be a quote in Kathy Vick's Simon and Schuster/Howard's gift book, "Run Like a Girl."


You can also find Julie the third Thursday of each month over at Take Root and Write with her column, Finding Freedom through Surrender. She facilates a group by the same name at the sister social networking site, Christian Women Take Root.


To get to know her better, read her interview by Lynda Schab at:http://www.faithreaders.com/featured-author-details.php?id=33%20


To contact Julie, please use the e mail provided in our profile.







Thursday, August 14, 2008

Re Visiting The Cable Guy

I'm still away from the computer so let's revisit one that still strikes a chord with me. Why? Because I'm not sure I've grown here too much since writing this one. My heart is to encourage others to surrender their fears yet here I am...still doubting the cable guy, God, and everything else.

How about you?

Do You Trust Him Now?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Re Visiting the Welcome Mat



I'm away from the computer so I thought I'd be like TV and run a re run. Maybe you missed it the first time around, maybe it is a favorite.


I ask that you step on... The Welcome Mat.


As an update, the house is no longer vacant. We have met the neighbors and their two labs. They are kind people and quiet dogs. Other people come and go that others ask about but despite a little apprehension at first---my welcome mat is out.


How about yours?


Have you visited Christian Women Take Root? The Narrow Gate Invites girls are not only involved in the social networking site with fantastic groups to join but the main site called Take Root and Write. Regular columns are ongoing, check it all out. We'll see you there...and hey---if you have a blog, Take Root has a blog roll. Give your blog some exposure and be associated with a quality Christian site!


Julie Arduini is a surrendered writer with her own blog, http://thesurrenderedscribe.blogspot.com/. A graduate of the Christian Writers Guild, she blogs for the Christian Writers Forum Sundays as the mommy blogger. She is active with FaithWriters and has several writings ready to publish in different books and anthologies in 2008-09. To get to know her better, read her interview by Lynda Schab at:http://www.faithreaders.com/featured-author-details.php?id=33%20To contact Julie, please use the e mail provided in our profile.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Anticipation

Today is going to be a big day. I am waiting with high expectations. It is 8/8/08.

In June I had a dream and I saw the numbers 8/8. We were away from home at the time so when we returned I drew a heart around the 8th of August on our calendar and wrote 'God's Plan Revealed.' I had no idea what the date meant but I had high expectations of something big. A few weeks later I was on the web site of Morningstar Ministries, located in Fort Mill, NC and clicked on the forty day fast video by Rick Joyner. He spoke of a prophetic dream that Bonnie Jones, wife of Bob Jones, had. In the dream she was given a key that had 341 on it. Then she was told that is would be "40 days to the Joseph Company, August 8, 2008. (For more information and explantion please go to morningstarministries.org)

I had 'goose bumps' and almost fell off my chair. My first thought, 'Could God be revealing something to me too? Followed by, 'Nope. Not me. Not the doubter, the sinner, the swayer, the one with all the questions, and recently the one who had to confess that for several weeks I was angry and disappointed with God and that I had been avoiding Him, reading scripture, my prayer time and really questioning His existence. ' What a fool am I!

Well weeks passed, I waited with anticipation for August to come, and then disappointment came upon me through a personal family situation. And then more disappointment came, again. I told my husband if he said the word 'delay' one more time I was going to loss it. And with disappointment came doubt, not prayer, seeking God, or an increase in faith, but doubt. I was angry with God but I would not admit it. Instead I pushed it aside and let doubt abide. Then this past Wednesday came, it was time for small group. With tears in my eyes that evening, I confessed my doubts and layed them on the table for all to see. In many ways I did not even realize they were there until I said them. It was as though I had been running from them, 'keeping myself busy,' so that I did not have to feel the disappointment in my heart. Our facilitator asked me many questions, offered words of encouragment, and challenged me to seek Him and get back into my bible. On the ride home I felt challenged and the next morning I confessed my feelings to God and returned to His word. I felt like a lost child returning home.

Deuteronomy 31:8 says, "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

In all my doubting, wandering, questioning, and pouting He still remains right here. Beside me, in front of me, and all around me. Thank you Jesus for the gift of forgiveness!

And so today I sit with Him and anticipate the day. At 5:30 god tv will be airing the service at Morningstar this evening. You can also webstream it live through morningstarministries. com

Come and anticipate with me, Kim

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Free Fallin'




This picture keeps coming back to me when I meet with different groups and people, so I think I'm supposed to share it here.




Are you feeling like your life is spiraling out of control? You have a vague idea where you are supposed to be but it's taking forever for God to get you there? Are there several options before you?




If so, it's the free fall.




As I pray, this is what I see for those that I know are in the free fall pattern.




If you are free falling, what you don't know is you have a backpack on. Once that backpack releases, you have a parachute.




The way I understand it, that parachute is the Holy Spirit. Been with you the whole time, but you don't see His work activated until a certain point of your free fall.




The free fall continues, but with direction.




As this "directed" free fall continues, I sense the closer you hunger for your Father and His will, the more dead on target you land.




I don't know how long your free fall lasts.




I don't know where you will land.




But I know if you place your trust in Him (I'm working on that too) your path will not only become obvious, you'll land dead center on target.




Not sure about you, but there is no where else I want to be.




Even if I have to take a free fall to get there.




How about you?






Have you visited Christian Women Take Root? The Narrow Gate Invites girls are not only involved in the social networking site with fantastic groups to join but the main site called Take Root and Write. Regular columns are ongoing, check it all out. The best thing you could do with Take Root is sign up for the free subscription feed right to your in box. We'll see you there...and hey---if you have a blog, Take Root has a blog roll. Give your blog some exposure and be associated with a quality Christian site!





Julie Arduini is a surrendered writer with her own blog, http://thesurrenderedscribe.blogspot.com/. A graduate of the Christian Writers Guild, she blogs for the Christian Writers Forum Sundays as the mommy blogger. She is active with FaithWriters and has several writings ready to publish in different books and anthologies in 2008-09. She is the tentative debut interview on surrender/fearlessness for Kathy Vick's upcoming website, Run Like a Girl. To get to know Julie better, read her interview by Lynda Schab at:http://www.faithreaders.com/featured-author-details.php?id=33%20To contact Julie, please use the e mail provided in our profile.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Your Calling



Monster.com’s latest slogan is “Your Calling is Calling.” These words have been resounding in my soul lately, and as I put my fingers to the keyboard, I’m sure He’ll let me know why.

Can your calling be part of your actual employment? Absolutely.
But the calling I’m speaking of is one that should come to mind instantly—thoughts or ideas that could have only come from Him.
Do you know what I am talking about?

I feel that He’s sending me these words at this particular time, because there’s something that He’s placed in all of us that He wants to make sure we listen to.

His Calling.

The ringtone is one that can’t be purchased to download to your cell phone.

It has it’s own sound. Some of us take years to hear this one-of-a kind sound, while others get used to the fact that His voice is calling out to them for a specific purpose.

However and whenever He’s called you, I’m sure you recognize that His calling is unlike anything you experienced up until that exact moment.

Do you need to hear Him calling, or have you already had the moment of revelation that can only be attributed to Him calling you to do something that He’s placed deep within your heart?

I can only speak from my experience….and I know He’s literally called me to write these words for you.

At this moment.
Right now.

He’s called me to do many things….at first, I thought to myself, “Lord, you’ve already called me to something, call someone else for this! I know many people who are waiting to hear from you to let them know what Your plan for their life is!”
Then He said, “They’re not you. I’m calling you for these two things, and I will give you everything you need to fulfill my purpose for your life. If you’ve truly given your life to Me, you will trust me, and lean on me, and truly rest. I will take care of it. These things are part of my purpose for you, not anyone else.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined he also called; those he called, he also justified, those he justified, he also glorified. …..If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:28)


The fact that God almighty in all of His sovereign power predestined me to write these words for you absolutely amazes me. He has things He wants me to accomplish so that His name can be glorified overwhelms me---He’s called me.

Almost four years ago, He petitioned me to write for families of children with special needs. I never wrote anything in my life besides term papers for school. He persuaded me to pick up the phone one day to call the editor of our local Parent Magazine and ask her why she had a woman from another state write in our local magazine about parenting a special needs child.
When I look back on that moment, it was like an out-of-body experience. It had to be God.
There is no logical reason why I did such a thing.
She proceeded to tell me that she never could find a local writer that was qualified to write on the subject.
As I’m sure you already know, if it doesn’t seem logical to your natural mind, it’s probably from Him.

I have been writing that monthly column ever since that conversation.

It comes very naturally to me to get words out for “special” parents like my husband and I that need to know they are not alone.

I never wrote any words anyone needed to hear. Some nights I start out with a blank screen, I have a deadline in 24 hours, and within one hour, He gives me up to 800 words that need no editing.
I know that I know that one day all of the themes that are present in my column will be part of a book for special parents.

He is my editor.
He gives me the words and I put my fingers to keys in obedience.

The way I am at the moment.

I thought that since I am obeying every month, I was good to go. He called. I listened, and acted—and I continue to do it, so this must be my calling.

Then, He started to let me know that I should write down all of my thoughts during my time in getting to know Him better, not just words that He gives me for parents.

Now He was asking me to stretch myself and tell the world about my relationship with Him.

Here I am.

The Narrow Gate has opened, and I am obeying….

So, now for sure I thought I had this calling thing all figured out. I went out on a limb with Him guiding me, and now I was OK.

So I thought.

In my True Worship post I touched on the fact that He was calling me to worship Him way before I even knew what worship was.

He gave me the gift of singing many years ago, and without going into a very long rendition of my past singing experiences….I put my childhood dream of singing on a shelf many years ago. I reserved myself to believing I wasn’t good enough, and that was that.

Up until recently.

It has been prophesized over me two times that He wants me to stop being hard on myself and truly worship Him. That women will be broken out of bondages of their past with my worship, and give their lives to the Lord.

Wow.
The sound of those words were very powerful when they were spoken over me, but to see them on the screen just sent a chill through my body.

I’m sure that was Him.

So now I’m in the praying stage. I am searching and praying for Him to give me signs of where and how exactly He wants me to worship.

He is challenging me.
He is stretching me daily.

What is He calling you to do?
Do you hear the tone of His voice?
Have you heard it and have been trying to avoid it because you don’t feel qualified?
He has already qualified you.
He will give you what you need when you begin to obey.


Are you ready to obey?


Have you visited Christian Women Take Root? The Narrow Gate Invites girls are not only involved in the social networking site with fantastic groups to join but the main site called Take Root and Write. Regular columns are ongoing, check it all out. The best thing you could do with Take Root is sign up for the free subscription feed right to your in box. We'll see you there...and hey---if you have a blog, Take Root has a blog roll. Give your blog some exposure and be associated with a quality Christian site!



Maria and her family reside in NE Ohio. She and her husband are the parents of two. Their daughter is a person with hemipelegic cerebral palsy.Because of her experiences, Maria provides parent-to-parent support for families involved in her local early intervention program. Her gift for writing has come directly from the Lord since her daughter’s diagnosis.She writes a monthly column entitled, “Special Parents, Special Kids” for the Mahoning Valley Parent magazine in Ohio; and has expanded into Parent magazines in parts of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. She is also a columnist over with Kim, Julie and other writers over at http://www.takerootandwrite.com/ Maria's column is on encouraging special needs familes.She is also a contributing author at www.mommiesmagazine.com. Maria's first published work is in Jan Ross and Jeanice McDade's Women of Passion's anthology, "Ordinary Women Serving an Extraordinary God". The book is available for purchase by clicking on the book image on the right side of this blog.Maria is very passionate about getting the word out to special parents that they are not alone in their journey of raising their special child; and that they were chosen by God to parent their children. Maria welcomes comments and communication as well as invitations for her to speak to your group.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Levite Portion

Original post from the Christian Writers Forum blog


It started with my reading Susan May Warren’s Team Hope series. I can’t remember which book, but God being our portion was a consistent theme. Within a week I read the same promise in devotionals. I heard it through music. Now, it’s starting to cement in my brain.


God is my portion.


He is enough.


As Psalm 16:5 states: “Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.”


Joshua 13 and 18 really drove the point home. The Israelites received their lot of land, their portion. Imagine leaving a horrible place, traveling with other kin folk and you make it to the Promised Land. They call out you family name and what kind of land you get.


Smith—Nice fertile land with cute ranch house.


Jones—Lucious green acreage with a mansion (I mean would you expect any less from the Jones’? We are always trying to copy them, after all)


Smythe—low land that floods easily with a mobile home park filled with toys and garbage
Your name—The Lord.


That’s the picture I get from Joshua 13 and 18 and the Levite tribe. Folks lined up for their land announcement. The Levites—no land. Their portion was their service as priests to the Lord. That was their inheritance.


From Joshua 18:1-7: “The whole assembly of the Israelites gathered at Shiloh and set up the Tent of Meeting there. The country was brought under their control, but there were still seven Israelite tribes who had not yet received their inheritance. So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you? Appoint three men from each tribe. I will send them out to make a survey of the land and to write a description of it, according to the inheritance of each. and the house of Joseph in its territory on the north. After you have written descriptions of the seven parts of the land, bring them here to me and I will cast lots for you in the presence of the LORD our God. The Levites, however, do not get a portion among you, because the priestly service of the LORD is their inheritance. And Gad, Reuben and the half-tribe of Manasseh have already received their inheritance on the east side of the Jordan. Moses the servant of the LORD gave it to them.”


So often I get tripped up in worry, jealousy or even coveting because I see others receiving their portion and as my ten year old would say, it’s “sweet.” We aren’t a family that knows the palm trees of Florida, the ears of Disney or the pineapples from Hawaii. That’s not our inheritance or portion. For the longest time I felt we lacked because we didn’t have those things, places, or lands.


But here is what God showed me as my portion:


1-He has given me the supernatural gift of faith, intercession, and encouragement. I am able to believe God to be big in a person’s situation and pray through it. As the years pass I’m realizing this isn’t something everyone has. God gave me such a generous portion here, and I never realized it. I love He would choose me as a vessel this way. Lives are changed for Him, and I didn’t need any land at all! Just the Lord.


2-He gave us two children who clearly have a calling on their life that is only partially defined so far. I’m not saying my kids are better than anyone’s, not even. I sense they are set apart, and that might not mean missionary to Africa, it could be teaching at a school or giving presentations to audiences about His goodness. Whatever it is, I sense it and am committed to pray for the Lord to direct their steps, not me. I’m not praying they get to cruise the Bahamas and inherit exotic lands.


3-As an intercessor, a praying person who gets direct orders from God to pray on things until He tells otherwise, the last couple years has opened doors to pray for organizations, people, and things to come I can’t believe. Often I treat this as a burden as often He wakes me at night to chat about a country, a person, a place. Not because He needs me or else, He wants me. What a portion!


You have a Levite portion. What is your Godly inheritance that perhaps you kicked the dirt thinking you got cheated and instead realized you have something even better than Willy Wonka’s Golden ticket?



Have you visited Christian Women Take Root? The Narrow Gate Invites girls are not only involved in the social networking site with fantastic groups to join but the main site called Take Root and Write. Regular columns are ongoing, check it all out. The best thing you could do with Take Root is sign up for the free subscription feed right to your in box. We'll see you there...and hey---if you have a blog, Take Root has a blog roll. Give your blog some exposure and be associated with a quality Christian site!



Julie Arduini is a surrendered writer with her own blog, http://thesurrenderedscribe.blogspot.com/. A graduate of the Christian Writers Guild, she blogs for the Christian Writers Forum Sundays as the mommy blogger. She is active with FaithWriters and has several writings ready to publish in different books and anthologies in 2008-09. She is the tentative debut interview on surrender/fearlessness for Kathy Vick's upcoming website, Run Like a Girl. To get to know Julie better, read her interview by Lynda Schab at:http://www.faithreaders.com/featured-author-details.php?id=33%20 To contact Julie, please use the e mail provided in our profile.