Isaiah 40:31 (New International Version)

31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Put the old away

 The beggar could hardly believe his luck!  Just that morning he'd been prowling the streets looking for food, scrounging in dumpsters, and begging at back doors of restaurants.  But tonight he would be dining with a king. 
 "Your presence has been requested" was the only explanation the driver of the long black limo gave when he opened the sleek door and helped him in.
 When they arrived at the palace, the butler showed him to his room and brought in a set of new clothes for the man to wear.  The beggar accepted that garments but carefully rolled up the rags he'd been wearing and tucked them under his arm.  After all, he never knew when he might need them.
 That night, clothed in a fine tuxedo, the beggar sat by the king himself.  Rich paintings and expensive chandeliers hung all around him.  Bowls and platters of the finest food lined the table.  But the most beautiful of all was the kind attention the king gave to the nervous man - asking him questions, drawing out details about the beggars life he had never shared with anyone.
  "I hope you will stay," the king said as the meal was about to end.  "I would like you to consider this your home."
  So the beggar remained.  He lived for years in the king's palace and dressed in the kings finery.  Every night he dined at the kings table - not as a guest, but as a friend.  Yet, he insisted on carrying his bundle of rags everywhere he went.  For he never knew when he might need them.
  Many years later, when the man died, they buried him with his bundle of  rags.  For the torn, tattered, rolled up clothes had become his identity. "The ragman," they called him.  And everyone mourned, including the king.
 For his friend, the beggar, could have been so much more if he'd been able to let go of what he once was. (Having a mary spirit, Weaver, source unknown)

Ummmmm...How many of us cling to who we once were?  How many of us buy the lies from the pit of hell that we are who we once were, that our mistakes and pasts will follow us always and that God would never use us because of it?  How many of us hold on to our past regrets because we don't feel like we are any better?  How many of us carry our tattered and rolled up clothes with us, just in case we might need them?

I think if we are all honest, we would have to agree that most of us do this.  But God tells us to put the old away, He tells us to clothe ourselves with Christ, he tells us that we are new creations in Him.  Why then, do we let ourselves believe that because of our past mistakes God would not use us?  I thought this for many years, I gave satan not only a foothold, I gave him an RV and invited him to stay, to lie to me, because I was going to believe anything he told me.  NOT ANYMORE!!!!  Nope, because despite my mistakes, God is using me, molding me, gifting me, allowing me the privlege to be used for his kingdom.  And He will use you too, if you let him.  Don't listen anymore to satans lies, he has already lost the battle, take the control back and believe that God is who he says He is, that He loves you more than you could ever imagine and He wants to use you in great and mighty ways.  Let God lead you to places and to people that you never thought you would ever go, let go of the tattered clothes you once wore and take up the new you.  You are beautiful no matter where you have been or what you have done in God's eyes, seek him to restore you and to forgive you and then wait for the most amazing adventure of your life.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fear Not

Isaiah 41:10-14

10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
11 “All who rage against you
will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
will be as nothing and perish.
12 Though you search for your enemies,
you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
will be as nothing at all.
13 For I am the LORD your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.
14 Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,
little Israel, do not fear,
for I myself will help you,” declares the LORD,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

Approximately 365 times in the bible we are told "Do not be afraid", "do not fear", "take courage" etc....So why do we live in fear?  We fear people, we fear death, we fear losing our pride, making a mistake, we fear losing Someone, we fear sickness and suffering, we fear almost EVERYTHING, if we're honest.  To be fair, some of us are more fearful than others.  There are a lot of people out there who we could take note of because of their courage....are you one of them, or do you let fear control you?

One of the things I learned as a student was when the teacher said something more than once, it was important and should be memorized, underlined, highlighted, because I would need it.  So why do you think God told us over and over again not to be afraid?  Well, the answer is pretty simple isn't it?  WE ARE NOT TO BE AFRAID.  We are to trust God, no matter what, because we will be asked to do things that are scary, we will find ourselves in situations that are scary, but the Lord is bigger than anything we face.  Satan will use fear to cripple us in doing the work God wants us to do.  Let's claim the command "Do not fear" daily, 365 times, before you set foot out of bed every morning.  Look at God and what He can do, not at the fear.  We can do big things in this world, believe it and take courage.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Greetings


Merry Christmas From  Uganda.

Happy Birthday to you JESUS!  You are the greatest gift ever given.  Thank you for changing my life and giving me hope.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Freedom from the guilt of ugly words...

Freedom from the word of God.....

Isaiah 6: 5-6

5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

Thank you Father.


Monday, December 13, 2010

It happened pretty innocently.  My internal dialogue went something like this, "I am only trying to defend myself, I am trying to make her see the injustice here, why can't she see me, why has she never seen me for who I am instead of the ridiculous girl she thinks I am?" 

The story is not important, the details a waste of space.  What's important is that I hurt someone I loved.  I spoke without thinking, I did what I do frequently, speaking my mind when I have no place to do so, judging someone else because of my own insecurity.  I wasn't even speaking to the person that I hurt, sadly I haven't since, and now it is too late.

I am reading a book right now that talks about the "flesh woman" inside of all of us ladies, the one we don't like to talk about, the one that rents out space inside of us, the one we have tried desperately to evict, but no matter how many notices we give her, she just doesn't ever leave completely!  My flesh woman can be nasty, she can rear her ugly head at any moment, saying or thinking things that the heart woman in me despises.  Can you relate?  Probably.

I have read the following verse many times before, only now really allowing myself to process it.

James 3: 3-6 (The Message)

3-5A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!
5-6It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.

My cousin, Brenna is the one that I hurt with my words.  My cousin, who from the moment she came into this world was adored by me.  I was 12 when Brenna was born, and boy did it feel good not to be the youngest in the family anymore.  I would take her sledding, to amusment parks and the zoo, we would go and see movies, we just had fun together and I loved being admired the way that I was!!!  Heehee...don't we all love that???  As Brenna got older we spent less and less time together, we lived in different cities and our lives went in different directions, as they do.  I will regret not taking the time out of our busy lives to see eachother.  Most of all I will regret saying what I said to my Grandmother about Brenna.

Brenna was killed last week in a car accident, 24 years old, beautiful inside and out, and loved by so many.  This experience has taught me a lot about my words and my thoughts, about keeping my mouth shut when I should, about loving without judgment.  I will always regret not having the opportunity to tell Brenna that I was sorry and that no matter what choices she made it did not make me love her any less.  Today I want to say, Brenna I love you, and I always will, you will always be in my heart and I will miss you.

If there is someone in your life that you need to reconcile with, someone who you need to tell "I love you, no matter what", please take my advice and do it.  Love like Jesus loved, without judgement or strings, without hurting, without harsh words.  Isn't that what we are called to do, love one another as we have been loved? 



Brenna Leigh Seeley
Born March 24, 1986
Died December 9, 2010

Thank you for letting me process, for allowing me to be vulnerable. 

Blessing friends,
Cheryl

Monday, December 6, 2010

Lunch is served!!!!

Yep, that's right, you guessed it, bush RAT for lunch.  I know, you are all having some problems imagining me eating RAT, and yes, it was a little bit difficult for me.  Kenzie however was able to eat it like she had not eaten in days and found it to be quite enjoyable!!!!  What a weird kid I have!
William, our fearless leader, ready for his favorite meal.
Local restaurant...on the menu.....Bush Rat.
Owner of Bush Rat restaurant.

Who knows, perhaps in years to come Bush rat will become as popular as Sushi in the west!!!




Thursday, December 2, 2010

Peter

This is Peter.  Peter lives in Lobone, Southern Sudan, he has no family, he lives in a leaky grass thatched house, sleeps without a mattress on a cold dirt floor, and up until our team arrived he had no blanket.  Peter is in his fifties and was once a local teacher.  We shared a compound with this delightful man for 5 weeks.

In 1983 Peter's life began to change. Another civil war began in Sudan, and many people were fleeing the country.  Peter stayed, for what reason I do not know, what I do know is that because of this decision he endured much hardship.  I don't know all of the details about the Sudanese Army, I don't know everything about the war, I could never do justice with my words to those who suffered through this time in Sudan, but for Peter, I will try.




Peter was captured and tortured by the army.  His body was broken, his legs so badly burned with hot oil and chemicals that now he is unable to stand up straight due to the extensive muscle damage.  When Peter walks one cannot ignore his crooked, hunched spine that I can only deduce, causes him much pain.  Emotionally, Peter was also broken and due to this fact he has lost his mind, one of the unseen scars that he will forever bear.  Peter met us the first night that we arrived, the others that greeted us laughed as we introduced ourselves to him, telling us that he was crazy.  There was something about this man though, that instantly got both mine and Kenzies attention, we saw more than just a crazy man, we saw in him something else, something lovely.  Yes, Peter talked nonsense most of the time, told us stories of his trips to South Africa, Canada, and the moon.  He called me his sister and Kenzie his daughter, we seemed special to him and he became special to us. 

A few nights after we arrived I was woken up to Peter talking and coughing, saying that he was sick, that he had no blanket, and about things that I could not make sense of.  That night, I removed my sleeping bag  to see how it felt without one, to feel what Peter felt and I was very cold and it was very difficult for me to sleep.  No wonder this man was awake, no wonder he had such a terrible cough.  In the morning, Kenzie gave her blanket to Peter, we had borrowed sleeping bags and so a blanket was not necessary and I had already given mine away to one of our team members. We were also able to give Peter some meds to help with his coughing, it did not take the cough away completely, but it helped him to sleep a little bit better, and the blanket kept him a little bit warmer.


During our stay,God was able to use us to show Peter love, to listen to him.  He felt like he was a part of us, like he had a family.  My hope now is that even though we are no longer there, that God has filled the void as only He can, because he loves Peter more than we could ever love him.  I pray for Peter to be healed, I pray for provision and that God would put in place people to love him, would you join me? 


Thank you friends, may God bless you,

Cheryl xo