“Which disciple do you think you are most like?” This was the question I recall that started a conversation not long ago from my pastor. Honestly, I returned the question to him knowing he’d say Peter. I am a bit impulsive and can be more than just a little direct.
Being the first-born, most first-born children will agree, you find yourself in a leadership role at a very early age. In this position you necessarily feel those burdens of setting the example and the need at times to choose a course and stay with it, believing it will work out and that you have the unction to get it done and see it through.
Then, by God’s amazing grace you discover that you need redemption, salvation, a savior who you can trust and lean on. In accepting Christ there is relief and hope. Now, all of that energy you had as the first-born becomes focused on intentionally living out this new life. So you are still the example for younger siblings except, now you are not focused on setting an example for them. Now you are focused on Jesus and in that focus, brazen statements are made. Commitments are made that without the Holy Spirit’s power can never be kept.
Over the course of my life, I have found myself joining Paul in being content in all situations. “I know how to live in poverty or prosperity. No matter that the situation, I’ve learned the secret of how to live when I’m full or when hungry, when I have too much or when I have too little. I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:12-13 (God’s Word) We have had plenty in our life and we have had very little and eaten what we could. Sometimes, having less has been the greater blessing.
The greater struggle is in learning to be content in my spiritual walk. Knowing that regardless of what I feel, faith is not about what we feel, Christ is with me in the trenches through His Holy Spirit. When I am seeking Him with all I have and He “seems” very far away, He is closer still than my own breath. Lord help me to know Your presence at all times and in all things—to be content in Your blessed presence when known and when unknown without any doubts!
I recently read a devotional and agree with the author that, God sets a grand tapestry before us for our pleasure to view. He also sets before us a field of harvest that needs workers. I pray in both that He will fit me for His use and that I will always be found faithful to be available and submissive to His call and will.
Blessings and Peace Always,
“He literally took my breath away with His creation! He was so clearly working on me to worship Him in other ways. There is so much more to worship than singing!”
Great observation about how God will show us the things that “creep in” to nudge HIM from the throne of our life! I’m not saying here that Julie was taking her eyes off her Lord and Savior, not at all. We do however, as Christians, allow our focus to drift.
God gifted Julie with a tremendous ability to worship Him through playing the piano, singing and writing, beautifully! She enters into worship this way and there is nothing wrong with the process and certainly not the results.
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” ~Philippians 1:6
In bringing us to be like Christ, I’ve started learning that HE will place times of testing in our life and for HIS very own reasons… Phil 1:6.
Whether music, service, giving our tithes, teaching, preaching, outreach, compassionate ministries, etc. All of these are right and He alone is worthy, yet they must remain ALL about HIM!!!
Such a blessing to see sensitivity to the Holy Spirit in council and correction applied. I believe as we Journey With Christ, course corrections, both gentle and extreme, are God’s way of bringing our focus directly and firmly back to Himself.
I believe, starting with myself, we can take a special lesson to heart through what Julie has shared about this difficult time in her journey. Julie, thank you for your continued transparency and allowing me to write as He leads my heart, mind and soul from what you share.
“You Take My Breath Away”, may this be our prayer and goal today! Yes LORD, please open my eyes to see!!!
Blessings & Peace Always,
So often in our journey through this life, we lose sight of our blessings. The last couple of months have been especially difficult around our household. Without going into all the specifics, we lost my mother-in-law on November 4th. Our loss is heaven gain and we take comfort in the knowledge that her struggles are now at an end.
While she struggled over the past year with cancer and then recovery, we were all witness to her strength and fight. It was truly inspiring and frustrating at the same time. Still she endured until our Father called her home. She was 78 years young and spent 59 years with her love Bus or Mac, depending on who you were talking to at the time. Together they raised three children on a dairy farm in Cossayuna, NY. Anyone who knows anything about a dairy, knows this takes a special commitment, it is a life style of long dedicated days and sometimes nights. She is survived by my father-in-law, their three children, four grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Blessings Flowing… with mixed emotions, a heart that is at the same time filled with all HIS goodness and a heart ripping sense of loss, yep our Blessings are indeed Flowing! We were blessed over the past year to see Florence’s strength, fight and humor. You can’t be a farmers’ wife and be a wimp and you most certainly must have a sense of humor.
Our blessings included being able to see her several times, some under circumstance less than ideal. The point is our Father made a way for us to meet the needs of my wife’s parents and my wife desire to be there! We could have missed so much were it not for our Father’s loving care and abundant grace.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of HIS glory in Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:19
We were blessed to be a part in the sharing of memories old and new. Joy in the remembering that turned such a difficult time into a blessing that was shared by family and friends. The blessing of seeing how she poured her life into so many lives that were touched and blessed by her actions and words. Kindnesses, graciousness and love met lives any so many ways, Blessings Flowing!
Here we are a few weeks removed and while our emotions are still swinging up and down, the blessings are still flowing. Bus is doing well and his cousins have stepped in to help him adjust, plus it’s deer season and a regular crowd is coming and going at the farm. Since Tracy’s brother lives in Florida and we are in Virginia, her sister is left to help. She and her husband are dairy farmers and the demands don’t change even though life takes a dramatic turn, Blessings Flowing!!
Back here, cards are still coming in and we have our first service at church complete. Sometimes the blessing of love from our brothers and sister in Jesus is overwhelming. We wouldn’t exchange the hugs and expression of compassion for a moment, Blessings Flowing!!!
By HIS grace and supply, we are going to head back for Thanksgiving…. We will give thanks! HIS provision, grace and love will be known and shared. We will laugh and cry, share great stories and solemn moments. Still blessings will be flowing!
Thanks to everyone who has loved us through these difficult times. Your prayers, words of encouragement and hugs of comfort…BLESSINGS FLOWING
Blessings & Peace Always,
Florence P. McIntyre
July 14, 1935 – November 4, 2013