Book Launch Invitation & two reader comments…

 

Made New Book Launch flyer

…I laughed, I cried, my heart and soul ached for all that you went through and I felt boundless joy reading about how your relationship with Christ has evolved and is continuing to grow daily. When you asked questions, you asked the hard questions that require soul searching for answers. Thank you for doing that as I don’t think we ask enough hard questions in this present age. Thank you so much for obeying God and telling your story. This book has the potential to help so many people who are hurting because of choices they have made. ~ Patty

I spent the weekend with you and your friend, Judy!! What a journey – what courage – what a faithful God to bring you to this place!! It has given me such insight into who you are and how God has brought you here – for such a time as this. I found myself in parts of your story – the me I had forgotten even existed. Your journey was a tough one, but look at the victory!! Amazing grace, no doubt about it. ~ Cathy

Voices

A parental voice from my childhood repeats, like a broken record. “You’re nobody!” or, “You’ll never be anything!”

I answer, “Don’t listen Child of the King! God knows who I am.”

I’m reminded of the scripture verse in 1 Corinthians 2:12.

I’ve have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that I may understand what God has freely given to me. And, verse 15, “The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgement:
For, in verse 16, God’s Word says “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But, I have the mind of Christ.”

Take that, evil one! Flee from me! My mind belongs to the One who created me.

God’s Purpose or Mine?

Four boxes of Made New ~ A Hippie Chick’s Journey of Forgiveness arrived via UPS yesterday and this morning they’re sitting in my basement, seemingly staring back at me each time I walk by. I find myself struggling with overwhelming feelings of despair, and how God will open the right doors to share their message. 

Last Sunday, a godly man from church told Pete and I how important it would be to pray over them before we even thought about opening the first box. So, Pete and I lay hands on the stack and specifically prayed, thanking God for the perseverance to witness this accomplishment in our lives, as well as what He will do in lives we’ll never know anything about. 

Despite my anxieties, the Lord had some reassuring words to impart to my soul from my devotional, My Utmost for His Highest. This message reminded me of exactly what my heart and weary soul needed. 

A quote from the words of Oswald Chambers,

We tend to think that if Jesus Christ compels us to do something and we are obedient to Him, He will lead us to great success. We should never have the thought that our dreams of success are God’s purpose for us. In fact, His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have the idea that God is leading us toward a particular end or a desired goal, but He is not. The question of whether or not we arrive at a particular goal is of little importance, and reaching it becomes merely an episode along the way. What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself. 

What is my vision of God’s purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me. God is not working toward a particular finish-His purpose is the process itself. What He desires for me is that I see “Him walking on the sea” with no shore, no success, nor goal in sight, but simply having the absolute certainty that everything is all right because I see “Him walking on the sea” (Mark 6:49) It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God. 

God’s training is for now, not later. His purpose is for this very minute, not sometime in the future. We have nothing to do with what will follow our obedience, and we are wrong to concern ourselves with it. What people call preparation, God sees the goal itself. 

God’s purpose is to enable me to see that He can walk on the storms of my life right now. If we have a further goal in mind, we are not paying enough attention to the present time. However, if we realize that moment-by-moment obedience is the goal, then each moment as it comes is precious. 

Writing Made New ~ A Hippie Chick’s Journey has been God-inspired indeed. Yet, the purpose of this book isn’t about my goals, but about what God wants to accomplish, while I trust Him for the outcome and His desire for my life! 

God Speaks…if we’re willing to listen!

I’ve had the privilege of meeting a few believers who are able to proclaim that they knew when the Lord revealed his purpose for their life. Without a doubt, I’m completely aware of when He revealed what His purpose was for my life.
Over the past several years I felt an inward tug to somehow share what the Lord did, and is still doing, with my life and with our hurting world. I didn’t know if I would be conscious of how God would orchestrate it, or if I would even be aware of any of the details surrounding it.
October 30, 2011, my husband and I enjoyed the last morning of a whirlwind four-week trip through California, Oregon, and Washington. We planned to visit a newly planted church where old friends were attending, but, for some unknown reason, that particular morning we felt more compelled to stay inside our cozy cottage snuggled together on the sofa watching In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley.
Dr. Stanley’s forty-minute message centered on our lives being used for the glory of God. He ended his sermon with a question that radically changed my life, “One day you will stand before the Lord your God. All-knowing God will look you eye to eye and heart to heart, and ask, “What did you do with the life that has brought glory and honor to me?” He’ll continue, “What did you do with the spiritual gifts I so generously gave to you, my child? Who did you tell the Good News of the gospel, possibly leading another precious soul to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ? What will be your answer when He asks that all-important and soul- searching question?”
Suddenly, I heard God’s voice, the words pounding deep in my heart, loud and clear. “Have I not blessed you with a firsthand knowledge of my forgiveness, by my grace and mercy? I’m sending you to tell others about the forgiveness I offer to each one of my children. And that it is I alone who can and do forgive your past, present, and future sins!”
Wow! It was as if I had been hit with a two-by-four! I immediately knew the answer. A loud, reverberating, voice inside of me screamed out, “Write this book, telling others about events of my life and how today I’m able to see that my Lord was with me along every step of my journey. Talk about how deep my pain was, including the answer to the essential question for someone who has been abused, ‘How do I possibly forgive the person, especially somebody who abused me so deeply?’
Throughout the last few years, I’ve discovered that I can truly trust what God’s word promises to those who call him Savior; namely, that Jesus does love his children unconditionally. He knows that we’re sinners in need of His mercy and grace, and without him, we’re lost.
Following Jesus’ encounter with the rich young ruler in Matthew 19: 26: Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible!”
Most of us have heard the poem, Footprints, when a child of God asks, “God, why, during the hardest and most difficult times of my life and during my most painful experiences are there only one set of footprints, and not two?” God lovingly answered, “Because, that’s when I carried you.”
Go back to those years with me as I recollect a tragic, heart-wrenching journey, as well as many celebratory moments, when I was Made New.

Life in the Lord is part of His Tapestry

Recently, I finished reading Heaven, by famous Christian author Randy Alcorn. Along with the Bible, it made an extremely profound impact on my spiritual journey with the Lord. I became keenly aware that out of all God’s promises we can’t begin to fathom or have any idea of the eternal and unfailing love He has for us.

My eyes, and the doors of my heart opened to receive more of His promises and the glorious eternity He has prepared for us. It’s hard to begin, or comprehend, what life will be like when I step over into eternity.

One important fact that we need to focus on is that our lives are but a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow. I fully believe that there will come a day, when I’ll be able to look back on my life as the Lord lovingly guides me, allowing me to see how both tragedy and joyous events unfolded from an eternal perspective.

We should look forward to the end of our lives, praying daily, seeking God’s will. His desire is for us to serve Him, showing Christ’s love to a hurting world, in the process, continually mending broken relationships through forgiveness.

That takes faith! Yet, remember, Romans 8:28? ‘We know that all things work for the good to those who love the Lord, those who have been called according to his purpose.
Years ago, I read Why do bad things happen to good people?
I don’t recall the name of the author, but he had an intriguing way of describing events that occur throughout our lives.
To paraphrase, our lives are like part of a tapestry, we only see the threads closest to us, each thread woven in alongside and beside us, but God sees the full picture of a beautifully complete tapestry, every thread carefully placed, and sewn in, by our Creator.

Made New excerpt..Allow God to do His sanctifying work in….

Looking back, Pete and I can both see God growing our spiritual lives during those years. He has shaped and molded us all along the way. With all of his children, He grinds a little edge of our lives here, and then a little there, until He shapes and polishes us into the diamond He has set in His mind for us so that we can reflect His love and light to the world. Yet, our hearts yearn for it because we will not reach that ultimate perfection until we cross over into glory to live with Him forever and ever. It’s an awesome moment when you realize how God is transforming your life to bring glory and honor to Him.

Trusting God

An important fact that we need to focus on is that this life is but a vapor, here today and gone tomorrow. I fully believe that one day, when we’re in heaven with the Lord, we will be able to look back at our lives and the Lord will allow us to see how events unfolded from an eternal perspective. We should look forward to the end of our lives and do whatever we can possibly do to mend any broken relationship.

Have you ever asked the Lord to show you, or to reveal to you, who you need to go to so that past hurts can be healed?
This is where our faith and trust in God comes in. Romans 8:28 ‘We know that all things work for the good to those who love the Lord, those who have been called according to his purpose.
We must trust in God’s plan.  God knows every single thought we have. He doesn’t just know all of our thoughts, but he also knows the thoughts of all who have ever lived and all who are presently living, and those that are yet to live on this earth! He’s omniscient! He’s sovereign! He knows and sees everything. God has called us to place our hope, faith, and trust in Him and Him alone! He knows everything about each one of us.

Why wouldn’t we want to get out own agenda out of the way and fall on our knees, completely surrendering our lives to the Lord? He knows where you’ve been and where you’re going. He has promised to reward us for our faith. If we slow down enough to allow Him to work in our lives, we will receive powerful revelations of His love and an intimate relationship with Him that will change our entire outlook on this life.

We’re made to Love God!

Have you ever allowed yourself to be lost in the wonder of God’s creation? For me, it’s in the flowers and nature. I see God in those things. In a snapdragon flower, I see two big dragon eyes right in the middle of that bud! Who, but God, could ever create something so breathtaking? I have to think ‘what was God thinking when He created this flower’. It’s amazing when we’re able to see details such as this. I have picked up nature photography and it’s allowed me to see how perfectly God has created every living thing. The tiny airbrush strokes on the face of a pansy, painted by the finger of God. He is the creator of every living thing! I believe we will spend eternity in a state of euphoria observing all of God’s majestic creation in heaven!
I’m currently reading the book ‘Heaven’ by Randy Alcorn. Along with the Bible, this book has made such an enormous impact on my spiritual journey with the Lord. Of all the promises God has made to His children, I believe that we have no idea of the profound love He has for us. This book has opened my eyes and the door of my heart to receive, and absorb for that matter, promises of the glorious eternity He has prepared for each one of us. It’s hard to fathom what our lives will be like when we step over into eternity.

Lord, Let my voice be Your Voice!

THE PRICE HE PAID FOR ALL OUR SIN, PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:5
Here I am Lord, Send Me!
Let my voice be Your Voice!
Pete and I moved to Woodstock, Georgia on June 1, 2012. After weeks of unpacking and getting settled into our new home we decided ‘ok, it’s time to spend some time on our new deck and begin enjoying this wonderful piece of heaven the Lord has blessed us with’.
I don’t know about you but when we move to a new home Pete and I always look forward to spending quiet time with each other, and with the Lord, especially after weeks of stress that comes with change of address notifications, scheduling garbage pickups, hanging pictures, organizing closets, new driver’s licenses and tags, etc.
When we moved from our home in Anderson, South Carolina it was hard to imagine being blessed by another wonderful outdoor environment. We had so much enjoyment out of the beautiful yard we were leaving. We had our favorite trees, seasons, and even favorite flowers and bushes! We discussed what our next home would be like and prayed that God would lead us to a place where we would enjoy many hours of intimacy with Him in a deeper and more profound way.
So, one day in mid-July, we decided it’s time to start enjoying this new place. The first person we encountered was a woman, who was quite amusing by the way, probably mid-60’s, carrying a walking stick so she would be able to fight off any ferocious animal that crossed her path. She was wearing a rather large brimmed straw hat, white sweater with blue stripes, fuschia pink shorts, and a pair of walking boots. After a few seconds she soon disappeared on up the street.
A hummingbird landed on a dead branch just above us as if to say, “Hmm, this is a sight. I’ve never seen them here before”.
We like to call this ‘sitting on the porch growing old together’ and one of God’s many blessings in growing and forming more intimate relationships.
Of the hundreds of trees near our home, just across the cul-de-sac is a majestic Georgia pine tree with the straightest and widest trunk I believe I’ve ever seen. It seems as if it’s standing guard over the home behind it. It has a huge crown that is so prideful as it reaches halfway down the entire length. It seems as if it’s standing guard and protecting the home. As if to say, “You have to come past me to get into this home”.
Then, over in the side of our yard is another pine tree that looks as if it’s had a hard life and barely hanging on to the ground with its shallow roots. You know, like a Charlie Brown tree. It’s weak, leaning over, several broken off branches toward the middle and just a few pine needles left on the branches up toward the top. It looks as if it just wants to give up. If you want to refer to it in the secular way you would say that the ‘forces of nature’ are taking it down.
So, which one of these trees describe you? Are you like the straight tree? The one that stands mighty and reaches straight up toward God for direction, or are you like the tree that’s had a rough road being pulled in various directions or down the wrong roads through out your life?
Our spiritual reality is one that is we’re all in as a worse state than the crooked tree, on this side of Heaven. But, because of Jesus’ shed blood for each of us, we are able to stand straight, trusting Him to guide our path and carry us through life, until we meet him face to face in glory. In Jesus, our intercessor, we are able to accomplish this.
Jesus is the MIGHTY and STRAIGHT tree! He is our defender and protector. In Him we must trust to guide us through this life.
This is the way we should live our lives. God is Number One when we look at what eternity means. Ultimately, every thing in our lives and on the Earth that He created points back to God. It’s being ‘eternal-minded’. That’s a deep thought. But, he wants us to see him in this way. Does God mean this much to you? That’s when you know in your heart that you’re his, even in all of your sinfulness.
In Romans 7:25, the Apostle Paul cries out “What a wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?”
But, we have a promise that is so profound that we need to claim it as children belonging to the Lord, v. 26, “Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord!” He is the ONLY one who can deliver us out of the pit of bondage to sin.

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