The Lost Bird....Found

"I Am The Vine; You Are The Branches. If A Man Remains In Me And I In Him, He Will Bear Much Fruit; Apart From Me You Can Do Nothing."
John 15:5

The tree was tall, yet semi-bare, lots of branches, yet not to many leaves.

It wasn't grown on the right foundation, it wasn't watered nor nurtured the way it should have been, it has seen storms throughout time, weathered many of them, yet the cracks started to appear almost immediately.

Small, hairline cracks starting at the base and climbing up every few feet.

The roots aren't underground as they should have been, instead, they are surface roots, easily tripped on if you get too close.

In this tree is a birds nest, high above the ground, nestled in the only leaves the tree grows.

Inside the nest, are several birds, waiting, watching, taking in everything around them.

The birds have been there a long time, sometimes leaving the nest, yet always returning to the same nest.

Until one day, one of the birds is seen falling out of the nest.

The bird hit the ground, battered, hurt, unsure of what to do next...

She wanted to go back to the only nest she had ever known, back to her family of birds, back to where she belonged.

She wasn't wanted back in the nest though, she wasn't welcome back in that nest.

As she stumbled around, wondering where to lay her weary head, she noticed a different tree a few blocks from her original one.

One day she went seeking protection from the new tree, the elements were getting to be more than she could handle and she was tired of the storm.

She was drained, lost, confused and didn't have much strength left to continue on.

This tree was beautiful, rooted within the ground, full of branches and glorious leaves, there was fruit and even berries on this new tree.

The sun always seemed to be shining on this tree, no matter what the weather was like, the light within was almost blinding.

As she was looking around, a new bird she had not encountered before came within her eyesight.

He was kind and compassionate and took her under his wing.

He listened, he guided, he showed her what she was truly capable of, he showed her she could fly, high above the clouds, he welcomed her into the new tree and within the new tree was a new nest, a nest so big it didn't seem to have an end, filled with all kinds of birds, of every size, almost all would welcome the new bird into the family.

She was afraid when she came to him, broken and scarred by life, so unsure of what her next step would be, she needed direction, she needed someone to tell her what to do next, only he wouldn't do it, in time, ever so gently, he pushed her to the ledge of the nest, careful not to push her to hard, yet not so easy that she would feel she had to stay in that nest always.

He knew this scared little bird was destined for something big, he also knew she was terrified of taking that step, afraid of failing once again, most importantly afraid of failing someone so much bigger than her.

Once she became familiar with her new surroundings, he seemed to fade into the background, yet wasn't very far from her, he watched her, was there if she had questions, yet unlike in the beginning, he stopped answering all the questions and had her seek the answers from within.

She could see his hand in each step she took, however he wouldn't take any credit for her transformation, she had to learn on her own, something was much bigger than him or her, guiding them both towards something greater than they even knew was possible.

She began a wonderful transformation, guided by forces unseen, helped along the way by new birds, a new nest, a new tree.

She could feel the change happening within, scared yet excited at the same time and the new bird stood back and watched her, still never so far that she couldn't reach his wing if she need be, yet far enough to not get in the way of the lessons being taught her.

She would get to the ledge and then take a few steps back, each time he was there to guide her, he could see her uncertainty, yet wouldn't allow her to give up, wouldn't allow her to just sit in the nest, content to stay where she was, he needed her to keep moving forward.

The night came when it was time for her to spread her wings, he knew she could be an asset to the new birds that coming in, she just had to find the faith within herself, he had done all he could to prepare her for the new journey she was about to embark on, little by little he had seen her come out of the shell she had been trapped in, her song which once was dark and dreary was now full of light and joy, her wings fluttered to those around her, helping, even though she didn't think so, guiding, even though she didn't think so, she was ready to take the final leap and leave the nest, always welcome into it, however never to stay for very long.

Just like him, she needed to find the lost and bring them in, help the sick, shoulder the pain of the old and the new.

He taught her how to help each and every bird that comes into the nest, he showed her what true compassion is without stifling her growth, he showed her that he had been there through the lessons, he just couldn't give her all the answers she sought, he showed her that she had a purpose for life, a purpose much greater than herself.

Last night I had Bible study, once the study was over I went and spoke with my Pastor, once all was said and done, this is how I saw him.

A bird greater than myself, one who has guided me, without getting in His was, one who has shown me what I am capable of, without hindering His process in my life, one who laid everything out for me, yet allowed me to find my own way.

Yes, he could have handed me the answers on a silver platter, however he chose to let me find my own answers.

When I thought I was stumbling around in the dark, lost beyond being found, God put this man in my life, stern, loving, forgiving, kind, compassionate.

A God fearing man who just won't allow me to sink into my own self pity, a man who could have just discounted me, yet he didn't, instead he took the time to help me shed my own skin, to shed my old life and during the process, he never took any credit, instead showed me who to really be thankful to.

Today, I am thankful for my Pastor, a man that knows all my secrets and loves me anyway.

A man who took me under his wing when no one else would, showed me how to find true love from Him, showed me what it was like to be truly loved by Him and allows me to shine His light, each chance I have.

Thank you Lord, for this man.

You Know The Effort I Have Given
And You Know Exactly What It Cost
And Though My Innocence Was Taken
Not Everything Is Lost


Trust Or Trust In?

"Trust In The Lord With All Your Heart And Lean Not On Your Own Understanding; In All Your Ways Acknowledge Him, And He Will Make Your Paths Straight."
Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust is defined as an assured reliance on the character, ability, strength or truth of someone or something.

I have blogged about this topic before and will continue to do so as long as I am moved to write about it.

We all trust, some more deeply than others, yet we still trust.

Did you know you are only supposed to trust in Him?

Not yourself, not your spouse, not your friends, not your families etc...

Did you know there is a difference in trusting vs trusting in?

I have trust issues, I am not going to lie, most of the people I know who are in or have been in my situation feel the same way.

My mistake was trusting in my husband when I should have placed my trust in Him.

That wasn't my first mistake, I have a very long list of them.

Instead of choosing to trust, I chose to trust in, I thought I was untouchable, my life was just about perfect, I had very few complaints, I had a husband I loved, kids I adored, a house I loved, a job, a car, security etc...

And I am ashamed to say, I didn't always stop and just say "thank you."

So, what happens?

You should all know the story by now, I lost almost everything.

He didn't make it happen, He allowed it to happen, there is a huge difference.

He could have stopped everything at any point in time, yet He chose not to, so I in turn trust in Him and what He has planned for my life.

Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I used to blame Him for everything, I would think to myself "Why would you let this happen?" Because in my way of thinking, He has the power to end all evilness on this Earth, the power to restore families, the power to heal the sick, the power to not allow anyone to be cold or go hungry etc...

Why not use that power to make the world a better place?

Then I learned about free will.

We have a choice in each and everything we do, we have free will from Him and the choices we make fall on our shoulders, not His.

Of course He wants you to make the correct choices, yet He isn't going to force His will on you, it is there for the taking, you have to choose to follow it.

I don't think most people choose to be homeless, nor sick, nor divorced, nor abused etc... I think extenuating circumstances places people in situations they didn't want to be in, yet they don't quite know how to get out of.

Those are some of the people you should be bridging the gap with, the ones who are lost in the darkness and can't find their way out, He trusts in you to help take care of His children.

I can't see around the bend in the road ahead, He can however, He knows exactly what is in store for me on any given day I am thankful enough to be woken up.

Trusting in others, trusting in yourself isn't going to get you very far.

It is tainted by "man", by sin...

To place your trust in anyone other than Him will bring about failure in the long run.

Spouses can fail, marriages can fail, friends can fail, jobs can fail etc...

He can't fail, ever.

He has already conquered the world.

In order to walk on the water, you have to step out of the boat, in order to step out of the boat, you have to place your trust in Him.

To Know You Is To Hear Your Voice When You Are Calling
To Know You Is to Catch My Brother When He Is Falling
To Know You Is to Feel The Pain Of The Broken Hearted
Cause They Can't Live Without You.


Bridging The Gap

"Even In Laughter The Heart May Ache, And Joy May End In Grief." 
Proverbs 14:13 

Yesterday I spent part of the day blog hopping, work was slow and I wanted to catch up with my bloggy friends.

I miss all you guys so much and I hate feeling like I can't get back to each of you, I am trying, slowly but surely.

I came across some new blogs, blogs that caused my heart to feel heavy, so much pain out there, so much unnecessary sadness.

Children sick, on the verge of death, people who can't put food on their table, spouses abandoning their families on a whim etc...

So much suffering, which brought back a conversation I had a while back with someone at Church on one of my nights to feed the homeless.

T is a homeless woman, a little woman, I would say no more than 4'9, then again compared to my 5'10 almost every woman is pretty much little.

She is filthy when she comes in to the Church, her clothes are in a dire need of  a washing, she reeks of alcohol, she is demanding with her food, the way it is dished on her plate and not entirely grateful, yet for some reason, she makes me smile.

Her face is weathered from being out in the Florida sun all day, tan but wrinkled and she always has a smile, even when she is demanding.

She is kind to me, so in turn I am kind to her.

I see her around town every so often on the back of her boyfriends' (he is homeless as well) bicycle.

He isn't always nice to her and we have had to call the police to the Church a few times because of it.

One Tuesday, I walked in to get ready for the feeding and she was already in the Church, sitting in a corner, on a chair, shoeless and sad.

No smile today, no wave, no acknowledgement of anyone around her.

Just a lost look in her eyes and a sad look on her face.

No one said anything to her, just went about their business getting ready before we could let anyone in.

I debated if I should go to her and then walked over.

I said hi to her, she looked up at me and I realized then that she was crying.

I kneeled down and asked her what was wrong, was there anything I/we could do?

Her boyfriend had hit her, something she was obviously used to, something she expected by what she said to me, something she was okay with.

It isn't okay, I told her, never, regardless of the circumstances, is it okay for one human to hit another. (Man/woman, it just doesn't matter, keep your hands to yourself)

We talked for a little bit while the people I worked with got ready, I didn't feel I could leave her and that is where He wanted me, the kitchen staff would have to do without me.

She didn't want prayer, she just wanted an ear, so I listened and as I listened, I looked into her weathered face, I could see some wise years in her face. She lived a hard life and it showed, yet she was okay with that, she wasn't bitter nor angry, just sad.

The homeless were starting to enter the Church and she seemed to be done talking, so I stood up, took her hand, pulled her into a standing position and hugged her.

At first she stiffened, but that didn't last long, she returned the hug tightly, looked into my face, smiled and went to get some food.

As I turned to enter the kitchen, I noticed one of the workers looking at me oddly, yet I didn't think anything of it.

I had work to do, so I did the feeding and afterwards, I went to sweep/mop because there is a board meeting directly after we feed the homeless in the same area of the Church.

As I was working, I overheard someone say something about "touching" one of those people.


Now, you know I am a non-confrontational person, I will go out of my way to avoid conflict just because I don't like drama, nor do I have any use for it.

I didn't know where the comment had come from, nor who had said it, all I know is the words cut deeply to my core.

"One of those people" as if she wasn't worthy of human touch, as if she is a leper, unworthy of human contact.

I felt deeply ashamed that these words came from someone in my Church, a Christian who is there to feed the homeless, yet throws those little darts out.

What if T had heard that?

What if that was her last meal in that Church, because she felt she wasn't welcome there either?

I am thinking I would probably already feel like the world was against me if I was in her position.

Guess what, I already am in her position.

Technically I am homeless as well, I just don't sleep on a street, by His grace and mercy, my parents live here and I am just a little luckier than she is.

Does that make me better than her?

Not by a long shot.

Does that make you better than me?

Not at all.

None of us is better than the other, some of us are just luckier.

Just because your house is bigger, you drive a better car, have more money in the bank etc...Doesn't make you better.

It should make you more grateful, it should open your eyes up to the world around you, to show you just what you have that others don't.

However, for most of us, it doesn't.

I had to be stripped of almost everything before my eyes were opened and I would truly hate for any of you to experience what has befallen me.

Pure goodness has come out of my pain though, empathy in spades for others who have even less than I do, compassion for the underdog, a protectiveness I never knew I had, a deep desire to protect others who can't help themselves.

Yet, even I know I can't do it alone, everyone has to come out of their "selves" and pitch in.

I am sorry to say, but life is not just about you.

Shocking, I know, so I will take this moment to pause while you actually let that sink in.

You good?

Okay I will continue.

This is going to be aimed at my Christian brothers and sisters...

I want you to read the following Scripture, read it, let it sink in...

James 2:14-17 "What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."

Romans 14:13-17 "Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."

Pretty powerful words there my friends.

Not hard to put into place though, help your fellow man, bridge the gap between you and them.

God blessed you in a way to share with others, you aren't supposed to hoard your blessings.

1 Timothy 6:17-19 "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life."

I don't think this is entirely about "money", seeing as He provides everything for us.

I don't have much in the way of money, yet I have been blessed with time for others, an ear if someone needs it, a shoulder to cry on, a prayer if it is needed etc...

Whatever He has blessed me with, I try my hardest to share with others, that is how we are all supposed to be.

Do you know of  a bridge that needs a gap filled?

Step out of "self" my friends, before it is too late.

Father Break My Heart For What Breaks Yours
Give Me Open Hands And Open Doors
Put Your Light In My Eyes And Let Me See
That My Own Little World Is Not About Me


The Teacup

"Can I Not Do With You As This Potter Does? Declares The Lord. Like Clay In The Hand Of The Potter, So Are You In My Hand.'
Jeremiah 18:6

A couple went into an antique shop and saw a beautiful magnificent little teacup sitting high upon a shelf. And they just fell in love with that teacup.

They said, "We have got to have that teacup!" They were admiring the teacup – when all of a sudden the teacup began to talk to them.

It said, "You know, I have not been always like this. There was a time when nobody would have wanted me. There was a time when I was not attractive at all. You see there was a time in my life when I was just an old, hard, gray lump of clay. And the Master potter came along and He picked me up one day and He began to pat me and reshape me; and I said, "Stop it! What are you doing? That hurts! Leave me alone!’ and He simply looked at me and said, "Not yet!"

And then He put me on this wheel and He began to spin me around, and around and around! And I got so dizzy and could hardly see where I was going anymore! I was losing it! Everything was spinning around and around and I felt sick to my stomach. And I said; "Let me off of here!" and He said: "Not yet!".

Finally, the day came when I had taken on another shape. All of that spinning around finally gave me another shape. All of that patting and molding and squeezing and pinching gave me another shape. And all of a sudden – He put me into this FURNACE! It is called the first firing. And it was so hot in there!

Oh, I could not believe how hot it was. I thought, " I can’t stand this! I’m going to DIE in here! "GET ME OUT OF HERE!!! Don’t you love me?? (Crying.) Why are you leaving me in here?"

You see, the oven door had glass in it and the Master would just look in with His eyes, but He wouldn't let me out!! He would just smile at me and say, "Not yet!"

FINALLY, the oven door opened and he took me out – set me on a shelf and I thought, "Whew! Thank God that is over!".

Then He began to paint me all over with this stinky paint! Changing my color from gray to this pretty blue that I am now! And I said: "This stuff stinks! It is choking me! (coughing) I don’t like this smell!"

STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT! STOP IT!’ He would just say: "Not yet!"

Then He put me back in a SECOND oven. It is called the second firing, and it was TWICE as hot as the first oven!

And I thought, "Now, I will DIE in here for sure! This is the end of me. This will finish me off! Get me out of here! I can't stand it! I can't stand it! Really – I am telling you – I can’t stand it! This is going to kill me! Get me out of here!"

 And He would just look through that glass and say: "Not yet!"

Then one day the door finally opened – He took me out and He put me up here on this shelf to let me cool off. After I cooled off, one day He came by and He handed me this mirror and I looked at myself and I could not believe how BEAUTIFUL I was!

I could not BELIEVE how I have CHANGED!

Why, I did not look anything at all like that old gray clay that I started out to be!

Now, I am this beautiful, little, delicate teacup. And everybody wants me now. But there was a time in my life when nobody wanted; nobody liked me; nobody paid any attention to me! They just kicked me around; walked on me.

But now – "I am special! But I wasn't always this way!”
The Teacup ~ Joyce Meyer

I got up this morning and checked a few things on the computer before heading to work.

I received a message that likened me to this story, I have never heard this story before and when I got the message, I was completely clueless when she stated I was like the tea cup.

Of course once I got to work the first thing I did was search for it.

Made a mental note to seriously invest in some waterproof mascara and set about sharing this with you all.

How perfect is this story while looking back at all the fires you have traveled in your life. To truly be able to see just how you were before you entered and then how you were when you exited.

To see the Mercy and Grace He has shown upon your life, to know that no matter how hot the fire is/was/is to come, He will never, ever leave your side.

Thank you S for the comparison, it is truly beautiful my friend.

And When All Hope Is Gone
And I've Been Wounded In The Battle
He Is All The Strength That I Will Ever Need
He Will Carry Me


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