Candy blogs: In finally gathering all my writings from all over the house and all over my computer into one place, I stumbled upon this bit of journaling from 1997. It was another milestone, a monument in my spiritual journey, that I can now look back on to celebrate a new direction. My God never changes. How He works and speaks can change, but HE never does.
A testimony of God’s direction from 1997 …
Monday, February 17
I had been on several job interviews and I wasn’t at peace with any of them. A friend’s name came to my mind so I called her to see if they were still going to be hiring someone full time. She said yes!
Tuesday, February 18
In my devotions I read about the story of how the children of Israel came right up the Promised Land, grumbled and complained, disobeyed God and God told them they would not be allowed to enter. He killed many of them in judgment. Then, of course, the people believed God and said they WANTED to go in after all. They actually started to go but Moses said, “Do not go up! The Lord is not with you. You will be defeated . . .”
I was devastated because I felt that the Lord had really given me this verse and that it applied to taking this job. I tried to think of every reason that He wouldn’t want me to take it. I tried to rationalize that it didn’t apply to this job but to another issue Scott and I had been considering. I tried to go this way and that way but I couldn’t get away from the fact that God had given me this verse. I told the Lord I would continue to pray.
Wednesday, February 19
In my devotions I read the story of the budding of Aaron’s rod. The Levites had risen up against Aaron as the only chosen high priest. They didn’t think he should be singled out, that there were other holy men in the tribe of Levi. The Lord told Moses to have representatives from each of the tribes take a rod and write their names on it. Moses was to put all the rods in the Tabernacle overnight and in the morning, whichever rod had budded was God’s chosen high priest. The next morning, Aaron’s rod had not only budded (it didn’t just have a little bud on it!), it blossomed, it had leaves, it had ALMONDS on it!! I wasn’t sure what the message was here until I went to prayer (on the treadmill!). I felt very sure that God was telling me not to take the job because when the right opportunity came, there would be no doubt at all that God was directing me.
Scott and met with my friends for lunch and an interview. I was prepared to listen to their presentation but really felt that I would just be telling them I couldn’t accept the position. What they offered was much more than I ever expected in every way. I wanted to accept the job. The only thing that really bothered me was a 90 day wait on the health insurance. I knew that our son, Adam, was going on tour to San Francisco in April and I didn’t feel it would be responsible to send him off without health insurance. So I was very troubled again. Scott felt very comfortable with the position also except for the insurance question.
Thursday, February 20
In my devotions I received no word from the Lord! I went into my devotions expectantly, wanting to hear from Him because I so wanted to accept the job. I spent the day investigating the health insurance question. Scott’s insurance and Red Cross’ COBRA monthly amounts were the same – $378 per month. We knew we couldn’t afford that for three months. I struggled all day. I kept hearing the Lord say, ” I AM talking to you, Candy! You’re not listening!” I kept going back to the concept of the Experiencing God class where the four areas are to line up to determine God’s will. The circumstances and the Body seemed to be lining up but I wasn’t lining up in Scripture and in prayer. I struggled! I went to lunch with a friend. She said she thought I’d better be obedient since things weren’t lining up. Scott said only I could make the decision.
I was to have told my friends this day what my answer was. I was to have given notice to my current employer this day. I couldn’t! I didn’t! That evening Scott told me to call my friend and tell her my concerns. I really didn’t see what should could do about it – it was the policy of the insurance company. But I called her. She said she was going to call the insurance company and see if anything could be done. She also said that she might consider holding the position open until after Adam’s trip. I didn’t think that was realistic.
Friday, February 21
In my devotions I read the story of Balaam and his talking donkey. The children of Israel were moving through the Promised Land and came up to Moab. The king of Moab was afraid that they would overtake Moab so he sent word to Balaam, a diviner, to come and put a curse on Israel. Balaam told the messengers that he would have to consult with God to see what he should do. God told him that he was not to go with these men, and that the Israelites were blessed. The Moabite king sent more important messengers to again ask him to come and curse Israel. Balaam consulted God. This time God told him he should go with the men but that he should only say what He wanted him to say.
I wondered what the message for me was. In prayer (on the treadmill) I felt my message was that at first God had told me “not to go with these men,” not to take the job. Then that I could go ahead and take the job if certain conditions were met, namely the insurance problem. I felt the Lord’s presence so strongly during prayer this day! I knew I had been obedient and that I could move forward in this direction knowing I was in His will.
Later in the morning, my friend called. She said she was still waiting to hear from the insurance company but that she had decided that she would definitely hold the position open until after Adam’s trip if we couldn’t work out the insurance. I couldn’t believe it! Then a few minutes later she called with news from the insurance company. They said that since I was already with Blue Cross that I could simply transfer my insurance with no lapse! We were both flabbergasted by this news! The thought came to me, “Now THERE’S some ALMONDS!!”
I shared this story with my friend and she said it made her want to know God more so He would talk to her like that, too! I gave my notice to my employer this day. I am moving forward. Praise His name!
Reading this testimony from my past about how God carefully moved me where He was working reminded me that the God who directed me in the past will most certainly direct me in the present and future. My life is still in His loving hands. He can be trusted when He says to be still or move forward. This greatly encouraged my heart today. I hope it encourages yours.
22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
Candy blogs: I often describe myself as a “moment catcher.” I have a passion for etching special moments into my mind (and my camera) to be enjoyed again and again. Our lives are made up of “moments.” When you add them all up, they are our life. They are all we really have, and when we’re gone from this life, they will go with us unless we have taken the time to bring the moments to life by taking photographs and journaling our experiences and thoughts.
The holidays bring up the strongest desire to recall and create moments … the familiar … the traditions … being with our loved ones. The weather, the music, the smells, the foods … they all bring up special moments from the past. We love to re-live them; we even re-create them for our children. The weather has turned colder and that makes us turn inward. Some moments just happen on their own. But others are created. I just enjoyed looking at some photographs of a friend with her first grandbaby. Now there are some MOMENTS, huh?! I’m grateful that someone thought to snap a picture. But even if there was no picture, the story can still be told in words. In fact, pictures are pretty much worthless without the stories that go along with them. So it really comes down to words. We can have all kinds of moments tucked in our memories but unless we turn them into words, our moments … our lives … will most likely fade after the next generation.
“The palest ink is better than the sharpest memory.” Chinese proverb
This from my company’s website: “When the economy is in strife, when the immediate future isn’t abundantly clear, people are drawn to the comfort of their homes. It’s called cocooning, as coined by renowned marketing consultant and futurist Faith Popcorn.
Popcorn’s recent “Culture of the Recession” survey found that 72 percent of respondents are spending more time at home. “What it means is the next iteration of cocooning – uber-cocooning – will see people retreat to their homes as the safe haven from the increasingly threatening outside world,” Popcorn says.
As with other periods of uncertainty on the national and global scale – past recessions, the attacks of 9/11 – people tend to assess their lives and focus on what’s truly important. And family, memories and connecting with others are often what people value most.”
This is the perfect time to put some words to your moments. You are spending more time inside with your friends and family. We’re in the holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas so our moment antennae are running at high frequency. What are you thinking about?
I’m thinking about leaning way forward in the car to catch the first glimpse of the lights from Grandpa and Grandma’s house after a very long drive, the candy and caramel popcorn grandpa would have waiting for us, the fudge and pies that Grandma had hidden all over the house to be brought out at strategic times, the four part harmony of family singing, the games of Jotto and Dominos and Battleship, the bountiful meals, the endless hand dishwashing, the sledding, the snow games, the wooden rack set up over the wood heat register from the scary basement for our wet hats and gloves and socks, the creaky stairs that led to the playroom with antique toys, the programs put on by all the grandkids, the presents, the chaos, the laughter … the utter contentment. Christmas at my grandparents’ house was like being under a magical spell. We literally lived all year to get to Christmas in northern Idaho. And we cried for miles when we had to go back home. Can you see all that in this picture?
Don't let the moments of your life go unnoticed and unheard. Think about them, write them down and share them with those who matter to you. Be a moment catcher. It’s catching!
An invitation to ACT upon the truth from God that is brought home to your soul.
“It’s not enough to read the cookbook. Eat the meal.” Adrian Rogers
I haven’t posted for quite a while. I have several posts started but haven’t been able to make up my mind which idea to actually post! I’ve been slightly paralyzed. Recently, I’ve been sensing the wooing of the Holy Spirit, drawing me to a deeper path yet again. I have taken some major steps of obedience in the last year and half, but a couple of weeks ago I read the following and was stopped dead in my tracks. I immediately knew what my next steps were to be.
From MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
The Authority of Reality
Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. James 4:8
It is essential to give people a chance to act on the truth of God. The responsibility must be left with the individual, you cannot act for him, it must be his own deliberate act, but the evangelical message ought always to lead a man to act. The paralysis of refusing to act leaves a man exactly where he was before; when once he acts, he is never the same. It is the foolishness of it that stands in the way of hundreds who have been convicted by the Spirit of God. Immediately I precipitate myself over into an act, that second I live; all the rest is existence. The moments when I truly live are the moments when I act with my whole will.
Candy’s comments: Isn’t that amazing?! You might want to read that again to get the full impact. To me, the key phrase in that paragraph is “the paralysis of refusing to act leaves a man exactly where he was before …” That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. I had come as far as I was going to come without taking a new path.
But I know I want to truly LIVE. I don’t want to stay where I am. It will require some new changes. For me that means several things:
1) paying more attention to my calendar and not letting other things interfere with my water aerobics. I have been “pretty” faithful to my exercise but, when I think about it, I have scheduled some fun girlie outings on my days off and haven’t replaced the exercise time. I had stopped losing weight and was wondering why. This is why.
2) spending more time reading the Bible. I’ve been reading books about speaking and studying social networking and making connections and preparing for kicking up my speaking ministry. But I have let this preparation move in on my personal time with God and His word. It’s time to rein that in.
3) lessening my caloric intake. Ouch, I don’t like that one. But I am really sensing it’s time. I’ve taken improving my health in steps and, apparently, it’s time to take the next one.
… the moments when I truly live are the moments when I act with my whole will. I don’t want to just exist spiritually; I want to really live.
Consider what the Holy Spirit may be wooing you to. What changes are you sensing He wants you to make?
Never allow a truth of God that is brought home to your soul to pass without acting on it, not necessarily physically, but in will. Record it, with ink or with blood. The feeblest saint who transacts business with Jesus Christ is emancipated the second he acts; all the almighty power of God is on his behalf. We come up to the truth of God, we confess we are wrong, but go back again; then we come up to it again, and go back; until we learn that we have no business to go back. We have to go clean over on some word of our redeeming Lord and transact business with Him. His word “come” means “transact.” “Come unto Me.” The last thing we do is to come; but everyone who does come knows that that second the supernatural rush of the life of God invades him instantly. The dominating power of the world, the flesh and the devil is paralysed, not by your act, but because your act has linked you on to God and His redemptive power.
Candy’s Comments: This paragraph tells me that the intensity of our walk depends on the intensity of our obedience. When we are finally ready to transact business with God Almighty and come to Him, it is the result of choices we’ve made along the way. When we actually come, we are acting on the truth that’s been revealed to us. And that act unleashes the power of God in us! That’s a great, big wow, isn’t it?!
When we are sensing that God Himself is speaking to us about something, it’s serious business. It shouldn’t be something we put on the back burner for when we have more time or when we get around to it. When you think about it, when we don’t act on the truth we know, it’s like telling God that everything is more important than He is at the moment. Where do we get off doing that?! Hello?
Sometimes we don’t get the whole picture as He’s speaking. That’s why writing it down is important. As you look back through the things you’ve been learning, you will see a pattern. Eventually you’ll see the picture God wants you to see. And God’s power will flow through you to impact the Kingdom … until He calls you to take the next new step.
I’m movin’ on down the road. Come on along.
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My faith breakthrough … I call it “the swirling.” I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was a child and have always wanted to reflect Him by living a growing Christian life. But when I was 38, I became especially troubled spiritually and I couldn’t explain it. I had lost my peace.
I describe it by picturing a tornado swirling right in front of my face. I would see “issues” and “vague thoughts” come to the front so I could see them, then they would swirl away again before I could grasp them. I knew God wanted to teach me something.
After finally learning to spend time with Him on a regular basis, learning not to be afraid of quietness and solitude, reading the Bible, journaling my thoughts through to conclusion, learning to be still and listen, surrendering my selfish will to His purposes, being willing to make the changes that made me more like Christ, the swirling slowed and gradually came to a stop.
What did I learn? Consistently sit at Jesus’ feet, learn what His voice sounds like, it’s not all about me, relax in that loving relationship and reap the benefits of a joyful journey of faith.