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Season of Listening

The air is spun with frozen fingers,
Tap dancing with Summer’s humid greens,
While hues of Autumn creeps on life’s stage
And Winter waits a few more days.
What does my heart hear God say?
What does God have to say?
I pray.

The fields give up the last of bounty,
Soil put to rest for Winter’s pass,
While bon fires blaze to hold off the cold
But soon the season will claim it’s right.
What does my heart hear God say?
What does God have to say?
I pray.

Ice and snow the duet shrill,
As Winter has laid ownership to time,
Days are short and long the night,
What lesson buried in bitter cold?
What does my heart hear God say?
What does God have to say?
I pray.

Whatever it is this season bring,
Remember I hearth fires blaze,
Fingers warmed by coffee mug in grasp
Heart exposed by Scripture explored.
What does my heart hear God say?
What does God have to say?
I pray.
         dfav 10/22/17

—Donna

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My Hope

My hope comes in small doses,
Sliding through minute slits in stone walls,
Seeping past blocks of impossible odds
With God’s grace to guide it all.

My hope exists in ant like circumstances,
Huge supply carried on the smallest prayers,
Despite the reality of dark situations,
Faith remains in a God who cares.

My hope survives through the darkest night,
When deprived of reasonable reason to grow,
When hope should expire and fade away,
My hope believes God’s provision will forever glow.

My hope is forged in the belly of life’s fires,
When need is great and resources slim,
The day is dark and the night is long,
God is my hope and survives because it is Him.
         dfav 9/29/17

—Donna

Have You Ever Been Mad at the Devil?


Have you ever been mad at the devil?

For masterminding the downfall of man?

After all had he kept away from Eve and Adam,

Wouldn’t we be in Eden ourselves today?

 

Have you ever been mad at the devil?

For exposing our weaknesses so well?

Couldn’t he have just left us alone

Stop using us like his personal pawns?

 

Have you ever been mad at the devil?

For your pain, struggles and sorrows in life?

Why wars, poverty, murder and lies?

Why does it seem love has to die?

 

Have you ever been mad at God then?

For the things He could do but didn’t?

Feed the hungry, give to the poor, heal all the ill

Stop wars and death doesn’t He love us so well?

 

 

Have you ever been mad at God?

Think perhaps He wasted free will on man?

Allowing us to choose Him or not?

He could have forced our love could He not?

 

Have you ever considered being mad at you?

Isn’t that what having a choice is about?

Satan may tempt you there isn’t a doubt

But *God has promised He’ll provide a way out.

 

Have you ever been mad at yourself?

Though blaming Satan and God is easier?

Truth is we all choose our own way

To spend our tomorrows and our todays.

 

Have you ever been mad at yourself?

For the wrongs you do towards any others?

It is those wrongs multiplied intensified

That helps us keep right on denying.

 


Have you ever been mad at the devil?

Have you ever been mad at God Himself?

Have you ever been mad at Y-O-U?

Yes, have you ever been mad at Y-O-U?

                d.f.a.v. 4/6/14

Some food for thought,

–Donna

No Unwanted Children, Just Unfound Families

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“There are no unwanted children, just unfound families.”  Somehow, I believe the 78 children in Alabama waiting for adoption might disagree with that slogan.  Especially since they are all no longer babies, toddlers or young children.  Of the 78, 35 are siblings, which automatically places them in the special needs category and makes adoption placement hard.

People want to adopt babies or toddlers, not older children.  From experience I can tell you that a lot of that want is rooted in a fear of bonding not occurring with a child who can remember their biological parents.

It can be hard when a child remembers their biological parents, again I speak from experience.  Initially we dealt with anger and self-worth issues as realities of our daughters home life prior to living with us was revealed in play therapy.   As she has gotten older she no longer remembers the bad times.  But she adamantly refuses to speak to her biological mother.  The father has never been in her life.

Adoption is fantastic when the right child and the right family are matched up.  Kids are available for adoption, perhaps as couples considering adoption you could expand your want list to include an older child or even a sibling group?

The national non- profit group Children Awaiting Placement over the last 40 year’s has helped make 6000 adoptions a reality per their web site.  Personally I think that number is way to low!

If you’re considering adoption you can start with the Department of Human Resouces or Children’s Welfare Offices near you.  Adoption in the United States is possible.

Are you the right family for a child?

–Faye

Message to Me

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This is my public forum.  Here I express, confess, ignore, share, hide behind, hide in and expound upon a number of topics.  My goal is to write about what living the life of a Believer is like and about how I live that life even if my only contribution to my local church congregation is as a “pew warmer” these days.

Sometimes I write poetry, share artwork, tell stories, give voice to other people whose testimonies expire me or simply tell it like I see it.  Since it’s my blog, it’s my message, my testimony and my biggest obstacle is ME!

Yes, me!  I can “own” that truth. 

I don’t want to be labeled as a higher than thou Christian.  So I hesitate to say anything that I fear might come across as judgemental. 

I don’t want to be labeled an opponent to any political party, person or platform, so I don’t write about my political views. 

I don’t want to be labeled as pious.

I don’t want to be labeled as a heretic.

I don’t want to be labeled as a reformer.

I don’t want to be LABELED.

Yet, I label myself.  I box myself in.  I limit myself.  I second guess myself, my abilities, my motives, my knowledge, my thoughts; even my own voice.

Why?

Because I am me.

I am the first grader whose mother moved her to the last seat in the last row on her first day of school so the doctors daughter could sit where she wanted.  I am the fat kid so teased and taunted in school she hid in the bathroom to cry.  I am the child whose father ruled with anger and violence.  I am the girl so terribly shy and found friends so hard to make that her families 13 moves in 12 years devastated her every single time.  I am the girl no one wanted.  I am the girl whose innocence was stolen and who never told until the thief died and his threats could not be carried out.  I am the one who has waited in the wings of her own stage, left unpenned her own truth, and unsung her own life.

By these acts I have labeled myself.

For can a 49-year-old woman seriously look herself in the mirror and point at anyone other than herself for what her life is or isn’t?  No, no I don’t think so.

See, my mother placed me in that last row, last seat BUT I have remained there.  Jesus loved me enough to die for me AND I have chosen to think of myself as a person of little worth.

My father beat me, his beatings eventually led me to losing a leg and those events to losing my identity because I CHOSE to make what I did for a living who I was.  The Living Word of God tells me I am the Daughter of God, not a job.

For every act, thought, or deed that a person outside of me did to wipe out me God has done a hundred times more to keep here. I have just been to busy labeling my boxes to understand.

Yes, this is where I am. This is who I am, warts, scars, flaws and all. I do not write like those whose opinions matter too much to me. I do write like me though.

If God’s okay with that, then I am too.

Let it be!
-Faye

Singing the Ugly Out

Artwork is original to author/artist. All rights reserved.
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Growing up my dad was country music all the way.  Mama mixed in Elvis.  Loretta Lynn, Lynn Anderson, Johnny Cash, Dolly Patton, Conway Twitty…all familiar names whose music helped set the soundtrack of my childhood.  I wanted to be just like them.

Problem?  I just couldn’t sing!  The family joke was how bad my voice was all the time.

God was mysterious to me then.  I didn’t quite trust Him.  My brother’s early surrender to God’s love, gift and call made me nervous.  If we couldn’t trust our dad, how did we trust an invisible Father?  I knew God knew us, He had a plan for each of us.  But, I just didn’t get the salvation message because it wasn’t yet my time understand.

When Daddy moved us 200 miles north my fifth grade year I fought back.  Daddy wasn’t much on girls getting an education but my struggle with math embarrassed him.  So I set about to fail.  I did the first six weeks.

But two things turned it around. One, my math teacher figured out what I was doing, understood and in turn helped me see a larger picture.  Two, I had to take either P.E. and purchase the uniform, band and purchase an instrument or choir and sing.    My mother said, “She’ll take choir.”. Later in the hall she told me to just mouth cornflakes or watermelon over and over and not let the choir teacher know I couldn’t, “Carry a tune in a bucket!”

But this amazing God I didn’t yet trust, gave me the desire of my heart, He gave me a voice to sing with.  Knowing how my parents felt about my singing I kept the news to myself.  Banned from singing in the earshot of my family it was easy to keep my secret.  Imagine my parents shock when I forgot to keep silent and belted out “Mine eyes hath seen the glory…” and it was good!

From then on I was asked to sing.  At home, at church and at school. God’s gift gave me an inroads to survival, even if I never fit in. I passed math.  I even won the science fair award and one for most improvement in math that year.

That was my first answered prayer, God loved me enough to gift me with music. But I never lost those voices telling me I couldn’t sing. To my ears I sounded no different than the years my family groaned when I opened my mouth.

I was a lonely, miserable, misfit who had to undergo our dad’s sudden decisions to move us around repeatedly. God, who I didn’t yet trust or truly know, gave me something our father couldn’t take away. He gave the gift of voice to His child in dire need of something of her own along the road she had no choice but travel.

I’d never be a star, except in God’s eyes, but His gift is always with me.

-Faye

Scurrying Toward Adolescence

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(Photo the original work of this blogs author.  All rights reserved.)

Today is a special day in our home. Our daughter who in less than 60 days away from turning 12 is going to her first concert, Veggie Tales excluded. Appearing is one of the Nickelodeon/Disney boy bands and another female artist. We watch their T.V. shows and she adores one particular guy in the boy band.

Going means a 3 1/2 hour drive to an amphitheatre in a neighbouring state. A trip I could be making but choose not to so our daughter can go and not have the burden of my wheelchair and needs. Instead my oldest niece has taken the day off to take her.

Her first trip this far without Mom and Dad and her first concert to see her first dream crush, that’s a lot. We trust my 22 year old niece. We trust our daughter. This is a rite of passage into adolescence.

Have we given her roots deep enough to support her wings to fly? Has our training in God’s ways been enough to help her follow them faced with new choices?

Yesterday, it seems, she was a tiny baby asleep on my chest. She was learning to walk. Saying her first words, sentences and developing her own personality. Didn’t we just walk her into her first day of school? Witness her decision to ask Jesus into her heart and believers baptism?

I won’t cry today, at least in front of her. For she is still our daughter who is anxious for this day to proceed and asking if we have a baby bottle for her Pooh bear. True she is scurrying toward adolescence and I can’t slow her down but God reminds me of His instruction and His promise.

“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”. -Proverbs 22:6

Our daughter’s days of testing her faith against the world will come. They must come. And then too with prayer cover and our own faith we will cling to God’s Word.

Our daughter too must learn to cling while hurrying toward adulthood.

-Faye

Precious Souls

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Outside one of the most popular tourist sites in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, The Old Mill, an older gentleman sat playing his guitar and singing.  He was tucked into the deep shade of the creaky front porch were it was still hot but he escaped the suns beating waves.

He sang old gospel songs mixed with mountain ballads.  His voice pleasant but not amazing.  There was a very small display of old CD’s still in the manufacturer’s wrapping but clearly remnants of earlier pressings.

My husband who adores the bluegrassy twanging sounds of this type musical offering stops to buy one of the old CDs.  The singer and my husband converse between the man singing and just playing his guitar. Our daughter pouts over not getting a shirt she wanted. Our niece stands to the side and I sit waiting in my wheelchair wondering if I can find out his story.

Then silently and shyly our youngest niece, a 16-year-old whose soft heart is well known by our family slips around me.  In a flash my husband and I see her drop a $20 into the old man’s tip bucket. 

I look at her hand dropping the $20 in and I see a rare beauty.  I know how much of her hard earned money she has allotted herself for our weekend trip and I am swept away in the offering she gives.  I see the deep sweet generosity of a soul whose wisdom wraps itself around her precious soul. 

She hastens to tell us, at our surprised and questioning looks, that she has used her own money.  I assure her we know.  Knowing she is easily embarrassed I turn my face away from her so my eyes brimming with tears are not visible.

A true offering given to support the ministry of a musical missionary by a heart nestled deeply in the soul of a young teenage girl.  I marvel at the purity of her gift and I see another layer of our nieces sweet, sweet heart and soul.  I marvel and I pray for her.  A prayer she will come to understand her real value and gift to the human race.

I pray she will see her beauty and value in and through God’s eyes. Because in this harsh and outwardly trapped society we live in it is hard for tender hearted people, whose greatest gift to the world is seeing the best and beauty of it beneath the glitz and blitz covering the filth. That world doesn’t appreciate the love through which our niece views it, instead it often seeks to destroy it because it cannot be like it. Deep down I believe most of society longs to love and see the beauty our niece sees naturally but they can’t in their race to make themselves number one, to fit into the right group or keep up with an ever rising economic status bar.My heart overflows…I am so blessed to know this wonderful, loving, artistic and tender person!

This marvelous selfless act astonishs me.  What a true beauty resides within our niece’s soul.  I pray she never becomes corrupted by the evil of this life.  I pray to be more giving like our niece for I have seen a peek of Jesus in her and she is beautiful.
Oh so beautiful!

-Faye

Hogwash to Whitewash!

Quite some time ago I learned of a movement to eliminate certain phrases in the language “lingo” of churches.  The word “blood”, for example, created a bad impression for a non-Christian coming into the church setting and hearing songs such as “There is Power in the Blood” and “Are You Washed in the Blood?”, it was gross imagery. 

Well, that of course led to ” cleaning up” the events leading to and of Christ’s crucifixion.  Oh, and let’s not mention the old-fashioned words like sin, salvation, repentance, hell or Satan. A little whitewash here, a fudging of reality there, and we could bring a lot more people into the church by just making things more pleasant and pleasing to the ear and mind.

Paul said, in 2 Timothy 4:2-4:“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”

I can put it much plainer. The time has long begun to pass where mankind has whitewashed our sin stained souls with pleasant thoughts, good intentions, pretty words and “feel good” mentalities.

I’m all for presenting the truth by new methods! I’m so grateful Christian films have finally moved out of the “cheesy” category. I think the use of media, blogs, books, music with drums, guitars and a beat and human videos, puppets and dramas are fantastic. I love to see, sing and create them.

But hogwash to whitewash!

Recently as I’ve twisted and mourned my way through having to go on disability one of the saving events of my peace of mind has been my container garden.  Our back porch is a spot of growth and life, green healthy vegetable and herb plants, colorful flowers and tiny buds of tomatoes, squash and bell peppers. I find enormous satisfaction each day as I water, weed, pinch off dying blooms and leaves in the evidence of my “farm”.  There is a connection with my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents who were gardeners or full fledged farmers.  It’s in my blood to enjoy growing food and flowers.

As is my love of reading, my skin tone, eye and hair color, body size and build, the shape of my face.  I look at my hands and foot and I see my mother.  I look at my eyes and see my father.  I look at my body and face and see my paternal grandmother.  These things, these characteristics, body or heart, are in my blood, in my DNA.

We can’t “clean up” the legacy of our Christian family either.  The crucifixion and the trail and punishments beforehand for Jesus Christ were gory, bloody, inhumane, and it is by every single wound and drop of blood we are forgiven of our sins.  It is by Christ’s sacrifice of Himself and His death and resurrection we are restored to a personal relationship with God, our Creator.

The power, majesty, love, redemption, salvation and eternity are in the blood.. Don’t forget who you are, it’s in your blood because it is by His blood we are grafted into the family of God.

Faye