Friday, January 6, 2012

The Journaling Gina: Embracing Imperfections

I love reading the posts from "the Journaling Gina"......Yes, she is my daughter but, also, she is a woman of wisdom and every once in a while I just feel impressed to share one of her posts---be sure to check out her blog---it's a great one that you will probably want to keep up with!  Moms are not the least bit biased, are they:o  Hope you will enjoy her post today!

The Journaling Gina: Embracing Imperfections: I love old windows and doors. I have many window frames used for decorative purposes scattered throughout my home. On pinterest I've seen ev...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Leaving a Legacy

It probably comes with age----thinking about what I will be remembered for on this earth.  Will my contributions to family, friends and community live on........will this world be a better place for the decades that I occupied this earthly vessel?  I guess if the truth be known, all of us would like to think that we have made a lasting impact and will be thought of fondly at the end of life.

These thoughts were stirred up yesterday when I learned of the home-going of Jackie Kemsey.  I met Jackie when I was on staff at Eagle's Landing FBC.  We were acquaintances, not best friends.  In recent years I once again came in contact with her through Facebook, which is how I learned of her passing.  My heart was saddened and I began to question myself as to why I felt such a sense of loss being that Ms. Jackie was "only an acquaintance?"

As I thought back on the years I had known Ms. Jackie, I began to realize that I had actually given more consideration to this woman's life than I had thought.  Reflection on my first remembrance of her was with her husband, Larry.  I recalled their always being together in church.   But, they were not just in church......they embraced the church (meaning the people and not the building)!  Ms. Jackie would call my name and reach her hands and arms out to me.  Her affection was contagious.  After leaving ELFBC, I was somewhat surprised when she requested "friend" status with me on Facebook.  Here she was in her late 70's and not letting technology pass her by!  She used social networking to be a part of other peoples lives and to stay connected to her friends.   This spoke so much about her and made an impression on me.  Over time I read the posts that she would send out and noticed that so much of the response was from younger women----I marveled at how this senior saint was carrying out part of her purpose in life to be the older woman teaching the younger.

So, the loss I felt was more of a loss of a Godly influence upon this earth........not that of just an acquaintance!  However, isn't it just amazing how much God can show and teach us through acquaintances?  It's almost like it was meant to be!!! So little time we ever actually spent together, but, great the message and life-lessons taught and learned.  How much more it makes me realize that the "little" encounters we have with others may not be so "little!"

 I know there are many, many others who's life has been blessed by this heaven bound saint and many who could more eloquently share her impact but, let me just say, if at the end of my life there are those who can look back and remember with fondness and appreciation, as I do with Mrs. Jackie Kemsey, then my life will have made this earth a better place!

Monday, January 2, 2012

He Goes Before Us!

I really do not want to make a bunch of resolutions to start 2012 because I know I never keep them and to add to it, I don't even remember what the resolutions were much after making them! However, yesterday I spent a considerable amount of time in church and listening to some really good messages on television. Now, one day later, I am reflecting on the two things that stand out to me from all that I listened to yesterday:
1. Pray, pray and pray some more "before" making decisions. How many times do I find myself asking God to help me with something that I made a decision on without seeking Him first? Oh, I don't think I even want to know the answer to that. BUT, I do want to make it a fewer number of times in days to come. Jeremiah 33:3 instructs me that if I will call to Him, He will show me great and mighty things----that I do not know. WHY would I not do that? Why do I keep trying to do things on my own when the God of the universe makes Himself so available? Yes, I hope to submit myself to Him and seek His wise counsel!
2. In all my times of stress and, yes, fears....remember He goes "before" me. Deuteronomy 31: 6-8 are wonderful scriptures to mediate on and remind me that God has my back covered! God has already gone before me and knows what is ahead and if I will only stay in relationship and listen for His voice, He will guide me!
These are not new truths to me but because God is faithful, he reminds us from time to time of truths that we need to pay attention to ---- thank you God! Maybe God is reminding you of some truths you learned in the past --- I would love to hear what they are!

Friday, April 17, 2009

You See What You Look For

WOW!!! What an incredible performance by Susan Boyle on the show Britain’s Got Talent:
A voice with clarity, passion and strength……who would’ve thunk it? There stood a middle-aged woman standing before judges and audience who were jeering, rolling their eyes and laughing at her.

While the audience and judges ended up affirming Ms. Boyle and admitted their initial misgivings in what to expect from her, no one ever apologized for their rudeness and insensitivity. Had this courageous woman not had the strength and self-confidence to continue standing before those who were opposing her, whose loss would it have been? Thankfully, the world was blessed in a moment of time when the silence of the unknown voice of Susan Boyle overcame the preconceived notions of her judges.

I remember once in a conference the speaker talked about how people see what they are looking for. He said if they were looking for the negative, that’s what they would see and if they were looking at the same person or situation and looking for the good, that is what they would see….you see what you’re looking for! I have learned……he was right.

The value in people and relationships should not be like the hair style in yesterday’s high school yearbook that we would not dare wear out the front door today. Our support and encouragement of people should not come and go as hair styles and trends. Do you find yourself vacillating in relationships from the role of supportive friend/helper to disgruntled, looking for the negative counterpart? One day you are the spring gently feeding new life into the river of friendship and the next you are like the tornado that twists small transgressions into unrecognizable bits of truth, hearsay and back-biting.

Before with holding or removing your support of an individual or changing your mind and view of someone ask yourself, “Are my thoughts in line with the character I know this person to have, in the recent past have I offered a word of encouragement or an act of kindness, have I asked this person if there was anything specifically that I could be prayerful about in his/her behalf, what is your motivation, would you want the same conversation to take place about yourself? If you have not done these things, be careful. You have not fulfilled the law of kindness to the one whose character, self-esteem and possible livelihood that you may be destroying.

Remember how Hagar ridiculed Sarah and Sarah ended up sending her away? What an example of how our words and attitudes can have wide-spread repercussions. In contrast, think of Jesus and the woman at the well. His words were used to lovingly reprove and brought about healing. One woman was removed from her master’s house; the other was welcomed into the Master’s kingdom.

It may help you to sit down and write down on a piece of paper two or three positive attributes of a person you think negatively about. Seek God for forgiveness and thank God for those attributes in behalf of that individual and then when the right opportunity comes along be as quick to affirm that person as you were to being negative. And then, again, thank God for the opportunity to encourage. What better way do we have to be Christ-like than to build up one another?

Viewing the video of Susan Boyle makes me wonder, how man “Susan Boyles” have never been discovered because they don’t “look” the look? Or how many people with incredible offerings of talent have never given it because they don’t possess the courage that Susan Boyle displayed and have never been encouraged along the way? The world can use more of this beautiful spirit displayed and even more the support and encouragement to those around us, those to whom it is in our power to look beyond what our eyes can see into what is in the power of possibility.

Psalms 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, Oh Lord, my strength and my redeemer.

Dear Lord, forgive me for looking down on your creation with negative thoughts. Please help me to honor you with the words of my mouth and the meditation of my thoughts being acceptable to you. Thank you that you are my strength and my redeemer. Amen

Sunday, March 15, 2009


disappointment……..We’ve all dealt with it…. It is no respecter of people, reputation, time, status, age or rank.

My own disappointments in life are many! One most recent disappointment was the resignation from a ministry partner. Julie and I have served together for many years in different capacities. She is one of my dearest friends and one of the chosen few in my life that sees the “good, bad and ugly!” Her God-given gifts and talents offset mine and like keeping the step of the gentle rhythm of a dance, we have a give-and-take relationship that requires very little explanation because we understand each other. As she moves on to the next thing God has called her to do, I feel a great disappointment and loss. Initially, I felt like having the foot-stomping melt-down that I have witnessed children having!! I wanted it my way!

It took me several days to process that Julie would no longer be by my side in ministry. I felt angry and frustrated with her. Admittedly, I felt a little angry towards God, too. After all, isn’t he supposed to know how valuable she is to the ministry and to ME?

As a pastoral care counselor, my days are filled with listening to the heart-wrenching disappointments shared by my clients. Failed relationships, health over-come by disease, economic dilemmas, out-of-control children, death of loved ones and on it goes. Disappointment comes packaged in many ways and many times is accompanied with loss.

So, why must we suffer these things that ultimately bring disappointment into our lives? I have no easy answer to that question. I can think of many things I might could say but don’t have the space nor time so, briefly, I will just say that without disappointment, we do not fully know the value of a thing. Disappointments add value to our lives for it is only when we are without do we fully realize the value of what we had. We are somehow forced to admit our own weakness when disappointed. God uses our disappointments to show us how much greater He is than what we are disappointed over. Never, in all of my many losses, have I looked back after a period of time and not seen God as bigger, greater and mightier than before the disappointment!

The dictionary defines disappointment as discouragement from the failures of ones dreams. I might want to add to that: but, a hopeful expectation of what is to be! I am learning that my disappointments are a gateway for God to come in and do the unexpected, and, a way for Him to show Himself strong in my behalf. Note that I wrote, “I am learning,” and as I learn through one disappointment at a time, I will be learning to walk a more humble walk knowing that the disappointments I face are filled with His grace and goodness. The losses will be replaced with a deeper relationship with the lover of my soul to which no earthly value can be given.

I encourage you to tell God about your disappointments (really now…he already knows them…..) and wait expectantly for Him to reveal to you the value of disappointment!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


"Relationships" is a huge topic. Just about anything we do in life involves some level of relationship with others. As I go through the drive-thru at a fast food restaurant and pay the young teenage woman who reaches out to take my money, I have entered into a relationship---as brief as it might be. The relationship with my doctor is yet another level of relationship from the relationship with my daughters or son. We were created for relationship! God first created Adam and saw that he was incomplete and so God created Eve. Together they enjoyed both relationship with one another and with God. Now, centuries later, we still need to be in relationship with others and, more importantly, with our Creator!

I find that most of us have problems from time to time in one or both of those areas. The truth being that if we are having a problem with God, we are probably having some kind of problem in human relationships and visa-versa. It has been my privlege to counsel others and to facilitate a process of healing of many broken lives and wounded souls. God is the restorer. The Great Physician and the God of Second Chances. I understand that He has gifted each of His children to work through us to accomplish His purposes. Only when we accept His gifts to us for the purpose He intended can we find the contentment in Him that is offered in the greatest relationship of all!

My relationship with God, accepting His gifts that allow me to counsel/facilitate others through truamatic situations brings me into relationship with many other people. My purpose in all of those relationships is always the honor God! Whether I am with my best girlfriends or in the counseling room I have a responsibility to honor God and in so doing I will honor my friends and add value to their lives. We will be equally blessed.

In future weeks/months I will use my blog to address relationships and life events that tend to distress people. This will be "my view" and will be supported by scripture. I hope to keep it long enough to help but brief enough to not be too time consuming to enjoy or read.

Please feel free to send questions or comments that you would like addressed. I look forward to hearing from you!