Fun Facts about Van Walton
My book, From the Pound to the Palace, is available for $10
from Proverbs 31 Ministries.
My book, Little Halos, is available for $5.99 from Proverbs
- 2012 (13)
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Proverbs 31 Speakers
Moving from total rejection to transforming recognition
“As Jesus went…, he was surrounded by the crowds. And there was a woman in the crowd who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years. She had spent everything she had on doctors and still could find no cure. She came up behind Jesus and touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped.
‘Who touched me?’ Jesus asked.
Everyone denied it, and Peter said, ‘Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.’
But Jesus told him, ‘No, someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.’ When the woman realized that Jesus knew, she began to tremble and fell to her knees before him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed. ‘Daughter,’ he said to her, ‘your faith has made you well. Go in peace.’ " (Luke 8:42-48)
John Garr in his book, THE HEM OF HIS GARMENT writes the story so a contemporary reader might better understand the bleeding woman’s trial.
“As he went his way, teaching and touching the lives of those who came to him, one of those who had heard of his reputation for compassion and of his power to mend broken, diseased bodies and wounded, troubled souls was a woman with a life threatening condition. We cannot be certain about the details of this story, but we can imagine, based on what is recorded, that her condition was grave. Frail, emaciated, anemic, she was but a shell of her former vivacious ebullient self. Her youthful beauty had dissolved into the haggard look of weakness. Her ashen face was punctuated by the thin lips and the clenched jaw of a determination to survive. She was desperate. ‘If I can but touch his garment, I shall be made whole,’ she said to herself.
The poor woman had been hemorrhaging for twelve years, probably with menorrhea, a condition that rendered her both physically weak and psychologically depressed because her malady made her perpetually unclean according to the ceremonial laws of divorce as ‘unfit for cohabitation.’ If she even touched other people, they contracted tumiah (“ritual impurity”) and would continue to communicate her ‘uncleanness’ to others unless they immersed in a mikvah and waited until evening to be pronounced ‘clean’ again. How embarrassing! In such desperation, these words of hope echoed like a chant, rising like a crescendo in her troubled mind: ‘If I can but touch his garment, I shall be made whole.’
Trying to find a cure for her condition, she had spent all of her resources on physicians and had only grown worse, perhaps even the victim of medical malpractice or ineptitude. Now, here she was, a poverty stricken, emotionally-wrecked, physically-broken waif, possessing only one faint hope of deliverance from certain death: ‘ If I can but touch his garment, I shall be made whole!’ she repeated to herself.”
Can you feel her desperate condition? I can. I have searched high and low for doctors to fix life-threatening conditions that caused me and my loved ones great anxiety and destabilizing fear. In fact, I have taken extreme measures to get the attention of doctors, so much so that the medical community resorted to ‘disciplining’ me! Imagine the hopeless feeling. What happens when even those who are sworn to take every precaution necessary to keep you healthy and alive, what traumatic scar results when those in highest esteem reject and scoff? I can tell you because I have sat forlorn, incredulous, and inconsolable in the ‘hot seat’. Although haggard and despairing due to extreme exhaustion, I determined to risk everything, even my reputation, in order to find healing.
The heroine in this New Testament story moved beyond the norms of her day. Knowing her place in society, she ignored protocol. She risked discipline. She had nothing to lose.
John Garr continues his version of the story. “So, defying all social convention, she mustered up the last reserves of her strength and pressed her way through the multitude that was thronging the Rabbi, hanging on his every word, and reacting to his every gesture. How she made her way through the crowd, no one knows, but in her heart of hearts she just knew, ‘If I can but touch his garment, I shall be made whole!’ She didn’t need a word; she needed a touch. And touch him she did. In one desperate lunge, she reached out her bony, near lifeless hand and brushed against just the hem of Jesus’ garment. The fact that she touched just the hem of his garment may be an indication that she was crawling through the thronged, huddled bodies. A miracle happened; immediately her hemorrhaging stopped. She was made whole!”
Mr. Garr’s description moves me to live a life “lunged” toward my Lord and Savior, the Healer. The move of my life has thrown me to my knees and there I have remained wondering, “Is this the move that will change everything?”
And being the great Shepherd that He is, He was not far. “…seek, and you will find…” (Matthew 7:7 NASB) Jesus invites me to move toward Him. He shined His Light on the woman at His hem. “She reached out her bony, near lifeless hand and brushed” my soul when I read her story. “Lean,” I heard her say. “Lunge, if you have to, move toward The Savior.”
Are you willing to move wherever necessary to touch the Hem of His Garment? Where is your move taking you?
In a dark spot, under my deck I planted the little vine. A bit frustrated because it would take a LONNNNNNNNNNNG time before I would ever see the lushness up- on my deck, I simply decided to forget it. I had planted it. That is all I could do. I trusted that it would grow.
The next year excitement welled up inside me when I noticed that the vine was putting out shoots. It needed a trellis so I stuck one in the dirt and wound the longing-for-a-place-to-grab-hold fresh new vines through the decorator pieces of my newly acquired yard art. Once again, I left the little vine to do its thing. I would have to wait.
Year after year I spend a few hours each spring coaxing the vine up and up.
A few days ago blooms popped out everywhere! The vine now winds all around the banister and trellis on my deck. It softens the harsh wood of the deck, making my upstairs outdoor space look cool and enticing. And overhead a shade is beginning to form as the vines stretch themselves overhead creating a protection of sorts- a refuge for me on warm summer days when I want to be outside, but I seek protection from the hot sun.
Years ago, I made an investment in a little plant. Today, because I was willing to wait, because I had a vision for the future, because God has taught me that waiting is necessary and worth while I have this place to go when I want to step away from it all and surround myself with the beauty of joining with God to fashion something – WORTH THE WAIT.
Instead of moving from town to town, region to region with Jesus like his many followers did, the woman at the well
Moved from everyday pits to eternal promises
You remember the story don’t you?
Jesus and his disciples had traveled from southern Israel. With Nazareth as their destination, they journeyed through Samaria, a foreign and sometimes hostile territory. Tired from His travels, Jesus stopped for water and told his disciples to go on into town for food. He would wait for them here at the well.
John 4:6 lays out the setting for this episode.
“Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime.” (NLT)
He was alone because he had sent his disciples to find food. He was also alone because it was not customary for people to approach a well in the middle of the day, at its hottest hour. Generally the well was a busy community center in the early morning and late evening. Water would be drawn for the day’s cooking and cleaning during the cool part of the day and once again in the evening.
“Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water…” (John 4:7 NLT).
What was she doing – coming to the well in the middle of the day? A quick study of the culture and tradition teaches the observer that her arrival to the well, at noon, would be a cause for raised eyebrows. More than likely she purposefully chose this time to visit the well because she didn’t want to face her neighbors. She was avoiding any contact that might force her to explain herself. I can imagine that she took refuge in the well~ a place she chose as she determined to move away from the crowd. Here away from her curious and finger-wagging neighbors, she found the freedom to contemplate.
The cool vapors that rose from the water hole and deep pit might have refreshed her flushed face. The dampness of the stone-lined cavity served as an ancient form of air conditioning restoring life to the body leaned forward, longing for something – anything that would fill the vast and empty place in the depth of her soul. I imagine her leaning forward, over the well, and breathing in deeply. There I can see her hovering, forgetting the pain that has driven her to the outskirts of town. I step closer to her and watch as she opens her eyes. She stares into the depths finding refuge and strength – in sorrowful solitaire - to confront her everyday pits.
Possibly, it might have been during that very moment when she took in a deep breath, that a shadow came over her.
“Could I please drink some water from your jar?”
Had she heard correctly? A man had spoken. A foreigner addressed her and moved too close. Yet, his shadow cast a cool glow over her. A presence like she had never felt surrounded her in peace and comfort. This shadow – she never wanted to leave its presence, not ever. Its oasis- like cool shelter seemed other world. In the heat of the day, she was suddenly refreshed, not from the depth of the well, but from a strange shadow of a man. Again he asked for water, breaking the silence.
Not only did he break the silence, he broke the rules. He broke not only one rule, but three! Good Jews did not break rules! He addressed a woman. He spoke to a foreigner. He asked her for a drink, meaning he would touch something she, a woman and a foreigner had touched. Stunned, still staring into the pits, not daring to make eye contact, she reminded him of His religion and her position. He was an educated Jew from Judea. He was a true worshipper. She was a mere Samaritan and, in addition, a lowly woman. His reply grabbed her heart.
For the first time in her life, she looked into the eyes of a man and was moved!
This was not just any man. Who she saw and what she heard moved her out of her everyday pits. She heard eternal promises spoken from a man who told her everything she had ever done. He knew all about her questionable past, yet He did not judge her. He dignified her.
Her life of insecurity and doubt overflowed with questions that, left unanswered, had driven her to a life of wrong choices and instability. She came alone to the well for good reason. Societal rules demanded that she live a life apart from others because of her sinful ways. But, this man engaged her in a discussion that answered her “why me’s” and “how long’s.”
She arrived at the well, turned toward her self-defined treasure – solace away from rejection and refreshment offered by cool water. Perhaps a bath, once she returned home, might clean her once and for all, remove the stain that set her apart from other women and ostracized her from the community. Certainly a cool drink would revive her spirit.
Yet, as she spoke with this man, his voice and his eyes performed the cleansing she longed for. His eyes washed over her, removing guilt, shame, stain, and emotional pain. His words filled her soul leaving her refreshed and eager to start a new life. When she recognized the Messiah, her water pot filled with water no longer held any value for her.
She moved from her everyday pits toward the Messiah, listening to Jesus’ eternal promises. He offered living water that gave life. Her treasure was no longer to be found in the well. Realizing Jesus’ identity, she dropped her pot and ran into town announcing His presence.
leaving her water pot at the well, she ran, no she moved back into town, but instead of avoiding society she grabbed her neighbors.
“Look what He’s done for me. I am clean! I am a woman with worth! No longer am I filled with self-loathing. He filled me with His love!”
The woman at the well didn’t move from Israel to Judea; she didn’t move from Samaria to Jerusalem, she moved from a questionable and painful past to a purposeful and queenly future. What a move!
Are you ready to make a move? Step into the shadow of the Almighty and go where ever He leads.
Yesterday I had the wonderful privilege of speaking to a group of women on the topic of fear.
As I prepared for my presentation I realized that I have faced many, many fearful moments in my life. Of course I didn’t share them all, but as I thought about each I realized how waiting and fear can be so tangled up in each other.
God calls us to His Wait Room in order to build spiritual strength. If we are caught unaware and don’t realize that time in the Wait Room is growing and strengthening time we focus on the wrong thing.
Rather than get into a “body” building regimen, we allow fear to worm its way deep into our emotional world. Before we realize it, we become paralyzed with fright. We are immobilized.
Yesterday I asked a question, “Why do we – Christians that we are who have the power of Almighty God available to us, why do we cower, flinch, hide – when the frightening thing comes knocking?”
God repeats Himself time and again “Do not fear. I am with you.”
‘I am with you.” What loving, compassionate, caring words.
He also says, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
I have to ask myself. “Do I believe Him?”
My new defense when I feel fear on the rise is to repeat to myself,
“I have nothing to fear. God is with me. He will never leave me or forsake me. He has my life in his hands and He knows what He is doing with me, even in the midst of this difficult circumstance.”
Then my only course of action is to pray and ask Him to give me direction.
“God, I feel fear rising. Please give me a battle plan to combat this fear and I will follow it. I trust You to watch over me, to protect me, to provide for my needs. I thank You ahead of time for what You are about to teach me and show me in this frightening place. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
God calls us to the Wait Room, not so fear can rise, but so strength can rise.
Learn this song. Sing it while you praise God in the Wait Room
STRENGTH WILL RISE
as we wait upon the Lord.
We will wait upon the Lord,
We will wait upon the Lord.(repeat)
Our God You reign forever,
Our Hope, our strong deliverer.
You are the everlasting God,
The everlasting God.You do not faint,
You won't grow weary.
You're the defender of the weak,
You comfort those in need.
You lift us up on wings like eagles.
Strength will rise
as we wait upon the Lord.
We will wait upon the Lord,
We will wait upon the Lord.
For those of you who have never heard this acrostic:
FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real
Mary moved back home and settled into the life of a typical Jewish wife and ordinary woman. Of course we know her heart had to have held her Son close. I don’t believe she ever forgot the words Simeon and Anna spoke about Jesus’ future. Had I been Mary, I would have plugged my ears and refused to think about tomorrow. For sure I would have lived day to day instead of smiling at the future.
And then Jesus left home and invited those who would follow Him to participate in a journey like none other.
Imagine being one of the women who moved from city to city with Jesus! I cannot begin to visualize what an experience it must have been – glorious, miraculous, joyful…
I also know that because Jesus suffered He let his disciples know that part of the joy of living close to him included suffering. I guess that included the women who travled with him.
We don’t know how he called women. There is no account that he found fisherwomen or tax collector women. We do know that women were included in the group who traveled with Jesus.
Luke 8:1-2 “After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod's household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.”
I think of the wonderful opportunity to be included in the group of followers. I also am reminded that life with HiM as Lord has its trials. I guess that is why I think of
whenever I consider the women who Jesus called.
If You Want Me To
I encourage you to listen to it and use it as your prayer today.
Jeus calls us to follow Him. Are we willing and ready, regardless the cost?
If You Want Me To ~ Ginny Owens
The pathway is broken
And the signs are unclear
And I don't know the reason why you brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I will go through the valley
If You want me to
Now I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise
You're not through with me yet
So if all of these trials bring me closer to You
I will go through the fire
If You want me to
It may not be the way I would have chosen
When you lead me through a world that's not my own
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'll never go alone
So when the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering Your love put You through
And I will go through the valley
If You want me to
vballmom13 said... This is my first time on your blog. Your lesson today was really good. I can see that you have older children. My question for you is what kind of boundaries did you set for Xbox and the like? We have a 17 yr old son who
likes to spend alot of time on Xbox, many times before homework is done. It is hard for me to set boundaries on this because he is a really good student, isn't into drugs/alcohol, etc. So it is hard to decide if allowing him to spend 2 or
more hours a night on this is too much. Any suggestions??
Great question! These video games seem to present a challenge in most homes. Here are some of my ideas. Any one: Please feel free to jump in.
Obviously your son is making good decicions. I am sure it is because you set guidelines in place all along. You made it clear grades are important and making good moral choices are necessary. Now he is growing up; stepping out of the box That is so hard for us to accept. It was for me! I forever wanted to control my sons' lives.
Now to your question:
I don't believe rules can be reset once teens have acclimated to a routine, unless they prove that they cannot handle a little freedom. Your son, on the other hand, seems to have proven to have been faithful and honest in the big things – grades and choices. Fact is, he IS 17 - close to leaving home.
As our children grow into young adulthood, part of their responsibilities include time management. Obviously your guy would rather play before studying AND he is getting his work done - getting good grades. Seems he is managing his time. IF he keeps up his grades and continues to make good choices it seems his X BOX is simply a pastime, a hobby, and until he falls or fails, your job is to continue to encourage him just as you have in the past.
May be time to start letting go. In no time he will be away from home and you won't be there to tell him what to do.
I do feel your angst. We moms would rather our children spend time on the things we deem important, responsible, worthwhile, but if what they choose to do with their extra time doesn't please us all we can do is to make sure communication and relationship are in tact.
More important than anything for me is genuine communication and a good relationship.
I respect what my husband used to tell me, "What are you telling them right now that you haven't already told them? They have heard it. Let them choose. If they fail we will be here to pick them up before they leave home. Otherwise they will fail for the first time away from home and we won't be there for them."
I thought, "Oh how wise."
This question has opened the door for young moms to consider their future chioices. Do you have some thoughts for them?
Calling all young moms:
One thing for young moms to consider before ever allowing the technology that has the potential for division and addiction into the house is to clearly set up guidelines. That way you don't have to face going back and starting over. Let everyone agree to the rules, understand and accept that the parent has the final say. It is so important to be clear from the get go, otherwise children get mixed messages, leading to a lack of respect toward authority. Once their security blanket begins to unravell and they begin to flail in the midst of the unknown it becomes very difficult to rescue the situation.
In my blog I mention being a pro-active parent. That means looking ahead at the potentials and possibilities.
Before inviting video games - or any activity your children pine for- into your home, think ahead. Ask yourself “What are the potentials? What are the possibilities? Am I up for it?”
These are only my thoughts. I am sure others’ ideas are valuable and we would benefit hearing from you.
Any other questions?
If you have come over from Proverbs 31 Encouragement for Today
WELCOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!When we brought our puppy home from the shelter we gave him a safe place to hang out. Pet trainers call that safe place a crate. We crated him whenever we couldn’t keep a constant eye on him. As he grew accustomed to our house rules we allowed him to roam more and more.
I am reminded of the verse in Luke 16:10 when I consider doggies and little ones who are growing up in my house and in my classroom:
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities”. (NLT)
Of course we removed temptations from our little dog so he wouldn’t get into trouble. He wasn’t allowed on the carpet. If he had an accident – no big deal. There is so much more to cleaning carpet than there is to cleaning linoleum, tile, concrete, or wood.
When we stepped to the door we made sure to block the way. We didn’t want him dashing outside where he might run off, get lost, scare a child, or be hit by a car in the traffic.
We took him to obedience school where he learned to sit, stay, and come. Once he proved to us that he was an obedient dog he earned his way into the world.
Today he pretty much has free roam of the house. We can trust that there will be no accidents.
We don’t block the doors when we open them. He has no desire to dash away. After all we protect him and provide for him.
He doesn’t require a leash when we walk him. He stays beside us.
He also has free roam of the entire yard. He has proven to us that he will obey when we call. When I am working in the yard I tell him to sit or stay and there he remains until he receives a further command.
As we “bring up our children in the way they should go” we might consider the dog.
Anything that might tempt my child to “accidentally” stumble is something I want to keep him from experiencing until I am assured he has complete understanding of the situation. I allow little steps until I know my child is “faithful in the little things.” Then I slowly make way for “the large ones.”
If my son asks for something I don’t feel he is ready to tackle I use God’s Word. “Let me see you faithful in the little things.”
If your child has proven that she is not ready to walk around the corner to a neighbor’s house, to go to the movies with friends, or to shop in the mall alone maybe the temptation needs to be removed by saying, “If you remember, I asked you to clean your room – such a little thing, right here in the house, in a space you so control and understand, but you procrastinated, you didn’t complete the task, your clothes are still piled up – not washed… I am not sure you can be responsible to get to your friend’s house, to deal with all the choices in the theater, to stay focused in the mall.”
If a child grows up knowing that his past behavior is the foundation for future privileges he or she will understand that to ask for something big is out of the question unless he or she has proven to be responsible and honest with the little things.
When my sons don’t like the fact that I won’t let them participate in something “everyone else is doing” I hug them and tell them how much I love them.
“I am keeping you from temptation,” I say. “It is my responsibility.”
“God is watching me to see if I can be a faithful and responsible mother. He has trusted me with a large privilege. I want him to give me even larger privileges as I grow, just like you want even greater opportunities and advantages in life. We are all in this together.”
So - do you have some ideas about how “being faithful in the little so we can be responsible for the bigger thing” can be applied to life in your home with your children?
What are the little things we ask of our children that lead to the greater privileges?
You know if our parenting is pro-active, if we plan ahead of time, we won’t be caught off guard when the question comes, “ Mom, can I …?”
And what are the dishonest things they do and how do they lead to a loss of greater responsibilities. Have you faced that issue recently?
I’ll start by giving two illustrations:
Earlier this week as we all left Bible study I noticed a young mom struggling with her preschooler who didn’t want to hold her mother’s hand. Finally mommy gave in and in just a quick minute her daughter took off running – straight toward the parking lot. We were all frantic. When the mother caught up with her little girl she took her by the hand and I heard her say. “I can’t trust you to walk beside me when you are not holding my hand so we have to walk holding hands. Now let’s practice.” The mother took the little girl back to the church door and together they walked, very slowly I might add, until they reached the car.
Hmmmmmmmm – practice doing the little thing with your child. Now that is a lesson.
My son wanted to use the car to visit a friend. We had made a deal when he started driving. He was to keep my car clean for the privilege of getting to drive it. There was one problem. He was not living up to his end of the bargain. I told him “no.”
– he didn’t like it. I stuck to the deal. “If you can’t keep the car clean, what makes me think you are a responsible driver? I mean keeping the car clean doesn’t involve maneuvering in traffic at a steady speed watching out for other drivers.”
“But mom, if I have to clean the car now, I‘ll be late.”
So – suddenly it was my fault. They try to do that, you know. Make it our fault.
Ouch – I might feel a bit of a guilty twinge if I allow my son’s twisted words to convict me.
I know better. I remember the deal and God’s Word: faithful in the little, faithful in the large.
“Prove to me that you can take care of the car, then I will let you take out the car.”
OK – your turn.
To learn more about inviting my little dog and me to visit the children in your community click here: Consider the Doggie
Along with thousands of other women I am participating in Beth Moore’s new Bible study: Esther
Yesterday in my women's Bible study at church I learned Esther waited…
and the fact that she chose to wait, rather than make an impulsive, impatient move made all the difference in the history of the Jewish nation. An entire race of people was saved!
Who knows – God does – why He called you to build strength in the Wait Room. The implications of your time trial might change the course of the river on which you travel.
As Beth spoke, lectured, and entertained me I took copious notes.
I don’t feel so lonely anymore. Seems like someone else believes we need to park on the theme of waiting and take it seriously – someone important, someone with some clout!
Here are Beth’s inspiring words on the topic of waiting:
“Our culture is training us for impatience.”
“We believe that any wait is an enormous inconvenience.”
“If we can’t wait upon the Lord we will not fulfill our destiny.”
“Women have been given a gift of influence.
We have a power that comes with wisdom and ‘wait’.”
One of the most beloved scriptures concerning waiting is Isaiah 40:31 ~
“…those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”
“What is the alternative to waiting on the Lord?” Beth asks. ”We will lose our strength when we wait upon the thing, the event, the person…”
You choose: Wait upon the Lord and gain new strength or…
Wait upon the thing, the event, or the person and lose strength.
Read what Habakuk writes in Chapter 2 verse 3:
“For the vision is yet for the appointed time. It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it. For it will certainly come, it will not delay.”
“Something is happening in the heavenlies.” Know that our God is at work. Trust Him with your wait. Give it to Him. He can bear it.
We may not all have the same “it” whatever "it" is that we wait for, but we all wait.
“Though it tarries it will certainly come.”
If you don’t have an “it” that you are waiting for, then certainly you have a loved one who has an “it” they are lifting – a heavy wait God has called them to His Wait Room to lift, to build spiritual strength. Step into the Wait Room with a Wait Trainer/friend and offer to tarry with them.
Again an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph, “Get up and return to Israel.” (Matthew 2:18-19)
“Move? Again? We just got settled. Jesus has so many little friends. I love the south now that I have been here! The people are so friendly. The weather is warm year around. I don’t want to move! ”
Those are my words, not Mary’s.
And so the Holy Family found themselves on the move again – moving home.
Have you ever moved home?
I have not. With each move I have wished to be moving home. It has never happened.
I long for a day when I can be close to my family. Right down the road from my mother. Near my aunt and uncle.
If I were a more content and obedient type, I would be like Mary.
“May it be to me as you have said.”
I am learning with each move to trust my Lord. He knows what is best. He will move me home at the very perfect time – no sooner, no later.
Meanwhile I am going to focus on each day, asking my Father to show me what I need to accomplish here before moving on again.
Have you ever moved home? What was your experience?
(To those of you who wanted me to post the Bible Verses used in my presentation on Friday, read on…)
What goes around comes around. I have returned home after an adventurous journey to New Mexico. Over a period of ten days-
I “taught” ladies about WAIT MANAGEMENT – (no I didn’t misspell weight!) “God has a WAIT ROOM designed for each one of us. He takes us there with a unique purpose – to strengthen character and build faith.”
When I returned home, I had one day of rest before I had the wonderful opportunity to “teach” teachers about one of my favorite topics: PERSONALITY STYLES.
In the midst of my travels and presentations I read a book.
Before leaving I packed up my bags including several Proverbs 31 resources to share with the ladies during the retreat. We have been so blessed to have speakers publish their books. I decided I would read Wendy Blight’s book Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner.
Her story is piercing and poignant. I read it in one day while I sat in airports and on airplanes. I had expected an emotionally riveting tale of an event in her life that changed her forever. I got that – and so much more. What I received from Wendy was not only a visit to her dark corner, but the LIGHT that drew her into a joyful existence. When I turned the last page, the peace that flowed over me assured me there is only one PEACE that gives life meaning and that would be Jesus Christ and his Word of life. The Bible says about itself.
“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 (NASB)
Why did I use the word piercing to describe Wendy’s book? Chapter after chapter she uses the Word of God to cut away her fear, the past that threatened to destroy her, and developed habits that disabled her.
She used God’s Word to reaffirm what I know: Not only is God’s Word living and active, scripture contains a power to miraculously move readers and hearers into places of inspired purpose.
If you find yourself in God’s Wait Room right now, I recommend Wendy’s book. As you focus on God’s goodness you’ll forget the fear that threatens you. You will turn that last page and know the peace of newly fallen fresh rains that wash away the stains that darken your being. You will see the SON who invites you to step into a future filled with God’s goodness.
So—how does Wendy’s book relate to the rest of my topics? Everything comes back to one place – The ROCK that is the WORD of life.
Yesterday I explained to teachers at the GCACS Conference how we are all so different – how our students’ uniqueness threaten peace in the classroom, how each has a different outlook, emotional need, learning style. Why does it have to be so difficult and challenging to teach a subject? Did they tell us while we studied for our educational degrees that we would not only have to develop lesson plans but we would have to mold them to fit a variety of personalities! ?? !
At the end of the hour when I opened the floor for Q & A I was asked to post the Bible verses I had used as references. Here you are. Thanks for allowing me to share with you yesterday. I enjoyed each one of you. If you have any questions or want more don’t hesitate to contact me!
John 17- Jesus longs for us to live together in unity and harmony
Romans 12:16 & 18 – live together in peace
God fills the emotional needs of all personalities. We can learn from Him as we affirm one another:
To the SANQUINE He says: Genesis 1:26, Psalm 139:14
To the CHOLERIC He says: Hebrews 13:5 b, 1 Timothy 6:18-19
To the PHLEGMATIC He says: John 14:27, Matthew 11:28
To the MELANCHOLY He says: Psalm 46:10, Job 38-39
So you see why I believe: “Everything comes back to one place – God’s Word?”
This time last week I was in Santa Fe with a group of delightful women who had invited me to give them some insight on Wait Training. You know – how to handle the “waits” God gives us. So………. with lots of excitement I agreed last September to fly out to Christ Church’s first women’s retreat in their new church. This was not their first retreat – just the first one in their new building. They have a great set up. The ladies put together a special day for the women of their church and I had the privilege of sharing my own time trials with them.
I opened my mouth at 9:45 and spent the rest of the day describing God’s Wait Room – the place He takes us when he wants us to slow down or grow stronger. God’s Wait Room is a time in our lives when God gets our attention or diverts our direction. He takes us there for many reasons. I have learned that He takes me to His Wait Room when it’s time for me to grow spiritually stronger.
The Wait Room is not a place I would choose to go, but once I have experienced God’s tender compassions, His love, the precious care only He can give, I realize that The Wait Room is a necessary place for me to spend my time, like an athlete who has to train with weights if he or she is going to improve their “game.”
After spending a day with the ladies of Christ Church Santa Fe, listening to their stories, praying and praising God with them, and digging deep into His Word I realize I could not have encouraged them, I would not have experienced the joy of reassuring them with the same consolation my Father used to comfort me during my times of despair had I not walked before them into the pit of despair.
My time in God’s Wait Room has not been in vain. He used me and my circumstances to grow me so I could reach out to others, breathe words of life into their desperate circumstances assuring them – God is in the wait room. Cling to Him and no other. He always comes through.