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Walking with Grace

31 Mar

When a crisis or situation would catapult itself into my life, I would always work through it, utilizing every skill in my spiritual toolbox.  Once the crisis had past and/or victory had been won, I would then share with my friends and family how God and I had conquered that challenge. I never consider sharing with someone the battle that I was in.  This is a pattern developed over many years.  The end result; yes, victories were won but I never connected with someone on more than a surface level.

Don’t get me wrong, I listened, cried and rejoiced over my friends problems.  I was the first to pray, to be there, to support but it was a one way street.  I didn’t let my guard down.  I wasn’t truly real with them.  They thought I was because I would share the victory (after it was achieved) or what God was doing in my life (non-crisis).  Yet when the chips were down, it was me and God verses whatever life altering problem before us.

Recognizing this as something that must be overcome, when asked to join a group of ladies twice a month, I accepted.  During our last three meetings we have been sharing our testimony.  When it came time to give my testimony, I told the uncut version.  In the past I would give the cleaned up and pretty version – yes bad things had happened.  Yes, I was hurt but God won – yeah!!  Can you relate?  This time, however I gave me – the realness – the truth.  I didn’t try to clean it up.  I didn’t make excuses.  I just told it like it was – uncut.

Want to know the cool thing?  They loved me anyway.  I was not judged.  I was not left alone.  That experience set a foundation that blew my mind.  Yesterday was one of those meetings.  After the meeting was officially over, the leader asked if I wanted to share with them what happened this week.  I did.  Let me tell you, my friend, it has been one of those weeks.  Normally the events of this week would be one of those “challenges” that I wouldn’t share until God had won.  Not this time.  I shared.  I cried and so did the ladies.  They prayed over me, my situation.  Love washed over me with every tear that fell.  It was one of the coolest moments I’ve experienced in “church”

Grace is described as “unmerited, or undeserved, favor coming from God.  I could have continued to “protect” myself by keeping my problems to myself.  I have gone on many, many years like this.  Yet, I know that God is calling me to be different, to respond differently.  Therefore, I opened up and found Grace.  Today, I walk with Grace.  Tomorrow, Lord willing, I will walk with Grace.  The best part?  I have a group of ladies that is walking with me.  Together.  In Grace.

Until tomorrow, blessed one – walk in Grace.  

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A Message Into The Darkness

27 Mar

“Hey, it’s me.  If you are out there, come home.  Please!  God, what did you think?  That we would just let you walk out of our lives?  I am so furious at you right now!  Then I think about how scared you must be.  Hiding in some dark place all alone.  But you are not alone!  Okay?  You are not alone!  We are in that dark place with you!  We are waving flashlights and calling your name.  So if you can see us, come home.  But if you can’t, then…you stay alive!  Because we are coming!

As I watched Criminal Minds last week the words of Penelope as she called out to Prentiss, resonated with me.  I can think back to the times in my life when I too removed myself from love and protection – to a place where I felt in control – where I felt, if I went, no one could be hurt.  Listening to these words I wondered at a time when similar words were spoken into my darkness.

Now, I am no longer in that place of darkness.  Yet I wonder who should I be speaking those words to?  Who around me is hiding in the darkness, feeling all alone?  Who needs to see me waving a flashlight and calling out their name?

Can you think of someone?

If so, are you ready, willing and able to go into their darkness and bring them safely back home?

1 Peter 4:9-10 encourages us to, “Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.”  Notice the verbiage there is to share with one in “need”. That one hiding in the darkness is in need.  We all have been gifted with different spiritual gifts – to be used differently but we ALL have been given the gift of love.  Let’s use that love, channel that love and reach into the darkness. We are unaware of who we may be helping when we reach out.

Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”

Please hear my next statement for what it is.  When I was in that place of darkness as a 17 year old young lady, a Christian family reached out to me and gave me a home to live in.  They didn’t “preach” at me.  They didn’t put me down for the past choices I made.  They gave me a place to stay.  Food to eat.  And hope.  Hope that I could be better.  My past did not have to dictate my future.

They didn’t know that 13 years later I would be a pastors wife.  They didn’t know that I would become a children and youth pastor. They didn’t know that my love for people would become a platform where I help people know and understand Christ more fully.

I’m certainly not an angel but that family entertained me into the presence of God.  He saved me from the darkness.  Now it’s my turn to shine my light and call out to others…

Want to join me??

Truths Learned While Going Up!

25 Mar

On a hill, in the distance, was a white cross. Deciding that I wanted to get a closer look, I started walking in it’s direction. I focused on the cross and sought for a path that would take me up to it.  I was walking from a southern direction and was coincidentally joined by 3 other ladies from a northern direction.  The four of us exchanged pleasantries. While looking for the path to the cross, we found a sign that cautioned us:  The climb to the cross would take approximate 10 minute – all uphill, with loose rocks and the possibility of rattler snakes!

Even though cautioned, we wanted to experience the cross and decided to continue on the journey together.  As we found the path, the first thing I noticed was that it was very narrow.  We had to walk single file. I called out to the ladies to stop while I took their picture. We continued on.  The next thing I noticed was the amount of loose rocks that caused your foot to slip every now and then. Next, were several larger rocks that you had to walk around in order to continue upward.  Then, we turned a corner and lost sight of the cross completely!

All of a sudden, truths exploded in my mind!

Remember how I shared that the path was narrow? It was too narrow for more than one person to walk up at a time.  At that moment, I realized that my walk to the cross is personal.  It’s between me and the cross.  Someone else can’t walk with me or for me.  It’s just between me and the cross.

I looked at the picture I took of the girls going up the mountain to the cross.  Each of us were at a different “levels” on the path.  One was high, one in the middle, another lower and I was completely at the bottom taking the picture. It didn’t matter where we were on the journey to the cross – what was important was that WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME PATH to the cross.  It was okay that someone else was higher than me.  It was okay that I was just beginning the climb.  The cool thing is that we were on this journey together!

As we walked upward, my foot would slip on those loose rocks.  That reminded me of the many, many times my spiritual foot has slipped while walking the way of the cross.  We also faced those larger obstacles that we had to walk around.  I’m sure you can relate to times when obstacles have been blocked your way to the cross – to becoming the person you want to be.  Then, as we are heading in the right direction, confident on our journey, we turn a corner and lose sight of the cross completely!  Does that ever happen to you?  Have you turned a corner in your life and lost sight of the cross?

Never fear, my friend, it is still there.   Look up – its just ahead in the distance.  Don’t look back.  Don’t turn around.  Just keep climbing.

Tomorrow, we reach the top and sit at the foot of the cross.  Care to join me?

Can Those Around You See?

10 Mar

A man was sitting on his couch in his house.  As the day turned into night, the house grew darker and darker.  By nighttime it was darker in his house then it was outside.  A friend of the man was walking by and he had not seen his friend in awhile.  He stopped and knocked on the door.  The man got up, opened the door, greeted his friend and welcomed him inside.

As the man walked in the house he noticed it was dark.  When his friend shut the door, they were in complete darkness.  The friend who stopped by said, “Why don’t you have a light?  It’s dark in here.”  His friend replied, “I have a light.”  “Well why don’t you light it?” his friend asked.  “I did” the owner of the home replied.  “Then how come I can’t see it?” his friend asked.  “It’s right here” the owner replied.  The man then turned toward the table, put out his hands, grasped a bowl and lifted it.  Immediately his friend gasped.  “Why did you have it under the bowl?  How do you see?”  he asked.  “Well, I know where everything is, so I don’t need a light.” He replied.

The friend became frustrated and said, “Well what about when I came over, how come you didn’t lift the bowl so I could see?” his friend asked.  “I just didn’t think about it.”  the home owner replied, “I just never thought about others not being able to see.”

Jesus talks about this very person in Luke 11:33-36.  It reads, “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it is hidden…instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in, may see the light.”

Our prayer needs to be “You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning: my God turns my darkness into Light” Proverbs 18:28

 

Hello world!

21 Feb

Welcome to TeriMeeks.com. It is my desire that you find realness and truth here – a place where you can laugh, cry and find God’s truth that is relevant to you.  I would love for you to share your thoughts and I welcome you to challenge me.  “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17)

I look forward to our time together!