Category Archives: Belief

MY GIFT TO YOU!

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I HAVE A GIFT FOR YOU!

The first thing I do each morning is I grab a cup of coffee. I then go into my office and grab my Dollar Store container that is filled with five books. One is the Bible and the other four are written by the wisdom of others. I then read the Bible and pieces of each book until I find the place where God is speaking to my heart and then I write down in my journal what my heart hears. I’ve been doing this since I was 12. Reading, writing, listening and doing.

Today as I was reading I began to write… Gina, it’s important that you stay focused on your destination. Do what you know you must do now. Take joy wherever you go. You have been much blessed!

Pass every blessing on!

Always seek to understand others and you cannot fail in love.

Love all!

See Me everywhere… in everything… in everyone!

When my heart knows that I’m done with the message that God has for “me” I then write, Amen and Amen, add XO, and sign it L.B. (Which means I’ve received this from the Lord with His love and His Blessings.)

Then today as I was closing my journal (for the first time in the history of my doing this) God put it on my heart to share His blessing with you.

Today I’m to pass on every blessing that God has ever given to me to YOU!

As I do this, I must write that there is no greater gift that I could give to anyone. There’s no amount of money that you could pay me to miss the blessings that I have received, so my prayer today is that when you receive the greatest gift that I can give that you take a moment and thank the one who is giving it to you, because the minute you receive His Blessing… YOU WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN.

Within my life I have received many adversities, but within each one there was a blessing.

Praying that no matter what you’re going through today… YOU ARE BLESSED!

Onward to passing on God’s Blessing to YOU with love!

Amen and Amen,

XO

L.B.

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Onward By Faith… My cloud has been lifted!

Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journey. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. Exodus 40: 36-37

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A few weeks ago I found that passage and for a moment I couldn’t breathe. I had just spoken with a friend and said, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. God has given me work to do, but each morning I feel as though I’ve got a heavy cloud rising over me and I can’t seem to move. I’ve never felt this way before, and for the past year I haven’t done anything to move ‘onward’ with the desires of my heart.”

“Don’t worry” she said, “God will show you the reason why you haven’t moved onward and when it’s time, you will!”

She was right.

After we spoke I turned on my computer and immediately went to a daily devotional that I read each morning. It was there where I was reminded… Whenever the cloud was taken up from above the tabernacle, the children of Israel would go onward in all their journey. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey till the day that it was taken up. Exodus 40: 36-37

For the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about what God reminded me of,  and I realized that a cloud was the well-know symbol of the Divine Presence.

If one were to google the definition of cloud within the Bible one would find…

CLOUD/BIBLE: The Hebrew so rendered means “a covering,” because clouds cover the sky. The word is used as a symbol of the Divine presence, as indicating the splendor of that glory which it conceals ( Exodus 16:10 ; 33:9 ; Numbers 11:25 ; 12:5 ; Job 22:14 ; Psalms 18:11 ). A “cloud without rain” is a proverbial saying, denoting a man who does not keep his promise ( Proverbs 16:15 ; Isaiah 18:4 ; 25:5 ; Jude 1:12 ). A cloud is the figure of that which is transitory ( Job 30:15 ; Hosea 6:4 ). A bright cloud is the symbolical seat of the Divine presence (Ex.29:42,43;1 Kings 8:10 ; 2 Chr 5:14 ; Ezekiel 43:4 ), and was called the Shechinah (q.v.). Jehovah came down upon Sinai in a cloud ( Exodus 19:9 ); and the cloud filled the court around the tabernacle in the wilderness so that Moses could not enter it ( Exodus 40:34 Exodus 40:35 ). At the dedication of the temple also the cloud “filled the house of the Lord” ( 1 Kings 8:10 ). Thus in like manner when Christ comes the second time he is described as coming “in the clouds” ( Matthew 17:5 ; 24:30 ; Acts 1:9 Acts 1:11 ). False teachers are likened unto clouds carried about with a tempest ( 2 Peter 2:17 ). The infirmities of old age, which come one after another, are compared by Solomon to “clouds returning after the rain” (Eccl 12:2 ). The blotting out of sins is like the sudden disappearance of threatening clouds from the sky ( Isaiah 44:22 ). Cloud, the pillar of, was the glory-cloud which indicated God’s presence leading the ransomed people through the wilderness ( Exodus 13:22 ; Exodus 33:9 Exodus 33:10 ). This pillar preceded the people as they marched, resting on the ark ( Exodus 13:21 ; 40:36 ). By night it became a pillar of fire ( Numbers 9:17-23 ).

Then this morning happened…

When I awoke I realized that my cloud had been lifted and that I wasn’t a failure in not working on my hearts desire, but that God didn’t want me to move yet. I needed this past year to be still. I needed to listen to Him to understand that the things God created me to do were His things and not mine, and that by His silencing my heart I would know that it’s not my “will” that will complete these things, but my understanding  of the things that He created me to do that will allow me to complete them.

Looking back, I wish I would have spent this past year not worrying about why things were not happening, but spent more time understanding that everything that God calls me to do will happen in His time and not my time.

I’m so excited now to move “onward by faith” in God’s timing— and to be honest… I will never look at a cloud the same way.  Just as rainbows were created for a symbol to remind us that God will never flood the earth again… Clouds were created to remind us of the Divine Presence of God and if we follow Him we will arrive exactly where He wants us to be and we will arrive on time!

Onward By Faith!

L.B.

 

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A Year From Today…

And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you.”- Mark 4:24

A few weeks ago. Valentine’s Day to be exact. I was walking out to my car when my heart heard… “Look in the yellow bin.” I opened my car door, put my purse on the seat, and then walking into the garage I happened to see my yellow bin on the shelf. Not knowing what to do next I asked, “Now what?”

My heart then heard… “Read, My Utmost For His Highest!”

My Utmost For His Highest is a daily devotional book that was written by, Oswald Chambers, and first published in 1935. This book was given to me as a Christmas gift in 2000, by a woman I loved very much and the inscription shared… “Never read ahead!” For nearly 15 years I read that book faithfully. Each day I would open to read what God had to say through Chambers, but then last year, on Valentine’s Day… I put the book in my yellow bin and it was there where it would stay!

A year ago Valentine’s Day, was a very hard day. Actually the whole year was difficult. I went through a divorce. I moved. My daughter had a baby whom was born with complications. I opened a store. My youngest daughter moved to Colorado. My granddaughter was hospitalized.  My list of adversities was long and for some reason my heart didn’t want to read what Oswald Chambers had to say, so I placed him in my yellow bin. I remember thinking…  I need a break from the wisdom of others so I can find my way back to “my” appointments with God!

 

Funny how the one thing I wanted a break from I seemed to miss.

As I was holding the book I happened to notice that there was something sticking through the pages, so I turned to the page and found a blue envelope with the inscription that read: Gina, don’t open ’til 2.14.16.
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As I pulled the envelope out of the book that is when I noticed where the year before I had written at the top of the page,  “A year from today in 2016 I will be where God put me!”

As I looked at the book it seemed that once in 2011 I needed a fresh start and last year my heart needed another year to start again.

Then I opened the envelop and saw that I had purchased myself a card which read:

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Then opening the card I read a note that I had written to myself last year…

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For the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about where I was a year ago Valentine’s Day and where I am now, and I must admit that with everything that transpired this past year it was nice to see that God put it on my heart to write myself a message showing me that it’s true…

Within the message written by Oswald, dated: February 14, there’s a paragraph which reads: When you are in the dark, listen, and God will give you a very precious message for someone else once you are back in the light.

Yes, it took me exactly one year to find my way from the darkness of adversities to the calmness of the light, and where Oswald wrote that I will give a precious message to someone else, he was actually talking about me. I am someone else now. I’m not the same woman who sat in darkness, but I am now the woman who is sitting in the light and I love the card, because it was a grand reminder that…

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Onward to “dreaming” with “purpose” and making each of my days count!

L.B.

 

 

 

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Are You One of the Thirty-Six?

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It’s been months since I’ve had time to sit down and scribe one of my “Appointments with God” and I missed Him.

Now, I know that’s okay, because there are moments within my life when life happens and I can’t stop and say, “Well, I’ll work after I get done writing down something that I never want to forget!” or “I’ll stitch up your arm so you don’t bleed right after I’m done  with this important thought!”

No, there are moments when writing must wait, but today God graced me a little time and a great story that I never want to forget!

Within Grass Valley, CA. is a tiny store-y that we opened that sells things so we can buy comfort for hospitalized children. It’s probably the tiniest store-y in town. It’s a little “thrift-consignment” store that sells the products of others, and because each person who donates or creates something wonderful has a story, hence: we call our “25th of Remember” store, “The store-y!”

So, back to my store-y!

A few weeks ago one of my dear friends, Irene Masteller, donated a stack of books, so I did what I normally do… I wrote: Donated by: Irene,on the tag, added a price and then placed it on the shelf. Then last night as I was closing up, God put it on my heart to pick “one” book a week, read it, and then put the book up for sale so I can share with those who shop here why I believe they would enjoy the book.

The book I walked out with was titled: My Grandfather’s Blessings, written by: Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.

Then this morning I grabbed a cup of coffee and started reading the book and within a moment I was in love with Rachel’s grandfather, and I wanted to call her and tell her that I couldn’t put the book down!

The book is a beautiful book about the lessons she learned from her grandfather. Her grandfather was an Orthodox rabbi and shared great lessons of life within his stories, and one story he shared made me cry…

The story told  dated back to the time of the prophet Isaiah. It’s the legend of the Lamed-Vov.

Do you know it? If not, no worries… I didn’t either.

The legend goes that God decided He would allow the world to continue as long as (at any given time) there is a minimum of thirty-six good people in the human race. People who respond to the suffering of others. These thirty-six people are called the Lamed-Vov. If at any time, there are fewer than thirty-six such people alive, the world will come to an end.

As she continues sharing her grandfather’s story she asked her grandfather if he knew these people and he replied, “No, Neshume-le, only God knows who the Lamed-Vovniks are. Even the Lamed-Vovniks themselves do not know for sure the role they have in the continuation of the world, and no one else knows it either. They respond to suffering, not in order to save the world, but simply because the suffering of others touches them and matters to them,” he answered.

It turns out that Lamed-Vovniks can be anyone within the world, “And because no one knows who they are, Neshume-le, anyone you meet might be one of the thirty-six for whom God preserves the world. It is important to treat everyone you meet as if this might be so,” said Grandfather.

When I finished reading the story God showed my heart that each day I’m touched by people I will never see again, but the moment they walk into my life they’ve touched my life and changed it.

I do know one thing. I agree with her grandfather. I have no idea who these thirty-six people are, but I’ll bet… YOU ARE ONE OF THEM!

And, as soon as I’m done reading the book I don’t want to sell it, but I want to share it. If you’d like to read it when I’m finished, please send me a personal email and I’ll send it to you. Then when you’re done reading it, you can sign your name within the book, and send it back and I’ll send it the next person on the list and so on and so forth. Then when the last person on the list is done reading it I’m going to send it to Rachel and show her how many people “one” book blessed!

If you’d like to read the book, please email me at:

ourstore-y@iloveowie.org

L.B.

Now, onward to seeing how many of the thirty-six of you I meet today!

 

 

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CAN YOU BE HOMELESS FOR THE HOLIDAYS?

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Saturday afternoon I decided to go to the mall. It was as if I could hear the Christmas music coming from that direction and had to go and see if that was where the music was coming from.

Sure enough. It was.

As I was walking around the mall, I grabbed a Starbucks,  went and sat in a chair and called a few friends. I wanted to let them know that Christmas had arrived. When my phone calls were finished I walked through all the stores. So many people were out shopping and it seemed as if the spirit of peace on earth and good will to men  had arrived early, and on that happy note I decided it was time to go home.

Anyway, as I was leaving I saw a woman sitting on a chair selling something when my heart heard, “Go talk to her”  and before I had time to say, “no” to myself…I was standing in front of her kiosk asking, “So, how’s your evening? Are you enjoying all the people in the mall?”

“Yes.” She replied.

“How long have you worked here?” I asked.

“Not long.” She replied.

Our conversation was easy and we talked about everything from where she came from, to how many children she had and then I saw it. Her eyes went from open to trusting. That’s the best way I know how to describe what I saw. She trusted me and said, “I don’t know why I’m telling you this but… I’m homeless.”

She then told me her story, and like so many people I’ve met in her situation her story seemed to be the same except she told me more. She started to share that has time goes on, and one can’t find a job, one comes to accept that their car is their place of residence. She was sharing how she learned how to survive and how when she would meet others who were in her situation she would tell them where to shop. How to shower, and as I listened to her speak she said, “The only thing that happens to someone that is tragic, is after they’ve been homeless to the point where they can survive, they get embarrassed to tell people. We stop going to places that we’re invited, because it’s much like an illness— when one looks healthy, but then shares they have cancer there’s a silence that falls over the room, and the same goes for those who are homeless. Silence falls.”

For the past few days I’ve been thinking about this woman and yesterday I reached out to a young woman, who I know works in the mall. The funny part is  I actually met  this young woman a few months back at the DMV and she invited me to her church, and because of her heart, I went and met all those she goes to church with. So, yesterday I reached out to this young woman and asked if her church could  help her, and this was her message back to me:

“Okay, Gina. I would love to meet her and send her flowers or something. Maybe we can get a group of women together and take her to lunch and go on a prayer walk or something.  Let me know what you think would be a good idea. We’re having a midweek service if she wants to come too. Please give her my phone number.”

What I loved about her response back was she wasn’t thinking, “Okay. Let me ask those in the church if they know anyone who is hiring or I’ll pray for her.” No, this young woman thought about the things that make people know they are valued. Friendships, flowers, eating with friends, moments.

And, what I learned from this woman is the only thing she seemed to miss were the friendships of others, because she never once said to me, “I wish I had a big house. I wish I had a nicer car. I wish I had better clothes. I wish I had more food.”

No, she didn’t.

She said, “I miss having friends.”

One of my favorite reminders  of what a true friend is resides within the Bible and reads:  “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in..” Matthew 25:35

My hope in sharing this story is that each person who reads this will become HOMELESS FOR THE HOLIDAYS… and all year-long! Now, I don’t mean I want you to give up your home and live on the streets or within your car, “NO!”  What I mean is whenever you see someone who is homeless, don’t fear them. Do not look away because you think that if you look at them YOU HAVE TO GIVE THEM MONEY! You don’t have to give them money. You don’t have to give them food. YOU DON’T HAVE TO GIVE THEM ANYTHING…

ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS…

Say hello!

Wave!

If you’re walking by, reach out your hand and introduce yourself.

Ask them their name. Nothing is more comforting to a person than to hear someone say their name.

Pray for them. Don’t tell them you’ll pray for them. JUST DO IT!

And, yes.. if you’re walking by with a sandwich and “half” some left… offer it up, because that’s what friends do for their friends.

Yes, this holiday season and beyond please join me and become Homeless, because when we embrace the love that arrives within the smile of a new friend…

There is where peace on earth and goodwill to us arrives!

NOW, ONWARD TO THE HOLIDAYS!

L.B.

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Was it worth it?

Onward

Within the Bible there is a parable which reads:

20:1  “God’s kingdom is like a man who owned some land. One morning, the man went out very early to hire some people to work in his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay the workers one silver coin for working that day. Then he sent them into the vineyard to work. 

3 “About nine o’ clock the man went to the marketplace and saw some other people standing there.  They were doing nothing. So he said to them, ‘If you go and work in my field, I will pay you what your work is worth.’ So they went to work in the vineyard. “The man went out again about twelve o’clock and again at three o’clock. Both times he hired some others to work in his vineyard. About five o’clock the man went to the marketplace again. He saw some other people standing there. He asked them, ‘Why did you stand here all day doing nothing?’

“They said, ‘No one gave us a job.’

“The man said to them, ‘Then you can go and work in my vineyard.’

“At the end of the day, the owner of the field said to the boss of all the workers, ‘Call the workers and pay them all. Start by paying the last people I hired. Then pay all of them, ending with the ones I hired first.’

“The workers who were hired at five o’clock came to get their pay. Each worker got one silver coin. 10 Then the workers who were hired first came to get their pay. They thought they would be paid more than the others. But each one of them also received one silver coin. 11 When they got their silver coin, they complained to the man who owned the land. 12 They said, ‘Those people were hired last and worked only one hour. But you paid them the same as us. And we worked hard all day in the hot sun.’

13 “But the man who owned the field said to one of them, ‘Friend, I am being fair with you. You agreed to work for one silver coin. Right? 14 So take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same pay I gave you. 15 I can do what I want with my own money. Why would you be jealous because I am generous?’

16 “So those who are last now will be first in the future. And those who are first now will be last in the future.” Matthew 20: 1-16

I’ve always loved this parable because what Jesus is talking about is … within (his) world and within (his) teachings, Jesus shares that the only way to enter heaven is to enter by believing one thing and that is… For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

And, because of the simplicity of who Jesus is,  he is sharing that some will be born into the world who arrive early. For whatever reason their heart, mind and spirit don’t need any more proof of his existence, so they believed him. Hence: They will not perish but have everlasting life.

Then there are those who spend much of their life looking for the truth of their life and half-way through  (for whatever their reason) they believe Jesus.  They believe that he is who he says he is and they too go on and live their everlasting life.

Then there are those who don’t feel the need to believe in anything greater. They don’t want to hear the stories that are written within the Bible. They don’t want to know who Jesus is or listen to who he says he is. Jesus is just a fictional character within the greatest story ever told, but then on the eve of their death a quiet spirit shows up and whispers into their soul and at that very moment they see him…  feel him…  believe him…  and the next moment this same person is living an eternal life with the one who showed up early in life… the one who showed up 1/2 way through their life… and not one of them arrived late.

Now, I happen to believe that there is only one way to heaven. If you believe there are many, that’s fine. It’s your belief, and like I tell other people I’m not as brave as you to believe anything other than what Jesus says, because I believe him. And, if he says he’s the son of God, and there’s not another way to enter heaven than I believe that too. And, what I realized is I don’t believe it because I was taught that. Or because I was raised within a church that told me to believe that. I believe Jesus, because my spirit understands all that he shared during his time on this earth, and because when I read the stories I know the people within them. They are the stories of all of us.   I’ve read 25 different versions of the Bible and within the New Testament all Jesus was looking for was the same thing we’re all looking for…

That one person who believes we are who we say we are…

Today I was asked this simple question, “If God didn’t give you the desires of your heart until you were on your death bed… WAS IT WORTH IT?”

My answer…

“ONWARD BY FAITH!”

L.B.

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What Door Will You Open Today?

 

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It’s funny there’s a quote that is shared often and shared like this, “Well you know what God says. He says… ‘When one door closes, another door opens.'” Actually, God never said that. It was Alexander Graham Bell, and what he said was…

“When one door closes, another door opens; but we often look so long regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the one that is open for us.”

Until the other day I had no idea what he meant, but inevitably every time something didn’t go my way someone would recite those words in the hopes they made me feel better, and while I was SMiling on the outside, the inside of me was screaming, “WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? DOES ANYONE REALLY KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS?”

Then the other day I happened to be in San Juan Capistrano with a friend working, when we decided we would take a moment and walk through the Mission.

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Walking down the corridor of the Mission I happened to notice that many of the doors were open so I decided to start my tour and I walked through a door which showed where,  (in the year 1776) the people who lived at the Mission would have cooked. It was a tiny kitchen, but it wasn’t until I heard a young woman say, “Oh, now this is where you would have found me if I lived in 1776,  I would have been in the kitchen.” I looked over at her and she had a SMile that told me that cooking was her gift and it didn’t matter how small or inefficient the kitchen  was, she would be there.

Then I walked into another room and inside was a place where they stored the tools and a man said, “Oh, look at the tools they used back then. If I lived in 1776, you would have found me here, grabbing all the tools to build this mission.” I looked over at him and he had a SMile that told me his gift was building and it didn’t matter how inefficient the tools were, he would be using them.

Then I continued on… into another room… where there was a living space that was tiny and I heard a young girl say, “Oh look how cute this room is. If I lived in 1776, I would be playing house in this room, because when I grow up I want to be a mother and keep my house tidy like this room.” I looked over and saw  she had a SMile on her face that told me her gift was going to be having a family and no matter how small her house would be, she would care for it.

As I walked through each door I kept seeing the same thing. Faces that would light up when the person walked through the door of the room “they belonged in.”

Then it happened. I walked through my door and it was there where, for the first time in my life, I understood what Alexander Graham Bell was saying. I had found my doorway. It was open and just my size. The room was small and it housed the only things I’ve ever needed: A Bible and a writing desk. Yes, there were other things in there, but I didn’t notice. All I noticed was that I had found my SMile and that is when I said, “If I lived in 1776, I would be sitting in this room, reading the Bible and writing down all that I learned, and then I’d run outside and teach what I learned to all who wanted to listen!”

 
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For a moment I stood in “MY” doorway and I didn’t want to leave. I had finally found the place within my heart and it was there where I met Alexander Graham Bell. It was as if he was standing in the room saying, “You have found my little secret. The secret of the door is looking back on your life and knowing that YOUR heart is the one that closed all the other doors behind you. Now, keep this door open, read your Bible, write what you learn and share with those who ask you.”

He was right. Within my life thousands of doors had been shut, but the truth-of-the-matter of life is when we know what we were born to do, we’ll stop at nothing to complete it. The trick is to keep walking through doors until we find the one door that makes our heart beat in such way that we couldn’t close the door if we wanted to.

Within the Bible IT IS WRITTEN, “…so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door.” Matthew 25:10

 

L.B.

ONWARD BY FAITH!

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