Tag Archives: love

UTHE GREATEST POWER IN THE WORLD IS…

God DIDN'T

It’s hard to believe its been nearly nine months since I scribed my last appointment with God, and I can honestly write it was by choice.

Now, I’ve loved God my whole life, but it seemed that I had put myself in a place where those I loved didn’t quite understand the love that I had for God and each day when I would try and “verbally” share one of my appointments with God  it inevitably  brought on new challenges to where those who were non-believers would ask me questions and become very frustrated. Then when they didn’t agree with my answer, there would be another question, and so on and so forth, until frustration would set in on both parties, and the frustration would turn to anger. Then anger turned to resentment until one day I woke up and realized that the greatest power in the world is BELIEVING!

Just as Christopher Columbus believed the world was flat and Rosa Parks believed she too had  the “right” to sit with the “white”… Or Walt Disney who believed in the power of wishing upon stars…

There’s only one thing that a belief can’t do!

A belief in someone or something cannot get another to believe in someone or something UNLESS they believe in it too or are open to the thought of learning something new.

Now, this goes both ways.

It’s just as hard for a non-believer to convince a believer that there’s nothing to believe in. Unless two people are working together to head in the same direction it creates confusion. Just as Christopher Columbus would not put people on his ship who didn’t believe the world was flat, because that would create nothing but chaos. Or it wouldn’t have done Rosa Parks any good if she believed she had the right not to move to another seat, but then moved! And how sad would it have been if Walt Disney hid what he saw within his heart and was never brave enough to say, “A wish is a dream your heart makes… ” and then he never believed he could make his wish come true.

Yes, the power of believing is the most important power in the whole  world, and it wasn’t until I opened my Bible today and read Matthew 4… 

THEN was Jesus let up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward and hungered. And when the tempter came to him, he said, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.”

But he answered and said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of  the mouth of God.”

Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said to him, “It is written again, Thou shalt not temp the Lord thy God.” 

Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 

Then the devil leaveth him, and, hehold, angels came and ministered unto him. 

Now when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; And leaving Nazareth, he came dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 4: 1-17


When I arrived at the place where it shared that Jesus began to preach “after” he was questioned over and over and over again… I closed my Bible and SMiled. It was here where God showed me that no matter whether one believes in the Son of God or doesn’t… at one time or another the two shall meet, and God arranges this appointment not because it’s our job to change the mind of the one who doesn’t believe,  but because He gives us the opportunity to see how strong we really are in what we believe, and when we are able to find our strength that is when we are truly able to serve Him!

L.B.

Onward to the final appointments of my life. May He use the rest of my life to be of service to Him!

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Believe in your nuts!

photo (3)

Have you ever had one of those days where you’re feeling so bad you just don’t ever want to get up again?

For the past several weeks I’ve been under the “instructions” of a physician on what I can eat and what I need to stay away from,  and it seems that my new frequent favorites are “nuts”.  All I have to do is pick a nut: a walnut, peanut almond, brazilian! As long as it’s a nut. I’m free to eat.

Anyway, last week I was having a really bad day and as I went to reach for a walnut, for some reason my heart really missed my grandfather, so within the simplicity of how my heart works, I looked up to heaven and asked God to simply tell my grandfather I said hello and that I love him.

A few hours later my friend, Gina Aponte, sent me an instant message on Facebook asking  if she could send me some shelled walnuts, and I knew… God was letting me know that my grandfather was saying hello and that he loved me too.

How did I know that?

Because… when I was in high school my grandmother used to paint pictures and then each weekend she would take her paintings down to the park and she would erect them on easels and wait for someone to come along and appreciate them. Now, while she was waiting for customers, my grandfather was waiting for her, and he would take his newspaper and sit in the park and read. Then one day he noticed  a woman had set up a booth and  was selling something unusual:  painted walnuts that looked like strawberries. She wasn’t selling any so my grandfather walked up to her, purchased one, and tried to tell her how to sale them. But, when the woman didn’t care to listen to what he had to say,  my grandfather decided he would go home and make his own. The following weekend he would return with his painted nuts and show the woman how it was done.

Strawberry Nut Ornament

And, “done” he did. Within 10 minutes my grandfather had sold every one of his “red” creations, and when the woman saw that he sold them so quickly she immediately came running to his table and asked, “What’s your secret? How did you do that?”

His reply…

“Lady, you’ve got to believe in your nuts!”

I never in my life thought I would be sharing that “I believe in my nuts”,  but I do! Because if God can go so far out of his way to put it on Gina’s  heart to send me a box of nuts… Can you imagine what He’ll do for YOU!

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14)

Gina Aponte, “And you thought you were just sending me a box of nuts!”

L.B.
Onward with a SMile!

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MY FAVORITE GIFT OF ALL…

Jesus

I love gifts that make me think and this Christmas I received such a gift.

Opening my first present I felt all the excitement that I once felt when I was a child. What is within the wrapped box? 

I needed nothing. Asked for nothing, but yet there was a present wrapped and delivered with my name on it, and as I was opening the gift I realized that receiving a gift is just as wonderful as giving one!

My gift was given to me by my brother and his wife, and as I opened it I could see a hint of uncertainty on their faces. Did they get me the right gift? It wasn’t until I opened it, SMiled, and thanked both of them did I hear, “Oh good. We didn’t offend her.”

What was my gift?

Jesus. I received a Jesus doll, and when the night came to a close my husband shared with my family that I keep a Nativity Set out all through the year. Within the set is baby Jesus, lying in the manger, and when my husband wants to see if I’m paying attention to the Nativity Set he will take baby Jesus out of his manger and will place him in another spot. If I haven’t noticed that Jesus has been moved he will ask, “Where’s baby Jesus? Where did he go?” As he shared the story he took my gift and placed him on the mantel and said, “Now, I’ll be able to hide this Jesus too!”

Of course the next morning my husband found a secret hiding place for Jesus and asked, “So, where is Jesus today?” I walked around my 600 sq. ft. home and couldn’t seem to find him. At one point my husband was getting frustrated and said, “Gina, Jesus is right in front of your face. I can’t believe you don’t see him!” I took a moment and sure enough, Jesus was right in front of my face. I FOUND HIM!

For the past two weeks I’ve been thinking about that moment and how frustrated my husband became when I wasn’t able to find Jesus right away, but truth-be-told, God used that moment to show me how there have been many times within my life where I’ve been frustrated with other people when they couldn’t find Jesus when I was explaining him to them. I believe that this Christmas the best gift I’ve ever received was a reminder that finding Jesus is both a journey and a destination, and I never want to hinder someone from their journey towards their destination.

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. Proverbs 16:9

L.B.

Onward to finding Jesus!

 

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GOING UP!

I was 12 years old the first time I jotted down an Appointment with God, and it seems that each time I go to pen an appointment I’m always reminded of the young girl I once was. So inquisitive. I wanted to know the truth of my heart, and if I only knew the length of time that it would take me to find it, I wonder if I ever would  have scheduled my first appointment.

Last week I went on a trip that would introduce me to a woman who I’ve been talking to for nearly a year.  Kelly Barker and I were introduced by a mutual friend, and from the moment we first chatted on the phone we became instant friends. She helped me with my business, non-profit, and quickly I realized that I could learn much from her.  I was like a sponge trying to absorb everything that she had to say, and the more we chatted, the closer I felt to her. Within a few months of our friendship, her brother, Russ, was killed in an accident, and that is when I was able to share with her the knowledge that I had learned about life, death, and comfort.

Now, nearly 10 months into our friendship we finally journeyed “onward” towards each other so we could finally meet, and it was interesting because the moment I saw her coming down the escalator at the airport I felt as if my heart had known her my entire life. We hugged, giggled as girls do, and then we left the airport knowing that the few days we were going to spend together would define the amount of time we would spend together in the future.

Our trip was wonderful. From the moment we walked out of the airport to the moment I took her back to the airport, we were like life-long friends who just needed a few days to catch up to each other, and immediately we started talking about our next visit.

As I was driving away from our visit, my heart realized the importance of communication. Believing in others. Love that can’t be explained, but known.

Through this appointment with Kelly, God showed me the reason He asks us to open the Bible and read from His words. I spent the past year getting to know a woman I had never met face-to-face,  but because we took the time to get to know each other, the moment we saw each other we knew exactly who we were.

And, that’s all God wants. He knows us, because He created us, but what He wants is that when it comes time for us to take the escalator up to heaven he wants us to be able to look straight at Him and know exactly who He is.

I’m so glad I didn’t turn away from my first appointment with God, because I would have missed this one.

“And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1: 14-15

ONWARD TO MY NEXT APPOINTMENT!

 

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I KNOW LOVE PERSONALLY…

A few hours ago I called my friend, Shirley, who is at home recovering from brain surgery. A few weeks ago she had to have several tumors removed and as they were going through her body they noticed that the cancer had spread and her outcome was Stage 4 Bone Cancer.

As the two of us were chatting on the phone I could barely understand her. She needs to have a tracheotomy so she can breathe, so her words were  raspy and soft.  At this moment her body is so ill that her lungs are filling up with fluid and it’s hard for her to breathe, and because her body has endured so much in the past few weeks, the doctors need her body to heal. They are afraid that if they put her under they might not get her back.

The two of us talked for about 15 minutes, and as we were chatting I realized that it was her illness that brought us together. Had it not been for her being hospitalized and her cousin, Linda, asking to give her an Owie,  the two of us probably would have never met, but we were brought together because of an illness.

During our conversation the two of us started laughing and Shirley said, “You know we’re going to be friends forever. That’s why God brought us together so when you’re having a bad day I can lift you up and when I’m having a bad day you can lift me up. It’s like when people say we’re in this for better or worse!”

The moment she said, “for better or worse” it hit me… With each person we meet we start out with the better of what we have to offer, and then as we get to know each other, we get to see the truth of what is truly within us.  a I met Shirley when she was/is going through her worse, and  what I found was this…

1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, I am nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly  it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all thing, endures all things. 8 Love never fails… 1 Corinthians 13 1:8

When I hung the phone I looked to heaven and  said out loud, “I know love personally!”

At this moment there’s a woman who can’t sleep lying down because if she does she’ll drown, but in the midst of the uncertainty within her life God showed me the meaning of one can be stripped of all that one owns, but as long as one continues to love others… love is ever lasting.

If anyone happens to find my Appointment with God today, could please join me in prayer for Shirley Brown. I would like to pray that God gives  “love” a second chance at enjoying the rest of the best of what “life” has to offer her.

L.B.

ONWARD TO BELIEVING!

 

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MOMENTS…

Last Saturday I had a meeting to attend and hitched a ride with a gentleman that was going my direction. I’ve only met this man a few times (at the previous meetings) so I was excited to get the extra time to get to know him better. He seemed like someone I would be honored to know.

As we were driving he started sharing with me bits and pieces of his life. He’s 82 years young. Married to the same woman for over 60 years. Is the father of three children, two boys and one girl, and the grandfather to many. He served his country for 20 years, than spent the rest of his life educating the lives of thousands of college students, and now he spends his time giving to others.

During our conversation he got quiet and said, “You know Gina. Life is funny and at times doesn’t make sense.” He continued on by telling me that he lost his grandson this year to suicide, and has had a hard time grasping the “why?”

As he shared with me his heart I too have known many people who have taken their own lives, and each day when I think of them that seems to be the only question I ponder. “WHY?”

When the meeting was over the two of us got in his car and headed home.  We picked up our conversation and then he looked at me and asked, “Gina, do you believe that when we get to heaven  those we loved will know who we are?”

It was interesting to have an 82-year-old man ask me that question, and I immediately turned to him, SMiled, and said, “Of course we will. As God states in 1 Corinthians 15:40, “There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.”

Within a moment silence fell over the car and I knew we were both thinking the same thing, “But why?”

For the past few days I’ve been thinking about that question. I know within my life I’ve had many adversities that hurt so bad that I didn’t want to get out of bed. I’ve lost those I’ve loved, and have to deal with my own unpleasant illness (that at times) I actually say to the Lord, “Either heal me or kill me, but do something!” And obviously I’m not dead yet, so the Lord keeps  doin’ something!

The reason I’m sharing this conversation is this morning I had a note sent to me via a friend on Facebook. He didn’t share the note where the world could read it, but sent it to me as a personal message and when I opened it,  there was a picture of a plaque which read:

“Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.”

The moment I read it I knew that God had used him to answer the question I’ve been pondering all week. “Why?”

Because…

I know there were times in my life when I didn’t praise God for the good things.

There were difficult moments within my life where I didn’t seek God.

I’ve had many quiet moments within my life where I didn’t worship God, but went to war with God.

I can’t even count the amount of painful moments where I neglected to trust God.

And I know that until a few years ago I didn’t always thank God!

Now, I understand the “why” of “why” people might make choices that can’t be repaired.

Because if people, health, and things fail us, and we don’t have something greater than all those things, than “why?” would one want to keep going.

My prayer in sharing my Appointment with God is if anyone  reads my heart today and you don’t believe that your life is going to be any better than it is today, I simply want to ask you to look deep into your heart and have a quiet moment and seek God because I promise you that this is what God wants for your life…

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

L.B.

ONWARD TO PRAYING FOR THOSE WHOSE HEARTS ARE BROKEN!

And, thank you Jarrod for simply sending me a note. I will remember it… Always! 

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WE’RE NEVER TRULY LOST…

A few days ago my aunt and uncle came for a visit. The last time I saw them was a few years back when their son passed away and they filled me in on how his wife and daughters were doing. They continued on by sharing how my cousin, Gail, was holding up with her family and the new events that transpired within their lives. It’s interesting how at times… families can be so close, but then age and distance can  turn families into distant friends.

As our conversation continued my aunt shared a story about my grandmother and the story went like this.

“Gina, nearly 15 years ago your grandmother called me at work. Two young girls had knocked on her door asking if she had lost a White Poodle. Your grandmother took one look at the dog and immediately thought it was my dog, so she replied, ‘No, I didn’t lose a dog, but I know whose dog it is.’  And she took it.

A few moments later she called me at work and said, ‘Pat, now don’t you worry I have your dog and I will keep him here until you get home!’

Now, at that moment I began to worry because my dog was sitting at my feet and I said to your grandmother, ‘Mom, now I am worried and I will be right over.’

When I arrived at your grandmother’s house I walked in and saw a poodle that was supposed to be white, but was completely brown from trying to find his way home. The moment I walked through the door he immediately ran to my dog and was so happy to see him, that I decided since the two dogs got along so well I would take him home, clean him up and then work hard to find who his owners were.

For weeks I tried to find his home, but with no luck I became the owner of another poodle and the two dogs remained the best of friends for nearly a decade. When my poodle eventually died, the other one died within 24 hours, and within 24 hours and one minute I was left with nothing more than the beautiful memory of how one lost dog found his way home to a place where he would be reunited with his own breed, and a loving home!”

My aunt laughed and teared as she shared the story because she  believes that God blinded my grandmother’s eyes from seeing the dirt so that the dog wouldn’t be turned away, but would find his way home.

For the past few days I’ve been thinking about that story and how many times within my life I’ve been accused of not seeing what other people see, but now I believe that there are times within our lives where our heart sees what God wants us to see so we too can find our way home.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11

When I think of the story of one lost dog I now see how God orchestrated that meeting between the girls, my grandmother and my aunt, and if God will make a way for a tiny little lost poodle He will certainly make a way for us!

16 This is what the Lord says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters,  17 who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: 18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:16-19

Praying everyone a beautiful day. There’s nothing grander than being reminded that God knows which doors He wants us to open.

L.B.

ONWARD TO SEEING WHO KNOCKS ON MY DOOR!

 

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