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Pushback, change of plans, silence in a dream of a Coffee Shop

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Pushback, change of plans, silence in a dream of a Coffee Shop

I landed in Sioux Falls, South Dakota for  a weekend of speaking engagements.   I received a text from the organizer of the events as soon as I turned on my phone.  Brenda was alerting me that someone was in the area to pick me up and would meet me at baggage claim.  A few minutes later I received a message from the family coming to pick me up.   "We are about 15 minutes away from the airport, we will see you soon!"  

I retrieved my baggage and in that moment  I receive another text from the young woman that was on her way to pick me up.  "I am sorry, but we seem to have a problem, our car is overheating and we've called a tow truck.  We are trying to find someone to come pick you up."  She was so very apologetic!  I assured her that I would be fine and it was no rush that I had things to work on.  Yet she was plainly worried that it could take a few hours for arrangements to be made!  Little did she know I am an expert airport dweller and hanging out in the little coffee shop in Sioux Falls, South Dakota didn't seem all that dangerous or daunting!  I calmed her anxiety telling her I'd be fine, not to worry! 

A few minutest later I receive a text from my friend Brenda.  She and her friend Kendra are hosting the women's meetings together.  Brenda informed me Kendra was in the HOSPITAL being checked for a heart problem and would be staying all night undergoing tests. 

A few hours later Brenda arrived in Sioux Falls to pick me up and take me to Sibley. She had closed her coffee shop early to come fetch me.  We throw my suitcases in the back of the truck and then I climb in.  She looks at me and asked if I had looked at the updated 'weather forecast'.  I said "No, no I haven't.  What's happening?". 

She looks at me with a grin on her face and said bluntly "Snowstorm" on Saturday the day of the big event.  There is a snowstorm!  Can you believe it?  First the car, then Kendra and now a snowstorm!"  We both laugh because we have always know that we can make plans but God will take a hold of them and do with them as HE wishes.  

We swing by Applebees and pick up the young family that had been enroute to pick me up.  Their car had been towed and they needed a ride back home! 

The trip was already full of Pushback!  We knew that because of the amount of pushback we were receiving it was indication we were headed towards an AMAZING WEEKEND full of God's plans and not ours! 

Brenda apologized that she had been so busy during the week and wanted to host me at her home.. but instead they were going to put me in an apartment above the coffee shop.  We walked up the stairs and I was so delighted! A big, bright kitchen with huge windows.  It flowed into a small living room.  A huge bathroom and two bedrooms.  The master bedroom has a big comfy bed!!  

I was so excited!!!  

The next day we started at 9:30am speaking with a group of women... and it rolled on to after lunch.  Then the ladies husbands and families started to arrive.  Before you know it the clock was blinking after 6:00pm!  Exhausted! But what an amazing day it had been! 

I took a bath and went to bed by 10pm.  Just before I closed my eyes I was alerted that the United States had bombed Syria with the aid of France and Britian.  I prayed and snuggled up on the most comfortable bed... and woke up shortly after to the sound of hail on the windows.. and the wind picking up.  

When I climbed out of bed a few hours later ice covered the windows giving the appearance of stained glass as the street lamps glow flickered thru.  I ran downstairs to see the snow picking up.  I received a call from Brenda.  "We are closing the coffee house for the day and the event is cancelled. What would you like to do?"    I knew exactly what I wanted to do... rest, read, sip coffee in an empty coffee house and prepare for Sunday!  

It seems that the local church has requested I come and preach Sunday morning!! This was not planned.  Then we moved the women's event to Sunday night and now it's become a 'family' event... because the guys in town want to join in. 

But right now in this very moment .. I am sitting in the most beautiful coffee house, The Lantern, and I am sipping hot tea and watching the snowstorm blow by the long narrow windows.  I sit at a long farm table near the back.  Loving each groan of the old building as the wind gusts.  Admiring the way the light dances on the exposed brick and the wood floors moan when you walk upon them.   The Lantern, a place where light glows from!! I am sure that this beautiful place fills those that come in full of good coffee, wonderful pastries and LOVE! 

I'm thankful for the people that God has put in my life and we are partnering in doing something AMAZING!

 I am also thankful that HE gives me things that completely delight me... like that ONE TIME I SPENT A SNOWSTORM IN A COFFEE SHOP ALLLLLLL ALONE PRETENDING I AM A BARISTA! 

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What? I'm a SPEAKER?

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What? I'm a SPEAKER?

I have somehow become a public speaker?  What?!   

I’ve always had the gift of gab and have walked in it from the time that I was a child.  In fact, in primary school it was often noted that I had OUTSTANDING oratory skills.  My grade cards were a prime example as it  often stated:  “TALKS TOO MUCH”.   Who knew? 

How did it all begin? I look back and for the longest time I’ve thought about it, or dreamt about it, but never pursued it.   Often people would say, “You should be a life coach or a event speaker and share your ‘encouragement’.    I never pursued it.  However, God’s plans are often much different than my own.  

I don’t have a ‘fear’ of public speaking as I’ve spoken to hundreds while working in Corporate America but this is different. In the past people were looking for my business expertise or ground breaking products from the company I represented.  

Today I speak on something I am personally passionate about and the ‘company’ I represent is the Kingdom of God and my employer is God Himself. Even writing this kinda freaks me out! Still a little bit befuddled why would HE want to use ME of all people?  

WHY does the thought of going and speaking for a group event or in front of a church feel so surreal? It shouldn’t because I’ve also spoken life into this… I’ve dreamt about it .. and even when I was a little girl all of five years old I would practice.  I would line up my stuffed animals all across my bedroom and share the gospel and tell them… “HURRY, JESUS IS COMING BACK’. 

I guess from the time I was a little girl, God had weaved into my DNA HIS desire for me to stand before a crowd sharing WHO HE IS … for the KINGDOM.   I’m glad HE put it back in front of me (literally) … the path that had somehow become crooked and away from HIS original desire for my life.  THEN SUDDENLY!! after all these years the opportunity was right in front of me and a door opened. I stepped thru!    

I'm on a plane heading to South Dakota and then to Iowa... to SPEAK!  

Could it be .. that again .. the words “Created for a time such as this!” apply to you and to me?   

Let’s DREAM WITH GOD and allow HIM to breath LIFE BACK into who we are CREATED to BE! 

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Life Changing Prayer

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Life Changing Prayer

I lay upon my bed and toss and turn, picking up my well worn Bible and journal.  I turn the pages revisiting my scribbles that laden the pages much more like a puzzle then anything orderly.  Each scribble reminds me of a story, a moment, a person.   

Israel is on my mind and heart and I pray for those that I love there.  Recounting their names and their needs.  Praying asking the Lord exactly what to intercede for each person.  

A young woman that I barely know keeps coming to mind.  Each time I feel prompted to pray for her a new instrument.   I often wonder why? The instrument she has seems to be a nice one.. a good sound, pretty in her hand.  Yet the Lord presses me to pray for her something more, something exceptional something spectacular.  So I do.  I pray for her for "MORE THAN" she could ever ask for or possibly dream of! 

After several days I posted on FACEBOOK that I was looking for a violin for a 5th year student that lives in the Old City of Jerusalem.  I was requesting something nice, really nice!  Within an hour I had one person offer a beginner violin which wouldn't be suitable.  Then another hit on the thread!  A friend's cousin is friends with a violin maker named Paul.  It would be a long shot but Jessa was going to reach out and see if she could make a connection for me! She DID! 

Next thing I know I am speaking with Jan, the wife of the owner of "The Baroque Violin Shop".  She asked a few questions and I answered as best as I could.  She then invited me to come visit her husband, Paul, at the shop within the next couple of days.   She said that he'd be happy to find something for the young woman.  

Jan shared with me then that her husband, Paul, was suffering from stage 4 Renal cancer.  I asked if it would be okay with her and him if I prayed for him when I came to the shop.  She quickly replied "YES". 

I arrived two days later to The Baroque Violin Shop.  A beautiful historic home that had been refurbished with great care acted as a 'museum' and office space. Lovely wooden floors and hand stenciling on the walls was an exquisite backdrop for the instruments.  Attention to detail everywhere you looked!   

I was then escorted over to the actual shop where all the magic was happening.  After going thru bolted doors we found Paul tucked away in an area working on an instrument.  He said a quick "Hello" and cut to the chase asking to see a video of the young lady playing.   

He arose from his seat and walked to a back room where violins lined the wall.  Antique cabinets and chairs with instruments and music stands.  He shouts out to someone in the shop calling for a specific violin.  It was quickly brought into the room.  He selects a bow from the wall and begins to tune the instrument.  He plays something he must have played a thousand times... slowly then quickly.. high and low ...  He smiles as he looks into the camera "She speaks fast and quick, clear and beautiful" and he sets it down into a case that had been brought into the room.   He gathered a few other essentials and tucked them into the case.  Approximately $5500.00 worth of instrument.   

I was SPEECHLESS.  Literally! 

"This instrument will change her life", he says matter of factly.  He then opens another case and picks up a beautiful instrument.  "This is a Strata-various 1860".  He sits upon the chair and plays.  The sound deep and rich.  The music filled the room.  

Heaven, this must be the sound of heaven I thought. 

He took a deep breath and returned the instrument to it's cast and gently closed it.  I asked, "Can I pray for you?"   "Yes" he said and sat back down.   I prayed. 

He quickly gets up from his chair and dismisses himself but before he could turn to walk away from me I asked that awkward question. "May I have a hug?"   He turned towards me and hugged me and gave a gentle squeeze before he quickly turned and walked away.  

GONE. Quickly.  He gave me something that would change someones world then abrubptly  walked away as if it was 'nothing'. 

"This instrument will change her life." 

Just as I believed in an instrument for her I am going to believe in healing for Mr. Paul.  

I am forever thankful for his generosity. I am profoundly touched.  I am honored that God would allow me to be a small part of bringing two people together.  One with a need the other willing to fulfill it - never meeting.   

You see later I find out that the young woman has received the honor to represent Israel playing in Washington, DC in August.  God knew her need and her heart. 

Together, Mr. Paul and my dear sweet, young friend will partner in filling the heavens full of beautiful music. More then that the instrument will be used to worship God from the ancient city of Old Jerusalem.  

This is a miracle... 

Forever thankful! 

#The Baroque Violin Shop 

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Are Dreams and cries of the heart .. PRAYER?

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Are Dreams and cries of the heart .. PRAYER?

Have you ever allowed yourself to build dreams in your head and heart?   Big dreams, small dreams, aspirations of all kinds and sorts? 

I have!! I am a day dreamer and hope builder spurring myself onto a new tomorrow or a better today!  Some days I create businesses in my head and try to put them to paper.  Other days I build a home and fill it full of old treasures, new finds and beautiful art.   There is always a huge bathroom with a tub to soak in... and a giant kitchen to gather around the cooking island to tell stories, dance and sing as we prepare the evening meal.  

Then .. we fill the giant farm table with glorious food and the room is aglow with smiles and laughter. 

You see one of my dreams for myself was always to have a giant farm table,  something with history and character.  Something that I found and lovingly restored and refurbished back to a deepening beauty .. not of new but better! 

As you know. I am a bit of a sojourner and I find home wherever I am and fill it with whatever and  whomever the Lord allows.  Those dreams that I create in my head and heart never diminish or go unheard from God.  They are at times a cry from my heart for hearth and home... always associated with a SAFE PLACE to land for me and .. you. 

GOD HEARS those dreams and I think they move HIS heart.  In fact, I more often think now that all my heart is in CONSTANT COMMUNICATION with God.. and it is a form of Prayer.  IN fact, I know it is...  

First John 5:15 “And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”

Back to the table.  This summer I was in Germany and had the opportunity to stay with some amazing people that I love like family.  I found myself excited to go thru their Grannies barn and search for treasures!!! One treasure was a farm table... with a wonderful history all it's own!   Covered in dirt, dust and grim it somehow had avoided being sent to the dump or burned up.  Grannie is a no nonsense girl!  

Fast forward.. I had the opportunity to not only refurbish and refinish the table .. but to do several projects for the family.  

One night I went to bed exhausted... and well pleased at the days work and as I settled in for the night I realized I was lovingly refinishing the table.  Refinishing it the way I would for myself with great care and detail.   Praying over it and asking the Lord to fill it full of goodness and surround it with friends and family. 

It STRUCK ME then... that maybe this will be the only farm table I have the opportunity to refurbish.  Maybe this is MY DREAM coming true but for someone else? I became sad for a brief moment thinking maybe I will never have my own table with it's own stories.  Maybe, just maybe time in this life is short - - and God might have something totally different for me -- YET, YET .. HE had heard my cry for a sweet farm table to be a part of my own story. 

So here it is .. an answered prayer.  Not answered the way I had dreamed of (for myself) but answered nonetheless in a glorious way! 

HE loves me and heard my cry.  He loves me allowed me the experience. He loves me and allowed me to sit around the table filled with Mexican food.  He loves me and filled the table with laughter and stories ....  He loves me and allowed me to experience THANKSGIVING around the table in Germany in September!! 

 

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MO'ED - Divine Appointment

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MO'ED - Divine Appointment

"MO'ED" - Divine Appointment 

My THOUGHTS .....

August 21, 2017 we experienced the amazing 'Great American Eclipse'.  Many went out to marvel and experience the eclipse and celebrate.  I also, watched in wonder and awe as it took place.   The Torah warns that an eclipse is not of time of celebration but rather a 'WARNING to the Gentiles".  The position, length etc is also to be taken in great consideration of what the 'sign' is saying and to whom.

This was also the same day on the Jewish Calendar that ELUL - time of repentance and intimacy with God is called for as we approach Rosh Hashanah.  Rosh Hashanah is a Fall Feast that has yet to be fulfilled but many are looking to the skies as an amazing sign in the heavens are about to happen on September 23, 2017 the JEWISH calendar year 5777.

I've been in a time of study and prayer.  Learning from the time of the Great Reformation of the Church with Martin Luther (this makes the 500 year anniversary) and the people who laid down their lives to bring truth through the Word of God to the common people.  Many lost their lives as they were seen as rebels and heretics.  

I have also been studying one of my 'heroes', Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  Bonhoeffer was a German pastor, theologian, spy, anti-Nazi dissident. Bonhoeffer was captured by the Nazi's and thrown into a concentration camp. After two years of imprisonment at a work camp Bonhoeffer was moved to Flossenburg concentration camp and he was hung to his death on April 9, 1945, ONE MONTH before the end of the WWII.

A decade later a camp doctor who witnessed Bonhoeffer's death said this:

     "The prisoners … were taken from their cells, and the verdicts of court martial read out to them. Through the half-open door in one room of the huts, I saw Pastor Bonhoeffer, before taking off his prison garb, kneeling on the floor praying fervently to his God. I was most deeply moved by the way this lovable man prayed, so devout and so certain that God heard his prayer. At the place of execution, he again said a prayer and then climbed the steps to the gallows, brave and composed. His death ensued in a few seconds. In the almost 50 years that I have worked as a doctor, I have hardly ever seen a man die so entirely submissive to the will of God."


During the two years of incarceration for his treason against Nazi-Germany he wrote letters and he ministered to those in the work camp and the extermination camp.  He allowed his JOY, that comes from his salvation impact even the prison guards. 

In one of his writings he said: 

Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

Costly grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble; it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows him.

Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.

Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: "ye were bought at a price," and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.” 
― Dietrich BonhoefferThe Cost of Discipleship


In this time I look at the Western Church, the American church and the watered down gospel and the twisting of God's word being slung from the pulpits in an attempt of 'feel good, ear tickling' words are dowsed upon the congregants.  The church grows larger but the world grows darker?  

This is a sure indication of a problem, for we are the light! 

IF, we, you and I are faced with similar circumstances as Martin Luther and Deitrich Bonehoeffer would we be willing to give up our lives, even unto death?

That's the QUESTION:

ARE WE WILLING?  

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and then .. My Plans were TURNED UPSIDE DOWN!

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and then .. My Plans were TURNED UPSIDE DOWN!

.. I was working on tickets to that "Hotter then Hell" destination, again but something kept me from booking the tickets again!   Then I became distracted by Judith and her family as they had arrived from Germany for a short visit. 

We enjoyed time together for the next couple of days walking through the Old City of Jerusalem. I shared with them some of my new artwork and things I was working on but spent a great deal of time just enjoying each other.    As they were preparing to leave her Dad reached across the table and said "We have something for you."  He put $300E in my hand.  "We just want to thank you for all that you have done and do!"   I was speechless! 

"Come visit us! Our doors are always open!"  I smiled and replied "be careful what you ask for!" Little did I know that a few days later my plans would be totally changed for the "HOTTER THEN HELL" location due to  .. reasons that were out of our control.  I needed to get out of Israel and needed to go someplace.    I shared with Judith and Mia my problem and they both said "COME TO GERMANY!"  

I promptly purchased a ticket with the money that Klaus had given me as a gift... packed with a heart full of expectancy and WHAT THE HECK LORD??  

My plans had been flipped but I knew it was God's hand and His divine move on my behalf.   Europe here I come!!!! Paint brushes, notebooks, no expectations except to be surrounded with Mia, Ben, Judith, Konrad, a few others and their families  AND A MINISTRY in COLOGNE opened their doors wide to me !!!     It seems that the Lord had prepared a place for me to rest my head ... and to minister in small wonderful ways .. and to LEARN!!! LEARN !! LEARN !!! 

Learn??  Learn about the Jews, Germany and Nazi's ..  about Martin Luther and reformation of the church ... and HE GIVES ME REVELATION of REVELATION ....  More of that later!!! 

Hotter then Hell?  Nope, but cool and rainy Europe and ... ANSWERED PRAYERS !!! BIG ANSWERED PRAYERS! 

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