Category Archives: Reflection

Sacrificing Normal

Exactly one month ago today, our lives changed.   If you had told me I would have experienced some of the emotions I have felt, I might have stared at you in slight disbelief.  No one prepared me for this feeling, the deluge of emotions that have encompassed my days.

I was talking with one of our girls last night and expressing some “slight mama worry”….and she said, “mama, give me back to Jesus and stop worrying”.

That’s the first thing you have to do when you step away from the altar of surrender, you must let go.  Let go of the “thought” that you have any control whatsoever of anything that happens at home.  Because you don’t.  Of course, I never had control anyway, but it sure is a nice thought to tuck around myself at bedtime.

This has been an especially difficult week simply because of that old enemy, “discouragement” when I don’t get it right.  On the upside, I was able to carry on a half decent short conversation with one of our uber drivers this week.  Surprised myself.

We have the absolute BEST profesoras here at Cincel.  They are patient and kind.  Correcting with a heart that wants you to “get it”.  I love that.  That’s just like the Lord.  He corrects us with a heart that wants us to “get it”….and release it to HIM.  This gift of being able to learn the language that will enable us to minister when we get to Bolivia is just that, a gift.  Not one to put up in a closet, but one to use daily…and I so bad want to get it and use it.

That’s our biggest prayer needs:  Strength to overcome the discouragement, and the ability to comprehend, hear the sounds, form the words, and get it right.  There have been several fighting various illnesses, from allergies, to viral issues, etc.  We need to all stay well!  Add that to the prayer list. 🙂

We’ve had a few friends contact us this week to encourage us and let us know they are praying–you have no idea how much that is appreciated!  That makes us not feel so separated from you.  YOU are so important to us.  YOU are part of this team–this mission team headed to Bolivia.  We thank you every time we go to the fresh market on Saturday’s.  It’s because of your support that we can get the things we do, and because of your support, God will enable us to GET THIS language and share His love with those who have yet to hear about His great love.

Jeff and I thank you.  Words cannot express it enough.  I had a friend contact me this week and said that the Lord had prompted her to double their giving.  Then her husband’s job situation changed somewhat.  But she continued to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit…friends, that message came to me on a day when my body was tired, my mind was aching from the discouragement of not getting “it” again in class that day and I was simply full of “what is HE doing with us…two old[er] folks in this place surrounded by young people and young families…. But HE called….and we raised our hands and said “yes”.

We felt a compelling with every single missionary message we heard.  We knew one day God was going to do something with us, but actually moving and serving ON the field never entered our minds.  Our work first started by giving.  We support several missionaries, and we are thankful to be a part of a mission work that we can’t actually “go see”, but we can help keep them on the field…reaching the lost.  And that is exactly what YOU are doing with each donation.

So thank you.  I cried the day we left and hugged our dear brother (from another mother), Floyd Aycock as he left us at the airport.  I felt like the last thread of my normalcy was leaving on that red truck.  But this is a new normal.  And the “normal” seems to change as it become necessary.

I suppose I didn’t pick up on the fact there would be so many “different” sacrifices.  I told a friend just tonight that one thing I missed (when she asked me what I missed) was the ability to hop in my car and go anywhere, anytime.  Independence.  I never heard a missionary talk about the sacrifice of their independence.  I heard them talk about lack of water, electricity, I heard them talk about parasites, and sickness, but not independence.  That one struck me.  I loved to get in my car and GO.

This week I looked up the word, Sacrifice.

Sacrifice:  the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.

It hit me like a brick; the lost.  We must surrender the desired independence to learn the language to reach the lost.  Granted, I won’t have any more independence when we get to the field… but I will be able to converse with the people.

I want God to so fill us with the passion to learn this language that our thought processes are “on fire”, as one of my teachers said this week (when I got three in a row correct–blind miracle!).

Thank you all for praying–for keeping up with us, for sending us notes via email, instagram, linkedIn and facebook.  It has helped me so much.  I have read every one and read them to Jeff.  We are encouraged by your love and care.

Tomorrow is market day (Farmer’s Market) and I hope you will join us via instagram or facebook when we get to post our pictures!  We love you all!

 

© Angie Knight 2017.  All rights reserved.

sacrifice. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/sacrifice (accessed: May 27, 2017).


Deliberate Commitment

Oswald Chambers wrote:  “Personal contact with Jesus changes everything.  Be “foolish” enough to come and commit yourself to what He says.  The attitude necessary for you to come to Him is one where your will has made the determination to let go of everything and deliberately commit it all to Him.”

I think too often that is where we get hung up.  Life has offered us so much—it’s hard to let go.  One minute we think we can—easily relinquish the goods…the next minute there’s a hesitation.  The hesitation become like a freight train at full speed down the track, blowing steam and making headway into our neatly stacked blocks of thoughts and ideas of what our lives should look like at 50…and 60…and 70.
But what if at 70, God calls you to step out of your comfort zone and commit more to Him than ever before.  What if God asks you to let go of what you’ve always called “yours”…and give it up.
What if God says, “I have a better plan”, to the list maker at 25?
What?  Are you kidding me?
But I made a list.  I have all things lined up.  I know when I will graduate, have kids, get married…  I know where I’ll live, why, I’ve already picked out the fence for the back yard that will enclose the dog I don’t yet have…what do you mean LET GO?!
Oswald said, “deliberately commit”. 

Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.  Psalm 37:5

I choose to commit, pledge, entrust all of me to God.  For His choosing.  I have asked myself, “what will that look like”? 

Obedience- with joy. 

I am a missionary.  I serve where I am—and my heart beats for more.  I have felt a stirring for quite some time to “commit” all I have to Him…and I do.  There is nothing that I own that I would not be ready at a moment’s notice to relinquish.  As a matter of fact, I have given thought (much thought) to having a yard sale at my house and dragging as much as I can live without right now into the yard and putting a price tag on it… (What do you want?)
I am certainly not saying you have to do this—just because I feel it…
You alone know what God has in the works for your life—and you likely already know what He will require…or at least part of what He’s already put His holy finger on. We need to remember that the things we hold dear… are just things…yet they bind us so much that we feel a chokehold kin to a death grip on our lives. 
What’s the matter with us?  We have allowed “things” to possess us, rather than us possess things.
Jeff and I are the mission pastors at our church—a position we love and are called and committed to.  We chose to say, “Yes” to God when He spoke into our hearts and lives.  It required some decisions that, although they were difficult, they were necessary. 

Dreams aren’t fulfilled without putting on your shoes of commitment and taking deliberate steps and action into the road that leads to the realization of those dreams.

Yesterday, after the workday was complete, I sat in my chair and looked back at some pictures of the past steps that are leading to the fulfillment of our dreams.  I see, on the periphery that God has shifted things around in such a way that I see the dream coming into more of a reality than I did 4 years ago.
Our church hosts at least one missionary each month.  There is one way to grow your mission department in your church—hear their voice.  It sounds like the voice of our Father.  “Go –commit. Feed my sheep.  Make disciples.  Love them to Me. Build relationships…and build buildings.” 
I love doing what I do.  I love following God’s voice and heart.  Tears spring hot to my eyes when I think of all the places He has led me and all the words He has spoken into my heart.

Deliberate commitment.

Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Psalm 37:4-6

I am committed to doing MORE.  Seeing MORE.  Being MORE. Loving HIM MORE.  GROWING MORE LIKE HIM.  Deliberately.
It won’t happen by accident.









© 2014 Angie Knight- The Knightly News. All rights reserved.


Givers and Takers—Movers and Shakers

Matthew 25:31-46 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.  All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on the left.  Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry 100_3225
and you gave Me something to eat;
I was thirsty
and you gave Me something to drink;
I was a stranger and you took Me in;
I was naked and you clothed Me;
I was sick and you took care of Me;
I was in prison and you visited Me.’

“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You?  When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You?’

“And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’ Then He will also say to those on the left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels!

For I was hungry
and you gave Me nothing to eat;
I was thirsty
and you gave Me nothing to drink;
I was a stranger
and you didn’t take Me in;
I was naked
and you didn’t clothe Me,
sick and in prison
and you didn’t take care of Me.’

“Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or without clothes, or sick, or in prison, and not help You?’

“Then He will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me either.’

“And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

 

I know which side I want to stand on. But to be found standing on that side, we must be found “doing” –or LIVING—working with all that we have for Jesus. If we focus only on the “task”…and not Him, then it becomes our god…HE alone is to be worshipped.

· When we get caught up in the details we lose sight of what we are here for…not for us…but for HIM…and others.

V 35: For I was hungry…

What is the world hungry for? Let’s roll back the clock to a year in your teens…what were you hungry for?

SB_496465683Most of us could and would answer—attention.

To be noticed

to matter.

To be valued.

Too often we discover all around us are people who struggle living daily—feeling that they have no value—they are starving to death for someone to share a piece of life with them. Most of the time—they want more than a smile. They need an ear—a shoulder.

Sunday afternoon—I was sitting on my porch—the birds chirping—the ceiling fan stirred the warm air—and I hear the rustling of leaves.

Scurry—stop. Scurry—stop.

I hear it…but I don’t see it.

I don’t get up. I continue doing what I set out to do…

That’s what we do. Day after day—we hear them.

The people.

We even sometimes smell them. We know they’re there.

Some of the time we even may acknowledge them—but there are days when they are a bother.

Their noise and needs and even existence seem to interrupt whatever nice flow of life we have.

I had gone out to my porch to soak up HIM. I wanted to be alone with Him. My head leaned back on the padding of my chair—and all of a sudden—HIS creation interrupts my quiet. ……………My private world…Honduras_2010-Wednesday_Night-Thursday_Leave_Day_055

They are hungry…

They thirst…

They have questions…

We have answers…yet we are so tucked inside our world…with a nice “do not disturb” sign on the door of our hearts and minds—refusing to answer.

We may not wear a visible sign, but the very fact that we “look away”—tells the tale.

We know in our hearts—although—to admit it to another—we would never do…

but God knows. He’s not deaf, nor is He blind.

They have needs—just as we do—and what if the one He sent to be the ear or shoulder—passed them by as a nuisance….a bother.

Refusing to hear…

Refusing to help…

Yet there are those individuals who look for opportunities to help. Who don’t mind the interruption to their day…thinking that possibly here is a chance to serve God by serving another. Here is a chance to love God by loving another…here is a chance to feed God…by feeding another….VISIT with God—by visiting another.

I cannot presume to label you—sheep from goats…although, the label is clear to His eyes…but just as quick as you can change your mind—you can change your label—with the HELP of God. God knows who and what each of us are—HE knows the hidden places of our hearts…and whatever we are today…HE can change tomorrow…If you’re a taker—He can help you become a giver…

If I were to pen this same passage today—this is what it might say:

“All the nations—every tribe and tongue—man-woman-teenager—boy or girl will be gathered before Him and HE will separate them one from another. Just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

He will put the givers on His right…and the takers on His left…Then the King will say to those on His right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father-inherit the Kingdom—which was prepared for you from the very beginning of the world…

…For I was a runaway teenager, 2011-02-16 Prodigal's Past 002

Lost in my own world of “self”

Without clothes or food—and no one to help.

Yet you fed me plenty and clothed me clean,

Loved me without judgment—treated me like a queen.

I was the mother of the runaway teenager…

On no shoulder could I cry,

When that same teenager still full of strife,

Turned up months later—

Yet now carrying life.

You pulled me to you and let me cry….

Then wiped my tears until they dried.

I was the sister—who had nothing to drink—2011-03-14 Morning Walk 3-14-11 028

Parched from life of sin on the brink.

My heart bore the scars of neglect and abuse—

With calluses of a lifetime and feelings of no use.

You opened your heart and your home so free

You poured me a drink—Living Water it was, all for me.

My sin took me far—stripped me bare—dumped me out

Yet in my cell you reached in—because you had no doubt

That the One who died for you…did the same for me

And because of your love…today I am free.

Then the righteous will answer Him, Lord, when did we see you as a runaway, as one of pain, starving, homeless and hopeless? When did we clothe you or visit you in prison’s chains…

And the king will answer; whatever you did for one of my beloved daughters…you did for me.”

Babyfeet-conniePicture with me two scenes:

1) A 14 year old girl, sweaty and fearful. Tears streaming as pain after pain grips her young body. Her mother nearby, her father perhaps waiting outside—head hanging—there’s no one to call. Her body tenses as each pain tears at her for release, when finally a small life struggles out—to be held and gazed upon by those who are not sure they can handle this red, wrinkled life. Tears flood the older mother’s eyes as she sees with clarity all that her young daughter, now a mother will have to give up. Years of teenage antics and fun have just been replaced by wee morning hour feedings, burp cloths and dirty diapers. The older mother wears guilt like a cape, heavy and scratchy like rough wool around her drooping shoulders. Who will help?

2) A young couple in the next room, hands clasp tight as the final push brings forth new life. A wriggling, screaming baby emerges into a world of lights. Excitement and tears of joy rush the room—as they snap pictures of her exquisitely fluid arrival taking place. The calls begin to go out and come in, announcing with great delight—the Joy that was born today.

Both births took place…on the same day—somewhere in USA. One full of joy—one less than the ideal situation…One needed help… the other…most likely had more help than they knew what to do with.

What do we do? There are those in our cities, in our communities, neighborhoods and even churches…in need.

Hurting. Hungry. Hopeless. What can we do for them?

Here are just a few things we can do:

1) Pray for them.  They need to KNOW someone is praying—and they need to know you care.

2) Give. Of your time, your money or other resources and your love.

a. Maybe you can sew. Sew baby blankets. Sew burp cloths. Wrap them up in pretty packages and give them to your local Pregnancy Crisis Center—or health department that works in the school system with the pregnant teens. Or give towel/wash cloth soap sets to your local homeless shelter.

b. Maybe you are gifted in having a “listening ear”. They need counselors in crisis centers and homeless shelters—those who they will screen and feel qualified to be there for them. People need to know other people care.

3) Think of creative ways to bless them. “Diaper month.” “Bib and Blanket” month. For homeless shelters, think beyond that—soap, hand sanitizers, toilet tissue, tooth brushes and toothpaste, combs, hairbrush, the list can go on and on…WHAT ABOUT BIBLES? What if you placed some Bibles in every shelter—they don’t have to be expensive— give them hope of life…LIFE.

Every donation makes a difference.

4) Get involved.  That’s the biggest thing.  Maybe you don’t have an area you feel particularly gifted in…

show up…show interest…show CHRIST.

What would HE do? 

He would be a “giver”…a mover and shaker…

2012-02-25 mother daughter retreat feb 2012 026

© Angie Knight—The Knightly News 2012.  All rights reserved.


Does Life Seem To Loom Ahead?

Road slippery?2011-03-31 Ohio Landscapes 2011 014

Life looming?

Way unsteady?

Bigger than YOU?

NOT bigger than HIM.

When life seems to boldly stretch out in front of our face, grabbing our hands—wanting to catapult us into the unknown, remember this:

Psalm 32:8—”I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go:  I will guide you with My eye.” NKJV

“For since the beginning of the world [Men] have not heard nor perceived by the ear, nor has the eye seen any God besides You, who acts for the one who waits for Him.”   Isaiah 64:4 NKJV

We are not alone.  If our hands are clinging tightly to His—He is choosing the path.  Not us.

Rest in the knowledge that He is the guide…and He will lead us all the way home.

 

©   The Knightly News—Giving Him All.  All rights reserved.


Meeting Jesus

Honduras_2010-Monday_Work_007In a hurry to meet us, Honduran, Stephanie grabbed one wrong flip-flop.

I know that because the next day, she had on one of the same ones, and it’s mate.

This brought a question to my heart.  Are we in that big of a rush to meet with Jesus?  So hurried that we scramble each morning, hoping not to miss an opportunity to show Him how much we love Him?

Probably not—for most of us.  I know I like things orderly.  Timely.  Even though I have found I work best under pressure—I like to take my time, plan things out—cross all the “t’s” and dot all the “i’s”.  Sometimes I even get distracted on my way to meet with Him in my morning devotion.  I spy some laundry in front of the machine, decide now is a good time to put on a load to wash—you know—while I read and pray.

Then, my feet feel the grainy remnants of yesterday on the floor.  I grab the broom. 

And as I step on the sidetracks of the morning, I remind myself of my purpose.

Spend time with Jesus.  Meet with Him.  Go to Him.  First.  While the day is yet fresh—without the beads of perspiration.

One of many things I have taken away from our Mission Trip to Honduras is the way the children ran to meet us every single morning.  Who knows how long they waited at the top of the hill.  My roommate, Marcella, and I rose very early every morning in anticipation of what the day would bring.  Knowing we needed to tuck into our hearts every single fragment of the day—tie it securely and never forget what God has done—where He brought us from—and where the journey would lead us all—as we take His hand and grip it fiercely. 

All the way home.

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place.  And He was praying there.”  Mark 1:35 NIV

We don’t have much more of the journey ahead.  Meet with Jesus in the quiet place.  The early place.  Give Him your day—before it takes over your mind….let Him have it all.

There have been many times—my quiet time was when the house was still again—after the ravages of the day had taken it’s toll.  That was when He refreshed my soul, refueled my mind—and it was needed.  So necessary.

Whatever your time—whatever works best for you and Jesus—meet with Him.

following_him_signature


Book Quote


I knew as soon as I read this in the book I bought this week, I’d be sharing it.

During lunch at one of my favorite haunts, Barnes & Noble, I came across a book on the works of Henri Nouwen, “Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith.”

I am quoting from the book. “The spiritual life rests on a paradox, says Henri: “Without solitude, it is virtually impossible to live the spiritual life.” Yet we cannot live our spiritual lives alone. Although we need solitude to know God, we require a faithful community to hold us accountable. We need to learn how to listen to the word of God, ever present within our hearts. We need disciplines of study and spiritual practice to discern the word of God in words of scripture. We need a church or faith community that provides opportunities for worshiping and sharing, engaging in mutual correction and bearing of burdens, confessing faults, offering forgiveness, and celebrating life. We also need guides: spiritual friends, a spiritual director, or a spiritual accountability group that can function for us as a safe place to bear our souls.” [i]

I will tell you first off—I am not preaching to anyone. But I will share with you what hit me square in the nose and a bit of my own experiences.

We have always been a church going family. I was raised in church—Jeff was as well. We raised our girls in the same manner. If the church doors are open, we are there. However, there was one time in our lives, when faced with some harsh realities of life, we neglected that bond of close relationships. Very few were allowed into our world of heartache. I feel like I mostly carried the burden of that trauma or drama alone. This was completely my own choosing. I know without doubt, there were many sisters in Christ who would have gladly stood by me in whatever ordeal I was facing and prayed me right through. But I chose to seperate myself from my church family. I chose the hard road. I created an even harder battle for myself through this decision.

I allowed the enemy to taunt me with the lie that I was the “only” one that had faced the crisis of a rebellious teenager–that it was somehow my own fault–that ‘everyone’ was talking about it even! In the small community where we lived, we were blessed to have the awesome church and church family—they were and are beyond what you could imagine.

I had the godly counsel of one particular woman, Bobbi Seddon. She and her husband, George took it upon themselves to pray daily for our prodigal daughter. She asked for a picture of our child and they prayed over this picture every single morning at 5:00 a.m. Bobbi loved me back into the fold. When we missed church, she would call. It’s not that we layed out every Sunday, but we missed enough that it was felt in my own spirit. Church was exactly what we needed.

Solitude is needed as well. The right kind.

The right kind is patterned after Jesus’ life. A specific choosing of time to get away with the Father. A time of prayer. And, if you feel directed, a time of fasting. A time of study in the Word, and a time of seeking the Author of the Word. Solitude just for the sake of “getting away to shop” is not the directive here. If the enemy has his way, any solitude you have will be eaten up in a pity party of your current circumstances. He’ll even bring the chips…and you will eat so much of his rotten lies that you will be sick. I know. I’ve carried the belly-ache of his lies myself.

In every crisis I have faced, God has carried me through. He has never failed. He has planted my feet in a firm place–and gave me peace–even in the most torrential storm of my life.

I ask you today—are you having true solitude with HIM? Are you neglecting your walk with others in Christ? You are the only one who can change that. Sister, I don’t know what you face–but I have seen many things, and know others who’ve seen many more. God doesn’t fail. Ever. Take Him your marriage that’s failing, your child that’s runaway. your job that’s ending, your health that’s declining, your finances that are shrinking, or your loved one that is dying. Take Him the hardest task of your life and give it up to Him.

Don’t offer Him suggestions as to how it would work best for you…for He alone knows what is best.

Accept the deal He offers.

Accept Him at His word.

His word brings peace. Life. Hope. Eternity.

Make a start this Sunday. A perfect way to spend the day we celebrate as Easter. The day He arose from the tomb! No longer dead–but Alive! Start now! Get in a good church–find someone to talk to before you leave–tell them your name. Ask them theirs! And keep going back. Everytime.

Get alone with Him. Daily. And when it’s possible, take a whole day and spend “with” Him–in His word—talking, praising, singing, worshiping Him. It will radically change your life!

….Photobucket

[i] His writings were compiled by Michael J. Christensen and Rebecca J. Laird and published by HarperOne, a division of Harper Collins Publishing.

Art work found at Art.com

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Where are You Headed?

I had to make a run to Dothan, Alabama, on Saturday morning.

All because I had forgotten to pick up my prescription before I left on Friday. Yeah, that’s what happens these days…not only do I have to TAKE cholesterol medication—but I FORGOT to pick it up from the pharmacy! (I don’t know if it’s the “age thing”…or the stress thing….maybe it’s both!)

Anway, I was fighting the traffic the 40+ miles back home and almost EveRy VeHiCle that passed me said PC Bound—or Panama City BEACH—or some other such celebration of Spring Break! All of them seeking the sunshine and sands of our beautiful Florida Beaches! All of them from the northern area of these great United States! You heard me right when I said, “passed me”, because I KNEW the Florida Highway Patrol were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed! So I was driving as Jeremiah Castleberry accuses me of….”like a grandma”—going the limit of 65—and maybe almost 70.

As several Indianna tags passed me with the words printed on their back windsheilds, PC Bound, I thought to myself, what if I drove around with the words “Heaven Bound” printed on my back windsheild! That’s where I’m headed.

But I admit, sometimes the day-to-day sometimes causes us to forget where we are headed, our final destination —I am fully aware that this is temperary. Fleeting.

I want to share with you some glorious reading found in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 and 2 Corinthains 5:1-14 The Message —BibleGateway (emphasis mine).

(16-18) “So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow.
But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”

(1-5) “For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven—God-made, not handmade—and we’ll never have to relocate our “tents” again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move—and so we cry out in frustration. Compared to what’s coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we’re tired of it! We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.”

(6-8) “That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we’ll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming.”

(9-10) “But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. Sooner or later we’ll all have to face God, regardless of our conditions. We will appear before Christ and take what’s coming to us as a result of our actions, either good or bad.”

(11-14) “That keeps us vigilant, you can be sure. It’s no light thing to know that we’ll all one day stand in that place of Judgment. That’s why we work urgently with everyone we meet to get them ready to face God. God alone knows how well we do this, but I hope you realize how much and deeply we care. We’re not saying this to make ourselves look good to you. We just thought it would make you feel good, proud even, that we’re on your side and not just nice to your face as so many people are. If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you. Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.”

I’m heaven bound…where the beaches by the River of Life will certainly be more magnificent than the “Panama City Beaches!” Nothing can compare!

By the way…I made these today. With white almond bark…mmmmm….

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Scripture references taken from Bible Gateway; The Message


Passing of the Prayer Journal

With much nudging from my heart—I am re-posting something I had written after Thanksgiving last year for the Cafe`.

Hope [it] feeds your soul.

This week has been bittersweet. Our first Thanksgiving has come and gone without my sister, Wanda. She is with the Master—basking in His divine love and care! Happy and whole.

On Monday night of this week, Aimee, mother and I met with Mark at his house to, once again go through some of Wanda’s things. He had asked us to go through her books and pick out what was special to us. Well, of course, all of them were! He gave us carte blanche.

Among the books was a prayer journal. I have to tell you that night when I arrived back home, I sat for more than an hour, just reading. Meditating on what she had received from the Word, and marveling at the spiritual growth I saw in her life. And, of course I cried a bit. Especially on her entry for January 7, 2006. Please allow me to share it with you.

Philippians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Can we say of our lives we live wholly for Christ as the apostle Paul did? “For me to live is Christ”…Yet, this alone is the love life of a Christian–it’s source, it’s sustenance, it’s fashion, it’s end. All gathered up in two words—Christ Jesus.

For me to live is Christ. Lord, burn that in my heart and mind. Lord, accept me; I here present myself, praying to live only in Thee and to Thee. Let me be as the bullock that stands between the plow and the altar, to work or to be sacrificed; and let my motto be, “ready for either.”

From the prayer journal of Wanda Jakelsky.

She lived that motto. I can testify to that. She worked with a willing heart and devoted spirit—and with just that same devotion, she left this life with her hand neatly clasping His. Her release of the mortal shell that bound her with sickness came with much praise from our aching hearts. As we stood around her bed, and the line on the heart monitor became straight, I felt her take her gentle leave. As a conductor holds his arm for the musicians to reach the highest note, I felt her spirit soar up off the bed and into His waiting arms. And His love held her secure. And His love comforted our pain.

I can tell you with complete certainty—there is no pain in this life, that Jesus Christ cannot see you through.

The complete total desire of our hearts in this coming year—for the remaining days of our lives should be just that. Use us Father for Your glory. For Your work. In whatever manner You chose. Your ways are best. Much higher are Your plans than ours. May the desire of Your heart become the desires of our hearts. May we too be like the young bullock—ready for whatever service You chose.

Points to ponder~

Start a prayer journal if you never have. Write it out in your own hand. Your handwritten thoughts will mean much to those who follow in your footsteps.

Take some time these next few weeks and list out some things that you feel are hindering a closer relationship with Christ Jesus.

Also, call by name some areas where you want to see growth in your relationship with Christ.

Lastly, give the passion of your heart it’s name and place in the front of your own prayer journal. Seek His will and direction in that calling of your heart.

Then stand by and watch what HE gloriously does in your life! And keep us posted!

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Hope you didn’t mind reading it again. It poured more concrete in my resolute stand.

As a prayer request from our extended family, a young niece on my husband’s side of the family, passed away during the night. Please be in prayer for the Ford family. I believe with all my heart she was met at the gates by her granddad Tom Ford. A man of huge faith.

God be with this dear family.

© The Knightly News 2007-2009. All rights reserved.


Sisters Retreat 2007

Standing by the window, high up on the fifth floor of the hospital in Central Florida, looking out at a day that was sunny and bright. Behind me though, coming in fast, were dark clouds of life. I could sense them in my spirit. They were threatening. The driving force was death. But our driving force was Life. And faith.

Just behind me lay Wanda, with mother by her side and Aimee seated in a chair at the foot of the bed. We were listening to praise music from a CD I had made especially for Wanda with some of her favorite songs. Songs we had sung, learned, and worshipped our Lord at our last Sister’s Retreat.

“We have come to worship the Lord, we have come to worship the Lord, bow down before Him, love and adore Him, we have come to worship the Lord.”

Although, the words were not exactly true, in the sense that the reason we were at the hospital, was to worship the Lord; however, they were true in the fact that we have learned to worship Him in all circumstances. This was not an easy circumstance in which we found ourselves. Nevertheless, we worshipped. Turning the small hospital room into a veritable temple of God.

As our tears flowed, and my mother’s hands rose toward heaven, I knew without a doubt that God’s heart was touched. It was this picture of faith and worship, that Mark brought Victoria in to love on her mommy. She was such a brave girl. Even at the young age of “almost” five, she knew there was something seriously wrong with mommy. Yet, she put on a brave face and smiled as she leaned down with daddy’s strong arms holding her tight she kissed mommy’s cheek.

Wanda felt that kiss and her tired face smiled up at her sweet girl. I know her heart ached. Even more than ours did. She knew in her heart she would soon be leaving the care and raising of this little child to other hands and hearts. It would not be her hands that tucked her in at night, nor her ears that heard her prayers. But she had an incredible faith in God and complete trust in Him to see the job done.

More to come…

Be sure and click on the collage for enlarging the photos!

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The Table He Prepares

The following devotion is from the archives, originally written and posted on November 3, 2007. So very long ago. Or so it seems. Much has happened—and God continues to watch over our lives.

I will be back over at Sisters of Faith this week along with my baby sista, Aimee. She will get us started again in the morning with day 8 of our Bible Study! It has been so uplifting to fellowship with the other precious ‘sisters’ in the LORD that have joined us on this journey! You are invited over. Come and sit with us every day if you get the chance! Comment to let us know you are there!

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Psalm 23 NIV

I want to focus on two sentences here. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”

I heard this complete text read several weeks ago and a clear mental picture formed instantly in my mind. I became so excited as it unfolded in my mind and heart. I thought about it during the night and even called my sister Aimee the next morning on my way to work. Still excited, but not able to adequately form the words to such a degree as to get my “picture” from my mind, over to her, she asked me to blog it. Easier said than done at times. Several other devotions came to my mind and heart between that morning and this. I blogged those, unable to wrap my mind around the exact way I wanted to express my thoughts from that heart message. But here goes—

Let’s break it down. “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” When we prepare a table for our loved ones, what do we put on it? If you said “the best”, then you are right, the very best. In speaking of food, we prepare their favorites. I know when I am going to my dear mother-in-law’s house, and it is a “planned” meal, she always has rutabagas. For me. Because she loves me and she knows that they are one of my favorite vegetables, and one that I rarely cook myself. In fact, I can count on one hand the times I have prepared them (probably using only 3 fingers!). It is a lot of work! Since I am the only one with a great love for them, I don’t go to the trouble at home for just me.

Do you see the picture here? We prepare the favorites. We use the best dishes. The best glassware, the best serving dishes, the best of everything we can find in the house for the special guest. We try to find out what their favorite dessert is. If it’s a cake…then of course I track down the recipe for my sweet Jeff. If it’s a pie or pudding, then that would be my delight. I love the look on my son-in-law David’s face, when April tells him that “daddy” has made a “German Chocolate Cake”. We know it’s his favorite. We delight in pleasing our children.

God delights even more so in pleasing us. In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:9-11) He shares this insight of the Father’s love for us. “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gift to those who ask him!”

That is plain “as the nose on your face”. It is clear that God loves us more than we can comprehend. So if He is “preparing a table” for us, what do you suppose is on it? His best!

Let’s look somewhere else. In Joel 2:25-26 we read, “I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army with I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.” (KJV)

I used the KJV here for a reason. It gives particular names of the types of locust. They are all in the locust family. Simply put, locusts are swarming grasshoppers and they devour crops and vegetation. Sound familiar? Sounds like the work of the enemy in our lives. We are very aware that he comes to “kill, steal, and destroy”. However, God promises to restore. To give back—in plenty—go back and pick up verse 24 of the same chapter. He will “overflow” our restoration!

Picture this: A long banquet table covered with a crisp white linen cloth, of the finest quality imaginable. This is the table He prepares for us….on my table I see all the things that the enemy of my life has taken from me. All the things in my life that the enemy has damaged or caused me to suffer pain from are laid out for all me to see that my Father is now “restoring to me”.

Gilded ornate frames, with pictures of my dear loved ones that have wandered from the most holy path of our Father sit among the various dishes on the expanse of white. I see a big platter of “joy” that the enemy continually tries to steal. I see “compassion” in a delicate porcelain bowl. For it is in the busyness of our lives we tend to lose our compassion for others.

“Peace”, pouring from an endless silver fountain sits firmly in the center of the table. “Trust” is plenteous, for my Father knows that bit by bit the enemy has wrecked havoc in my life regarding trust. Vision is clear in the crystal goblet on the right hand of my filled plate. Our “vision” to see the lost come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, many times, has been stolen right before our very “eyes”. Hope is brimming over, along with purpose. Distinct, clear purpose.

Our purpose and His calling are now restored with clarity as never before experienced! As I stand at the table, He has so lovingly prepared for me….in the presence of my enemy, I am overwhelmed at the fullness of joy I now feel. I see the enemy, but I am not afraid. For my Father has him completely bound and subdued.

The enemy in my life is the same enemy that you have faced. He may have worn different clothes, but his purpose was the same. His actions were the same. Bit by bit, things have disappeared in our lives that God has so lovingly given to us. Maybe we didn’t even notice.

If your couch suddenly went missing, you would notice right away. But if someone took only took one cup from the cabinet—-would you notice? If one sock went missing—would you notice? Probably not until you “needed” it….hmmm. I see that now you have the picture.

We neglect protecting our valuables that have been bestowed upon us, until many times, it is too late. We don’t have what we need—-at the very time we need it!

However, He is a restoring God! He will cover your table with every nic-nac that has disappeared from your life. Look around your spiritual house. What has gone missing? As I fall down on my face before the throne, the Father begins to “set my table”. He has anxiously been watching the driveway for me to seek Him out. To seek out His company. His divine Presence.

As I am seated in His Presence, He “anoints my head with oil; my cup overflows.” His lavish blessings overflow my life as His Holy Spirit is pouring on my heart, mind, body and spirit. His anointing represents my life dedicated for service to Him. As kings and priests of old were anointed for service, so does the Lord desire to anoint each of us for service to Himself.

My heart overflows with the love of my Father as He tenderly cares for my needs. We will share in this table of plenty that He has set before us….and we will remember—-to carefully guard all that He has restored in our lives!