Wednesday, May 20, 2015

LET IT GO..............

video

We just returned from West Lafayette, Indiana, where I was privileged to have a front row seat at the most entertaining and heart warming concert!  It was in the living room of my Son and Daughter-in-Love's home, where our two year old granddaughter, Leighton was performing her debut of  "LET IT GO".

Leighton's concert wardrobe was given to her by friends, Val and Joy for her Birthday.   As you can see in the video, she was having a bit of a wardrobe malfunction, which her daddy was quick to assist her with.   As I sat listening to her very dramatic and entertaining rendition of LET IT GO, I heard through my heart's ear, Jesus say, "LET IT GO, Debbie."    I knew exactly what Jesus was saying.............I was holding on to things that I had no control over..........things that I couldn't do anything about.  Things that were heavy on my heart and I just simply needed to LET THEM GO! 

Every day there are things in our lives that we tend to allow to get us down. Some things we can change, but some things we just simply have to let go of,  into the hands of our loving Heavenly Father, that know what to do with them, once we let go of them.

Proverbs 3:5 & 6 - Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not to your own understanding.  In all of your ways acknowledge Him (LET IT GO) and He will direct your path.

I am once again, in AWE of the faithfulness of God!

When  the burden is to heavy to carry on our own,  LET IT GO!

I love the Message translation of Matthew 11:30 "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Sitting on the front row of my little 2 year old Granddaughter's concert of LET IT GO, I was reminded, that I didn't have to carry the burden any longer, I could LET IT GO into the hands of Jesus, and I could trust Him to figure it out for me.........I'm learning to live freely and lightly.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Let THANKFULNESS temper all your thoughts.


The first line in my devotion was “Let THANKFULNESS temper all your thoughts.  A thankful mind-set keeps you in touch with Me.” 

Later in the morning, just before I left to go to the Cancer Center to lead the LIFE MATTERS group, I checked my phone and noticed that I had a new “TimeHop” notification.    TimeHop is an app that helps you see moments of your past.  I discovered it a few months ago.  It’s a digital diary that traces memories from what I posted on Facebook  1 year ago, 2 years ago….even up to 6 years ago.   The particular picture that popped up, stopped me in my tracks.     It was a picture of me sitting in the infusion room of the Cancer Center getting my 6th round of Chemo, along with pics of when Matt and Lisa came to visit.

I loved my FROG blanket....FULLY RELYING ON GOD....given to me by Wanda Gipson

  I told Matt I had gotten a high and tight haircut:) 



Matt sitting with me while I rested

 

Immediately, the devotion that I read moments before became reality………Let THANKFULNESS temper all your thoughts.”  I was overcome in that moment with a heart of THANKFULNESS and GRATITUDE.  

Each Wednesday, I have the privilege of being with the women that attend the LIFE MATTERS support group at the Leah M. Fitch Cancer Center in Lawton.   Life Matters is a safe comfortable place for women to meet and talk about the physical and emotional aspects of cancer.  Many of the ladies are currently in treatment.  Some have recently finished treatment and are still trying to navigate the changes in their lives after cancer.   

Upon arriving in the parking lot of the Cancer Center, I could not find a parking space.      There is a lot of construction going on at Comanche County Memorial Hospital, so for a few months, parking has been limited all around the Hospital and Cancer Center.  I continued to drive around and finally found a space located quite a distance from the Center.  As I stepped out of the car, into the sunshine of the beautiful, Oklahoma Spring morning, I once again was overcome with a heart of THANKFULNESS.     For one thing, I realized how thankful I was that I had the strength to walk to the entrance on my own, without assistance.  Four years ago, that would not have been possible.  

As I greeted the ladies, I shared that although we have all been through some very traumatic times, perhaps we could each find something that we could be grateful for.      So each one began to share their special moments and a sense of gratefulness began to unfold, grateful tears flowed, smiles began to appear and the laughter engulfed the room as each lady was able to embrace LIFE and share HOPE.  LIFE REALLY DOES MATTER.   I’m so GRATEFUL!    

I’m grateful for the little app that appears on my phone from time to time that gives me an opportunity to remember days past as I look forward to the days ahead with a GRATEFUL HEART.  



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"When You Are Well.........."


WOMAN OF COURAGE
There is an amazing story in the Bible of an UNNAMED WOMAN
Mark 5:25-34
            Jesus went with him (speaking of Jairus), and all the people followed, crowding around him.  25.  A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding.  26.  She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better.  In fact, she had gotten worse. 27.  She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. 28.  For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.”  29.  Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition. 30.  Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?” 31.  His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you.  How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”32.  But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. 33.  Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done.  34.  And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.  Go in peace.  Your suffering is over.”
            If this happened in today’s society, can you imagine how the social media would have lit up and all the hashtags she would have tweeted?  In fact, Girlfriends, I have seen some of your hashtags, and I think this woman could have you beat.
            #I’MHEALED
            #ITOUCHEDTHEHEMOFHISGARMENT
            #BYFAITHIAMMADEWELL
            #JESUSISTHEGREATPHYSICIAN
            #GIRLFRIENDSIAMNOTSUFFERINGANYMORE
            #JESUSISTHEMAN
By the law of Moses, this woman was not allowed to touch anyone.  The law demanded that a woman suffering in this way should be segregated.  For twelve years this woman had been excommunicated from every religious place of assembly; she was shut out from her family, and ostracized by society.  She had endured incurable illness, social isolation, constant pain, financial poverty, and personal humiliation.
            One day she heard that Jesus was coming to her village and SHE WAS DESPERATE.  Have you ever been there?  Desperate enough that you would do whatever it took to get some relief from the pain, whether physical or mental.
            Although this woman is often referred to as the “woman with the issue of blood,” I would rather refer to her as the WOMAN OF COURAGE.
            Can you imagine what it took for her to even be in public?  After all, anything or anyone with whom she came in contact would also become unclean.  She had lived with the stigma of her condition for twelve LONG YEARS.
            Then one day, THIS WOMAN LEARNED ABOUT JESUS.  I don’t know how she heard about Him.  ALL we know is that SHE BELIEVED with all of her heart that Jesus could heal her.  So, as Jesus made his way through a LARGE CROWD, this woman began making her way towards Him. 
            Although she probably hoped to be able to slip away unnoticed, Jesus immediately knew that someone had touched Him.  Jesus still knows today who reaches out to touch Him!  Even though the crowd was all around Him, touching Him, He stopped and asked, “Who touched me?”  Jesus did not ask that question for his own benefit, He is the Son of God, but he asked for her sake and for the sake of the crowd.
            If she had gone away without a further word, she might have believed that there was some magic power in His clothing.  He wanted to assure her that it was her FAITH IN HIM THAT MADE THE DIFFERENCE. 
            Another word for “faith” is “trust.”  THIS WOMAN WAS HEALED BY THE SIMPLE FACT THAT SHE TRUSTED JESUS!
            On December 16, 2010, I was diagnosed with throat cancer.  I had no warning signs; I did not fit any of the profiles for the type cancer with which I was diagnosed.  I DID NOT UNDERSTAND! 
            I remember sitting on the couch after receiving the diagnosis, crying my heart out to God saying, “I DON’T UNDERSTAND.”  I was devastated!  I was DESPERATE.  As I sat there in my despair, I began to quote the scripture, Proverbs 3:5 and 6:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, but in all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.”  When I was finally able to say, “I DON’T UNDERSTAND, GOD, BUT I WILL TRUST YOU,” that is when the TRUSTING JOURNEY THROUGH CANCER began. The doctors tried to prepare me for the journey ahead, but nothing could prepare me for the intensity or how debilitating the treatment would be.  I laugh and tell everyone that I lost my hair, I lost my voice, and I lost an extreme amount of weight.
            TODAY, I have my hair, I have my voice, and it is none of your business how much I weigh!!
            However, during the very dark and difficult days, there was a particular song by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir called “He’s Been Faithful” that inspired me.  When I would get anxious, fearful, or even when I would have trouble eating and swallowing was extremely difficult, my family knew that this song would wrap me in a comforting blanket and would bring calm to my spirit.
            Some of the words say; “In my moments of fear, through every pain and every tear, THERE’S A GOD WHO’S BEEN FAITHFUL TO ME.  When my strength was all gone, when my heart had no song, still in love He’s proved faithful to me.  Every word He’s promised is true, what I thought was impossible I’ve seen my God do. HE’S BEEN FAITHFUL, FAITHFUL TO ME, looking back His love and mercy I see.”
            I would listen to that song over and over and over again.  One particular day, when my baby sister, Fara, was sitting with me, listening to “HE’S BEEN FAITHFUL,” I drifted off to sleep. I remember waking up, and she was sitting on the couch crying.  I looked at her, and although I had no voice, I whispered, “NO FARA.  NO CRYING.”  She pointed her finger at me and said, “DEBBIE, when you are WELL, we are going to go hear the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir sing in person!”  IN THAT MOMENT, something sprang in my heart – HOPE.  WHEN I AM WELL, we are going to go hear the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. 
            Days, weeks, and months passed.  My recovery was slow.  My strength and stamina was slow to return.  Fara would call ever so often and say, “ARE YOU READY TO GO TO BROOKLYN?”  She kept HOPE alive in my Spirit.  I would say, “YES, when I am well we are going to go.”
            FINALLY, last September, she asked, and I said, “YES, LET’S PLAN TO GO IN THE SPRING!”  That’s all she needed to hear.  My sisters, Deatra and Fara, and I began to make our plans to go to Brooklyn, New York.
            We made all of the necessary arrangements, and then one day Deatra said, “Debbie, have you called to make sure the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir will be singing on the weekend that we are there?” I almost panicked!  I HAD NOT!!
            So I quickly sent an email, and said, “My sisters and I are going to be in Brooklyn on April 27.   In which service will the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir be singing?  I am a cancer survivor, and their music has inspired me.”  A few weeks later, I received a call from the Brooklyn Tabernacle.  The lady inquired about how the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir had been a blessing to me and asked that I send a written testimony to them about my TRUSTING Journey so that it could be shared with the Choir.  She then informed me that the choir would be in both the 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m., and asked which service I wanted to attend.  I quickly replied, “BOTH”. 
            As our conversation came to an end, she said, “Debbie, we will have reserved seats for you and your sisters in both services.”  I was beyond excited!
            SO ON APRIL 27, bright and early, Dee, Fara, and I began to navigate our way on the subway from Times Square in Manhattan to Brooklyn.  That is a whole different story for another time.  Definitely entertaining!  When we arrived at the Brooklyn Tabernacle, we were graciously escorted to our reserved seating, right in the front of the sanctuary.
            We sat down, and I began to soak in the moment I had HOPED for!  When the organ hit those familiar chords that identifies the magnificent music of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, the tears began to stream down my face and FARA’S words came back to me, “DEBBIE, WHEN YOU ARE WELL, we are going to go hear the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir in person.”  Through tears streaming down my face, I began to say, “I AM WELL………….I AM WELL………………I AM WELL!”
            That day in December 2010 as I was sitting on the couch, HOPE SPRANG UP IN MY HEART, and I reached out to touch the hem of His garment and I have been made whole.  I AM WELL! 
            We didn’t just stay for the 1st and 2nd services; we also stayed for the 3rd service.  We walked into the Tabernacle at 8:30 a.m. and walked out of it at 5:30 p.m. with GRATEFUL HEARTS!   

            Perhaps as you have read this article, HOPE has sprung up in your heart!
            I want you to know that Jesus loves you as if you were the one and only person in the universe to love.  HE HEARS YOU as if you are the only one speaking to Him.  EVERYTHING THAT TOUCHES YOU touches Him. 
            If it is pain, then He feels the pain.
            If it is sorrow, then He feels the sorrow
            If it is rejection, then He feels the rejection.
            If it is loss, then He feels the loss
            If it is failure, then He feels the failure.
            WHATEVER it is that hurts you, HE FEELS IT.
            IF IT TOUCHES YOU, IT TOUCHES HIM. 
            This woman was UNNAMED in the Bible, BUT TODAY, this woman’s name could be yours.  REACH OUT AND TOUCH JESUS. 
            This UNNAMED woman was brave and honest.  She was a WOMAN OF COURAGE!   Be courageous and admit your need for Jesus.

Friday, June 7, 2013

JESUS IS "LEANING IN" TO HEAR WHAT I HAVE TO SAY

Recently I was with a group sharing fun, food and fellowship, otherwise known as "living, laughing,  and eating chocolate".  Right in the middle of sharing an experience, it seemed as though there were 5 other conversations going on, so I stopped talking, thinking.......it's obvious that what I'm saying is of no interest to the others.......when one person leaned in, made eye contact with me and said, please finish your story.....I'M LISTENING!   In that instant I sensed the Holy Spirit whisper....I'M ALWAYS LISTENING!    It washed over me......how many times have we just felt like NO ONE is listening.....we aren't even sure if God is hearing our prayers, and JESUS leans in and says, "go ahead, tell Me.....I'M LISTENING!"  In fact scripture says "he inclines His ear to me."

Psalm 116:2
For he hath inclined his ear unto me, and I will call upon him during [all] my days.

Think about all of the conversations going on, all the stories being shared with Jesus RIGHT NOW, and yet HE HEARS WHAT I'M SAYING!!!  How incredible is that......I finished my story, and although the whole group did not hear the end of my story, the ONE that it was intended for, heard it and their heart was touched and my heart was touched because I was reminded......that HE IS LEANING IN TO HEAR WHAT I HAVE TO SAY!

Thursday, February 28, 2013



I am overwhelmed by God’s grace and mercy this morning! 

A few days ago a Girlfriend showed me how to tie a scarf to turn it into a cute vest.
This morning, I pulled one of the scarves out that I had worn often,  after I lost my hair due to the cancer treatment .  

As I slipped on the vest, tears formed in my eyes and trickled down my cheek.  I sat down in the floor of my closet and thanked God that I am able to DREAM AGAIN!    Re-inventing the use of one of my scarves that reminded me of days past, full of pain and sorrow, TODAY, brought about tears of gratefulness and praise! 
  
Last fall, our Women’s Conference theme was DREAM AGAIN!   Helen Keller once said, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.”  I know what it is to suffer.  Today, I am so grateful to be a VICTOR not a VICTIM to the suffering.  I am an OVERCOMER!  I AM DREAMING AGAIN! 

The scripture says in Habakkuk 2:2-3 “And then God answered:  Write this.  Write what you see.  Write it out in Big Block letters so that it can be read on the run.  This vision message is a witness pointing to what’s coming.  It aches for the coming, it can hardly wait!  It seems slow in coming, wait, it’s on its way.  It will come right on time” (The Message translation)

Although there were times during my suffering, my vision was clouded, my dream seemed to be fading, God, in His mercy walked me through the “valley of the shadow of death” and today, when I allowed my SCARF TO DREAM AGAIN……………….I too felt the surge of His Presence in my Present!

Although it seems slow in coming, WAIT, it’s on its way, it will come right on time!

DREAM AGAIN!




Thursday, June 7, 2012

STILL TRUSTING~STILL GRATEFUL

One year ago today, March 30, I took my last round of Chemo.  This morning I opened my devotion book, Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young and that's when I saw it written, "my last day of Chemo".  Last year I had highlighted the very first words on the page, "I AM TAKING CARE OF YOU, Trust Me at all times."  Today as I read those words, tears began to cascade down my cheeks as I realized how powerful those words were to me last year and how POWERFUL they still are to me today! 

I am taking care of you. Trust Me at all times. Trust Me in all circumstances. Trust Me with all your heart. When you are weary and everything seems to be going wrong, you can still utter these four words: “I trust You, Jesus.” By doing so, you release matters into My control, and you fall back into the security of My everlasting arms.


Before you arise from your bed in the morning, I have already arranged the events of your day. Every day provides many opportunities for you to learn My ways and grow closer to Me. Signs of My Presence brighten even the dullest day when you have eyes that really see. Search for Me as for hidden treasure. I will be found by you.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
—Proverbs 3:5

The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemy before you, saying, “Destroy him!” Deuteronomy 33:27

I had my doctor's appointment last week.  It was a VERY good visit.  I am scheduled for my next PT/CT Scan in June.  Although they cannot tell me, I am cancer free, they can tell me that I am a ONE YEAR AND THREE MONTH CANCER SURVIVOR, and I will continue to believe that I am cancer FREE!  

I will continue to trust that He will drive out the enemy, saying, “Destroy him!”

Still TRUSTING

Still GRATEFUL!!




My Caffeine Gift From Jesus


After I left the parking lot having stopped by our local Christian Bookstore, Salt Cellar,  I looked up and saw the STARBUCKS sign.  All of a sudden I thought…………….I want a Caramel Macchiato   There was NO one in line.    I placed my order and started driving to the window.   That’s when the thought hit me…………I should have called the office and ask if anyone else would like something……………..but it was too late, I was already at the window to pay.  As I rolled my window down and the rich aroma that is only identifiable with a stop at STARBUCKS hit me in the face and out of nowhere the TEARS started.  The young man told me how much it was and I handed him my card.  It was pretty noticeable that I was tearing up and he said, “are you ok?”   Trying to smile instead of doing the “BLUBBER” I said yes!   As he prepared my order,  the realization of another milestone to my “normal” life had just happened.  It has been almost 2 years since I have  ordered a Caramel Macchiato   (one of my favorite, comfort drinks before cancer).  I pretty much cried all the way back to the office.  As I apologized to everyone in the office for not calling to see if they too wanted their favorite comfort drink, I began to BLUBBER again, as they laughed at me and cried with me over my STARBUCKS run and my caffeine gift  from Jesus!