Looking back at 2011, I had to stop for a while and say hmmm...what was this past year all about? I remembered a speaker, at a Retreat, that I highly respect say, “Even though this gathering has been great and God has met us all in some new and powerful ways, don't "settle" here."
At first, I was not sure what she meant and then realized that she was talking about getting stagnant...staying in the same place, rather than moving with God. She ascertained that what we experienced was all good and wonderful, but to remember that God is on the move and always going forward.
The Israelites moved…The Pillar of Cloud by day and the Pillar of Fire by night. Portion of Exodus 13:20…The Message
To begin with, thinking about last year, I realize that God does supply all my needs according to His riches and glory. My husband lost his job 3 yrs ago and has a small Handyman Business. We are very far from rich...as a matter of fact, we struggle a lot, financially BUT God has provided for everything that we have needed. I thank God for His promised provision. On a deeper level, I have learned, our Lord is Jehovah Jireh (which means "the Lord provides")d this same God, who takes care of me, will supply all your needs, from His glorious riches. Portion And this same God, who takes care of me, will supply all your needs, from His glorious riches. Portion of Phil. 4:19 NLT
Another highlight is that a long time relationship schism was healed. I can't tell you how much that has meant to me. I still have another relationship I am praying about. I have reached out to this person, but they are not ready...but I won't give up. The restoration that has happened this year, has given me hope for this other relationship to be made right. I think of the song “God Will Make a Way, Where There Seems to be No Way"
How wonderful, how beautiful…when brothers and sisters get along. Psalm 133:1… The Message
I found a pretty powerful word given to me at a Conference...maybe 10 years ago. It was recorded, but the tape was discarded, I tried, over and over again, to find it. At the end of 2011...I found the written list. A few things have already happened...one being that I would teach a Bible Study to men and women. I have to tell you, at that time in my life, teaching was not even on my radar. I had been given several opportunities to teach men and women. Other things, on the list, have already happened. I believe, in time, more will come to pass. What I learned is that often when words are given to us, it does not mean an instant unfolding of the Prophetic declaration. However, if it is of the Lord, God will open the door, for its fruition. No man can shut it! That is true for me, as well as it is for you! Good things are ahead for all us.
I have experienced a resurgence of my artistic talents. For quite a while, they were dormant. I now find myself energized by drawing, painting, making cards, doing crafts and of course writing. I have recently been exploring new areas of expression. When I am involved in creative endeavors, I feel very alive and the most connected to God. I am going to have future opportunities to teach women Calligraphy and Painting at my church. My desire is to host a Creative Day Workshop in our portion of the State ( CT), sponsored by my church. It will be a place for Christian artists to converge and be encouraged by like minded people...There, they will learn, create and bless the Lord and others with their Gifts.
Having had been in former unhealthy church situations, I was kind of "gun-shy" of making any real commitment to a church body. But this past year, I have become more committed...not 100% but more solid than before. I don't see my Pastor as perfect, rather he is a kind, approachable, humble, accepting and encouraging human being, He has no attitude problems or illusions of grandeur, rather he is one of us. Not taking one thing away from his call to lead his sheep, He is an example of Jesus' nature. As the word says, he is preparing us for the works of the ministry. It is a given, that he encourages his people, to live out their own calling. He is not a Pastor who knows it all or thinks he needs to control or do it all. He is man who affirms and encourages others, to walk out their role in the Body of Christ.
The Lord handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist and pastor-teacher to train Christ’s followers…until we are all moving, rhythmically, as fully mature adults. Portions of Ephesians 4:7 The Message
No matter what is happening among us...the disasters...the sinking economy...violence...a disregard for human life...we can all know for certain, that there will be One, who is constant and faithful.. His name is Jesus. He came for the lost and the spiritually dead. His mercy and grace is available to all... We have to go out, into the world and compel them to come in. Not to a church building per se (even though they might) but come into the fold, of the family of God.
A tragic fire destroyed a church in CT, the other day. The headline read “Building is Gone, But Church is Not”…Truer words were never spoken, as the church in not a building but the church is the people.
…you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house…1Peter 2:5 NIV
Moving forward with God, in this New Year. Want to join me?
Linda Kosinki Maynard