Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lessons Learned in "Twenty Ten"

I've been rather reminiscent this Christmas Break. It has been very good, very healing, and very encouraging. I don't know if I am the only one who does this (I'm guessing I'm not alone), but I always take time to think back through my year. I journaled some of my thoughts:

This has been a good year, strange, but good. I've grown (mostly in the past 3 months). I've learned by my mistakes that God is SO good, gracious, and protecting.

I've learned that I am worthy of love and pursuit.

I've learned that my body is a temple/dwelling of God and I need to take better care - physically, emotionally, spiritually.

I've been reminded of the amazing friends that have been put in my life. I'm not sure I could have made it through some days without their love, concern, and prayers.

I've learned that I go through seasons in life. They are part of HIS plan and will grow me.

I've learned that it is IMPOSSIBLE to please everyone. No matter the intentions, someone will be upset.

I've learned that I am a strong woman. Heartache and pain have pushed me to seek out strength from the Lord. Strength. His strength can get me through the toughest of times.

I've learned that I really desire to be a wife and mom. It is not just a girlish dream. It is deep in my heart for HIS kingdom

I've learned that God is the only one I can trust 100% with my heart. Anyone else is a risk, but those risks must be taken.

I've learned that I am going to mess up, BIG TIME! But God can and will redeem me when I come to Him.

I've learned that I'm glad this isn't the end for me. I have a wonderful life, but it comes with pain. I'm anxious for the day when I am truly home...for eternity...with my Savior.

It truly has been a good year. I am looking forward to the next year. Where will God take me?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

How many times have you prayed "THE PRAYER"

It usually starts like this:

"If there is anyone here today that doesn't know Jesus, I want you to pray this simple prayer with me." -pastor

I will admit, I have prayed that prayer EVERY time I hear those words at the end of a message. I gave my heart to Jesus over 13 years ago! But I never fail to pray that prayer. And I always wonder WHY I feel the need to pray it. I know where I am with Jesus. I know that I have personal relationship. And I KNOW him. But I just can't stop myself.

Yesterday morning I was catching up on the sermon series "REBEL" from Grace Community Church. I was in tears the entire time. At the end of the message, during prayer, Pastor Jim said those words from the beginning of this post. I found myself sitting at my desk, tears falling to the desktop, arms wide open, praying that prayer. The prayer of salvation.

Why do we....maybe it's just me....but why do I do this? Is it uncertainty in my salvation? Is it support for those who are praying for the FIRST time? Is it so that those around me hear me?


I'll tell you why I do this.

Matthew 16:24 "Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.'"

Luke 9:23 "Then he said to them all: 'If anyone would come after me, eh must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.'"

John 12:25-26 "'The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.'"

We are called to DAILY surrender ourselves to God and HIS good, pleasing, and perfect will. THE PRAYER should be a daily prayer for believers; confessing our sin, acknowledging the need for Jesus to intercede in our lives, humbling ourselves before the Creator of all that is.

Pastor Jim's message made me look at things a little bit different, see things in a new way. Be blessed this day, the day of Jesus's birth. Not because a precious, cute baby was born but because the Savior of the world was delivered to earth. He was born and had a mission...a mission to live, minister, love, proclaim God, be an example, serve, die, and rise to live FOREVER.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

this morning

Here is my view this morning....

The snow is beginning to fall. I am catching up on, Facebook, blog reading, sermon watching, stuff. As I was reading my friend Marah's blog I came across this video. It was a good reminder for me.

I have struggled this year with the "stuff" of Christmas. For those of you who know me, that is not normal. I find pure joy in giving to others. I don't know if it is financial issues. I don't know if it is because of the season of life. I don't know if God is really trying to dig into my heart. I just want to spend time with people. That would make me happier than giving gifts. Time would make me happier than getting gifts. Time is what I want to give this year.

This video got me thinking about Christmas. What is it that I truly love about the Christmas season?

I love that Jesus is EVERYWHERE! Seriously, this is HIS birthday celebration.
I see so many of the people that don't live close by as they come home to be with family.
Christmas music!!!!
I spend loads of time with my family.
Being at home with my puppy (new for me this year).
Opening my home for friends to come over and visit. This truly makes my heart happy.
This year - SNOW!!!!!

None of that has to do with buying things. None of it has to do with getting stuff. Don't get me wrong, that is all good, but this time of year is SO MUCH MORE than all of that!

Jesus truly is the reason for this time. It is named after HIM, for HIM, in honor of HIM. We should be like HIM and give this season. We should be like HIM and rejoice in our Heavenly Father this season. We should be like HIM and consider those less fortunate.

Those are just my thoughts this morning as I sit and catch up on the stuff of my life. I am ever grateful for the life that I have. I am blessed by the snow that is falling. I am humbled that God sent his Son to earth over 2000 years ago so that I could be in this moment this morning, in awe of what I have because of what HE gave.

Monday, October 11, 2010


Nope I'm not physically running. Tried that and learned that running is not for me! I pretty much knew this about myself but I can be challenged into trying almost anything. I lost the challenge.

No, the running I'm talking about is running to Jesus.

I have had a new experience in the past month. You see, when life doesn't work out the way I think it should I tend to get angry and run away from God. I listen to the lies that God doesn't care and that I'm not good enough for God and that what I want doesn't matter at all.

But the past month has been much different. In the midst of confusion and hurt and not understanding why things are happening, I found myself running to Jesus! I can't get enough of HIM. HE is what helps me get through each day. HE is teaching me. HE is loving me. HE is revealing things about scripture, about who I am created to be, about time. HE is what I am clinging to.

I don't have the answers that I want. But, I am learning more and more every day that God has the answers that He wants for my life. My only job in all of this is to trust, in faith, that God knows best for me.

I am currently engulfed in our women's Bible study at church: Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed; A Study of David by Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore, and Kay Arthur. There have been some amazing truths revealed to my heart in all of this....

  • "If we truly believed the great God of the universe listens intently to the cry of our hearts and responds with power in our circumstances, we would never meet any circumstance without deciding to access the ear of God."
  • "Whatever your life entails right now - no matter how far removed it seems from what you expected - HE has anointed you and divinely equipped you to not merely handle it but to thrive in it."
  • "When God does something we don't expect, it can shake our faith and cause distrust."
My faith has been shaken! But I have been awakened! The greatest thing I am learning is that God DOES love me, He DOES have a plan for me, and HE will NEVER leave me.

And through all of this I am able to say, "Praise be to God!"


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

SLAP you in the face!

I received the proverbial slap in the face this past Sunday as I sat in church. The sermon was on the parable of the lost sheep. You know....the one where Jesus asks the shepherds if they would leave 99 sheep to go find a lost one? Yeah, I have been that lost one. I didn't realize it until the sermon began and my ears and heart opened.

You see, I have conveniently placed God on the backburner. I hadn't totally disregarded my relationship with him, but I had made some choices that clearly were not Christ-like. It never fails, at the moment that I make those choices they never seem like a big deal. But let them build and build upon each other and before I know it.....


That is exactly what happened. I had been emotional, irritable, grouchy, snappy, and weepy. I had no idea why. Then.....


Duh...I had not been investing in my relationship with Christ. Nor had I let Christ into some very important aspects of my life. I wanted control. I thought I knew what was best for Dina. I had everything under control. Then.....


My world changed and I was lost. I had wandered away and was crying out to be rescued. And that is exactly what God did. He rescued me. Right there in that pew on Sunday morning, he spotted me off in the distance. As the day progressed, he moved in closer, never taking his eye off of me. By Sunday evening God had scooped me up and showered me with love. It was the love of the Father that I had desperately missed and didn't realize until that exact moment.

I know that it isn't always easy to make the "good" choice in some moments. I know that choosing Christ goes totally against the world. I know that choosing Christ can sometimes mean that I stand alone.

But I know that choosing Christ pays off in the end, eternally.

Sunday, August 08, 2010


I was blessed with an opportunity to be on a director team for a week of camp at Camp Adventure. My role was counseling director. I got to work with 23 counselors and 109 jr high students. I also had the privilege of speaking at morning Hillside worship.

Our theme this year was "Facebook Faith" and was very relevant to the kids.

I want to share the final day with you all. This is the day that impacted me the most in preparation for camp, during camp, and continues to dig in my heart.

The daily theme for Friday was "Friend Suggestions". I have no idea how it impacted the students, counselors, or other directors. I do know that God reached right into my heart and challenged me. I just want to share the message with you all, not knowing who may read this. And my prayer is that you are challenged as well.

So, camp is almost over. You are about to go home. What are you gonna tell people at home about camp? Are you gonna talk about all the fun stuff you did? Will you talk about your cabin? Will you tell about your counselors and directors? Will you tell about the new friendships? Are you going to tell people about Jesus?
I know for me, that is usually the last thing I tell people...especially my family. It is so much easier for me to talk about all of the fun stuff verses how my life was impacted by Jesus. Today we are talking about friend suggestions. We have learned about the greatest friend ever this week. Will you suggest HIM to others? In Mark 16:15-16 and Matthew 28:19-20 we are commanded to GO tell the world about Jesus. We aren't told to tell them about the Blob or paintball or high ropes or messy games. We are commanded to GO and tell them "the good news"....that's Jesus.

If you go home and never mention what you learned about Jesus, then we did not do the ministry that we, as directors and counselors, we called to do. If you leave camp and didn't see the love of Jesus, then camp was unsuccessful.
Jesus is the reason that we are all here. He is the reason that we have this camp. He is the reason for the fun, your cabins, the counselors and directors, and the friendships. Will you go? Will you GO and tell people about Jesus?

I'm challenged! And I took the challenge to heart. I made sure to tell everyone who asked, about my Jesus experience at camp. It was tough! It was toughest when it was my unbelieving family members and friends who knew I was at camp. But I did it!!!!

So, I ask you....Will you GO and tell people about Jesus? Will you tell your family? your friends? your classmates? your co-workers? your wives/husbands? your neighbors? Who in your life needs to know about the friend that you have in Jesus?

GO and tell them!