Shattered……….Restored

Domestic violence is a topic that lays heavy on my heart. Having gone through things in my first marriage that could have left me scarred for life.

I think back on it now and even though it seems it was a hundred years ago- sometimes my confidence is still shaky.

So last night I was thinking back and this poem began to flow from my heart. I hope as you read it- you won’t feel sorry for me- but will know that God heals and restores!

Shattered/Restored

Young girl’s heart full of love and hope she thought. Little did she know that soon that heart would be ripped apart.

Beginning with the marriage night- filled with doubt and disbelief, Within weeks the innocence of her love began to be buried beneath

Slaps and punches began to be the normal, Hiding the evidence of the former

The words and pain become a constant companion, Creating a hardened heart surrounded by a canyon.

Deep and wide was the pain of fight- Cries with salty tears through the night

Longing to be free from the prison she was in. One day realizing that she had a voice and could begin again.

Laying aside the hate and the bars of pain, Counting the days she would be free of the chains

Finally the day came when her bravery rose to the top of her heart. Deciding once and for all that she would not allow herself to be a part.

No more beatings, bruises and kicks, But the pain in her heart much harder to keep in check.

Only God could heal the heart now shattered and torn -Only he could heal the scars and soothes the mind battle worn.

Day by day sunshine began to break through the cracks and bleeding heart. The warmth of God’s love seeped into the crevices with a fresh start.

Healing comes – slowly as it may seem-To a heart no longer beating so rapidly

Healing so sweet and tender Jesus is the only heart mender.

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Power up part 2

Hello! Last week we talked about the importance of personalizing and praying Gods word! Making it our own and how the Word becomes so alive to us when we do that!I wanted to give you a few more examples today of seeing that in action.

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:4-8‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Here is how that may sound in personalizing this passage in prayer:

“Father, even before you made the world- you loved ME and chose me to be holy and without fault in your eyes! God, you decided in advance to adopt ME into your own family through Jesus. You wanted to do this and it gave you great pleasure! So today, I praise you for this glorious grace you have poured out on ME since I belong to Jesus. You Lord are so rich in kindness and grace that you purchased MY freedoms with the blood of your Son and forgave My sins! You have showered ME with your kindness along with wisdom and understanding! ”

When you pray this way- at first it may be hard to believe hat God does see you this way, but the more you pray it- the more your faith will rise and your heart and mind will agree with your words you are praying! It will bring much encouragement to your heart when you pray Gods written word over your life!More to come! Godspeed Renae

Upgrade your Prayer Life!

Have you ever found yourself praying the same prayer over and over, your thoughts quickly following your mind which is definitely not engaged with your prayer?

I have! Many times! And I am sure if we are all honest we have all dealt with this. So how do we shift our prayers from repeats to powerful? I believe one key is to pray the Word of God!

“How do I do that?” you may ask. For me, I had some help as my late husband spent many hours taking scripture and personalizing it so I have the notes he took. But anyone can pray God’s Word. I would encourage you to find scriptures that stand out to you. For example, I love Proverbs 3:5-6. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your path.

To personalize that scripture I pray like this: “Father help me to trust in you with all my heart. Show me how to not depend on my own understanding or thinking. You have said here that if I acknowledge You in all my ways, You will direct or guide my path. I definitely need your direction! Help me to acknowledge or recognize You in all I do!”

I haven’t added or taken away from the Scripture in any way, but instead made it personal for me.

Take Ephesians 1 verses 17-19: this is how I would personalize it.

“Father, I ask that you will give me the spirit of wisdom and revelation as I know you better. I ask that the eyes of my understanding would be opened so I will know what the hope of your calling is- that I would know the riches of your glory of your inheritance which is mine! Help me to know the exceedingly great power that is available to me as a believer!”

Look up words you don’t know and find out what the scripture is really saying to you.

I promise you- praying the scripture is a key to living and learning the power we have within us!

Try it out! There are some excellent resources out there where scriptures are already personalized for you. I will post some links in another blog soon.

Godspeed!

Renae

I feel like Neo!

Today has been a very interesting day! I woke up this morning and somewhere between the sound asleep stage and the dozing stage all of the sudden the title of a book dropped into my head!

Now those who know me- know I have written poetry and a year-long blog as well as some other writings. I love to write! But had no motivation to do so lately.

It’s not that I didn’t want to write, I have wanted to but I guess it was the typical writer’s block.

But today that changed! Like I said I woke up with a title of a book in mind. I got up and started praying and turned on some worship music and it was like I received a full download of the book! Within an hour I had a plot, characters, basic outline of how the chapters would be and an idea of the ending! WOW! I mean really, WOW!

God has done this to me before. I have an invention that is in the patent stage and it came as a download during worship at church. In the past I had a download of how an online ministry could work. I can only describe it like Neo in the movie Matrix. When he needed information he would “plug in” and receive a total download for what he n see to do.

So why am I sharing? Well once you share with someone – you become accountable! So feel free to ask me how it is going. I plan to self publish with Amazon. Time wise- I have no clue as I have never written a book!

So as soon as I can release more details I will! Thank you for sharing this journey with me!

Godspeed!

Renae

Love/Hate at the Gym!

I made it! Yes! No, it wasn’t a New Years resolution. It wasn’t a great epiphany. It was my joints yelling at me, it was my tiredness and sluggishness. But here I am today at the local YMCA where I have been contributing,- uh -paying my membership for over a year.

As I came in I saw old and young, those in their name brand workout clothes and those in mismatched gym shorts and ragged t-shirts. I titled this love/hate because that’s what it is for me. Hate- because as I change clothes I realize my legs aren’t shaved, my skin is so dry, I am soooo self conscious. I feel like everyone in here is staring at me. Overweight, my hair is showing about 2 inches of gray at the roots.. on and on I could go.

But you know what? No one is paying me a bit of mind! They don’t even care! So I began to change my negative self chatter to more like, “So what if I haven’t shaved, so what if my workout clothes don’t match, I made it here today! YES! It is a start! ”

What I love about the YMCA? Now that I remind myself that no one is staring at me- I can see the friendship and the smiles of the three ladies walking around the track- smiling and laughing. I see the 75 (I am guessing) year old man doing a slow jog around the track as I put my minutes in on the bike. I see a man who is evidently training for a trail hike as he walks with a huge back pack and hear one of his friends yell out encouragement.

I love the fact that it really does seem like everyone is welcome. And I really love the fact I made it here today!

So hopefully you will hear more from my misadventures at my YMCA! Till then, time to hit the pool!

View outside the Warlick Family YMCA Gastonia

Godspeed

Renae

“Thoughts & Prayers”

How do you pray for the families, survivors and pastors of Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church?

This week I have wondered and asked God how can I pray for the survivors and family and church that literally found themselves directly in the line of fire.  Last night, I sat down to write in my journal and a prayer began to come forth for these precious people.

The first thing I began to pray for was that the survivors and the families would not be tormented with PTSD and trauma for the rest of their lives. I prayed that God would deliver them supernaturally from the torment and the emotional trauma. That they would receive a peace that this world cannot give. I prayed that all emotional shock would be healed.

Then I began to pray for the provision for all the families involved. For funeral expenses, hospital expenses, for loss of income. I asked God to provide the money that they will need to try to pick up and continue to live. I prayed for finances to come to the church for the repair of the destruction that was done physically to the building.

I prayed for comfort. First, I prayed for comfort for the pastor and his wife and family as they deal with the death of their own daughter on top of the tragedy of losing over half of their congregation. I prayed that God would bring people to them to lift them up, to stand along beside of them. People who will be true friends to them, who will let them grieve and cry and who will weep with them. I prayed that in the midst of this tragedy, that this pastor would not give up and he will see God move in their remaining congregation and see growth.

I prayed for comfort for the survivors and their families and for the families who lost so much. That a supernatural peace would flood through them and they would find the strength to continue to live.

I prayed for physical healing for those who survived. That not one more will die from this shooting.

Then I prayed that churches will rise together and lay down denominations and come together to support this part of the body.  We are the BODY of Christ, and I pray that we will all be that body.

As our hearts are saddened, and we hear the politicians and the doubters say, “How will prayers help?” I encourage you, yes, prayer does change things!

Prayer does help! Talk to God and pour out your heart to him upon their behalf.  Pray effectively. Pray the Word.

Godspeed

Renae

Love more like you…

Yesterday at church, our pastor was teaching on love. When I first sat down, I saw all these beautiful wood plaques with the different aspects of 1 Corinthians 13 listed on them.  

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-7

I wondered what the plaques were for and also on the stage was a wooden cross place on a stand.  Now I have only been attending this church for a little over a month but have already learned the pastor likes to use object lessons! This is great for me as I am a visual learner. 

Eventually in his message he had the youth hang the plaques up on the cross. 


What struck me during this time was this:  without Jesus dying on the cross and paying the ultimate sacrifice for us, we would have never known such a love such as this.  How could we ever love anyone with true God kind of love unless He had first loved us?  Jesus loves you and I so much that he literally died and then was resurrected so we could experience this kind of love! 

So as each plaque was placed in the cross- love is patient- love is kind- love is never envious- love never gives up, I realized deep inside , that without the love of our Savior we really have no way of loving the 1 Corinthians type of love! Our human love is too fickle, too shallow, and too scarce.  

Oh but my friend! When we experience the love of Jesus and allow Him access to our hearts- it will lead us to repentance so we can be filled with this kind of love!   What is holding you back? Wouldn’t you like to know what it feels like to be unconditionally loved no matter what you have done? I urge you with all the care in my heart for you right now to pray this: 

“Jesus, I have made a mess of this life. I have searched for love in all the wrong places as the song goes.  I need you. I want to be loved unconditionally and without reserve.  I ask you to forgive me if all the sin in my heart right now. I believe that you are truly the Son of God the Father- that you died on a cruel rugged cross and was brought back to life so I could really live. I want you and your love to invade my life now. I am yours and you are mine! Amen” 

If you prayed this and truly meant it then my friend you now have access to the love of God and you also are able to love with that same kind of love! Greater love has no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13. 

I encourage you to read the book of John in the Bible and learn more about this kind of love I am talking about. 

I LOVE YOU! 

Godspeed, Renae

Inspiration for this  blog came from Epic Church, Pastor Chad Collins, Lowell, NC.

Here is a song that will tell you more about a love like this❤️

from mundane to magnificent!


A storm was brewing outside and the air hot and sticky. Inside, the drone of the voices rose and fell like waves. The day was moving forward at a snail’s pace.
As I walked around, I wondered “What remarkable things does God intend for me to do?” Surely, there is more than just working behind the scenes and doing the mundane, repetitious tasks that no longer challenge my brain.

Speaking of my brain, there are some days that I seem to be in major high gear, with the creativity flowing like the endless spout of fountain drinks at the fast food restaurant. Other days, my brain feels as though it is waterlogged and trying to stay afloat in grainy quicksand. Where is the balance? How do I find that middle ground where I am productive and happy, but not worked to the point of being overwhelmed?

Where does one draw the line and determine that there is more to life than shuffling papers and deleting endless junk email? What will it take to make changes?

 Recently, I made the decision to do something totally out of the box for me. I am the safe one, remember? The one who doesn’t take chances, who doesn’t rock the boat, and certainly doesn’t lead the charge. A brilliant idea for a product was dropped into my mind one night while I was at church during worship.

Now let me clarify. When I say, “dropped into my mind” that was exactly what happened. It was as if a drone from heaven descended upon my head and just as Neo in The Matrix, the idea was instantly downloaded to my brain by what can only be described as divine interruption. 

Immediately, I sat down and began to draw out what I could see in my mind’s eye. The details were precise and although my drawing certainly lacked any polish or skill, the design definitely matched what was downloaded to me.

So, I began an out of the box journey of pursuing my idea, investing in some serious money, and formulating a plan to market what had been entrusted to me. The process is time-consuming and sometimes the future seems so distant. But I keep my hopes alive by knowing that what I have been given is a gift!

It is a gift that will make other’s lives easier. Not something mind-bending, nothing spectacular or life-changing, but something that will be used every day and will probably seem boring to many.

Boring? Yes, those days will always be with us at times. But stepping out and taking a chance, risking money and time, is a challenge to me. One that I have tremendous faith will pan out and will create new revenue and income for me. I won’t stop at one idea. I want more and as the scripture says, “He that has been faithful over little will become ruler over much.” (my paraphrase of Luke 16:10)

Expecting and waiting, going from mundane to magnificent, it is the period in between the mundane and the magnificent that will prove my reliability and faithfulness to my Father’s plan.

Stay tuned for more details as I am able to release them!

Godspeed 

Renae
 
 

Between the day and the night

As I was flying home and as dusk fell, you could see a line separating the night and day from the plane window. We were almost home but not quite yet. 
The in between… do you feel you are in the time where it is neither day nor night? As though you are stuck in time- not feeling- just neutral. Being in the in between is no fun. It’s the waiting. The not knowing. The anticipation of what is to come but yet feeling so stuck.

In the middle of the night and day where you can only press forward into the night that it ahead. But you are not alone my friend. The one who separated night from day- light from dark- is so very present to carry you into the night that is ahead of you. You feel alone and uncertain. Not knowing where to turn. 

Call on Him. He is there. He will hear your cries of your desperation. The night may seem so dark but the Father will bring you again to the morning light of a new day. 

May His love envelope you and may you feel his heartbeat next to yours.

Shalom

Renae

In His Footsteps

inhisfootsteps1

We hear parents say all the time, “I want my son/daughter to walk in my footsteps!” or we hear the opposite, “PLEASE, don’t walk in my footsteps!”  Usually those are the parents that realize they have made many mistakes along the way and don’t want their children to repeat those mistakes!

Following in someone’s footsteps generally can set us up for disappointment and unmet expectations. We look at someone we admire and we try to emulate them. We research to find out what made them successful and we also try to find out their failures so we can take detours in those areas. When we place mere people, including athletes, Hollywood superstars, and even pastors kind of on a pedestal as we copy them, we quickly realize that they are exactly that- mere humans.  We all are!

We also hear in church that we should walk in the footsteps of Jesus.  What exactly does that mean?  How can we accomplish that?

The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 11:1:

“And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” NLT

So he is telling us that he is imitating, or copying, or following in Christ’s footsteps. But how?   We research and study the life of Jesus in the Gospels and we decide we will be more like Him.  That seems like a pretty tall order, don’t you think?   Jesus doesn’t ask us to be perfect, He does command us to follow him though. He told several disciples, “Follow me.”  So following him would be like walking in His footsteps.  He doesn’t tell us to do anything that we are incapable of doing.

When we study his life, it would be good to note his characteristics and his actions. Many times, Jesus was very plain in what he meant about following Him. For example, Matthew 22:36-40  Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “’You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. NLT

So walking in His footsteps would be to strive to love like He does!  Over and over, Jesus’ life provides examples of how we can follow Him. Will we ever do all of them right every day?  NO!  We will fall short, but know this my dear friend, it is not how much you fall, but how many times you get back up to try again!

So today as we think about walking in the footsteps of Jesus, let’s really get down to the nitty gritty every day ways that we can follow and imitate Christ!

Shalom! Godspeed my friends!

Renae