New Hope For The Day

Welcome to New Hope for the Day : My Personal Devotional

In the Indian language there is a greeting, 'Namante", which means "I honor the holy one who lives with in you." May you feel welcomed and honored as I share my strengths and weaknesses from my days which turn into years. I share from my heart, my spirit with HIS wisdom; never acknowledging that I have arrived, but always pressing towards the mark to be more like HIM.

If you are going to be used by God, He will take you through a multitude of experiences that are not meant for you at all, they are meant to make you useful in His hands."
Oswald Chambers

Please feel free to grab that cup of joe, or in my case a cup of hot chocolate, turn on some beautiful music, pull up a warm blanket, and let us together live life.

Thank you for "tuning in". I hope your day is wonderful and may HE bring you new hope for this day.



Monday, January 30, 2012

Are You Failing To See How Big Your God Is?

There are day's that I have to choose what report I am going to believe. This is one of those days for me. There are day's that I get tired of fighting the fight. This is one of those days for me.

BUT, the difference between the person who chooses to remain and complain is NOT ME!!

Unexpected news can bring vain imaginations. That was us yesterday, I received  two separate pieces of news. One was expected and the other was unexpected. But even the one expected piece of information hasn't been confirmed. We are expecting Mark's seasonal work to end. Should have ended the first of the year, but thank God, it will end when HE says it is to end.  Neither of these 2 pieces of news is going to help me accomplish what I am wanting. I am wanting to move out of our temporal housing situation. The lease was for a year in an apartment and that year is drawing to a close. With the current financial situation it doesn't look possible. It's not what I want to hear and then those vain imaginations begin to come in.

When you are living by faith there is absolutely no room for vain imaginations. Vain imaginations brings deception and doubt. I have to choose . . . Who's report am I going to believe?   So are you ready to choose? Together, today, we can choose HOPE for our future!

All through the Bible, God gives us great and wonderful HOPE about who we are in Christ, what we have in Christ, and where we are in Christ. Let me remind your HOPE in this:


"Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed". Proverbs 16:3

"YOU (I) can do all this through HIM who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

These are just a couple of scriptures of HOPE. The Bible is full of HOPE!! However, just like I started this devotional, Satan tells us worthless things. He plants vain imaginations in our mind. I asked myself and I am asking you, whose report are you going to believe?

In the Old Testament, the Israelites who had been freed from the Egyptians faced the same dilemma. They had been roaming around in the desert. God let them know it was time to enter the Promised Land. He said, "Send some men to explore the land of Canaan which I am giving the Israelites." At God's command, Moses sent in twelve men to spy out the land and ten of them came back with this report:

"We went into the land which you sent us and it does flow with milk and honey! But the people who live there are powerful, the cities are fortified and very large." (Numbers 13:27, 28) The men went on to say they were like grasshoppers compared to the giants who lived in Canaan. However, two of the spies, Caleb and Aaron, believed God and retorted, "We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it." (12:30).


Guess what they believed? They believed the "evil report" and did not move forward because of fear. There is a well known acronym for fear: False Evidence Appearing Real. They only saw the giants, but failed to see how big their Almighty God is.


Are you failing to see how big your Almighty God is?

Oswald Chambers states, "Human frailty is another thing that gets between God's words of assurance and our own words and thoughts. When we realize how feeble we are in facing difficulties, the difficulties become like giants, we become like grasshoppers, and God seems to be non-existent. But remember God's assurance to us - "I will never...forsake you." Have we learned to sing after hearing God's keynote? Are we continually filled with enough courage to say, "The Lord is my Helper," or are we yielding to fear?"

I don't want to be like those Israelites who didn't believe God told the truth. Do you? Let me ask you a few questions. Are you going to move into the land flowing with milk and honey, take the promises found in the Bible and make them yours? Or, are you going to believe the evil report and continue wandering around in the desert - free from slavery, but missing the Promised Land? Whose report are you going to believe?

Prayer: 
Lord, Thank you that you have called me to walk in victory. Help me to realize when I am listening to vain imaginations, Satan's lies, "to the evil report," and not to YOU. If I am the only person who believes in your promises today, give me the courage to believe and walk forward in faith to what you've called me to do. In Jesus' name, Amen.



Now your ready!! 
"YOU (We) should go up and take possession of the land, for YOU (we) can certainly do it." YES!! YOU CAN!!!! Just do it! (Numbers 12:30) This is your HOPE for the day!!
 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

We Have A HOPE In Our Future

"And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." ~ Luke 1:31-33

I was not raised in the south, but I have lived longer in the south than the north at this point of my life. As a young adult, my views were still formable and I took on some of the southern characteristics . . . of course Gone With the Wind was my favorite movie growing up . . . so I had hoped one day I would embrace the south with my whole heart and would be Scarlett . . . much of it did come to pass, even the hardened wounded Scarlett, but I'll leave that for another day. Let's just say for now - Scarlett is dead!

One of the southern characteristics that I learned;  you should really never talk about three things in public: religion, politics and sex. It must be a southern characteristic for women and not men, because that seems to be ALL my husband knows to talk about.

As a result of this characteristic I have a tendency to really baulk on these subjects if I don't know whom I am keeping company with. So even in this type of format, public blogging, I really don't know whom my readers are. A mixture I am sure!

Also, as I have shared before, politics is not my forte. It is a passion with my husband as he enjoys history, war stories, and add his call and giftings of a prophet - Whoaa!! what an overload one can have.

So cautiously, I have set this up in many ways to give you my reader a direction and basis of where I am coming from.

One only has to read a newspaper or listen to a newscast in order to see Bible prophecy being fulfilled. There have been more prophecies fulfilled in the twentieth century than in any other time in church history. I believe there is a great reason for this. I do believe that the time is rapidly approaching for the Lord Jesus Christ to return to this earth and take the kingdoms of this world for Himself.  I am very aware of the economic state of our country. I currently live according to the government standards in the lower percentile so I am very aware. BUT thank God that I live in this world, but I am not of this world.  The Bible says, "Don't become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants-what is good, pleasing, and perfect."( Romans 12:2) For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. (2 Corinthians 10:3)

I have felt for some time that I need to bring a balanced perspective of what I am hearing in the realm of Christian politics. I feel I am way over my head and I pray for the words to come from the Holy Spirit as to what HE is trying to communicate through me.

First, when there are those who speak that these are the last days that we do not put our head in the sand. I like you - don't want to hear it! The truth is though that we must heed those prophetic warnings. We need not curse the messengers. There are those who are called at this day and time to warn. Are many of them not balanced in their "sounding the alarm"? That is between them and the Lord, it is not for us to judge. My husband is one who is called to "sound the alarm". Sometimes I don't want to hear what he has to say. I have many friends who walk in that same call and anointing. I don't like what they have to say either. LOL. Needless to say, we can not put our head in the sand and we must respect the call on their lives and we must show tolerance for this season.

Now if I can speak to those who are "sounding the alarm". It is my desire to NOT squelch the spirit that is within you or the call that you have. I pray that you will hear the Lords heart for HIS people in this season and see the FULL picture. I pray that you see that the glass is not 1/2 empty, but that it is 1/2 full. I pray that you embrace ALL of the Scriptures and not just the end time scriptures and apply the Word as a whole. HIS Word says that, 'HE knows the plans I have for you . . . plans to prosper... not to harm you, plans to give . . .HOPE and a FUTURE.' (Jeremiah 29:11)

I find it disturbing that most of the spiritual leaders and even Christians are speaking of the United States as a place that has seen it's best day. It is my opinion that our best days are ahead and not behind. We as Spiritual Leaders need to cast vision and not spew destruction. The world may say we have no hope but we have a sure hope through our faith in Jesus. "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth." (Jer. 23:5)


Coming to the New Testament we find that God still has this Kingdom very much in mind. In Luke chapter one, verses thirty-one through thirty-three, the angel says to Mary:

"And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end."

So just from these few Scriptures  we see the FULL picture, the rest of the story. We need to look at the end results. Let's just not end the message with doomsday. We must keep the entire WORD in tact.

When we keep the entire WORD in tact we are given HOPE for each day. Make it a good one with HIM.




Monday, January 9, 2012

Tolerance : Grace For Those Who Are Different

For several months now I have observed harmful behavior on Facebook and last night was no different than any other night. I think people are bolder and more confrontational behind the computer screen and say things much more in this dynamic than if they were face to face. After seeing some conflicting conversations on Facebook I felt led to write and this was what I wrote. It was being posted to my Facebook wall and felt it was better to voice my thoughts in this format than on the wall itself so I quickly copied and paste to here. Then I elaborated more . . .

 . . . somehow when one speaks their perspective of truth and shares a way to live and it is against what one believes it seems to mean that you are judging or then not loving the person(s) . . . some are misconstruing the definitions of judging, truth, and love. 

Jesus spoke often of the way to live BETTER and it was often against what one believed . . . did that mean He was judging or unloving? Not at all!

 

Unfortunately numerous spiritual leaders of this day that are popular are the ones who spread a message of fulfilling the desires of ones heart for each owns successes and prosperity's - a lot of feel good.  The majority of Christians don't want correction, they don't want to look at their heart issues. That is what makes these leaders popular. They promote 'choose the life you want to live' mentality. Which in my opinion enhances this subject matter.

There is a right way and a wrong way to bring correction. On a public format such as Facebook is not the place. I have seen this over and over and it breaks my heart to see people being attacked for bad behavior, beliefs, etc. on their own personal Facebook walls.

 

When one voices a truth or an opinion for their own life - they are shot down and not accepted for the life they choose to live that is  for themselves and their family. It's amazing how someone shares a belief on their wall and on their own wall they are attacked for their opinion.



I pray that if I have an objection or a correction that I would do it privately with the person. I am not with out fault in this area. I have made bad choices myself in the area of correcting. I have learned from those mistakes and I have been attacked enough personally to know what it feels like.




Why do we have to be so harsh and condemning one another for their beliefs.  Where is the grace and mercy and love that we are to extend to one another.

 

If you MUST disagree take it privately in your discussions. In the open it shows such disunity to one another.  There is no love present. Just the desire to plead ones own cause and justify yourself. We love . . . as long as they fit into our mold.

We must be tolerant of others for their uniqueness as human beings, with differing temperaments, talents, callings, needs, hungers and dreams. This is a tolerance that makes an honest effort to understand another’s beliefs, callings, practices, and habits without necessarily sharing or approving them.

Tolerance hinges between apathy and bigotry. Tolerance, for some people, is mere spiritual laziness, no conviction. On the other hand, for some, tolerance gives no freedom to others, but attempts to force others to conform to their convictions. We must learn to respect each human being for their struggle. We must accept people for what they are and permit each person to become what they want to become. We cannot live other people’s lives. Each person must accept responsibility for their own living.

Some people think it doesn't matter how you seek God or what you believe about Him. This "anything goes" attitude toward God is one form of what the world calls tolerance. The world's definition is not helpful to people who truly want a relationship with God. God's Word, on the other hand, gives very clear instructions. It does not treat all beliefs as equal; instead, it points to the one and only path, which is found in Jesus.

Matthew 7:13-14 says, "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it." What you choose to believe about God matters. It is the most important choice of your life.

Personally, I believe that there are several ways to live a Christian lifestyle:

(1)There are those who have said the sinners prayer but there has been no transformation in their lifestyle. I will not go into this at this time, but there must be transformation after you say the sinners prayer.

(2)Those that have said the sinners prayer and there has been a transformation. At some point in their walk there has become a stagnant desire to increase in the knowledge of the things of God and to allow the Holy Spirit to continue changing and transforming them. The desire to increase and become more like Him has diminished.

(3) Those that have said the sinners prayer,  have been transformed and continue to seek the Lord for further transformation. They desire to be in His presence and prayer at all times. They desire for His likeness and image to be transparent through their own lives. They desire to be set apart and not conform to the ways of the world. They desire to establish His Kingdom on earth. They are radically sold out and they walk the straight and narrow, there is very little of fulfilling the lusts of the flesh.

Each of these three lifestyles will have benefits available to your walk. The benefits will increase as the degree of your walk increases. Personally, I want as much of an enriched life on earth as one can have.   Perhaps this illustration will help:

I am told of a speed limit sign in a city which read, “30 miles per hour speed, $1.00 fine for every mile over the speed limit, chose the speed you can afford.”


Chose any old way you want to live but be willing to accept the consequences for the kind of life that you chose. Only when we are sure of ourselves are we willing to let others be themselves. When we are unstable in our own character and doctrine, do we try to reassure ourselves by trying to compress others into our mold. Proper tolerance is genuinely loving people.



"Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life." Deuteronomy 30:19-20


We have no tolerance for one another . . .  if we can not tolerate one another how in the world are we to love one another?

As Christians, we are to be in the loving business and Jesus defines it clearly for us in John 13:34-35: “A new commandment I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” God is tolerant toward us. He puts up with us. He gives us freedom to develop into what we chose to be. God loves us and He willingly takes the risk that we will love Him back. Whether we do or not is up to us. Since God tolerates us, ought we not tolerate each other?

Prayer:  Father, I thank You for the people in my life who help me learn more about You. I ask that You help me recognize when other people's opinions do not agree with Your Word and I will discern if I am to pray for that person or offer in private my observation which will be offered in mercy and love.

Lord, those times when I hear other people's opinions and I do not agree with it because it offends my lifestyle, Lord, I ask that You give me the ability to discern that it's offensive because it is sin and I see that I need to change.

Father I ask that you give me discernment for either situation and quicken it to my spirit.

For the times that its opinion and we don't have clarity in Your Word. For those times that Your Word is clear but the person has yet not conquered this area in their life or chooses to not conquer . . . Lord, give me mercy and love for those that don't agree with me and may I give it to You in prayer. I know it is the Holy Spirit that corrects.

Thank you, Father, for this little bit of wisdom. Help me, Father  to let go and not hold back the kindness you show to all. Let me live my life, not to escape suffering, but to avoid causing suffering for others. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Three Royal Women


"Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man."
~ Proverbs 3:3-4

Geraldine
Unfortunately, I have had three royal women pass from my life this week. I was not able to attend the services for our dear friend, Geraldine, in Shamrock . . . I have two to attend today . . .

As I think about these women. I look at the latter life of wise women. I did not know them in their younger years, when they were learning life, making mistakes, perhaps even rebels and trouble makers. I see them for who they were of recent years. I see the heritage that they leave. I see their gifts a talents that they leave.


Daisy

I see what makes them royal and this remains with them today.  With these three royal women I see loyalty, kindness but most of all love for all. These women left this earth with a wonderful array of friends and family who they loved and those that they left behind KNOW that they were loved by these royal women; Geraldine, Daisy and Annette.

Never let loyalty, kindness and love leave you!
Then you will . . . earn a good reputation.

These three women had an excellent reputation. They have entered Heaven and their Father has said to each of them, "Well done good and faithful servent".

Annette
The result of faithfulness is a good reputation and trust from others . . .


Thank you Geraldine, Daisy and Annette for being my friend. Thank you for imparting to me the best that you had to give ME!

Love, Daniell






Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mysterious Journey to a Path Called "Friendships"


because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down, his friend can help him up.”
Ecclesiasted 4:9-10

This past year I recognized and submitted to the one passion that has been lit within me that I would have never thought would be a passion. It is such a desire of my heart. Yet! It is the one thing I know absolutely nothing about!

I started to share this past year some of the beginnings of this journey, but it was so painful, fresh and new that I wasn't quite sure where to go with it and I've actually just had to let it incubate. So, I think its had enough of an incubation period that I'm ready to start exploring it again with you.

This journey will push me to the edge of being more vulnerable with you - my peeps - than I have ever before. I think this may have been why I needed to incubate on it some more.  This is a journey of deep inner healing for me. It will take us to my past, my present and my future. It will take us to some deep hurts and wounding to some great joys and friendships. You ready to go?  . . .  One of us has to be . . . because I'm still not quite sure . . . be patient with me and extend to me mercy . . . and in the end it will let us both know if we can be friends.

Let's go back 20-38 years ago. I am in my teens, 20's and 30's and probably even my early 40's. I did not have any intimate friends. In my teen years my only friend was a boy, his name was John. He was my first love. He was my world (other than my horse) for five years and if it had not been for my parents' intervention there is no telling where I would be today. That relationship had a strong hold for much of my adult life. After John, I had another serious relationship with Rusty.  I was willing to marry him and make him my world, but he wasn't ready. Then I left home and moved to Tulsa.

Those teen years were brutal in the area of friendships. I always felt like an outsider. I had a boyfriend and that was like the immediate barrier that came up. I was like taboo. It's like jealousy kicks in real quick and the gossip begins to spread like wild fire. It doesn't help when your boyfriend is also probably the instigator of most of it (no proof, just gut) and this causes more barriers. I became a Christian and then this became another road block. So not only was this another different drum beat but it was also causing huge issues with my boyfriend. I was being forced to choose and it wasn't easy.

So my teen years, I felt like an outsider. I did march to the beat of a different drummer - I loved fashion and would try new ideas out of the "Seventeen" teen fashion magazine of that era - I was laughed at for trying those ideas. Marching to the beat of a different drummer, as Lisa Whelchel says, "has the same effect on 'mean girls' as the scent of blood has on sharks." I remember one afternoon when school ended, I was shark bate. I was beat up by one of the "mean girls".  All four entry ways of Urey Middle School had a girl waiting for me and I got the crap beat out of me. I don't recall what the original verbals were about, but I do remember what I said to her that sent her over the edge. I told her to go to Hell. She was a Mexican hot pepper for sure then. I would like to add before I continue, that this same hot pepper who beat the crap out of me contacted me about five years ago. She found me in Shamrock, TX and she called to say she had accepted Jesus and she was sorry for what she had done to me. I must say at first, I was a little wary, but we have become fairly good Facebook friends and she is doing a wonderful work as a Christian back in our home town.

In my 20's to early 40's my focus was on my husband and family. Those early years were rocky that I won't get into detail now for family is an entirely different dynamic. I want to focus on girlfriend relationships. Sadly, because of the baggage I carried from my teen years and not having girlfriends I had no idea how to have a girlfriend relationship and to be honest they were so caddy from my observation that I didn't want any part of women. I didn't need friends and that was what the "aire" about me. Yet, there were seasons and that inner desire for friendships would surface. Then some one would do something stupid and I would shove it back down again. So in my 20's and 30's I didn't show emotion or weakness. I didn't need anyone! So with this behavior how could I let anyone in or why would anyone want to be vulnerable to me. Yet on some levels because of my super-duper-power Christian inner strength that I touted I would attract a few, but then it only left them feeling like a  struggling - wannabe. Had I only known.

There were times, I would bring down the wall a few bricks at a time, but I was always quick to rebuild that wall whenever I began to feel too vulnerable, uncomfortable or was wounded. The fact is hurt people, hurt people.

Now if I could bring us to the present. We will return to my past again another day, but lets look at the present for now. . .

Navigating the world of close friendships in my late 40's is awkward, to say the least. I am learning how to connect at an intimate level. Why it has been difficult for me to allow friends to get close to me. I'm learning how to identify safe people and how to implement boundaries. I am at the beginning of a messy, mysterious journey to a path called, "Friendships". I am currently ready to concentrate on creating a superstructure of supportive friends. I have come to the understanding that I need friends!

Shamrock, TX was so good to me in so many, many ways. It was the hardest place I have ever been in my life, but is was the place where I learned and was fulfilled the most. I am going to quote from Lisa Whelchels' book, Friendship For Grown Ups which describes my Shamrock experience the best that I could describe it:

"My heart has been broken, but that was a severe mercy. Without the brokenness. I couldn't have known my need. Without realizing my need, I wouldn't have risked reaching out to others. Without entering into relationship with others, I would have missed authentic connection. With the vulnerability that comes with honest connection, I learned the importance of identifying safe people. Finding safe people cushioned me with love and courage to face the conflict for things that matter rather than choosing peace at any price. Learning conflict resolution skills made way for intimacy, and intimate friendship created and atmosphere of grace.

Grace, of course, ushered in self-acceptance. Embracing myself helped me believe and receive God's love. Resting in His delight changed me forever."

This was my Shamrock experience and I will be forever grateful to those who were the biters and the lovers. With tears, I say "Thank you Lord!"


This experience is the reward that has brought nothing less than the possibility of intimacy with God, myself and others. In my opinion, this is the closest thing to Heaven on Earth. So each time I am bitten and each time I am loved. I will remember my past and think of my present to know where my future lies and this give me new hope for each day in knowing that I need friends.

“I went out to find a friend,
But could not find one there.
I went out to be a friend,
And friends were everywhere!”
 (Unkown)

Prayer Time: Take a minute and remember that Jesus is our most perfect friend. Open your heart to Him, as He is sitting there with you right now. Tell Him where you are in your heart and what your longing for.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Forget - Forgive

I went to see the movie "War Horse". I should have known better than to go and see it . . . I don't see anything with War in it because my eldest son is in the service, but excused it because it was a foreign war so long ago - first error. My second error was thinking that I could watch a move and think this horse was not going to get hurt in this movie. What overcast it all was that I was going with a friend and it was going to be fun! NOT!

Growing up with horses was my childhood. My first pony was given to me at the age of 6. As I aged and my ability progressed do did the size of my horse. As I progressed in my equestrian ability so did the quality of my horse. As a teenager I was a showman and so was my horse. I had boxes of trophies and ribbons We were pictured together in the local paper for awards in county and state shows. But most important to me is this horse was my first love and my best friend. I shared things with him that I could share with no one else. He listened. I was emotionally attached.

I could relate to so many things in this movie:  the connection that man can have with a horse, the horse (and other items) being taken away without permission, a son going off to war, a son returning from war. These are just a few things.  Needless to say that at the end of this movie I was emotionally distraught. After I dropped my friend home, I began to self-examine as to why the movie was affecting me. Arriving home, my husband asked me about the movies quality and all I could say was it was awful. Which my comment had nothing to do with the quality. He even questioned me with an answer at the end, "So did this movie affect you so much because you love horses." It was a good conclusion so I agreed.

Emotionally, exhausted I went to bed. The next morning I woke with the events from my past that I could relate to in this movie - they were there haunting me. The denial of hurts and events all stuffed down.

My Heavenly Father, enjoys "setting me up" to deal with the issues from my past that I have not dealt with. I love that He cares enough for me to bring me about life situations to make me more whole because I desire truth in my innermost being. (Psalm 51:6) I want areas to be revealed in my life that I need to correct. So, you see . . . the whole point for me going to this movie was for me to deal with some issues from my past. This morning, I am faced with do I continue to deny or do I deal with the issues and walk out forgiveness.

When these circumstances happened most of them were during my transition from teenager to adult. My emotional and maturity state was probably more of a teenager than an adult. So my reactions were going to be on that same level. At that time my concept was "forgetting would be the same as forgiving."  Forgetting is NOT forgiving. It is denial.

I attempted to achieve forgiveness by deliberately putting out of my mind the offense. I was attempting to fool myself and to not "rock the boat" pretend it was no big deal. My life was in transition, my family was divorcing and I just wanted to get away from it all!  But after thirty years I discovered all of the emotions and events and hurts are still there. Held back all these years by force of will in deliberate denial.

I remember even seeing "that person" or speaking to that person again and all the bitterness and pain would rise up again. I would stuff it again. I didn't want to "rock the boat" after all "that person" probably never gave it another thought.
Denial is merely a delusion: flimsy, fake and shallow. Forgiveness is real: strong and solid and deep. It is not avoiding the truth, but dealing with is squarely; however painful.

Consider God's perspective. Nothing is hidden from His sight: the evil intent, the hidden lust, the damage done, the choosing of that which is wrong, etc. And yet He is the author and originator of forgiveness. If we are going to really forgive, we are going to have to do it His way: with our eyes open.

You see, it was still all about the wrong that was done to me . . . it was still in my face . . . after 30 years! I was also reminded out of the same necessity I had done it to my own children.
The order here is essential. Forgiveness first, forgetting second. Until real forgiveness takes place, the offense is "in our face" as regards to that person, and it is the same with God. The sin comes between us, and cannot be "forgotten" until dealt with. If and when we enter into true forgiveness, we can then regard the person without the "offense" looming first and foremost between us.

Is 43:25  "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more."

So keeping this real, and in continuation with the process of discovery to repentance I will share my repentance prayer with you:

Lord, give me divine objectivity that will enable me to forgive my father and mother.
I forgive all their offenses against me and accept them for what they have been and are even now; however I honestly name (I named the offenses)  and renounce their sin, weakness and failure for what is was and yet still be.

I thank You for creating my parents in Your image. I forgive them for not becoming all You created them to be. I accept then as the wounded, hurting, unhealed, needy persons they are. They need the healing that I am now receiving. I will look for the real persons You intend them to be, and in Your name I will affirm it whenever I see it. I look to You now for the affirmation I've always wanted so badly from them. Love them through me.

Somehow, as I forgive and accept them. Father-God, re-parent me according to my new bloodline in Jesus and my family inheritance in Him. Perfect in me His character and family traits You intend for me to have.

I forgive you that you cannot affirm me the life you gave me. I forgive you for not being able to love me or give me the acceptance I long for. I forgive you that you can never see me or treat me as a person, your daughter, but can only see everything in terms of your own self-centered desires.

I accept you as you have chosen to be. I will no longer strive uselessly, demanding that you change, demanding that you love me, demanding that you recognize me as a person, your daughter, with needs and feelings.

I now truly forgive you. I do not judge you, but I do renounce the wrongs that has wounded me. I no longer give the sinful actions permission to wound me or my family. Yes, I honestly name the issues as being wrong and even sometimes evil: (name them). These have had power to wound me, but no longer. By God's grace working in me, I will honor you as a person whom Jesus died for. Jesus will enable me to walk this way of tough love. I can now bless you, expecting nothing in return. I can now love you agape with the heart of the Father, by the grace of the Son, and in the power of the Spirit.

Heavenly Father, I thank You for hearing this prayer, and for enabling me to accept and fully forgive my parents, so that I am not longer bound in the chains of torment of unforgiven, bitterness, resentment, anger and judgement. In the name of Jesus who is my healer and my life, I am an over comer in the power of the Holy Spirit. I am free indeed, seated at Your right hand ruling and reigning in Christ Jesus, and ask You to enable me to be a channel of Your freedom and healing love to my parents and my family. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

Now that you have dealt with what needed to be dealt with - you have NO REASON to not have new hope for the day! Go out and enjoy it!

PS. I did go to my children and ask for forgiveness of the wrongs that I have done to them.

Prayer was taken from "Prayer Portions" by Sylvia Gunter.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bloom Where You Are Planted

"Friends, stay where you were called to be.
God is there. Hold the high ground with Him at your side." 
1 Corinthians 7:24

First, let me begin by saying, I had no idea if this statement, "Bloom where you are planted" was within the Bible. I have heard these words and have thought it was just some cliche of a phrase. Even when my friend shared the text with me that I shortly will share with you and she gave me Psalm 20 within I wondered is passage in the Bible? is this within Psalm 20? I don't recall it there.

What caused me to begin thinking about this was a text message I received from a friend. We had been invited to return to a church to speak again and the night before the church canceled stating miscommunication in scheduling. As an encouragement to us her text read, "My Father has been talking to me this morning as I have been praying for u...Psalm 20....&; where your feet are is where He has called u to be at this moment... Bloom where you are planted each and every moment u r standing there. Love u!!!! He will make the way clear ..  In the meantime stay in the present."

As I've pondered this for several days now having even shared with Mark. We discussed an earlier time where this has been encouraged to us. Having this spoken to us at least twice causes one to begin and seek God what is it that YOU are trying to tell us? At the minimum it is directional, confirming and encouraging to us.

For the past year, we have been in and out of Georgia and just recently even though it's not our first choice or desire of what we would like to be doing or where we want to be; but knowing this is where we are and believing that we are in Gods will thus God has placed us here. I may be looking at the beginning of buds.
So today, I decide to research these words out, "Bloom where you are planted". And I find it in a sweet poem:

You are where you are for a reason
What You Did Yesterday Got You Here
What You Do Today Will Get You
Where You Will Be Tomorrow
By Jack Egener

But I also find the context of this statement where it matters most several places in scripture. First, I find it within 1 Corinthians 7:17-24.

We are not sure how long we will have an opportunity to be Jesus to the people among us, who many are obviously hurting, but I have decided that while I would not have planted my own feet where I am, I am going to bloom while I'm here - for the rest of the month, the rest of the year or how ever long it is. We can't do this on our own financially, emotionally, spiritually . . . any way! But if we allow God to plant our roots deep and if we desire to be used, the blooms will come.

Finally, I see it here . . . Let's also not forget Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 3:6, "I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth."

If the only thing that I did receive in ministering to the church that we candidated for was this . . . I saw that I was ready to return to my call, my passion, my purpose. I want to make a difference! The place that I can make a difference is where ever I am at that very moment.

That church experience showed me what motivates me. Do you want to know what motivates me? It's blessing another person. It's praying with them. It's seeing a tear of joy in their eye. I want to make a difference in some body's life. I want to make a difference in this world. To me, that is meaning.

So, I have made a conscious choice to look for ministry opportunities, to get involved, live in the moment of where we are and for what HE has for us. I will let the roots go where they may go however deep they may go and see what blooms around me.

Prayer:  Lord, You are doing a wonderful work in each of us. You are very much alive, showing Your power and Your love through those around us who have chosen to bloom where You have planted them. And now, today, make us people who are beautiful images of You. Let us, in turn, bless others around us. Let us, carry Your fragrance to those around us. Let us bloom where we are planted!  In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.


 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Recap of 2011

Before we begin sharing 2011 with you we want you to know that we love YOU! We appreciate YOU! Through out the year YOU are in our thoughts and prayers. We feel that there is no better time than after you have had time with your family and friends as we start a new year to express our gratitude of having YOU in our life.


We pray that in 2012 that YOU have a BLESSED year! We want to express to you the BLESSING of the Lord. We pass it on to you! BE BLESSED!

2011 in Review . . .

The first part of 2011 was probably the most adventurous, for the length of time, we have ever had in our life. We sure did try to rush it and settle down and did not find out where we were going to land until just a couple of weeks ago, but we will get to that at the end of 2011. Right now we are still at the beginning.

From January until June we lived and traveled out of our 2006 Scion with Scrappy and Dooley. Although Scrappy was adopted by the Hands family in March. We did have wonderful dear friends, John and Shirley Noufer, who adopted us and gave us a place to stay as we traveled around the south eastern half of the country candidating for churches looking for our church family. We will forever be grateful to the Noufers and the others who gave us a place to lay our weary heads.

In April, we traveled to Zimbabwe, Africa to consider moving there for a season. We were there not long and was quite aware that this was not the season to settle there. As desperate as Daniell was ready to settle we knew that this was not it. So we decided that when we returned to the States we would begin looking for secular work and who ever landed the job first that would be where we would temporarily live until we had clarity. Immediately after our return back to the states, Mark had an interview in Florida and Daniell had one in Georgia. For a short time we thought we may be separated for a season, but Daniell prayed we would not and we weren’t. We got our first apartment after 28 years in Canton, Georgia as temporary housing.

Within two weeks of settling, we lost the 2006 Scion, but thankfully Daniell’s life was spared. She had a head on collision. She has dealt with some side affects of the accident, but it has caused her to be more health conscious to counter the affects of the wreck and she now requires us both to eat better.

For the past six months we have candidated and nothing has worked out. Through out this time as well as the past 3 years we were still being encouraged to start a church in the Canton area. For our own natural reasoning, we have fought starting a church for the past 4 years. With encouragement still coming at our door we began to consider it and pray about it. . .

On a return trip from Tennessee, we had a friend who is an angel in human form grace our presence one day. She uttered just the right Holy Spirit filled words to us and the words that stuck more than any were, "bloom where you are planted". Those words penetrated our heart. Daniell wrote a devotional (January 2, 2012) embracing the moment not knowing where it would take us. We began to minister in the moments that presented themselves to us and with in a months time events played out and the week of Christmas we became a 501c3 non-profit ministry. I must say the timing of this gift to us is quite humbling. Jesus had already come to us to give us all for Christmas and for Him to add this gift to us during this season even caused us to be even more awe of our Lord as how much He loves us. We could not ask for a better Christmas miracle. To be able to give all that you have for the purpose of others in ministry is the best thing in the world!

In just a few short days of founding New Hope Church & Ministries, we have a website, a post office box, a bank account, business cards and people willing to partner with us. Our first service will be held at a Christian art gallery, Studio 121, on Friday, January 6 at 7:30pm. We are BLESSED!

We will continue to be bi-vocational. Daniell will continue to "sell to serve in ministry". She still offers AVON and has a fantastic AVON team. In the fall she became a resident artist at Studio 121 where her hidden talent radiates and grows. Mark became a seasonal greeter at Verizon and it appears he will stay on past the holiday. Unsure for how long, but we know he is for a little longer and for this we are very thankful!



Miles still resides in Hopewell, Virginia. He continues to work with the youth ministry team as he is available and has been a electricians helper with Flours Dupont a year come March. The lay offs take some getting use too, but he is learning to conserve when the money is good to hold him over when he is laid off.



Joshua and Whitney have been in Valdosta, Georgia now for five years and this year they may be making the move out of Georgia. Whitney has been providing her professional services as the television producer for Outfitters on the Outdoor Channel. Joshua will be leaving March 12 to begin his 10 week training qualifications to become a Para-Rescue Jumper.



The Barton family has much to look forward to in 2012. We are blessed! When one is walking in the blessings and favor of God they have much to pass on. So that is why we began this letter with YOU in mind for we want to be a BLESSING to many in 2012 . We truly pray for YOU and believe that YOU can have a BLESSED year! We want to express to you the BLESSING of the Lord. We want to pass it on to you! BE BLESSED!

Mark & Daniell Barton                                                                               
New Hope Church & Ministries                                                               
PO Box 4805                                                         
Canton, Georgia 30114                                         

Mark: 678-739-6709
Daniell: 678-739-6886

Church site: www.newhopechurchcanton.com
Devotional Blog: www.newhopefortheday.org
Shop AVON: www.youravon.com/teambarton