I was 25 years old when the song “I Won’t Back Down” sang by Tom Petty first came out. It quickly became one of my favorites and today, 25 years later I still I found myself still jamming to it in my car.
Well I know what’s right, I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
But I’ll stand my ground and I won’t back down
Hey baby… there ain’t no easy way out
Heeeey I… will stand… my ground
And I won’t back down
No, I won’t back down
I grew up listening to Rock music. Some of my favorites were Aerosmith, REO, Journey, Styx, and Pat Benetar, with Tom Petty being top of that list. I had the album (Full Moon Fever) and later in life I bought it again on CD which I still have. (for you youngsters CD stands for compact disk,)
Nowadays instead of listening to Rock music, most of the time you will find me listening to Christian music. I don’t listen to Christian music because I think it’s the only type of music a Christian should listen to, I listen to it because it tends to keep me grounded and keeps God more in the front of my mind but every now and then I still drag out the old CD’s or turn my radio on the oldies station. (I am admitting here today that I am old enough for my generation’s music to be called and ‘oldie‘ please do not tell anyone I said that ) Have you ever noticed how a song you loved from your past will usually lighten your mood? Today my car radio was on the oldies station but I wasn’t really paying much attention to it because I had just left an appointment with my orthopedic doctor. His news wasn’t the best of news and I was feeling pretty low.
So there I was…Driving down the road, telling God that I was not really happy about what is going on in my life right now. I was telling him I was feeling exhausted and had had enough of all the health issues. As I was blabbering I heard Tom Petty’s voice singing ‘I Won’t Back Down’. As I just said, I used to love this song.
Reach out – Grab volume control – TURN IT UP!
I hadn’t heard that song in a while and the longer it played I found myself thinking about how God is here with me through everything and how I can’t be giving up. I can not be letting the things of this world be pushing me around. It wasn’t to long and I found myself singing along loudly, “In a world that keeps on pushing me around….I won’t back down!”
Not too much longer after that I went and had a good long visit with God.
Though the song says I won’t back down, the first thing I knew I had to do was I did have to back down. I had to back down from hanging on to my anger, my fear and trying to control the situation. I had to back down and know that I am not the one in control. Though I did already know this, once again I had to be reminded. Once again I found my self realizing I had to back down and let God be the one in control.
No matter how tough life can be I know God is tough too.
I have heard the term he will meet you right where you are at and today what I saw was exactly that,
Today he met me in a Tom Petty song because that is what it took for me to listen to him. God speaks in many ways and sometimes its in places I would never expect to find him.
After all these years I still like Tom Petty music and tonight the thought crossed my mind… I wonder if God likes Tom Petty’s music? I do know is that he used Tom’s music to catch my attention today because just a few minutes before hearing that song I had cried out for God to help me and he did.
Today God gave me exactly what I needed to tackle another day and I know he will continue to give me what I need as each day comes. With God on my side I know I will always have his strength and will never ever have to back down.
If you haven’t heard the song I Won’t Back Down by Tom Petty here it is….
Have a blessed day and thanks for reading,
For as long as I live on this earth I will continue to be amazed at the beauty that God continually puts before me. Not only is each day gift from God, but also in each day there are many gifts to be had. Will I chose to let God’s gifts slip by unnoticed or will I slow down and stop to unwrap them? If I don’t choose to unwrap them, will they still be there waiting or will they slowly slip away to be lost forever?
I am so thankful that I didn’t let this one slip away unnoticed. This evening I stopped and watched as this wonderful and amazing gift was unwrapped before my eyes. As the sun slowly slipped down into the ocean I watched the sky turned to beautiful shades of oranges, reds, yellows and blues and the waves were shining and glittering like black glass. I felt like an artist was painting on a canvas right before me. As I savored and enjoyed this gift that was given to me I realized what an awesome God I serve and just how blessed I am. He is the artist, the amazing one who created this beautiful gift and I am thankful and in awe that he gave it to me.
Journal entry February 18, 2014 Riviara Nayarit Jalisco Mexico
If you just watched the “Son of God” movie trailer at the beginning of this post and would like to see this movie you and a friend could go for free! I am excited to announce that Compassion has given some of us bloggers movie tickets to give away to our readers and because you are reading this post that person could be you. If you would like 2 free tickets to this movie please tell me in the comments section how sponsoring a child through Compassion has effected your life or your sponsored child’s life. If you don’t sponsor a child through Compassion that’s okay you can still enter by asking me a question about child sponsorship. Just place your answer or question in the comment section of this post by Friday February 28th at 11:59 pm CST and then on Saturday March 1 I will put the names of everyone who entered in a drawing and let my grand daughter pull the name of the lucky winner out. The winner of the 2 free tickets name will be posted by Sunday March 2nd on my blog and I will tell you then how to contact me to get your free tickets. Please feel free to tell me anything else you wish to tell about your sponsored child too just don’t forget you have to answer the question or ask me one to win.
That’s it. I am looking forward to reading your comments!
If you would like more information about child sponsorship through Compassion click the picture of the child below or you can also click the category titled “Compassion” on the right hand side of this blog.
I haven’t drank a drop of alcohol in I over 2 years but yet over the course of the last week I met a few people who thought I had been drinking. I saw a lot of people staring at me as I walked by them and I also heard a couple of people make comments to each other, one person flat out pointed and told those he was with, “she’s had a few to many.”
Nobody truly knows anyone else’s story but we all know our own and my story is that I do not drink anymore. I know it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks and all that really matters is what God thinks…but it still does sure hurt when others think they know your story but they are wrong.
Why would people think that my story was that I was drunk?? Well first off we were at a resort in Mexico where the alcohol flows freely and the second reason is because I don’t always walk ‘normal’ anymore especially when my legs are tired and worn out towards the end of the day.
This past September I had what was supposed to be a minor knee surgery on both of my knees which were 3 weeks apart for a torn meniscus and arthritis clean up. I have pretty bad arthritis in both of my knees and had a lot of debris that needed to be removed. After the surgery I was informed that my meniscus was completely removed from my right knee and most the meniscus was removed out of my left knee. The doctor also said that the arthritis has pretty much destroyed my right knee and that I have bone rubbing on bone now. I also have a cyst in the back of my left knee that causes my leg and foot to swell that can not be removed because it is in a dangerous place to remove it. The doctor thinks that it is safer to leave it alone since it is benign.
Before the surgery my knees hurt when I walked but the pain was still tolerable. Now five months after the surgery that was supposed to help me I have excruciating pain when I walk and I am awake most nights over half the night in pain. I can’t go up and down stairs anymore without hanging on and slowly going one leg at a time. Instead of getting better I seem to be getting worse. Another thing that has happened is that I sometimes wobble and get off balance when I walk or if someone bumps into me. It seems to be worse when I first get up from a sitting position. It’s like I have to stand a minute to settle and then it takes about 30 steps for me get walking correctly, I guess it has something to do with the blood flow?… I really don’t know but that is my own opinion. My doctor keeps telling me to give it time and to keep doing my exercises. I haven’t really told many of my friends about this because I don’t like people to be making over me and I hope no one who reads this thinks I am whining or complaining, because I am not. I am only telling this all here to complete the story I am about to tell.
This week I realized I have a lot more healing to do and not just in my legs; though I seem to be genuinely happy most days since the surgeries I keep feeling like something is missing inside. I had been having trouble concentrating when I prayed and I keep feeling like maybe God was at a distance. I talk to him non stop and knew he was there but something just did not seem quite right.
I was looking foreword to this vacation because usually when I get to a place away from my everyday life I seem to draw closer to God because I tend slow down and I guess that causes me to see him better. I know that may seem weird to some but sometimes I tend to get caught up in all the stuff I have to do in my every day life and it becomes more about getting the stuff done and God ends up getting shoved to the bottom of the list sometimes. I am sad to say even things like Bible study class turn into “oh my gosh, I have to get caught up on my homework!” Instead of, “I am so excited about the time I get to spend with God during my Bible study time!”
Though I do feel like I have came a long way in the past four years I do know that I still have many self centered wants that I need to work on and a lot more growing to do. I also do know that I don’t have to go to some exotic place to see God. Lately it just seemed like I had been trying hard to find him, which seems kinda silly because actually I do know He is all around me all the time. I guess He’s Just a bit harder to see when the selfishness of me sometimes blocks the view.
The other night I was reading a book by Joni Erickson Tada and in her book she wrote that when she made up her mind to take delight in the Lord that is when she truly found delight in her life despite her painful disability. She wrote that delight is here to be had and all we have to do is receive it. Receive it…that’s it… Just receive it.
Our second day at the resort we were getting ready to have lunch and I was really feeling down about the pain in my legs and all the stairs I had been encountering to climb. After a long walk to get to the resort restaurant, I sat down at the table exhausted and hurting thinking I had made a mistake by coming here…”Take delight in the Lord”… I thought in my head …”Please let me see Jesus this week and give me the strength to not complain and ruin vacation for my husband.”
Shortly after we sat down a voice beside me said, “Hola and welcome, how may I serve you today?” I looked up to see our waiter smiling joyfully at me and on his bright white uniform was a shiny golden name tag displaying the name ‘Jesus’… Jesus?… Really?… Our waiters name was Jesus? You got to be kidding I pray to see Jesus and get a waiter named Jesus? Oooo-kay…
Take delight in the Lord…. Just receive it…
I have prayed many times for God to use me to be the hands and feet of Jesus but this guy was actually the living image of that. I have to say this young man went out of his way to make our lunch special. The cool thing is he didn’t strike me as if he was just doing his job it seemed to me as if he was spilling over with excess joy that was washing all over my husband and myself. He just kept serving us with laughter and smiles and was a pure delight to be around. After we finished our lunch and left I remarked to my husband how it was like Jesus himself had waited on us.
We laughed about it and it turned into our daily joke… “Oh look honey there’s Jesus again”
As the week went on I kept coming across more stairs to climb and also more stares from the people I would wobble past… by the way did I mention I bought a cane for this trip? Yes I did but my pride would not let me use it. Ya that’s me the prideful lady worried about what everyone else thinks taking the pain of my legs and letting people think I was drunk over thinking I was… handicapped?? Ya I know that seems to make a whole lot of sense… NOT.
Also as the week went on we would see our favorite waiter ‘Jesus’ every day in different areas of the resort working hard to serve the guests, he was always smiling and spreading joy. I noticed also that the more I saw ‘Jesus the waiter’ the more I was reminded that Jesus is alive and well all around me. I began to quit worrying about what other people thought of me hobbling around. I also realized that if I am avoiding eye contact with people because I am embarrassed how does that spread Jesus? I am who God made me to be and who cares what anyone else thinks other than God and I don’t know that he would be to proud of me running around being ashamed of something as silly as a wobble in my walk.
Take delight in the Lord … I was finally starting to receive it.
Our last day of vacation we went to the pool restaurant to eat lunch and we were happy to see that Jesus was our waiter again. Today as he was taking our order I noticed something different about him… today his shiny gold name tag said ‘Hugo’. Puzzled I pointed at his nametag and said, “Is your name Hugo?” and I mentioned his ‘Jesus’ nametag he had worn the other days. He sheepishly grinned and said, “My name is Hugo.” It seems that he had forgotten his nametag the other day and had borrowed someone else’s.
I know there is only one true Jesus but if ever there was a person who showed Jesus in his actions I have to say Hugo was that man. He showed me Jesus this week and I know that is how I want to be too. I want to be so full of the love of Jesus that others see Jesus in me like I saw in Hugo. I still amazed how God works. Would I have seen Jesus in Hugo without the nametag? It was pretty obvious how much Jesus was in him but the thing is I was so busy wallowing in my own self pity that I couldn’t see what was right in front of me. I am thinking that maybe God had to play a little game of name tag switch-a-roo to catch my attention and it worked. Take delight in the Lord… this really made me smile when I realized what was happening. God is really awesome isn’t he?
Today as I write this I am on a plane heading home from Mexico, I went there for vacation and was hoping to catch a glimpse of Jesus while I was there. I did find Jesus but the thing is he was never lost, he was always there. God never moved away, it was me who moved. As far as my failing knees go those are just bumps in the road along this journey. Sometimes the road gets a bit harder to travel but each time the road gets harder I find that if I keep pushing on I get stronger. I also find that the road is easier to travel if I stay focused on God first. If I focus on him first then all that other stuff that normally bogs me down seems a lot less important.
Receive him…that’s it. My hearts desire is him and once I have him the delight just flows right in.
If you are reading this today remember Jesus is always with you all you have to do is allow him in.
Psalm 37:4-6 – Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. (NLT)
Thanks for reading,
He made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. He keeps every promise forever. Psalms 146:6 NLT
I want to start this post by saying I usually don’t mention names in my blog for the privacy of the people who I am writing about. As you know this blog is about my journey with Jesus and sometimes I just can’t avoid people being able to recognize themselves or someone I have written about. This story involves someone that I know is a follower of my blog. Though I did not use names I am sure the person will most likely recognize himself and I just would like to say thank you for taking the time today to be obedient to God. You made a big difference in my day and I admire your faith and the example that you set.
A Silent Prayer of Peace
When I wake up in the morning I usually reach over and grab my Bible off my nightstand and then I head to the kitchen where I grab a cup of coffee and settle into my favorite chair for one on one time with God…. but I didn’t do that today.
Today I overslept.
Today when I got out of bed I still swung by the kitchen for coffee but instead of heading for my Bible and God I instead headed to the shower. After my shower I rushed off to work completely forgetting to have any sort of prayer what so ever.
This was a big mistake…
How could I remember the coffee but forget about God?? Why is it that I my brain says, “you need caffeine” instead of “you need God?”This is not a good way to start the day and I would not recommend it
This week has been an especially hard and stressful week, so this week of all weeks you think I would be clinging on to God a little extra tighter, but instead this morning I found myself running out the door away from God instead of running to God.
When I arrived at work today I felt really far behind because yesterday was one of those days that I spent spinning my wheels all day and I never seemed to get anything accomplished. As the morning went on I found that just like yesterday, I did not seem to be getting anywhere fast today either. As most of you know I work for church. Most days it’s pretty quiet at the church and I don’t usually see to many people there during the week, but today it was very busy. A lot of people were in and out and I kept talking to them, the phone kept ringing and it seemed like I just kept getting sidetracked from what I really needed to get done.. My wheels were spinning yet I wasn’t moving at all towards the finish line.
After a while things seemed to be settling down and I was finally alone in the office. I was just beginning to focus on my work and I looked at the clock and saw that I had about 30 minutes left until I had to leave for the day. With a little bit of focus I could possibly get something accomplished today…..
and then a man walked into the office.
He asked me if I would like to come into the sanctuary with him and kneel at the altar and have a moment of silent prayer.
I have never had anyone ask me to do that before so at first his request caught me by surprise (don’t forget I am still a bit of a newbie in this journey) I guess it never dawned on me that someone would request that I have silent prayer with them. I have had people ask me to pray with them for them, but never ask me join in a silent prayer. The most interesting part was that when I asked him what he wanted to pray about he said that all he wanted to do was to pray silently together with other Christians because he had read in the Bible that when two or more people get together and pray God is among them.
I will admit the first thought to my mind when he asked me to go pray was “I don’t have time for this right now’ but yet at the same time a voice inside was saying “Girl, you need to do this!” and I knew I did.
So I said yes and told him I would meet him in the sanctuary. As I was entering the sanctuary I saw he was asking another lady to join us, she said yes right away never hesitating at all. A few seconds later the three of us were kneeling at the alter in silent prayer.
We only prayed for about a minute or two but after that very small moment of prayer I realized I felt less rushed and more peaceful. I also realized during that time, that I had not taken time to be with God today. When I got back to my office I also realized that I was really not nearly as busy today as I had thought I was only a few moments ago. I put my work away (the work that I thought I had a whole lot of earlier) and went outside to my car and prayed some more finally getting that precious time with the Lord that I needed.
I find that if I start my day with God I will pretty much talk to him most of the day and most of the time no matter what the day brings I feel peaceful, but if I don’t start out with him I tend to be off track and out of sorts until I do.
God is Faithful….Even though I had not taken time for God that morning, God still took the time for me. I know He sent that man into my office. I have been wondering all day if he knew that God had sent him. I have no idea what he or the other woman prayed about during that minute of prayer but I do know that after we finished praying I felt ready to face my day and I also felt at peace. I find it really cool how God does that. He knew what I needed today and he sent it. He knew I needed time with him so he sent someone to ask me to pray.
God knows what we need and when we need it. It’s Him that we all need, and we need Him all of the time, not just when we think we have the time.
Father thank you for the people you have surrounded me with. I know that there are days I get off track but you always seem to bring me back around.
Dear Readers. My heart is heavy today, my sister’s boyfriend who was her best friend of 12 years passed away suddenly this past Saturday night. He was only 37 years old and also left behind 2 young daughters. His daughters and my sister are broken hearted at losing him. My sister has been ill for the past couple of years and he is always there for her taking her to the doctor, sitting by her bed when she is sick and just hanging out with her being her friend. Right now she seems so lost without him and it breaks my heart to see the pain she is going through. Will you please add my sister and his family to your prayers?
Thank you for your prayers and for reading.
Blessings to you,
The following post brought tears to my eyes.Tears of sadness that this really does go on in our world and tears of joy that there really is hope.
Shared from Compassion International’s blog
A father’s hands keep a little girl’s world steady. They keep the ghosts away.
She leans over, a Compassion center worker, and whispers in my ear,
“Holding a hand is a miracle for them.”
With that I close my hands around theirs a little tighter. I walk a bit slower. And I let this miracle fully bloom and live.
I thank God that I could always, always find my father’s hand.
Yesterday, we visited the most feared slum in Uganda. We returned today. We returned to those hands. And they came at us waiting to be filled.
We moved forward.
Skipping over sewage soaked, dirt crevices.
Ducking in and out of laundry hung out to dry. Hanging inches away from the dirt and trash. And I think,
“Are they ever truly clean?”
This slum is what nightmares are made of. Filled with what gifts are made of.
I know it’s a nightmare because a child thinks the presence of my hand cupping hers is a miracle. And a miracle is something that is out of the ordinary. Unimaginable.
I know it is what nightmares are made of because toddlers are running around naked. All day long. Rolling around in the dirt. A little girl is carrying around a baby just a few months old, and where is her mother?
Where are any of the mothers in this sea of children? Where are their fathers’ hands?
But the moment I truly realize that we walked straight into a nightmare is when I meet Esther*. She is in the Compassion program. Her presence, strong. She’s bright, lighting up the room with her essence.
She’s smart, carrying on conversations with us in English. She is a leader, standing up during the church service to speak.
But when I duck into her house, I learn that she has, on and off, taken to the streets. Which I come to understand means prostitution.
Her dad is not present. Men are reaching for her hand. But they’re taking her to the street and they’re using her in every way.
So, it’s a nightmare. And how is a young lady so well put together, so confident and beaming being led into the street?
And where is her father’s hand?
Sometimes she finds herself there. A street girl. And a few weeks ago a man lured her to the street again.
Her mother works nights and Esther is home alone and there’s dirt and trash everywhere, so of course there are no locks. There is no safety.
Her mother comes home and she enters a new nightmare. The one where her daughter goes missing. Again. And she probably knows that her daughter is in the streets somewhere. And she’s probably trying not to think about what is happening to her daughter right at that very moment.
But inside this dirt-laden slum is a hand. A strong hand. Esther’s mother reaches out, throws her hand out. Looking for help. And it’s caught. By Compassion.
Because in a nightmare, when you wake up screaming and grabbing out past the dark, you need a hand to catch yours and pull you out. And expose the ghosts.
The Compassion center workers start looking for Esther immediately. They involve the police. They talk to people on the street. And they find her.
The man flees and goes into hiding. He’s still there. Because he knows that the Compassion center will work diligently with the police to prosecute as soon as he is caught.
This Compassion center, which is in the most feared slum in Uganda, is a safe place. A light switched on in the midst of a nightmare.
At the end of the day, we file into the center and hear this:
As we leave the center, hands fill our teams’ hands. Tiny hands traveling up our arms, grabbing on for a miracle. We welcome them. Cradle the tiny hands. Let miracle upon miracle come true.We step up and into the van and gently let go. And we let the Compassion center reach out and grab on and turn on the light.
And do you know that if you’re a sponsor, you’re the one allowing the Compassion center to reach out in the very moment of need? Did you know you are a miracle?
*Not her real name.
Courtesy of Compassion International: http://blog.compassion.com/nightmares-made/#ixzz2s29wH300
205 Children in Uganda have been sponsored so far this week!
I have exciting news! This week is the five year anniversary of Compassion Bloggers and to celebrate a group of Compassion bloggers are in Uganda and have a goal to release 400 children from poverty during this week. You can follow along by clicking the picture below to read their blog posts. Today was their first day and the blog posts were amazing!
YOU can also join us in celebrating this five year anniversary by helping us get 400 children sponsored in Uganda. You click the link below and find out more about how you can sponsor and help release a child from poverty in Jesus name.
You can also help by praying for the children of Uganda and also by sharing this post or one of the bloggers in Uganda’s posts on facebook, twitter, pinterest or instagram, using the hashtag #compassionbloggers.
Thanks for your help! :)
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18
Today I woke up in a horrible mood. My heart was racing and my mind was anxious and whirling. I had been up most of the night with terrible knee pain and panic about my eye problems. And then to top off the morning I had gotten angry with my husband and snipped at him before I leaving for work.
The minute I got in the car to go to work my pity party started, I was crying and telling God I was tired. I was tired of the pain in my knees, tired of not sleeping, tired of the eye stuff, you name it I was tired of it.
As I topped the hill right before the church where I work I said, “Please Lord I just need a break, can you just give me a little peace?
And then I saw this beautiful sunrise….
I had to pull over to take that picture because it was so breathtaking. I then pulled into the parking lot and took a few more.
I actually took 16 more pictures before I saw it. Do you see it?
Answered prayer was right in front of my face.
Not just the beautiful sunrise but he also gave me the peace I had asked for.
P – E – A – C – E he had spelled it out for me!
Today our church sign was frozen on the word peace (bottom left corner), some would say it was broken? i would say it was working perfectly
What an awesome gift and a blessing God gave me today. Sometimes I am still amazed that he loves me so much
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7