Thursday, October 10, 2013

Another Smilestone

"And let us not be weary in well doing:
for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
Galatians 6:9

(KJV)


Homespun Devotions just passed its TWO YEAR Anniversary!
We often call it a milestone, when an objective has been met.
There are some things that are just a bit more special, though.
These, I call Smilestones!
Because sometimes it is more than just another walked mile,
it is one more major reason to smile...
and rejoice in the God Who gives life and breath and all things.

It just hit me the other day that it has been two years.
The anniversary date crept up on me and slipped right past without me noticing.


This blog was birthed in anguish....literally.
Emotions torn to shreds,
spirit crushed beyond recognition,
I began to write....
to pour what was real...into words....typed on a computer screen,
to click the "publish" button,
and to send out what was in my heart...
to who knows where.


Last year, at this time, I considered giving up.
Doesn't the enemy try to get all of us to quit?
There have been moments like that...sprinkled along the way.
There have been prayers prayed to God,
riddled with questions as to what the purpose really is...
for all of this writing.
What is the plan with it all, Lord?
Why keep doing it?
Is it really worthwhile?
Is it accomplishing what YOU had in mind?

Every time I have wrestled, God has won.
At the end of every question and answer session,
I have surrendered.
Told God I would keep going....
keep pressing....
keep obeying.
That as long as He provides the material and inspiration,
and the fuel to keep the fire going....
 I'll be available.
I am willing.

By His grace, I will not say no to God.
I decided long ago that doing that is just not worth the trouble.
Obedience is better than condemnation....hands down....
no matter how hard it is to be obedient.


I look back to where I was when God first led me to do this,
to where I am today,
and I praise Him from the bottom of my heart...
that it is now...not then.

 I wouldn't want to repeat the pain.
I have no desire to revisit the battlefields
or to even remember the raw, bleeding wounds.
I choose to look at the scars...
and thank Him that the wounds aren't nearly as raw now...
that they only break open and bleed every now and then. :~)

I'm thankful I didn't give up.
Thankful I am still clinging tight to God's unchanging hand.
Thankful He has kept me, in spite of satan's plots to kill, steal, and destroy.
Grateful beyond words that He has given me grace to stand
and to continue to pursue His holiness and the calling He has placed upon my life.

He never promised it would be easy.
Once during a low point, a minister friend told me,
"If it was easy, Cheryl, anyone could do it."

The other day, I struggled....again.
The Potter clearly spoke.
"Child, I do not bring someone to My house to remake and remold them into a useful vessel,
only so they will sit idly up on a shelf.
I remake vessels so that they can be useful to Me.
I remake vessels because I want to fill them.
As I fill them, I want them to be poured out...
for the good of My people."

I could just picture all of the work He has put into me over the past few years.
How He has taken such marred brokenness and re-created something new...
upon His wheel.
All those hours,
days, 
months, 
years....
spent here in His house.
Was it for naught?

The Potter does not waste time.
He created time.
Spoke it into existence.
He realizes its value...its worth.
He has a purpose.
By His grace, I will not sit idly upon a shelf.
I will follow Jesus, holding tightly to His hand....
as He leads me forth.

I confess that there are many days that I just plain don't feel like writing.
We all become weary in well doing, in spite of being warned against it in Galatians 6:9.
Sometimes, I am as flat and uninspired as a person could possibly be.
I am completely without a single thing to say.

Then I open His Word.
No reading anywhere is more Holy Ghost inspired.
Every, single Word in it is eternal...profound....life-breathing.
Just one verse sets my heart aflame....
gives me extraordinary courage....
and compels me to get up and move....and do....what God requires.


He often tells me,
"As long as you have My Spirit within you and My Word in front of you....
that is all you need, child."

Bless His name!
I have proven it to be true...
time after time after time.

God's Word and God's Spirit...
they always agree.
His Spirit illuminates His Word 
and opens our understanding to what He is endeavoring to teach.
They work together...hand-in-hand and side-by-side.
How blessed we are to be endowed with both!
To have His precious Spirit dwelling within these temples of clay
and to have His Holy Word in our possession to hold in our hands,
read with our eyes,
and allow to sink deep within our hearts.

I'm deeply grateful for those who have supported this ministry
with kind words of encouragement
and most of all prayer.
I feel unworthy of any confidence placed within me,
for truly I have nothing to give,
and I am completely inadequate and incapable.

I am still figuring out a lot of things...as far as the computer part of it goes.
I finally figured out the other day how to add the "follower" gadget to my blog.
It only took me two years to figure it out, not that I tried all that hard.
If you care to follow me, feel free to add your name through Google Friend Connect.
The little gadget is below the "Popular Posts" section on the main page.

I hesitate to even mention this feature.
Because what if I fail and lead you astray should you choose to become a "follower"?
I am human.
Fallible.
Flawed.
Imperfect.
Redeemed only by His grace.
So, I humbly ask this favor....
please follow me, only as I follow Christ.
"Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ."
I Corinthians 11:1

As long as I am in tune with Him, His Spirit, His voice, His Word....
please take my hand....and follow.
We will see together...where this road will lead.
Together, we will continue to find hope in Christ.

I am nothing.
Without Jesus, I can do nothing.

I direct you to no denomination, creed, sect, "religion", or religious group. 


I offer NO humanly-contrived, man-made religious mold into which you must conform yourself.
I point you to no man-organized or humanly-controlled religious body.

The place from which I pull....
the only possible place from which I can pull anyone
or direct their attention to....
is the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ in front of which I kneel.
What else is reliable?
His cross is our only hope.
I cling to the cross...with all my might.
I bow here daily....pleading for His mercy....trusting completely in His amazing grace.


God has a divine purpose for each and every one of us.
Yours may be worlds apart from mine,
but both callings are equally important in the eyes of Almighty God.
You have your own unique background.
Your personal testimony belongs to you...and you alone.
No one can ever take that from you.
The experiences of your life 
and the things you have been through,
are all your own.
Only you can do what God is calling you to do.
No one else can fill your shoes.
You are irreplaceable, my friend.

God didn't bring us through the things He has brought us through
for us to sit on the sidelines, shrink into the darkness, and hide our light.
That would, undoubtedly, be the easiest alternative 
and it would most definitely be the path of least resistance.
But, it is not His plan.
He wants our individual stories to be told and shared 
for the benefit and encouragement of others.

He wants to turn our tests into testimonies to be told....
our messes into messages to be proclaimed.

Satan would like nothing more than to silence every voice 
who proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
He is continually busy setting up road blocks,
stumbling blocks, 
and blocks of offense.
If he can get us de-railed or distracted or discouraged,
he has accomplished his mission.
It is a continual, uphill battle to keep going.

God never calls us to do something 
without properly equipping us to do it.


All of us are called to do something to build up His Kingdom.
None of us are called to warm a pew.

So, I ask you this....what is God calling you to do?
What has He asked of you?
Are you discouraged in your calling?
Are you too terrified to even start?

Take His nail-scarred hand.
It is extended to you.
Place your trembling hand in His.
Take that first forward step.
The first step is always the hardest.
After that, I promise,
He will always be everything you need.

16 comments:

  1. God is always there, even in the darkest night or ugliest storm. Never never give up!

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    1. Thank you so much, my dear, new friend! You are a true blessing to me! Love, Cheryl

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  2. Good morning, Sister Cheryl, This is my very first time to read your blog, but I am impressed by it, and have enjoyed it very much, as well as have gotten some encouragement from it....Please keep up the good work that God has for you to do, and pray for Elaine and me that we shall ALWAYS be obedient to Him-no matter what He calls us to do...We both love you and your family.... Margaret Dunn and Elaine Otvos

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    1. My dear sisters, It was so nice to hear from you today! I have tried SO many times to email you! I don't understand why they are not coming through unless they are going to your spam folder? They never come back to me and appear to have gone through just fine. I am so glad you stopped by my blog, and I so appreciate the encouragement you left behind. :) I am praying for you and Elaine and think of you often. You are both so precious and dear. We love you both dearly! We hope to see you all again someday. God bless you in a special way.

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  3. The warm fireplaceOctober 13, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    From someone who kneels at that cross daily, your post spoke to me today,thank you.
    God bless you,
    Sue

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    1. Sue, Thank you so very much for stopping by here and for your sweet encouragement today. May the glory of that cross gently rest upon you today and all your days. Love, Cheryl

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  4. Cheryl, this is such an inspiration to me. Thank you, friend!

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    1. Thank you so much, my dear friend! I am so often encouraged by you, also. I am so thankful to have "met" you and that we can lift up one another on this Christian journey. God's peace be with you always. Love, Cheryl

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  5. Happy belated Blogaversary! Two years is a wonderful smilestone:) Billy Graham once said that if you wanted to change someone's life, tell a story - and that is just what you are doing - one story at a time! Beautiful courage, friend, in the telling of your story! Wishing you blessing and continued courage in the new year!

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    1. Thank you so much, dear friend! I had never heard that about Billy Graham. I respect him and his words so very much! Thank you for sharing. How precious and encouraging were YOUR words to me tonight, also! God bless you and keep you in the new year! Love, Cheryl

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  6. Love the quilts and other images in your post. I can identify with many of the things that you wrote even about your blog being started when you were in a torn, hurting place. Mine too. God is so good! May God bless you on this 2 year anniversary of your blog with double blessings.

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    1. Oh, thank you so very much for your kind comments and your loving spirit! I am so sorry you have been through such hurt. God seems to use those places in our lives to bring about wonderful things, and oftentimes, they are not merely for our benefit but for the beneficial encouragement of others. I so appreciate you stopping by today! Love, Cheryl

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  7. Hi Cheryl! This post really struck a chord with me! First, Happy Smilestone! I've been blogging about 4 years now and the reason that I started was to share the incredible lessons that God had taught me through some challenging times. Your word today is so encouraging. You are so right...God doesn't waste time. He has been shaping and growing me over these 4 years for a purpose. One of those purposes, I know now, is to be strong enough with Him to go through this particular time in my life...and hopefully to be encouraging as I share the new lessons I'm learning. Thank you for linking up with Sharing His Beauty! And, thank you for encouraging me so much today!

    Blessings, Joan

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    1. Oh, how timely your words to me, my friend! Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving encouragement behind. My heart goes out to you in this difficult season, and I know God is using you in a mighty way to be that solace of strength to any and all who visit your blog. I come there every week for the link-up, and I always leave filled with peace. I am convinced that the things we go through are so that we will be able to relate and bless others that come our way. How could Jesus have ever truly understood us if He had never literally walked in our shoes? And how could we ever begin to understand and relate to each other if we never walked the same path and endured similar trials? I am so grateful to God for placing you in my life and for the consistent encouragement you are to me. Iron sharpens iron. God bless you with a wonderful 2014! Love, Cheryl

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  8. (Having trouble with the comment box, so I apologize if you get two comments from me...) Just wanted to say how much I love the idea of SMILEstones, and I pray that your 2014 is marked with many such moments of joy.

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    1. Thank you so much, Jennifer, and I trust God will richly bless your new year as well! Thank you so much for stopping by and for the wonderful, weekly link-up! God's peace to you!

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