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Forgiven

Have you forgiven her? You know who I mean. The one we are so quick to fault for being deceived. The one who ate the fruit, opened the door to the curse and changed your life before it even began. Eve. Not Original Eve, we like her. Maybe even envy her a bit. Beautiful, young, strong, loved, desired, comfortable in her own skin. But Fallen Eve. Her we blame, her we look at and judge. And how often do we associate the difficulties in our lives with her choice? How often do we think life would be so much better if she had just not been deceived?

I have an over developed sense of history. I think it started with a field trip to Appomattox Court House when I was very young and very impressionable. My imagination had no trouble bringing to life the men and women who had once walked that ground. The people were very real and the events of that place changed the lives of ever person living today. The course of a nation changed and by changing that nation the world changed. That place is summed up in one word…surrender.

Now I know you are wondering how I’m possibly going to bring Eve and General Grant together and I was too until I looked for the link and God did what He does best. I am writing this while waiting for my little family to finish getting ready for church. It’s Palm Sunday. I didn’t write this earlier in the week when explaining my over developed sense of history to some friends. I didn’t write it earlier in the week when I was really on a roll with some of the messages God has been giving me about Eve. I got this conviction this morning while fuming and putting on my make up for church. I have trouble forgiving those who have hurt the ones I love. I forgive pretty well the ones who hurt me personally but something in side still holds on to the offenses committed against those I wasn’t able to prevent or protect from. And in that moment God showed me I haven’t forgiven Eve. She has probably carried more unforgiveness than any other woman, ever.

But she’s been forgiven. She was forgiven in the cross just as fully as I was. She was loved in her broken fallenness just as deeply as she was in her perfection, maybe even more. In the garden the word so often is fallen. In the courthouse so often the word we fear is guilty. In the second garden the word was surrender. And in the garden of sorrow we see the word victory.

For there to be forgiveness there has to be surrender.”On Palm Sunday, 1865, Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House, Virginia signaled the end of the Southern States attempt to create a separate nation. It set the stage for the emergence of an expanded and more powerful Federal government. In a sense the struggle over how much power the central government would hold had finally been settled.”

It time to forgive Eve…it’s time to surrender…the struggle for power has been finally settled….

 

 

 

Artificial Stress

Today is an artificial deadline. For many it is an annual high water line for stress and fear. For others it comes and goes and they watch the frantic stress with a satisfied smugness knowing they have taken steps to avoid this particular stress.  Their tax returns have been turned in.

I walked the fine line myself this year. Normally I have our taxes filed in January or February. This year the IRS had some processing problems and advised some filers to wait until they resolved their internal issues. That was fine with me. I had some internal issues to resolve myself about filing this year.

Last year I held “Go Deeper Still Women’s Conference” at Mt Hermon. We had 9 sessions, 4 speakers and 9 attendees. While the other speakers were amazing and the women who attended were blessed and blessings, I have considered it personally my “greatest failure” in service for God. I know, nothing overly dramatic about that…

A few months ago I got an email out of the blue from someone who had no idea the agreement my heart had made about GDS. The email said “Tell her she did good. She obeyed ME”. The writer of the email said he had no idea what the message was about but had to send it.

Last week I spent some time on the phone with a precious woman of wisdom and grace. She asked me if there were agreements I knew were re-building the walls around my heart. I told her how I felt I had not been a wise steward of the money Matt got when he was laid off from VMWare in Nov 09 and how a large chuck of his payout in Feb ’10 went to GDS. She reminded me that if he hadn’t gotten laid off we wouldn’t have had the large chuck for GDS. Then she asked me what I knew I needed to do but was procrastinating about. I told her I hadn’t filed the taxes yet. Not that they were late but that I didn’t want to look at all the money I had “wasted” last year. In my heart that was still what I thought.

Last night I had a dream and this is why I am writing this morning (Thursday). In the dream I was standing at the back of the room we held GDS in. The room was empty and the sun shining through the windows was the only light. It was just like the afternoon I stood there and prayed over GDS alone before the speakers and women arrived. I think that was the moment I made the agreement that GDS wasn’t enough. That I wasn’t enough. But in the dream last night I heard Him say, “It was always covered. I called who I called and they came. I trusted you and you obeyed. I paid for it before I gave it to you. Accept this gift, Talitha.”

As you probably know, our tax refund exactly covers the out of pocket expenses of GDS!

Following Directions

A few years ago I started investing in an amazing collection of software from Logos. Let me start by saying I do not get any compensation from them in any form. I have been and continue to be deeply blessed and challenged by the material they offer.

So I was cleaning out my desk last week, trying to avoid the things I put on my “to do” list, when I found the Logos 4 Training Manual I ordered after I ordered and installed the update. I started flipping through it and realized I had figured out most of the tricks in the manual on my own. But something tells me I’ve missed some of the great tools they designed into the program. So I’ve decided to work through each page, in order and with the software open so I can actually do the functions as I read about them. I know, novel concept…read and follow directions!

Looking forward to seeing what happens when I not only follow the path set before me but use the road map!

Parsnips and Rootabagas

Are they on your shopping list today? Probably not. Not a high demand for them any more. McDonald’s doesn’t deep fry and salt them. KFC hasn’t battered and fried them. Pizza Hut hasn’t smoothered them in cheese. So why am I writing about them today? Good question. Probably the same reason you’re not eating them today. They are not on your menu.

Five years ago I read a book that altered the course of my spiritual journey. Because of the book I took action. I ordered more copies of the book and gave them away to those I loved. I took risks and grew in faith and spirit. I found new friends and opened my heart to them. Some of those friends told me about other books and speakers. Some of those friends took time to sit and talk and talk and talk and really listen.

Listening is becoming a lost art. Time to spend really sitting with a friend is a luxury and one we think we can’t afford. Reading a book not just once but a second or third time…what was the last book you read that was really worth re-reading? (No, really. I’d like to know. That’s how I cut through the good and find the best.)

Parsnips and rootabagas are out of season and out of fashion right now. I’m guessing most of my reader have never tasted either. But friendship and building deep connections are in season and who really cares about fashion anyway. Parsnips and rootabagas are root vegetables. They don’t have the flashiness of summer fruit or the sweetness of watermelon. They have an earthy taste that fills and brings comfort in the cold winter months. Take the time to plant some deep root vegetables today. The kind that will see you through the winter of life.

It’s easy to make new friends. It’s hard to make old ones.

After You

Dear Child,

It’s not FOLLOWING

unless you let

ME go

FIRST.

Love, God

 

These words are on a large plaque next to my desk. When I turn my chair to get up I face them each time. I placed the reminder there a couple of years ago. Most days I don’t give it a second thought or glance. You know how it is when something just becomes so familiar you don’t notice it. But the past two weeks, while my site has been silent God has been speaking to my heart. I’ve been trying to “figure out” what He wants me to do next. Which direction am I supposed to go?

My list of people I want to work with started because of a challenge in a book. But I think the challenge actually began even before that. I have been seeing God at work in and through the people on my list for a while. That’s why they are on the list. There is something in what they are doing that calls me out of my comfortable daily life and tells me adventure is out there.

So today I start with the One person I want to work with the most. God. I don’t have to set the direction, just follow the one He’s established. I don’t have to set the pace. He know’s my legs are not as long as His. I don’t have to beat down doors He’s already passed through. I don’t have to “make anything happen”. In Him it is already finished.

Time to get up out of my chair and FOLLOW.

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