Monday, April 29, 2013

Lessons from Rex

Its amazing what my dog Rex has taught me, I would never have thought that wrapped up in this small canine
would be many lessons about life, love and my relationship with God.
One such moment happened the other day, you see sometimes I get lazy and I let my dog go outside without being tethered to his chain, once he recognizes his freedom he bolts. Off he goes to explore the neighborhood, running through puddles, running through peoples yards, exploring the open road all very exciting in the moment for this little dog.  He gets filthy, caked with mud and wet from running through the puddles, after a while he becomes hungry and tired and when it comes time for him to find his way home he doesn't stop and ask himself, 'I wonder if they will take me back, I wonder if they will still love me'. He also doesn't look at himself and say ' Wow I should really clean myself up before I go home.' Instead he comes running up to the front door barking letting me know he is back, trusting that I will open the door for him and that I will do a much better job of cleaning him than he could ever hope to do on his own.
When I opened the door to my now very dirty dog Rex with his tail wagging I felt a gentle nudge inside as if God was telling me clear as day 'If only my children could be like this little dog, after running away and getting caught up in some of the filth the world has to offer that they can always run back to my open arms, and that I am ALWAYS there ready for them and that they don't have to first clean themselves up but that I will accept them just as they are.'  
To be honest I cried as I scooped up my dirty puppy in my arms because of this simple yet extremely profound image God had given me of His love for each and every one of us.  I then had the patience to clean my puppy and see this relationship in a new light, one of the gentle saviour who wants us to approach him with boldness along with all our filth and garbage and give it ALL to him and allow him to do a work in us, cleaning our hearts and minds through a loving relationship with him. 
The love of God is so amazing, he longs to be in a relationship with each and every one of us and not just to change us but to show us the love he has for us!! If you are hurting or feeling as if you are to messed up and that he could never possibly forgive you for what you've done  please remember the picture of a loving father with his arms OPEN WIDE waiting for you to run into his arms so that he can comfort you, forgive you and love you. 
He is loving you every single moment of every single day it is only up to you to receive it!!
Open your heart to him today, you won't be disappointed!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Power of Vision

 Segrada Familia is a church in Barcelona Spain that started construction in 1882, yes you read that right 1882, 131 years ago (just did the math on my calculator cause that's how I roll).  A man by the name of Antoni Gaudi was commissioned to carry out the vision of this church, a vision from Francisco de Paula del Villar who died in 1901, a work which Gaudi continued until his death in 1926, since then various architects have worked on this building which is STILL being constructed to this day from the original drawings of the original idea.

I'm not here to give you a history lesson, honest....

I have had the opportunity to visit this site now twice and each time it has been an amazing experience and site to see, although it seems that each time I visit God has stashed a little nugget of insight into the visit and this second visit did not disappoint.

As I walked through the interior of this magnificent church and stood before the original drawings and models of the initial vision of this church God spoke quietly to my heart, and how many of you know that when you hear that voice, although a still small voice the truth echos in your ears louder than a banging drum.

This is what was said to me' Louise what if I gave you a vision for your life SO big that you knew it would never be completed in your lifetime, would you still be faithful in walking through the steps I have placed before you knowing that you would never see the vision completed?'

Immediately I was filled with emotion and couldn't keep the tears from falling.  Here I am standing in a building that has been in construction for over 130 years the initial vision of one man who had to have known he would never see it completed and here I am being asked if I would have the same drive, determination and faith to go ahead with a vision that I knew I would never see completed. 

To be honest I think it made me cry because I always thought the vision of my life to be about me, selfish yes.  I thought that if God had a purpose and vision for my life I would be able to see it all come to pass in my life instead of being only a part of it. Yet here he posed me with a question, would I be faithful to complete a task he set before me knowing I may not see the result or the vision completed.  It still brings tears to my eyes.  I know in my heart of hearts the answer is yes, to simply be used of God for ANY purpose at all is my hearts cry and my desire.  For him to then instill a vision in me so big knowing that I could never complete it on my own is then a dream of my heart.

So as I walked humbly through this building my heart was crying YES LORD USE ME the tears flowed freely, I didn't care who saw me I just knew in that moment I felt like Moses, I knew I was standing on Holy ground. 

What is he asking me to do? He is asking me to do my part, my part in the great commission and that is to seek and save that which is lost, to be a light shining in the darkness, that I believe is the ultimate vision and purpose for each one of us.

I fail, boy do I fail yet I know that if I continually pursue God with all my heart my steps will be directed, my light will shine and I can rest assured knowing that when my time is done here on earth that the torch will be handed down from generation to generation knowing that heaven is being populated by something that started as a tiny spark in my heart!!!

Thank you God for your goodness, your love and your still small voice that guides my heart!!

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Fight

I had no idea that the morning I woke up on Saturday June 30,2012 it would be a day I would fight for my life.  It all began on Thursday with a pounding headache I just medicated myself and went on with my day, Friday was the first day of July long weekend and every year our family comes together at my brothers place for a camp out and this year was no different, I packed up my family and our things and headed over to my brothers place, although once we arrived there I was out of commission, the headache pain was overwhelming so I slept most of the evening and went to bed early, I chalked it up to a nasty migraine.

Saturday June 30, 2012 is a day I don't remember much of but what I am told is that I woke up and acted very confused, I could not open a simple door and instead stood there angry kicking it, I vomited repeatedly and did not recognize my children.  At this point my mom insisted that they either call 911 or take me to the nearest hospital. 

My husband drove me to a local hospital and I remember collapsing outside the entrance after that I don't remember much, most of that day is gone from my memory, the following is what I have been told by family.

My family thought I had taken to much medication due to the pain I was experiencing and thought that my acting strange was a result of that, upon closer inspection by the doctor they realized that wasn't the case but decided to take me by ambulance to the nearest city and larger hospital for further inspection.

Once the ambulance arrived I was taken for an MRI to rule out an aneurysm, once that was ruled out they found out what I was fighting, meningitis. My husband was told not to leave and stay by my side and that the next 24 hours would be critical.  I was unaware of what was going on around me.  I was hooked up to the strongest medication invented and began the cycle of high powered anti-virals and anti-bacterials. 

I was fighting for my life.....

I lay there writhing in excruciating pain, my uncle came to visit who is also a pastor he later told me that he sat by my bed praying and reading scripture,  if he would stop reading or praying I would begin to writhe again, so he continued to read and pray.

The doctors continued to do reflex testing on my during this time by dragging a sharp object from the heel of my foot to the response.  Talking to me while I had my eyes open, asking me response.

It did not look hopeful...

As I lay there unresponsive my husband sat waiting in the room praying quietly to himself and would hear me talk, he came to my bedside and heard me repeat the name of Jesus over and over, he thought I was 'coming back', again tests were response.  Yet over and over my husband heard me repeating the name of Jesus.

I do remember a brief flash of a moment where I saw myself from above with the doctor beside me and my husband there and it was as if in that moment I had a choice, stay and fight or go to my eternal home in heaven, and just as quickly I was back in my body.... in pain.

Many hours went by, by this time the word was out and there was an army of believers praying for me.

When I started coming back to consciousness I couldn't speak, I was convinced that what was coming out of my mouth was perfectly formatted words and sentences and yet all I got in return was blank stares, a few chuckles from my husband and some worried looks as if thinking to themselves 'is she going to stay like this?'.

It was 24 hours before I was fully conscious and able to respond with one word.  My speech took a few days return, although for weeks there was times when I would forget words, stutter or no be able to get out in full what I was trying to say, even to this day if I am overtired or stressed words can be difficult.

Doctors were dumbfounded with my recovery, I remained in hospital for a week after which I was released.  My family doctor had one explanation and that was that it was the prayers of those around me, of countless friends and family and our church that saved me that day. 

I know it was God, it was a miracle. On that same day a lady came in also with meningitis and unfortunately lost the fight, a week earlier a young 17 year old male in the same hospital also lost the fight. 

In the moments of being unresponsive and unaware I was still able to call upon the name of Jesus, my healer, my saviour and my redeemer also I believe a miracle.

I don't know why I was healed and others were not, I don't know why some die and others do not.  I will never know the answer to that this side of heaven.

I am thankful for the foundation of faith that was built in me before this happened through hours of study, prayer and a relationship with Jesus.  I am reminded over and over that it is in the good times that we must continue building on the foundation so that when the bad times come, which they most certainly will, that we have something to draw from. 

I am so thankful that I was able to call upon the name of Jesus, so often we may worry that we don't have the right words to say, that our prayers are not fancy or not reaching the heart of what we are trying to say and sometimes we simply don't have the words, I encourage you to just speak the name of JESUS, there is power in that name! There is healing for the broken heart in that name, there is restoration for brokenness in that name, there is healing for your body and mind in that name! It is the NAME above ALL NAMES.

I also encourage you today that if for some reason you are reading this and haven't accepted Jesus into your heart, its not to late, He loves you with a love so deep and wide it couldn't be measured, His love is unconditional no matter how wonderful or messed up you think you are His love is there and He longs to walk along side you in this crazy world and help you in every area of your life!! Call out to Him today and if you are ready to receive him as your Lord and Savior just repeat this simple prayer with me....
  “Father I come to you.
I understand that your son Jesus died for me.
I don’t have to clean up my life.
I don’t have to change.
I come as I am and I ask you to forgive me,
and come into my heart.
I ask from today and on that you’d give me the power to change every day, every year, for the rest of my life.
From today and on I choose to give my life to Jesus Christ.
I choose to follow Him and I thank you for that free gift of salvation.
In Jesus’ name, Amen .”

I am so thankful for this opportunity to have second chance at living, I am still on the road to complete recovery but believing for it everyday!
I pray you have found hope in this in some way and KNOW  that you are NEVER alone and that its never to late or to early to call on the name of Jesus!!!
God bless you all!