Something to Hold

There was a time when I was deeply hurt by someone who I had trusted implicitly.  Consequently, I became dreadfully distrusting of just about everyone; anxious and emotionally bankrupt.  I was paralyzed by a mind full of confusion, and a broken heart.

42516499_s 4As I struggled to move beyond the hurt, I sought frantically for hope. I told God that I wished I could touch Him – be held by Him. I prayed in desperation asking for something concrete to hold onto, and God whispered this response, “Hold onto my Word”.

At that point I began to physically carry my Bible with me wherever I went. I brought it along to the grocery store, restaurants, my workplace… wherever I took my feet, I took my Bible.  I poured through it at every opportunity, no matter where I was, and I absorbed the words like a thirsty sponge.

As a result, I became drenched full of God’s truths and promises, and it wasn’t long before my dammed up feelings of hurt and anxiety gushed free. The Lord had made Himself so tangible and undeniably present through the pages of His book, that He satisfied my need for contact. There was no doubt that I had been touched by the living God.

Twenty years later He still resides in my heart as an abiding life-force, reminding me that He is with me and I am never alone. Through His Word He has not only healed the trauma of my past, but He has strengthened and empowered me to face an undefined tomorrow.

Though heartbreak could strike again, I am ready, for I now know that my God is near; through the loving embrace of His Word, He has given me something to hold onto.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 MSG Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 10/17/2008 11:19 PM

The Only You

If I eat something sweet, can you taste it?  When the rain runs down my face, can you feel it?

We were born with the entitlement and propensity to experience life in a personal and unique way; each of us created for an incomparable destiny. Amazingly, during a lifetime we are all subject to much of the same stimuli; yet our reactions to the stimuli vary due to the uniqueness of our individual character, intellect, senses, and physiological constitution.

74962-2560x1600When God created mankind He made a conscious decision to give us exclusive DNA.  We are each a masterpiece with meaning and purpose in this life.  He could have just as easily made us all exactly the same with predictable responses and dependable behavior.  Yet, His nature compels Him to do the most wonderful, loving, and entirely perfect thing at all times.

Every person who ever lived or will live is a divine original, formed by our Creator for a purpose.  As the Shepherd of our souls, He broods over us with love and care.  The Bible refers to us as sheep, and so valued are we that if we get lost or go astray, God shows up.  It is His commitment and desire to return us to the purpose for which we were born.

I urge you to relish the taste of something sweet, and experience the fresh wash of rain on your face.  Let the things that touch your life stimulate the distinctive forces inside, and be you, the one and only.

Luke 15:4 NIV Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them.  Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 10/11/2008 8:26 PM

Daddy’s Here

Feeling a bit sad, I spent the morning alone and in prayer, asking the Lord to talk to me. After a time, I placed my computer on my lap to check my email in case someone was trying to get in touch. The first email I opened came from a woman in my church.

I was delighted with the treasure that she sefirerainbow300nt. Her email included an image of a Fire Rainbow that had been visible in the sky for one hour on the Idaho border. This phenomenon is rarely seen, because in order for one to form the atmospheric conditions must be atypical. The clouds have to be cirrus, floating at least 20,000 feet in the air, with just the right amount of ice crystals, and the sun must strike the clouds at precisely 58 degrees.

The woman who sent the image had no way of knowing that I have a fascination with such things, yet she forwarded the email to only four people, and I was one of them!

Since my adolescence, I have been captivated by the fact that God paints extraordinary pictures in the sky to communicate with mankind. He generously displays His handiwork as evidence of His paternal nearness and certainty. The Aurora Borealis, more commonly called the Northern Lights, are another brilliant example of God releasing a most splendid color palette into the heavens. He sends these out and they wave above us as if to say… “Daddy’s here!”

At a young age such heavenly phenomenon confirmed to me that our Father God most certainly did exist. I knew that this beauty could not be a result of atmospheric chance, but that it was, in fact, fashioned and displayed by a divine hand.

I may never see such displays in person, but today I was overwhelmed by the magnificent Fire Rainbow image on my lap. When I needed Him most, the God of creation spoke to me in a language that I would understand… “Daddy’s here”.

Genesis 16:13 NIV She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 10/4/2008 2:33 PM

A Memory of Divine Significance

There are certain events that occur in our lives that remain with us. They are the traumas, the surprises, the experiences that seem to have open-ended and sometimes divine significance. Creative thinker, Edward de Bono said, “A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen”.

47041660_sYears ago, at the age of seventeen, I spent a day at the university campus of a friend. While she attended her classes I roamed the beautiful grounds and toured the halls. At one point I called for the elevator on the second floor in one of the buildings. The door opened, I entered and selected the button to the first level. When the elevator didn’t move I noticed an out-of-order sign, so I detoured to the stairwell where I was met with providence.

Waiting at the top of the stairs was a man in his 20’s, sitting in a wheelchair. It was obvious that he could not use his arms or legs, and I could tell from the tube and oxygen attached to his chair that he also had a respiratory disorder. He greeted me and took a breath of life from the tube. In between puffs he told me that the elevator was often out of order and, as usual, he was waiting for friends to arrive to carry him and his chair down the stairs.

Since I was in no hurry I paused to speak with him. “After all”, I thought, “it’s the least I can do. The poor guy must live a wretched life. I would rather be dead than to live like that.”

If words had hands the man’s next statement would have slapped me! Not knowing my thoughts he said, “Every time the elevator breaks my friends carry me down the stairs in my chair”. Puffing on the tube he continued, “I’m always afraid that they’ll drop me, and I don’t want to die”.

I yelled internally, “What? He wants to live?!” His words seemed to circle the halls and return to me two or three more times. He spoke on and I listened wide-eyed, struggling to reconcile the spirit and optimism of what I heard with what I saw.

After a while we said good-bye and I found my way outdoors. Challenged by the man’s comments, I sat pensively beneath a tree for the remainder of the day …growing up.

How judgmental and narrow-minded I was to have made an assumption about another individual’s intrinsic value or ability to contribute. That man was a contributor all right; in one ten minute conversation he unassumingly educated and provoked lasting change to my character.

It has been more than thirty years since the visit. I cannot remember the name of the university, or the name of the friend who invited me to the campus, but I remember the amazing man who changed my life. For me, our visit was short, poignant, and fated. It truly was a meeting of divine significance that to this day, never unhappened.

Proverbs 16:9 NIV In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 9/27/2008 11:36 AM

What are you Carrying?

Most people are familiar with the story about David and Goliath, where the young shepherd boy actually killed the ruthless giant with stonesa slingshot and a stone. What gave David the confidence to fight, and the ability to win?

David accomplished the unthinkable and he did it amidst the visual and audible noise of a mocking crowd. With little support, and no armor to protect him, David not only faced the vicious giant, but according to the Bible, he ran directly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. David ran in the direction of the roar, not away from it.

We frequently find ourselves running away from far less in life; the stress of a hard day at work, the disappointment of a poor grade at school, the overwhelming feeling of responsibility, financial pressure, the need to forgive, avoidance, fatigue, guilt.  We habitually super-size our problems and let them mount like a wall of defeat before us. David was courageous, determined and secure. His giant did tower over him, yet he ran toward him with confidence.

The key to David’s confidence was in the preparation that he had prior to the battle. His God had trained him well. In order to protect the sheep in his care, he had to fight the lion and the bear, so David kept his weapons nearby.

What are you carrying that makes you ready to face a future enemy? Remind yourself of the victories that God has seen you through and don’t shy from problems. Pull out your bag of experience and run toward the roar. Knock it down and be built up in your most holy faith. With each triumph against a new giant, you will have increased confidence in the next victory.

Let those jingling stones in your pocket remind you of God’s provision. In the words of David, in 1 Samuel 17:37, “… The Lord who delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine…”

1 Samuel 17:47 ESV And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands. When the Philistine came forward to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. David put his hand into his bag and took out a stone and slung it, and it struck the Philistine, sinking into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.

Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 9/23/2008 10:18PM