October 29, 2013

Royal Lesson

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
I John 3:1
I just wanted to journal a lesson that the Lord taught me last week, and hopefully it will be a blessing to you too. 
As you are probably aware, the Royal Baby, Prince George, was christened.  As I happened to see a photo of his dad, Prince William, presenting him to the public, I couldn't help but notice the beautiful christening gown that the baby was wearing.  Then I realized something:

I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.  Isaiah 61:10

When we are born into this world, we are born with our inherent sin nature.  Nothing we can do on our own to change that fact.  But God, who is RICH in mercy and FULL of compassion, saw our need, became our Savior and paid the debt for our sin IN FULL.  (The payment for sin is: DEATH, but the GIFT OF GOD is eternal life...through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Romans 6:23)  Our sin was punished on the cross at Calvary.  Jesus died to set us free from the guilt and bondage of sin AND to clothe us in His righteousness.  
The Bible says that all of our works (good works done in our own energy) are as "filthy rags."  (Isaiah 64:6)  BUT when we accept the Lord's gift of salvation and repent (turn away from) our sinful ways, then we are clothed in His righteousness. 

For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.  Psalm 149:4

Just like Prince William delighted in presenting his royal son, all decked out in a beautiful christening gown, Our Heavenly Father delights in US too!  We have been declared royalty!  



As I looked at the intricate, beautiful christening gown with all that it represented, and then looked at the adorable royal infant, I thought, "That little one has no clue that he is royalty!  He is completely oblivious to the fact that the world is watching him, longing to gaze at his little face in all of his 'glory.'  To him, this is just another day in the life of 'baby-hood'."    As he grows, and is trained, he will soon learn of his royal responsibilities.

Isn't that the way it is with us, once we trade our filthy rags
for God's royal righteous robes? 

There's so much more that could be written or said here . . .
but I just wanted to give us food for thought. 
  1. Have you accepted the Lord as your Savior?  All of our "good works" are as filthy rags, if we have not been "washed in the blood of the Lamb."  If there was anything that we COULD do to make amends for our sin, then Jesus died on the cross for absolutely no reason!
  2. If you and I have believed in Jesus' payment for our sin and His overcoming death on our behalf, then do we realize that we are royalty:  God's children??  Or are we still clueless to the undeserving LOVE, FAVOR and GRACE that our Heavenly Father so richly bestows upon us?
  3. Do you realize that your Heavenly Father looks down at you and doesn't see all the bad "stuff" you do?  He sees you completely wrapped, in fact ADORNED, in HIS righteousness!!   He longs for you and I to REALIZE just how much He loves us, and just how special we are.  He longs to train us, to use us, for His royal reasons.
  4. What are we doing to grow? Are we spending time with our Heavenly Father in His Word; are we praying?
  5. Each day that we go into our world, are we aware of our royal status?  And with that, are we doing our royal duties by representing the Kingdom of GOD very well? 
Just some food for thought...actually it's a lesson for me to remember, but I figured I'd not remember it all if I didn't write it down somewhere & what better place than here, my long, lost blog!? :)  Hope that you all are doing well!!  Sure have missed being in touch!
Until next time, remember, we don't have to be clothed in filthy rags!!  If we are saved, then we are God's children----royalty....And the Creator and King of the universe LOVES US more than we could ever know!  REALIZE WHO WE ARE and find security in who we are, not in ourselves, but in Christ.  :)



Marvelous and undeserving grace, freely bestowed to all who believe. 


June 29, 2013

Touching Base...

Just wanted to let everyone know that the Lord enabled me to graduate with honors!   May 8!  :)   And after having only one month off from school, I started a new full time day job!!  This is a huge miracle and answer to prayer....the line of work that I am doing (ultrasound), its' very difficult to find a full time day job...usually we have to start with "on call, nights, weekends, holidays, as needed."  This is no doubt the LORD's doings!  
My nephew set up a Facebook page for my music--so if you're on facebook, hop on over to keep in touch there!  I will try to blog more, at some point, Lord willing....
We have so much to be thankful for.....The Lord pulled our family through three MAJOR storms during my time in school---and for this I am very grateful.  When Alysa's appendix ruptured, she was in the hospital for 7 days, came home and was on oral antibiotics for 7 more days, then had to go BACK to the hospital for 2 and a half more days, and had to have a PICC line (IV line) placed in her upper arm...so she had another 7 days of IV treatments at home, three times a day.  So the night I graduated, I had to text Bryan from where I was sitting to remind him to take out her IV bag from the cooler we had packed, to let it get to room temp, then after I graduated and we were in the car, I had to flush out the IV line, and give her that evening's dose in the car on the way home!  What an adventure! Although it didn't seem like quite an enjoyable one during the time!   I truly did not even get a chance to comprehend that I was graduating, because she was back in the hospital on  May 1...one week before my graduation.  I wanted to tell you that during her hospital stay, God opened the door for us to donate several CDs of music for them to use during pain management sessions with their patients....and God has opened the door for me to produce a DVD for the Children's Hospital... relaxing music with nature scenes.   Two videos are posted to my facebook page.  Such a blessing!  I told Alysa that even through her terrible painful ordeal, God had a purpose and a plan for it all!    And how grateful that we didn't miss the opportunity.  Only He could have opened the door!   :)

the morning of my graduation, I found our yard was completely
decked out with balloons and signs to celebrate the occasion! :)
Compliments of Bryan, Alysa & Chase :)

Signs, balloons, banners were in the yard, around the entire
perimeters! :)  They surprised me, BIG TIME!:)
I hope that you all are doing well too!  I MISS keeping in touch!  
Going to leave you with this little lesson learned:   Life's circumstances can leave us bitter or better...  It's up to us to decide how we will be affected. . . .if I look at "me" and think of "I, I, I" in a bad situation, more than likely I will become b.I.t.t.e.r.    But if I look elsewhere, to others, and especially to God, for His perspective, then perhaps I will become a b.E.t.t.e.r person from it.    Romans 8:28  We know that God works all things out for our good and His glory, IF we are called according to His purpose! 
My nephew came for my graduation & took family pictures
of us down at the oceanfront! 
Just thought I'd share an updated photo! :)
Take care, everyone!  Just had to touch base really quick to let you know the latest update!  Graduated!  And was given a full time, first-shift job!!!   THANK THE LORD! :)

Keep in touch!!
Be encouraged!   For as far left as the pendulum swings to the "negative"---it HAS to swing that much to the right, into the positive!   It's up to God to decide WHEN---but the circumstances you are going through WILL change!!!   Wait upon the LORD!  He will strengthen your heart!  :)

Love and hugs!

May 3, 2013

Alysa, again

Just got home from yet another hospital stay. Alysa was first in the hospital for 7 days from the ruptured appendix....and this latest stay was from Wednesday til today.
Was trying to get a few minutes rest before the home nurse comes, but the phone has been ringing from all the healthcare people..

Anyway, on Tues she went back to school, but began to feel bad, so I picked her up a little early... then she began to run a fever and chills, continued to feel bad in abdomen.   Ended up back at the ER.  They did a CT and found that she had a small abscess....so they admitted her...again.    She had to have a special procedure yesterday and had to be put to sleep in order to have it done.  They placed a PICC line in...it's a catheter, much longer than the normal IV.  And she will have to have this for about 2 wks.  They are going to teach me how to replace her medication (which is to be done three times a day.) 
We are awaiting the nurse to come here this afternoon. 

Everyone in our family is completely exhausted.  In fact, I am supposed to graduate on next Wed. (5/8) but I am so tired, beyond words....
Please pray for us.  With all that has happened, first Bryan in the hospital during my first semester, for having renal cancer, then Chase in the hospital in the fall for 9 days, and now Alysa having TWO hospital stays, my emotions are feeling beat up, exhausted...and have a hard time wondering or deciphering what God could possibly be trying to teach me/us.   So...the prayers are needed... mine are just short---"help."   That's about all I can muster.

Thank you for continued prayers on Alysa's behalf.  She really needs to heal.....and I pray that she will not develop an infection in this PICC line, since it's so close to her heart. 

Thank you again..and I will be in touch as soon as I can.

Big hugs to all

April 22, 2013

update on Alysa

Just an update..still in the hospital with Alysa.
Been a rough six days. . please continue to pray .  DR said her appendix was gangrenous...and that there is still a chance for her to develop an abscess because of all the fluid that is still left.
This was supposed to be my last week of clinical. . but I hvae missed so much time with Bryan's surgery (last year, exactly one year prior to Alysa's surgery; then Chase being in the hospital in November..and now this) so I will probably have to make up the rest of my time next week. . .
she got her NG tube out during the night, and has had an upset stomach off and on throughout today. . . please keep praying.
thank you so much.  Tammi

April 18, 2013

Michael....and now Alysa

It has been a week since I last posted.  I wanted to share the sad news of my cousin, Michael.  He passed away on Sunday morning.  . . and the funeral was today.  The reason I am just now getting a chance to post this is because my daughter was rushed into emergency surgery yesterday and is currently in the Children's Hospital.

This week has been very difficult.  In fact, that entire past month has been an onslaught of one thing after another.  But I wanted to share with you, even as tired and drained as I feel sitting here at the foot of her bed in the hospital, that God has been with us.

First of all...Michael did not lose.  He was a Christian..had  accepted the Lord as His Savior.  So he is currently cancer-free, no longer bound by the earthly body....but with the Lord.   His funeral, I am told, was beautiful.  I was supposed to play for his service, which would have been an honor. . . but with the turn of events with our daughter, I was unable to leave her today... but my dear aunt, uncle, and cousins totally understood, and thank the Lord they were able to play the CD's that God has enabled me to record and it all worked out.  My heart was torn, wanting to be there, especially for my cousins who are suffering the loss of their younger brother.  I understand how it feels to lose a younger sibling at the age of 22 also...it's a terrible pain that is indescribable.

With regards to our daughter.  She was at school Tuesday, feeling ill....no fever.  But had symptoms of what we thought were the terrible stomach virus that is running rampant throughout our area.   Even the pediatrics' nurse thought so too.  However, she quickly became dehydrated, (within 12 hrs or less) and her pain was becoming much more severe, to the point of being unable to walk.  Long story short, her appendix had a stone in it that caused it to rupture.  And according to her surgeon, it was a terrible mess. .  when he came out after the surgery around 7 pm last night, he said she is "still very sick."

She will be in the hospital for about 7 days but the doctor told us not to hold him to that.  She is currently on the strongest antibiotic possible.  he said it is the Mercedes Benz of antibiotics...and has a tube draining her abdomen.  She was in a terrible amount of pain today....to the point that morphine was not managing it.

During the times when her pain has been the most intense, her heart rate would become very high and she would whisper that she was seeing an angel.  She said that in the ER 30 prior to surgery..... today her pain was so bad that she broke down and cried, whereas every other time she has just been trying to stay calm, and deal with it, as difficult as that has been.  When she cried this afternoon I knew that we were at a point where nothing the DR's or nurses were doing was helping, and it was in God's hands.  She has not been able to talk very well, only whisper (due to the tube down her throat) and just motion.  The first word she said last night as they were wheeling her from recovery to her room was "Pain."   However today when she cried, and was in such misery, and I was inwardly begging God to please help her, she slowly whispered, "No.More.Pain."  And then with her eyes closed, she began to try to hum a song..I leaned in to hear what could she possibly be trying to hum, and it began to make sense to me..it was the chorus, "Yes, Jesus loves me..Yes Jesus loves me.  The Bible tells me so."  Then she fell fast asleep.  And has rested so much better ever since.  In fact, the nurse just pointed out to me as i am sitting here in the dark, that Alysa's heart rate is the lowest it's been since she got here.  it is now in the 70's range.  Whereas before it as high as 136 beats per minute.

She began running a fever this afternoon.  .so they are giving her an additional medication for that.

Tomorrow she will hopefully have the catheter removed, however, that means she will be forced to get up, move around, and deal with a whole new set of challenges.
So please be praying for her...and for us.  Bryan and I are exhausted...there is nothing like seeing your child suffer, and be on the brink of something soooo dangerous.

I will try to be in touch whenever I am able.
Until then, keep my family in your prayers.  The Grimsley's as they are now facing the challenge of grieving and healing from the loss of their son and brother.  ..and for my family as we are enduring this health challenge for Alysa.  She is only 14, but as I have watched all that she has gone through, she appears to have grown up over night.  This is  so difficult for me and Bryan.

Thank you for your prayers for Michael over the past 2 years...and also for the family.
Will be in touch soon, Lord willing.

April 11, 2013

Michael--in I.C.U.

Hi Everyone...I know it's been a while . . I've been really busy working on my case study..Lord willing graduate on May 8..
BUT I am writing to tell you that my cousin Michael is in the ICU right now..he's been in the hospital for about two days now...and when I went up there this afternoon, my uncle (who's birthday is today) told me that Michael needs a miracle.
I really felt helpless, because there are no words to say to take away the pain that they are going through. . There are no words to make it better.  There is nothing that I can do to make it better.  But I did tell Uncle David that all we can do is point them to the Lord, because HE is the only One Who can help them face each moment of every day.

Please pray for God to help them sense His presence there with them during this time.

Thank you all so much.  I will be in touch as time permits.
Big thanks!

March 30, 2013

He's Alive!!

"Don't be alarmed,"he said.  You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified.  He has risen!  He is not here!  See the place where they laid Him.  But go tell His disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee.  There you will see Him, just as He told you.'" Mark 16:6-7
Thinking of Peter and the guilt he must have endured during those silent days between Christ's death and resurrection.  After his proclamation to "lay down his life for Jesus," Peter ultimately denied knowing Jesus three times before the rooster crowed, just as Jesus predicted. Isn't God good to have given Peter a personalized invitation at the empty tomb! 

"But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.'" Mark 16:7. 

That didn't mean Peter was no longer a disciple! That was to reaffirm to Peter, whom I sure was fully doubting where he stood with the Lord, that YES, YOU ARE still a disciple! Jesus wants to make sure YOU KNOW you are wanted to come and find Him! Thank You, Father, for Your forgiveness and desire to restore us when we mess up!!! 

Happy Easter to all my brothers and sisters in Christ! Find a purpose to live, no matter how defeated you may be feeling....don't give up!  I thought of Judas & the overwhelming guilt he must've felt-- but look at the wonderful victory he missed, because he gave up and felt there was no hope after he committed the ultimate denial of Christ!! But when I think of it, how many of us have betrayed the Lord for something worth FAR less than Him!?  ANYTHING on the planet is worth far less than Jesus; so if we worship or choose that particular idol ~ be it money, or another person, our ambitions or dreams---we have betrayed Jesus.  BUT TAKE HEART!!!  He wants US to come and find Him!!!

   "Seek Me and you will find me when you seek me with all your heart!"  Jeremiah 29:13

February 26, 2013

Update on Michael

My 22 year old cousin, Michael, has been battling a rare form of liver cancer for a while. . . but it's really been a struggle.  He is now in excrutiating pain due to a ruptured disc.  He will going to Maryview Infusion Center tomorrow for some more platelets. They put him on an antibotic today because his white blood count is so low.   Starting tomorrow, for three days, he will take a shot that will help with his blood. With the shots and another bag of platelets we're hoping this will help.
He was supposed to go to Georgetown next week for a second opinion, but will be unable to make the trip due to the amount of pain he is in.  Please also pray for his parents, as I am sure this is a pain that is almost unbearable.  Pray for his sister and brother, as well as all of their children  ~ they love their Uncle Michael!
Please pray for God to meet the family's every need. . . and to show me if there is anything that I can do to help.  It's just a helpless feeling for the extended family and friends. 
So let's just take this to the Lord together!

Please pray for Divine Intervention. . .
Thank you so much. 

February 25, 2013

The Moon

I couldn't help but notice the pale blue light that was casting it's glow in my dining room tonight.  I knew it meant one thing: 
There's a full moon out tonight.
That got me to thinking: 
We are like the moon ~ it doesn't give off its own light. It simply reflects the sun's light. Depending upon its phase, or how much of the moon's surface is actually facing the sun, determines how much light we see reflecting from the moon.
Have you ever heard someone say, "Well, if THAT'S a Christian, I don't want to be any part of it!" or "I've been burned by Christians." ? ? ? I have. It's sad. . but true.

The effectiveness of our testimony of God's love & grace is determined by the amount of "US" God has.

  • Am I withholding a piece of my heart from Him, or am I fully surrendered to His will?
  • Am I spending too much time on my iPod, YouTube, texting friends, or even at Christian social gatherings ~ or am I spending enough time seeking God in His Word?
I wonder if God created the moon & its phases to show us that we too will go through phases in our spiritual walk with Him? There are times when we are able to soak His Word up like a biscuit to gravy. Then there are other times when our schedules are so hectic, that we can barely find time to whisper a prayer. There are seasons of new growth, abundance and harvest, as well as winter time -- the season of lying dormant. The important thing is to recognize what phase we're in. . and do our best to focus on God & His Word.

This world is a dark place---just a glimpse of the evening news is proof of that. . . We need to shine for Him. . . and the only way to fully shine is to fully look to Him.

If you don't know Him as your Saviour, there is hope: there is a phase of the moon where it has completely turned its back on the sun, and we only see its dark side. But guess what that phase is called? The New Moon. It's about to begin its turn towards the sun....and before we know it, a sliver of light will shine.

It's never too late to turn to the SON....the Son of God. He longs to fulfill your heart and your life with abundant joy and peace. :)

"Behold...I make all things new." Revelation 21:5

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)


January 30, 2013

Safe in the Arms of Christ

My 14 yr old daughter has been writing songs that the Lord gives her.  Our neighbor let her plug her guitar in to their amps and sing in a microphone for the first time. 

Thought I'd post it to share with you.   She's not had any voice lessons, yet.  Hoping that the Lord will enable us to provide lessons for her, in His time.  She's definitely a diamond in the rough!  :) 

Safe in the Arms of Christ

by Alysa Yates

In the morning I see Your beauty
Painted in the sunrise.
In the night I see Your glory shining in the night sky.
The same  hands that hold the world are holding my life.
The same God Who made the heavens knows my name.

And I'm safe in Your arms;
You never will leave me.
You're right by my side, You are all that I need.
The same hands that hold the universe are holding my life.
And I know...that I'm safe in the arms of Christ.

Oh oh oooh.  Oh......Oh oh oooh...(2x)

Every day I see Your power all around me.
The colors of a rainbow & all of the birds that sing.
The same hands that hold the world are holding my life.
The same God who made the heavens knows my name.

And I'm safe in Your arms; You never will leave me
You're right by my side; You are all that I need.
The same hands that hold the universe are holding my life.
And I know...that I'm safe in the arms of Christ.

Oh oh oooh . .. Oh ...... Oh oh oooh....(2x)

Every day I see Your endless love all around me.
'Cause You sent Your Son to die on a cross at Calvary.
The same hands that hold the world came down to save us.
The same hands that  made the heavens bled for me.

And I'm safe in His arms  -- the God Who saved me.
Who sent His Son
Just to save my soul.
The same hands that hold the universe came down and died for me.
And He rose again, and He set me free!

I'm safe in Your arms
You never will leave me
You're right by my side
You are all that I need
The same hands that hold the universe are holding my life
And I know that I'm safe in the Arms of Christ.
By Alysa Yates
age 14


January 18, 2013

STAR Quality

Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens,
and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.  Daniel 12:3

Earlier today, as I was putting on my makeup, I began to think of the pressure young people (or older people for that matter) have to "be or look a certain way"...then I pondered the question of how many people are aspiring to be a "star" and to have a "star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame."  I'm sure there's many people, young and old, who have that aspiration.
Then my thoughts turned to a scripture in Daniel that speaks about being like a star that shines for ever and ever.   Hmmmm.   Hollywood has seen many "stars" come and go; and they will keep coming and going, but one thing remains certain:  their star quality dims and eventually dies as soon as they take their last breath.  No more will they enjoy the satisfaction of making another movie, entertaining another person, singing another song, or performing another comedy act on this earth.  Their star quality will fade away.

What does a person have to possess to have God's "Star" quality?  

  1. Those who are "wise."  Wise (Hebrew: "sakal") means "cause to consider."   What a "wise person" says or does causes the people around him or her to stop and consider what they are saying.  Psalm 111:10 sums it up here: " The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise." 
  2. A leader or "guide".  Someone who leads others to have a change of mind about their sin, and turn to God (and His righteousness) which can only be found by accepting Jesus' payment for sin.
Today many cars are equipped with OnStar  ~ a built-in Safety, Navigation & Communication system.  OnStar's services are: Emergency, Safety, Navigation, Diagnostics and Connections.  But even without OnStar, we have Polaris, The North Star.   It hardly moves in the northern sky, while all other stars in the Northern sky revolve around it.  Steadily shining its light as a point of reference, Polaris has guided many a lost traveller to safety. 
Stars trailing around Polaris (time lapsed photo)

Do others look to us for answers to life's toughest questions?  More importantly, do we lead them to God when they do?   A wise person, of "star" quality, will do just that.  Millions of people are lost and can't find their way.  Because of the "gravitational pulls of sin in this world," so many people are lost and on their way to an eternity without God.  It's extremely important for a child of God to serve as a point of reference and point them to God! 


Eternal Shine

I used to read Daniel 12:3 and think it meant if we were wise and led others to Christ during our time on earth, that we would shine in eternity.  But He says if we are wise, we will shine  on earth by telling others about Him; and if we direct others to get back on the right course by turning them to God, then God will keep our light shining for ever and ever.    

If you think about it, what's better:  A "star" on the Walk of Fame, where hundreds of people trample over it daily ~OR~ to shine for all of eternity, as the stars in the heavens? 


I think I'd rather follow Christ's example, so that I can safely point others to Him, especially in their time of need. (I Cor. 11:1 "Follow my example as I follow Christ's.")

Be God's S.T.A.R. !!

Be a Shining example
        Turn others to Christ
      Arouse others' interest in God
      Reach out to the lost

January 15, 2013

Rock Bottom

If You're at Rock Bottom

Ever felt like your life circumstances have brought you to an all-time low---like you've reached "rock bottom" ??   I understand.  It's totally okay to feel that way. 
Last night, after seeing a comment someone posted on YouTube about how they have hit rock bottom, my heart began to ponder the idea of hitting rock bottom.  
What would you do?    Well, of course, hitting rock bottom makes us feel totally discouraged and almost about to give up hope, right?   Then it would make sense to "LOOK UP".... I mean, after all, when you're at the very bottom---"Rock Bottom"---that's just about all you CAN do, is look up.  Right?   Well, yes, and no.     Of course, LOOK UP---Look up to GOD....He's our only hope and deliverer. . .
What if when we've hit that lowest point, we make a conscious choice to "not look up" but remain discouraged, and in a sense, "look down"  (FACE down).    Well, think about it for a minute.  Instead of looking up, we turn our face down, almost in a sense of defeat right? 
But look again.

II Samuel 22:2 says, "He said: "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer..."    The LORD is my what?  My ROCK.     So, if we can truly claim this...if Jesus really is OUR LORD, then HE is also our Rock.....   So what if we've hit "rock bottom?"     It would seem that if we turn our faces down, we will find none other than our ROCK, holding us up!      Oh my goodness.  Even if we get discouraged, and just waller in our sadness, choosing not to "LOOK UP" to Him, we will still find that He is there, no matter which way we turn.   The Lord is my ROCK...and I'm at "rock bottom"-- so it seems here we have a sweet picture that He has never left us, even in the trials and storms.  He is all the more nearer simply because we HAVE "hit rock bottom."   

The Lord is close to the broken hearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 
Psalm 34:18

Just wanted to share that quick little thought (and lesson) that He showed me last night.  Share it with someone you know that may feel as if they're at "rock bottom."   This will truly give them a new perspective on their circumstances.   I know it did for me! 
Thank You, Lord!! 
Until next time,

January 13, 2013

What to do with Memories?


Some are sweet.  Some are painful.  Some cause our hearts to race just at the thought of seeing that special someone's face one more time, if only we could. 

Even though memories can be a cherished treasure, sometimes the memories from our past can keep us chained in our present, unable to be free, if we allow them the chance. 

No matter, God has allowed us to have memories.  He wants us to look back and remember what He has done for us, how He has delivered us in our times of need--so that we can apply His faithfulness to our current situation.   Yet He also says we should forget the past and press forward, straining towards the goal of His high calling.

God doesn't want us to be held captive by the memories of our past.  He wants us to let go and look forward. 

Last year was very difficult for our family, true indeed; but it's a New Year, and God willing, I am only five months away from graduating from the ultrasound program.  Instead of looking back, wishing "if only" or "what if," I will look forward to the new day that is dawning.  . . knowing that He is the One Who holds each sun rise in His hands.

Here is a song that I recorded over the weekend as a tribute to this lesson.

God bless you all as you serve Him.

January 5, 2013

It's Okay to be Beaten

The past year has been the most difficult year for me & my family.  The first big UNEXPECTED storm was Bryan's kidney cancer and surgery, and him being out of work six weeks.  Then another hospitalization just recently for another dear loved one.   Mix all that in with the obvious demands of life in general, and being enrolled in the ultra-intense ultrasound program, and what we have is a recipe for exhaustion and discouragement. 

But there is a lesson from 2012: It's okay to be Beaten.


2012 Theme:  "Trials and Storms" 

....in fact, too many to write, caused me to collapse at the Savior's feet on New Year's day. 
However, during that time of sharing my heart with the Lord, and telling Him how I felt beaten beyond belief from the past year's storms, the Holy Spirit brought a Bible verse to mind:  "He (Jesus) was beaten beyond recognition as a human."  Isaiah 52:14 Just as there were many who were appalled at him[a]his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any human being and his form marred beyond human likeness  I began to wonder if perhaps the purpose for my 2012's trials and storms were to "beat me beyond recognition" so that others would no longer see "Tammi" but rather Him ???? 
That's when I looked up the definition of "beaten."


1: hammered into a desired shape
2: much trodden and worn smooth
3: being in a state of exhaustion
Of course, the #3 definition is how I was feeling.  But after looking up the definition tonight, I wonder if  #1 definition is what God has been doing ??   

He is allowing these storms to "hammer" me into a desired shape:  His purpose for my life.  


It's Not About Me

During times of distress, it's very easy for me to become self-absorbed, "bogged down," worried & even question God. . . my eyes are turned inwardly, and I fail to remember that God loves and is concerned for every single human being on the planet, and wants everyone of us to know Him, to be freed from our struggles with our sinful nature, and to experience His power, victory and love!  

If I turn my eyes upwards, I will gain a different perspective of the situation.

How can the lost and hurting souls around us know that God is love, full of compassion, patient, kind, merciful, strong, tenderhearted, faithful, true, (and the list could go on...) unless His children are reshaped into His image and used by Him to reach others?


But It Hurts!

Because of our inherited, fallen nature, we are all born with a predisposed "shape" ~ one bent naturally to do wrong ~ maybe not all of the time, but enough that we're unable to accurately serve His purpose for our lives.  
Think of iron being  heated white hot, then hammered relentlessly into shape, then tempered in cold water and reheated  and hammered again.   If the iron doesn't stand the test, it is thrown into a scrap heap.   
This "business" of being tried by fire, hammered by storms, and plunged into icy cold waters of despair serves a purpose of The One Who created us ON Purpose, WITH a Purpose God's. 
Is it imperative for us to be reshaped?  Yes, because our sinful nature has predisposed us to being disfigured and unusable in God's holy hands. 


Beyond Recognition

No matter how painful and overwhelming life's storms can be, I'm so thankful that I will not have to suffer the agony that Jesus willingly endured as payment for my sin.  Because He was beaten beyond recognition, died a brutal and humiliating death on the cross ~ all for the purpose of reconciling my relationship with Him, why would I not allow Him to reshape me? 

A Promise and a Purpose

Even though life's circumstances can sometimes be very painful, it's comforting to remember God is in control.  Romans 8:28 says as long as I am willing to serve His purpose, He has promised to turn everything (including the painful storms and bad times) into something good.
In doing so, He uses our lives to reach out to others as shining examples of what He longs to do for them! 

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 
Jeremiah 29:11