MY BLOG POSTS, My Reflections, Poetry

GRACE


No matter who we are

What we’ve done

Mistakes we’ve made

Even if we try to outrun

So many plans

That were tailor made

Till we take that step

And finally start to trust

As faith begins to grow

Doubts get pushed away

Letting the light flow

As the Lord leads the way

For His love is always there

He would never leave us alone

No matter what’s been done

No matter if we’ve roamed

His grace is in strong supply

Willingly given for He’s love

He will never steer us wrong

It is us He’s so proud of

For that is why Christ died

To give us what we need

Not having to live in darkness

In His light we can finally see

We are favored, we are loved

Talk to Him; He is always there

And will never steer us wrong

With God, He always cares

No matter what has happened

His forgiveness is always strong

Even if we’ve turned our backs on Him

With God we’ll always belong

For this is His gift of grace

Perfection is not what He ever seeks

He’ll always accept us as we are

In Him we are truly free.

By Rachel Basden © 2021

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.” EPHESIANS 2:8
MY BLOG POSTS, My Reflections, Poetry

ALIVE


Created by YouVersion Bible App

So often, we humans can focus too much on the negatives of life, because they dare to tear us down.

We are thrilled when good things happen in our lives, but we also cling to wanting our lives to be full of good times and peace. While we realistically know that the bad moments are also a part of life, we can’t help but want to avoid the pain that comes along with those times.

“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” – John 10:10

Every time I read this passage, I’m reminded of God’s mercy to us. Let me explain.

I spent many years of my life with asthma. At times, it was so debilitating. More than once, I came near death. I’ll never forget being asked by a paramedic, weeks after a massive asthma attack who not only treated me, but knew me, “I didn’t want to tell you this in the middle of helping you, but there’s still one thing I don’t understand. On that day, we couldn’t figure out how you were awake, how you were communicating with us [I used body language to get them to give me paper & pen to do this.], how you were even alive. How did you do that?”

I wasn’t certain what he wasn’t telling me, so after asking him what was so unusual about that, he replied, “Everything we had you hooked up to, every one of them showed your oxygen levels were at zero. Not only should you not have been able to communicate with us, but all signs pointed to the fact that you should not have even been conscious, let alone alive!”

That’s when I answered him with, “Well, let me tell you more of my story and my God.” Without Him, without my Lord, that miraculous situation never would have happened. While I don’t know why God used that health situation to occur, my life with Him has shown me over and over and over again, that He is good, that He is love and that His plans are always for our good. I give God glory for using me, even in that time, to touch the life and soul of another for Him.

Something that could have killed me, gave me an even stronger appreciation for being alive.

Since last March, it’s been even harder to avoid the negatives of life. Having lost loved ones and having seen so much grief on various fronts, I am all the more grateful for God who has never left my side. I say all of this as a known optimist, but I am also not naive and have had many situations throughout life that have dared to tear me down many times.

In spite of the ups and down, I still have a passion for life.

Just last week, the world celebrated Easter . . . the glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ.

While Jesus had disciples who learned and did so much from Him and with Him, prior to Jesus’ death on the cross, they found life much more abundantly in the years they had afterwards. They were able to travel to various locations, preaching the Good News to so many. Miracles occurred again and again. However, their stories cannot be told without also knowing that they each experienced what we would call negatives in life.

While that was so long ago, I can’t help but see that they felt more alive than ever before. How? Because, even after all of my own painful life experiences, God has shown me through all of my life that the great moments in life are that much sweeter. The great moments in life aren’t as powerful, without also knowing the other side. Life is fabulously amazing, because He lives.

Because He lives, the art and beauty of this world and universe exist.

Because He lives, we get to have others to love and to be loved, in return.

Because He lives, we are still in awe when we see an amazing sunrise or sunset, when we hear the laughter of children, when someone says or does just the right thing when we need it most and when we experience the joy of God through it all.

Because He lives, we know the negative parts of life are not all that exist.

Because He lives, we have those who provide healing for the mind and body.

Because He lives, we have churches that remind us that we are meant to live in community, we are here for a purpose and we are wondrously loved and wanted.

Because He lives, we have teachers who spend time helping others to find themselves, to learn, to connect and to find their passions.

Because He lives, we can get back up again after traumas that will forever remind us that life is fragile, but there is still so much abundance of life giving moments ahead for us . . . HOPE.

Because He lives, we live. That’s something to rejoice over.

Life is meant to be fully lived. While trials may come, never forget the joys of being alive.

JUST BREATHE

For while I have breath
I know I am alive
For while I have breath
I enjoy the beauty of life
For while I have breath
I can embrace another
For while I have breath
I am a wife and a mother
For while I have breath
I can sing and dance
For while I have breath
I can take another chance
For while I have breath
I can live my passions
For while I have breath
I can provide compassion
For while I have breath
I can dream great dreams
For while I have breath
I have faith in the unseen
For while I have breath
I can make this world better
For while I have breath
God always holds me together
For every breath that I will ever breathe
I will know I was created
By the King of kings.

By Rachel Basden © 2021

Being alive will always have its heartaches, but one thing I have learned from knowing how quickly one’s breath can be taken from them, is to never take a single inhale/exhale for granted. Never believe that we don’t matter. Never lose sight of hope. For within each breath we take, there are so many moments we are meant to be a part of and wonderful people whose lives are meant to intersect with ours. Every breath is a reminder of life, because He lives.

Don’t allow the hardships of life to tear you down. For we are more than just ourselves. There is purpose. We were made with strength. We were made with love. We were made to live life abundantly.

With every breath, know that you are alive for far greater things and with each breath your breathe you are walking further into your destiny. So never forget how each inhale and exhale matters. YOU MATTER!

My Reflections, Poetry

HOPE STILL REIGNS


The Lord is my shepherd

I know His call

For when I was young

He became my ALL

Providing me still pastures when I’ve needed rest

Bringing me to quiet waters, my soul restored the best

Whenever I’ve ever felt alone

His Spirit has guided my way

And through every dark valley

His hope within me has stayed

When I’ve felt like I could break

He’s comforted, loved and held me

Even when enemies were on the attack

He nourished and He blessed me

For His goodness and His love have followed all my days

And one day, I’ll be fully with Him forever and always

But till that day comes, He’s always been near

Till that day comes, He shows me that He’s here

When a pandemic tried to seriously crush my soul

When isolation and loss seemed to take control

Hope still reigned in the songs sung

Hope still reigned with every beautiful rise of the sun

Hope still reigned when justice marched

Hope still reigned as humanity battled on

No matter what’s happened or what will come

I will cling to His promises, every single one.

MY BLOG POSTS, My Reflections

WE ARE WALKING MIRACLES


After reading today’s blog post, know that miracles happen for a reason. Each one of us matter. May miracles awaken you to see how you’re supposed to change this world for the better.

During these pandemic times, it is easy to focus on all of the negative aspects of life. However, with Thanksgiving less than a week away, it’s normally a time when we stop and think of what and who we are thankful for, in our lives. Now, more than ever, this is needed on a more regular basis.

I’d like to tell you some parts of my story. While many believe in certain miracles, there are those who don’t believe a miracle can happen in their own lives. For that matter, there are those that try to explain miracles away.

However, I am a walking miracle.

At the age of 12, I began having severe allergies and asthma out of the blue, it seemed. It all began as I was walking home from school with a friend of mine. Towards the start, my breathing became labored and only got worse as we walked the mile to my home. By the time we arrived, she had been holding me up to help me continue on and I collapsed into the entrance and onto the floor, as my mom opened the door. Within a short time, I was in my doctor’s office getting injections immediately, as they treated me and having confirmed what was happening.

Within a year of that same time, I also received confirmation that I had scoliosis. After finding a specialist, I was able to see that my spine was a perfect backwards S, which now made all of my back pains make sense. The pain was often horrendous and limited certain movements, as well.

When life is out of our control, there is One who is far greater than us.

Having severe allergies and asthma limited me from being around certain animals and various types of environments. I couldn’t exercise very much, as it too would exacerbate the asthma. I had to avoid any part of stores with strong smells, especially the lower levels of department stores with all the perfume and cologne scents. Being even on the farther side of those floors would trigger my lungs to spasm or get worse. From middle school through adulthood, I had specialists for my back, as well as for the allergies and asthma.

Over time, I just learned to adjust and tolerate the back pains, no matter how bad they got. As for the asthma, I hated how often it debilitated me from doing ordinary things and struggling to breathe through what felt like an airway the size of maybe a coffee stirrer straw.

Then, the miracles.

In 2000, I was at church. The pastor was up front praying and so were all of us. Eyes were closed and many of us were standing. I was in my pew, next to my husband. Suddenly, I hear God clearly say to me, “I know you’re in pain, and I know you have had others pray for you, but have you ever asked me to heal you?” Incredulously, I realized I never had asked him for this, though I had believed in the power of prayer since my earliest of years.

So I prayed. Then, the miracle happened, as I heard clicking sounds within me as my spine realigned and felt my body jolt with the transition. With everyone’s eyes closed in prayer, no one appeared to have noticed, but I began praising God as tears came down my face.

I had my husband, other family members and close friends touch my spine once the church service was over so they could realize this great miracle. There was no doubt that God had done what I explained to them. Glory, Hallelujah!

As for the allergies and asthma, they continued. I had gotten used to seeing a specialist regularly and all I had to use to manage. I have always loved singing and while I managed being on worship teams at various churches in my life, it never occurred to me how much of a miracle my strong singing capabilities were, with the asthma as severe as it was.

I always chalked that up to various exercises I started and continued doing on a regular basis to maintain as much breathing capacity as possible every day, and most especially so I can continue singing. Little did I know what a great miracle it was to sing as bad as the asthma was.

Over time, I had accepted the fact, based on what specialists had told me that I would like not be able to have a child without dying in the process and most definitely without alert them should a pregnancy ever happen in my future. There had been so many complications within my body, from everything that there was little chance of me surviving something like that.

Through the years, I had even had several times when I nearly died. The worst occurred while I was at work. A situation occurred that caused the asthma to go into overdrive. Paramedics came, and I knew it was the worse situation I had yet to experience, since there were so many of them and so much they were doing to me.

One of those paramedics was the father of two of my former students who after my recovery, came to visit me, because something had been gnawing at him since that day. How was I still alive? I looked at him and asked, “What do you mean?”

That’s when I learned that with everything that was hooked up and connected to me, I should have died either at my place of work, on the way or surely by the time I got to the hospital. Every indicator showed that I had zero percent oxygen in my system and my body was shutting down.

Yet, I remained conscious, even making the get me paper and pen to communicate with them, so my things could be gotten for me and whoever ended up teaching my students would know what to do. He said that’s why we all seemed so incredulous that day, as well as quite scared.

All, I can say is that God performed another miracle that day. Little did I know there was a greater one to come years later.

On April 7, 2013 God healed me completely of my major allergies and fully healed me from asthma. By that point in my life, I was on several medications for the allergies, plus several inhalers for the asthma, along with an epipen. These went with me everywhere I went. I always needed people to know where these things were, in case of emergencies, because emergencies happened often enough to warrant it.

So on that day in 2013, God chose to do another miracle. From that day onward, I have only needed an over the counter help for minor allergies. All other allergies were gone and never returned. The asthma was a complete thing of the past.

No more specialists. No more multiple medications, inhalers, injections, nor any need for the epipen. In fact, I was given an opportunity once to get an x-ray of my back, to see what it looked like years after my spine realigned. To see my spine fully straight wasn’t necessary for me, but it was wonderful to see. The only signs of it was a minuscule curve at the base and the fact that though my growth plates had already closed when the scoliosis had been confirmed, the miracle also gave me more height.

God wants the best for us, even when we don’t.

Since those miraculous moment, I have been able to be more active. I can be around animals, grass being mowed near me without having to isolate myself, walking in any place I choose, being near trees of all types. I’ve had so many opportunities open up for me, with the results of those miracles.

These parts of my life are just part of what I have personally experienced in my life, and I thank Almighty God, my Savior Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit for every bit of what I know are miracles.

You may be thinking that I must have been granted miracles in my life, because of who I am. Trust me when I say that’s not the case. God performs miracles, because of who He is.

God loves and wants us to know Him, no matter who we are. While He performs miracle each day, many don’t notice them for what they are, some try to explain them away, but if you really think about the details of what occurred, there’s only one answer: a miracle.

Check out the YouVersion Bible app or open your Bible if you have one, and see all of the miracles God has already done. Those people lived. Even those who don’t claim Jesus for who He is, once recorded much of the miraculous events that occurred.

If you are reading this, you too are a “living, breathing, walking miracle,” as written and sung by singer Matthew West in the video below. Listen to what happened to this young boy and others, and listen to the truth of this song. What have you got to lose?

Isn’t it time to start dwelling on the good in our lives? With God, there is hope. True hope. There is good in the world.

Still feeling skeptical? Please take a listen to Colton Dixon’s song “Miracles” which also came out this year. I don’t believe in coincidences. But, I do believe in miracles. In this song, you’ll hear from a believer, who also finds himself in awe every time God does miracles.

I would love to hear about your miracles. It’s great to read about those done for others. This Thanksgiving season and as we continue living through these times, know that you are here for a reason. You are here with purpose. A good purpose.

If you ever want to know more about this God of miracles, I would love to tell you more. He loves you no matter who you are, what you’ve done or what you think of yourself. He doesn’t want to change your world upside down. He simply wants to show you how much more there is for you. Trust me when I say that there is far more to my story, and I know without a doubt that He lives, that He is real and that He is trustworthy.

While there is much in life we cannot control. He can.

My Reflections

WHERE WILL YOU STAND? (Part 1): Faith


The ground moved under our feet, all too quickly.

As a teacher, this summer break has been very different. Before the summer of 2020, summer has often included times of fun with others, a possible vacation away, and moments to relax, refresh and rejuvenate after a school year of teaching. It meant more carefree times. Instead, at least for my family, we have been largely isolated to do our best to stay safe from COVID-19.

Our schools were only three days into Spring Break, before the nation was essentially locked down. Life, as we had known it, had changed and it felt like someone had kicked our collective knees out from under us. We knew the virus had impacted the eastern part of the world, but too many of us believed or hoped that it would never land here.

Suddenly, we all began to feel unsteady.

Within two weeks, we shifted from traditional learning within school buildings to teaching and learning remotely online from the youngest of students in elementary school through colleges and universities. Educators, students and families all had to shift accordingly.

Businesses, of all types, began closing down. Those who were fortunate enough were able to shift into working from home. Food and supplies became scarce in stores, as hysteria appeared to take over and people began buying in large quantities with the intentions of hoarding. Medical workers and grocery store workers became heroes, but they also were getting put at great risk, even with governments setting up mandatory face mask wearing protocols when out in public.

Without knowing what the future held, as a worldwide pandemic made it to our hemisphere, fear set in among our citizens, right here in America.

The virus changed our world, and we didn’t know what would shift next.

Prior to the official start of summer, I lost my mother and my grandmother in a matter of two weeks due to COVID-19, each having died in two different states while I was in a completely other state. There would be no time to gather with others to console one another. There would be no memorials or funerals, with hopes for the ability to do this in the future. This would follow about a month later with the loss of my father-in-law and us joining the memorial virtually.

Losses like this are HUGE under normal circumstances. This time though, we couldn’t count on the typical traditions we would typically count on during times like this, ones that often help to bring us comfort and support.

One thing I learned during those times, and as I continue to learn as we move forward, is that the virus has most definitely changed the world and how we are living. However, there are still constants that exist, in spite of the virus, ones I knew I could depend on strongly for the comfort and support I needed.

In my own home, my immediate family (both human and animal) were able to listen and help us process. They were able to provide hugs when we broke down in grief. When needed, they stayed near when all we could do was just sit quietly and allow ourselves to feel, think, and remember without any interference.

The virus changed our world, BUT FAMILY rallied together.

The gift of technology proved to play a huge part in helping us through the healing. We were able to spend time talking or texting on our phones, and more importantly video chatting with the rest of our family no matter where we each live in the country. In a time of isolation from most, this was a HUGE comfort and helped us to process further with those who also knew these important members of our lives. We felt like we could stand more steadily, after that.

As our entire life largely shifted to staying at homes and outside on our properties, many great and unexpected changes began to happen. This wasn’t just in our home, but also in the homes of many families’ living all over the country. Life began to slow down for most of us. We were having more time together, to engage more with one another, to make have actual home cooked meals more regularly and together, and our pets loved having us around more.

The need for using apps, like Zoom, caused many to catch up and stay more in touch with family and friends whether they lived a few houses down or across the country or globe. It appeared the gift of time had helped us remember that who is in our lives matter more than what is in our lives.

Life wasn’t entirely what we knew, and like most of you, I needed to find a firmer place to stand with so many unknowns ahead.

You see, way before COVID-19 ever emerged, my biggest comfort and support was one I was already very familiar with and one that had never let me down, even in the toughest of times . . . GOD.

I look up to the mountains—does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. The Lord  himself watches over you!The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever. PSALM 121:1-8

From the first time I ever knew troubled times existed in life, and every time since, God has been there. He was the One who has always held me close when I’ve cried out to Him. He was the One who has let me scream at Him when I have been frustrated or angry. He was the One who brought the perfect people to me, at just the right moments when I needed them. He was the One who reminded me of so many truths that not only have lasted the test of time through centuries, but have lasted the test of time in my own life from a very young age.

Getting my legs back didn’t change a lot of what was out of my control, but it helped me stand so much stronger.

I found myself using the time that was now freed up to talk with God a lot more. The ability to pray to the One who knows far more than any human ever could know, provided me with immense peace.

This peace was with me when my mother was in the hospital for over a week, without knowing what the outcome would be. It was with me on the morning of Mother’s Day when I learned of my grandmother’s death and soon followed by my father-in-law. It stayed with me as I did all I could to teach from my home, in a way that was not how any of us expected to finish the final quarter of the year that I was still reaching and supporting my students. That peace reminded me to trust my Lord and those He put in my life.

This peace was with me, anytime fear rose up over the unknowns of living life with the coronavirus now in it. Remembering Bible verses were a source of strength and peace. Having the luxury to read the Bible for longer periods of time provided me with peace like even my favorite novel cannot do. Talking and listening to God, in prayer, however and whenever I needed has kept me standing strong.

The virus changed our world, BUT GOD has never changed.

Little would any of us know that life would still have curveballs to throw at us. While my faith is usually strong, it doesn’t mean I don’t feel afraid. Every human does. With 24/7 news and social media providing continuous information and misinformation, along with photos and/or videos, faith has been the key to my mind, heart and soul remaining tethered through it all.

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,”he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,”he said, “why did you doubt?”MATTHEW 14:28-31

There’s a part in the Bible, in Matthew 14, when Jesus sends His disciples to get into a boat while He dispersed the crowd of people they just finished miraculously providing for with food none of them had. Imagine the fear of hundreds of people not knowing when their next meal would be. Yet, Jesus provided for their needs and probably saved so many lives that day. He also increased the people’s faith that God saw them, God knew what they needed and God could provide.

Then, those disciples got into the boat knowing Jesus would catch up with them. After just seeing the miracle of food simply appearing in their baskets to give out until every mouth was fed, it was clear that had God seen them, God knew what they needed and God provided. Then, rather than waiting to catch up with the disciples on the other side or by following in another boat, Jesus was standing on the lake water itself and asking Peter to trust Him and walk to Him, on that lake.

What does this have to do with the coronavirus?

That moment has everything to do with the pandemic that we are still living with, in our nation and across the globe. Peter took initial steps of faith in Jesus Christ as he began to walk towards Him, but then suddenly, the human he was saw the wind blowing and his eyes went off Jesus and most likely looked at the water as he freaked out and cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Even then, the Lord saw what happened, saw the need and provided. Jesus reached out His hand and caught Peter. He knew Peter had faith, but like us, Peter also struggled during times of “rough waters”.

We have moments when we feel more at peace, as though God or even humans, have life more in control. We feel completely comforted and in full faith that life will work out and there’s no need to worry.

Then, we see the numbers rising again of those testing positive for the virus. We see that the new school year is right around the corner and worry as an educator, as a parent or loved one of a school age person or as all of the above. Masks are required to be worn again and some businesses have to close temporarily again, while others do so for good, not being able to handle the lack of money anymore. Events that were looked forward to get cancelled and sports are making major changes, as well.

We read, hear, or see all of that. Then, we have moments when even though we are still alive and may even have what we need, we feel our faith dropping. Like Peter, as changes continue to occur through these times, and we feel the wind moving and the water beneath our feet, we realize that while we may have faith, we also feel better feeling and touching the realities we are used to around us.

The virus is not greater than God.

This is why talking and listening to God, reading His Word for instruction, for guidance, for assurance, for wisdom, for how to handle whatever comes in life is so vastly important.

God is always with us, whether we acknowledge His existence or not. He sees us. He knows what we need. He provides.

His provision may not always make sense to us, like when Thomas the disciple saw Jesus alive again, after His resurrection, and needed further physical proof it was Him. Then after some time of rejoicing over His return, those who had seen Him after rising from the dead, soon came to realize that Jesus had to return to the Father. Imagine the immense confusion and hurt that brought on, not knowing when they would see Him again. Yet, their stories continue on with greater moments of faith that changed the lives of so many people in the world for His glory.

As it indicated in this Bible verse, we are truly blessed when we have faith, belief in God, when we cannot physically see His presence before us.

Why? Because, God knew that this pandemic would occur. He knew that we would be afraid at times, whether we have faith in Him or varying degrees of faith in Him, at times.

YET . . . GOD is far greater than anything life throws our way, even the coronavirus.

The virus doesn’t take away our faith.

For those of you who struggle to have any faith in God at all, the amazing fact is that we all have faith in something or someone at different points in life. While each of us continue to live our lives as best we can, He still sees us, knows what we need and provides for us.

When the dark news related to the coronavirus interferes with our lives, we continue to keep looking for the light. Most humans can’t seem to help it.

No matter what unknowns will come our way, pandemic or not, don’t give up. Have faith. It helps us to stand firmer, to keep going and to remember that better times will come.

The light exists and will always outshine the darkness.

Stay tune for the next part of this blog series. Keep the faith.

As with all of my blog posts feel free to COMMENT, to FOLLOW my blog and to SHARE. I value you taking the time to read my posts.

My Reflections

FEAR HAS ARRIVED ON A GLOBAL SCALE . . . BUT


Feeling lead to type this to whoever is meant to read it. I feel like the Lord is testing His people with the fact that coronavirus has caused across the globe. How? He wants us to remain vigilant in the hope we must always hold onto, remember that our hope is in the Lord. He loves. He sees. He is working.

He wants His people to pray on behalf of humanity and believe that He knows what He’s doing. While yes, there is sickness and death, the true harm is the fear. He says to us, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ” – John 14:37

The enemy wants fear to spread like wildfire. Sound familiar? It has indeed been doing so, worldwide. Humans fear the unknown. That’s normal. We are finite, but God is infinite.

We need to trust Him. We need to trust the medical community. We need to get more comfortable with the unknown, because unknowns are not going to go away.

They’re all around us. But, look around. We still love. We still live. We still connect with people, with life and we keep going. It’s who we are.

Hope lives. Yes, fear is real, but hope and love is what has always made situations better and made us finite beings better.

When we don’t have the wisdom we want so badly, like when we were children, we must trust those who know more, who have the wisdom we don’t have.

As 1 Corinthians 13:13 tells us, “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”

When fear seems to overtake us, these are some words from the Bible that have often helped me:

• Psalm 91

• Ephesians 6: 11-17

• 1 Corinthians 13

For those who doubt God’s existence or anything about Him, we’ve all at least experienced unknowns in our life that have scared us immensely. Many of us have also come out on the other side of those experiences.

Stay hopeful. Trust those who know more than we know. Then, breathe and remember you’re alive. Alive for a reason and live.

As often as the clouds come and can seem to overcome the beautiful blue sky we want to see, we tend to try and focus on the blue breaks in the clouds. That’s hope. That’s what keeps us hanging on, when the clouds cause us to only see dark skies. Hanging on to the truth that the clouds (or the fear) will disperse and that the sky (hope) will appear fully again is belief, belief that life will be good again. It’s not that we don’t see the clouds. It’s that we refuse to give in to them. Hope. Photo By Rachel Basden

As with all of my blog posts feel free to COMMENT, to FOLLOW my blog and to SHARE. I value you taking the time to read my posts.

My Reflections

DREAM GOD SIZED DREAMS – Exodus 33:11, Numbers 14:5-9, Ephesians 3:20, Joshua 10:9-14, Ephesians 1:3, Matthew 13:23


This blog may be one of my longest ones to date. Over a long time, God has shown me to dream beyond my imagining to dreaming God sized dreams. I can remember a time, as a teenage girl, when my youth pastor encouraged us to pray for our future spouses.  He wasn’t encouraging us to focus on looking for the one God might have for us. He was encouraging us to pray “for” that person now, not after he/she entered our lives.  I can still remember him saying, “You never know if you are the only one praying for them.” Powerful words!

Well, as I prayed for the man who would later become my husband, God showed me the attributes that this man would and should have, if he was to marry me.  They seemed way beyond what even other Christians were hoping for, but as I continued to study the Word, I saw that they lined up directly with God.  Not only that, but focusing my eyes on who God would have for me, kept me from making some major mistakes.  Years later, when I did meet my husband, I learned that he came to know the Lord during his teen years, in a powerful way! God only knows how much my prayers may have helped to shape him into the man he was and would become. Even more, my husband is all God wanted for me, not an impossible dream.

I can also remember the time when I had to decide which colleges to apply to, and though I’m not advocating applying to just one school (unless God makes that VERY CLEAR), I knew that I knew that I knew that I was meant to go to a specific state college.  Others, especially family, thought I was nuts.  How could I put all my eggs literally in one basket? This was my future, we were talking about!

To help provide a peace to my loved ones, I decided to apply for early acceptance, which meant I would know months before others if I was going there that fall, but most importantly, I would know ahead of having to submit more college applications, before the deadlines to other schools.  Though I did fairly well through my school years, there was no logical reason why the school God wanted me to attend would send me an early acceptance.

As God would have it, I got early acceptance, and He did one even better. They offered me a good-sized scholarship.  What had already been clear to me, became clear to others. What’s more is that I grew more spiritually in that place, than ever before, not because it is some special school, but because of daring to dream and trusting God for the results.

I can also tell you of the numerous times I would feel God showing me who He wanted me to be and what He wanted me to do, down the road.  However, the location of where this would occur, was completely foreign to me.  Then, many years later, as my husband and I were traveling from the airport, for his final pastoral interview and for my teacher interview, I couldn’t help but notice something.  Outside the car windows, for miles and miles, I was looking right at the location of my dreams.  As we arrived, and did some exploring, more of what God had shown me for so long, were now right before me, in living color and in some cases, in flesh and blood!  I cried joyful tears, many times during that weekend.

I have long felt an affinity for Joshua, in the Old Testament. He was a man who clearly dreamed God sized dreams. As he was mentored by Moses, it spoke to me when I read, “Inside the Tent of Meeting, the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Afterward Moses would return to the camp, but the young man who assisted him, Joshua son of Nun, would remain behind in the Tent of Meeting,” in Exodus 33:11. Here was a man God was shaping to see the Promised Land before he would ever step into it. Twelve men had been sent to scout out the Promised Land and report back to Moses, Aaron and the rest of the Israelites. Ten of the twelve could only see what was in front of them, and they passed along their fears to the others that this was not of God, without consulting Him. However, in Numbers 14:5-9, we see Joshua and Caleb not only dreaming God’s way, but truly seeing His reality, before they entered into all God had for His people:

“Then Moses and Aaron fell face down on the ground before the whole community of Israel. Two of the men who had explored the land, Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, tore their clothing. They said to all the people of Israel, ‘The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey. Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!”

That’s what’s so amazing about dreaming as God desires us to dream. We can’t always see what He places in our hearts and dreams. They don’t always make sense.  Many times, they don’t, because they involve His intervention, rather than man’s, in order for them to come to fruition. But God tells us in Ephesians 3:20, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”  That’s exciting! If we can think it, He is able to do even greater!!! That’s what He wants for us.

Even though that piece of Scripture was written many years after Joshua, Joshua knew the heart of God.  This is probably why in Joshua 10, we see five kings send their united armies to fight against Joshua and the Israelites, out of fear for what they had seen God deliver them from, in prior battles.  This would causes most people to run the other way.  Yet, God had given Joshua big dreams, dreams of who He is and what He wanted for His people.

In Joshua 10:9-14 we read:

“Joshua traveled all night from Gilgal and took the Amorite armies by surprise. The Lord threw them into a panic, and the Israelites slaughtered great numbers of them at Gibeon. Then the Israelites chased the enemy along the road to Beth-horon, killing them all along the way to Azekah and Makkedah. As the Amorites retreated down the road from Beth-horon, the Lord destroyed them with a terrible hailstorm from heaven that continued until they reached Azekah. The hail killed more of the enemy than the Israelites killed with the sword.

On the day the Lord gave the Israelites victory over the Amorites, Joshua prayed to the Lord in front of all the people of Israel. He said, ‘Let the sun stand still over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Aijalon.’

So the sun stood still and the moon stayed in place until the nation of Israel had defeated its enemies.

Is this event not recorded in The Book of Jashar? The sun stayed in the middle of the sky, and it did not set as on a normal day.There has never been a day like this one before or since, when the Lord answered such a prayer. Surely the Lord fought for Israel that day!”

Wow! How many of us would ask God to stop time, the revolution of the Earth around the sun, even stop time, very unnatural things, because His people needed more time, and Joshua knew that if he could think it, God could do greater, and God did! He allowed His people to get physically involved in the battle, and as if the sun standing still wasn’t enough to show them who was really at work here, God destroyed those who tried to escape, with a hailstorm. That’s the God we serve, a God who wants us to expect great things from Him.

Looking back at those who dared to dream God sized dreams in the Word, in the lives of others I have known or met, and in my own life, I couldn’t say this better than Paul did in Ephesians 1:3, when he stated, “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.”

Did you catch that? He has already blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms! It isn’t future tense.  He has already done it.  All we have to do is enlarge our vision and dream as God wants us to, because He has already ensured us that He is able and has already made a way.

This is why the Dream Centers, which began in LA, came into being and spread world-wide.  This is why the “National Community Church” in Washington, DC stands today and its pastoral staff and congregation continue to be testament to dreaming God’s way. This is why the Assemblies of God exists today.  This is why Wayne Tesch, an ordinary man (like all of God’s big dreamers) began Royal Family Kids Camp, a camp for abused foster kids, which is now over 150 camps strong world-wide!

Are you getting it? God wants us to dream big enough for Him to do even bigger things!  Jesus Himself told us in Matthew 13:23, “The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” He wants to go WAY beyond whatever we dream.

So start dreaming, but keep God in the equation. Ask Him to enlarge your vision. Dream in accordance to who God is and who He says we are in Him, because we serve a BIG God. Dream, remembering that what is impossible in our eyes is VERY possible in His, and feel free to share with me and my readers about God’s big dreams and what He’s done since you dared to dream!  Not only does it encourage all of us, but each testimony gives glory to God, the giver of great dreams.

As with all of my blog posts feel free to COMMENT, to FOLLOW my blog and to SHARE. I value you taking the time to read my posts.

My Reflections

TRUE WISDOM – Proverbs 3


We’ve all been there.  We’re in the midst of a situation, frustrated, trying to figure out what to do next. We begin to question ourselves.  It can be a dark place.

I can still remember the night, after my first day of teaching.  I had gone through my years at college, earned my degree and certifications. I had been prepared by others and life, with more than I could have ever hoped for.  My first day, as an official teacher even went well.

So why did I drop to the floor of my bedroom, feeling completely overwhelmed?  I found myself doing the only thing I knew to do. I cried, hiccuping, gasping cries, to the only One who I knew understood me better than myself, my God.  I wasn’t upset that I didn’t feel equipped with knowledge on the subject I was teaching. I wasn’t uncomfortable working with my students. Yet, I felt inadequate.

Who was I to think I had something to teach the future of our country, young men and women, who would be molded partly by what I imparted to them?

So, what else could I do? I felt inadequate, because I am.  All of a sudden, for at least 9-10 months, the lives of others were being entrusted to me.  Many would come to me, expecting answers, and the responsibility suddenly felt too great.

But, as I cried out to my Heavenly Father, all was made right. He gently reminded me that I may not always know all the answers, but I know Someone who does.  When those impressionable lives asked me for direction, I may not always know what to say, but I know Someone who does.

By the time I stood up, not much had changed around me, but something had definitely changed inside of me.  I felt confident that no matter what lied before me, I could walk forward, knowing that my God would guide me.

Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”  I was confident, knowing that not only did I not have all the answers, but I didn’t have to have all the answers.

Isn’t that where true wisdom comes from, acknowledging the One who is greater than ourselves? Why do we sometimes lack wisdom, in a situation?  Sometimes it is just a matter of crying out to the One who can see the beginning and the end, and asking for His wisdom, which far surpasses our own.

Life isn’t always easy, but no matter what happens, know that God has a plan for you and your circumstances.

As with all of my blog posts feel free to COMMENT, to FOLLOW my blog and to SHARE. I value you taking the time to read my posts.