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Life is a journey

Birth is a beginning and death a destination

And life is a journey

From childhood to maturity

And youth to age,

From innocence to awareness

And ignorance to knowing,

From foolishness to discretion

And then, perhaps to wisdom,

From weakness to strength

Or strength to weakness,

And often back again.

From health to sickness

And back, we pray, to health again

From offense to forgiveness

From loneliness to love

From joy to gratitude

From pain to compassion

And grief to understanding

From fear to faith

From defeat to defeat to defeat

Until, looking backward or ahead

We see that victory lies not at some high place along the way

But in having made the journey, stage by stage, a sacred pilgrimage

Birth is a beginning

Death a destination

But life is a journey

From birth to death to life everlasting

Author unknown, from the prayer book of the Shiva of my friend.

Baruch, my friends, Baruch

(Blessing, my friends, blessings)

SB

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Who are you and what breaks your heart?

The answer to the question is an important one and is different for every person. Within the answer to this question lies the desires of your heart, and where you can begin to find your purpose.

Who are you and what breaks your heart?

Who are you and what breaks your heart? I first heard this question a few years ago as a challenge from our youth pastor. Along with the other adult sponsors of our youth, I searched deep within myself to answer the question.  The answer to the question is an important one and is different for every person.  Within the answer to this question lies the desires of your heart, and where you can begin to find your purpose.   It took me several days to fully craft my response.  Over the next several years, I returned to the question as well as my answer, sometimes tweaking the verbiage, but never the message.

I am a musician, an engineer, a mentor; my desire is to leave things better than I found them; I am a sister, daughter, wife, mother, aunt, friend.

Suicide breaks my heart; cancer breaks my heart; human trafficking breaks my heart; seeing people make bad life decisions breaks my heart.

I am thankful for the One True and Living God who saved me from myself and, through His Son Jesus Christ, has saved me from my sins.

I am confidently persistent, boldly creative and passionately determined that I may inspire others to live a life that ultimately matters.

I am a believer in Jesus Christ and a firm believer that God has a plan for every one of our lives.   In my young life, I struggled to find that purpose.  Once I found it, I developed a passion to help others find their purpose in life as well.

This blog is a collection of life experiences, probably some past and some present, designed to connect with you on your life journey, to help you ultimately live a life that matters.  My sincerest prayer is that through my words, you are drawn into a deeper relationship with the One who can fulfill your purpose in life.

Blessings,

SB

 

Cast your Cares

Lord, thank you for today.  Thank you for the rest You gave overnight, and for clarity of mind this morning.  Today is Your day.  I know you are with me.   I lay all of me out before You, my thoughts and dreams, my inspirations, my insecurities, my inhibitions.  I know You made me, and I know You are here for me.   Make me what You need me to be in order to fulfill Your purpose in me.   In your Holy Name, I pray.  Amen

Yesterday was filled with anxiety… which is very odd for me.  I have a few close friends who battle anxiety and, quite honestly, they come to me for guidance, which I happily refer them to 1 Peter 5:7 “cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”

and there I was, taking my own scripture pill, wondering why it didn’t magically disappear..    sometimes I think God allows these moments in our lives to give us empathy toward what others are going through.   Empathetic… I am.    I understand the helpless feeling of having anxiety for seemingly no reason and not being able to change it.   My simple answer is that, through this, God is trying to teach us to rely on Him, and to let go of our worries.  It is much easier said than done.

I am a work in progress, as are we all.   My heart is with all of you.

Be blessed as I am blessed today, my friends.

SB

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Unsettled wisdom

Lord, my heart is unsettled and anxious, yet I know I am completely Yours. I’m so humbled that You love me. You’ve told me to cast my burdens on You because You care for me (1 Peter 5:7). I am casting them on You now and pray that You will give me Your peace about all You are doing, both in my life and in my work.

That which You’ve asked me to do is bigger than me. I am sometimes overwhelmed by the magnitude, yet believe so wholeheartedly it is of You. Give me your wisdom, beyond my own. Help me hear Your voice above all noise.

Show me Your sign. Continue to guide me and direct me, that everything I do will honor You.

Remove from me what You need to, replace in my heart what You need to, help me to obey Your voice.

Let Satan have no authority over me, or those who are with me, those who guide me. Let him have no authority over this endeavor. I pray, in the name of Jesus, that You will bind him up and remove him from this, Your endeavor.

I pray that Your blessings be poured out, that all those involved will know, without a doubt, that the blessings are from you.

Close any doors you need to. Open the ones You want me to enter, and give me Your courage and boldness to do so.

In Your Holy and Precious name,

SB

NYC Missions

I wanted to share another experience from our first trip, a few years ago..  Ás I’ve talked about before, 4 students and 6 chaperones (overkill, I know) took 2 vehicles to NYC and stayed at a church in Brooklyn.   On street parking, which we were lucky enough to find 2 spots in front of our home church the night we arrived.  Because of street cleaning, however, the cars had to be moved every 2 days…. along with cars from everyone else in the neighborhood… which, as you might imagine, is no small task.   The gentlemen who came with us on the trip were kind enough to wake up early on the day they were to be moved.  I underestimated exactly what that meant, and I believe they did as well!  After two hours of looking for a place to park, they finally found a gated lot they could park for $25.00 per day and parked both vehicles.  After conferring with our leader, we decided to leave the cars there for the rest of the week – not having the aggravation of moving the cars was worth $25.00 per day.

An example of a really good decision made on the fly while serving the under-served in New York City.

We went about our missions projects (which I promise to write about) and got up Saturday morning to come home.   I was in our dorm room vacuuming the floor (and cheerfully humming a happy tune) when the other lady chaperones came to me with concerned looks on their faces.  I shut the vacuum off to see what was wrong.  I thought perhaps someone had gotten hurt.   The guys had just gone to get the cars from the lot, only to find the lot is closed on the weekends!

Hilarious.   I break into hysterical laughter for a few seconds before I realized the look on their faces dictated I should not have been laughing.   They were genuinely concerned!   I had to work really hard to keep a straight face – I’m not sure if it’s because I have a good 15 years on them and have experienced travel delays and other times when things don’t go as planned or if I was simply happy enough to spend more time in New York City, I just didn’t share their concern.  I knew enough about people, though, to empathize with their stress.

Fairly quickly, we began to put together “plan b” for getting the people home who absolutely had to be home to be at work on Monday morning.   I quickly volunteered to stay and wait for the garage to open.   HAHA   YAY! another weekend in NYC!  I loved it!

Turns out that one of our gentlemen is not only friendly, but resourceful and managed to find a phone number to call the owner of the garage, who, for a fee, was more than willing to come and let the cars out.   This escapade delayed our return trip just a few hours – and, amazingly enough, afforded us the opportunity to work in the kitchen of the church where we had stayed, and service their community breakfast.  Turns out that they had 9 volunteers call-off that morning, and there were 10 of us!

God, in His infinite wisdom, allowed our “misfortune” to be turned to blessing.  Ah, He does that so often!

My hope is that everyone learn to live life seeing the miracles of God unfold before their eyes! God is truly amazing, even in the midst of what seems like a crisis….   I’d call it a Chrisis!

Blessings to you,

1SB

 

 

 

Yes, Lord, I’m willing…

All I can say is, “Hold on!”

When God asks if you’re willing to share your story, and you say, “yes, of course, Lord, but what story? I don’t really have a story.”   be prepared.  He’s about to give you a story that is so completely unbelievable that it can ONLY be written by Him – the author and creator of the entire universe.

I am so truly humbled to be His, and experience the unfathomable grace He’s giving to me right now.

To be quite honest, I’m not even sure I have the words to articulate the story appropriately right now, but I am confident that, in time, He will give me the words to say.

Yes, Lord, 1000 times YES.  I am willing to share all that You have done and are doing for me – for YOUR glory. I am trusting you with every single step I make.

Your goodness endures forever.

Blessings, SB

Keep me focused

Lord, today is Your day. Keep me focused on you and your holiness. Help me to take every thought captive and hear only your voice guiding me.

Your blessings are so far beyond what I could have ever imagined. Your mercy I can’t comprehend.

Before You, I lay my plans, my opportunities, my failures, my relationships, my worry, my joy. Guide each step. Give me a sign that I am following where You want me to go.

Yours is glory forever and ever. Help me to glorify you in all I do.

Humbly before you today,

SB

Every Thing

When our perspective on every thing that we own is that, in fact, it belongs to God, would the way in which we treat it be different?  everything.   every thing.     our bank account, our salary, our gifts and talents, our homes, our cars,  our debts, our children… everything.

For much of my life, I never gave this much thought.  A few years ago, in deep contemplation after working hard to get my family’s finances in order, I had a change of perspective – and began viewing EVERY THING I have as belonging to God, and I’m simply the steward of what He’s allowed me to have.  It was both freeing and humbling to look at my possessions differently – I began to look at things in terms of how they could be used to further His kingdom.

I’m not sure if it’s our humanness or our culture that challenges this, but I’d daresay it’s probably not a “typical” viewpoint, if there is such a thing.  In fact, I have to continually remind myself to keep this perspective, else I drift back to default, which is to think of things as “mine”.  Hearing our lesson on the talents last night reminded me that I’ve drifted from center and need to re-ignite my realization that ALL I have is HIS.

As I stand before an open door to an opportunity that I’ve prayed about for years, watching it fall into place in such a way that there is absolutely no way to mistake that God is orchestrating it, I am reminded of the verse:

Luke 12:48 “To whom much is given, much is expected.”

Luke 16:9: “I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings

I am being blessed beyond measure that I might bless others beyond measure, giving God the power and glory forever and ever.

I am confident that God, who has called me to this purpose, will both provide and equip me to do His will.    He makes all things beautiful in His time.

Blessings,

SB

 

 

 

To whom much is given

Last night at youth group, we studied the parable of the talents

Mathew 25:14-30

I never realized before what a talent is worth Collectively, the 8 talents the master entrusted to his three servants was worth about $3.2 million.

In this passage, we noted that the master gave to his servant according to their gifts and talents, and noted that the servant was pleased with the servants who took their talents and used them to make more.

The use of the word TALENT is interesting to me, as I sit in a place where I believe God has called me to develop the musical and artistic talents God has given.

God has opened and closed doors for me in such a way I can hardly describe, although when the time is right, I will because I’ve promised God that I’m willing to share the story He’s given me.

“To whom much is given, much is required”

Much has been given. I seek to honor God with all I’ve been given. Still pinching myself to see if it’s really real.

Blessings to you all!

SB