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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

 

Spiritual beings

In my Aunt’s house there is a sign that reads, “we are not physical beings traveling through a temporary spiritual journey… we are spiritual beings traveling through a temporary physical journey ”

The change in perspective is amazing in a world that is so focused on the physical.

My soul yearns this morning that all would understand where they are in their spiritual journey.

May you be blessed today, my friends

SB

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Richly blessed and highly favored

A few weeks ago, we held a small family reunion at our house. My mom and her sister and brother got together with their cousin, Spencer and his wife, Darlene. When they arrived, I asked Spencer how he was doing. His reply: “richly blessed and highly favored”

A child of God, he has an appreciation for the fact that our riches are in His glory, not in material wealth. Well into their seventies, both Darlene and Spence have some health issues and life nuisances. But their outlook on life was contagious…. richly blessed. Highly favored.

God favors those who love Him deeply and serve Him. He wants to bless us richly.

What an awesome outlook on life.

My friends, you are richly blessed and highly favored. May you be blessed today

SB

He restores my soul

God is in the restoration business. He loves to make beauty out of ashes… and ashes we all are. The baggage and filth that we carry from decisions we’ve made and sins we’ve committed break His heart.

My soul was rocked tonight… to the core. My heart is breaking for the situations unfolding around in the lives of people I care deeply about.

I don’t think I’ve slept at all tonight, but while I was laying in my bed praying, the phrase of the 23rd Psalm kept playing over and over in my head. He restores my soul.

I love to restore things… take a piece of old furniture and refurbish it, give it new life and a new purpose. I’m currently working on a bench reupholster and have a set of chairs with which to make an upholstered bench. They look like junk right now… just like my life did before Jesus picked me up and breathed new life into me.

I don’t yet know what my chairs will look like in their new life, much like I don’t fully know what is next in my own life. But I know they will have a new purpose, just like I have, and just like you can have.

No matter what we’ve done, God can restore. No matter how far gone we are, God can rebuild us and give us a new purpose in Him.

I am praying for those who need His breath to give them life. I am burdened for them and praying that they will see God reaching His hand toward them.

Be blessed,

SB

Your Mother’s a Fish…

Our missions trip to NYC a few weeks ago was awesome and colorful. We knew it would be… I have a lot of experiences to write about and have been delayed because life has truly been crazy lately.

There was one particular day during our trip that I was especially silly… you know… the kind of silly where you start laughing and can’t stop… and it’s complete inappropriate to laugh. I started laughing on the subway… during rush hour… when you and 100 of your closest friends are literally smashed face to face with one another. I inadvertently tramped on the foot of the person standing beside me. I felt really bad about it and turned to tell her I was sorry. She made a face at me that literally made me giggle…. and, perhaps being sleep deprived, I may have been a little delirious when I started to giggle… but once I started, I couldn’t stop. I laughed all the way to our stop, and embarrassed my daughter to the point where she scolded me. 😂

When we exited the train and came up the stairs, there was a verbal altercation going on nearby, as another train arrived. A woman was verbally assaulting a man as he calmly walked away from him. She was very upset, yelling wildly at him. I heard her say, “your mother’s a fish!” And I thought I myself how surprising it was she didn’t use stronger language for as angry as she was. Turns out she actually did… but my ears were protected to hear something different. Lol. Our entire group found it hilarious that I heard “fish” when she said something completely different, and this became our mantra for the week! They all got a kick out of telling my daughter that HER mother is a fish!

We’ve since added a few variants like “son of a fish” and “stop fishin”

So the next time you’re frustrated with someone… feel free to spread a little humor and tell them that their mother is a fish.

Be blessed, my friends!

SB

Craig

…to see the power of God unfold in someone else’s life is truly amazing. The longer I love Jesus, the more I see it..

Recently, my dear friend had an encounter with a young lost soul.. and he responded as Jesus would have… by listening to his story and then pointing him toward Christ.

I don’t know what demons lie in Craig’s life to cause him to be on the place where he is, but I know that God sent someone to him who understands those demons and could care for him as he needed right then and plant a seed to find God when he’s ready.

I am thrilled to see God work in my friends’ life, using him to reach other people. In and of itself, this act of obedience draws my friend closer to God..

God uses imperfect people to reach imperfect people.

God is up to something. He is constantly shaping us and forming us to be more like what He needs us to be in order to fulfill His purpose in our lives.

God is up to something. I’m honored to be a part of it.

Blessings,

SB

Danny… the encourager… with just his guitar and God

Yesterday, our youth pastor and his wife and another youth leader and I brought sixteen of our youth to Orlando, Florida, for the Christian & Missionary Alliance LIFE conference. The conference happens every three years and boasts some of the best Christian speakers. It’s literally a conference for teenagers, and they will sit in a variety of seminars for the next four days

For some, it will be life changing.

This is my third time attending, and every single time I have been blown away to see the power of God at work.

For the 2016 conference, I hadn’t planned on attending because I didn’t want to use my vacation time, but our youth pastor needed some other adult leaders to attend, so I agreed. We drove to that conference, and I rode in the car with my dear friend, Cindy, our youth pastors wife. I was so encouraged by our conversation during the whole trip, and I realized that God had allowed circumstances to be what they were SO THAT I WOULD BE WHERE GOD NEEDED ME TO BE. He does that for us, you know!!?

Well yesterday was no exception. We had a connection on our Southwest flight in Atlanta but didn’t need to exit the plane, which gave us an opportunity to move seats and be closer to each other and the front of the plane. When we did, I took a seat near the front of our group so I could get off first and be in the terminal when thebithees got off, and our pastor sat at the back of our group to bring up the rear. Two of our girls were in the row with me and one girl sat by herself in the row across from me. She seemed to want to be by herself. A few minutes later, our pastors wife joined her so that she wasn’t alone, but she still sat fairly aloof and looked out the window. (I learned later that her husband had encouraged her to move her seat). As the began boarding, someone put a guitar into the overhead compartment above me and took a seat. I didn’t pay much attention after that, but at some point, I saw a man ask Jessie if she minded he took the isle seat next to her (and across from me). He sat. I smiled to myself as I heard her introduce herself to him and, in the process of exchanging pleasantries, explain that we were taking this group of kids to a Christian conference. His eyes lit up and he began to tell her about all of the “God moments” he’d experienced. Turns out he loves Jesus and looks for opportunities to encourage people with Gods love.

He shared with her that he writes poetry and shared one of his poems with her.

As it turned out, he had been sitting in the row in front but a woman with limited mobility came into the plane and he gave his seat up for her to move into Jessie’s row.

I smiled because in my introverted self, I would never have struck up a conversation with him had he sat next to me. But somehow God knew that Jesse needed that mans encouragement at just that moment. Not only that, but He orchestrated every seat change for both Jessie and Danny to make it happen.

By the end of the flight, I could tell that Jessie had been touched by Danny’s spirit, and his poetry. I have no idea how he makes a living but he told Jessie that he felt Gods calling on him was to be an encourager to other people.

As we gathered our belongings to deplane, and he reached for the guitar above me, I said “oh, that’s your guitar!?” He said, “yes. It’s my guitar. My wife didn’t like that guitar when we were first married but I told her that we had spent a lot of time together… just me, and God and that guitar”

Thank you, Danny, for your blessing to Jessie (and consequently me vicariously). May God continue to use you to be an encourager!

If I can get a copy of his poem from Jessie, I’ll share it with you so you can be blessed too!

Blessings,

SB