Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Luke 15:10

Do you know how it feels once you find your purpose in life, placed there by God? Have you ever experienced the feeling? It is nothing short of amazing. . . I liken it to the same feeling as seeing your first born child and I cry about it every time I think about it.

People are afraid to go into the jail and truth be told, I was afraid my first time too. I don’t think I told anyone, or said it out loud because I didn’t want to speak it over myself, but I was.  However, I was also trusting in God, knowing He put me in the position for a purpose. I didn’t seek this out. Who seeks out going into a jail to teach them about Christ? I didn’t but I can tell you this. . . the people He put in my life, to get me into the jail to teach about God’s love – was purposeful & so perfect.

What God has done to me & for me, taking me into the jail and allowing me to teach His beautiful daughters all about His love – is a miracle in itself.

Yes, I see a miracle every time I go in, at least one woman raises her hand to get Jesus, but it’s usually way more than one woman.

When they come into the room we greet them, I usually shake their hand but I put both of my hands around their hand. I look them right in their eyes and tell them how happy I am that they came today. Why do I do this? I feel like this is exactly what Jesus would be saying or doing to them, if He saw them in that moment. You see, they didn’t have to come to women’s English bible study (that is what we call it going into the jail), they made the choice to come out of their pod and interact with us.  In fact, I know God is in Heaven rejoicing over their choice to come to bible study. You know the verse Luke 15:10, “Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Some of the women who come in, will not look you in the eyes, some are really shy and just look down. Some are just so sad or broken and they look away from you, as you hold their hand. I just want them to feel God’s love, for them. . . their sin doesn’t matter to me, and it shouldn’t matter to you or anyone else. God changes people.

When they walk in the room, you can actually see the brokenness on their faces. They are so lost and so sad and you can see it! They watch the DVD sermon from Pastor Micahn and then their faces change. Normally, they start to cry and/or sob really, it breaks my heart every darn time. . . I think I’ve cried every time I’ve gone in but it’s been tears that are ok. . . . if that makes sense. I am crying with them because maybe they are realizing for the first time, the devastation they have caused their kids or family. Or, maybe it’s just a reminder to them of their past actions and how they used to be. Either way, I feel for them.
I love them. They are all so beautiful. I look at them all like they are HIS daughters and they’ve never been taught about Him or heard about His amazing love.

I’m not sure really how to convey this type of love other than to say it’s an “Agape” love. . . which is the exact sermon Pastor Micahn was preaching last weekend while we were watching the DVD at the jail. This love is a crazy love, that looks crazy to everyone else but God. This love for His women and His beautiful daughters, even felt crazy to me! I’ve been talking to Him so much just saying, “Why God? Why do I love them like this? This feels so crazy and to the outside world I’m pretty sure I look and sound crazy.” And then I saw the sermon and it all made sense to me. God’s changed my heart. He’s given me His heart to love on His beautiful daughters.  How do I know this? Well, because I know how I used to be. Some of these crimes these women have committed, in the past, I would have been appalled, I would have been thinking, “Well stay away from them, they are scary people.” And now, I feel nothing of the sorts. I feel the exact opposite for them. And, I’ve come to realize we really need to change the stigma about “being in jail” or “locked up in prison” because we are all just a step away from being their ourselves. Just one wrong turn or decision, and we could all end up there. . . you know so many people are trying to change the stigma about mental illness and I agree with it but I also feel like we need to change this “being in jail” stigma. I was one of the worst offenders of being afraid of people who had been in jail, so I can say this about myself – He has changed my heart, so I know He can change yours too.

If you have been thinking about going to church, come sit with me at Together church. Start serving on a team, watch God move and change you. He can and will do it, if you are open to Him.  Then maybe you can start serving with me on the Jail Ministry team, and you too will get to see a miracle every single time you step inside the big iron gate. This to me is proof God can make good of bad. If it’s His will, He will do it and now I have the proof!

My plan was suicide. His plan for me, is jail ministry.  I’m so glad I listened to Him and learned all about His love for me. Won’t you try it?  Are you at the bottom of yourself? Are you struggling?  Do you feel like you are missing something, or have a hole in your heart? It is a hole the size of Jesus – He placed it there when you were born and you will have the hole your entire life, until you find Him and learn all about just how much He loves you. I’m praying for you my friend. I love you, just like He loves you.  Please, get in touch with me.

Romans 1:20-23
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
Ecclesiastes 3:11
He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Write it down, tie it on your wrist & put it on your forehead!

Today, our Pastor, Pastor Micahn instructed us to:
Write it down
Tie it on your wrist
Put it on your forehead.
This is what I do, when I blog. I'm writing this all down, to imprint it on my heart so I will NEVER forget what God has revealed to me.

There is a running joke in our home. When we talk about each other's gifts, it goes something like this, and it's funny, it's not hurtful, it's just funny.

Jason's gifts - smartypants (as in he's so smart, Logan and I can't understand his talk sometimes), everyone likes him, jokester, techey-geek (and we mean that lovingly because we are jealous we don't have that gene), and he can fix anything!!  HANDSOME.....ok, maybe that's not a "gift" per se, but he's nice to look at and that's the truth. He has a lot of gifts but those are just a few.

Logan's gifts - she's smart too, and she can read really fast, dry and funny sense of humor, beautiful smile, sweetheart, very caring and so very pretty. She has a lot of gifts but those are just a few.

Mom's gifts - she's got love and hugs, that's it! She gives really good hugs and loves everyone.
That's it. I got nothing more than that. (I know it's not true but we just tease about it often)

The first time I went into our county jail, I didn't cry and in fact, I held myself together really well - until we left the jail, then I broke down. And it's an ok thing to be sad for them but we pray for and with them, and God can heal me overnight, no problem. And he did. This ministry is such a blessing to so many people. I'm in awe that God allows me to be a part of this. . . I really am. I spoke to one of my Leaders about my sadness and she said something that helped me, "Delinda, you need to remember being in jail may have been God's way of saving them." So, now I think of that and it really helps me. She was correct and I just have to remember His way is the BEST WAY!

So Saturday night I got to go into our county jail again and speak to the women. We all sit in a U-shape, and each time we go, we don't usually see all the same women....it's random women but sometimes we will see someone who we have seen before but it's rare.  So we had 10 women, plus me and Stace (friend from Together Church). We watch one of Pastor Micahn's sermons. Stace and I sat next to each other. We got almost all the way through the video and I was looking around the room at the women and I didn't think I saw much on their faces, I was thinking, "God are they connecting? Do they even really care we are here, God?" And then I turned my thoughts around to praising him and I just kept thanking him over and over saying, "God, thank you so much for this opportunity. I get to tell all these women about you and your love and I'm so thankful. God, thank you, thank you, thank you."

Then, I lost it and I was so thankful Stace was sitting next to me because she put her arm around me after she saw me crying, and said, "OOOhhhh Delinda, it will be ok."

You see, I thought I loved people. I mean I really thought I loved people, 100% unconditional. Until this night. . .

I felt a physical wave come over me and heard, "Well, you think you love people - this is how much I love these women" and it was as-if God touched my heart with how much He loves these women and He gave me a glimpse of how He feels about them. I felt a wave come over me, I heard those words and then a HUGE rush of emotion. I looked across the room at these women, a few of them came in with a "hard face" and after the video their faces changed. 6 of the 10 women raised their hands to "Get Jesus" that night. I couldn't believe 6 of them raised their hand. I composed myself, and Stace and I each took 5 of the 10 women into a small group alone. She led one group and I led the other.

Normally, we sit with these women and talk about the video, or ask if they have any prayers they want. This night, with the wave of emotion that came over me, I just couldn't hold back and I was VERY bold. . . I looked at my group and each face looked so very young and beautiful. Their skin, and eyes looked so pretty and their faces looked so very sad and they were all looking down at the floor. I got in the group and I said, "Everyone look at me, look at my face." They all looked up at me and I lost it yet AGAIN.....ugh, "Delinda, pull yourself together and get across to them what you are trying to say!"
I said, "I'm sorry Ladies, I'm just very emotional tonight and so thankful to God that He allows me to come in here and talk with each one of you." I gave myself a few minutes, and just paused. Then I looked up at them and said, "I want to tell you each something very important. I don't want any of you to believe one more lie from Satan. You mean the world to God. You are so very important, you are so very beautiful and you are His beloved daughters. Once you have given your life to Him, he does not keep record of your wrongs. You are washed clean. Your crime no longer matters to Him, in regards to His love for you. He loves you so very much and I want every one of you to know just how much. I don't want you to ever feel how I felt. I want you to believe this, it says in the bible everything I'm telling you. If you don't have a bible, I suggest you get yourself one and start arming yourself with His truth - straight from God Himself."

And I looked at their faces, each one individually, and I felt like they were each my own daughter. Love. Pure love is the only thing I felt for them. I wasn't afraid, not one bit. We all shared our stories and for a brief moment, we were all sisters. His daughters, sitting in His sweet embrace. There wasn't any record of wrongs, there wasn't any judgement - just pure and simple love.

That was the Holy Spirit moving, right before my eyes. I'm not bold like that. That was all Him, He gets all the Glory and I'm just thankful He gave me the opportunity to witness these events.

Stace and I have been friends since junior high. To get to do this night with her, in the county jail was nothing short of amazing. I texted the same Leader in our church who spoke with me about my sadness for these women and I said, "Another amazing night in jail," and then I said to my husband, "Who would have thought "amazing night in jail" would ever be in a sentence together?" SO MUCH TRUTH to that, and this is how we all know it's ALL God. When something is this amazing, there is no other answer for it but Him! God physically showed me my purpose on this night and I will never be the same again and for that, I'm so very thankful.

The Faith Unit is a ministry at Together Church. We meet Thursday nights and we pray over the cards from the jail, and we write letters to them. They give us prayer requests, tell us they "got Jesus" or are "getting wet (meaning baptized)" or they would like to "connect" once they are out of jail, with a church family in the area they live, that they could do life with. Not too long ago, I was doing a devotional at church for the Faith Unit. The devotional was on "Who are we reaching" and I found this verse in the bible, and I was so happy God showed me this.
Matthew 28: 19-20
"Jesus undeterred went right ahead and gave His charge; "God authorized and commanded me to commission you to go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name; Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I'll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of age."
So what this means to me is this:
God instructed Jesus, to commission us, which means to "entrust us"to go out into the world and tell everyone about Him and teach them how to live for and with Him. And He will be with us, the entire time!!  So if you believe in the bible and you believe God - then you have to do this! What are you waiting for? He ENTRUSTS YOU AND ME! Are you listening to the nudge of the Holy Spirit?
You aren't that good but He is and He can do all things! In my own life, friends and family, I've seen Him change them right before my eyes. I won't get into their stories because I want them to get the opportunity to share their story, not me. I'm just here to tell you, He is working in and through people and He can and will do the same in you - if you allow Him to.

Here is my personal invite to you, to come to Together Church and check it out. You have several opportunities, depending on where you live. Get a hold of me and we can sit together. And who knows, maybe one day you'll get to go into the County Jail too and speak with these women about His love. . . and you'll see the Holy Spirit working too!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

She's come undone.......


I want you to understand first before I go into this; this is not judgment from me.  This is me being open and honest about my feelings, and what has happened and how God has changed us and continues to change us daily in our walk with Him. We are thankful for everyone and every situation He has given us or put in our paths.

All of it.

Thankful.

Blessed.

We see His gifts and His fruits and we just want more of Him, and want to share Him with all of our friends and family. We want you to know His love and the joy only He can give you.

Something I’ve learned lately is we are not the ones who decide who God will use to speak to us. Not that I thought I would be the one to choose but more like he would use the same type of people for the rest of my life. This is crazy to think about, don’t you think?  Is it because I am such a new-baby-Christian, is this why I thought He would use the same type of people? I’m not sure why I thought that, other than I’m a pretty na├»ve person, childlike, and a lot of times it’s to my detriment.

We moved in May of this year, back to our hometown. We moved from a big city, with many options for dinner, entertainment and friends; friends who were “family” to us. They were so close to us, they knew all the good, all the bad and they all still just loved us – right where we were.  These people were all older than us. They were established in their Christian walk, they appeared to be living for Christ, all were married and married for a long time. They had a good relationship with their husbands/wives/friends. We felt as though they loved us just like Christ loves us….right where we were…..no requirements for change but still learning, of course. They kind of carried us new-baby-Christians for the first 3 years, not carried us like enabling us but carried us like, “Do this, or don’t do that because Christ said this or that about doing such and such……..” they were all mentors to us.  

And, I knew I would miss them all dearly but I didn’t prepare myself for just how much I would miss them. I just never realized once we moved here, I would find myself crying about missing my friends, feeling lonely and as if I didn’t fit in with our new family/friends/church family. Questioning myself, “Was this the right choice?” I missed the fact they knew all the good and the bad about us, they knew how we would respond to a certain situation, they knew what we needed and would call and say, “Come over for a BBQ and just hang out with us,” this would always lead to a talk about the bible and what we have learned or were studying and they would give their insights and fill us up with their knowledge. We always felt good when we left our time with our friends.

In early 2016, I heard a sermon from our Pastor at the time about Mark 5:19 where Jesus said, “Go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful He has been.” I knew God was telling us to move back to Yakima and I thought to myself, “OH NO, NOT back to Yakima – God you know what my old friends believe about me. You know what they think about Jason. Not Yakima God, anywhere BUT Yakima. No. Just No.”  I told Jason what I was hearing, and he said, “No, we won’t be moving back there again, NOT Yakima.”

So, we just prayed about it.

For an entire year, we prayed about it.

A part of me wanted to move home because it’s “home” for me but the main part of me was scared to death because of my past life. My life before Christ and what I was like, my sins, my scarlet letter, all of it…..I kept it in the back of my mind and it was as if Satan was saying, “Don’t forget the bad parts Delinda, you don’t want to move back there, for sure because you  know what everyone there knows about you!”
We finally couldn’t hold off any longer, the voice just kept getting louder and louder about moving, “Go home to family, so you can show them what I’ve done and changed in your life Delinda. Go. Go home.”
God just kept talking to me, and His voice overrode the adversary’s voice – loud and clear. I heard Him tell us, “It’s time now, Go.”

So in March, Jason finally heard the voice too. He heard, “Go, go and use the gifts I’ve given you.” He was still reluctant and putting some things on God like,

“Ok, so if it’s meant to be then, help us find a home.”

Boom. He found us a home.

“Ok, so if it’s meant to be then help us find work, or let our current employers keep us to work remotely.”

Boom. They allowed us to work remotely.

“OK, so if it’s meant to be, make sure the appraisal comes in at such and such value.”

Boom. He made the value *EXACTLY* what we needed it to be on the home we were purchasing.

And this was when Jason was sold on moving and said, “This *IS* God’s will, we gotta go now.”

Fast forward to July.

We found some friends but they certainly didn’t look ANYTHING like we knew prior.  These friends all had a torrid past, (we did too-so no judgment of the sorts) and may not have the crazy amounts of knowledge of the bible like our old friends but they still had bible knowledge. In fact, these friends were pretty much ALL younger than us; ex-addicts, ex-cons, ex-gang-members, ex-prostitutes, ex-drug dealers……you name it, they’ve done it.  And again, please know my heart and where I’m coming from – only from love. I love our new friends, as equally as I love our old friends….they are just different, which does NOT mean bad in anyway shape or form. We all have the same Father, we share the same love and we love all of our friends. God used an entire family; Travis, Diesta, their children, Diesta’s Brother, Jesse and Travis’ Mom, Anna. Their whole family, we fell in love with them and their hearts for Christ.

They invited us to attend a rap concert in the park. Mind you, the only rap I ever listened to was JA Rule and that was in the 90’s I think and was that really rap?  Or maybe from time to time, some Eminem, (before I found Christ, of course J) so the amount of times I came into contact with rap music was limited, to say the least. I never could understand it, ever. I couldn’t get what they were saying. I heard the cuss words, and the bad stuff but I just couldn’t get the music. I was more along the Grunge or heavy music like System-of-a-Down, or Korn….that kind of stuff, I could understand it. I liked the beat, and before I met Christ this is what I listened to.(which also sounds crazy to me now, mind you!)

Who knew there were Christian Rap artists? I didn’t but I was going to hear them at this concert we were going to. I was reluctant to go because I wasn’t familiar with it but I thought, “These friends we just met, we love them, our lives are nothing like each other’s but we really just feel drawn to them. It must be their love of God. I mean we have the same Father, so if they are Christian and they are asking us to go, then it must be ok and we should just try it.” (We spent the entire weekend with this family and you know to others & to us in the beginning, it may appear as though we are “different” from one another but in all reality, we found out, we are more alike than we thought. We’ve all struggled and then found God. Period.)

So we went with them.

It was a car show, a rap concert and a local teenage talent show. OK, this is getting interesting now.

The car show was pretty cool and once it was over, they had the teenage talent show up next. We heard a kid sing, we saw a couple girls dance, and then we saw a young girl doing something I had never heard of called, “Spoken Word.” Her voice and everything about her, made me stop doing what I was currently focusing on (probably scrolling or flipping through my phone, cause I wasn’t paying the best of attention and was zoning out, until she came on) and she was doing this “Spoken Word” about how parents need to be parenting their children, and getting involved in their lives and it’s what children want. I was floored. She was extremely talented. Every time she was done with one card, she threw it to the ground and started reading with conviction, the next card. She had a strong voice and I was sobbing by the time she was done. I was thinking, “What the heck Delinda, calm down, what’s this all about anyway? I mean I know you are emotional but get over it already, people are watching you cry like a baby.” (Hahahahahha, just the things that go through our heads, funny huh? Little did I know, what was to come from her)

So then they had the rap artists sing. Oh my gosh, they were all so talented and I’m not sure what happened to me but these guys I understood all their words they were singing, rapping. All of it, I got it. Is it because God changed my heart? You know how they say, when God comes into your life, things change, your heart changes, and you understand things you never understood before. Is that what happened to me? Was it the renewing of my mind? I’m not sure but that is my guess. My mouth hung open when I heard them sing “The most beautiful love letter you ever wrote, was when you died”, I get it now and they were just so very good! (When I got home, I went online and downloaded all their songs because listening to them was like hearing their testimonies in every song – just how God had changed them and now I’m hooked!) I always hear from God, through music – it’s just how He gets to me and as any Good Father knows, they know things about their children.

Then when the artists were all done singing, the last artist did an altar call. This started out as a normal altar call. People went forward who didn’t know Christ and wanted a part of Him, or Him to help change something in their lives. Then he changed the altar call to, “So everyone out there who knows someone who isn’t currently living for Christ, come forward.”

Well, we have several of our children who aren’t living for Christ and they are all on my mind – daily. In fact, one of them specifically, I’ve been praying for since he was 10 years old before I really even knew Christ. I just saw his life and the way it was going and just kept praying for him, mostly out of fear.

We went forward.

Then he said, “OK, so now all of my prayer warriors who could come pray over these people, for their loved ones who don’t know Christ, please come forward and help me.”
He said, “So if you are needing prayer, please open your palms and face them up. If you are praising God, just put your hands to the sky and hold them up.”

So of course, I wanted prayer for our kids who don’t know Him. I was constantly praying under my breath at this point and no one could have heard or made sense of what I was saying. I was doing it quietly and keeping the words to myself more so than letting them out.

Well, guess who the prayer warrior was who came and prayed over me? The young girl who was doing the “Spoken word” she was probably 16 years old. She prayed over me and said back to me, almost every single prayer I was saying under my breath for our children. Then she said something no one else knew but Jason and God. I hadn’t repeated this to anyone around me. She put her hand on my stomach and said, “God, her cries are many and they are painful. She is lonely. Please help her God, only you can help her because you know why.” And as I’m typing this, I’m crying again. I’m not crying because I’m sad. I’m crying because I’m grateful that He hears my cries. He knows. He answers prayers and He confirmed all of this to me – through a 16 year old girl, through an ex-gang-member couple, who are now our family, who got us to this concert. 

Had we said “No” to our new friends/family, I would have never heard from God how I did on this night. By the end of her prayers, I was sobbing, I had come undone. LITERALLY! 

He did it again, just when I needed Him, He came through for me, He showed me His face. 

He also told me,
“Delinda, I used Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and they were teenagers. I used Mary and she was 14 years old.  I use who I want to speak to you, YOU do NOT choose who I use to speak. I make those choices. And your only job, is to listen. I gave you these new friends for a reason. They are good people and this is why I put them in your path. They can help to teach you about me, too and you can do life together.”

So then a week goes by and I was trying to convey what had happened to our friends when we saw them at a BBQ. And unbeknownst to me, these same people were praying for us before they even knew us. My sister is friends with them and had them praying for us. HOW CRAZY GOOD IS GOD!?!?!?!?! Oh thank you God, for putting them in our life as you did.

So my question to you – are you listening?

He’s talking.

Are you listening?

We as humans put those dumb labels on people, “ex-gang member” “ex-prostitute” and for myself, I have labeled myself, “Ex-Adulterer” “Ex-Cheater” “Ex-Home-Wrecker” and it’s time to rid myself of those names.

God doesn’t call me by those names. God calls me “His Beloved” and this is what I’m going to continue to call myself and this is what I’m going to continue to call my new church family members, “His Beloved” because in His eyes – this is what we are – let all other labels fall…….cause they are just that, labels and nothing more.

The most important and ONLY LABEL you should be calling yourself  – His Beloved.

And these new friends of ours, they are the most loving and caring people you’ll ever meet. They would give you the shirt off their back if you needed it. In fact, a few weeks later a couple of them went with my husband, my daughter and myself to do some door-to-door evangelism. To tell people about God, His love and what He has for them.  They are soft spoken, non-confrontational and loving – just like Christ is…..they are the epitome of the Body of Christ. They are the people you want in your corner, when things are going really well – to cheer you on, and when things are going badly – to pray with and for you.

So if we were looking at them in their past lives, we may not think that about them. Just as if they were looking at us in our past lives, they wouldn't think that about us either!

But when God snatches you out of your old life, things change. He renews your mind, He redeems you and your story and He changes you. He changes you for the good.  He gives you so many more wonderful and loving friends than you ever had before. You need to pay attention. You cannot fall back into your old self, the old depression and feel sorry for yourself, like I almost did. You have to focus on the good, focus on the people He put in front of you and you must trust Him.
And you have to listen!!
Thank you Maltos family, for taking us in and loving us like your own family!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Remember this...

One of my repeated prayers is the people I come into contact with, or even love, don’t die without knowing His love for them, without accepting Him as their Savior and giving their lives over to Him.

You see my Dad died in 2001 and I often wonder, “Was Christ his Savior? Will my Dad be in Heaven when I get there? Will I see him? Is he hurting?” Even after all this time, I still wonder and think of him.
He wasn’t a perfect man but I loved him. He had MANY faults and so do I. He rarely told us he loved us. He rarely held a conversation with us. He was distant. He was hurting. He had a lot of demons and a lot of shame he lived with and as an adult, I get this now. As a child, I didn’t understand the hurt. As a child, (I’ve talked about this before, I know) I was hurting, scared and didn’t understand the chaos in our home.
And honestly, a lot of my childhood is still with me. I had a few relationships with boys/men growing up and even as an adult and they weren’t good. I’m trying to work through this with God. You see He is the epitome of a “perfect” relationship with a Man, the one I’ve always hoped for.
I’m in a good place now. I don’t want to go back to where I was, ever!
I don’t want others to ever suffer what I went through – so I want to tell you all about His Perfect Love and quite frankly, when you find “the One” you can’t stop talking about Him – can you? J

So because of my childhood and my hurting, I see it in others…….I see they have a story, just as I do, and I see a lot of times, the story gets stuck to us and it’s so hard to shake the story off. I want to help you shake your story off of you, with the help of God – you too can do it!

And now…………
My heart is for Jesus.
And, His heart is for the lost.
So since He is in my heart, my heart becomes one with His.
I hurt for the lost; the cashier I see at Safeway who is so saddened and you can see it on her face. She’s so very hurt. She wears it on her sleeve.
I hurt for the depressed and suicidal; I was there at one time and I can see this in people, so many people walking around with this on their face – you can’t hide it from me. If I see it, I will call it out and try to draw you into the One True Love for you!
I hurt for the homeless; I see this everyday outside my office at work. They are asleep on the grass, on their sleeping bags, curled up in the only clothes they have. They haven’t showered, have they eaten, do their Mom’s miss them, are their sister’s praying for them? Are they hungry? Oh Lord, tell me how to help them. Tell me how to help them, how YOU want me to help them. Not how others think I should “Oh quit giving them food, quit helping them and they will go away.” I have actually heard friends/co-workers utter these words and it makes me so very sad because this is someone’s daughter, sister, mother, friend and most importantly this is GOD’s CHILD!! How dare you talk about them like that!
I hurt for the addicted; so many people are addicted and don’t even realize it.
I hurt for the prostitutes; they don’t believe they are worth more love than this? Oh God, please help them to know YOU!
I hurt for the people in jail; do they know Christ? Help me to show them YOU Lord, the way YOU want me to!
I hurt for the ones who think they don’t fit in because honestly, I don’t believe I have EVER fit in. Not once.
I’m just different.
Many times throughout my life, I have thought of this as a bad thing but I’ve come to learn it isn’t.
I’ve come to learn He calls us to be different.
We won’t look the same to the world, if we are one with Him and His heart.
And it is ok, to be different.
Just keep reminding yourself, keep putting one foot in front of the other.
Keep Him in the forefront of your mind and your daily activities.
Because there will be a force, like nothing you’ve ever felt and the force will try to pull you away from His love and what His heart stands for.
You see this force knows God’s plans for you. This force is a liar and he will try to tell you everything  you are not. He will try to point out all your faults and he will even tell you God doesn’t love you. LIAR! Just call him what he is, and be done with him!!!
This force knows once you get to where you are going, or once you find what His calling is for your life  – you will point it all back to the One who Matters Most, for His Glory.
Keep fighting.
Keep fighting the force and pulling up hill to God.
You’ll get there, eventually you will get there and at the top of the hill it is so very beautiful, it’s what you longed for from the beginning of your life.
It is worth every pull, every hard night, every struggle.
The most beautiful spot you’ve ever seen.
He is there.
He is waiting for you.
He has open arms and you will run to Him, just like the prodigal son ran to his Father.
But this Father is perfect.
This love is perfect.
His desires for you, are only for good and His plans are the best.
When you do finally meet Him, it will be the most beautiful moment of your life, beyond giving birth, or getting married, or buying your first home.
This moment, it’s what you’ve been waiting for because nothing else fills the hole – but Him.
Him.
I am.
The beginning and the end.
The one who gave His perfect life for you and your sins.
Are you living for Him?
If you aren’t, find me, text me, call me, visit with me – I do not want you to die without knowing Him and I would like to help you, show you how you can live for Him and with Him and you’ll be in love with Him.
The big, gaping hole can be filled; not with food, not with drugs, buying things, people, sex – it’s only Him, nothing more can help you.
He is waiting for you.
He is waiting for you to acknowledge Him and His love for you.
He is waiting for you to give up all the crap and just have a relationship with Him.
Don’t wait until you are at the bottom of yourself, like I did….come to Him now, He is calling you.
When I talk to you all about Him and His love, it is so helpful for me too. It’s a great reminder of what He has done in my life, a reminder of His love for me and for all the people around me.
I love talking about Him and how He feels about us.
Let’s talk! J
No judgment from me, zero.
Why? How?
Well, I was where you are at one point in my life – and I really could care less what you have done in your past. I want to see you how God sees you, perfected In Him! That’s it.
Remember this, and please get in touch with me.
Don’t let one more day pass without Him in your life

Friday, July 7, 2017

I AM REDEEMED & YOU ARE TOO!

With a move from a city you lived in for 8 years, to your home town that you haven’t live in since 1998 – there comes change, there comes a shift in chores, time spent with each other, time not spent with each other, more family functions – lots and lots of change. Even the smallest of things, your work-out routine, your walking path, your dog not having his doggy door – which then in turn makes you get up MULTIPLE times to let him in and out because you see, he too has changes. He is SO dang excited about having a yard now, he wants to be in the yard a lot but he struggles too because he wants to be with his family in the house – so in and out, all night long until we get the doggy door in and the fence put up.

Change. It’s inevitable.

And, if you aren’t aware there will be big changes, you might fall. If you go into everything in your life, like I do, only thinking of the best times to come – well…..you might have some issues.

But for some reason, I can never do anything but this, I wish I could but I guess I'm an eternal optimist. I just always think the best of people and that the best is only to come. I haven’t decided if that is a good trait to have or not. Sometimes I think it’s a curse, like when I go through the difficult times and think “Well, you should have seen this coming! Why did you not see this coming before now?”

When people fail me, I am reminded of what is important in my life.
Christ and Christ Alone is what is important to me!
The one and only man who saved me from myself.
He never gave up on me.
He is always there by my side, to pick me up. I have a picture in my head, my Father walking beside me, I’ve fallen, He grabs my arm and lifts me back up to where I was before the fall.
He is that constant whisper I hear in my ear, “Delinda you are worth so much more than you think are! I created you in *MY* image and you are destined for big things!”
He is my cheerleader.
When these types of things happen in my life, I feel as though I’m on this constant roller coaster of emotions and I always try to figure out “Why?” Why am I like this God? Why did you make me this way? I hate this about myself. Couldn’t you have made me to be stronger with my emotions like so –and – so? You made her strong, look at all she has done in her life? This or that doesn’t bother her.”

But here I am again, comparing myself to someone and that is right where Satan wants me – so that I’m not doing God’s work. Helping the lost!

I think I just have to have these moments in my life, to get to the next phase of life, or to get to where He wants me.  On my knees again, face to the floor, crying out to Him. Humbled. Quiet. Ending in a peaceful situation. Ending with me talking to Him, like I talked to my Dad – even better though cause this Dad is PERFECT! It's just MY process of learning and I realize this. Do you do this, too? Or is it just me?

One of my goals in life is to tell every woman I come in contact with about our Dad's love for her.  It’s my calling.  I want women to know this Dad, this Dad before us – God – He is the “PERFECT” Dad. He is the one who won’t hit us, hit our Mom’s, verbally abuse our Mom’s, our siblings….nothing of the sort will happen with this Dad. He is what you are longing for, even though you may not know this – He is it!

Do you ever feel Him with you?

If you don’t, you just whisper His name, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus….please come and sit with me.” Like any GOOD, GOOD Father, He will be there in a matter of minutes. When His children call on His name, He hears all and is right there with you. And if you show up, you will hear Him, you will see His miracles and He will help you.

He does it for me every single stinking time. It never fails. I call on Him. He helps me, He picks me up and we walk together again.

If I am not in His word, or reading His love story to me – routinely, I sometimes forget about His love for me. That is why I try my hardest to do this daily. I am reading the bible “As it Happened” and I’m in such awe over what I’m learning. When I was in my twenties, I used to always read Danielle Steele romance novels because that is what my Mom read, so I followed.  Well, now I know and have read the best romance novel of all time. The Bible.

This is why I am so excited for the opportunity to start serving in our jail with the Faith Unit @ Together Church.  I get to take the bible to the inmates and let them know about our Dad’s love for them.  I am so very excited to do this. If you know me, you know I live with a lot of fears but for some reason I am not fearful of this. I know many would be, I’m sure if I asked my Mom she would be fearful for me. I’m not going to tell her and cause her to worry.

Fear is such a liar!
I trust in the Lord, to take care of me.
I’m taking His word, His love story to some women who may have never heard about Him before. The possibilities are endless for these women. Once you turn your life over to Him, there is a shift. He starts healing you, healing relationships, healing areas of your life that you may not even know you need healed – but He does just that.
It isn’t all at once, just little by little He works on you. He perfects you. That’s how He sees you – perfected. He doesn’t see your Sin, it’s washed away, long gone down the Yakima River, like my fears of floating the river.
I’m no longer afraid!
I did it!
At 46 years old I finally floated the river with my husband and daughter, and none of us drowned!
How did I do it?
Well, I started my day with my bible study because I thought, “If I die today God, I want to know more about you before I drown.” Silly, I know but that’s just a glimpse of the fear that was inside me.
I wore a life jacket. I was the only adult wearing one but I felt safe with it on. I am not the best swimmer.
Then I kept reminding myself I was making memories with my family and my new church family, that this was gonna be fun and He would take care of me.
And my daughter reminded me very abruptly, “Mom, you actually think He would take you out of all He has taken you out of but then let you drown in the Yakima river?”
She was right.
I taught her well, what can I say?
God also gave me a very patient and loving husband. He loves me like Christ does, THANK GOODNESS! Even with all my little hang-ups and habits, little tweaks here and there. . . he just keeps loving me, calming me or staying close by my side when he knows I’m fearful. He’s a good swimmer too, so there’s that. J I KNOW he would help us too if we were drowning.
And God placed me near more people who gave me His peace. They told me if Logan cramped and could not swim, they would get her and pull her in. See how crazy the fear just takes over your thinking?
I even watched her cliff jump at the Pac-man, I only watched her one time but then she went to do it again and I couldn’t watch her the 2nd time around!

I was calm.
I had no fear.
I’m not sure why, other than Him & the people He placed in my life that day, there are no other answers.
I mean I’m 46, come on people, this was a fear that was instilled in me a long time ago. I was 4 years old and in the Yakima river with my Mom and Dad. My Dad told me to not cross the river, he was going to cross over but said “stay right there, do not move, do not cross until I come back for you.”
Well, I was 4 and didn’t listen. It was fast and swift. I was so scared.  It was getting deeper and deeper and finally, I just stopped. I knew
(yes even at that age) that if I kept going, the river was going to take me down it. I cried out to my Dad to get me, I mean I was BAWLING I was so afraid. He was on the other side trying to get me to come to him and I couldn’t move. I just knew to stay put or what was going to happen. My Mom was crying, I was crying, & my Dad was very angry because I didn’t listen to him. It wasn’t a good situation.
Then while growing up our neighborhood boys would always hold me under the water, thinking it was funny, “Oh let’s see how long Delinda can hold her breath for.” I was little. This was awful and instilled a fear of water that has been with me since I was 4, so 42 years!
Gone.
He took it.
I prayed.
He did it, He kept me safe and I’m no longer afraid.
He is the answer.
Just like my earthly Father, picked me up out of the Yakima River and saved me. . . God saved me too & He continues to remind me just how blessed I am by His love & how He cares for me. From His daily reminders, to the people He has strategically placed in our lives.

My life verse:

Psalm 40:2New Living Translation (NLT)

He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
    out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
    and steadied me as I walked along.


I will be forever grateful.
My prayer is, I never forget this. It’s only been 3 years that we have been saved but every day I remember how I used to feel without Him in our lives. I never want to go back to that life.

FYI: People will always fails us, it’s inevitable because we are all human beings & you know what? Sometimes them failing me is because of me and my expectations that I have placed on them, and they don’t even know I did that! Which isn’t right either!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

He is MY Fairy Tale and He can be yours, too!

Someone asked me last week, "Who is Jesus to you?"
I had to think a few minutes about this one to formulate "EXACTLY" how I felt. I wanted to be sure I conveyed the exact perfect way of how He has changed my life. And thinking back on it now, I am pretty sure I didn't get it all out because it's bubbling up inside me again :-)


So here goes:

He is my fairy tale!

That's it!

I was dying.

I was at the last straw and the darkness was gonna break me. I actually believed one day it would get me and I would give in and kill myself - I felt as though it was just a matter of time before I gave in.


He rushed in on His White horse and saved me. (see The Book of Revelations and note the White Horse!) He literally picked me up off the floor and turned my life around! I was on my knees crying in my bedroom and asking Him for His help, for His will to be done.

As a little girl, I thought my fairy tale "knight in shining armor" was my Dad. But I would see and hear how he treated my Mother, the one woman who I loved so very much - the one who gave me life. Would my "knight in shining armor" really treat someone I love so much, so badly? I wrestled with that thought quite often. That was a struggle to love my Dad as much as I did and then see him treat her so badly....I remember running to my bedroom, and I was about 9 years old or so. I was crying, I was hiding and I was so scared of what was going on. They fought a lot while I was growing up and he didn't treat her very kindly. I lived a lot of my life afraid. I was so confused. Should I hate him for acting that way to her, or love him because he was my Dad? He never laid a finger on her but at times I'm pretty sure she wished he would have, instead of having to deal with the verbal abuse. It was awful, yet I still loved him. I vowed my children would never witness the verbal abuse in their childhood and they haven't, praise God. They may have witnessed other things I wish they hadn't but never verbal abuse.

And then I grew up and my Dad died!

So then as a young married woman, I always wanted this and thought this was going to come from my husband. Then my husband was struggling with his own sins and we were struggling with each other. And I found myself divorced

As a newlywed to my 2nd husband, I thought maybe this would come from my new husband.
Cause you know, maybe I just picked wrong the first time around? Then my new husband fell into his own sins and this husband failed me, too!

What flawed thinking I had. No one is perfect, no one. Why would I even expect perfection from someone? I know I'm not perfect so why would my expectations go that route?

Then remaining to focus on all the bad parts about me, all my flaws, all my sins, everything I ever gave into, everything I've ever said or done wrong to someone - all the "wrongs" stayed in the forefront of my mind.

I physically had pain. Did you even know mental illness hurts? It does and when you are in the middle of it, you want it to just stop and you'll do anything and everything to make it stop! Just end it, please! I thought my only way out was suicide, to make the pain stop, to make the bad thoughts about myself stop.

Recently my church shared my testimony on their big screen and it felt as though my story had come full circle. It's time to share it and yes, it's just a condensed version but my prayer is, "God! Use it how YOU see fit!"
There are parts of my story, some might judge, some might hate me for and some might be disgusted with. I am ok with that. The person I was before Christ was pretty disgusting. I did some not so nice things but the bright light in this story is Christ and His redeeming love. All of the bad situations I put myself in, will be talked about.....and then let go because God has forgiven me and I have forgiven myself! I'm free!

If you want to be free too, I can help you! Email me at godsgraceredeemsall@gmail.com or if you know my cell phone number, text me and I will point you in the direction of who can help you from here, or give you some ideas on what to do next in your walk with Christ.....to be "Free!" Or, if you just want to talk - we can do that too!

He is waiting for you!