It is only by the grace of God that I am sitting here today and writing this. I thank Him for all He has done and is doing, and WILL DO in my life, and it is my prayer that anyone who is reading this today, whether you are a scrapbooker I know, on a Design Team with me, a co-worker, a friend from church, or someone who thinks they are reading this "by coincidence," I want you to know that God loves you, and once you know Him, nothing can ever separate you from the love of God.
Thanks for visiting me here.
I've been very busy with my paper-crafting hobby the past week or so. With my husband out of town, I've had plenty more time on my hands, and I ven stayed up ALL NIGHT last night to work on this album:
On Monday, I start my Seminary program, and will be taking course in sermon writing, preaching, evangelism...and I have been praying and praying that I would hear from God about what I should be "preparing," and trying to understand that the Holy Spirit will inspire me and speak God's Word THROUGH me as long as I am sensitive to Him.
This little book, each page made of a different material (as I will be teaching on different material! Get it?!) will hold the different topics, scriputers, etc., that God gives me to share. So far, I've only done the cover, adn 3 of the pages. Here's the page that is opposite the inside cover. Wnjoy another side of Cindy!
I'll update as I go along. Thanks for sharing my journey with me` You are a very special bunch of friends I have here, so MANY THANKS!
That's the name of the new PASTORAL COUNSELING AGENCY I'm working on starting-up through a secular counseling center, that happens to be owned by a born-again Believer and follower of Jesus Christ! SOMEHOW OR OTHER (Holy Spirit, maybe?!?) he had 'heard" that I was availbe to do pastoral or Chirstian counseling, and had his Intern track me down! She had the wrong phone number for me, so called every
Buchanan' in the local phone book, until my phone rang, and, after I said hello, I heard, "Please tell me there's a CIndy in this house who's a therapist!?!?!"
"OK! I said. "I'll tell you that!"
So, a meeting was scheduled, discussions were had, prayers were shared and lifted up, and eventually, an agreement that I would commit to see clients there who called specifically looking for help with spiritual concerns. Who doesnt' have spiritual concerns or hurts and one time or another? I have approached many of the churches in my area, and most of them especially the larger churches, feel that they are self-sufficicent, able to meet all of th eneeds fo their parishioners. My own beloved church has many 'support-type' groups available, including GriefShare, Divorce Care,
Celebrate Recovery, you name it, plus a Marriage Ministry, and of course some of the associate Pastors do some brief counseling. BUt sometimes people need to go to a trained professional who is both educated in the sound principles of psychothera[y, and solution-focused pastoral counseling! Our church DOES refer such people out to a licensed psychologist, Praise God! But many local churches just won't refer people out, and say its because they 'don't know you!" I UNDERSTAND! So, let's get together, meet a few times, and GET to know each-other, and then you, Pastor_______, can prayerfully consider whether you feel I'm a trustworthy individual! Such did the Pastor of a local United Methodist Church, and by the end of our meetingm he agreed to 'cautiously ' make a referral at some point! That's all I can ask for!
I hope you'll all pray for hurting spirits, searching for the Truth, will come into a Place of Grace.
Father God, thank you for opening doors! I have been searching and seeking out your will for my life; looking at where you are working and going there with you! I pray, in the name of Jesus, that you will bless this new ministry that you have entrusted to my care. Let me minister to others as Your light shines through me. Let Place of Grace be a lamp unto someone's way today. I pray these things in the name of your Precious Son. Amen.
I was sitting at this computer tonight, listening to a Michale W. SMith CD, and I heard him sing,
"Its grace, your grace,
I'm nothing without You!
Your grace, Your grace
shines on me!
Shines on me, shines on me!
Your grace shines on me..."
And I had to stop what I was doing, and I lifted my hands and my face to God, and thanked Him for His grace...the grace that saved me, and sees me through every single day of my life... and I thanked Him for all He is doing in my life...for the many ways He is has blessed me, how He is using me and entrusting me with His ministry, and its only by His grace that any of it is possible...And I fell into that place where God's love was just pouring into my heart and filling me as I've never been filled before, and I could never feel too much of the fullness of God...and even though "its" not supposed to be about emotions, I felt my heart well up with tears that never came out, for they were the love of God in my heart. And I didn't want to ever lose the feeling I had right then and there, and I don't ever have to! Because God doesn't only pour out His love now and then, but every single time I call on His name...So I pray that I will never, ever forget the way I feel at this very moment, so I can take the love of God that's inside me and share it with anyone and everyone who needs to hear how much God loves them.
I have experienced the Love of God so mightily in my life lately, that I can barely find the words to express it!
While I have been a Christian for nearly 15 years now, it is only recently that I have felt a true ONENESS with Jesus-- that real and genuine personal relationship that I have sought for so, so long...that Peace of God that passes all human understanding is finally mine! So, why didn't I claim this for myself long ago?
Have YOU claimed God's promises, any of many, for yourself lately?
There are a few things that God does NOT promise, for example, He doesn't promise us a stress-free, worry-free, pain-free life. That doesn't mean that He wishes or CAUSES us to suffer or worry, but He doesn't always step in to rescue us when we do face trials. In James 1:1, He tells us that the testing of our faith develops perseverance, maturity, and character! Sometimes I think I should have so much character by now, that I really don't need any more trials!
But, when God's love comes pouring down, when He comes down, breaks through, satisfies, cleanses, makes whole, redeems, and delivers....! WOW! It sure makes up for the little problems we face, and even most of the big ones.
God promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us; that whatever we pray that is in accordance with His will, He will do it!; that whenever two or more of us are gathered in His name, there He will be in our midst!
He promises that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved!; and most importantly, that whosoever would believe in His Son Jesus, will not perish, but have everlasting life!
Of course, there are far too many promises of God to even start to list them all, but just open His Word! I PROMISE that you won't have to read too many passages before you hit a wonderful promise from God, for YOU!
You all know by now how much I ADORE writing about my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and I had submitted an article to an online Christian Magazine.
After agreeing to print the first article, I was invited by the Publisher (and my new friend) Darlene Osborne, an awesome writer and woman of faith, to continue to submit my writings, and I have now been offered to write
MY OWN MONTHLY COLUMN!!! It will be called "ARE YOU READY?" and each month I'll be writing about the different challenges we face as Christians today. So as not to give to much away and spoil the fun, go ahead and take a peek each month, EFFECTIVE THIS MONTH (October 2009!) at the following address:
The publication is filled with inspiration, practical, and motivational articles, by columnists who focus on everything from home-schooling to nutrition (from a Christian perspective, of course!), to poetry. I adore reading all of the Staff and Guest writers' articles every month, and I'm sure you will too!
I pray that you'll enjoy the magazine, viewable for free, and that it will be a blessing to you, as it has been to me!
Of all the promises God offers us in His Word, the one I have always prayed for and claimed for myself can be found in the book of Phillipians.
"Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, then the Peace of God that passes all human understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Phil.4:6,7 NLT, emphasis added.)
The Peace of God....
How on earth do I get that?
As a professional psychotherapist, I have seen many clients with a variety of complaints, but the problem I found to be almost universally common is anxiety. Human beings seem to be wired to worry! We worry about our finances, our health, our children, our relationships-- you name it, someone's worrying about it!
If we'd only get it into our heads that God is the only source of true peace, then we could stop worrying! Whatever your concern, God has it handled. I'm sure you've heard the saying: Let Go, Let God! But even though God has promised us this peace, If we do as He says above in Philippians, most of us don't claim this promise! Don't you long for that peace? Oh, how I longed to receive it!
The book of Psalms is a great source for verses related to the subject of peace.
"For you are my hiding place, you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory!" (Psalm 32:7)
"The Lord gives His people strength. The Lord blesses them with peace." (Psalm 29:11) " I will lie down in peace and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe." (Psalm 4:8.)
As I said, I have treated many people with anxiety, or even panic, but I also have had a personal relationship with anxiety. Before I had a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, and before I finally experienced the peace that only He can provide, I worried about anything and everything! I was scared to death of life, and scared to death of death! "What am I doing here?" Oh, I can't even tell you how many nights I tossed and turned, worrying about my future. God addresses this worry of the future for us too.
"For I have a plan for you, a plan to prosper you, and not to harm you. A plan to give you a hope and a future (Jer. 29:11.) I repeat this verse over and over again, when things aren't going my way, and I just praise His name that he is in control, that He does have a plan to prosper me, and that anything else I am told about my future is a total LIE of the enemy! God's promises are for you! And for me, too! As a matter of fact, they are for anyone who believes!!! STAND ON HIS PROMISES!
To be at peace with someone, be it a spouse, parent, friend, or God, is to be in a harmonious relationship with them.. When we ask Jesus Christ to come into our lives, to cleanse us of our sins, and make us brand new creations in Him, we are requesting. and should seek out, a harmonious relationship with God. You may have accepted Jesus as your Savior, but do you really know Him? What does a relationship with God look like, and what do you have to do to really be in relationship with God?
First of all, you must believe that not only does God exist, but that YOU MATTER to Him! He created you in His image (Gen.1)! You are His child, and He is your Father! Knowing this, consider prayer. And I don't mean the kind of repetitive prayer, that was written in some prayer book written by man, I mean REALLY TALKING TO GOD! Tell Him what you are thinking! He already knows anyway, so you don't have to worry that He'll be shocked by whatever you tell Him. Tell Him what your true desires are. Tell Him that you are so grateful to Him for saving you, for making you whole! Tell Him what you need! He'll take care of it, if it is in accordance with His will! But remember this: if all you do is talk to God in the morning for a minute or two, and then get off of your knees, out to your job or to see to your children, without giving any thought to the fact that God may be TALKING BACK...then you are missing out on a giant part of the relationship!
I remember going out on a first date with a young man that my sister "fixed me up" with. We went out to dinner together, and as soon as we sat down at the table, he began to tell me all about himself. I was meeting him for the first time, so of course I wanted to know some things about him. But because he was so busy talking, to the extent that I never got a word in edgewise, he left that dinner date, not knowing a single thing about me! I figured he didn't care. And so it is with God. If you talk to God, without intently listening with anticipation at what He wants to say to you, you will not get to know what His will is for you, and you will not feel that you have a good relationship, and although I have no proof of this, I imagine that He might wonder why you don't listen. Relationships go both ways! Its all about conversation, meditation, communication~~ waiting on God to answer your prayers! After a while, you'll start to be more sensitive to times when God is trying to show you something, and you WILL hear from Him more often! And when you are in an ongoing dialogue with Jesus Christ, only then can you really feel that peace...the peace of God that passes all understanding.