GraceFULL Demolition 

   I have been watching the demolition of the Washington post building for about 2 weeks. They started from the back and just this week started tearing down the front. It has been a controlled demolition and all the while there has been water being sprayed even as they tear it down and haul it away. I thought “This is my life”. 

 It was deja vu – reminding me of the same thought I had when they tore down the Tenley library in 2007 and there was the water in the midst of the destruction. Back then I asked one of the construction workers why they sprayed the water on the wreckage and he said, “It controls the debris, minimizes dust and fly always and makes the process manageable as we tear down the building. It also compacts things making it easier to haul away and clear the lot.” 

 For the last 10+ years God had been tearing parts of my life down to build something new. The first time it felt like my whole life as I knew it before had changed-that everything that was familiar had been torn down. It was difficult because I felt exposed, broken and there was so much debris I didn’t know how I could ever get out. But slowly and surely God’s grace was there watering what I had built before he took it down to the very foundations. His grace was there as The wreckage was removed. 

Somehow I feel like another building- a special part of me needed to be torn down to make way for something new and yes God’s grace, His amazing grace is here managing this process. As uncomfortable as this is, I yield again to His way if only to experience His grace in my life. #Grace #demolition #water

Advertisements

Come NOW, Let’s Settle this! 

  
Last night my husband brought to my attention that our tree in the backyard is falling slowing. The picture featured is from this morning, and you can see it leaning further away to the right. You can also see that our telephone lines are mingling in the branches. I confess that in this very busy time, I had not really paid attention to our backyard… AT.ALL! 

I was reminded that as chaotic as our family schedules are, my husband notices the details and the big picture. We cannot live this life on our own.I was irritated that he wanted my input into the matter and just wanted him to take care of it. However, when I thought about it I was able to offer a few ways to address it that he had not thought of. He detected what could be a major disruption to our family life and is even now making arrangements to take care of it. 

 This is how God works too–often through other people- bringing attention to fall-ING trees and issues that we need to address. God says “Come now, let us reason together..” (Isaiah 1:18)   In the NIV it says, “Come Now, let’s settle this!” When God brings things to our attention, He wants our immediate focus and He works with and through us to bring resolution!  

I thank Him now, for the resolution (resources, connections,) of this current problem, but mostly because He is working through me and others to bring lasting change in our lives!  

Nee and New

 
For some reason every time I would try to type “new”, “nee” would come up and not auto correct to new. This was happening since late yesterday, as I was wishing everyone a Happy New Year. So after about the 20th time I got fed up changing it and something said look up the word “Nee”. This word I’ve seen many times!  it is actually used as a French term née often used to denote a former or original (maiden) name. So I would be Sharon Zimmerman, née Bryant.  The former me.

I immediately heard the Spirit of the Lord say there are things trying to pull you back to your former ways, your former self.  You have been born again! 2 Cor 5:17 states, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Isaiah 42: 9 says“Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.”

God is saying something new! Have ears to hear/ He is telling us before the come to pass. 

Isaiah 43: 18-19 “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”

Don’t dwell on the past because God is doing a new thing! Don’t you sense it?! It is new territory no matter where  you are standing. Even  in hopeless places, He is carving a path and bringing life in dry barren places. 

The old is passed away! We do not have to reject the past, because God has done great things! The past is a part of me (us)  but it’s over- A new chapter has begun. 

 But I/we must act- take the first step! I must willfully make the corrections, because (like my phone keyboard) auto correct does not apply here. As we mature, God gives us (demands that we activate) our gift of choice! Choose life! Choose ye this day whom you will serve! Lay aside every weight AND the sin that besets us. (Heb 12:1) Forget! 

In Phil 3:13 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.”‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:13-15‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Paul says to forget those things that are behind and reach for those things before. 

God will not take it away, I (we) have to choose to lay aside, forget, leave the former things and reach for the new things before, the PRIZE of high calling. This is the mindset we should have and Phil 3:15 says that if we are “otherwise minded” or have a competing mindset,  God will reveal it to us. God is so faithful! 

Like a good trainer, God reminds us the things we have to stop doing and the things we must start doing. 

Keep declaring and reaching for the New things! Keep making those corrections to forget, let go and lay aside those former, old past habits, situations, relationships etc that hinder us from reaching that high mark in 2016. As we seek God and acknowledge Him in all our ways He will direct our path – and will reveal anything in us that competes with His plan in our lives or may slow us down. 

Happy NEW Year – the Year of Our Lord 2016! 

Remembering my mother

  
It is with a very full heart that I remember my dear mother on the 10th anniversary of her passing. She was that fairy dust that lingered eternally everywhere she went leaving it better, more interesting and happier! She could take anything and make it fun and so so beautiful! She smiled and laughed ALOT! She loved all my friends who became her extended daughters and sons. She fiercely loved her children and knew and celebrated the uniqueness of eachShe could pick the perfect Christmas gift for my husband James Zimmerman. lol! 

She never panicked. She was the original steel magnolia, solution oriented, elegant, fire and ice. She was a champion for the disenfranchised, advocate for the voiceless, a civil Rights leader honored by the State NAACP. She never turned anyone away. 

As fabulous as she was, she did not spend large amounts of time on herself apart from her weekly appointments with Wyona Battle, because her hair was her crown of glory. She was the hardest working board member, and many times at events she was setting up, decorating and making it all look effortless as she wielded her wand! She was an avid crossword enthusiast, read fluffy books and magazines, Legacy Howard U grad, Ivy League grad school, and high school valedictorian. 

 She was a woman of great FAITH, Intercessor and rose early to pray and read the Bible every morning! We found many journals of her prayers that she wrote down for all of us calling us by name to petition Jesus Christ on our behalf. Estelle Elayne Butler Bryant was born on 3/3/33 and I really still can’t believe that she is no longer with us because she is still so vibrant in my heart and mind! I love you and miss you my darling dearest Mother !

Why Do I Watch Plants Die

image
This is a recurring thought of mine that brings a tinge of guilt and sadness- and a stirring. I can be so conscientious sometimes about plant care- once keeping a poinsettia plant alive for a year at my office. But it was at the office and not at home.

And I have watched several of my plants die at home. It’s like I have so many things competing for my attention when I get home. I’m not deliberately not watering them, but regardless of my intention the plant dies because they are not watered. I will sit on my sofa and say, I need to water my plants and then plan to do it LATER. When later comes, I’m no longer thinking about watering the plants.

But I love plants! I adore flowers and living green things inside of my home! And I know how to keep them alive. But now having watched my plants die, I very rarely buy house plants. That is sad. We have a nice garden outside and nature plus my husband’s attention keep it beautiful. But it’s not the same as having  a living plant inside the house.

Then the phrase “planted by the waters” came to me.
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. (‭Jeremiah‬ ‭17‬:‭7-8‬ KJV)”

Plants in the ground have multiple water sources other than our remembering to water them. When you take them out of the ground they are dependent only on external water sources. And all living things need consistent water to keep on living.

So hope awakens with this thought, and I believe I’m finally going get a little plant. And it shall live and not die! Not this time. I will make sure that it stays watered and say a little prayer with each watering. That way we can grow and thrive together!

Things That Matter: People Matter

ppl-matter

People matter.   I was talking with my sister recently about an important issue, and I said to her glibly, “I guess I should be talking to the folks that matter.”  Upon its utterance, I immediately corrected myself saying, “Well, everybody matters! To me, anyway.”  And just then, like Morgan Freeman’s character in “Bruce Almighty”, a man walked by and said with a beautiful big smile, “That’s right! Everybody matters!” He didn’t slow down, but pointed and kept smiling at me in approval.  People matter.

People matter.  Today, we find ourselves categorizing, stratifying, slicing and dicing folks into statistics and numbers, by ability, aptitude,  or mere words:  the 1%, the 99%, the talented 10th, low-mod-mid-high income, race, ethnicity, disabled, urban, suburban, at risk, wealthy, blue-blood, blue collar, white collar, illegals, conservative, liberal, C-Suite, earners, takers and on and on and on. Many corporations/governments/communities  take it a step further and make decisions on allowable percentage of “casualties.”  This language deliberately erases the faces of REAL MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN,  so that they are dehumanized and marginalized – therefore worthy of less treatment, less resources, less of everything;  even life itself.  Consider that the terms abortion and capital punishment sanitize the killing of human beings.   People matter.

People matter.  We matter because we are divinely created by the hand of God.  Psalms 139 tells us how intimately acquainted God is with everything about us, but in verse 14 it says:   “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well”.   God’s invitation of relationship is extended to ALL of us – not just some.  He gives to EACH of us freely, as we are willing to receive.  We see His great love for us, when He gave everything He had through His son Jesus, so that we have restored and completely reconciled relationship with Him. People matter to God.  People matter.

People matter to me also because I saw that people mattered to my parents.  They extended themselves inconveniently many times to take care of a need, be a listening ear, a hand to hold, give counsel when needed.  People matter.

People matter. Resist the temptation to refer to PEOPLE as a number, statistic, a category, a group, an issue, a label, and instead,  put a fearfully and wonderfully made face on it and remember that EVERYBODY MATTERS.