C.cada Flash Fiction Exercise

C.cada is a community for Christian artists to get together and practice their art work whether it be writing, painting, pencil drawings, water-color,  photography, wood carving, musical/instrumental, fabric art, etc.  Pastor J of Lillie-Put is the founder of C.cada (Cornerstone Christian Artist Day Apart).  Pastor J gave us a flash fiction writing exercise in which we could choose one of the three photos he displayed as prompts and write a short story 200 words or less.   Pastor J will be posting other stories at Lillie-Put  sometime in the future.  This was the prompt I chose.

Sunset Prayer

Sunset Prayer

His Promises

By Deb Maciorowski

 

I could no longer wrap my mind around the recent events. Inconsolable and unable to fathom what transpired less than forty-eight hours ago. Would I ever understand? How could I?

As I walked along the path my mind was flooded with His words. ‘I’ll never leave you nor forsake you, His enduring love, He is faithful till the very end, My grace is sufficient …’

“STOP, JUST STOP!!!   I know what Your word says but really, God? Why? So young and her whole life ahead of her and now, she’s gone…”

“Child, I know you don’t understand! But what you need to know is her smile touched the hearts of many souls. Souls that might not have ever known Me. People often wondered how she could be so happy. Her answer emphatically was, ‘I have Jesus in my heart, don’t you?!’ ”

“But, Lord, why my baby girl?”

“Whose, then? Your sister’s, your neighbor’s, or the sweet little one in the bed next to hers? You see, I heard your cry for mercy the other night. ‘Lord, take her before it gets really bad. Don’t let her suffer.’ ”

I knelt and prayed, “In Your strength then, not mine, Lord!”

 

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A 24/7 Sanctuary

The Daily Prompt:  Oasis

A sanctuary is a place you can escape to, to catch your breath and remember who you are. Write about the place you go to when everything is a bit too much.

When everything is a bit too much I like to be in my church sanctuary especially after a prayer meeting so I can rest in the lingering presence of the Lord.  Being in the sanctuary when no one else is there allows my mind to surrender my emotions to the Holy Spirit in turn I receive a sweet peace, a peace like no other.  This peace goes beyond all understanding and the comfort from it is such that I wish I didn’t have to leave.  But since I don’t live at the church and I can’t access the sanctuary at will  my sanctuary would be at my bedside on my knees.

Although, after thinking about it I would have to say my oasis is not dependent on the place or posture but rather it is the peaceful, gentle presence of my Lord and King!  So I guess my true sanctuary actually is where ever I plug into His presence whether that be on the deck in my rocking chair,  a quiet walk by myself, the church sanctuary, my car, or kneeling at my bedside.  Being a child of the Most High God gives me accessibility to His “direct line”  through prayer.  You see my God is a 24/7 sanctuary!

Check out what others have written about their oasis.

 https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/oasis/

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Preparing for Battle

So many times I find myself in the middle of a battle before I even realize I’m in one and boy, does that put me at a disadvantage! I need to go into training.  Let’s just say a soldier wouldn’t go off to war without first preparing him or herself for battle, right?  I’m no expert of war by any means but doesn’t it make sense that the commanders of the army would try to defeat the enemy on a smaller scale first before declaring war.

My eleven year old son, Tom absolutely loves anything to do with WW II.  I once asked him why does he like it so much and his answer was,

“He had to learn as many war strategies as possible.”

I said, why?

His answer was, “So I can fight the enemy, of course!”

Soldiers aren’t just put on the frontline to fight for their country they go to boot camp first to learn to submit to authority and then obey that authority at all costs. Men of war have to learn the basics of survival before they enter the battle. If they don’t have the basics down how can they be expected to execute the strategies their commanders have devised to conquer the enemy.

Spiritual warfare is kind of like that as well, isn’t it? As Christians, we need to know the basics of the Word of God before we can fight the battle never mind win the war. Learning His ways and submitting to His will is a must in order to conquer and defeat the enemy.   The truths of God are our spiritual ammunition against the enemy. We know the enemy has been defeated and that VICTORY is ours but that doesn’t necessarily make the battle any less demanding or taxing, now does it?

The other day I received some wise advice from a good friend and I will paraphrase what he said,

“Deb, you need to strengthen your spiritual walls and gates so that the enemy will not be able to penetrate them! Ask God, for His strategies and what the enemy’s weaknesses are!”

I am taking his advice and praying for God’s wisdom, knowledge, and strength to be obedient to His strategies for the spiritual battles that are in my midst now, as well as, those to come.  Listen to me, Christian, the times we are presently living in calls for all Christians to do the same.   Another way of putting it is, Christian now is the time to get your house in order and be prepared for the battles preceding the war.

God’s word says He will never leave us nor forsake us;

Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV) Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you, he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

and I believe this wholeheartedly but I’m not so foolish to think I don’t need to be in training for the battle.

There is another aspect I have not discussed and this is something you will need to meditate on; are you willing to pay the cost of being a soldier of God?  Only you and God know what that cost is and He knows your heart better than you do!

So tell me, Christian how do you prepare for battle?

 

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The Power of Forgiveness

God commands us to forgive and so we must forgive.

Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV

        14 For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

How many times do we say the words yet our hearts are not quite ready to forgive? I always thought if I said it then one day I would truly believe it in my heart. Well, for this girl no such luck there were still things I needed to forgive. I didn’t realize I was holding on to unforgiveness until someone pointed it out to me and, oh boy, was that a big ouch.

My last post was about Daniel and his perseverance with prayer. I have been praying for years that my son’s seizures would stop and when they didn’t I would tell myself that it’s just not time yet. You know God’s timing is perfect, right?

During my inner healing prayer sessions I was able to surrender my unforgiveness with God’s help. This was when I truly let go and forgave as well as asking God to forgive my stubbornness. I’m not saying that all unanswered prayer has to do with unforgiveness because sometimes it could be that what we are asking for is just not in His will.

In hindsight, I believe my unforgiveness was actually holding up my son’s healing of his seizures. I say this because it is God’s will that we all be healed whether it be on this side or on the other side of Heaven. Unforgiveness, is an open door to the enemy. The enemy can deafen one’s ears to the truth especially when it is God’s will you are waiting for.

Long story short my son no longer has seizures and we are tapering him off of his seizure meds. My son’s seizures have stopped and I thank my God for His healing touch on my son. The power of forgiveness is life changing.

Don’t let unforgiveness hinder your prayer life.

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Perseverance

I have been reading the book of Daniel and “perseverance” has popped into my head quite a few times throughout the reading of this book. Daniel was a persistent and faithful man. He prayed three times a day since he was a young child.

Now there were some officials that were jealous of Daniel and they could not find any faults with him. So they devised a plan that would definitely make some trouble in Daniel’s life. These men figured the only way they could trap Daniel was by tricking the King into signing a decree against anyone who worshipped any other god besides the King- (King Darius).

So what was the first thing Daniel did after gaining knowledge of the signing of the decree, a decree condemning all who prayed to or worshipped any other god besides the King would be thrown into the lion’s den.

Daniel 6:10 (NKJV) states;  

  Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.

God wants us to persevere in our prayer life just like Daniel no matter the troubles that swarm around us. Daniel knew that praying to any other god would land him in the lion’s den but that did not deter him from being faithful in his prayer time to the Most High God three times a day just as he had always done.   I mean really, how many people do you know that would have done the same having full knowledge of the dire consequences? Daniel never wavered from his faithfulness to the Most High God not even when sentenced to death.

This is exactly what God is calling us to do in these last days. Can’t you hear Him calling you to a much deeper walk? A walk so deep that others will want to follow in your footsteps and as Christians it is our job to be the salt of the earth declaring the Most High God is The WAY, The TRUTH, and The LIFE!

John 14:6 (NKJV) states;

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.  

So let me ask you this, are you ready to persevere for His Glory no matter the cost?

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Blessed Beyond Blessed!

Disclaimer: I, Deb Maciorowski, am the Vice President to the Special Touch R.E.A.C.H. New England Chapter and the postings on this site are my own and don’t represent Special Touch Ministry’s positions, strategies or opinions in any way.

 Blessed Beyond Blessed!

My son (Tom) and I, as well as my niece and twin sister had the pleasure of being part of this year’s Special Touch Northeast Region Get Away at Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, Massachusetts in the first part of this month.  For those who do not know what Special Touch Ministry, Inc. is about it is a non-profit, faith-based organization that strives  to ease and enrich the lives of people impacted by disability.”

When the Special Touch R.E.A.C.H. New England Chapter started last December my son absolutely did not want to go to the meeting.  Tom and I made a deal that he had to try at least one meeting and if he didn’t like it, well then, that would be that.

He was fine right up until we had to go in, in fact, he cried and was quite angry with me.  Yes, I admit it I resorted to bribing in order to get him in the door.  He so did not want to go in; it took him about 20-30 minutes to get in the door.  As soon as he was in he was under the table playing his iPod with his green lawnmower headphones to help block the noise around him.   I prayed that God would bring some other kids to the meeting so Tom could have someone to play with.   I just knew in my heart of hearts if he could just make this transition into the Special Touch R.E.A.C.H. New England Chapter meeting he would be accepted for who he is.   God is oh, so good!   Guess what happened?  Yup, you guessed it there were two other children at the meeting that day and Tom really connected with one of them . Hallelujah!  On the way home Tom told me;

“I’m only going to one more meeting, Mom, and then that’s it.  I mean it, no more!”  After a brief pause he continued, “Only one more, Mom I mean it.”

Then I asked what about the bowl-a-thon?

“Okay, then I’ll stop right after I bowl with my friends.  Did you hear me, Mom?” (Special Touch has their annual National Special Touch Bowl Across America fundraiser every March)

I told him I heard him meanwhile my insides were doing a “Hallelujah, dance”!

Float -the -Boat fundraiser for the Northeast Region Get Away.

He was given the Captain's wheel!
He was given the Captain’s wheel!
Tom's cousin Janee our little "spider girl"!

Tom’s cousin Janee our little “spider girl”!

Tom made it to just about 35 feet.

Tom made it to just about 35 feet.

IMG_20140314_160107

Mom and Tom enjoying morning chapel service.

Mom and Tom enjoying morning chapel service.

REACH NE Chapter Bowling event March 15, 2014

REACH NE Chapter Bowling event March 15, 2014

That one meeting really made an impression on his heart as well as on mine! I tell you all of this because the transformation I saw in my son at the Special Touch Northeast Region Get Away  truly blessed me and I mean for a lifetime.  I have been blessed beyond blessed!  My son has never entered a room and started talking never mind talking to strangers. The first day at the Get Away the atmosphere was so anointed with the Holy Spirit it felt like the very first time I walked into Cornerstone Church, I knew I  had finally found my church family.  I personally did not know a lot of the people but somehow it felt like I knew them already.  The most important thing is Tom felt comfortable.  When you are accepted just as you are; you are then free to be who God made you to be!

Normally, Tom is a very picky eater so I was worried that he would lose even more weight and he really could not afford to lose any more weight.  We have been trying for several months to get Tom to eat more so he could gain back some of the 10 pounds he lost over the past year.  The chef at Eisner’s Camp was absolutely wonderful!  When people ask Tom what he liked most about the Get Away he says,

“The food! The Chef was awesome.”

So a great big THANK YOU! to Chef Paul out at Eisner Camp in Great Barrington, MA.

I joke and say Tom is the Special Touch R.E.A.C.H. New England Chapter’s ambassador.  In essence, he is because no matter where we go people are hearing about the Special Touch Northeast Region Get Away. He tells everyone how wonderful it was and he is 100% right!

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Fasting and Prayer

  Every January our whole church is asked to participate in a fasting and prayer time for usually a 21 day fast. Although, this year we have been called to do a 10 day fast now and another one in the fall. Many of us seek God’s direction for the coming year and many seek healing of an illness, and many seek salvation for loved ones, not to mention many other reasons.

The first time I participated in the 21 day fast I was a new believer and didn’t really know what to expect. I have to say I was not a happy camper because of the caffeine headache was brutal for the first few days of it but then I acclimated okay. You see the first year I did the fast I really didn’t understand the importance of the prayer aspect of the fast. I mean I prayed but not as fervently as I could have. In subsequent years, my prayer time increased with intensity and fervor bringing me much closer to Him during the fasting and prayer every January.

Fasting and prayer is not a suggestion it is a command. God’s word says when you fast not if you choose to fast. I never really knew that it was a command until after I became a believer. I don’t recall it ever being mentioned in any of the other churches I attended but that could be because I didn’t have an ear to hear at that time in my life.

Matthew 6:16-18 (NLT) says;

16 And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and disheveled so people so people will admire them for their fast. I tell you the truth, that is the only reward they will ever get. 17 But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. 18 Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”

I joined Pastor J, over at Lillie-Put in a daily devotional reading of Richard Foster’s book Celebration of Discipline and I have gleamed some good insight from my daily readings. One of which, God has been speaking to me about fasting more frequently throughout the year. In fact, He is commanding me to fast 1-2 days a week throughout the coming year. I admit these 10 days of fasting has been quite difficult and I believe that is because God did not really call me to fast the whole 10 days. God did, however, call me to a deeper intercession of prayer with Him throughout these 10 days. That is probably why the first three days was not difficult but the rest have proved to be very difficult. So, of course, I finally said to myself, why am I fighting this? Just do what God told you to do, Deb!

SO GO AND BE OBEDIENT, DEB!

Being obedient is the most important thing I can do for my Lord and me, trying to conform to what others are called to do, isn’t always God’s plan for me.

So I ask you, what is God calling you to be obedient to this year?

 

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Daily Prompt: Unsafe Containers

Unsafe Containers

After hitting  “try another prompt”  multiple times this is the daily prompt I chose to write about today it was originally posted on from June 3, 2014.

Which emotion(s) — joy, envy, rage, pity, or something else — do you find to be the hardest to contain? 

As I think about this question I am acutely aware of how many unsafe containers I have had in my life before coming to know Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior!   Every single emotion listed as well as others not listed I have lived through and sometimes the spillage was beyond my control.  I bet many of you know exactly what I’m talking about, don’t you?  What I have noticed is that the more mature my walk with Christ becomes the safer my containers become resulting in less spillage. 

 Oh, believe me I’m not saying I don’t experience these emotions anymore because I do after all,  I am human.  My point is that drawing nearer to my Lord, Jesus Christ is how I secure a safety cap to these unsafe containers.  The question was which do you find the hardest to contain?  It is impossible to narrow it down to just one because the following emotions of  worthlessness, sadness, loneliness, and self-hatred kind of all intertwine with each other for me.  But if I absolutely had to choose only one I would probably say self-hatred is the hardest one of all to contain.  I admit sometimes my safety cap on self-hatred is not put on quite tight enough and spillage occurs.  

My pastor on more than one occasion has said it’s not about your  feelings it’s about what the word of God commands us to do when we experience those feelings’ and he is so right. 

Oooo!  Ouch! 

It gets me every time!  You would think after hearing, it’s not about my feelings, several times the sting would lessen.  What I can say is this, the sting doesn’t last as long now that I know I can turn to my God, Yahweh for the comfort and love I need.  He promises to never leave me nor forsake me.  He is and will always be at my side now and forever. 

My pastor is right it’s not about my emotions or feelings it’s about how I live my life through Christ.  

 Click below to see more responses to the daily prompt.

Daily prompt: Unsafe Containers

 

 

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Daily Prompt: Be the Change

Daily Prompt:   Be the Change

What change, big or small, would you like your blog to make in the world?

I want my blog to encourage and inspire people to look to the Most High God for everything and see that there is nothing too big for Him!  As I walk in faith believing anything is possible with my God my hope is that people will have a desire to Be Still and Listen for the whispers of my Lord and King, Yahweh!

My Love

Oh, how I long for the Son,

To which my heart was won.

It overflows with love

Only from thee above.

Can you not perceive?

My heart believes

That He is The King!

Hence, my everything.

He is the lover of my soul

For, there could be, no other.

Oh, how I long for the Son.

To which my heart was won.

Click below to see more responses to the daily prompt.

Daily Prompt:   Be the Change

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Know Your Enemy

It is important to know your enemy and the tactics he uses. The evil one is so cunning that you have to pay close attention to his every move.   Believe me he will use anyone and everyone you know to deceive you. Christian, be on guard don’t let yourself be fooled by the evil one!

Not only do you need to know your enemy but you need to know your friends as well.  Of course, you already know them because they’re your friends, right? Well, more importantly you need to know their character.  Jesus knew Peter’s character and this is why Peter was chosen to be the rock to build his church on.

Matthew 16:13-19

13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

14 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.”

15 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”

16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

17 Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. 18 Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”

 If you read a little bit further in Matthew you see Jesus telling his disciples about his upcoming death and you see Peter’s response below.

Matthew 16:22-23;

22 But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!”

23 Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”

 Can you see how Jesus is showing us just how devious the enemy can and will be.  If we go back and look at verses 18-19, Jesus states Peter is the rock in which he will build his church. And shortly after that  Jesus rebuked the enemy with the same authority that he  gave to us.

Luke 10:19 says;

19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.

Satan is so conniving that he will use your closest friends to get your focus off of God and onto your circumstances. He will try to drive a wedge in your closest relationships especially those with other Christians. Be on alert at all times, Christian!

Satan can and will use anyone to fulfill his plans and in his mind no one is off limits to him. He may use your sister, brother, mother, father, friends, and even your pastor to create havoc in your life. Knowing your family, friends, and your pastor’s character puts you at an advantage over the evil one because he’s probably betting on that you don’t know them that well. There may be occasions when he is right but don’t give him any ammunition.

Know your friends’ characters so when, not if,  but when the evil one attempts to separate you from God you will be ready for him. Prepare for battle every morning by putting on the full armor of God before you step one foot out your door.

This is not our battle it is the Lord’s now that is worth celebrating! It is so awesome to know as Christians the war has been won in the Heavenly realms and VICTORY is ours! Amen!

The most powerful ammunition you can have is the sword of the Spirit in your heart!

 

 

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My Strength

This psalm has been resonating in my heart for the past week especially this part of verse twenty-six;God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever.

Psalm 73:23-28 (NLT)

23 Yet I still belong to You;  You hold my right hand. 24 You guide me with Your counsel,  leading me to a glorious destiny. 25 Whom have I in heaven but You?   I desire You more than anything on earth. 26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,  but God remains the strength of my heart;     He is mine forever.

27 Those who desert Him will perish,  for You destroy those who abandon You. 28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God!  I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter,  and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things You do.

When walking through difficult trials oh, how we wish there was a path in which someone didn’t have to get hurt but that is hardly ever the case, is it? Then the next hurdle we face is which path to choose? How do you choose? So we pray for God’s will to be done in our lives and that we have the strength to be obedient to His will.

God works all things together good for those that love Him and sometimes that is hard to see through the torrential rains in the midst of our storms. But how amazing it is to know that we are His children and nothing can separate us from His love.

Romans 8:39 says,

39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

He is the strength of my heart and how privileged it is to know He is mine forever!

      Lord Jesus, help me to accept Your will in my life no matter what.  Father, help me be obedient to Your will knowing that someone may get hurt in the action of that will.  Jesus, I thank You for loving me and being the strength of my heart in the midst of my storms.  Lord Jesus, give me revelation through Your word to grow spiritually from the storms in my life. Father God, thank You for never leaving my side and I am forever grateful knowing that nothing can separate me from Your love! Amen and Amen!

 

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A Season of Shaking

The last couple of weeks God has brought up the subject of trust. As I was meditating on ‘trust’ all I kept hearing was “Trust Me, Trust Me”. My first thoughts were, of course, I trust you, God!  In fact, I trust You with everything.  As I went about my week it seemed liked everything I picked up to read or listen to was all about trust some way or another.

Sometimes it takes me a little while to catch on, hence my blog title, be still and listen. lol  I’m like, okay God I’m hearing You and You want me to concentrate on trusting You.  In the stillness and quietness of my prayer closet God spoke to me and said;

“You need to Trust Me and dig your feet in for a season of shaking.”

I believe that season is rapidly approaching, if it’s not here already? The word “trust” is mentioned 220 times (Old Testament 161 times; New Testament 59 times) in the bible (NLT) but that will have to be a series for another date and time. We all know that if something is mentioned that many times in the bible it must be important, right? God tells us over and over in His word that He is trust worthy.

Psalm 62:5-8 (NLT) says;

Let all that I am wait quietly before God,  for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. My victory and honor come from God alone.  He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, Trust in him at all times.   Pour out your heart to him,  for God is our refuge. Interlude

These are important days and I really need to be cemented in His word lest I lose my footing. The enemy will try to convince me that I don’t trust God enough, that I don’t know enough of His word, and that I don’t have enough faith to sustain me through a season of shaking. As a Christian, I need to take every thought captive so that the enemy will not gain any ground. The evil one wants me to doubt God’s promises that way he can try to chip away at my faith. What he doesn’t know is that VICTORY is mine and my hope remains in my Lord Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen!

5Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your living word and that You are trust worthy. Lord Jesus, help me to always keep my eyes on You no matter if I’m in a season of shaking or not. Father God, I pray that Your word remains cemented upon my heart, now and forever. Amen!

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