Thursday, May 7, 2015

For those of you wondering about where the playlists may have gone...Well we have moved over to

I will be phasing out this blog and residing at the above address until further notice so please, take a trip over and we will see you there.

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Blessings to you friends!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Lessons From a Schnauzer!

If you happen to think you have things figured out enough in your life and that you and God are on the same page but for some reason you keep going round the mountain, give me a moment of your time to tell you my story.

I went through this huge test--simply put--because I always think I know what's best for me! However, that can come with some troubles, and I am ashamed to admit it, because surely by now I should know better (not fun to admit I'm am a slow learner.)  But I am going to risk some vulnerability because I have a feeling that I am not alone! Maybe you have a decision you are getting ready to make that could change the direction of your life. It could involve a serious relationship, a financial investment or job opportunity. Whatever it is let me urge you to read this somewhat humorous lesson and ponder its implications before you cautiously proceed.

Determination! That's me ever since I can remember. I have always been and still am a very investigative sort. Yes, that can be a great attribute when channeled in the 'right' direction. How else would we ever know that there are (for example) planets that are part of a 'solar system' and that we (planet Earth) belong to one of them? Unfortunately, in my life it has become a stronghold that has gotten me into lots of trouble and this spirit of independence has plagued me even as a more 'mature' Christian. You see when I get something in my mind, I am not easily deterred. One might just reason it away saying I lack common sense at times. But what I really need to have is a plan before taking action and remember how vital it is to have a witness of agreement with two or more to help discern whether or not I am really hearing from God.

You would certainly think that a few hard lessons would reign in this young lass who stepped out into some pretty bizarre situations. Like leaving home at 13 and again at 15 (not to return the second time.) Argh! My younger years were strange years and I grew up rather quickly. Yes, I was rather impulsive. I have heard that half the battle is recognizing there's a problem!

Gratefully, I became a Christian at the age of 30 and God began His deep work in me as I have learned to surrender the many areas of my will with its baggage and consequences (and the deep pain in my heart) to the Lord.  I am learning that as it says in John 15:5 "I am the vine, You are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." And this is where I want to begin, now that you have some background.

Let me begin by honestly saying that I really am beginning to like who God is creating me to be. "Lord, please keep me teachable so I don't quit growing!" I also add that there is a whole lot of refining to be done. As with all of us, I am in process and will be until Christ calls me home. So most of the time I really do appreciate what God is teaching me and doing in my life. Now here's where I will reveal one of my strongholds to you--I still like to call the shots and think I know what is best for me. I forget Whose I am and Who knows best!

My husband and I now have a this dog who was a darling little puppy that I totally obsessed over until I got her. You see, after having to put down our sweet old "Chelsey" dog of 13 some years ago, and then putting down our inherited Sheltie (acquired from Jerry's dad when he went home,) it was then time to get what I wanted and thought would be best for us to have. I have wanted a Schnauzer for a long time! So for two months after the Sheltie was gone I searched online high and low and researching as I went, for our Schnauzer. They are great dogs, smart, sturdy, healthy and cut too! My husband decided that he didn't want any more pets (we also have a Siamese cat) insisting that when these were gone there would be no more. Yours truly persisted to convince him that we really should "try one on for size" assuming that he would just fall in love with her. I did pray about it, a lot. But let me confess, I did not wait on the Lord and like I always do, took matters into my own hands. Yes, Kimberly knows best. In July we acquired our first standard Schnauzer. A scrawny 3.5 month-old black female from Canada (Manitoba to be exact.) I even had her name all picked out before hand, Elsa, a good German name for a good German dog, and it means 'God is my oath'.

So you ask "What's the point?" Let me tell you how God has and continues to use this little dog to teach me some stuff! I have learned some vital stats about 'Kimberly', like don't make me wait and don't tell me no! And I have had to pay the price for my resistance to learn. Old Frank Sinatra may have sung the song but I keep living it out, 'doing it my way'.

She is pretty cute don't you think?
Our little Elsa is a smart little Fraulein and she really learns quickly the fun things. But...there is a very stubborn and determined side to her and as smart as she is she came with a few issues.
  • Coming off the farm, everything about city living scares her. (I should have named her Skiddles and when she first came through the door of the house, the cat greeted us as she always does and little Elsa freaked and poop literally went everywhere!)
  • She had a horrible case of round worm--yuck--that we had to deal with including diarrhea issues for several months and that was no pleasure to clean up! (Two doses of medicine took care of that and we were good to go although the vet blamed the kennel rearing--how would I know?)
  • We got her at 3.5 months which gave her head start in nurturing her strong will not to mention that the housebreaking took forever (we finally made headway at 7.5 months and they are supposed to be EASY to train!)
  • This little dog has a strong will that runs competitive with mine.
Argh--what have I done? Now I haven't painted a very nice picture have I. So please, don't get me wrong, she has her delightful moments and can be a lot of fun. It is just that there are a few hurdles we are going to have to jump through before it is all said and done. 

So what's all the fuss anyway? First of all, I forgot the time involved with a puppy. For a time and a season I have had to give up some pretty precious time that God and I spend together. I must say that that has been the biggest adjustment for me. Especially our first three months together. I have missed my time to write, read and study or do the little extra things around the house and I so look forward to once again being able to have time back. My mornings and evenings have involved puppy sitting while I try to read my Bible in between disciplining her for snatching the newspaper or pillow when I'm not looking. I know, this is all very typical puppy stuff.

I am also concerned that I am getting old and cranky! A few frustrating times of training--the experts always say don't push it if you're frustrated--have given way to some harsh reactions on my part. I hate that! And have had to cry out to God for forgiveness and mercy for being so harsh. I don't want to ruin her sweet spirit and cause her to be afraid of me. That has been very hard for me to deal with. Who wants to think of themselves as a harsh disciplinarian? Firm and loving, that is the way.

As I conclude this I have realized that things are definitely getting better. (As she learns and I learn.) But for a time I thought what have I done, and am I going to regret once again demanding my own way and going ahead of God? The thoughts have come and gone regarding what we could have had if I had waited for God's best. Like when the vet says his Schnauzer was house broken in short of two weeks at under two months old! Or will she ever get that "stay" is for her good and so is "come". With all the deer in our yard I wonder what would happen to her the day she decides while off the leash, to chase one. Will I ever see her again? I know by heart the verses in Proverbs 3:5,6 that say,

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."

But I forget the rest of the story when I read verse :7

Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil."

Ouch, the Proverbs can really make the tough calls! Old Solomon was in tune to his maker! So when will Kimberly realize that God, Abba, knows what's best for His girl and that it is so much better to wait than to regret? His best is always for our best even if it doesn't seem like it at the time or that is is just taking too long?
Elsa and Patsy Cline
I have prayed that God has redeemed the jump-start girl once again and I know that He alone can bring beauty from ashes. Our Elsa is learning and is now grown up. She has matured into a tremendous companion to me and my husband. The ride is slowing just a bit and as you can see I even have some time to do a bit of writing these days, yeah!

Well, if you can identify with my plight, let's pray and ask God to give us what is ultimately His very best and nothing less and the courage and patience to wait on the Lord. Let's pray

Pappa, once again I jumped ahead of You and You have gently reminded me that Father knows best! I really do want to give You my strong will and I also want to give You that part of me that thinks I know what is best for me. You know how impatient I can be when I don't get my way. Just let me learn this time as I surrender. Thank you for your word in Isaiah 40:31 that says we really do gain great strength from waiting upon You. Mounting up with wings like eagles, running and not becoming weary and walking without fainting. What a promise awaits those who are willing to hold on for Your best. I want that and I am so tired of the learning curve as I traipse around the mountain again and again in this area. Please deliver me and give me the courage to stand fast as I wait on You, in Your powerful Name, Amen!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Slowly but Surely...

If you are a follower of mine, I would like to point you elsewhere as I am hoping to work my way over here:

My goal is to eventually use this current spot for my daily playlist on Psalm FM.  This is where I hope to point to artists and their songs and info about who they are.  My personal thoughts on the "Lessons from the Field will eventually be moved to the new address above.  Not sure how that will all work but taking a step at a time.  (Some days I wonder why I don't just leave things alone:0)...not who I am!)

So bear with me and join my site listed above and I hope to interact with you more over there as well!  To my faithful followers, please sign up in the new places as this one will eventually be used for my program.

Now I also have another place to visit too at so you are welcome to visit there and it is there that I hoped to provide encouragement for those who are hurting with a page for prayer.  I would count it a privilege to pray for you and your is what the body does for one another!

Thanks for your patience!

In His abundant love,

Kimberly Dawn

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Abiding in Him

I have this little piece of wall art that hangs on my wall and it says ‘Abide in Him’.  Using wall art that include words or Scripture speak loudly of my convictions and beliefs.  But the word abide (in itself) is such a descriptive of the Spirit-filled life that I desire to live, yet struggle to attain.  I was plowing through a book by Francis Chan, called “Forgotten God”, and in his convicting fashion I was challenged by one of my favorite chapters in the book of John, chapter 15.  Chan issues a challenge by asking a profound question, is my life too loud, to which I could readily say “yes it is!”.  Then Francis proceeds to encourage us to put down his book and pick up the Book and read a few chapters in the book of John.  Right to some of my favorites in John, chapters 14, 15 and 16.  

The verb “abide”, according to Merriam-Webster means to wait, endure without yielding, to bear patiently.  It also means to remain stable or in a fixed state and to continue in a place.  In John 15 where the picture of the ‘vine’ is used to describe our life in Christ--we being the branch, Christ being the vine and then the Father addressed as the vinedresser--John uses the word “abide” ten times: 

John 15:4-11 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love."
Do you think maybe there is a point to be made here? There are ten references to the word abide in the verses above that are being used to drive home some profound points:

The imperative to remain in Christ;
We aren’t fruitful if we don’t;
If we refuse to abide in Christ we can be thrown away for we aren’t fruitful;
There is an invitation to remain in Christ’s love;
By walking in obedience we partake in His love.

So when I am restless, when I am struggling through (with my own resources) and forgetting that apart from Him I can really do nothing, instead of being frustrated with myself I really need to stop and remember that I am a partaker with Christ.  I really sell myself short and settle for less than His best by “trying” or “trying to do it myself”.  I am sure my Father is thinking “Oh foolish one, as I expend efforts that amount to little when in Him I can accomplish great things or at least what He desires and that spells success!  

I don’t believe if you are a driven person that there is necessarily an easy way to submit your efforts for His peace that only comes from abiding in Him!  God desires that we would “remain stable or in a fixed state” by abiding in Hiim walking in the Spirit-filled life.  But from one who has been there...stop striving, try it and see.  Then you can appreciate these words from the Psalmist, "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!" Psalm 34:8 (ESV) Abiding in Him is where we fulfill the Spirit-filled life that God desires we live out for Him and His glory!

Father, I remember that this battle to 'do' in my own efforts is a winnable battle when I walk with you! I will make the choice today to let You lead via Your Spirit which is living in me! The rest that comes from giving You the reins of my life is well worth the concerted effort it takes to hand them over. So thank You Fahter for the gift of Your Holy Spirit who allows me to quit my striving by abiding in You!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Better Than a Hallelujah...

I spoke to a lovely group of ladies, where a  beautiful young lady was asked to do special music for the event.  I knew the song but never really paid much attention to it until that day, hearing it sweetly and gently sung by this precious woman.  I hadn't realized that some of the lyrics in the song really spoke of my story and my journey coming to Christ and delivering my marriage.  I just couldn't get the song out of my mind.  (Interesting how God really does put things together since she and I didn't even know each other!)

God has given me specific verses that I use to encapsulate my story of being a desperate young mom who had exhausted all her efforts to 'make life work' or 'make sense'.  Instead, all I kept doing was digging my hole deeper and deeper with every poor choice and mistake piling in upon me and weighing me down so that every attempt to climb out only felt like trying to pull myself out of quick sand.  I was being sucked in and frankly, I was just about at the place of letting go of all hope, figuring I would never find 'happiness' and I just wanted to give up.  But that was the place or point where God could finally do the work He had planned all along.

The chorus of the song that was sung by the beautiful guest was so fitting because I was there, I was a broken, miserable and pretty desperate mess of a woman, failing in all of my attempts to find happiness.
We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking heart,
Are better than a Hallelujah...
I am reminded of how patient our heavenly Father is with us.  He really does know that some of us have to bottom out not only once sometimes more times as we stubbornly keep trying to do things "our way" instead of pleading for help.  This only reminds me of how kind our Father truly is toward His wayward children.  Another line from the song:
The tears of shame for what's been done
The silence when the words won't come,
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes.
The verse that speaks so clearly of the day that Jesus rescued me from everthing that I had attempted to do on my own in an effort to find peace is from Psalm 40:1-3:
"I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.  He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.  He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD."
God, my Father, could have left me flailing, trying to continue in my useless efforts to get out of my self-made pit...but He didn't!  He heard the broken cries of one who finally let go of trying to "do it on her own"!  Instead  He knew I was truly ready to be plucked out.  

Here is Psalm 40:1-3 once again but from the Message paraphrase:
I waited and waited and waited for God. At last he looked; finally he listened. He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me from deep mud. He stood me up on a solid rock to make sure I wouldn't slip. He taught me how to sing the latest God-song, a praise-song to our God. More and more people are seeing this: they enter the mystery, abandoning themselves to God.
My life has never been the same since the day I gave my broken Hallelujah to my God.  I am very encouraged to know that the heart song we sing never goes unnoticed by the Father!  He never turns His back on our cries.  Like the verses above read, He is patient in His waiting for us to finally say we can't do it on our own, or by ourselves!  Help, help me Lord...

Better Than A Hallelujah

Are you at that place today where a broken Hallelujah is all you can muster or where out of sheer desperation your heart is on the verge of failing and you just can't go another step on your own?  Oh my friend, God has been patiently waiting for this very moment when you would lay down your self-efforts and allow Him to 'bring you up', up out of your own miserable pit.  He is your rescuer, your deliverer and your present help in times of trouble.  I urge you to cry out to Him now, give Him your broken Hallelujah, He not only cares for you but He loves you and He won't turn His back on you!