One of the hardest lessons for me to learn was receiving. I struggled with unworthiness and inferiority, as well as pride, and I found it difficult to receive anything from anyone.
In a dry period in my life, when I felt lower than dirt, God sent an older woman into my life. Florence was twelve years older than I and she was a giver. She gave of her time, she gave gifts, but most of all she gave herself. I had never known anyone like Florence. The term “privileged” comes to my mind when I think of her, I was allowed to have her mentor me in the ways of God for three years.
Florence and Al’s family were of German background, her mother lived with them when she could no longer be on her own; this was difficult for Florence as she was used to studying the Bible a great deal and the new living arrangements made it difficult to do so. Florence and her husband Al worked hard all their life; they loved Jesus and they loved people, both of them gave of themselves to others, ministering in and around the area where they lived.
They had no biological children, but they opened their hearts and their home to five children, three Caucasian and two Oriental. The oldest, David, worked with YWAM during the Iron curtain days and Florence and Al were able to make trips to be with him in Germany. They had a small cabin on a lake and the family enjoyed time there when they could. As the children grew, several moved out of the area, but never out of their hearts.
Al had been a barber before he retired and Florence had worked in the business world. After they retired Al took up the real estate business and Florence ministered with others in the area and taught a Bible Study. One day I came to this study to share an experience I’d had. I did not know that all the while God had a plan to bring her and I together, me with my mess and all of my baggage He led to Florence who was just following the Good Shepherd. God spoke to Florence that He wanted her to be with me every Thursday afternoon. She obeyed Him and I allowed it with much protest, albeit internal. This arrangement ended up literally changing my life.
It was many years ago that God changed my life through the ministry of my friend Florence, and I shall be eternally grateful to the Lord for sending her to rescue me. There have been many others that have impacted my life both good and bad, and in the end, this has built my character. I really believe that was my Father’s plan. In approximately forty years Holy Spirit has brought me to where I am today, I have learned to love, I have learned to give, I have learned to be like Jesus and I have no doubt that has always been His goal. Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that I am perfect, far from it, but you cannot hang around someone without taking something from them and I have learned from the best.
As I approach the new year of 2015, I am grateful to the many who have influenced my life in one way or another. I think of the books, tapes, sermons and later the CD’s and DVD’s that have impacted me. There have been some others that deposited much into my soul. The music, which has been such an important part of my life, I cannot forget either. The many streams of music that have graced and lifted the Body of Messiah is without exception in the world. Thank God for it all!
May the Lord grant to all of you my family, my friends, and my readers, a blessed, happy and prosperous New Year in 2015!
“Exit this year letting go of past frustrations. Look with eyes of great expectancy. We must have an outlook that carries renewed faith and the momentum to blaze new trails and open new doors.” Phyllis Ford – 2014
Romans 15:13 “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
In Him whom my soul loves,
I am His Joy