The Parable of the Raspberry-Guest Blog by Patty Schulz

One of the things I most enjoy in life is gardening. Although I do enjoy my rose bushes, peonies, dahlias, lilies, hydrangeas and the plethora of house plants I have, including at least 8 – 10 African violets at any given time, the gardening the most feeds my soul is growing food. I grew up in a very small town in the middle of a rural area and growing a garden for food wasn’t just a hobby it was a way of life.

A couple of summers ago the daughter of a friend of mine was working on a bee conservation project. Part of the project was to find people who would grow certain plants in their yard that would attract bees. Of course, I was all over helping out. I received an oregano plant and one very lush raspberry bush. I do know from my history of gardening that raspberries spread over time and in order to keep them from taking over your yard you need to plant them in an enclosed bed. I just happened to have a 4 x 6 bed of dirt just waiting for the right plant.

Over the past 2 growing seasons I have watched the raspberries spread and produce delicious fruit. Every day when I get home from work I go out to my little berry patch and have my snack of fresh berries. A few weeks ago, I was actually struck with amazement at how every day when I get home there is a new fresh batch of yumminess waiting for me.

It was at that moment that I saw the comparison … aka parable … of the raspberry to the Grace of God. Every day His grace, mercy and love is new. It is abundant and fresh and waiting for us to taste it.

But what about winter? When the berries stop coming and the leaves of the plant shrivel and fall off? That is just another reminder of God’s unfailing and unending goodness.

Even though we see the season as cold and harsh those canes are still full of life. Insects that help plants grow crawl inside the canes and hibernate. When Spring comes and warms the earth, new life emerges from the canes and from the ground. Every year that the plants live through these hard seasons they come back stronger and full of more flowers and even more, sweeter fruit. My little 4 x 6 bed is overflowing with plants and they are even sprouting outside the walls that were meant to hold them in.

We all know that in the Bible, Jesus used parables to teach His followers. In the past (probably 8 years or so) Jesus has been teaching me with parables. It’s always such an amazing revelation, and I only realized lately that this is what was happening.

Unlike the fruit of the earth, God’s abundance cannot be contained… if we just plant it in our hearts, water it with His Word, and let the sunshine of His Light flood our lives.

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Turning 45 with 50 Pounds Less of Me-Blog Post by Angel Flores

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About four years ago I weighed 257 pounds (although I carried it well :-).  I didn’t hate myself, but I knew I wanted to live a long life so I set a goal for myself: I want to dance at my grandkids weddings.  This meant I would have to live a long time and arrive there in good shape.

This started me on a path toward working out and changing how I look at food.  Like most people, I like to eat.  On second thought: I LOVE TO EAT.  It’s so central to who we are as people and since I love hanging out with people, enjoying company over a great meal makes the experience even better.  So in all of that hanging out, I packed on some pounds.

Sometimes the thing you want MOST will require you to give up something you like A LOT.  

Thankfully I didn’t have to give up social eating, I just had to change the way I did it.  I started doing Weight Watchers on my phone, got serious about working out and learned what it meant to stop eating when I was full.  That might sound funny to some, but I regularly ate until I was stuffed (hey I’m competitive). Now I haven’t been in full fitness mode for the whole last four years.  It’s been a journey and sometimes I get serious about it, other times I slack off and plateau.  In January I was 223 pounds.  I had plateaued there for a while between 218 and 222.

So in January at my church, we each chose “one word” for the year.  A single word to provide focus and direction for the year and mine was “press”. Part of that “press” for me was to choose a physical goal for myself so I chose to enter a jiu-jitsu tournament in May. I had never done jiu-jitsu before but that’s another story.  I decided to enter in the 200 pound weight class so I had about 4 ½ months to drop 22 pounds.

The reason I’m boring you with all of this is because yesterday was a milestone for me in a couple of ways:

1.     I turned 45 years old. Man, I have had a blessed life, I have a beautiful wife and some amazing kids.  I am surrounded by great friends and family, I pastor a great church and I have more than I’ve ever deserved.  I also have many friends who didn’t make it 45 times around the sun so I don’t take a single day for granted.  I’m happy to turn 45.

2.     I weighed in at 207 pounds.  That puts me at 50 pounds lost since I began this journey.  I know I still have a way to go, but I’m glad to be where I’m at today.

This whole fitness thing is a journey.  For what it’s worth, here are a couple of things I’ve learned:

1.     This is a marathon, not a sprint.  Make small changes that you can sustain over time.  Next time you go to the grocery store, buy a few healthy things you can munch on when you watch TV.  Start out with some kind of exercise you enjoy.  Don’t kill yourself, just focus on a small sustainable change.  If you change a little everyday, over time that equals a lot.

2.     Don’t beat yourself up.  You are where you are because of the choices you’ve made.  Just accept it and move on, don’t dwell on it.  Don’t revisit it.  From here on out, you will make better choices, not just for you but for your spouse, for your kids.  Decide you will dance at your grandkids weddings (maybe even on the bar!)

3.     You’re probably not exhausted, you’re just uncomfortable.  If you’re not used to exercising at all, one walk around the block will seem exhausting. But chances are: you’re not exhausted, you’re just uncomfortable.  When you’re uncomfortable, you have a choice to make: will I quit or will I push past this, even just a little?  Exhaustion is rare, but being uncomfortable is going to happen, EVERY WORKOUT.  So learn what that feels like and push a little past it every time.  Over time you will find that line moves as you get in better shape.

I hope this encourages somebody.  Thanks for reading, talk to you soon.

When It “Pains” It Pours-Dealing With Grief Overload–Guest Blog Post by Patty Schulz

In the time frame between December 2015 until just last week, (August 2018) the amount of loss in my world has been totally overwhelming.

It started with two of my elderly uncles who passed away within a week of each other between Christmas and New Year’s. They were both in nursing homes and it wasn’t a shock, but it was certainly stressful for my dad who lost his last two living brothers within a week of each other. Dad is the youngest of nine children and is now down to only one sister and himself living from his family.

A little over two months later, in the beginning of March 2016, my younger brother passed away after struggling with alcoholism for many years. He was only 47 years old at the time and left behind three children, all in their 20’s, to grieve the loss of their father. Not to mention my mom losing her son, my dad losing his son (while he was still grieving the loss of his brothers and my brother), and myself losing our baby brother and third musketeer.

In November of 2016 my husband’s cousin, who was only 21, passed away after a battle with cancer. It was a tragic loss for this young lady to be taken from us so soon. She was a kind, beautiful girl who had so much to live for.

Then, a few months later, I don’t remember the exact date…almost a blur at this point… my husband’s grandpa passed away after a short battle with cancer. Grandpa was in his 90’s but had been healthy as a horse until only a short time before he passed. I remember going to the grocery store and there was grandpa at the self-check-out trying to figure it out. So, his funeral was sometime in 2017 but, like I said, the barrage of death and grieving had become such a blur I don’t actually remember the month.

I’m sorry grandpa.

Last Christmas, my husband’s brother was in the hospital again, after four and a half years of fighting multiple myeloma. Cancer, again. He was in the hospital for a few days and while we were visiting him he let us know that the doctors told him there was nothing else they could do. He would be starting hospice when he got home. He went home a couple of days later and that day we met with a funeral director and made his final arrangements. He was feeling alright and was with us to make all of the decisions. He cried a lot and told us that he didn’t want to die.

We prayed, we cried, we tried to laugh. The next day he passed.

Through all of this I’ve had my girlfriends to talk to, to cry with, and I don’t know what I would have done without them. Unfortunately, I now have to find out what I will do without one of them. Last Friday, August 17, 2018, one of my dear friends and the girl I could talk to about anything, passed away. As I write this I am waiting for her memorial service in a few days.

I don’t know when, or if, this season of grief will end. I know there are some days that seem normal but most do not. But, I do know that through it all God is sovereign. When my brother-in-law passed, the family was there with him and I can’t describe the feeling of peace that was in the house. God was there. God was in control.

One of the people we lost was not saved, and this one hurts the most.

Genesis 18:25 “Will not the Judge of the earth do right?” is my comfort, but I also have a new conviction to share the good news of my Savior…I hope that you will too.

Didn’t Know I’d Find You Here-Guest Post by Caiti Mondragon

It’s not easy leaving my Dad. The visit part has gotten much easier, and although I hate to say it, pretty routine.  But, leaving? I don’t think that will ever get easier.

This weekend we went to see him and on the way home I had some time to think as everyone else was fast asleep.  I was thinking of the excitement that we all experience when we visit…and then it’s time to leave and so many of the original emotions flood my mind. I get angry wondering why this happened. I get sad and feel sorry for everyone involved. I want to shut down.

I never knew I’d find myself here. I never knew I’d be the daughter of an inmate. I never knew that my kids would know what it’s like to go through security to visit a prison. I never knew I would sit in a room full of families, just like mine, visiting their loved ones. I never knew the hurt that could fill a room. I never knew the pain I would feel to hear my youngest ask why Grandpa never comes to visit us. It hurts. And, although leaving will never get any easier, there is now a peace in my heart. There are many things that I never knew I would experience in my life, but…

What I do know, is God has met me here. Every single feeling, God has felt with me. Every tear I have cried, God has wiped away. Throughout every part of this chapter of my life, He has been there right alongside me as each page has turned. It was in the darkest and saddest point in my life that I felt God more than ever. The part of my life where I found it difficult to get out of bed because I was so sad. The part of my life where I didn’t want to answer the phone because I was embarrassed. The part of my life where I was so afraid of what was going to happen to my family. He was there, and I know that now.

As I was driving and thinking, a song called “Find You Here” came on the radio and I couldn’t help but just cry and be thankful for everything He has done in my life. My Dad being sent to prison was never about me, and I’m not trying to make it be…but, going through this, God has shown me things about myself that I never even knew existed. The part of my life where I realized the importance of grace? Again, he met me there.

So, whatever storm you are going through, He is with you. It might be the last place that you’d ever think He’d be…but He’s there. You just have to look…and listen.

“It’s not the news that any of us hoped that we would hear
It’s not the road we would have chosen, no
The only thing that we can see is darkness up ahead
But You’re asking us to lay our worry down and sing a song instead

And I didn’t know I’d find You here
In the middle of my deepest fear, but
You are drawing near
You are overwhelming me, with peace
So I’ll lift my voice and sing
You’re gonna carry us through everything
You are drawing near
You’re overwhelming all my fears, with peace

You say that I should come to You with everything I need
You’re asking me to thank You even when the pain is deep
You promise that You’ll come and meet us on the road ahead
And no matter what the fear says, You give me a reason to be glad.”

Greetings to everyone.  My name is David Flores, Jr., and my wife Jana and I are members of Mosaic Church.  We have been attending Mosaic for the last 9 years.  When Jana and I met, we were both attending different churches in the Greeley area.  Then, we got married and decided to find a church together.  We thought had we found a church home that we attended for about a year, but then my brother Angel started Mosaic, and soon we found ourselves visiting on several occasions.

While still attending our home church, I knew in the bottom of my heart that one day we would be a part of my brother’s church.  While I was careful to never voice this feeling to Jana, as I was not wanting to tilt the scales in Mosaic’s favor, I decided to let Angel’s unique style be the deciding factor.  One Sunday afternoon while driving home after a service at our then home church, Jana mentioned something.  She said that while she rather enjoyed our then home church, she was beginning to prefer my brother’s services.  We spoke at length because I didn’t want the fact that he was my brother to muddy the waters because I know how important a church is to the structure of a home environment.  Soon after this discussion, we were attending Mosaic on a regular basis.  Not only is my brother a true man of God, he is a powerful and engaging speaker.

Have our lives been full of bliss since we made this decision? No. We are normal people who have normal problems just like anyone in our situation.  To make matters worse, we are a true example of the new American family.  We are a blended family of his, hers and ours together. Between the two of us, we have 7 children.  Our lives are full of trials and tribulations which at times can create an organized chaos that has become our new normal.

Growing up in a Christian home, I was more accustomed to this “Mosaic” style of church.  Jana on the other hand did not grow up in the church.  Her family attended church once a year on Easter Sunday.  When we met, she was Catholic, which was a fulfilment of her first marriage which obviously ended in divorce.  So, finding a church was somewhat challenging.  Switching after only a year together proved to be quite another animal.

While I do not consider myself a social butterfly, I do find it rather easy to engage in conversation at Mosaic. Whether that person is a friend or a stranger, walking up to someone and striking up a conversation is easy.  Jana always teases me when I get done making rounds at church by saying, “Are you done shaking hands and kissing babies?” Deep down inside, I don’t do it for me. I do it to find that one person who finds it difficult to do this on their own.  In my humble opinion, this (in a way) forces other people to come out of their shyness shell.

In 2016, I decided that we needed to get more involved in the Mosaic family.  I wanted Jana to feel at home in our new church.  Typically, when service was over, we mingled just a bit.  What I began to realize was that we were mingling with just the members of my family. Why? Because Jana found it difficult to make new friends.  She needed to come out of her own shell.  What better way to get involved than to sign up for a Connect Group?  Once again, I didn’t do this for my sake, I did it purposely to get Jana to meet other people.  We signed up for our first Connect group which met on Monday nights at a couple’s home.  They opened their home to couples as well as their children for a weekly potluck and a few hours of games and light conversation.

Jana began making new acquaintances and more importantly, friends within the Mosaic circle.  This proved to be so successful that we agreed to open our own home and offered the same thing for couples and their children the following semester.  Jana is not only finding her “friend” circle growing, she also decided to begin using her natural talents (she is a teacher) to begin helping in the children’s church area as a Sunday School Teacher.  You can call me the ultimate Puppet Master.

DavidfloresChances are, your story is much different than ours, but that doesn’t matter. We want you to become a part of this as well.  I’d like to invite you to attend a service and look around.  We are a unique community of believers.  Are we perfect? The simple answer to that question is a resounding NO.  We are a body of people looking for that small fulfillment that is missing from each one of our lives.  In the coming weeks, we will begin our signups for our Fall Connect Groups.  Look around at what each table is offering.  Maybe you’d like to join a group that, like us, is offering a potluck dinner and an evening of conversation.  Someone may be offering a bible study group to have coffee and getting into God’s word.  Perhaps you might even enjoy joining a group of men AND or women who enjoy watching mixed martial arts-Wings, pizza, and combat fighting.  You never know what each table has to offer.  Take a chance and sign up.  You never know… you may end up enjoying it so much that like Jana and I, you may open your home for the next semester.

We are a people of doubters and we have struggles just like everyone else.  While it may appear that we have everything in order, we don’t.  We fall short each day.  The truth about the human condition is that nobody is perfect.  Nobody is flawless.  Nobody is faultless.  We are all sinners who continue to sin and fall victim to this insane world that we live in.  So, don’t let the smoke and mirrors of our lives fool you that we are perfect and untouchable.  We are nobody special. We just wear good makeup (well not really because I don’t, but you get my drift).  Once again, who are we?

We are people who try to make this community better each day.  We are retail workers, teachers, electricians, principals, administrators, plumbers, painters, bankers, firefighters, police officers, nurses, roofers, cementers, brick layers, housewives, househusbands, full-time students, cake makers, musicians, business owners, probation officers, leaders of the community, city employees, county employees, state employees, insurance agents, estimators, farmers, fence builders, welders, bull riders, car salesmen, oil workers, gas workers, retired persons and plenty other occupations that are too numerous to mention.  In other words, we are you. Your spouse. Your children. Your parents. Your family.  Come be a part of a growing community with the one goal of making each other a better person.

While I may not make a hole in one every time I play golf, if I can land on the green, I know I am close.  Once again, my name is David Flores, Jr.  Come visit us and make sure to come shake my hand and tell me your name.  Oh, and feel free to invite me to lunch!!

We Found a Church

 

When you hear the word Masterpiece it invokes a certain image to everyone, and that image can be vastly different from person to person. The experts say that when you study something for 6 years you will obtain a Master’s degree in any number of fields in education. According to Webster’s dictionary  a masterpiece/s is a work of outstanding artistry, skill or workmanship–An artist or craftsman’s best piece of work. Well this got me thinking about all the factors that go into a masterpiece; having a Godly gift, patience, perseverance, humility, diligence and discipline for a great period of time while continuing to ever so slightly tweak the process so that the next time it becomes easier.

Thinking of doing all of these principles and how you then begin to apply them to the many facets of life; I believe the bottom line is change. I’m sure that we have all heard that the one thing in life that is constant is change, and as oxy moronic as it sounds, it is absolutely true. If you are not doing at least one thing every day to better yourself from the day before than in essence you are going to fall behind. Which brings me to the beginning of this year of 2018. In lieu of setting another New Year’s Resolution that I will mostly not accomplish, I chose to focus on one word and using that word in all the aspects of my life for the betterment of myself and those around me. The word I chose was Change.

   Recently I feel there has been a lot of transition happening in my life, and I feel like I am not on solid ground as I have been taking on great challenges that have been earned and bestowed upon me. The way I see it, I can either rise to meet those challenges or I can succumb to my fear of doubt, fear of regret, and fear of not being good enough to handle these new and scary responsibilities while knowing all my failures and short comings from my past.

Here are a few things that I have gained from the Lord and His word:

  • The regret of doing or not doing, the failures you’re holding onto: God can take those experiences and teach you wisdom.
  • The pain that cuts you to your core when you feel that you have let yourself or others down and the disappointment that comes with that: God can and will use that you draw you closer and closer to Him.
  • Your life is never too messy for God, as He is our maker. The things in your life you feel ashamed of, how broken you may feel at the ugliest of moments are the exact things that God will use to mold you into precisely who you are meant to be and that is what make you, YOU! It is the parts of a tapestry of those experiences that makes each of us works of art.unnamed

When we bring our messes, mistakes and insecurities to Him and go all in, laying it all down before Him, He can then make us into His perfect masterpiece.

I thank you Heavenly Father, which you have taken my messes and transformed them into such beauty. Doing Your work in our lives with intention, much as a craftsman does to perfect each work into a Masterpiece.

Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a pure Heart, oh God, and renew a steadfast spirit with in me.”

Building A Masterpiece-Guest Post by Houstan Aragon

Confession of a Spiritual Gangsta-Guest Post by Mario Aragon

Here is something I’ve learned about being a Christian; it’s not easy.

In fact, God promises it will be hard. The more you try to have a relationship with God, the more the enemy will attack you.

One of the greatest tools the enemy will use is isolation and lies. He will make you feel alone in your struggle and your problems. He will tell you that you are the only one with this problem and no one will care. However, this cannot be farther from the truth. Don’t let your isolation consume you. REACH out, trust in our Heavenly Father.
We at Mosaic are here for you. We are a family and we are going through this crazy life together. Don’t let the lies of the enemy take root in your life because you are loved. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Most of all, you are not alone. We all struggle with something.

Let me be vulnerable for a moment: I struggle with anxiety. In fact, as I write this I have read, erased, and retyped it many times. My mind is telling me that no one will care about what I have to say. Every time I step into church or teach kids in kids church I often wonder why God chose me for this.  I’m definitely not qualified for it. I struggle with this but I’m glad I have my Mosaic family there for me. I have a wonderful wife, family, friends, and above all I have a great and mighty God that constantly reminds me that I am worthy and I am not alone.

If you need a friend or someone to talk to know I’m here for you. Most importantly you have God. He is always with you even when you feel the loneliest. Remember you are not alone in your struggles, problems with depression, or whatever. Stay strong and always keep on fighting!

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Faith-Guest Post by Eric Gibson

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Hi, my name is Eric Gibson and I have been at Mosaic for about two years now.

I came from Los Angles, Ca., and once I got to Colorado the first thing we looked for was a church. My former sister in law told us about a church she was listening to online. She told us the pastor (which was pastor Angel and his wife Diane) was coming over to talk and have dinner, and she invited us to join them. It was great! He told us about his church and asked us to check it out.

We lived in Loveland at the time and the church was about a 20-minute drive from our home. It was in the winter, snowing at the time, and I was thinking that’s a long way to go to church! You know, for me to drive and deal with snow in my wheelchair. But, I did go and it was great. The best thing for me was the greeters at the door. The smiles on their faces were so helpful, the hugs, and handshakes were awesome. I felt the word of God was deep to me and I made my mind after the first visit that this is where God wanted me at.

I got involved in the Discovery class to find out more about Mosaic and to find out how I could be a part of the Dream Team. After a while Ray and Caiti, the youth pastors, asked me to be a part of the youth group and of course I said yes because my past is all about the youth.

As a former gang member from L. A. I have been working with the youth for about 25 years. In 1993 I was shot five times in a drive by shooting, leaving me paralyzed from the waist down and using a wheelchair for the rest of my life. So, I felt this was the best fit for me. Working with Ray and Caiti is great and of course the youth also are great. I have been able to share my testimony with them is several ways.

I truly love this group and watching them grow in the word of God has been amazing. Just a few weeks ago I had my good friend Anne Kleehammer donate books to all of our youth. The book is called, Ten Secrets of Overcomers, and it’s about ten great people and how they have overcome some traumatic events that happened in their lives. And yes, I am one of the overcomers who is able to share my true story of triumph. I believe the youth is our future and youth at church is the best way to help them understand the good and bad things of this world. My job, along with Ray and Caiti, is to give them the best understanding that we can from different perspectives, and that is what we do. We have a great time with them every Thursday night at Mosaic at 7:00 pm.

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One of the greatest things for me, is when Ray and Caiti went on vacation and asked me to take over the class a few times and trusted me with the group. We had a blast and it gave me time to get to know the youth in a better way. Thank you guys for trusting me with Gods youth!

To me this is what church is about- to help them understand the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.

The people at Mosaic are the Church, it’s not the building and that’s why I love my church and I will continue work with the youth here. Thank you to Ray and Caiti, Pastor Angel and Diane, and the Dream team for welcoming me into Mosaic.

It Started With a Dream-Guest Post by Jen Orona

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I vaguely remember the conversation. My oldest daughter, 8 at the time, was telling her dad about a dream she had. The rapture had happened, and her WHOLE family was there. She had an uneasiness in her voice, she was torn. It wasn’t just her immediate family; Mom, Dad, and sisters. Her Grandma and Grandpa went to Heaven with her. The way she spoke stuck out to me most. There was questioning in her voice. “Dad, how could that happen? Grandma and Grandpa aren’t saved.” My husband hesitated for a moment to collect his thoughts, his response… something along the lines of the dream being God’s placement upon her heart and we need to continue praying for them because God can do miracles.

We had been praying, our whole marriage, my whole life, desperately wanting my Mom to find Jesus. I had become so jaded with unanswered prayers that I honestly had somewhat lost hope. Nothing I could do would be enough to bring her salvation.  When I began working at 14 to earn my own steady income, I lost hope. When I handed over paychecks because the rent was short, I lost hope. When I agonized through cold showers because, once again the heat was turned off, I lost hope. In those times when I hoped she would become who I wanted her to be, and she didn’t I told myself it was because I wasn’t enough. She must not love me enough to stop her addiction.

It started when I was around 13. My Mom began going to Bingo with my Grandma, harmless, right? Then she went more and more until eventually, if I wanted to see her, I had to go, too. I never would have believed someone if they told me they were addicted to Bingo, but I now know firsthand that if a person has a hole that needs to be filled, they will find SOMETHING to fill it. I got used to the cycle, so did the rest of us.

Bingo turned into Blackhawk. Our relationship deteriorated. I spent as much time away from home as I could. I felt guilty for being away from my little brother, but I wanted so much to be free from it all that I left as soon as I could. I needed to be a part of something important, and I also needed to be far. At 17 I left to the Marine Corps.

My own journey towards salvation was somewhat simple. I was raised Catholic, but my relationship with God truly began as a Junior in high school when I read the “Left Behind” series and navigated my thoughts and questions about God on my own. I went on to foster my new beliefs in a new part of the world and tried to let go.

Things with my Mom got worse while I was away, her problems piled higher and her hole got bigger. I have never begrudged my Mom for being overwhelmed with the pressures of her life. She was dealt a tough hand and struggled with her own feelings of emotional neglect from her parents. At 16 she gave birth to me and raised me as a single mom until she met my Stepdad. He was young too when they met, so together we all were trying to grow up. Now, as a mom myself, I sympathize with her struggles. She did what she thought was her best and gave what she was capable of giving.

My commitment to the Corps was close to over and I had no intentions of living again in Colorado. However, my new husband was determined to be near the Rocky Mountains so, pregnant and newly married, I returned. For seven years, there were consistent ups and downs. My parents adored my children and I saw my Mom share affection with them I didn’t know she was capable of expressing. I heard her say “I love you” freely to them and each time my heart ailed because I wanted it to be directed towards me. My husband and I tried hard to establish boundaries with money, but, just like the addict, the enabler has difficulty saying “No.”

Around the time my daughter had the rapture dream, we were coming off one of the most painful incidents we had been through. I felt so betrayed and damaged that I went through depression. My Mom and I were barely on speaking terms, almost all communication centered around the girls. I had written off all hope but continued to pray out of routine, expecting my prayers to continue to be unanswered. When my daughter shared her dream, I was as befuddled as her, my parents weren’t saved, why did she dream they made it to Heaven?

The circumstances surrounding her finding God moment I reserve for her to share. What I will share is that when my husband contacted me on May 13, 2016 and told me my Mom called him earlier in the day and said she was ready to accept Jesus, my heart stood still. Really? Is it possible? With a tinge of hesitance, I called her and heard her out. For the first time, I said “I love you,” she said it back, and I knew she meant it. The dream my daughter had wasn’t a fluke, it was God’s foreshadowing. When she heard that Grandma was saved, she became so full of emotion she excused herself to another room to cry and praise God, her dream came true. After her grandma’s baptism, she insisted on cake and a party.

My Mom has been coming to Mosaic faithfully since that day. I’ve seen her mature in her relationship with God. Her hole is finally filled and I can now put into perspective that she didn’t withhold love from me, she simply didn’t have love to give. The agape, selfless love that only Jesus shares has persisted and found its place within her heart.

If you’ve taken the time to read through all this- thanks for your patience, I can get kinda wordy. I appreciate the opportunity to share my story, others might be in a similar situation and I hope that my happy ending gives you hope, especially if you’re feeling hopeless. God hears your prayers and can do miracles!

Titan’s Ball – Guest Post by Christy Dodd

Casting the whole of your care (all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all) on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.  I Peter 5:7 AMP

titans-ball

My dog Titan loves his black ball.  He carries it around in his mouth everywhere.  He wants you to throw the ball and he brings it to you but when you try to take it from him, he won’t let you have it – yet he comes repeatedly to you with the ball.  Sometimes he half gives it to you, but when you get a hold of it, he tears it out of your hand and growls. We do this everyday – every time I sit in the chair.  When others come over he takes the ball to them and drops it nicely in their laps wanting you to throw it.  They will once or twice,but he keeps bringing it back.  He isn’t their dog so they keep dropping the ball on the ground and I say “Titan bring your ball”.  He will but once again it’s a struggle; he wants it thrown but not by me, so he pulls it away and then takes it to the guest.  When he finally decides I can throw it because nobody else will, he drops it in my lap and sits patiently.  I always throw it and am happy to toss it most of the time but I won’t fight him for the ball.

He gives it to me but quickly takes it away so he can walk around with it in his mouth.  He may even drop it down the stairs for himself so he can play and chase it.  When he can’t find the ball he comes to me and wants to sit on my lap for scratches and love but if he has the ball he occupies his own time with it.  It’s funny how I am so much like my dog Titan – when he carries his ball around in his mouth all the time.

Titan is sometimes a perfect picture of how I am with God.  I have problems or worries and I may tell him about them.  He’d love to handle them for me yet I won’t give them completely to him.  I wrestle him for them.  BUT, I’ll tell my friends and family all about my problems hoping they will do something to fix them but they can’t.  They can offer me advice but if I’d take it to God and let him have it—He would handle it.

How often are we like that with God?  We have our worries or habits that we hold onto.  They take up our time. They are our security blankets and we keep them close to us or bring them to God but won’t let Him take it.  We hold onto it firmly like the death grip my dog has on his ball.  When we decide to give them up or we can’t “find’ them, we come to God for love.  Unlike me, God never tires of us coming to him to sit on his lap, lay at  his feet and spend time with him.  I challenge you today to think about what habit or worry is occupying God’s time in your life and to bring it to him without the death grip.

During my time in God’s waiting room I’ve been learning this lesson.  Taking my worries to God.  With human eyes I should have tons of worries and be in a panic at home hiding under my blanket and crying but I keep casting my cares on him.  It doesn’t come easy, it is a conscious decision that I have to make daily to cast my cares on him.  I love though what this verse reminds me of.  He cares and watches over me.  Today I want to challenge you to drop the ball of your cares and worries in God’s lap and see how He will handle it.

Prayer:  God you tell me that I can bring all my cares, fears, worries, and concerns to you no matter how big or small they seem to me because you care for me affectionately and you watch over me.  I don’t have to worry unless I chose to so today I chose to NOT worry but to let you deal with it all. 

Thank you to Christy Dodd for giving us permission to repost her blog! Click Here to visit Christy’s blog: Lessons From God’s Waiting Room and read more.