God’s Hands, Heart, Eyes, Voice and Feet

“It’s so amazing to be loved. I’ll follow you to the moon and the stars above.”

3The words to this song came to mind as a man I interviewed yesterday walked in today for a second one with the client/company he would work for. He exuded confidence, spoke well, and although he had faced numerous obstacles to reach his interview the day before, he called to keep me informed of his status. He was determined to make it, so I kept changing my calendar to accommodate his late arrival.

Why would the words of Luther Vandross’ song “So Amazing” come to mind, you ask? Well, I believe it has all to do with the closet prayer this morning. I asked for God’s heart, eyes and words.

He let me see past the man’s repeat wardrobe and where he lived. God nudged me to ask this man’s story. After interview, I listened as he shared about his dreams for his family and future. I hired him, and so did the company. Outer appearance didn’t hold this man back because God said, “YES.”

God madly loves and pursues of each of us. We have the responsibility to respond as stated in Revelation 3:20. “Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.”

Heavenly Father, thank you for all you give me and allow me to give to others. But more importantly, thank you for living in me and letting me be your arms, voice, eyes and heart. Amen.

Starlet

“Do it scared” Part II

funeralLast week’s post ended with my visit to the bedside of a friend’s sick brother.

Shortly after the encounter, my friend called crying. Her brother had passed. She said her family wanted me to perform the funeral service. What? Huh? I told her I would definitely ‘be’ at the funeral. She said, “My mom wants you to officiate.” Wow. I said “OK” but got off the phone in shock.

Officiate? What does that look like and how do pastors prepare? Don’t you have to know the person in order to give a eulogy? I couldn’t share any funny stories or anything about him. I called my brother who is a pastor. He let me talk about fears and excuses, and he gave me guidance, assurance and scriptures for the ashes to ashes, dust to dust part of a funeral. He listened, I calmed down and he said I would be just fine. I prayed, sweated and knew Jesus had to be lifted up.

The day of the funeral dawned cold. I packed toys and books for my son and off to the mortuary we went. Yes, my stomach churned as we arrived. Walking in the door, I heard “There she is; we can start.” Secretly, I had hoped that in arriving a few minutes late I would find someone else officiating, like the funeral home people. Man, I love God! He will have you follow through with your assignment. I settled Brandon in a pew with his things to occupy himself. I had note cards to help me. Showtime.

Everyone came in and took their seats. The family sat behind a curtain to my right. Butterflies fluttered in my stomach as I set aside my note cards, looked straight into the people’s eyes and spoke from my heart. Even now, I am transported back to that room. I shared about my time with their loved one and my confidence that he stood in Heaven, reminding them that they too could join him one day if they choose to follow the Savior, and they didn’t need to wait till they their deathbeds to decide.

At the end, a few people came up and said good job. Thank God that part of the assignment was finished. We all rode to the cemetery, I said a short prayer at the graveside and dismissed the people. The family of my friend’s brother was pleased with the service. Wow, the things I have lived through. God is so good.

What is God calling you to do? Go out and do it, even if it scares you.

Starlet

Do It Scared Pt 1

doitscared1

Starlet Ware on Encouragement and Prayer

And regarding the question friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer.  First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word.  Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.  I Thessalonians 4:13-14 (MSG)

Wonderful verse to cling to when love ones step over into the presence of God and see Jesus face to face.  It has been stated my response is sometimes quite different than others in the faith.  The focus of funerals seems to have changed from sadness to home going celebrations.  It is now; “Let’s celebrate my loved one is at home!”  Yes, we will miss them but we will be there soon enough so we will keep living until we die (as opposed to being alive but walking around as though we’re dead)!

Do you find yourself in the “I can’t go on because my loved one isn’t here” or “I will live till I’m called home?”  Let me hear from you.  My brother says I am his emotional sister so there is a heart in my chest cavity.  Both categories have held my attention.  Tears have rolled for near strangers when their relationship with Jesus wasn’t clear.  I know only God knows their heart and knows if they repented just before that last breath.

Years ago, a friend’s brother was on his death bed.  She kept me informed of his progress.  One night, she called really late.  She was crying and could hardly speak because her brother had taken a turn for the worse.  I asked if I could come see him because she wasn’t sure if he knew Christ.  She said yes but warned me he wasn’t able to speak.  Praying occurred letting God know I was going even though afraid since evangelizing skills were lacking.  This young soldier prepared a list of verses from the Roman road, verses that tell of God’s love, repenting and then accepting Jesus prayer.

Armed but quaking inside, I walked in the house.  It was quiet.  She introduced her family and then led me to her brother’s room.  His room was dark and quiet.  Memory fails if she left the room or not because prayer was on the mind.  I introduced myself to him, asked if he wanted to see Jesus when he breathed his last breathe and instructed him to roll his eyes back and forth for ‘yes’ and no movement for ‘no.’  Not sure he could hear me, I kept talking, asking questions, reading scripture and praying.  I was so nervous.

Thank you God, his eyes shifted when I asked if he accepted Jesus in his heart.  Hallelujah!  I squeezed his hand, prayed out loud and I left.  In the car, emotions came flooding through, excited, unsure and thankful I had obeyed God to go in the first place.  He will be in Heaven.

Tune in next week for the rest of the story.  Father God, thank you for allowing me to be in your plans.  What a blessing you are.  You are awesome, worthy, confident and sure.  Bless each reader and let them do what you ask of them whether they are confident in it or afraid.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

Justified=Just As If I Never Sinned

Starletjustified Ware Encouragement and Prayer

 At church a few Sundays ago, a man was ready to pray and he asked the question “do you know you are justified?”  He went on to define it: ‘just as if you never sinned?  He kept repeating the question and definition.  I was able to hear it over and over and ask myself: do you know this?

I have heard it before.  I accept it as truth (head) but do I believe it in my heart?  I am mulling it over and pondering.  While I was sitting at church, I prayed: “Father, I know it is true, help my unbelief.”

My transparent moment is I am working on living as if I believe completely that I am justified.  I thank God for his word especially in Romans because these verses made sense as to why I can believe.

Romans 3:24

Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Romans 3:28

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Romans 4:2

If Abraham was justified by works, he has something to brag about—but not before God.

Romans 5:1

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ

Romans 8:30

And those He predestined, He also called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.

I pray you are encouraged like I am and use the verses to remind you of God’s marvelous love and grace.

There Is Something Valuable In The Dirt

Starlet Ware Encouragement and Prayerdirt dont hurt

In Genesis 2:7, it is written: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”  Everything else in creation was spoken into existence.  We were formed, touched by God’s own hands and brought into existence and he ‘breathed’ life into us.

From the beginning of time, God had a plan for dirt.  How amazing.  He saw the value in the dirt for me and you.  Isn’t that an ego boost?  It is for me.  Wow!  Never take that lightly.  You are worthy, special, somebody!  You were thought of, brought about, valued and wanted.  Hallelujah and thank you God!

The situation that brought the value in dirt to mind went this way: A friend was looking for a deep freezer. I had one in my basement. I offered it to him. His dad, a friend and he came to pick it up. Once it was removed, I was sweeping the area and my eye caught a wonderful sight, my long ago lost earring my husband had given me one year for my birthday. I picked up the earring. It was broken. I kept sweeping as I looked for the other piece. It was there shining up at me. I picked it up and placed it in my pocket. I was so excited. I put the two pieces back together and will drop it at the jewelers to look them over as my husband purchased insurance on them. The lesson that came to mind was: “there is something valuable in the dirt.”

“Just because we were formed from dirt, doesn’t mean we were created to be walked on. ‘Shine’ on loved one so your value is seen and felt.”

 

My Son

Starlet Ware Encouragement and PrayerNovember 2014 Downloads 041

I believe God gave me the absolutely best Son ever!  He has always been very independent, sensitive, stubborn, flexible, quiet, smart and good humored.  There were times when he was younger that I felt like I was getting it all wrong due to words that were spoken to me.  I let those words crush me until a school teacher spoke encouraging words to me that canceled out the previous negative words.  I thank God I love to learn and apply what I learn.  I also tell everyone what I learn.  I believe my Brandon listens and applies what he learns as well.

My Brandon isn’t perfect, but he is perfect for our family.  I love him so much.  Sometimes I don’t believe I was so blessed to be his mom.  He is a college student studying Culinary Science.  He is such a studious young man.  He rooms with 3 other guys and he is the ‘mature’ one.  I have to giggle when he tells me about some of the things that bother him because they are the things that drove me up the wall when he was home.  I am so proud to say this 21 year old MAN has been doing his own laundry, cooking for himself and cleaning up after himself for many years.  Hallelujah!

For a few years, my Brandon didn’t like his mother or at least that is how it felt.  I chalk that up to him searching for his way in the world.  I kept talking to him and most of the time, he listened respectfully.  He was in charge of checking our mail while we were on our cruise.  When he came over after we returned, he stayed and chatted with me about school, his graduation date, finances and his current classes.  I enjoyed our conversation very much.

My sweet, little boy is now a handsome, grown man!

God gave me his very best!  What else would he give since He “gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16.

Cruise Control

cruisecontrolWhat comes to mind when you ready the words “Cruise Control?”  Two completely different scenarios came to my mind.

First, I am so excited to be writing.  I had been cruising along life ‘wishing’ and talking about wanting to be a writer.  One day, I received an email from a friend who knew nothing about my desire to write.  Her email asked if I had ever considered writing.  I answered with a resounding ‘yes, only for the last 20+ years!’  She gave me details of the requirements like the deadlines and monthly topics and here I am a few months into my journey and I love her, this opportunity, and the satisfaction of encouraging others.

Although writing is exactly what I’ve wanted to do, I got into ‘cruise control mode’ after only a couple months.  I blamed ‘too many things on my plate,’ but laziness and lack of focus are the real deal.  I had to squash my excuses in order to be an encouragement to others!  Dream big!  Get your dreams out of the trash.  When I have failed and missed deadlines, my writing mentor has encouraged me by extending my deadline.  I thank God she is supportive,forgiving, and easy to work with.

Second and last was an actual ‘cruise’ that came to mind. I wanted to go with my husband so I booked the cruise in April and reserved our flights in May (2014). We wen on the cruise in January 2015 (last month)! It was so good to be on “cruise control” those five days and four nights. What a fabulous crew to take charge and allow us to be in ‘cruise control.’ I highly recommend going and letting someone else take care of you for a few days.

Cruise control can hinder/stop you or inspire/propel you forward.  I choose the latter.  How about you?

Starlet

 

Someday, I Will…

“Someday, I will go on a cruise/travel, go to school, get out of school; learn to paint/cook/skate/write/ride a bike.  Someday, I will learn to read my Bible for understanding.  Someday, I will get a different job.  Someday, I will quit this job that is killing me and start my own business.”

What is your “someday” excuse?  Each of us has one (two or more) or had one or more before we made the decision to go for it or as Nike says: Just Do It!

It has taken me a long time to ‘decide’ to go ahead and do the things I have held myself back from doing.  I took swim lessons in 2014 after years of saying “I will learn to swim someday.”  I also said I wanted to travel.  I found a company that allows me to travel with great prices and destinations.  The personal development allowed me to leave a job I was unfulfilled in for several years.  A year ago, 2014, I left that and haven’t missed it.

What encourages me to keep going after what I want is the growth and freedom I feel due to making the decision to go for it.  It’s a beautiful feeling to live what God promised in the verse: “A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.”  John 10:10

Please don’t read into this and think that all is roses and skipping through the sun-filled fields.  There are thorns and dung in the fields, but keep your goals in mind and remember yet another promise from God: “Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Your someday may just be today…

Starlet

Who Are You Following?

whoareyoufollowing2The Cross before me, still I will follow. The Cross before, still I will follow. No turning back. No turning back.

I had a really stressful day today! I wanted to turn and run but I stood firm, fought the tears back, stiffened shoulders and all. I made it through my day, work finished. I walked out the building headed to the bus stop, looked for my bus pass, had to turn back around, go back in my building. Thank God I had dropped the bus pass in my office. That does it! I got home and I had powdered donuts and milk for dinner and cereal for dessert! Please don’t tell my husband. LOL

Tomorrow, I will go back to work with more vigor in my step and determination in my heart because Jesus is before, behind and on the sides of me. Who are you choosing to follow today?

John 14:6 says “Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No goes to the Father except through me.”

John 15:15 says “I am the vine. You are the branches. Those who live in me while I live in them will produce a lot of fruit. But you can’t produce anything without me.”

I want nothing if Jesus isn’t up in and all through it! Be blessed young people. Choose Christ and shower those around you with his love.

Starlet

 

For the “if” in Life

I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, until he please.

Song of Solomon 8:4

fortheifinlife copy

Situation #1

I know a couple who dated quite a few years. She was a virgin when they married. They have been married several years but now she wonders “what if” I would have dated more than one person. What if I would have traveled like I wanted? What if I would have followed my past dreams ? Would I have married him? I am bored, depressed, sick and tired of arguing about being bored.

Situation #2

I told you all about my virginity being stripped away from me. I have ‘wondered’ if I would have waited till marriage to have sex. I’d like to think I would because sex was really the furthest thing from my mind all the way through high school. (OK, except the thought that went through my mind when I had my first French kiss. In my mind I asked, “If I have this much energy from a kiss, what kind of energy would sex give me?”)

You likely know of several other examples from family, friends, or your own story. Here is what I want to get across. God commanded that we not fornicate (sex without marriage/as singles) or commit adultery (sex outside of marriage). Since he said it, it is for our own good. He isn’t trying to stifle our ‘fun.’ He does want to save us the heartache that comes with premarital or extra-marital relations.

Let’s start this New Year out with pure hearts, minds, actions and goals. Some of mine are to be more like Christ and to do what he has called me to do in word and deed. I will be quicker to obey Him and follow after Him harder. What about you? Don’t fool me now. Write out your goals and dreams and make sure they are what He desires for you and go hard after them.

Till we meet again,

Starlet

 

Multi-Tasking or Distracting

MultiTaskingorDistractingI used to be able to multi-task so very well. No one could tell me any differently either.

The definition of multitask is: to work at several different tasks simultaneously according to Definition.com. I can now admit that I am not the best at multi-tasking but I can be distracted from the task at hand with the best of them. Since starting to write today, I have gotten hungry numerous times, I have started a few loads of laundry and I have talked to my husband who asks “aren’t you supposed to be writing?” Well, yes, yes I am.

Definition.com defines distraction as that which distracts, divides the attention, or prevents concentration.

It may be because I am older and ‘slower’ (no children in the home so not moving at wharp speed) or because I am older and ‘wiser’ (I will go with this explanation) and know I am not doing each of the things very well if I am not giving it my full attention.

Either way, all the things I have to get done need to be done with care and accuracy. I like to do my assignments well. I am a wife, mother, daughter, writer, teacher, business owner, employee (when I take short-term temporary assignments), sister, aunt, friend, great listener and wise counsel.

I look at that list of what I do and I am like, wow, I didn’t even realize I was juggling all those roles. I’ve gotten so accustomed to doing what needs to be done next. Whew, I want to take time and thank God for the things He has entrusted to my care. Without him, I would be overwhelmed. Due to Him, I am not overwhelmed unless I am distracted for too long and the deadline(s) arrives. I then, am rushing to decide/think of a relevant topic, formulate the story in my mind so it comes forth down my arms, through my fingers to the awaiting blank page.

Loved one, don’t be distracted by all you have to get done or get to do.

Pray, prioritize, praise and enjoy the process!

Starlet

Christmas Time Trial (continued final)

warefamily in2008As I mentioned at the end of last week’s article, George and I argued about how the other was ‘handling’ the stress of our baby’s diagnosis. It was a very stressful time in our marriage. I may not recall exactly what we did for Christmas that year but with Brandon in the home for Christmas, my regular way to celebrate with him was to have him read Luke 2, Jesus announcement of birth and the Shepherds arriving.

After reading the verses, he would open one gift on Christmas Eve and the rest Christmas day. I remember trying to keep peace around him so as not to stress him out.

George and I grieved and processed separately. I remember being on my own to pray, cry, process. A friend of mine was very near death during December and when I got word he was in his last few moments, I remember asking if I could come over and see him. I wasn’t allowed to because his family didn’t want anyone to see him looking so bad. I was devastated because my thought was to go over and send a message through him to God asking him to save Miles. I cried good and long for not being able to get that message to this man’s ear to take with him to Heaven. I knew I was praying and lots of others were praying but I still wanted to get the message to God through one of his mighty warriors. My friend died in December 2007 and my Miles was born in January 2008.

My scheduled date came, January 23, 2008. I was induced. We waited and waited. I don’t dilate much so we had to do a C-section. We had a room full of people waiting anxiously. My sister and Mom were among them. Friends brought my Brandon from school to the hospital.

Miles Ethan Ware made his debut at 9:41 AM. He lived a little less than two hours. He was loved by many in his life, my prayer is he drew many to Jesus his loving Savior!

God bless you this Christmas May you seek goodness in all your days!
 
Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.
Starlet

Christmas Time Trial (continued)

Last week, I talked about our high risk pregnancy where we were asked if we wanted to carry our baby  to term or have an abortion. We, of course, chose to carry to term because this little life had a chance so long as God was on his throne and we prayed and had others praying in agreement with us.

babyangelAfter the doctor’s appointment was over, I went back to work and sent an update email letting everyone know how to pray specifically for us and our baby. The response was so encouraging and amazing. People forwarded my emails on to their praying friends and family and sent up prayers on our behalf. I was so thankful we were covered with prayers because my George was having a really, tough time dealing because he blamed himself for the diagnosis.

He felt like his choices were the cause of our baby’s health issues. Isn’t that what we do? We do have consequences for our sins but I don’t believe we are powerful enough to cause sickness in an unborn.

Ezekiel 18:20

The person who sins is the one who will die. A son won’t suffer punishment for the father’s iniquity, and a father won’t suffer punishment for the son’s iniquity. The righteousness of the righteous person will be on him, and the wickedness of the wicked person will be on him.

As our pregnancy continued, we had many debates, arguments because George thought I wasn’t ‘sad’ enough and he felt since I already had a child, I wasn’t really concerned. I would explain over and over that I had put Miles into God’s hands and whatever the outcome was, it would be OK with me. I did pray a lot during this time that God would allow a miracle so the doctor who didn’t know him would witness the miracle and accept Jesus.

Hang in there with me, I will tell the rest of the story next week.

God’s ways are higher than our ways and He is in heaven doing what He wants to do,
Starlet

Christmas Time Trial

I have had wonderful Christmas seasons and some not so wonderful. I recall a time 6 years ago, I was around 8 month’s pregnant (due in January 2008) with my husband’s first baby. We were informed at our 20 week ultrasound that our baby was a boy. However, the ultrasound holdingbaby1technician hurried out of the room and when she came back, we were told we had an appointment set for that afternoon at a High Risk Pregnancy Doctor’s office. We asked why and we were told the doctor would inform us once there and he had a chance to look at the ultrasound.

I went back to work, sent out a mass email for prayers and then George and I went to our 1 PM appointment. Dr. T (not his real name) looked over my records and me and informed us our child had a lethal diagnosis: Trisomy 18. He also had Diaphragmatic Hernia, which would require surgery at birth if he lived. What a shock to our ‘happy 20th week appointment to discover the gender of our baby.’ As we absorbed all this information, the doctor discussed our options. We could continue the pregnancy or have an abortion.

What? Abort? My brain may have been fuzzy thinking over all the things they had told us but I was definitely certain abortion would NEVER be the answer. Our answer was absolutely and emphatically NO to aborting. We chose to let him have all the days of life God chose to give him even if it was only through the pregnancy.

Next week, I will continue our journey through our high risk pregnancy. “Even in the midst of bad news, there are always reasons to be grateful.” Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of the Messiah, to which you were also called in one body, control your hearts.

Be grateful,
Starlet

Thankful God Loves Me Enough to Trust Me

Today, as I received my voting ballot, the man said “you are so joyful.” I thanked him. The lady next to him complimented my outfit. She said “your colors go together so well. You look so nice.” I thanked her. After voting, I handed my ballot to the same lady. I said goodbye to both of them and as I walked away, they were both smiling and he said, “not too many are so …” I didn’t catch the rest but I choose to believe it was another positive compliment.

Now, sitting here working, my lovely friend sends me a text saying “I know you will like this.” (see picture) I not only like it. I LOVE it! Thank you God for shining through me!starletwarepicfornov2014article

Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

I sent “God’s got us ladies even when I’m flailing all about. :~)” to a couple sisters this morning. I absolutely love God and thank him ever so much for KNOWING, LOVING, CARING, PAYING ATTENTION TO ME and allowing me to be a participant in his plans to help encourage ‘my neighbors.’ He is giving me the desire of my heart. I have prayed “Lord, please let me be sweet.” I never thought it possible because I have such a deep voice, but God!

Since he wasn’t afraid to use ordinary, tossed aside, outcast people in the Bible, I won’t be afraid to let him use me in this current day where ever He chooses. Are you willing to allow him to live and shine through you?

“Some days are better than expected and other days are worse than expected, but God is consistent and loving through them all.”
Starlet