Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Out with the old...In with the NEW!


This will be my last post of the old year. You know, that old tired, worn out 2008?

I plan on ringing in the New Year in worship. Our New Church has this service from 9-12am that will include worship and singing His praises and ringing in the New Year with the Glorious Lord as our initial benefactor of bringing in the New Year. If I don’t make it to the service, then I will surely be in prayer at midnight!

What better way to spend New Year’s Eve? In prior years, my days of drinking, I used to spend my night drinking and glorifying the evil bottle. Standing at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor awaiting the fireworks display although many were already going off in my head by that time.

What a difference Christ makes. After I became sober at 21, I began seeing a new LIGHT to my life and everything turned around for me. Sure the evil tried to attack and I did falter like any other human being, but not for long. Five years ago (almost six) I left the state of corruption that fed my insecurities. I found myself here in Dallas Texas where life took a quick uphill swing as soon as I arrived.

I lost a lot. A nice beautiful Cape Cod home, an awesome garden that wrapped around the entire house, I lost all of my ‘materials’ that I had gathered over, say, a 30-year period. And even my husband of twenty years was left to fend for himself. Was I sad? Sure, because my mother and the rest of my family was left behind in that warped place. Did I regret leaving? Not for a second. (Please note: It was an amicable separation.)

Since coming to Dallas, I’ve had a resurgence of Faith envelop me. I begged forgiveness, I sought solidarity, I fought off the corruption and now I find myself being carried in the Hands of God while we continue to grow together. What an awesome experience.

I share this with you, not to boast or judge any one of you but I just want you all to know it is possible to form a bond with the Living God and move forward in this crazy world in the Light of blessings.

My New Year will end in prayer and begin in prayer. It will not be spent with Satan at my lips or in my sight, or hanging in my ear. It will be a BLESSED New Year for my family and me and I wish the same for you, my friends who have endured my rants and ‘Spirit filled’ posts.


Happy New Year and MAY GOD BLESS YOU FRUITFULLY!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Branch~ Poetry Sunday


The Branch

I crawl out on the lonely branch,
that can't sustain my weight.
I try to creep so still in thought,
reflecting on my fate.

Up on top this tree so tall,
I find a quiet place.
Still are sounds that whistle through,
the leaves a patient pace.

What is this that breaks my thought,
I’m not alone any more?
The presence is surrounding me;
it haunts my very core.

No longer alone, my thirst is quenched,
my essence fed by might.
Surrounded by the stillness of,
the Radiant Branch of Light.



As I close out my year, I want you all to feel the Branch of Light shining into your lives. As we go out of this year and ring in a new one may you carry that Light throughout your journey!

My Christmas was wrought with blessings, as I didn’t think for a moment it would be otherwise. My son had a glorious day as well as Steven and I.


My 30 days of touching people will carry into 365 more days of touching others. It will never cease to stop. Today I heard testimonials of how everyone touched someone and whether they bought someone a cup of coffee, or treated someone who had no money, with money. My testimony is that it isn’t about money.


I liken myself to the Little Drummer Boy, “I have no gifts to give pah rum pah pum pum.” But what I did give was my heart and soul. Whether it was holding the door for someone, letting someone go in front of me, saying the words God Bless you to a stranger, or taking the message to a person in need. I gave what I had; the very light that shines forth from me, I shared!

Remember, the Little Drummer Boy had but a drum. What do YOU have to give?

Happy New Year!

And God Bless each and every one of my readers!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Thank You and God Bless


Three days left before the big day.

During this trying time in my life, I have been led down a crazy winding path. I have come out smiling with every twist and turn in the road. It’s not easy being over a thousand miles away from my family, especially during the Holiday’s, but I have found that my friends are just as important, even though I have not seen any of their faces before in person.

I know who my friends are as they’ve stood with me and endured my heartache. I’ve made new friends along the way that seem like a blessing from God. I’d like to thank Jason for visiting my blog and being a new friend in Christ that I know, maybe, I touch his heart as much as his site has touched mine.

I’d like to thank Benning and Gran because they are ever present in my life and ones who are not afraid to speak up and lend support.

Also I’d like to thank the quiet ones who send me emails telling me that everything will be all right and giving me a shoulder or at least an email to cry into if I want. Thank you Ricky! Thank you June!

And to the ones in the back reading my blog, you know who you are. The ones that are touched, and wishing they could do more but can’t. I thank you for reading. It means you care! It means the world to me.

I THANK THE LORD for calling me to my New Church. It has been a true blessing! One rich with growth and spiritual empowerment! And the new friends that I can see are overwhelmingly spectacular! Thank you, Pastor’s Don and Tim!

My hope is that all of you, my friends and follower's, get a message of Faith and Inspiration from my words. I pray that it leads you to look into your own lives and see where it is that you stand with the very Higher Power that created you. I know we don’t all believe in the same God and it is okay. (I am not here to judge.) Just as long as you know that there is something bigger and greater than this human form and that you worship until you feel moved into action!

Be kind to one person today. Buy a stranger a cup of coffee. Hold the door for the person behind you. Pay for the person behind you in the McDonalds drive-through. Pass along blessings freely! Just tell a person that God loves them and it could be the three words that change their life.

Make giving a way of life for you. Change the world one person at a time, then when YOU get to Heaven tell Him that Joni sent ya! O:-)

Have a Blessed Christmas Holiday. Find beauty in a smile. Treasure the life that you have been given and most of all have HOPE in a new tomorrow!


Godspeed friends!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Legend of St. Nicholas


***The Legend of Saint Nicholas***
*** *** ***
There he sat in a great big chair,
velvet red suit, snow-like hair.
Full of laughter, joy, and cheer;
once again that time of year.

"Mommy, mommy, who is he?"
Are words I longed to hear.
But what do you say to innocence,
to make the story clear?

Do I grant him imagination,
his mind set to explore?
Or thrust him into reality,
allowing his soul to soar?

I tell the story of Jesus,
His gracious, humble birth.
About how wise men brought Him gifts,
because He blessed this earth.

St. Nicholas too, was a humble man,
who loved all girls and boys.
He gave them joy and laughter,
by blessing them with toys.

His giving to children once a year,
to feel enormous pleasure.
Throughout eternity, each child will hold,
a day they'll always treasure.

Chosen was the day of our Lord,
I'm sure He wouldn't mind.
Sharing His appointed birthday,
with a man so warm and kind.

Jesus had inspired a man,
to lovingly care and give.
And through the spirit of both these men,
their memories will live.

So once a year, St. Nicholas' spirit,
dwells in the hearts of men.
Bringing imagination to life,
in any way he can.
***
Merry Christmas to all
and to all a goodnight!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

War of the Worlds!


By now you have all read my current struggles and the blessings that have come along with it. I’m here to tell you more. You know I’ve been to the welfare offices, the Assistance for the Blind, Christian Community in Action (CCA for short) and you should know by reading my previous posts, nothing came easy.

It is a week before Christmas and I held onto my faith knowing that God was going to give me Christmas blessings. Satan on every avenue tries to bring me down, but I’m a here as a testament of the Reigning King of Kings prevailing!

CCA is a community outreach program that helps the needy. When I went to them for food, I was told that I wasn’t ‘on their list’. Imagine being turned away at a food bank! Trudging back to the main office to ask WHY we weren’t on the list, we found that the ‘worker’ had made a mistake. We had our voucher and were placed on the list. The following week we didn’t need them any more because God saw to it that blessings of food were abundant for me.

CCA sent me a voucher for the Christmas toys a few weeks ago and the date was Thursday the 18th. Imagine my shock when a week before Christmas I had very little for my son’s Christmas and to be told, “You’re not on the list.” I had my card that they sent me with my name on it and after twenty minutes of watching a woman run back and forth to see why I wasn’t on the list, she came back with the “O.k. let her through.”

I was allowed $75 dollars. (Supposed to be $100, but I was definitely not complaining! Give me SOMEthing and I’ll be on my way.) I had received $60 for mentoring a writing course and believe me it helped immensely! I purchased SEVEN games for my sons Gamecube system! SEVEN! But I didn’t get him that ONE toy that he REALLY wanted.

You know how us parents are, we need to see our kid light up because of that one special toy that we get them. In my son’s case, he wanted a $20 Bakugan. A six-piece set that we had seen at Walmart but I couldn’t afford. When I got my $60, that is the first thing I sought out! Walmart was OUT. “Oh well,” I said to myself, “he’ll be happy with games.”

At the CCA I looked and looked at the toys. I saw a Bionicle, Lego star wars things and there it was after scanning the aisles twice and not seeing it, I came back and heard a voice, “This is for Adam.” Chills ran up my spine as I looked; lo and behold, the Bakugan six piece set!!! Talk about amazing! Needless to say the tears were ever present during this visit.

I walked out with an entire Christmas for my son! He will be the happiest kid on the block, and most appreciative because he knows what we’re going through. I then went to a thrift store, everything in the store was either .97 or $1.97. Wow! I struck gold! Me in a thrift store is like a kid in a candy factory!

I can spend hours and hours in Kohl’s or JCPenny’s and walk out with nothing in my hands, but take me in a thrift store, you’d think I won a million bucks! I spent twenty bucks and guess what? Joni is going to have a wonderful Christmas! I found for me a 21st Century, Webster’s International Encyclopedia 10 volume set! For $1.97! WOW! Joni the reader is happy! And Joni the Writer is gloriously happy!

I even bought a basket for my neighbor. I’m filling it with fruit and giving it to her and her two kids. (That’s another story) WHEW! I’m blessed!

Did you hear me? I’M BLESSED! :::shouting from the rooftops:::

This Christmas could just possibly turn out to be the most richly rewarding Christmas that I’ll ever have. Not because of gifts, but because of BLESSINGS! I know so many people are struggling right now and if they only held out the hope and belief in miracles, they would receive the blessings to make all their NEEDS be fulfilled! (Notice I said NEEDS not wants?)

My son, Adam Omega, who turns thirteen on December 27 will have a glorious Christmas AND birthday!


*ALLELUIA AMEN!*

Friday, December 19, 2008

Lead by Example


We lead by way of example.

At 21 when I gave up drugs and alcohol, I was setting an example to my older siblings. Go figure, the baby of the family had to lead them to the light. I have four brothers and a sister, who as you can imagine, all had drug and alcohol problems in one way, shape or form.

When I quit my nasty habits, I was revered as the different one. The miss priss of the family who wanted to change the world. Yes, I was laughed at and scoffed at. It didn’t gain me any respect in my family by quitting because it was saying to them, “Maybe you should quit too?” (I wasn't looking for respect either. I was only seeking God.)

I never ever pushed my beliefs on my family. I was bluntly honest and told them that God was leading me into a better direction for my life. Seeing me come out a changed person encouraged my one brother to join A.A., I was so proud of him. He never gave me credit for overcoming my obstacles without the aid and assistance of a support group, I had God and that was enough for me to get through those darkened days of withdrawal.

He believed that A.A. was the only way, and as the good sister that I am, I stood by and supported him on every triumph. He is sober now twenty years later. Then there was my sister and her husband. We were so close at one time and after I gave up the destructive habits, our friendship waned.

Years later, they too went to every A.A. group there was and found sobriety. Again, I was shunned because I didn’t do it the N.A. way, but I stood beside them too in all of their triumphs.

Slowly they all sought God. Was I the reason they all changed? I don’t know, but I do know that leading by example can cause others to want to follow so that they too can be a leader by example. I never wanted credit, I would have loved a pat on the back saying, "Good Job!" The Lord gave it to me in way of many blessings and that is certainly enough.

Out of my five elder siblings, only one is still an addict. He’s fifty-one years old and will still tell you that he doesn’t have a problem. Even after burning off one of his fingers in a drunken crack burning stupor, he continues to drink and medicate himself with Dr. prescribed hydrocodone. He watched his skin melt off, watched as the bone surfaced and realized his finger was gone. I thought for sure that would have made him see the light, but again, he says he doesn’t have a problem. Even my parents are alcohol free. (only because of medical problems, mind you.) God has a way of making you see the Light!

Leading by example doesn’t always cause people to follow. Sometimes they need the hand of God to reach down and touch their cheek and speak to them. That is what happened with me, I HAD MY EARS OPENED!

Be ready to listen because God does speak to you. So many people are hiding in the walls, the caves of denial that they can’t see any light shining in the one little opening.

Matt. 19: [24] And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

The road is hard, the road well traveled. Care not for your material possessions, just care and nurture your soul. It is by faith that you too will enter the kingdom of Heaven.


author's note:
The picture is from the Bigstock free photo
gallery.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Should I feel ashamed?


Should I be embarrassed? Should I feel ashamed?

Some people ask me how I can be so open and honest about my life. I tell them it is who I am. I am honest to a fault.

I feel no shame for who I am, I have come a long way in seeing to it that I turned out okay, and truth be told I was never alone in my journey.

I grew up with alcoholics for parents. We never said ‘I love you’ and I don’t remember too many hugs being shared unless one of my parents were drunk as drunks often feel the urge to give you a big ol’ hug. My family life was wrought with dysfunction. Yeah I know, I sometimes think dysfunction was the normal way of growing up. All those other people who had caring parents, loving families, they’re the rarity in life.

I was sexually abused, I was an alcoholic myself by the time I was 15, maybe even younger. If alcoholism constitutes a craving for the ever-bold drink (whiskey), then yeah I was an alcoholic at 15. A drug abuser too by the time I was seventeen. Pregnant at sixteen, married at seventeen. I lost my baby boy, Christopher, nine months into my pregnancy. Seven months later I found myself walking down the aisle to marry the guy I thought was going to take and ease all of my pains in life.

I was fifteen when I met him, 17 when I married him. We endured twenty years of marriage. A marriage where I was his substitute mother for all those years. He had been physically, mentally and emotionally abused as a child and never knew who his real father was. His mother had kept ‘the real father’ a secret, and took it to the grave with her four years ago. Isn’t it ironic how we are drawn to people who are most like us?

After leaving this plane of existence, dying of alcohol consumption at 20, I decided to take stock and look around at my life since I was being given the second chance. I gave up drugs and alcohol at 21 and by the GRACE of God,to this day I remain Clean and Sober!

So why am I telling you all of this? Because, it is my story. The weaving of a blanket lay over me and by telling people my story, maybe one of them can say, “Hey, I had it bad, but not that bad!” or maybe, “Where does that girl get her strength from?”

As my son would say (and many others,) here comes a Joni sermon.

I was raised Catholic. Imagine that. My parents wanted to give their six children the best education they possibly could, so they struggled to send each and every one of us to Catholic school. Imagine my father’s disappointment when I converted to Christianity at age fourteen.

Not that they were a religious family by any means but I found in Christianity a reason for living. I was now living for God and no one else. Everything that followed after was mere experience preparing me for the Heaven that was one day going to be open to me.

At twenty-one I struggled to stay alive. Materials were not something I craved and to this day, I don’t like shopping or diamonds or fancy anything! I look at it this way, I wasn’t born with holes in my ears, or red hair or brown hair so why would I change what God deemed perfect when He created me?

Did you know that God made each and every one of us perfect in His eyes? Well He did. That is the way I see you, as a perfect human being. We’re all alive and struggling to be the best we can be. Some of us wonder whom we’re trying to be our best for? We do it unconsciously! We’re trying to be perfect for our Creator that’s who.

Whether your God is the God of Abraham or the God of Buddha, we all try to aim our sights on perfection in our deity’s eyes.

To you I offer HOPE! The hope that you too can change and become perfect in the eyes of the one you believe in. Strive to be the best you can be not for yourself, but for the very Heaven that awaits your journey’s end.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A True Christmas Story


A True Christmas Story

A tale was told one Christmas eve,
tis' better to give than to receive.
But I have no gift, my pockets bare,
I am but a poet, my poem I'll share.
I rose from my bed on Christmas Day;
the sun was peeking down where I lay.
I crept down the stairs so I could see,
had Santa left gifts under my tree?
I wasn't surprised, left unamazed,
I stood at my empty tree and gazed.
No gifts to give, my heart did ache,
but I would go on for Christmas' sake.
I threw on my clothes, rushed out the door;
just what is all this excitement for?
I have no gifts to give to thee;
no presents were left beneath my tree.
So how can Christmas be happy and gay?
What is the secret that makes this day?
I swung open the door, to my surprise,
my family was sitting before my eyes.
Greetings exchanged, hugs of embrace,
smiles that lit the entire place.
"We're glad you're here, accept this gift,
maybe then your spirits will lift."
I saw in their eyes a special glow,
that sunk my heart, and let me know,
that they were giving with deepest love,
for God had signaled from above.
The spirit of Christmas is a radiant gleam,
that shines through the soul, in a warming beam.
I have felt that warmth throughout the year,
by spreading laughter, joy, and cheer.
But a chosen day was set aside,
for all of our arms to open wide.
So the gift I give has no ribbons or bows,
I'll give you peace that warms and glows.
I'll tell you I love you, I'll make you smile,
I'll see that your visit was worth the while.
I returned to my house, I plugged in my tree,
there sat a star gazing down at me.
I looked at the star with wondrous sight,
for God had appeared that Christmas night.
I was given the secret of Christmas Eve,
tis' better to give, than to receive.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

He Carries Me


HE Carries Me…

He carries me like a warm soft breeze,
over mountains and through the trees.
He carries me to sights unseen
To lofty places I’ve never been.
He carries me to arms off shore
Through tidal waves I’ve seen before
He carries me to helping hands
In that place I make my stance.
He carries me, my gift, my prize.
Sends me to so many lives.
He carries me on bended knee,
To plead my honor for all to see.
He carries me when I am low
With strength beyond a marveled show.
He carries me to aid the weak
He’s never far, when I seek.
He loves me more on earth and land
I’m not alone on shores I stand.
It is my Lord to whom I refer
For Him alone my dues incur.
He carries me to heavens above.
He is to me my one true love.
I never doubt, I never fear.
His love for me is crystal clear!


Friday, December 12, 2008

Positve+Positive=Positive


As all of my blog fans know by now, I’m a positive person. Not only do I look for the positive in everyone and everything I like to share the positive things with everyone in hopes that they believe in the power of positive thinking and it helps them in some way.

You also know that I’ve found a new church with a totally AWESOME pastor who is charming, delightful, spontaneous, wonderfully powerful, always a smile on his face, and always seen with a positive outlook on life. (And his son, also a minister of our new Church, is pretty cool too.) *Just in case he reads this by some small chance.

We’re doing this thing called ‘30 days, 30 people’ where thirty people raise their hands to volunteer to bless AT LEAST one person in thirty days. As you can imagine I jumped at the chance because I’m always sharing a blessing with someone along my way. Bless one person? I thought. I’ll do better than that, I’ll bless thirty people by the end of thirty days for sure!

My son told me, “That’ll be easy for you mom, you bless everybody all the time, and not just when they sneeze.” It is so cool knowing I have that positive impact on my son.

My first blessing/sharing came in the way of a young girl at the welfare office. I am not a frequent flyer of the office myself so I don’t know much about it, but I found out that you need to take a number as soon as you walk into the place and you are called by numbers.

We stood for four hours the first time, only to have the ‘worker’ call us by name, not number. The young girl was six months pregnant, shy and timid, and maybe twenty years old if she was lucky. Young and alone. First we stood next to each other when she couldn’t stand much longer she took a seat, I too needed a seat so we three (my son, Steven and myself) all found a seat as the crowd thinned out.

I gave her my number. She looked shocked because by giving her my number it was placing her hours and hours ahead of being called upon. After my name was called and we were heading out the door, she whispered, “Thank you.” I replied, “God Bless you!”

She looked like she needed to hear that. Not only in a time of loneliness but a time where everyone is out for themselves, I put someone else before me. What is also amazing is that people open up to you after you bless them.

It is my nature!

The next time we went I immediately grabbed a number. This time a young couple with a baby came in and sat next to us. We had been there for three hours and they were there about an hour. I gave the father my number when the mother had stepped outside. (It can get very crowded in that place.) I saw that the number was next to be called. I went outside and waved to her to come inside because she was up next.

She said, “My number is twenty away from being called.” In welfare numbers twenty away means another four hours. I told her, “I gave you my number. God Bless you today and always.” We went back into the office and sure enough she was called. Her jaw sat opened and she was in awe. “We’re not from here, and this is our first time to the office. We sat here five hours yesterday when we finally had to leave.” She said. “Thank you so much. Thank you.” I think she said it five more times before she left and her husband smiled and said it too, and the baby, well the little guy just smiled like he already knew that he was blessed.

Do you realize that every time that you bless someone it comes back to you in a positive way? We, as a family, continue to be blessed and I feel in my heart it is because when I give freely of myself, my time, my everything that I am being blessed without even knowing it.

If everyone knew this secret to happiness what kind of world would this be? Can you imagine everyone blessing everyone? Sacrificing little pieces of themselves for someone else’s happiness? Taking a positive, giving a positive and getting a positive returned? Wow! I’ve struck gold! I’m rich beyond belief.

Do I sit on a mound of money, possessing all the material things that life has to offer? No, I don’t want that. I just need enough to keep food on my plate, a roof over my head, and my inner circle surrounded in LOVE! I HAVE THAT! AND MORE!!! God is my gold, supplying all that I need.

To you, my friends, I give my blessing, number umpteen hundred of the year!

God Bless you Friends! One and all!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Day the Earth Stood Still


“You’re Fired!”

Yup, those were the words that stopped me in my tracks and kept the Earth from moving on its axis. After working with the well-known Parcel Company for seven years, those were the words that Steven heard. On the very day he had an eye Doctor’s appointment no less.

We cancelled the appointment and feared what was going to happen in the way of insurance. Steve, as he’s known to most, is not only totally blind in one eye, the failing cornea transplant in his left eye is causing him almost total blindness; he also suffers with Asthma, skin conditions, and Allergies. Eye infection after eye infection is brutally attacking his eyes.

“We’re going to be hit hard!”

FAITH! KEEP THE FAITH!

We went to the eye doctor, told her of our dilemma and being the GREAT doctor that she is, she didn’t charge us one cent for the visit, or the next four or five for that matter. The medication for his eye runs $100 dollars and after three months our funds were being depleted by medication. Asthma medication can not be lived without, eyesight cannot go unattended by a practitioner.

As December rolled around we had spent well over $800 dollars in medication in a three-month time. He applied for Medicaid back in October and as expected it was taking forever. Imagine not knowing if you’re going to be given the medication to make your constricting air passages flow freely.

FAITH!

Walking the path of faith, we trudged into December, still wearing my armor as always, I knew things were going to be all right. I had a powerful Church to attend, I had the Lord raining constant blessings on me, why would He quit now?

After receiving news that the Social Security benefits were going to be given, (a miracle remember?) we received info a week ago that Medicaid was going to go through too! WOW! It was listed as activated as of October 1st, when he applied.

Raining Blessings!

Do you know what that meant? That not only will he be able to get his Asthma medication AND his eye medication, we could possibly be reimbursed for the money spent from October 1st on medications! Working with Walmart and CVS pharmacies was not difficult at all. I feel that they have the PATIENTS interest at heart when they do all the endless calling to the State, faxing and communication.

It is like money is drizzling down on us. I feel as though I’ve been caught in a tornado and all of the debris is money swirling around my head. And don’t you worry, what God is giving us, we are giving back to Him in the way of tithing! When you forget about your own situation for a moment, sacrifice that one- dollar, five-dollars, twenty-dollars it comes flying back to you multiplied!

Even when we had nothing we tithed. It is our duty to give back what is given to us. As the blessings fall from the sky, (almost literally! I saw a shooting star last night that would knock your socks off!) I know we don’t give to receive. I’ve given lots of times of myself and never received monetary reward. (Always a blessing though) :-)

Do I do it for monetary reward? Absolutely NOT! I do it because I’m a passionate person who loves life and will continue to give until the very day… the Earth stands still!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Day the Earth Moved...me


It’s kind of an amazing tale. You see, when the Pastor of our old church led me to have doubts in my own faith, God just happened to have another church waiting in the wings to lift me up. The New Church, visits our apartment complex every other week. My son is known and liked by all of the adults running the program including the Pastor. They have games and prizes and they also minister the word of God.

My son was bored at our old church, and my fiance went to ‘support’ me in my need to feel God closer to me, instead of just sitting in my room reading the Bible. This New Church had a Halloween party for the kids that I gladly took my son to, so he wouldn’t be running the streets begging for candy. They had games and prizes and I myself even enjoyed playing the games and tossing a wet sponge at the Pastor’s face. Yeah, he was an active participant in the games.

Halloween was on a Friday, and that very Sunday we decided to attend the New Church. I never once told them of our situation, but somehow they sensed our need to be filled with the Spirit. The next day, my fiance found out that he was approved his social security disability. As his blindness creeps closer to total blindness we are being blessed in numerous ways.

When two weeks of non-attendance at our ‘old’ church arrived, the pastor finally called and asked if we were okay? I tried so hard to tell him that we weren’t, something had been draining my faith and hope. I told him that we were attending a New Church and it was being replenished. The Blood of Christ was pouring through my veins and hope and faith were swiftly returning just by attending TWO weeks at the New Church.

His silence said a mouthful. He was disappointed that we were attending a different church when the way he sees it is that his church tried to help in every way they could. I told him how happy my son was sitting through a two- hour sermon! HAPPY! Imagine YOUR kid sitting there tapping his feet to the music, listening to the sermon and leaving the service asking if we could go back.

The pastor, maybe unintentionally, was trying to drain my hope and faith again. He said, “It sounds like you’re letting your son make the decision for you, where you attend church. So often I have seen that backfire.”

After I closed my gaping mouth. I replied, “It’s a family decision. We need to be filled with the love of God. We need to feel His power and we NEED His Blessings to rain down on us. We may visit your church once again but right now during this hard and difficult road we’re traveling, we need to be lifted up in His Spirit.”

I hung up the phone after he told me that his church was my church too and that they hoped for my families retur; we said our good-byes.

My eyes unleashed a rupture of tears. They streamed down my cheek in a fluid stream. I clenched my stomach as I felt I had done something terribly wrong. My heart ached for the first time in two weeks. The one man I trusted to instill faith, was robbing me of all of this recent return of joy.

A friend told me, “The Minister was wrong in his response. He should have been delighted that you were looking out for your son’s happiness.” My friend also told me that he felt I did the right thing. Comfort from a dear friend in my time of need, even though he sits what seems like a million miles away.

The New Church was the right decision for my family! I feel like God was looking out for me way back in September. That He knew the old church was draining my strong faith. Not only do I have faith in God, but He has faith in me too!

Many blessings continue to flourish before me and if I keep them all to myself then I’m not sharing how great He can be!

to be continued…

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

As Christmas Day Draws Near...


I will return to my writing blog in three weeks. If you wish to continue with me for the next three weeks, I'll be sharing the Season of Christmas JOY! ~Joni

As Christmas Day draws near…

As the Christmas holidays draw near everyone’s trimming the tree; mistletoe and holly adorn the doorways; the scent of pine lingers throughout. The Holidays have officially arrived.

I’m associated with a writing site and by all accounts my friends see me with a happy-go-lucky attitude and an air of peace and tranquility. It’s amazing what a screen can keep away from even your closest of friends.

Would they know that on the other side of the screen sits a woman, who in the past three months has stood in line at the overflowing food pantry? Would they even suspect that my fiance has lost his job due to some technical ‘rule’ that was broken giving his company the opportunity to deny him all unemployment and insurance benefits? Does the company know they fired a blind man?

Do my friends know that the welfare lines are as long as the pantry lines? Are they so involved with their daily lives that they never get a glimpse of the reality that hangs in the balance before them?

I know when I turned to my family (except for my parents and my fianc├ęs mother) I was turned out cold. No one could help or even lend a twenty-dollar bill to get milk. No communication, no nothing.

I turned to my church and the pastor stole my hope. He said that Social Security was more than likely (except for a miracle) going to be denied my fiance. The man is blind and he’s going to be denied? “Get a lawyer,” he tells us.” He sent me to the Pantry, said that the church would help with whatever they didn’t, and it turned out the Christian Community group was only willing to help with 200 dollars of an eight hundred dollar rent payment. The church paid the rest but when asked for help with the telephone, Internet, electric, necessities to make it another month, we were denied, PARENTS helped!

I pleaded with the Church and the C.C. to understand my predicament. I’m a writer. Not a Stephen King- I- make millions writer, but a WRITER who has worked five years on this dream.(Twenty years if you count the years I couldn’t ‘pursue’ it.) I was told to get a ‘real’ job. A real job in an economy where there are NO JOBS.

By November, I was ready to be scared and fearful for what the holidays would bring, but I had my faith clutched in my hand and held close to my heart. I wore a shield of armor, and as many sit there thinking the same thing everyone else thinks, “That faith of yours isn’t going to buy you food and keep a roof over your head.”

I’m here to tell you that my faith has done THAT and MORE! My November & December rent is paid, I have food in abundance, my Internet (and writing) is still moving forward, my bills are paid and my son, my fiance, and I might just have a Christmas after all!

You might ask what Christmas day will hold for me? Is my January rent paid, bills etc. and I will tell you that only the Lord knows what Christmas day will hold. Should I tremble in fear at the empty tree? Should I quiver wondering where any funds are going to come from? I will boldly tell you that believing in God is more than mere lip service you pay. FAITH is walking with God, trusting in Him completely. I will hold my head high in the Glory of Faith!

When you can be broken to shards and put yourself back together, that is Faith carrying you. If you remain broken, it is because your lips move but God can’t hear what you’re saying. Talking the talk and walking the walk are two totally different things.

May God Bless you as you walk beside Him. May you find the season wrought with joy and harmony. May you find happiness in the miracles. He has faith in you, why not have FAITH in him? If you are blind, may the miracle of Christmas allow you to SEE!

continued tomorrow...

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Poetry Sunday ~ What is Love, Comfortably Me


What Is Love?

All rights reserved: copyright © Joni Zipp
There's more to love than meets the eye.
Give it wings and it will fly.
Sow it in the richest soil,
a tree burst forth with little toil.

Hold it in the palm of your hand,
mold it, shape it so it will stand.
Drop it in the widest sea;
it will flow through you and me.

Make it an instrument and it creates song,
carry you gently your whole life long.
Release it to the fragrant air;
surely it finds a heart to snare.

Give it freely, if for no reason.
It takes the form of the changing season.
Breathe it in and it will seep,
into your soul for you to keep.


Plant it firmly within your heart,
the seed of love will never part.




Comfortably Me
All rights reserved: copyright © Joni ZippAmber beauty or so I am told.
Brazen brilliance; blatantly bold.
Winsome and witty, cautiously carefree.
An astounding vessel for none to see.

Embedded in the embryo of time.
Richly rooted in rhythm and rhyme.
Often listed as strangely weird.
Life’s complexity creatively seared.

Whisked into a whimsical tomb.
Daunting spirits frequently loom.
Captured in a subtle seed.
Lost amid humility’s deed.

Scattered along the ocean floor,
There I lay an unopened door.
Gracefully flowing in the rhapsody of sea;
my shell is my own, I'm comfortably me.


Copyright ©Joni Zipp

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Call for Submissions!


What God Has Done For Me…

I’m going a little off topic here for a book I’m comprising. It’s a book of testimonials of what God has done for me. But not just for me, for each and every one of you who read this and is moved enough to tell me what God has done for you.

God has been so good to me lately I know that it is not just me who He has been good to. We’re going through a dark and dismal time in our point in history and I know from the very depths of my being I am not alone. He is carrying me through this time, as I know He is carrying you too.

May you look at every day as an opportunity for God to work through you and for you. Tell me your story. Not a full length 15000 word story, maybe 1500 words will give me an idea of the difference His power has had in your life. Maybe there is someone who is/was lacking in faith and He touched you in a way that made you jump up and say, “That was God touching me.” I want to hear/read your story. Send it to my email in the form of an email (no attachments will be acknowledged) to: jonismuse-gmail.com

To be honest, God has done so many things in my life that I’m writing my memoirs so you can see how He has worked throughout my entire life. But for this particular book my most recent testament of faith will be in the book.

You don’t have to be a writer to tell me your story. You don’t need to be a grammar pro for me to read your tale. Just tell me in 1500 words or less what God has done for you recently that made your faith even stronger than it already was.

I prefer recent stories because this will be an ongoing project assuming I don’t get enough replies. But again, God will move you to write and it will be through His power that your story reaches me. I will do all I can to get our stories out to the world so that everyone can be touched by the power of God, one person at a time.

Submission guidelines: 1500 words or less in the body of an email

No attachments accepted (they will be instantly deleted and go unread)

SHOW the word count in the subject box

The subject box will read: What God Has Done For Me wc: 1500

Please place your name, email, the date sent and the date your testimony of faith happened.

Ex:
Angel Summer
angelalways-yahoo.com
11-25-05
Testimony: 1-01-08 (or anytime after that)


It’s all very simple. I will only pick the most awe-inspiring stories and hopefully there will be so many stories that there will be many sequels to come.

Angel Always…Godspeed my friend

Silent Protocol

Silent Protocol
Angel Always...godspeed

Sunshine Award

Sunshine award