Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Call for Healing and Hope and Affirming the Mission

I began my blog as a way to continue the healing process from my rape and to encourage others who need healing.  The life verse I’m claiming for Break of Dawn is Isaiah 58:8 and it says,  “Then your light will break forth like the dawn and your healing will quickly appear…”.  And, during the last couple of years of writing, I’ve posed the question several times:  what do we need healing from?  We need healing from our sins, our past hurts, our addictions.  We need healing from our thoughts, from the stresses of daily life or from physical problems such as cancer.  This verse starts with a conjunction, the word “then”, which means it ties together two parts.  Read Isaiah 58 and see if you can identify what verse 8 is tying together:

Isaiah 58

 “Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
    Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
    and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.
For day after day they seek me out;

    they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
    and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
    and seem eager for God to come near them.
‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
    ‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
    and you have not noticed?’

“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
    and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
    and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
    and expect your voice to be heard on high.
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
    only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
    and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
    a day acceptable to the Lord?

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,

    and your healing will quickly appear;

then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
    with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry

    and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
    and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
    Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
    and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
    and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
    and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the Lord,

    and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
    and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Did you catch it?  What is the word “then” tying together?  In short, this chapter is talking about proper fasting and turning from our wicked ways.  Then, our healing will quickly appear.  Here’s the reality:  Life is hard and full of adversity.  That adversity, no matter how big or small, can leave us with scars.  And, the farther we are from Christ, the bigger the scars and consequences.  It hurts when you have a gaping wound.  Don’t you want the healing touch that only Jesus can give?  Do you see your friends and family members who are in need of some hope?

For the past year, Billy Graham has been promoting a revival called “Hope for America”.  You can find out more information at  Even though this nation-wide movement concluded on Nov. 7th, you can still continue it.  Go to the website to order a FREE DVD where you can watch the sermon and learn how to evangelize to people right in your own neighborhood and family circle.  Because each and every day of our lives, we all need healing and hope.  Without sounding ungrateful or pessimistic, we need to get our heads out of the pit of denial about the state of this country and our state as humans.  WE-NEED-JESUS!  We need to admit that each and every day we deserve to die, to be sent straight to hell to live eternally separated from God.  The more we sugar-coat our sins (or in our minds the lack thereof), the farther away our healing gets.  We need to humble ourselves, fast and pray for a revival in our homes and this country.  Each generation grows farther and farther away from God.  Why are we as Christians, the lights of this world, sitting by and letting it happen?  Are you o.k. with your kids or grandkids growing up in a God-less country?  I’m not and I refuse to sit here and watch it happen because I’m too busy, too scared, too tired, or any other excuse we like to use!  Our mission field is great and includes our children, our spouses, our co-workers, our friends, our neighbors, and ALL people across the world.  In any given day, you have the opportunity to fill at least one person with the eternal hope of Christ!

Keep it simple:  Pray, fast, turn from your wicked ways.  Then, obey the command (commands aren't optional) Christ himself gave us in Matthew 28:  19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”


Thank you, Jesus!  Give me your healing.  Fill me with your hope.  Help me to share that hope with others.


God Bless,

Break of Dawn

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Being Different

If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, I’m still alive!  ;)  Life has been absolutely swamped since about mid-Jan.  I ended up taking a long-term substitute teaching job at our area high school in the English Department in Feb. and Mar. where I had the opportunity to teach 10th and 11th graders for six weeks.   About two weeks before it started and for about two weeks after it ended, I was immersed in pre- and –post work related to that position.  It was very intense and added a lot of insight into the world of fulltime teachers.  Each one of them deserves an award for the HOURS of work, both at school and after hours, that they put in to educate our children.  After my long-term job ended, it took me close to three weeks to “catch” up or for life to return to “normal”.  At the present moment, I’m finishing up my third year as a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Coordinator and then anticipating summer vacation.  Trust me – it can’t come soon enough!

As a result of that long-term sub job and the other commitments I’ve had this school-year, I haven’t been able to post on my blog as much as I normally would have.  My writing itch has been, well, itching and I can’t hold off any longer!

Since it’s been so long, I had to make the big decision of what I would write about after so many months of not posting.  I have several topics I plan on writing about, so you can look forward to those in the future. 

The other night, our sweet seven-year old girl, came to us at bedtime.  She had already been out at least five times.  You know the nights…  All you want to do is let your mind go blank and veg out on the couch and your dear little ones keep coming out with every excuse possible.  “Mommy, I’m thirsty”, “I need to go potty” {even though they just went ten minutes ago} “I can’t sleep” “Can you read me another story” and so on.  Our daughter has had years of sleeping issues, so we’re used to drawn-out bedtimes.  This night, however, I could tell something was different.  After the fifth time, I finally asked if something was bothering her.  She came over, knelt down on the floor, and said “Yes” in a soft voice. 

She proceeded to tell us that some of the girls at school were hurting her feelings. { Oh, sweet one, how I could relate!}   As we chatted and worked through her worries one by one, I could see the weight lifting.  After a moment of silence and, as I stroked her back, she added quietly that she didn’t like being “different”.  Hmmm…different…   Already we were dealing with the heaviness of noticing that she wasn’t acting the same way as her other classmates, reading the same books, watching the same movies, participating in the same activities.  She was different

Haven’t we all felt different at one time or another?!

The first weekend in March, I attended a wonderful conference called “Set Apart”.  The conference name speaks directly to the point I tried to make to our sweet one after her authentic confession.  As Christians, we’re SET APART.  We’re supposed to be different.  We shouldn’t be talking the same way as the world, acting the same way, doing the same things.  


“You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own.”

“Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself…”

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…”




We are SET APART and CHOSEN to shine as lights in this dark world!  Instead of feeling ashamed or beaten down, let’s embrace our uniqueness and bring glory to God!  Just like royalty act a certain way, we are called to act like the chosen sons and daughters of the King – princes and princesses – that we are!

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”


Until next time, God Bless!

Break of Dawn