Fight For Your Right to Love

Fight with love.

Words can either speak life, or words can speak death. As a matter of fact, Proverbs 12:18 puts it this way, “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” The stakes are high. Our tongues can build others up while administering great comfort, or they can tear them down while igniting grievous wars.

As an inspired Christian writer, I love to learn the meaning of words and of course the most powerful of all words, the word of God. As a Teacher/Catechist, I write to share what I have learned and experienced in hopes that it may be applied in a helpful way. Like every noteworthy boxer, behind him stands a great boxing coach. The boxer’s training is crucial to his success, while he maintains a balanced diet, time for adequate rest, and education; together they work towards the same purpose. In an even more extraordinary and vigorous way, the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity (The Holy Spirit) stands beside us; filling us with unlimited teachings, rest, recovery and wisdom. While we are living our lives training to be all that we are created to be, prayer (Conversation with God) and studying His word (the Holy Bible) we find a new strength to fight for our right to love, all by God’s powerful grace.

Note: God created man in His own image… Though our color, mindset and personal attributes may differ, if our skin were punctured, we would all bleed the same. In that same way, it was by the blood of Jesus Christ that we have received the greatest gift of all. Truth, sacrifice, passion and love came through one God in the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, giving us the opportunity and privilege to become one with Him and each other.

We belong to a living God. An all powerful God, an awesome God who is filled with love, compassion, patience and wants us to partake in just that. The Scriptures are given to us to lend a helping hand by those who walked before us; teaching on what to look out for and how to achieve a successful outcome in any situation. Our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being is a priority in God’s Word, and He will give us His strong arm, to see it through. 

Here are some of those treasures found in the Word of God that not only educate us, but give us the tools needed to fight better:

  • “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
  • “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
  • “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:16-18

May we be like the well-watered garden which thrives because the roots are firmly planted in God’s love. I once heard this pearl of wisdom. I hope it opens your eyes and gives you the desire to fight back with the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit:

“Satan was going out of business, all his tools were up for sale, what an array, hatred, envy, jealousy, pride, and one tool priced much higher and more worn out than all the rest. When asked what this tool was, it was said ‘discouragement’ and when asked why is it priced so much higher than all the rest. Satan replied, “because it’s more valuable to me than all the rest.”

Whether it’s personal, or in our relationships, in our families or in our world, Jesus came to save. It is not always easy, with the different lives we lead and the different circumstances. Yet, no matter how tough the battle, our God will bring us through it and the celebration will be grand. Our God is closer than the breath we breathe and here to pick us up, restore us, cleanse us, break us free of the chains of all deception and bring us back to His loving arms. It’s time to fight for what is true, honorable, right and pure… such things should be thought about, talked about and declared. Christianity is not a one-man show, God has included all of us in His Divine plan!

Let your ears listen to wisdom. Apply your heart to understanding. Call out for the ability to be wise. Cry out for understanding.” Proverbs 2:2-3

For the battles we face are real and very active. No one knows more about our situation than our God. I Thank God everyday that through His magnificent love and faithfulness the punches are thrown for us. Pray For The Ones You Love, is a song that I have written about God’s healing power and redemptive love:

PRAY FOR THE ONES YOU LOVE

Brother, brother, brother – why are you doing this to me, I believed in you – now I sit here helplessly. You told me to take a hit, it would surely do me good. Now, my life is ruined and I miss the neighborhood. This jail cell is cold and I can’t believe what I’ve done. What am I going to do, my life had just begun.

Sister, sister, sister – why are you doing this to me, you told me to share my body with everyone that wanted to see. Now I hold this baby as we sit here on the street. I can’t afford to feed him, and I’m not sure who his Daddy could be.

Mother, mother, mother – why are you doing this to me, you gave me up, I was not your priority. Your life meant more to you than holding me in your arms. I sit here feeling so lonely, I don’t know where I belong.

Father, father, father – why are you doing this to me. I trusted you as I sit here anxiously. You said you’d be at my game, but I heard you were with another. I saw the tears in mothers’ eyes. Father don’t you love us.

Child, child, child – listen to me. The world can be so crazy if we don’t know who to seek. We can’t keep blaming everyone for how we feel, we need to call on Jesus. He will show us what’s real. He will take our sorrows, and our burdens too. All we have to do is call out and He will see us through. All our weaknesses He will turn into strength. All our sadness is a stepping stone to help bring comfort to someone else. All our troubles, He will teach us something new; all our emptiness He will make us feel full. Don’t you worry, He’s got you in His hand. Just call on Him, He is the living “I AM”.

Child, child, child – I promise you, He will show you right from wrong – repent of your sins and pray for the ones you love.

A teacher is not so much responsible for what our students know, but more so for the seeds we plant to help them grow.

Father in the Name of Jesus, by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit, be with us, direct our path, fill us with the riches of Your grace, transform our mind with a healthy balance that is good for our body and soul. Guide us with Your gracious love, that we may press forward to being all that You created us to be. In Your Holy Name we pray… Amen
Sweet blessings always,

Deanna Danielle

Deannadanielle.com 

“May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it, and may you be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” (Ephesians 3:16, NLT)

The Bridge Called, ‘How’

Warning: This bridge has the capability to bring out the best in us, or knock us to the ground!

Since ‘How‘ is a question concerning the way or manner in which something is done or achieved, I believe it’s a word worth looking into. ‘How‘ is the bridge to questions getting answered. It can challenge us to identify new problems, lead us to research further, or to connect in a new way. What lies on the other end of this bridge called, ‘How‘ is determined by the way we view it. From new opportunities to fear, knowledge to despair, this most commonly used word is a powerful asset to our next steps. Simple yet influential this three letter word, can change the course of life for one, or for all.

“What makes you come alive?.. Go and do it!” These are the words that came to me, accompanied by the thoughts of a friend and her concerns for her son. “How can I help him?” she asked. That evening during prayer, her words echoed once again. This time, the word, ‘How‘ triggered my curiosity even further. Contemplating its meaning, I decided to look up its definition and connection. What I found was that this most often used word is action-packed in a way that it has not only changed the way people live, but has also assisted in changing the course of history!

For example:

George Washington Carver an agricultural scientist and inventor who developed hundreds of helpful products using peanuts, sweet potatoes and soybeans had a great interest in knowing ‘How. His pursuit in this innovative word, led him with zeal to a path of writing down his findings in agricultural bulletins such as “How to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways of Preparing it For Human Consumption” along with many other ‘How‘ to do it, journal entries. From a heart for helping others, to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, with faith and prayer, George Washington Carver, integrated ‘How‘ into his life and that ripple effect has inspired and educated the lives of many.

Mary was a 1st century Galilean Jewish woman of Nazareth, the wife of Joseph and, the virgin mother of Jesus, who’s attentiveness to ‘How‘ lead her becoming the Mother of God. “Greetings, favored one. The Lord is with you…” These are the words the angel spoke to Mary, followed by ‘how‘ she would bring forth a son, and that, “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.” Mary responded with, “How can this be, seeing I am a virgin?…” God had a plan and Mary had an important role to play in the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Mary’s “‘How‘ lead to God’s invitation conveyed by the angel (Luke 1:26-38). Mary’s role as mother of God places her in a unique position in God’s redemptive plan. The greatest rescue story of all time started with love, truth and Mary’s determination to know ‘How‘, this changing the course of history and assisting in saving the world and that includes you and me!

How?’ For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life! (John 3:16)

So, what are your goals, your dreams, your aspirations? Come alive and go and do it! Just remember to start with this awesome privilege and gift we all have, and that is to carry everything to God in prayer.

A few fun facts about the word ‘how’:

  1. It’s worth 9 points in the Scrabble game
  2. It’s the Native American greeting
  3. It’s a question word that can be an adjective, a noun, a conjunction or an adverb
  4. It’s a unique member of ‘The 7 club’ Who, What, Where, Why, When, Whom, ‘How
  5. It’s good at making friends, knowhow, however, somehow, nohow, anyhow, howsoever, howdy…

A teacher is not so much responsible for what our students know, but more so for the seeds we plant to help them grow.

Father in the Name of Jesus, by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit, be with us, direct our path, fill us with the riches of Your grace, transform our mind with a healthy balance that is good for our body and soul. Guide us with Your gracious love, that we may press forward to being all that You created us to be. In Your Holy Name we pray… Amen

Sweet blessings always,

Deanna Danielle

Deannadanielle.com 

Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life.
 Proverbs 19:20

Linked Together

Aside

Have you ever felt the rain?

When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. [John 5:6-9]

Whether we are struggling mentally, physically, emotionally or spiritually, Jesus comes to us with the same question, “Do you want to get well?” As the man with the condition was called to action, so are we.

This week in class I spoke with my students about the reason for the season of Lent and the many treasures that are found in the Scriptures. With strips of paper, tape and a pen, we linked together a chain of H.O.P.E, reminding us to Help One Person Everyday. Through this activity we learned what our very own call to action is. That prayer, fasting, and almsgiving offers us all a very special opportunity to grow in our relationship with God and that the love, mercy, kindness and healing touch of Jesus can work in and through us.

For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the Name of God’s One and Only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God. [John 3:16-21]

God is calling us in a very special way to receive His incredible gift this Easter. His love is like gentle rain, bringing a multitude of benefits and opportunity for us to grow and learn in many different areas of our lives. This creating reason to feel better about ourselves, along with the strength needed to reach out and help others, while intimately connecting with our God who created us and cares so much about us. This truth is found in the Cross. After all, it truly wasn’t the nails that kept Him there, it was the eternal love He has for you, me and everybody.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. [2 Corinthians 13:14]

A teacher is not so much responsible for what our students know, but more so for the seeds we plant to help them grow.

Father in the Name of Jesus, by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit, be with us, direct our path, fill us with the riches of Your grace, transform our mind with a healthy balance that is good for our body and soul. Guide us with Your gracious love, that we may press forward to being all that You created us to be. In Your Holy Name we pray… Amen

Sweet blessings always,

Deanna Danielle

Deannadanielle.com 

James 1:17: “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Good Timing

Have you considered this moment?

Before making a decision or reaching a conclusion, there is often much to think about. Good timing works best when motivated through the joy of learning. To give this thought a kick-start, I’d like to share a story that I once heard in reference to an annual lumberjack competition. The competition took place between an older experienced lumberjack and a strong fellow about twenty years his junior. The rules of the competition were simple, the two lumberjacks would be sent into the woods and the one who could cut the most trees down in eight hours would be the winner.

The younger lumberjack was full of enthusiasm and went off into the woods and started cutting trees immediately. He worked all through the day, barely taking time to catch his breath or to grab some food and water. He felt confident because he could hear noise from the older fellow occasionally stop. The younger lumberjack naturally assumed the older guy was taking breaks because of his age and lesser strength. He was confident his youth and stamina would win him the competition. When the final whistle blew, the younger lumberjack felt confident he had won as he looked out over the piles of trees he had cut. He made his way over to the podium for the medal ceremony and climbed to the platform confident of his victory. The older fellow was there, actually looking much less tired than he did. When it was time to announce the winner, the younger lumberjack was waiting to hear his name, but was devastated when the older man was declared the winner. The younger man turned to the winner and asked, “How can this be? I heard you taking breaks every hour while I worked continuously. I am younger, fitter, and stronger than you. How could you possibly have beat me?” The older man smiled and said, “Son, I was not stopping to rest. I was stopping to sharpen my saw.”

The moral of the story, is to never neglect the time and effort necessary for due diligence before action. Prayer, study, research, preparation, are all imperitive steps before rushing into something just because it feels good. Whether it’s in our relationships, personally, or professionally, to act without consideration could be all it takes, to lose it all. A woodsman once said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” One in the same, some things do need our immediate action, but when we have a foundation of knowledge to act on, it is as if our axe has already been sharpened and is waiting to be used. The future is in front of us, however, it’s not only being supported by what’s under it, but also by what is behind it.

Life is a process, nonetheless, the present moment is so very important. It’s a good time to recognize that how we choose to live will affect those here with us, as well as the generations to come. Praise be to God, who loves us so much that He takes the time to help us and to be with us. Praise be to God whose hand is held out to care for us, protect us, teach and guide us, even when we are too busy to notice…

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the Name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” [Colossians 3:17]

As Learning is also a process, let’s consider the moment. May we give all the glory, honor and praise to God. For it is by His grace, that we can embrace and enjoy more of this life that He has given to us, and that’s through the good times, difficult, and the ones that seem very ordinary.

A teacher is not so much responsible for what our students know, but more so for the seeds we plant to help them grow.

Father in the Name of Jesus, by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit, be with us, direct our path, fill us with the riches of Your grace, transform our mind with a healthy balance that is good for our body and soul. Guide us with Your gracious love, that we may press forward to being all that You created us to be. In Your Holy Name we pray… Amen

Sweet blessings always,

Deanna Danielle

Deannadanielle.com

Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you & teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”
An oldie but goodie ~ 201 boulevard 6t grade trailer 2010 ~ Song Dave Pettigrew – With My Faith https://davepettigrew.net/worship/

God’s Love In The Streets

Have you ever made a decision that changed your entire life?

As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.  “Come, follow Me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to become fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed Him.” Mark 1:16–18 Their lives would never be the same again…The right questions tied together with the right responses, ignite a beautiful symphony of action, hope, healing and love.

For our learning experience this week in class, we did something awesome. We created a fish that was capable of both giving and receiving God’s love, the same way we as humans can give and receive God’s love. All it took; one blue solo cup for the body, some white construction paper for the eyes and tail, a few markers, a little bit of string, and we were ready. Once our fish were created we were ready to become not only fishermen, but also fishers of men.

My third-grade class looked at me puzzled. They didn’t understand what being “fishers of men” had meant… yet! I had them picture us going down to the water, baiting the hook and casting out the line so that we could catch some fish. Then I asked them what it would look like if we were to become fishers of men.

To be a fisher of men:

  1. First, we have to receive God’s incredible love for us. I picked up some foam figures of baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and shared with my students the Christmas story. After I told them the story, I placed the Holy Family figures into the mouth of the cup to show them how the Christmas story now lives within us. Now, we can share that story with others, or in other words, cast our line. Holding the fish cup that contained the story of Jesus birth and the love of Mary and Joseph, I cast out my line. I asked my students to pretend as though they were the fish that got hooked. With that I reeled them in. We shared a good laugh as they “swam” up to their webcams so that all I could see was their eyes.
  2. God can draw others closer to Himself when evidence of His presence shows in and through us. Stating a fact, I let my class know that God had a great plan and a purpose for each one of them and how special and wonderful they were made in His image. All they had to do was cast the line, God will reel the right people in when the time is right.
  3. Our response is important because it’s life changing. As I watched their eyes widen, I knew they now contained the treasure of understanding what it meant to be fishers of men. Not only do teachers play a critical part in the lives of their students, I am realizing more and more that students also play a major part in many hallmark moments for a teacher.

As we dive into Scripture, we can find a treasure of wealth. Through the stories of fish and fishermen there is bountiful food for our souls. From feeding the hungry to sharing God’s love in the streets… discussing how we can become fishers of men with my ready and waiting third-graders, I saw them grow eager to go out and cast their lines.

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 19:14]

To accept this invitation of God’s grace and mercy, is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding responsibilities we will ever have in life. It consists of making the world, here and now, a better place. It also allows us the grace and privilege of setting up a strong foundation for the next generation to soar freely and that they may love and serve our God Most High.

As for everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears My words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” [Luke 6:46-49]

A teacher is not so much responsible for what our students know, but more so for the seeds we plant to help them grow.

Father in the Name of Jesus, by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit, be with us, direct our path, fill us with the riches of Your grace, transform our mind with a healthy balance that is good for our body and soul. Guide us with Your gracious love, that we may press forward to being all that You created us to be. In Your Holy Name we pray… Amen

Sweet blessings always,

Deanna Danielle

Deannadanielle.com

While walking with my grandson, I noticed a heart shaped figure in the road. In that moment, I felt a great sense of joy and comfort in the little reminder of ,God’s Love in the streets… Where ever we are in life, we can be assured that our Lord God is always there with us!

Writing Your Story 2021

Stories come out of living the life we have been given and sharing that personal account with others.

When it comes to knowledge, we can’t offer more than we have. Nonetheless, it is imperative to share what we can when it comes to the gift of understanding. I learned this as I entered the confessional. In sharing what was in my heart, the priest sitting on the other side of the divided screen offered these words of wisdom, “What you have is not for you alone, but meant to be shared with others.” At first, I did not understand what he meant. Yet, as I walked out the door with the blue sky above my head, I could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit fill me with utterance and discernment, as those fifteen words replayed in my brain. This giving me the clarity… my joy in life comes from serving others.

There are open doors and opportunities all around us, through the means of communication, to deliver all that God has entrusted us with. As Johannes Gutenberg, a German goldsmith, was given the knowledge to bring us the printing press and Alexander Graham Bell a Scottish-born inventor, scientist, and engineer, delivered the gift of the telephone or Lawrence Gilman Roberts an American engineer who came through with the Internet; It was Mary a first-century Galilean Jewish woman of Nazareth, the wife of Joseph, who opened the door and gracefully gave birth to our Lord and Savior Jesus, our only true Connection with God.

What is God calling you to do? I may not know what it is, but I do know it is important. From the very beginning when He created this world, He had a plan. God’s Word is a reminder and comforter to this truth. Here are just five Bible verses that prove God’s love for us and that He has a great plan for this life that He has given to us.

  1. Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” [Jeremiah 1:5]
  2. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” [Luke 12:7]
  3. “From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.” [Acts 17:26]
  4. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” [Jeremiah 29:11]
  5. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,” [2 Timothy 1:9]

The next step is up to us. Writing Your Story 2021, is more important than ever. The call to take what we have been given and share it with others is so important. As God does not force Himself on our right to choose, it is my prayer that in our time together God would give us clarity, hope and inspirational-motivation. May we take charge of this life God has given to us with our own God- given gifts and circumstances and unique stories and use them to serve and bless others. May God’s grace enlighten us to be more empowered to move in the directions we may have otherwise avoided or didn’t think possible.

“May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you His favor and give you His peace.” [Numbers 6:24-26]

A teacher is not so much responsible for what our students know, but more so for the seeds we plant to help them grow.

Father in the Name of Jesus, by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit, be with us, direct our path, fill us with the riches of Your grace, transform our mind with a healthy balance that is good for our body and soul. Guide us with Your gracious love, that we may press forward to being all that You created us to be. In Your Holy Name we pray… Amen

Sweet blessings in 2021 and always,

Deanna Danielle

Deannadanielle.com

Immaculate Heart of Mary ~ The Gift of Christmas ~ IHM Premiere *

Autumn Rain

What a beautiful sound.

In a season that calls us to reflect on the things we are grateful for, we sometimes need an important reminder to help us do just that; to make known our gratitude. So let me start by saying, I’m so grateful for YOU! God made you so very special and here are just a few scriptures to prove just that:

  1. God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. [Genesis 1:27]
  2. The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life. [Job 33:4]
  3. For You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb. [Psalm 139:13]

I am grateful for the Bible, it truly is my daily bread. The word of God is living truth. “It is able to quicken and make alive.” I know this for a fact, because I’ve experienced it first hand. When we understand something through personal experience, it takes the matter from the mind and places it ever so gently in the heart. God is always with us and it is so important that we talk to Him on a daily basis through our thoughts and prayers. As we reach out to God we experience the grace of His love for us and for others and with that we should always give thanks.

I am grateful for the privilege to teach. Just as the Autumn rain fills the Earth and provides the moisture trees and plants need to stay alive, a teacher is graced to share the peace, harmony and truth that our God so desires for us to have as His children. Jesus teaches us to respect each other, so that we experience His glorious rain of blessings.

The best thing about thankfulness is that the more we choose to use it, the easier it gets. This Thanksgiving season, let’s not miss out on all the love that our God desires to shower us with. Let us start taking care of each other with words of encouragement and forgiveness so that we may be a clear vessel in which God’s gracious love can flow. Jesus is peace, He is our everlasting Father and He is knocking on our door this season to share the most beautiful melody we will ever hear. Let us stop what we are doing and let Him in for that thanksgiving meal! May our wonderful Lord, bless you and your family by the power of the Holy Spirit! For nothing can compare to peace one feels in the presence of our God. 

What a beautiful sound, “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol Him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods”. [Psalm 95:1-3]

What are you thankful for?

A teacher is not so much responsible for what our students know, but more so for the seeds we plant to help them grow.

Father in the Name of Jesus, by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit, be with us, direct our path, fill us with the riches of Your grace, transform our mind with a healthy balance that is good for our body and soul. Guide us with Your gracious love, that we may press forward to being all that You created us to be. In Your Holy Name we pray… Amen

Sweet blessings always,

Deanna Danielle

Deannadanielle.com

“I always thank my God for you because of His grace given you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Corinthians 1:4
“And now we thank You, our God, and praise Your glorious Name.” 1 Chronicles 29:13

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Encouraged.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” asked my junior high school counselor, as we pieced together my high school schedule. You see, I was my own kind of Amelia Bedelia, struggling to learn, with no talent whatsoever and fearful of my own shadow. After pondering the direction of my future for a few seconds, I responded, “I’d like to be kindergarten teacher.” With a respectful smile, he replied, “I don’t recommend that for you. You don’t like school and teaching means you would need further education. I don’t see you doing that.” Eager to know his thoughts, I replied, “What do you think I should do?” “Do what your mom does” he said, and that afternoon, I watched carefully as my mom cut and styled her client’s hair. Clueless yet curious, thoughts of, “The apple never falls far from the tree” came to mind. After telling my mom about my conversation with my counselor, she blessed me with words of wisdom, “If this is what you want to do, then I want you to get a job this summer in a salon to make sure it’s right for you…”

In sharing this story, many people are offended by my counselors dispirit. However, to me his recommendation was a truly valuable puzzle piece to my life. Like an angel in disguise, he helped guide me to dig deeper into becoming all that I was created to be. We all have a purpose in life and God gives us exactly what we need in order to accomplish all that we are called to do. We may not always hear what we want to hear, or get what we want when we want it, nevertheless, the direction we take with what we have been given is up to us. For me, it wasn’t that I couldn’t be a teacher; it just wasn’t a good fit at that time. Truthfully, styling hair has been a tremendous gift to me. 

Life doesn’t always do what we want it to do, but it is comforting to know that God’s love remains steadfast for each and every one of us everyday. We don’t need to lose faith when we see others receive answers to their prayers, while we feel like we haven’t yet received our own blessings. We can rest assured knowing that our time is coming, and when it hits the ground, the earth will feel it. My mom recently shared with me this motivational story:

An elephant and a dog became pregnant at the same time. Three months down the line, the dog gave birth to six puppies. Six months later the dog was pregnant again, and nine months on it gave birth to another dozen puppies. The pattern continued. On the 18th month the dog approached the elephant questioning: “Are you sure that you are pregnant? We became pregnant on the same date. I have given birth three times to a dozen puppies and they are now grown to become big dogs, yet you are still pregnant. What’s going on? The elephant replied: “There is something I want you to understand. What I am carrying is not a puppy but an elephant. I only give birth to one in two years. When my baby hits the ground, the earth feels it. When my baby crosses the road, human beings stop and watch in admiration. What I carry draws attention. What I’m carrying is mighty and great!”

The key to mighty and great in the word of God simply teaches us that God is our Hero. The question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is an on going question, that continues to grow within us no matter how old we may be. As I look back over the years, I can appreciate God’s intimate love in the details of all things. Our path is designed by God and bound to be glorious if we are willing to follow Him. Everyday is a stepping-stone of grace to use as a tool to move forward in the grand puzzle of life.

Be encouraged and committed as you take bold steps and healthy risks. Remember, without the struggle, it’s difficult to find your strength. While serving others, we will see more clearly the bigger picture. At the same time, recognize the little blessing that come to us daily. “Say your prayers” were the closing words my Dad would speak as he hit the light switch after tucking us into bed every night. Years later, I am still praying. It gives me great pleasure to share the word and love of God with others. As a catechist (teacher of the principles of Christian faith) my prayer for everyone I meet is to come to know and feel the love of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who traded it all in for the Cross; giving His life as a sacrifice to set us free from the spiritual chains of slavery that trap us in a web of confusion, addiction and sin. The Bible is filled with so many treasures and tools. The Word of God is our sword and shield as we all travel or wander like a pilgrim on this journey through life. Here are a few scriptures to ponder:

“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. [Luke 16:10]

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. [Hebrews 13:2]

A teacher is not so much responsible for what our students know, but more so for the seeds we plant to help them grow.

Father in the Name of Jesus, by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit, be with us, direct our path, fill us with the riches of Your grace, transform our mind with a healthy balance that is good for our body and soul. Guide us with Your gracious love, that we may press forward to being all that You created us to be. In Your Holy Name we pray… Amen

Sweet blessings always,

Deanna Danielle

Deannadanielle.com

Michael’s hands: My 3rd grade student 2020-2021

Taking Chances

Delivering our services to the world

Made in the image of God, Adam and Eve had remarkable freedom and premier careers. To begin with, they were the first parents of the human race, they held the possession of chief caretakers, zoologists, and gardeners, just to mention a few… God did not put Adam and Eve on the earth and then form it. It was quite the opposite; our Loving Creator prepared the place and then put them in it to enjoy it!

God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, does the same for each and every one of us. Fear of the unknown can have the greatest grip on our lives. Still, we can take comfort in this Psalm of David, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for He founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in His Holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior.” [Psalm 24:1-5] God will fulfill every purpose He has for us, still our choices and actions are indeed important.

In the early years of 1995 as the beautiful fall foliage covered the landscapes and crisp November fragrances filled the air, my husband and I moved our growing family from a co-op, to the top floor of an apartment building. A few weeks prior I had gone with my Dad to see his friend about a temporary place to stay, as we searched for a more permanent home to raise our children. The next thing I knew, it was ours. I was speechless but not so much in a good way. I started having nightmares. To me, 8H seemed as though the “H” stood for Hell and the 8 was way too high. After all, I had lived in a house up until I was married and our co-op was a walk-in duplex. Living in a building was new to me. I had these visions of getting stuck in the elevator with the kids, the structure collapsing, you name it. Little did I know that this top floor apartment was a gift from God to me and my family.

Shortly after moving in, the elevator did break down and for a short while we had to climb 8 flights of steps – 2 young boys, a baby in a carrier, laundry, shopping bags… Wherever there was a place on me to hang something, I did! It became routine, as we’d approach the 6th floor, my boys always a flight ahead looking down the stairs at me, saying “Come on Mom, come on.” I could only laugh, because the weight hanging from me would not allow my brain to signal my legs to lift up to the next step. But somehow, we always made it to the top and when we got there, the 8th floor, I must say it was well worth it, simply breath-taking. There was peace there as it overlooked the Long Island Sound and we could see the bridge to Manhattan as well as up toward Connecticut. Higher than the birds flew our living room windows held a different abstract everyday and during our daughter’s a.m. feeding we could capture the sunrise – like a burst of flame scoring through the sky. Although 8H carried its challenges, God had put us in an awesome place.

One morning as my husband and the boys’ were out of the apartment and our baby girl was napping, there was a strong desire inside of me to pick up the Bible. As I began to read while facing the east on an incredibly clear skied day, I noticed that everyone in the Bible that loved God had given their lives to Him. With a very nervous feeling within me, I quickly stood up and prayed this prayer to God. “I love you so much; but I can’t give my life to you right now. I can’t die, my children need me...” That’s when a gentle whisper of God’s Holy Spirit filled me with these words, “You won’t die, give your life to Me and you will live!” At that very moment the fear in me disappeared, and with a overwhelming sense of joy, I responded, “Well then, I give my life to You!” I remember feeling this sensation of completeness. Helen Keller, said it so well, “The best and most beautiful things could never be seen nor touched only felt with the heart”. What had happened to me at that moment was something between God and me. As if a shade that was covering up my eyes, had been lifted up. The beauty in that experience can never truly be described and at that very moment I knew apartment 8H was meant to be. Only now the ‘H’ was Heaven to me!

There is so much room in our lives for improvement. Taking chances, healthy chances, plays a great part in the process of delivering our services to the world. I heard what God was saying to me that day and He clarified His intentions. All it took was a little bit of prayer and understanding was granted. Only through the Holy Spirit of God could we understand. Just as a hole in the sand can be filled with a taste of the ocean, the ocean is way too big for the hole to consume it all, and in just that way God gives us enough of Himself to be filled with His awesome love, direction and plan.

Hallmark moments from a gentle lullaby to the wedding ceremony; happy events to the last dance, faith helps us to see things as God does. The desire for God is written in the Human Heart. What we allow to feed our mind and our soul has just as much worth if not more than the things we feed our bodies. Through the lives of others we learn how and how not to live. There is pricelessness in the gift of listening and communing with the Lord. Take a look at the life of Moses for confirmation.

Moses Led a Nation because He kept His eyes on God. Jethro, his father-in-law, gave him some constructive criticism in Exodus 18:13-26. But it was up to Moses to receive it. Moses from morning till night listened to a people lined up with arguments and complaints against each other. Jethro asked Moses, “Why are you trying to do this all alone, this is not good,” he exclaimed. “You are going to wear yourself out and the people too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself. Now let me give you a word of advice….” How did Moses feel after a long day of complaints and now his father-in-law is telling him how he thinks he should be doing things, that he got it all wrong. Well, this would all have to depend on Moses attitude. The blessing God gave to Jethro to give to Moses could have been hindered if he, ‘Moses’ thought I’m the one with the gift, not you, after all was it not I who saw the burning bush, led these people out of Israel, parted the sea and now you’re telling me what I should be doing. No, Moses had a different approach. He listened to the advice to see if there was a better way and in his listening, he heard the sound of music, great advice and a weight off his shoulders. A way to bless others, how to delegate and form a better government. And I’m sure a peace in his soul and the joy of getting it all started.

God has given us all the gift of life, how we use that gift is truly the gift we give back to Him. There are some many encouraging stories in the Bible that leave us with understanding for times when in need. Healthy risks, opportunities and taking chances bless us. It’s the open doors we go through to experience the journey that Our Creator has prepared for us and knowing, whatever the outcome of that journey, we will not be walking it alone. It’s knowing the guarantee and security of when this lifetime is over we will be spending our eternity with the One who Created us and everything around us, in us and for us. God did not put Adam and Eve in an unprepared place, and through the different journeys we take that never seem to succeed, with God we are guaranteed stronger character building, inner strength, patience, greater endurance, more confidence and an education, “no money could ever buy.” Success is not measured by the amount of things we have. True success is the amount of valuable time we spend with Our Creator, allowing Our God to be part of our every thought, our every move, our every breath. We don’t have to go very far to find Him, He is as close as the breath we breathe, we only have to let Him in, He’s been waiting. Our God is a kind, loving and patient God who cares about our every move, we are His mosaics. The fear of the Lord is where true success begins.

John the Baptist, who was at this time in prison, heard about all the things the Messiah was doing. So he sent his disciples to ask Jesus, “are you really the Messiah we’ve been waiting for, or should we keep looking for someone else?” Jesus told them, “go back to John and tell him about what you have heard and seen – the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. And tell him, God blesses those who are not offended by Me.” [Matthew 11:2-6]

As we read and learn about things like this in the Bible, you can’t help but to fall in love with Jesus.

Jesus said, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke fits perfectly, and My burden is light.” [Matthew 11:28]

Our God is merciful, tender-loving, loyal, unchanging, and undenying – He loves us no matter what, even though God does discipline us to keep us from sin. He is a restorer and an encourager to those who repent fullheartedly. It is God and only God that gives us a new beginning, a fresh start for delivering our services to the world!

A teacher is not so much responsible for what our students know, but more so for the seeds we plant to help them grow.

Father in the Name of Jesus, by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit, be with us, direct our path, fill us with the riches of Your grace, transform our mind with a healthy balance that is good for our body and soul. Guide us with Your gracious love, that we may press forward to being all that You created us to be. In Your Holy Name we pray… Amen

Sweet blessings always,

Deanna Danielle

Deannadanielle.com