Samaritan’s Feet….Changing lives one pair of shoes at a time!

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Making friends......one pair of shoes at a time!

Samaritan’s Feet volunteers & staff, Gaston County Commissioner, Tracy Philbeck and I washing feet and giving a new pair of shoes at Rhyne Elementary in Gastonia, Making Friends, one pair of shoes at a time!

Jesus said, “If you’ve had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you’re clean from head to toe. My concern,  you understand, is holiness,  not hygiene.” John 13:10

Spending time at the feet of others was the example Jesus set for us to follow as He bowed in subjection to the disciples for the purpose of washing their feet as an act of honor and service. Nothing can be greater, than knowing that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, humbled Himself to the position of servant. As we put ourselves in the position of service, we look up into the eyes of the ones that we have come to serve and say. “You are the most important person at this very moment. I want you to know that you are loved by God and by all of us. We are here today simply because of our heart to love and serve you just as Jesus did.”

Today, I was once again blessed to participate in a shoe distribution with Samaritan’s Feet. The mission and heartbeat of founder, Manny Ohonme, is 10 million pairs of shoes on the feet of 10 million children in the next 10 years You can read more about Manny’s story of how a simple pair of shoes changed his life and led him to follow what was exampled to him by the love of  one who came to serve him.

http://www.samaritansfeet.org/who-is-sf/mannys-story/

I have had the privilege of serving alongside Manny Ohonme and his wife, Tracie since 2005 and have nothing but the utmost love and respect for this man and his family who daily live out what they believe. While we do not often share the same schedule, we are often in contact and communication. Today, however, Monty and I were blessed with a most special opportunity; to give back to children, teacher’s and staff at an elementary school near our hometown of Dallas, NC. We rallied and gathered our friends to help us support the effort of Samaritan’s Feet in our Jerusalem. Gastonia, NC

On this day, 400 plus children, teachers, and staff would receive our undivided attention as we spent time getting to know them, focusing our hearts and attentions towards them, washing their feet and providing a new pair of socks and shoes for each one of them. The event was a surprise for the entire school and spear-headed by their caring principal, Rebecca Huffstetler.

The day started as usual with the younger children filling our stations. So, precious. Timid. Embarrassed and confused by all these people taking off their old shoes, putting their little feet in cold water, washing them and putting new shoes on their feet. Refreshing, but in time the older children would fill the chairs and their disbelief was often verbalized.

My breath-taking and life-joy moment happened near the end of the day when a less than thrilled tough 5th grade boy sat down in front of me. What would become my favorite conversation of the day began with, “So, lady, how much are they paying you to wash my feet, be nice to me and give me this new pair of shoes?” And with attitude and no smile, I might add. He was not rude. Simple putting it all on the table and in all likelihood, wanting to call me out and say, yep, told you so, they don’t care about me.

“Nothing.” I replied. “God loves me (us), we love you and I came here today to tell you how very special you are to Him and to me. Nothing more. Nothing less.” A cynical 10-year-old smile ensued. Our moment together ended within five-eight minutes and toward the end a new-found, whimsical, wry smile appeared. I held his hands, looked him square in the eyes and ended by letting him know that every step that he takes in these new pair of shoes, that I will be thinking of him, praying for him and trusting his life to a God that wants to do great things in and through him. His name will be written in my prayer journal and I will believe God for His very best until heaven.”

I continued as the Holy Spirit kicked my heart into gear and shared the gospel message of hope, a future, and of surrendering his heart to receive the free gift of life now and eternal through Jesus Christ. The promise of forgiveness, new life and God’s perfect plan for his life. You see, we get moments like these on occasion and I felt the urgency to seize the moment while it was sill today! I continued. “God’s plan for you is perfect. Your story is still being written. When you want to give up or you struggle, think of the silly lady who said, you can do it through complete surrender of your heart to the Lord and the power of God which is greater than your mind can conceive.” God wants you to know that you matter and that He has a plan for your life!! An, sweet friend, I pray for you, I will claim each step for the rest of your days for  God to do “exceedingly, abundantly in your life above all that you can ask or think.” HE IS ABLE!!!

He sheepishly, smiled. I said there is just one more thing. “Can I get a hug?” I have yet in my life until today, felt a more genuine embrace than from his big ole size 10 men’s shoe bear hug that I received from Gods most precious possession.
You see, God spoke directly to his heart today. The Holy Spirit penetrated the deepest part of this young mans soul and there is no doubt in my mind that the God of the universe will make good on a prayer prayed forward for a life in the balance between the god of this world and our heavenly Father’s will for his life.

So, when you wonder if God still uses the smallest of opportunities for His good and His glory, remember the hardened heart of my friend today. And when you pray, you need not know his name but that his heavenly Father is well acquainted with the matters of his precious heart and life. Next time you think, I should do something to help….just do it. Don’t wait. The true blessing will be yours. And when you wonder, does God really still open hearts in the least imaginable ways….like through a pair of shoes, a smile, a hug, a word of affirmation, a touch or a smile? May you see my face smiling back at you and saying….Oh yes He does!! Remember, Jesus said it best….”My concern is holiness…” May we walk simply on this path of righteous living….and trust God for life-changing results! For His glory! Amen and Amen!

Caring for God’s beloved!

Grace: A Stained Glass Impersonal Word Until It Happens To You

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Grace: A Stained Glass Impersonal Word Until It Happens To You

I have temporarily relocated from my prayer chair to the heating pad in my bed for my quiet time. (Just a little unhappy back UGH) 
I walked by my prayer chair just as the phone rang. So I put down my quiet time books and Bible on my prayer chair as I went to answer the phone. There was a pause in time before I walked back by the chair again. 
As I re-entered the room, I was struck by how the sun was at just the right angle and highlighted the word “grace” in the title of a book that In recently finished re-reading. It is my go-to book when grace grabs me so real or on the day when grace seems so very far away. #nofilter
Captured By Grace, No One Is Beyond the Reach of a Loving God by Dr. David Jeremiah is a book that describes “grace” as “a stained glass, impersonal word until it happens to you! 
I gathered the stack of books that I had left on the chair, smiled as the light of the World illuminated the moment and arranged the books in a way to represent what grace has meant to me lately along with a couple books that I am reading right now.
The enlightened “grace” word has moved in and with me so powerfully throughout this day. 
So I thought to myself…..Maybe someone else might be cared for by the shelter of grace and the light it casts when we give grace or the warmth of grace received.
So I just tucked my “grace” book into the nightstand by my bed and the truth of God’s mercy and grace is so large in my heart. 
So, I pray, beloved of God, just as I have received , that you as well will know, receive and walk in God’s extravagant love and grace in every moment today.
#allisgrace
Some say pay it forward……
God says……
“Freely you have received. Freely give.” Matthew 10:8

Isaiah 55: God’s Invitation To The Thirsty 

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Isaiah 55: God’s Invitation To The Thirsty 

  

One of my favorite passages of Scripture: Isaiah 55 

I have been meandering my way through the book of Isaiah this month. Today I landed in Isaiah 55. I love how God sprinkles sweetness for my soul as it relates to my personal relationship with Him.
Yesterday Monty and I enjoyed a most wonderfully relaxing day. A rare and treasured treat to spend dedicated time with each other. Even after almost 35 years of marriage, I still cherish the moments where the world stops moving and our focused time becomes a gift.  

As I savored the manna of God’s Word this morning, the Lord brought to remembrance my sweet husband’s concern and kindness as he scattered seeds on top of the snow for the birds throughout the day yesterday. A beautiful picture of God’s care for His creation. At no time did I even think of this so very small act of compassion. We are each uniquely created by God, and I love the tender places in my husband that most people never really see or experience. 

So it is with the Lord……

God is ever faithful. The depth of His compassion and tenderness is present ALWAYS even though I may not see it clearly, feel it real, understand it or truthfully slow the pace long enough to consider His thoughts and higher ways as it relates to my story.

So it is in God’s Word…..

To know God’s character….His thoughts. His ways. I MUST dig deep into the corners of who He is! He faithfully sends out His Word and plants it deep in my heart and it ALWAYS produces fruit. The beautiful promise that in EVERY circumstance He will accomplish all that He wants it to holds me tightly.

And we, His beloved, are living with the promises that we will live in joy and peace. He will restore what has been taken or seemingly destroyed as God lovingly nurtures us along our individual faith journey. 

Why we ask….. Why the challenge that comes as our Spirit man experiences the rain, wind, snow and storm….

“These events will bring great honor to the Lord’s name and an everlasting sign of HIS power and love.” Isaiah 55:13 

This afternoon, the hills around us sweetly sing and the trees glisten and sway as if clapping their hands. The beauty of the Lord alive and glistening remind us to trust Him fully as He remains on the throne and orders the universe as He commands and leads. 

And in the still moments, God calls to us to come. 

Come thirsty. Come seeking. Come with thanksgiving. Come in surrender. Come prepared to hear.

We will be the bearers of God’s truth: the everlasting sign of God’s power and love as we live our lives faithfully- not perfectly- but as God’s children living out our covenant relationship with a mighty and all-powerful God.

And if you are thirsty for more of Him today…… Isaiah 55 whispers…..

An Invitation To The Thirsty 

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. 
The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry.

It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands! 

Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up. These events will bring great honor to the Lord’s name; they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.” Isaiah 55:8-13

Vicki 2, Cancer 1

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Love you Madi Vincent. Your mom will forever be alive in my heart and the lives of so many others. It feels like yesterday when Mason and your mom stopped by the motor home to tell us the news. We were stunned and my heart ached, our hearts beat together and we cried but still found hope.

I lost another dear friend the very year that cancer brought our family back to North Carolina. Monty’s dad battled Renal Cell cancer for three very short months. My beautiful friend Liz took her last breath on an unassuming Easter morning the same year. From death to life on the day we remember the resurrection.

These things I know:

Our Romans 8 road led us “home” and that had not been our plan. Life was significantly empty for a time and different but as we endured the pain our hearts found new life in relationships rekindled and the immeasurable wealth of God’s lavished love.

The road paved with so many hard things, hard firsts, that life could even go on as if nothing had happened was always awakened by the Spirit of God alive in us. The days grew more bearable where we did not cry with the same fervor but the relinquishing and surrender that came in the beautiful memories and stories sustained our family.

If there had been no cancer, there would have likely been no Motor Racing Outreach connection and our lives would have never been so entwined with such a pure love for each other. Mason and Vicki Vincent would become our greatest support, encouragers and friends. Our sweet Madi-girl and siblings are loved today as if we have shared a lifetime.

Madi, I feel her in your words, I remember her with great fondness for every time she spoke life into this old girls weary bones! Your mom and dad loved us for real and we loved and love them right back. A life of ministry can often isolate you from people and they refused to allow us to give in to such disengagement because their heart was to serve US. Amazing.

Thanks for keeping her passions alive because every seed that she planted in you is the fruit of her labor and that beloved of God remains her gift to us all. Your beautiful heart and words continue to carefully paint the Rembrandt that she remains as her legacy of faith in every life that she touched.

Be blessed today Vincent family. Vicki would be one praoud mama and I would give almost anything for one more conversation to let her know how very grateful I am for her inconditional love and friendship!

Vicki, you are with me always…….. You are loved! Mel

Source: Vicki 2, Cancer 1

Make-and-Take Class Idea: Therapeutic Hot/Cold Pack Sock

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Looking for support for those achy places? What I love most about living the simply essential life is that you can do simple things and experience great outcomes with little to no time and always inexpensive.

How have you incorporated Young Living Essential Oils into your life?

My advise: Learn one new thing every day and before long, you will be the ones giving advise to friends and family.

P. S. I found sock just like these at The Dollar Tree!! Yep. One buck. Grab the rice while there too, add the essential oil of choice and voila! Instant Happy!! Of course, you can always use an old sock that you already have or can only find one of the pair!

Finding sabbath moments today!

Check out my website to learn more about Young Living Essential Oils!

http://www.yldist.com/melanieself/

Source: Make-and-Take Class Idea: Therapeutic Hot/Cold Pack Sock

2016 One Word by Margaret Feinburg

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2016 One Word by Margaret Feinburg

Sharing a beautiful message from Margaret Feinburg on the dreary Saturday morning. 

For the last 10 years, I have chosen Biblical words to study for the purpose of implanting truths in my heart. My life has been so enriched by this small discipline outside of my regular Bible quiet time. The richness of this very special time alone with the Lord has so inspired my heart to live with an even greater faith as the depth of God’s Word has opened my eyes to many new and lovely characteristics of a God who is intrinsically diverse. Every word study has quietly and richly layered the cornerstone of my faith. And when something amazing is happening on our lives don’t you think you should share it with the people you love and care about? Absolutely!

Not sure what you day looks like but I wanted to share with you a beautiful freebie that only affirms my path and continues to pave a beautiful road that is worthy of traveling! And the truth is, we already have the map!!

Over the last few years my words have included joy, rest, faith, shadow, grace…..

My 2016 One Word is abundance. 

Welcome Margaget Feinburg……… Thanks for sharing out of our blessing this free One Word excercise.

Simply jump over the her website, enter your email address and get your free 2016 One Word mini book!! Meanwhile, enjoy the introduction as you prayerfully consider this good journey!

                   http://margaretfeinberg.com/whats-one-word-2016-free-download/#more-32229              

                       http://margaretfeinberg.com/whats-one-word-2016-free-download/

What’s your one word?

Sweet Friends,

Maybe you’re in a season of abundance. You have favor and delight and more opportunities than you know what to do.
Maybe you’re in a season of grace. You’re learning your limitations, discovering weaknesses, and awakening to God’s provision in the midst.
Maybe you’re in a season of adversity. Your marriage or finances or health or job or relationships are crumbling.

No matter what season you find yourself in, your Heavenly Father wants to speak to you.The beginning of a new year provides an opportunity for reflection and vision casting. This is a season to both look back and press forward in our relationship with God.

Over the past few years, I’ve asked God to give one word for the upcoming year.

One word that I can study.
One word that will perk my ears every time it appears.
One word that can be used to know the depths of God’s heart. One word that will lead me closer to Christ.

Previous years’ words include—listen, wonder, joy, and love. Each word has drawn me deeper into Scripture, closer to others, and helped me grow in my faith.

This year, I’m inviting you to ask God for your one word.
The word He wants to use to transform you and make you radiant like Christ.

May this One Word Guide awaken you to the work that God will be doing in and through you during the upcoming year.

Blessings, 

Margaret

Sending love from a One Word little ole me: 

Beloved of God. He has led you right here for such time as this!! Find your path and commit to walk in it! 

I would love to hear from you how God sin working in your life!!

Share YOUR #oneword365 with me below!!

 

Better yet! Jump over to http://oneword365.com/#earth and create your very own graphic FREE!

Join the community

Connect with other who share your One Word

Download the FREE graphic

Create your own One Word graphic in a free app life Word Swag

Share

Get going on your journey! Easy Peasy!!

May God continue to lavish His abundant love on you in 2016. #oneword365/abundance

              

                                                         http://oneword365.com/#earth

Reading Through The Bible Sign Up

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If you have ever considered the notion of a methodical and organized method of reading through God’s Word in one year then now is the time to sign-up and commit your day’s to the Word of God!

Follow the link and share the good news!

http://www.biblestudytools.com/campaign/bible-version?utm_source=bst&utm_medium=popup&utm_campaign=bible-reading

Jesus Meets Me In The Morning

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Thunderstorms all around, yet a most quiet silence hovers in the darkness as I met with the Lord this morning. Love time alone in the stillness “before the day”. The Holy Spirit in worship held my heart. Reflective. Encouraged. Passions renewed! Gratitude so very deep that my words fail to adequately express my thanks to a most gracious God. A challenging and yet good year with such joy-filled moments.
  

The thunder reverberates and as the house rumbles I feel it in the depths of my heart. You. ARE. God. #thereisnoneaboveyou #bestill #thelordisnear I pray that you are encouraged to walk in power today.

So many hearts in need that are on my heart this morning! Praying that you will be cared for in ways that your best words cannot express! Ended my time alone with this beautiful reminder to settle in close to the Lord. Pssssttt….. It is not too late for you right where you are to breathe a whispered prayer. You are wonderfully made to be the authentic YOU today. Never forget that beloved of God. Come quietly. He is there. Right there. You are His beloved and exceeding great joy! Walk in it!! Before The Day by Newsong http://youtu.be/rYFcEwDCjik

The Hiding Place Forgiveness and Faith by Corrie Ten Boom

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https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Corinthians%205:21&version=NLT

“It was at a church service in Munich that I saw him, a former S.S. man who had stood guard at the shower room door in the processing center at Ravensbruck. He was the first of our actual jailers that I had seen since that time. And suddenly it was all there – the roomful of mocking men, the heaps of clothing, Betsie’s pain-blanched face.

He came up to me as the church was emptying, beaming and bowing. “How grateful I am for your message, Fraulein.” He said. “To think that, as you say, He has washed my sins away!” His hand was thrust out to shake mine. And I, who had preached so often to the people in Bloemendaal the need to forgive, kept my hand at my side.

Even as the angry, vengeful thoughts boiled through me, I saw the sin of them. Jesus Christ had died for this man; was I going to ask for more? Lord Jesus, I prayed, forgive me and help me to forgive him. I tried to smile, I struggles to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I prayed, I cannot forgive him. Give me Your forgiveness.

As I took his hand the most incredible thing happened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me. And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world’s healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.”

~Corrie ten Boom, the Hiding Place

Young Living Essential Oils and Stationary- All In

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So. Love.

Add a couple drops of your favorite aromatic essential oil to a cotton ball and place it in a resealable plastic bag with note cards and envelopes for 24 hours to create lightly scented stationery.
Check out my website to join The Simply Essential Life team!!!’