Saturday, August 10, 2013

Two are Better Than One

Tomorrow our very dear friends are recommitting their marriage to the Lord.  They have been married for 33 years.  Somewhere during those 33 years they began to lose each other.  They drifted farther and farther apart until they hardly recognized each other anymore.  Several weeks ago the beautiful bride shared her testimony at our women's group meeting.  She's given me permission to share it with you.  These are her words.  Enjoy.

I joined my church on September 11, 2011.  Two years prior to that my husband and I started having trouble in our marriage and going thru some struggles.  The devil took that opportunity to become ruler of my life.  I started thinking selfishly and turned angry and bitter toward my husband.  I was unfaithful and I blamed him to justify what I was doing.  I even asked him for a divorce.  I started doing things and hanging with people that I know I shouldn't have and I grew further and further away from God, so much that I did not recognize myself.  When I look back now it seems I am talking about a totally different person. I guess I am; because I am changed.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; 
old things have passed away;
 behold, all things have become new. 
                                   2 Corinthians 5:17

I had a friend invite me to a weight loss group called "Biggest Loser".  I finally joined in November 2010 and I met a woman that changed my life forever!!  She started "stalking" me and telling me about exercise and losing weight.  She would drag me out for walks, but she did so much more that that.  She reintroduced me to Jesus.  Since then He has changed my heart, brought me thru cancer and made my marriage whole again.

I thought that as bad as the things I had done were that it would take me forever to make up for everything I did wrong.  When I asked for forgiveness the veil was lifted completely and I was totally forgiven.  Everything slowly started healing and becoming whole again.  At first I prayed for my husband (even though I did not want to), and I prayed that God would change him and make him the man I wanted him to be.  I never really believed he would change then God showed me a scripture in James that said if you pray not believing you were wasting your time.  

 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God,
 who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 
 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting,
for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
                                        James 1:5-8

I began praying that He would change my heart and He did.  I started believing when I prayed for my husband that he could be changed.  Also thru reading many blogs and articles that my friend sent me I learned that my husband is a child of God too and that He loves him just as much as He does me.  

I was not only forgiven but my marriage has been restored.  He has given me an awesome group of friends who prayed me thru cancer and the healing of my marriage and so much more than I could have ever imagined.  I am closer to Him than ever before!!!!

Then He who sat on the throne said,
“Behold, I make all things new.”
And He said to me,
“Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
                                 Revelation 21:5

I would like to thank my beautiful friend for sharing her testimony.  Our prayer is that you would be encouraged by what you have read here and that reading this story of what God has done will bring you hope.  We pray that God receives Glory and Honor!!! 

Be blessed!
Yolanda, the McLean Queen

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Because Mom's Don't Really Like Bugs

Shawn declared this Mom and Son day because we are about to head to the woods where him, his Daddy, and Blake would be doing a lot of exploring.  I said that I like to explore too and he said that "Mom's don't really like bugs" and there would be a lot of bugs there.  So he gave his apologies to me about my extreme, no bug liking lameness and clung to me like an extra appendage all day.

Shawn and I went to WalMart to buy way too much stuff and he became distracted by the games in the electronic section - I told him that I would be in the camera section.  When I came out of the camera section he was standing there in the center aisle and came running to me with a distressed look on his face.  He told me how he was lost and he thought that I had left him at WalMart.  I was three rows over the entire time.  This happened at the beginning of our trip.  So, every time that I would go down an aisle and leave him at the cart he would relive the horror that was the time he was lost for three minutes while I was three aisles over but he would leave out the fact that he wasn't really lost.

There was a point when he became too weak to push the shopping cart any longer; no doubt because of the extreme lostness he had endured.  So, I pushed the cart and carried the 25 pound bag of dog food on my shoulder because of all the forgetting to remember dog food when we first started shopping  Oh, and dragged a kid at my waist that was saying "Momma don't leave me what if I get lost again" over and over.  A few people glared at me.  They were probably feeling sorry for that poor boy and it never even occurred to any of them to offer help with the 25 pound bag of dog food because this is what I deserve for losing my child.

I would like to thank Jen Hatmaker for allowing women everywhere to give honest answers.  When we went to pick Blake up he was playing a game on the computer.  He kept saying that he wanted to show me something and I said I can't look right now.  He asked why and I said "because I don't want to".  Guess what!!  He didn't keep asking me and I didn't have to keep watching the jumps or whatever it is that never goes like they want the first time so they have to show you infinity more times.

Tonight we are letting the boys stay up too late and I even allowed a drink in the living room.  That's me - a son losing, honest answer giving, allowing drinks in the living room, no bug liking Mom.

God bless you all!

Yolanda, The McLean Queen

Friday, June 14, 2013

Are We Really Going To Oklahoma?

David and I are on our first vacation in our adult life EVER!!  True story!  Shawn asked us at dinner tonight if we are really going to Oklahoma.  Now I know that his Momma has taken him on some great trips, but you would think that we are taking him on his dream vacation.  We have rented a cabin at Broken Bow, which I hear is beautiful.  Shawn's cousin Blake is going with us and as long as we can keep them fed we should have a very blessed time.  

The thing that strikes me is that maybe it's not the location at all.  Maybe Shawn is most excited about the time with family.  He just loves cuddle time and I'm certain that he is the sweetest boy on earth.  I'm sorry for all the rest of you that have boys that are of an average sweetness because God has blessed us with an extra sweet boy.  I'm sure that he'll turn 12, 13, or 14 and know it all and all his parents will be so lame.  I'm actually very good with being lame - because it's the right thing to do.  Raising him to be a Godly man is the most important thing.  It's more important to raise him to be a God fearing man than it is to be popular, or cool, or his friend.  We weren't appointed to be his friends; were we?

So, while we are on vacation we will still be mindful of raising him up in the way he should go and praying that in the end he would not depart from it.  Blake too!  Get ready boys!  We will have so much fun, but we will also be pleasing to God thru all we do.

Prayer for a blessed week for you all!

God bless you all!
Yolanda, The McLean Queen

Friday, June 7, 2013

I Just Turned 13!

I was born on May 1, 2000.  I'm sure some of you are thinking that I'm taking this faking my age thing a little too far.  I gave my life to Jesus Christ on May 1, 2000.  The old me is dead and I was given a new life thru Jesus Christ.  I'm still going to celebrate the day of my physical birth (August 28, I'm just saying).  I think the date of my spiritual birth is the one that really matters.

Let me tell you how I was introduced to Jesus.  It all started in 1999 when I went to work for a company called Charles Humphrey & Associates.  This company created and framed scripture pictures.  There were drawn images with scripture on them and there were beautifully hand-lettered calligraphy pictures.  The owner, Charles Humphrey, would hold a devotion and prayer time every Monday morning.  From time to time Mr. Humphrey would call employees into his office and discuss their faith with them.  Well, I worked in the office so I was called in to talk with him often.  He would invite me to church all the time and he would give me scriptures to reassure me.  Finally on Easter Sunday 2000 I decided to visit his church.  It's not lovely, but my thought was that if I go maybe it would "shut him up".  Not a lovely thought, but it is exactly how I felt.  So I went, and there was something that made me want to go back again the next week.  So, I went on my own.  I kept going and it was just a few weeks later that I answered the call to give my life to Jesus.

I believe that according to Romans 8:28 God led me to work for Mr. Humphrey.  What I have recently realized is that God put a passion on Charles Humphrey's heart to make disciples.  I finally get it!!  I get it because God has put the same passion in my heart.  I feel a sense of urgency to lead others to Jesus.  I can see what Mr. Humphrey was doing and I am so thankful for the passion God put on his heart to make disciples.  Our church is focused on making disciples and I'm seeing the same passion grow all around me. 

So, I wonder.  Do you want to go to church with me?  Could you step into my office for a few minutes?  You want to take a walk?  So, how are you today?  No I mean really, how are you today?  Hey man, you hungry?  Hi, I'm your neighbor and I'm starting a home group - you wanna come?  Would you mind if I prayed with you right now?

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,  
baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 
Matthew 28:19

Have a blessed weekend!
Yolanda, The McLean Queen

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Daughters of the King

Daughters of the King
Last weekend was our women's retreat.  Our focus was on learning that we are Daughters of the King. Learning our value in Christ and how to properly demonstrate that we are Daughters of the King.  What struck me as I study this picture is the different events that have framed the lives of these women this year.  I know these women and I know the events therefore I know when to show them grace or extend extra love to them.  What about the women that we come across in everyday life that seem defeated and over-whelmed with life.  I have no clue what they are battling and I have sometimes assumed the worst of them.  Shame on me!

There are women in this picture that have these things going on:

  1. Just found out her home was robbed.
  2. Has been searching for a job for a long while.
  3. Felt that she was unworthy of the grace offered by Jesus Christ.
  4. Has been so damaged by her past that she feels unfit to lead.
  5. Has struggled to practice submissiveness and changed her marriage.
  6. Is expecting her first child.
  7. Recently lost her dear Mother.
  8. Believes that she is un-loved by her group of friends.
  9. Her husband has been changed due to some very difficult circumstances.
Oh, there's a lot more.  This really opens my eyes to how we treat people that we don't know or that we don't know very well.  How do I treat them?  Maybe I could focus more on getting to know them.  We weren't learning to demonstrate being a Daughter of the King so that we could just show our group of friends or our families, but to extend it to everyone.

You'll be glad to know that there were many victories for Christ this weekend!  There was healing in relationships and that woman who felt unworthy made a decision for Jesus Christ!  

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; 
old things have passed away; behold, 
all things have become new.  2 Corinthians 5:17

Have a blessed day!
The McLean Queen

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Yellow Flowers

I started the day reading chapter four in A Confident Heart by Renee Swope.  This is a book that I'm studying in order to prepare for a small group for women that I'll be starting in our home.  The chapter deals with using the ugly past to help others that might be going thru similar struggles.  The author writes that she kept waiting for God to give her a new story to use.  She believed that the past was just too ugly to be shared.  As she grew in Christ she realized that she was being called to use that ugly past to give glory to God today.  

I began to review my past, all the failures and disappointments.  Just last week I was praying and I asked God what he wanted me to share with these women.  What I received was one word - TESTIMONY.  Romans 8:28 is God's promise to us that He will work things for good.  Using the stories of my ugly past could help bring healing to another woman today - this is working the ugly past for good.  I'm telling you God is so awesome that He can turn something so ugly into something so beautiful.   

Today David and I were at Lowe's buying flowers for our landscaping.  We had two red rose bushes and several flats of petunias.  The petunias were in beautiful shades of pink, purple, and red.  When I thought we were ready to check out, I couldn't find David.  I found him with a sales clerk.  He was trying to find some yellow flowers about the same size as the petunias to give a pop of yellow in our flower bed.  Now David could not care less about yellow flowers, but he knows that yellow flowers are my very favorite.  He wanted to be sure that I had some yellow flowers.  Now I know that this yellow flowers story has little to do with using your testimony for good, but my ugly past has been replaced with lovely yellow flowers.  Pink, purple, and red ones too!

If you are reading this post, you have been prayed for.  

Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death,
that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father,
even so we also should walk in newness of life.
                                                                 Romans 6:4

Have a blessed day!
Yolanda, the McLean Queen

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Linda Made Me Do It! God told her to!!

Hello blog, nice to see you.  It's been a long time!  You all are just as lovely as you used to be.

Well, it's been a while.  I kept thinking that I would write right after this, and then right after that, and well I didn't want to tell any stories halfway.  Then I feared I would be boastful and I didn't want to come across as bragging or give glory to myself when it all belongs to Jesus.  So, let's just say that David and I have been blessed and we see God's hand in it all the way.  What I want more than anything is to take what God has given us and bring Him glory and honor with it.  

Last weekend we were blessed to have our Pastor and his wife in our home for dinner.  We shared some really great food, but the best part was the fellowship.  Before they left our Pastor prayed a blessing over our home (that may have been my favorite part).  When David and I were cleaning up I asked him if he felt the love that was in our home.  His allergies acted up a little bit when he answered me that yes he could feel it.  So, there are many stories about how God gave us this home but I pray that there are more stories of lives led to Christ in our home. 

A couple of days ago my very dear friend, Linda, told me that God woke her up at 5:00am directing her to ask me about my blog.  It had been on my mind, but I haven't had clear direction what to write about.  Linda and I are serious prayer partners and I believe that God gave her a message for me because she prays so earnestly for me.  It took me a couple of days, but I figured that I'd like to sleep tonight so I better just write something.  Plus what if God wakes Linda up again at 5:00am or earlier?  I'm liable to hear about it! 

I think one of the reasons that I've not written is that it's very emotional.  In order to fully embrace where I am now, I must go back to where I've been.  I must be willing to acknowledge the brokenness that existed in order to see the healing that has occurred.  I must remember the names that I was called or feel the fear all over again in order to embrace the freedom.  I'm not saying that I am forever bound by the past but I do acknowledge it.  It's part of the testimony that God has given me.  Now I don't mean that the emotion is bad because the emotion is love, freedom, and redemption.  The emotion is big because the healing is big.   

Thank you, Linda, for holding me accountable and for being obedient.  Maybe the other reader of my blog thanks you too.  

Have a blessed week and I'll be back sooner than last time.

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, 
to those who are the called according to His purpose. 
                                                            Romans 8:28 

In Christ,
The McLean Queen