Wednesday, August 14, 2013
My last blog was posted back in March. As many of you know who had been following me, I felt a prompting from the Lord asking me to “step away from the blog.” So I obeyed. Now I’m feeling led back to it, to open my heart again to share His heart with you.
There are many things going on in my life. Some of you know the ministry my husband and I are collaborating on as you’ve been following along on my facebook page. We’re still working on developing a more professional website for that, but in the meantime, I’m going to get used to writing again. (If you’re interested in hearing a sample of what we’ve been working on, you’ll find a download link at the bottom of this blog.)
Back in July, I decided to join an online bible study group, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God. I joined mainly because after giving up my writing, I became confused and frustrated. I wondered if I had actually heard God or if I had been deviously deceived.
Last week was the first week of the study and I felt compelled to get back to blogging with the blog hop the study offered, but instead I resisted the calling and kept quiet. This week…not so much!
Before I tell you how my “So What!” moment became a, “SAY WHAT!?” moment, let me give you a very brief background of what God had me do.
Our neighborhood is getting progressively worse. The home my mom had transferred over to us in her will was not upheld by the bank, so we have been paying into this house for over four years for nothing! After the bank told us that we would basically have to get a “new” loan for the house, we decided that we’d much rather get a loan for a home we love, in a neighborhood that’s safe.
Needless to say, we have run into countless obstacles trying to get a loan after we found the home we absolutely fell in love with. I felt God nudge me to make an offer to the owner for a land contract or a rent-to-own option, since it’s been sitting empty on the market for over two years! The owner took his sweet time responding, but in the meantime, God kept telling me to do very specific things.
Last Saturday He had us drive around the neighborhood and in the alley behind the home as we prayed. Then on Sunday, God had us do something terribly embarrassing: As a family, we went back to the house, joined hands, and walked around the home seven times praying specific scriptures. This was NOT a “name it and claim it” activity. We were simply seeking God’s perfect will, believing we were led to do this. (We honestly believe this house is meant for us!)
During our week long waiting period, God kept reminding me about Moses vs. Pharaoh, which was not an immediate positive response. It took a great deal of time…and ENERGY by God for Pharaoh to let “His people go.”
On Monday I received the bad news: the owner wasn’t interested in our offers and said that he’d rather have a “clean sale.” While I was instantly heartbroken, I felt God tell me that this was not the end of the story and not to give up hope. But I didn’t want to keep hoping. I’m not very good at it, and my track record has proven that hope doesn’t fit in my life story.
So after watching Wednesday’s (Sept. 14) study video, I was virtually slapped across the face as Nicki talked about, “so what vs. say what.” And then it dawned on me…
SO WHAT if we didn’t get the house! Yes, we are extremely disappointed and heartbroken, but we honored God with all our heart, mind and strength! I sought Him and put all my faith in Him. I believed God asked me to do all that we did. And that’s how it became a…
SAY WHAT moment:
- I listened
- I obeyed
- I trusted
Israel was disappointed and felt that Moses and “his God” were only making matters worse for them, but the final outcome was absolute freedom and victory! It took time, and it took countless loving opportunities by God to reveal Himself to His people again. Through it all, God received the glory and honor He deserved.
I am disappointed, but I will not become discouraged.
I am sad, but not broken.
I refuse to let this make me feel hopeless.
And if in the end we still don’t get that house, so what! I know that I honored God with my whole heart, mind and strength.
“When they witnessed [God’s] incredible power…they trusted in Him” (Exodus 14:31).
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
Ministry SamplerA little teaser on the ministry Jared and I are working on. God speaks. I write. Jared composes. It’s God’s Word to music.
“Listen” to Creation: click here!
Copyright © 2013 by Jared & Tristine Fleming
All rights reserved. No part of this composition may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher. For permission requests, please use the “Contact” form on this blog.
Friday, March 1, 2013
I was a bit of a wild child in high school. I spent my last year of junior high and my first year of high school partying, and rarely saw a day inside a classroom.
When I decided I better get my high school diploma and attend classes, I was forced to take a creative writing course as part of the general education curriculum. I revolted against the class in the beginning, huffing and puffing, being sarcastic and rude. But a funny thing happened a few weeks into the class: I started listening and doing the work. I was actually having fun writing.
My teacher approached me one day after class and suggested that I try to publish my poetry. I literally laughed in his face. Upon graduation, he set up a private meeting in his classroom after school one day. He sat me down and presented me with a brochure for a writing program at Columbia College in Chicago. Again, I laughed in his face. However, he was serious. He was determined to convince me that I was…a writer.
Throughout my life that story stuck with me. I eventually did attend UW Parkside and Columbia College Chicago as a Writing major. Every teacher I had was incredibly impressed with my writing and often suggested that I pursue it with gusto.
Over the last two decades, I have proven myself to be…a writer. Freelancing, writing for national companies, publishing a novel, writing for music magazines, ghost writing for Christian ministries. And yet, here I am. Spinning my wheels some thirty-odd years later, no closer to being a writer than I was the day my teacher sat me down in that empty classroom. I remember what I told him that day, “That’s for other people. Not people like me.” And I was right.
I have been writing this blog for over two years now, and while I’ve done everything I know how to get my name out there, hooking up with affiliates, signing contracts with blogging businesses, joining every social network imaginable, nothing has happened. The fruit is not there. I have spent the last thirteen years sending submissions for novels, devotionals, articles, you name it…and I have nothing to show for it.
I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m doing what I’m feeling led to do by the Holy Spirit. For the past year something has not been right for me with this blog. I tried changing the format over and over and over in hopes of increasing readership, seeing people get saved, or opening the eyes of those who are so blind by their own ideas of what Truth means. While there are a select few who have remained utterly faithful to this blog, the numbers don’t lie. As blogs about cooking and Mormonism and crafting see benefits beyond my imagination, my site is not making it. It’s not even coming remotely close.
I won’t lie. I’ve felt resentful at times. I’ve felt betrayed by God often, wondering why He gave me this gift if He won’t bless it and use it and allow me to earn income from it. But I need to get past that hurt and face the reality of my situation. There is no fruit here. This tree is dead. Withered up. Shriveled to pieces.
What this all means for me and my future, I don’t know, because since that fateful day in my creative writing class I have always considered myself…a writer. Maybe God never intended me to be a writer. I don’t know. But I keep hearing God tell me, “Be still. Know that I Am God. Wait.” So I’m doing just that. I need to be still and wait. For the first time in my entire life I am surrendering EVERYTHING I thought I knew about myself, and all that I thought I was to God, and trusting Him fully. It’s all I can do now.
This is Tristine Fleming signing off…
Don’t forget: Jesus DOES love you! Every single one of you!
Monday, February 25, 2013
Friday, February 22, 2013
Friday, February 15, 2013
LOVE NOTE FROM GOD: Beloved, love one another, for love is of Me; and everyone who loves is born of Me and knows Me. (1 John 4:7)
I know it’s not always easy to love others, especially those who make you believe there’s not much about them to even like a little. But see, you all have flaws and quirks. Sometimes—on those bad days of yours—someone may find it hard to love you, too. Keep in mind, though, that love comes from Me. It originated in my creation of you. It stems from my desire to take care of you, flaws and all. I never gave up on you and never stopped loving you just because you had a bad day, a bad week, or even several bad years. No, I loved you even more through it all.
Those who are hurting the most seem to be the ones you reject the most. Those who are scarred and desperately trying to find answers. They need Me, and you are their link to Me. Through your love for them, you lead them to the cross of My Son, who took all their pain and suffering so they may know life to the fullest. But if you don’t love them, even at their worst, how can they believe that I love them, too? I love them, so please love them too.
Show the world My love by loving them, even on their worst days, just as I love you on yours.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
LOVE NOTE FROM GOD: “Because I delight in you and your land will be like a wedding celebration. For as a young man marries his virgin bride, so your builder marries you, and as a bridegroom is happy in his bride, so am I happy with you.” (Isaiah 62:4b-5)
Will you be Mine for eternity? Will you be faithful and true? I vow to be yours, and I promise, as a bridegroom to his bride, that I will never leave you nor forsake you, that my faithfulness is as sure as the sun will rise! Let’s celebrate our love today! Let’s rejoice as our hearts become one! Today is the day to say, “Yes, My Love, I will be yours! Always and forever, I will be Yours. My love I vow to you, in good times and bad.” And when you do, I promise to make you new and whole again, to restore all that has been lost or taken, to cover you in grace and mercy, to make you clean and white as snow. Celebrate My love for you today…and everyday from this moment on.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
LOVE NOTE FROM GOD: “When I saw the trouble you were in I heard your cries for help. I remembered My covenant with you, and immense with love, I took you by the hand. I poured out My mercy on you…” (Psalm 106:45-46a)
Don’t ever fear that I don’t hear your cries. They pound and echo in my heart, and I cannot resist My aching desire to comfort you and make things right. I Am a protective Father who never forgets that you are Mine, always and forever. My hand is always outstretched, ready to hold you and guide you with mercy and grace. I see how the enemy attacks, and while he may appear strong, he is weak and beaten. My love for you is fierce and relentless, and will always win over any evil that tries to come against you. Just believe that I see and I hear, and that my covenant with you cannot be broken; but more importantly remember that the battle is not yours, but Mine, and I have already overcome the world!
Will you be Mine?
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
LOVE NOTE FROM GOD: “I became your Savior. In all your troubles, I was troubled, too. I didn’t send someone else to help you. I did it Myself, in person. Out of My own love and pity, I redeemed you.” (Isaiah 63:8-9)
Oh, My Beloved, if you only knew how much more I ache when you ache, how much more I weep when you weep, or how much more I rejoice in your victories. No one can fill My shoes when it comes to taking care of you. I Am the ONLY One whose concern for you far exceeds human understanding. I gave My life for you so that you would know just how much I care, just how much I desire you to be whole and free. My love is what saves and redeems you. I will always stand in for you when you are too weak. Just say the word…
Will you be Mine?
Monday, February 11, 2013
LOVE NOTE FROM GOD: “I Am who I Am. This is My name forever.” (Exodus 3:14, 15a)
In order to know who I Am, you must know My name:
Jehovah-Elohim: The Lord God, the Redeemer-Creator.
Jehovah-Jireh: The Lord will see and provide.
Jehovah-Nissi: The Lord your banner.
Jehovah-M’kaddesh: The Lord who sanctifies.
Jehovah-Shalom: The Lord your peace.
Jehovah-Rohi: The Lord your shepherd.
Jehovah-Tsidkenu: The Lord your righteousness.
Jehovah-Shammah: The Lord is here; ever-present.
See, My name means something to you. It tells the story of not only who I Am, but who YOU are, too. As you read My names and their meanings, My Names are connections and ties to you. I Am your Creator who redeems you, sees you and provides for you. I sanctify you and give you peace. I Am your home, where you come from, your dwelling place. (That’s what “banner” meant thousands of years ago. It was a sign you held over you and your household in battle that showcased where you came from, and whose house you belonged to.) I lead and guide you to righteousness, and I Am always and forever with you. My name, I Am, represents the fact that I AM all you need, now and forever.
Will you be Mine?