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Scheduled Maintenance

  • Scheduled Maintenance

      

    1 Thessalonians 5:17

    Pray without ceasing.

     

    Well, in just a week, summer will officially be here. Sun, sand, cookouts, play time, pool time whoo whoo, the fun of summer begins. But so does the maintenance of this time. If you have a pool, then cleaning it out weekly is a must, excess debris, making sure the ph is right, making sure the bugs are gone and that the filter is doing its thing. But there is also the lawn to be mowed, weeds to pull , weeds to whack , excess weeds to kill. And continual lawn care until the first snow. Maintenance!

     

    Fall will be next, oh fall, the crisp air, and the lovely trees of colors as the leaves turn for all to observe and behold. It means pumpkin picking and carving, pumpkin and apple pies to be baked. Oh but the maintenance of raking your yard, now you have to bag them in special town bags and put them by the curb so they can be recycled. Not just one time, but all through the season. Now you might not have to bag them if you can run your lawn mower over them and mulch them, but either way, it is a lot of maintenance in the fall.

     

    Winter, we are not thinking snow at the beginning, we are thinking about Christmas, about presents, decorations, parties, baking and cooking those delicious meals only gotten at this time. Church pageants to get involved with and lines to memorize. Even the red and green stop lights look extra special in winter time. Then, the first snow hits, and you have to shovel. The last two winters, I got snowed in for three days in my development. My car was parked in my neighbors driveway across the street for the house I rent does not have a drive way. In order to get to my car, my son had to shovel out our side door, down the walkway, across the street and into my handicapped neighbors drive way where both our cars were buried under the snow. Now you don’t dwell on the sparkle of season, you now give the snow an evil look. Maintenance! All winter long!

     

    Spring, oh lovely spring, the last bit of snow lingers on the ground as some of the flowers that laid dormant over the winter now start to pop out of the ground. Slowly, the leaves on the trees appear as buds. The song birds now start to sing again and the Robins start to look for worms. People have left over Christmas items in various places in there yard and on their houses. Slowly you start to see people coming out of their homes. You start to see them raking left over’s out of there yard. They sweep there walkways of excess salt. They begin to dig up a place for their garden. Ah spring, I hear the first lawn mower of the season. Maintenance from now on! Let’s not forget getting the mulch in place, putting the stakes in the ground for the tomato plants, tying up a place on the fence for the green beans. Row after row, daily, need the weeds pulled in order to keep a tidy garden. Maintenance at its best!

     

    Everything we do in life has a maintenance value to it. When you are in love and get married, then it is a lifelong commitment to maintain that relationship, until death do you part. Working together as a team is something that will take the life right out of you as you observe each other and bring about a working relationship for eternity.

     

    The day comes, when she whispers, “We’re going to have a baby”! You are so excited you get morning sickness for her. You go to every doctor appointment together, and you watch via a sonogram the health and well being of your unborn child. You take great care in what and how things are done. You read all the newest books on being a parent, and now subscribe to Parent magazine for the rest of your life. You now have to trade in your fancy little car for something family like. You think about the size of your home and will it be able to grow with your new addition. Then it’s focusing on the baby’s room. Today, we get to know what we are having well before its birth so we now know whether to choose pink or blue. From the very first whisper of a Baby, it’s all about maintaining.

     

    Oh did I mention, with this new pregnancy, it means you might be the only one working, thus now you have to maintain the whole household alone from now on. You might be able to have her fix up the check book, or make the grocery list, but for the most part you will be maintaining this new way of life.

     

    When you get older, maintaining your health can be very challenging. For me, my life as a stay at home wife and mother was all about the care of the home. Everything was cooked from scratch; only on special occasions did we go out to eat. There were children to train up in the Lord, there were Sunday school classes to teach and Jr. Church projects to make, and let’s not forget the nursery duties. My role as a stay at home mom was all consuming, all maintaining, except for my own health. If I hurt, I took an Aleeve. If the pain went away, I was back at doing what I was doing. As time has passed, my journey has taken many paths yet has remained on the path the Lord set me on. Now he has me on this journey broken in many places. A child has died, a marriage has ended, and many moves from city to city have left me with no roots, no family ties, no grounded church affiliation, and no mate. My heath has slid down the side of the mountain and I have grabbed for whatever visible root I could so that I could pull myself back up on. It has been a life of trying to maintain everyday life without the covering on my life as it was set up to be. I am not only mother/father, but I am the leader, the breadwinner, the head of this family. There is no one to share this kind of responsibility with. It is a fight for survival in just maintaining what I have, what funds are available, what bills to pay, and what is left. It is an everyday maintenance project, and if I am not hands on with it, it is on my mind or hidden just beneath the surface. I feel like a scavenger at times, you have heard the term, dumpster diving, well that is what I feel like. Taking whatever scrap someone gives me, or one that I might happen to find. I used to hit the stuff on the side of the road, finding some neat things, now, my health does not allow me to hull and lift items like this, although I am tempted. I have learned to recycle the recyclables. It is a continual maintained project. This causes quite a bit of anxiety and stress, although we are not to do either but we are to trust.

     

    Our lives living as a Christian are all about maintaining our relationship with the Lord. You might not think so but take a moment to reflect on this. Not only all the mentioned above duties are on our maintenance list, but our relationship with an invisible God has to be maintained if we are going to make it in this world. It is hard to remember and to put forth the effort if something is out of sight out of mind. If you do not live around your family, and do not have a good relationship with them, like you talk on the phone with them or send them emails , then your relationship will be out of sight and out of mind on most days, even though they are a part of you, they are not in your daily life. It’s like you don’t have a family. You cannot maintain something that is not within your reach daily.

     

    I learned early on in my walk with the Lord that in order for me to know HIM, I had to learn about him. But what is so funny, well not really, it has been in my older years that I have learned more than I did when I was young. My foundation was set back then, but the Lord and I have been growing old together. I see HIM more in little things like the butterflies that float through the air. I had an experience one day where there the Lord sent me a herd of Monarch butterflies one day when I was sad. From that day, when I see any butterfly, I think of that day, and I think of the Lord sending me a butterfly kiss. I see him in the wind, as it kisses the side of my face when I am outside. It is funny, but several months back, I went to see a councilor, he was a Christian, my son came with me. As he spoke to me and asked questions, I felt the Lords presence, and it was as if the Lord was looking right at me through this man and was talking to me. The councilor did not charge me his fee of $85.00 an hour and I have not gone back. Then, one day, feeling real down, I had to stop at CVS to get something. When I came out I had parked in the handicap spot right in front of the store, I saw an older short gentleman out of the corner of my eye. His eyes were bright, and he had the biggest smile on his face as he took my door and closed it for me. He never said a word, but I knew the Lord was with that man. The Lords presence was great in these two men and I knew the Lord sent both to me.

     

    I have learned that HE can speak to me through whatever vise he wants to. I have seen one of those magnets you can put on the side of your car through an open window of my second floor apartment that said, “Everything is going to be alright”. God has such a sense of humor and knows how to get your attention. I heard his reassuring words through a song that the dentist’s office, it was about going through the storm, and I sat there and cried. He can use the worldly way or the Bible way to reach you. Could be a magazine you are thumbing through, he has no limits.

     

    1 Thessalonians 5:17

    Pray without ceasing.

     

    For us, to pray without ceasing, means that we are always talking with Him, we are always on the lookout for him, we are looking into the haze to see if we can spot him. Would you know what he looked like if he were standing next to you? My visual of Jesus is this: He is wearing Birkenstock men’s sandals; he has on cargo shorts, a wild Hawaiian shirt, short cropped curly hair with some gray, is dark skinned, and he wears a wide brimmed straw hat. That’s the Kind of Jesus I can sit on the park bench with and just chat.

     

    Whether we like to think of our relationship with the Lord as maintenance or not, the fact is, how do you have a relationship with an invisible God unless you actively cultivate your standing with him? Just like you weed a garden, you must weed out those things that would take your time away from Him. Every day we have a God given choice to get to know him better. Every day he gives us a choice, which music to listen to, which book to read, which email to click on. He gives us a choice in who we hang around, and the places we go to. Without ceasing we have to choose Him in all that we do. It takes a discipline, a desire to follow him with your whole heart; it takes a daily maintenance program to stay on the path He has set before us.

     

    The very core of you should have the Lord in it, and no matter what other relationships you have in your life, the core of the Lord should remain at your foundation. Through thick or thin, through good times and bad, through sickness and in heath until He calls you home, he should be the priority in your life. Just think, if all of our relationships had the Lord at their core, how could these marriages fail? How could children fall away if the parents had put the Lord first and had Him as an example before them?

     

    The choice is yours, this is between you and HIM, and you can’t Know HIM unless you choose Him. 

     

    1 Thessalonians 5:17

    Pray without ceasing.

     


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6 comments
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Lissy Verghese
Lissy Verghese Thank you!
June 12, 2015
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Dion Todd
Dion Todd Preach it Leslie  :)
June 12, 2015
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Rhonda Teem
Rhonda Teem FYI EVERYONE: This is a looooooong comment lolol....Just a fair warning HA! Wow, Leslie. This was amazing to read. It shows me that we all are more alike than we tend to really see (if that makes sense lol). I have to admit something. I reeeaaaalllly don't like to read. I can read very well. But I just don't like to, because I have these comprehension issues. I have to re-read things, over and over, sentence by sentence (which really stinks, especially given that God's Word is a BOOK lol). Now, I saw that this was pretty dern long. So, I kind of skimmed through it, and read an entire 6 line paragraph!! WOOHOO! lol... I'm not sure if anyone has heard of this way of studying Scripture, but, I was taught that if I am given a Scripture to read, I need to read the one before it, so I know what it's about. hehehh... I read another paragraph and another, then I finished the whole blog entry lololol. It makes so much sense to me. I love it! I do have a question though. When I was Baptized in the Holy Spirit, I was soooo thirsty and hungry for Jesus (it was CRAZY..as I'm SURE you all know lol). When I was learning to pray (and learning how to follow Jesus in all ways), I came across the Scripture: Matt. 6:7... Don't pray like heathens/pageans.  (Oh, let me tell you this first: when I thought that I was talking too much to God, when I had learned what that Scripture really meant [what I THOUGHT it meant], I kind of stopped praying a little....not completely, but I wasn't praying as much, sometimes not at all, for weeks. Even though my Papa God was still right here with me. It was like He was tapping on my shoulder at times. And other times I would feel Him sitting in front of me, staring lol. I have felt Him CRY. It's been nuts) . For a long time after I received the Holy Spirit, I was talkin' n' talkin' n' talkin' away to Him lol. Like, ALL DAY. lol (I still find myself doing this occasionally, including this am, and I caught myself so I stopped). But, when I read that Scripture, I looked up what it meant. I had this mentor, and she told me that God doesn't want to hear the same thing over and over again, and something else...can't recall... But, I got a little scared, because at that point, I was able to see in to the Spiritual Realms, and experiencing things that people REALLY think are CRAZY lol. Of course, as everyone here knows, satan really likes to go after the new Christian. Well, that's what he was doing (still does). I don't know if satan told me this or not, but I feel like all that time I was talking away to Jesus, I was praying and speaking to him like a heathen or a pagan. THAT RIGHT THERE SCARES ME. Because I am SOOOO in Love with Jesus (whenever I say that, in prayer, in my head, or to someone else, I tear up lol). And I am thinking, have I wasted all this time doing the wrong thing, hindering me from getting closer to Jesus? Because my life has been a dang roller coaster. I know that we all have them times in our lives. It's been a roller coaster, every single day. Some days I will have a couple up's n' down's. And others, it will be literally all day long. A lot of people just don't understand why I have had such a hard time in the last 2 years. I don't either. And I am wondering if that's why. So, here it is...the QUESTION lol: Have I been praying like a heathen or pagan, and if I have, that is what has been holding my relationship back a bit, and why I have had such an awful 2 years, isn't it? If this is the case, what do you mean by Praying Without Ceasing? I hope that I am not insulting you, Leslie, because I am far from it. I am tired of wondering this for such a long time.  So I don't know... I really hope all of this makes sense... I feel I had to write all of this, in order for you to understand why this is a complicated thing for me. Plus, I can talk lol. I feel all this time that I have withheld my talking like I used to, has been hurting Jesus so bad. And I feel bad that I don't know what that Scripture means. I am a confused mess in my head over this. I just do NOT want to let Jesus down! When I sin, I feel AWFUL. I pray for His forgiveness, and I really try not to do those things again. I end up doing it though, maybe a few months later, or a day later. I just feel like a disappointment to Him sometimes. I have lost my gift of discernment. Well, maybe I have put it away or something. IDK. Who is telling me what? My mind? Jesus? or that nasty thing satan? Sometimes I think that I know that answer. All 3 are confusing me. I hope this makes sense, because right now, I probably sound like a lunatic. But, really, I am stressed about this. I am so sorry that this is so dang long. But I wanted to get all (most) of my problem out on the table, for you (or anyone else) to ponder, as my peers, brothers, sisters in Christ. 
June 12, 2015
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Leslie McLea
Leslie McLea Thank you kindly Pastor Dion, that is a great complement. It is so awesome how God can take some thing like the word maintenance and make a whole message out of it. LOL. Thank you for reading them, you are a blessing to me .
June 13, 2015
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Leslie McLea
Leslie McLea Thank you kindly Rhonda for reading my story/message. I am glad you were able to get through it. I have posted many others if your up to trying to get through them, they are all this long.
June 13, 2015
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Leslie McLea
Leslie McLea Thank you Lissy for reading this blog.
June 13, 2015