Follow the example of the sunflower. 

Driving home to see my family we pass fields of sunflowers. Straight and tall, always pointing in the direction of the sun. It seems as if the sunflowers seek the sunshine they need to thrive. It is basic and straightforward for them, seek the light and you will live.

It seems there is great spiritual truth to be learned from the simple sunflower. God promises us that if we seek the sun (son) we will find it (him) also.

Think of the advantages to us of taking a cue from the sunflower and following every move that God shows us, keeping our face pointed directly into the sun(son)shine.

When the sunflower senses that it is no longer receiving enough sunshine to be beneficial it simply adjusts accordingly and starts moving in the correct direction again, allowing beneficial growth to continue unhindered. The same can be true for us if we seek the light and make adjustments when shadows shut out the light. It is only when we live in the light that we will continue to grow in the strength of our Lord.

Dottie

……..and so I ride

I had a motorcycle column once upon a time, not because I was a motorcycle enthusiast but because I was a woman motorcycle enthusiast. Riding a motorcycle has had great significance in my life. It has been my personal path to awareness and wholeness. I truly believe any man would have trouble comprehending the significance that riding plays in my life. Yes, yes I know that riding is important to many men but I believe that for most women, it is simple really, we ride for different reasons. Riding is not something I do, it has become who I am. My bike has been an integral part of my journey to self awareness and has carried me to people, places and experiences that would not have been possible with any other mode of transportation. It is a strong, directed and dynamic way to get from one point to another. I heard it said once that our experiences weave the tapestry that is our lives. Well my bike was the loom that weaved a beautiful work of art called “Dottie”. However, beautiful masterpieces do not happen by chance, they are created only under the careful eye and artful hands of the Masterful Artist, somehow that is easy to overlook but let’s talk about that a little later. My bike was and is my agent of change. It has become my vehicle of choice on the journey to personal, emotional and spiritual growth. It is only when I ride that life lessons become crystal clear and I can come to terms with the challenges in my life and learn how to overcome them. When I ride I get the chance to look within and grasp who I really am. It feels as if my bike is an extension of my personality. When I ride I am free and significant. When I ride it is a statement about my competency and power. I feel special because I am doing something few women have the courage to try. I feel nothing short of a rebel. I have learned to know and come together in perfect harmony with my bike. This journey has given birth to a perfect partnership of power, strength, balance and momentum. It makes me stronger and more confident. I feel in control. When I am riding, I feel as if I can overcome anything that life throws at me. There is truth in the saying that “if your image of yourself changes, so do your expectations of yourself and those of others around you.” Riding is a lifestyle and at last it is a place where I belong. Riding feels a little bit like opening oneself and connecting with your soul. Riding a motorcycle teaches you to let go and live a life that is more truthful than is comfortable and certainly more liberating. You get to create your own path and you get to write your own adventure. Road miles have a way of making you feel as if you are meeting yourself for the very first time. When it is just you and the road there is little choice but to accept the you that you are meeting and maybe come to appreciate who you really are. Life in the saddle has a way of making you concentrate on the great horizon ahead of you and you can more clearly identify the dreams worth chasing and the goals worth pursuing. You are literally completely exposed to the elements, there is no barrier between you and Mother Nature. You are totally vulnerable but at the same time, you feel strong and you feel free. Suddenly you have tapped into your (up to this point), untapped reservoir of inner power. The freedom of the road has helped to break down those self-imposed barriers and boundaries I so safely stayed behind. There comes a time in all journeys however that you must stand at a crossroads and you need to decide which way to turn to reach your final destination. That can look any one of many ways, a wreck, circumstances where you have to sell your bike, a voluntary but willing separation between you and your bike, as was my case. I knew the relationship that I had forged with my bike had to be broken or at least altered. The bottom line was, as a Christian I could not continue to look to my bike as the one that was giving me all these revelations. I could not continue to look to my motorcycle as my greatest source of happiness. I knew that I was looking to my motorcycle for things that I should have been looking to God to fulfill. So I made the decision to sell my bike. I gave it one month, the month that Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was going on and when literally tens of thousands of motorcycles are sold by the Harley Davidson Shop there. If my bike was going to have the best chance to sell, this was it. If it didn’t sell, it was certainly a God thing. I knew if I could leave my bike there and trust that God would either allow it to be sold or He would make it known to me that I had finally made the choice to accept all the blessings that He alone was offering me and realize that I no longer had to look to my motorcycle or the road to supply those things. Only when that happened could I start looking to my bike as a special blessing in and of itself, but a special blessing from Him. On the last day of the rally my husband took me to Black Hills Harley Davidson and I rode her back home where she belonged. Yes riding was and still is a special blessing to me. All the things I said about riding previously, still stand true. It is every bit all those things to me. However the special blessing my bike is to me does not come from the pile of metal that makes up my beautiful Honey colored motorcycle or the beautiful countryside it carries me through . It comes from God. The special blessing that God gives me as a female Christian rider, is that riding helps me to see clearly just how much God really does love me and how big a role He plays in my life. Riding is my path to the personal awareness of Him, the path that God so blatantly wants me to see. The special blessing God gives me in riding is understanding that the perfect partnership of power, strength, balance and momentum is with God, not my bike. He made the perfect partnership I have with him more apparent to me through riding. He comforted and flooded my heart with the knowledge that I do deserve this special blessing because He loves me for who I am and not in spite of who I am. When I pull up anywhere on my bike there is an often unspoken assumption that I am a women of strength simply because I ride a motorcycle. I certainly are stronger and more confident…….because I know God is in control. What makes me a biker for Christ is learning not only to grasp what God has shown me as I ride, but living it out every single minute of every single day. God is so good and so faithful. He has given me the sweetest gift by allowing me to ride for Him. What makes me a real biker is having the courage to ride consistently for the reasons He asks me to. What makes me a real Christian is accepting God for who He is and what He has done for me. Dottie ……………and so I ride

 

 

Taking Responsibilty

To continue a previous stream. 
Some times I am pretty good at running my mouth. When someone confides to me about a hurtful comment or an injustice my response could easily be, well that isn’t happening in my world. Or I might say I would never stand still for that. A favorite phrase is, back me into a corner and I come out fighting. I guess if truth be told that could be translated as, back me into a corner and I come out running empty, meaningless babble out of my mouth. 
My point is although we love to say we don’t let others words and actions affect us, we do. Although we don’t admit we let others actions towards us affect what we think about ourselves, they do. In fact at times we alter what we do, what we wear, where we go and even at times who we are, because of some one else’s opinion. It is not often we admit that fact but just because we don’t admit something does not mean it is not true. 
We live in a society soaked in unrealistic and untrue “truths”. When society says the ideal weight is much lower than we have ever weighed, we buy into it. When our neighbors have the best lawn on the block, we out do them. When society says life is about taking care of number one, we buy it hook, line and sinker. Everything we do, if we are honest, is usually measured at least to some degree by the “what would the neighbor think” standard. 
If only we could take God at His word as easily as we take societies word to heart. It doesn’t even have to be society at large we are basing our “truth”s on. We tend to take so many others opinions as our own. Family, spouse, neighbor, community leaders, boss, clergy (yes) all have words for us that may or may not be what is in our best interest. 
Let me lay out a few truths for you that you CAN count on and base your life on. These truths are the only foundation you need to build from. 
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb”. 

You were made by the God of creation. He knew you before you were born. Rest in that fact. 
“You are fearfully and wonderfully made” yes, that’s you I’m talking about. Let’s unpack that for just a minute here. Sit back and let these facts soak into your heart. 
In the original Hebrew text of the Bible, the word fearfully means: with great reverence, heart-felt interest and with respect. The word wonderfully means: unique, set apart, marvelous. (Google Definitions) 
So you, who feel totally unworthy some days, you who feel like you just don’t live up to anyone’s expectations of you, listen to me! You were made with the greatest reverence, you were made because deep in God’s heart He cares for you like no one else does, you were made by God with respect. When was the last time you felt revered and respected by others? When was the last time you felt someone was really interested? Well my friend, that is the exact set of circumstances in which you were created. 

Let me continue, you were made “wonderfully” you. Uniquely you- by design. Set- apart and marvelous you- by design. If God created and believes these things of you why do you believe otherwise? 
Jeremiah 1:5 

““Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you;.”

This verse is so beautiful and should help us to understand the completeness of God’s love for us. He took time before creating each of us to get to know exactly who He wanted us to be. We are well thought out creations, at the hands of the master. We aren’t some slapped together, hap hazard, thrown together mess of parts. We are wonderfully and uniquely made. 
Take responsibility for your life. Only you can decide if you are going to live thinking you are who society says you are, or who God says you are. Only you can make the decision to place control with the only one who truly knows you deep enough and loves you with a love strong enough to carry you to the goal of becoming all you were made to be. 
Who will you believe? 
Dottie

Getting Lost in the Crowd

Having to lay in bed all evening and night with my leg elevated gave me a lot of time to do what I love most. Ponder the words of Jesus and write about them.
Scripture lays out the story of God’s love for us quite plainly. God sent His Son to die for us, each and every one of us. There is not one on this earth that the blood of Jesus did not cover. The vastness of that is unfathomable.

But don’t you feel that at times you get lost being a tiny part of everybody? I think that we wonder how in the world God can care for us, value us and love us with His whole heart when Satan is telling us every day that we are simply trash to be thrown out, that we are in fact dispensable and not worthy of a love like God is offering. It is easy to feel lost in the crowd and invisible.

Then I remember that God created the heaven, earth and all that is on it. God made water, light and darkness, He made air, seasons, the sun, stars, the creatures of sea and land. It fills me with wonder that at the same time He did that, He made me. God not only made me but He made me in His image. Then He looked around and pronounced it good. Not part of His creation, but ALL CREATION. You and me included.
This is why I can rest assured that I am loved. God loves me. God proclaimed it!

I will not accept the price tag that society puts on me and Satan glorifies, nor should you. When you start to feel tiny in the vastness of everybody remember what God did. He created magnificence. Then as the ultimate show of love, He emptied Himself and took the form of man. He humbled Himself and died a cruel death for you and for me. He valued me and you above all else. He saw the treasure you and I are. That kind of love is hard to comprehend but we don’t have to understand it, we have to feel it, believe it and claim it.

So quit trying to earn what you already possess. Do you understand the implications of your inheritance? The implications of what you have already inherited actually. All that God has done, all His characteristics, you can claim this inheritance now. God loves you simply because you are His child. He created you, He died for you.

Don’t worry about getting lost in the crowd, you own the crown and God’s sees every move you make. He will not lose sight of you. You are covered with a heavenly light.

Dottie