Posts by Deanna Young

You Are A Shining Star

Childhood plays.
Piano recitals.
Little League pitcher.

Then we grew up a bit.
Homecoming royalty.
Football playmaker.
College graduate.

Then adult life hit.
Successful career.
Doting spouse.
Proud parent.

The world defines all of these things as “Success”.  Big stars shining brightly above everything else.  But we can be Shing Stars in our universe without having a crown, a trophy or a corner office.

We can shine bright from our homes, in our communities and outside of our churches.

How do we do that?

By being different than the world.
By standing out for Jesus.
By showing love and patience to others.

In Philippians 2:14, Paul says to “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe. ”

People dealt with the same junk 2000 years ago that we deal with now!

But let me encourage us all to follow the same advice now as was written then.

Don’t grumble.  Don’t argue.  Don’t fall into the devil’s scheme of chaos and crookedness and evil.

Instead be like Jesus.  Shine like the stars of the universe.  Stand out.

You are a shining star.

Now go shine bright.

You’re Gonna Need Shades!

I was heading to the outside garage at our home that is not attached to our house.  It is the shelter for two vehicles, the lawn mower and some Christmas decorations along with one side that is finished and serves as our home offices.

As I stepped from my house into the sunlight, my sunglasses-covered eyes adjusted to the brightness for the few steps it took to get into the outside garage.  As I opened the walk-in door and took the one step up to the concrete floor, my eyes did not adjust to the newfound darkness.  I took off my sunglasses but it didn’t help.

I could not see in front of me except for a small trail of light that came from the tiny window.  I walked very slow and easy trying to remember if anything was in my path to that office door.  I made is successfully without falling thankfully and was so relieved as I opened the office door to the room full of light.

I turned around to look over my shoulder to see the things that could have been in my path to cause me to stumble.  There was the lawn mower, a couple boxes, the dog crate, a plastic Santa.

And then I realized, there was a light switch as I walked into the garage that I didn’t think to flip.

It reminds me of how our lives are in the world each day.  I wake up and start my day with devotions sitting in the well-lit living room recliner.  I think I’ve got the world by the tail and I have great plans to cling to Jesus all day and not stumble.  But inevitably sin creeps in and I find myself falling.

I reach for the One who brings light and He picks me up and escorts me back into His path.  I look around and see all the ways I could fall just like those boxes, crates and lawnmowers.  I see shiny things and wants and desires and seeds of sin.

But I realize when I hold to the hand of God, He leads me through the messes that can trip me up and guides me right into the light.  If I let go of His hand and stray, I know that He is right there waiting for me to ask for His help and He holds out His hand to cup mine in His and leads me in the paths of His light.

Isaiah 41:13 – For I am the Lord, your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

If you feel like you are in the dark today, don’t keep stumbling.  Stop right where you are, reach out for the Heavenly hand and ask God to forgive and lead you back into the light.

Oh and by the way, you may want to grab your sunglasses because this journey could be a bit bright.  🙂

Let Us Come Together As One

In the midst of all the chaos in this world, I didn’t even know where to begin to write.   I was afraid anything I said would be wrong.  But then I saw this picture and watched this 24 second video from a group in Houston, Texas where the white community bowed and asked the black community for forgiveness for years of racism.  Then the black community accepted the apology and bowed and asked for forgiveness for years of holding back forgiveness and for acting out in anger.

Then they all prayed together.

As one group.

Holding hands and grasping arms and touching the shoulder of the ones in front of them.  They came together as ONE nation under God.  One people created by God.

The media wants to continue to portray only the negative but we must believe there is good in this world and we must do our part and show love to ALL people.

The devil is having a hay-day right now.  He loves chaos.  He loves seeing people turn against people.  He loves violence.  He loves unrest.  He loves when people break the commandments.  He loves hate and anger.

In Ephesians 6:12, Paul clearly tells us that our struggle is NOT AGAINST FLESH AND BLOOD but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil.  We are all fighting the devil, not each other.

It’s sin that causes all of this heartache.  And the only way to fight against this evil is to come together and stand our ground with truth from God, prayers, the Bible, faith and salvation.

Please join me in not pointing fingers, not blaming, not rioting, not hating and not becoming angry but rather in coming together as one body created by God, praying on our knees like there is no tomorrow, witnessing to others about the salvation of Jesus and standing strong in faith that God uses all things for the good of those who love Him.  (Romans 8:28)

Let’s use this time of chaos to come together as ONE and allow God to give us peace in the middle of our hurt.

You can see the video here.

 

Inconvenient Freedom

INCONVENIENCE:  noun – trouble or difficulty caused to one’s personal requirements or comfort.

Have you experienced any “inconvenience” over the last several months?  It seems like during this pandemic, we are now living every day in an inconvenient state.

I can’t go to the movies or church.
I have to wear a mask that makes me claustrophobic.
I’ve used alcohol-based hand sanitizer until my hands are chapped.
I have to be sure to stand on the blue X to stay six-feet away from any human.
I can’t go to the pizza joint with my friends.

Cry. Sob. Whine.

WOW!  Do you realize what all I just said?  And I imagine you were nodding your head or thinking to yourself, “yes, I know.  I’ve experienced all that stuff, too”.

Look at us!  Crying over a little inconvenience on the day we honor and remember those who have sacrificed their lives and their own freedom to protect ours. What about their inconvenience?

Soldiers in 100 degree temperatures, weighed down with pounds and pounds of gear holding rifles in their hands marching through the dark of night.

Men and women lying for days in bunkers with very little water, stale food and no toilet to relieve themselves all the while being on the lookout for the enemy.

Brave people flying into bullets.  And those going before them to prepare the way.

Living with all their inconveniences……. to save our freedom.

Freedom to still be able to have curbside grocery pickup.
Freedom to drive-thru and get ice cream and a cheeseburger.
Freedom to work from home and meet our colleagues on the latest app.
Freedom to worship with others via streamed technology.
Freedom to choose what movie we will watch from 100’s of channels on the guide.

Folks…we are inconvenienced but we are free.

On this Memorial Day Mid-Pandemic 2020, remember and honor those who lived an inconvenienced life to allow us this awesome Freedom.

Whether it’s a spoiled freedom or inconvenienced freedom, it’s still freedom.

Thank you for all who sacrificed for my freedom.  May God continue to show up in mighty ways and bless our great big, awesome United States of America.