Miracles Still Happen

For those of you, who know me; if you’re honest, you’ll admit that I’m not much fun.  I don’t like T.V., I’m not crazy about movies, I’m not a fiction reader…I’m just too serious for pretend! Thanks to a “chance” meeting last year with a new fiction writer, I am now hooked on Christian fiction!  I know, miracles still happen!  I’m sure your dying to know what author and book has worked this miracle.  The author’s name is Golden Keyes Parsons and the title of the book is “In the Shadow of the Sun King”.

 In The Shadow Of The Sun King                                                                            

Yes, I’ve had great “fun” reading this book. I’ve already started on the second one in Golden’s Darkness to Light series, but there is more to these books than fun.  You’re probably thinking, “If anybody can find the serious side, Dianne will be the one.”

 My take away from this book is there’s more to life than the day-to-day “stuff” that most of us spend our time and energy thinking, planning, praying and worrying about.  There is something bigger than us.  Other than accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior this one thing is EVERYTHING!  I would venture to say that most of us  never think about it until it’s too late to do anything about it.

 The Clavell family, in this book, knew about this one thing.  They paid a price that I hope I would be willing to pay.  This one thing was their Christian Heritage—their legacy—their future generations’ Christian faith.  How much time have you spent in your life thinking and/or praying about the faith of your great-great-grandchildren?  It was everything to the Clavell family.  They were willing to hide their children in caves, say no to the advances of the King, and flee to another country; just to be able to proclaim their faith and worship their God.  Every decision this family made was filtered through the goal of the preservation of their Christian faith.  What are our goals filtered through?

One of my life goals has been to leave a trail that my children can follow that will lead them straight to Christ.  I have missed this goal by a country mile many times, but I keep trying.  The question I’m asking myself and you is what practical things can do we do to ensure our Christian heritage will grow stronger with every generation until Jesus returns?

Please post your ideas @ dianneguthmuller.wordpress.com

**Who knows, if I can continue to read fiction, one day I may actually become a fun person!  🙂  Probably not!

“Know Him More”, 2009 Women’s Conference–Bethesda Baptist Church, Ellerslie, GA

To the Women of Bethesda Baptist Church,

 Greetings in the Name of Jesus!  I hope you are all having a wonderful re-entry week following the “Know Him More” Conference.  I am so grateful that it was in God’s Plan for me to be with you at the conference.  I was blessed by your hospitality, friendliness, the great cooks, amazing decorating and design skills, organizational ability; the list could go on and on but the most important thing I can say about the women of Bethesda Baptist is “you love the Lord!”

 The accommodations from the time I arrived in Columbus until I headed south to return home made me feel special and loved.  Your generous monetary gift was so appreciated.  Thank you for sowing into my life and ministry.

 Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this special time.  I “Know Him More” because of my time with you.

Don’t forget to make your plans to take the 2010 Journey to Knowing Him More. It’s a life-changing trip and I don’t want to go without you!  If you subscribe to my blog (on right) I keep you updated with the details.

 Thanking God for you!

 Dianne Guthmuller

Today I found out I’m a CF Carrier

(Written June 28, 2009)

The first time I heard the words “Cystic Fibrosis”, I said ,“what is that?”   You may have the same question.  Click here  http://www.cff.org/AboutCF/ to learn more…

 To have cystic fibrosis, a person must inherit two copies of the defective CF gene—one copy from each parent. If both parents are carriers of the CF gene (i.e., they each have one copy of the defective gene, but do not have the disease themselves), their child will have a 25% chance of inheriting both defective copies and having cystic fibrosis, a 50% chance of inheriting one defective copy and being a carrier, and a 25% chance of not having CF or carrying the gene.

I’m 53 years old; I’ve been a CF carrier since before I was born and I just found out today.  I have three kids.  Two of my kids have been tested and are carriers and my granddaughter has CF.  What a huge thing to pass on.  I’m still processing through the magnitude of this news.

There’s a lot I do not understand about genetics but this is what I do understand:

Psalm 139: 13-16

For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place.

When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me

were written in your book

before one of them came to be.

 

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

  

Jeremiah 29:11

 

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

 

 

As a mother and a grandmother, I have times when I have regrets.  There are many things I did as a Mom that I would love to go back and change.  There are attitudes, personality traits, and quirks I wish I would have kept to myself and not passed on to my children.  I really wish I had not passed Cystic Fibrosis on to my children and grandchildren.  But there’s one thing I passed on to them that I’m really happy about…life.

 

Deutronomy 30:19-20 

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.  And that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 

 

This I know… my children and grandchildren are my greatest heritage.  We all are “fearfully and wonderfully made” and  all the days ordained for us were written in our heavenly Father’s book before one of them came to be”.  We are perfectly made according to his plan and purpose for us! (Psalm 139: 13-16)

 


 

 The Holy Bible : New International Version. Grand Rapids : Zondervan, 1996, c1984

In the Potter’s Hands

I found this poem few days ago in my treasure chest.  I wrote it in 1997.  I had lost a lot:  a 22 year marriage, a really good friend, a successful career, my house, my car.  Jesus, the potter has been so faithful to me!

In the Potter’s Hands, written in 1997, by Dianne Miles (Guthmuller)

 

Here I am…high upon this shelf…isolated…lonely…

How long have I been here?

…days, weeks…maybe months.  I’ve lost track of time…I don’t like it here…I’m so bored.

But, it’s much better than the other places I’ve been.

First, there was that wheel…Round and round and round and round.

The Potter’s thumbs were constantly pushing and probing…one time He almost crushed me.  I don’t even feel like myself…

Who am I? … What am I? … Where am I? …Oh…I’m so tired

No!!! No!!!! …Not that!!!! …Not the fire…What did I do? …What did I say? …I’m sorry… I’ll be good… I’m sorry I didn’t turn out the way You planned …Please, oh please don’t destroy me …Why are You so mad at me?

Pushing me… crushing me… burning me alive…Is there anything left? …What do I look like?

Now, He’s ignoring me…how long has it been?  It’s a long way down.  It’s so high on this top shelf… I’m afraid… I think the Potter is disappointed in the way I turned out… What if He forgets about me? …I guess He’s decided to use me to balance this shelf.

Wait!!!! …He’s coming this way… He’s looking at me… staring at me… He’s smiling… He’s reaching for me…

Where am I going?…  I don’t know… I don’t care…

 …I’m in the Potter’s Hands

The Piano

moms bday surprise 002

 

When I was in the fourth grade my Dad bought me a piano.  It was one of those huge, upright kinds with the mirror on the top.  It was used but in my ten year old mind I thought it was the biggest and best piano in the world!  I immediately began to take lessons and didn’t stop until my sophomore year of high school.  In high school I played on Sundays and Wednesdays at the little Baptist church I attended.

After I got married and left home (yes, in that order) I could not wait to have a house so I could have my piano with me.  When that day finally arrived, my Dad loaded up the piano in the back of his pickup truck and drove the 80 plus miles to bring it to me.  It was so heavy he thought he there was no need to tie it down—big mistake.  When he made a left turn the piano flipped out of the truck onto the road.  Just imagine driving by and seeing someone frantically picking up “the ivories” and throwing them into the back of a truck.  It must have been a funny sight, but it wasn’t funny to my Dad.  My Dad knew nothing about music, but he was very proud of himself for picking this particular piano.  Everyone who played it said it had a beautiful sound, so needless to say, he was just sick when saw it lying on the road in hundreds of pieces.  I’m sure he said a few choice words when it happened, but he got over it quickly and made a plan.  After loading up all the parts he found a guy about 15 miles from where I lived who fixed pianos and he immediately took it to him, before he ever came to our house!  Remember, this was before cell phones and internet; I have no idea how he did it, but that was my Dad—the ultimate make-it-happen kind of guy!

We moved several times over the years and the piano always went with us until one day I decided that I was tired of the piano—it didn’t match my furniture, it took up too much space, it was hard to move and I really didn’t play it that much.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want a piano; I just didn’t want THAT piano.  My son Jeremy had a friend whose Mom wanted a piano really bad, so we worked out trade for her son to tutor Jeremy in exchange for the piano. So, in 1992, my piano again rode away in a pickup truck to its new home.

A year or so later we moved to our dream house and got a new piano.  It was a little spinet; and yes, it matched my furniture, but it sure didn’t have the big, clear sound that my old piano had.  This piano didn’t stay in the family very long. It wasn’t because it didn’t look good or match my furniture; I had to sell it to pay bills.  A lot had changed since my old piano left. I was a now a single parent and my Dad had died of cancer.  Why did I get rid of my Dad’s piano?  I can’t tell you how many times I asked myself that question.  I am sure my Dad was really hurt when I gave it away; but he never said anything.

Many years have passed; I think about my Dad and the piano almost every time I see an old upright piano and I say to myself, “Why did I get rid of my Dad’s piano?”  As time has marched on and the grandkids have arrived I have thought many times of what it would be like to have that old piano around for Christmas carols and birthday songs.  I have even mentioned to my kids, “I wish I could get my piano back.”

Yesterday I returned home from a week-long trip with the grandkids.  It had been a long day of driving and I couldn’t wait to get home.  It was going to be especially quiet because my husband Harry was away on a business trip.  When I drove down the winding road to my house I noticed my daughter Krista’s car.  It was parked in a funny spot.  What was she doing at my house?  As I got closer, I saw my son-in-law Larry’s work truck and really became confused—why are they at my house?

I quickly got out of the car; the door was locked.  “What is going on” I thought.  I rushed to unlock the door and hurried in to see; I could not believe it, a piano — MY piano — MY DAD’S PIANO!  Where did it come from, how did they do it, who did it?  I was in shock.  All I knew was that my piano that I thought was gone forever was home.

I guess my kids were listening to my lamenting over the years.  About a month before my birthday they decided it would be a great birthday present to buy the piano back from Jeremy’s friend’s Mom.  So, my younger daughter Krista wrote a letter, took it to the piano’s owner’s house, and taped it on the front door because no one was home.  In the letter she explained the desire of her and her brother and sister to buy back the piano for my birthday.

This sweet woman said yes, to my childrens’ offer!

After about 15 minutes of asking questions and finding out how this miracle came to be, it hit me, “I’m sitting on the same bench in front of the same piano my Dad bought me 44 years ago AND my children loved me enough to make it happen.”—The tears began to flow and as my husband Harry will tell you, “this girl doesn’t cry very often.” I know and have always known that my children love and appreciate me.  I also know that my Dad loved me but now I have something tangible, my piano to remind me of their love forever.

The Simple Life…of a Christian

 

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I’m sure that “simple” is not the way most people would describe their life as a Christ Follower.  My life can certainly get complicated at times.  The Holy Spirit is in the process of teaching me something about making the Christian life simple; so come along and think this through with me. This year I have been reading the One-Year Chronological Bible during my morning porch time.  It’s July and I’m still in the Old Testament! I keep noticing this one phrase over and over again, hundreds of times:  So that they will know that I am the Lord their God. It hit me last week that the purpose of the Old Testament was so that the earth and all its inhabitants would know that God, Jehovah, Yahweh– the God of the Bible, is the Lord our God. 

This word “know” is translated from the Hebrew word yada’ and is used 947 times and means to know, learn to know or to know by experience.

Test this out; read any book or story in the Old Testament and ask yourself why did that happen; what was the purpose?  The answer is most likely going to be so that they would know (learn to know and experience) that the God of the Bible is the Lord their God. 

So what was the message of the New Testament? I’m so glad you asked 🙂

Matthew 22:34-40

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together.  One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:  “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Wow!  God shouted the message I am your God throughout the Old Testament.  Then Jesus came and said we are not only to know that God is God, but we are to love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind. This is step one of the Simple Life.  Jesus gave us the second step in that same scripture—Love your neighbor.  Jesus didn’t just tell us how to love, he showed us by dying on the cross for his “neighbor(s)”.  So the New Testament is all about loving your neighbor as yourself. 

Life is so crazy these days; there’s so much we can do.  How do we know what we should do and what we shouldn’t do?  Wouldn’t it be great if we had a filter (a device that removes impurities) that we could run every situation, decision or conversation through to see if it lined up with the will of God for our lives? 

I think the Greatest Commandment is that filter!

In the future when I have a question about how to handle a situation, person, or decision I’m going to filter it through the Greatest Commandment:

1. Will this situation, decision, or conversation show My God that I love him with all my heart, soul and mind?

2. Will this situation, decision, or conversation treat my neighbor in a way that I would want to be treated?

If the answer to either question is no, then I will have to S-T-O-P and rethink my strategy.

Have I over simplified our Christian walk?  What are your thoughts?

Life is Hard, but God is Good

hurdles  

The last couple of months have been difficult, to say the least.  No one would describe me as an athlete, but the best way to share this season of my life is through the analogy of a high hurdle runner. 

 Here are some interesting facts I’ve learned about hurdles:

Every race has a distance to the first hurdle, a space between each hurdle, and a distance to the finish line. They are not the same. The hurdle height is also critical. There are ten hurdles in all common races except the high school 300 hurdles, which have eight. Short races (indoor distances) usually have five hurdles.

 So here’s the analogy: 

§         The track is the life God has planned for me 

§         Each race is a particular season of my life

§         Each hurdle is a trial or obstacle to living victorious in that season

§         The height of the hurdle is the magnitude of the trial or obstacle

§         The number of hurdles indicates the length of time and the level of difficulty of this particular season

§         The space between each hurdle is the calm times of life

§         The evidence of victory at the finish line is using the trials to encourage others

My life has been filled with lots of great times, but I have also had some pretty hefty trials; like most people who have lived 50+ years.  I’ve learned that when there is space between the hurdles; in other words, one trial at a time, and then a time of peace before and after it; I do pretty good– I’ve found my stride.  The folks watching my race may say, “Dianne’s running a great race!”  But every now and then, the track gets modified, the hurdles are placed very close together and I crash and burn.  This has only happened a few times in my life, but the lessons I’ve learned have been life changing.

So what do I do when life is hard?

§         Thank God for my blessings

§         Get plenty of rest

§         Eat right (serious stress affects my digestive system so I have to be on a bland diet)

§         Exercise (My favorite exercise these days in yard work)

§         Increase my time alone with God

§         Read the Bible daily so that the Holy Spirit can speak to me

§         Journal my thoughts and feelings

§         Rejoice in God’s daily provision and guidance through the trial

§         Seek encouragement from positive, Godly friends, music, and books

§         Stay in the boat until the storm passes–when I don’t know what to do, I “be still”

§         Look for the lessons of the trial and learn them quickly

 

I know there are many reasons for tough times:  We live in a fallen, sinful world; our fleshly desires are constantly warring against our Godly desires; there is an enemy of our soul who wishes to not only destroy us but to use us to destroy others; and finally there are trials that God allows to grow us into the person he planned for us to be.  Satan, our enemy, would like for us to focus on where the trial came from rather than the one who can carry us through it.  One of my favorite scriptures to hold on to during the hard times is Genesis 50:20 (NIV): You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

 I can personally say, I have seen this scripture come to pass when life gets hard.  Yes, right now I’m overwhelmed because life is hard; I’m not sure what to do, but this one thing I know…

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who  have been called according to his purpose.    Romans 8:28 (NIV)

 

 Focusing on Him,

 Dianne

A New Reality Show is coming…

  Time Magazine's List of Influential People for 2009

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/0,28757,1894410,00.html?iid=redirect-time100

 

Would you like some advice from the smartest person on earth?

 Just imagine a new reality show with 20 contestants who have a life-changing decision to make.  After 10 weeks of competing one contestant will win the opportunity to ask the wisest person on earth for their advice on this life-changing decision.  What would we call this new reality show?  “Biggest Winner”, “American Crossroads”, “Extreme Decision-Making”…

 Today, the Time Magazine web-site has an article on the world’s most influential people in 2009. I wonder if our imaginary contestants on our imaginary reality show would choose any of Time Magazine’s picks.  Who is the smartest person in today’s world? I have no idea, but I saw something today in my early morning “porch time” that gives me clear direction when seeking advice.

 In 1 Kings 10:1-13 and 2 Chronicles 8:1-12 there is a story very similar to our reality show scenario:

 The queen of the land of Sheba heard of the great wisdom of King Solomon of Israel and journeyed there with gifts of spices, gold, precious stone, and beautiful wood to test him with questions.  “The queen talked with him about everything she had on her mind.  Solomon had answers for all her questions; nothing was too hard for the king to explain to her.” (1 Kings 10:2, NLT)

 Looking through the filter of unrest in today’s world, Solomon’s ability to have peace on all his borders (1 Kings 4:24) is enough credibility for the entire world to look to him for advice.   Israel—peace on all its borders–definitely, a supernatural thing!

The Wisdom of Solomon was a “supernatural” gift from God.  “The Lord asked Solomon in a dream, what do you want?  Ask, and I will give it to you!” (1 Kings 3:5-15). “Solomon asked for an understanding heart so that he could govern his people well and know the difference between right and wrong” (1 Kings 3:9).  It is no wonder that the richest of the rich were willing to travel far and offer large gifts to benefit from supernatural, superhuman wisdom.

After reading Solomon’s advice in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes I found two sentences that sum up all his wisdom:

 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3: 5-6)

 I think I’ll pass on our fictional reality show or asking  Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people for advice and choose supernatural, superhuman advice from the one who knows the difference between right and wrong.

 

Have a blessed day!

 Dianne

My name is Dianne Guthmuller and I’m a Procrastinator

  Okay, there, I said it!  This is tough for me to admit, because I have  taught lots of classes and workshops on how to overcome procrastination.  When I graduated from Southeastern University in 2008, with a degree in Church Leadership, Mark Rutland the President of the University charged us ( ME ) to “preach the Word of God”.  The magnitude of that statement brought me to tears that day.  God spoke loudly a year ago that I was to retire from my job as a Performance Consulting Manager and wait for His next step. I’m getting to do some teaching at my church, but one of the ways I feel I am to “preach the Word” is through this blog.  This past week I came to the realization that I was waiting for the perfect feeling to hit me at the perfect time to write the perfect post. 

Check out the most common reasons why people procrastinate:

1.  They really dislike the particular task

2.  They don’t know how to do it

3.  They’re waiting until they have time to do it “perfectly”

4. They lack self-confidence

5.  They’re waiting to be inspired

Yep, I’m busted, # 3 and #5…that’s me–I’m a procrastinator!

Okay, the first step in overcoming any problem is to admit it, so now what do I do?  I decided to look to the Apostle Paul for advice.  He definitely knew how to “preach the Word”.  As I read this passage it felt like he was speaking just to me.  Check out Philippians 3:12-16 in “The Message”. 

12 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me.
13 Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus.
14 I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
15 So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet!
16 Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.

I am continually amazed at how relevant the Bible is for today’s world.  Two words come to mind: Filter and Focus.  Am I the only person that wants to do a 100 things?  Verse 13 in the NIV  reads “this ONE thing I do.”  If we can boil our purpose down to one thing it will be much easier to filter out the distractions and focus on our goal.

Someone asked celebrated author and speaker Chuck Swindoll how he found the time to write so many books with all of his responsibilities as a Pastor?  Rev. Swindoll responded, “I just write an hour a day, everyday”.

Write an hour a day…Now that sounds like a plan!  As Paul said in verse 16, “now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it!”

What tasks do you  procrastinate on and why?

Confession is good for the soul!  I sure feel better!

                                                                                                                                                                   

 

Passion Sells…

 

Have you ever heard the saying, “Passions sells!”  I have not only heard it, I’ve lived it.  I’ve been in sales my whole life.  My first sales job was selling watermelons on the side of the road as a teenager; my most exciting sales job was being a Mary Kay Sales Director and winning a Pink Cadiallac and my  last sales job at this writing was teaching bankers how to sell all across the Southeast.  In all those years I have learned that when you are passionate and believe in your product it’s easy to sell it.  Many of us sell things every day we don’t make a dime on–a great restaurant, an unbelievable shoe sale, or a place that gives bad service (we sell our friends on NOT doing business with them).

I’ve seen a whole lot of sellin’ going on recently.  I call it “Twilight mania.”The Twilight Saga Collection by Stephenie Meyer– I have not read the books but I’ve seen many of my family and friends “selling” these books to everyone they come in contact with.  This is not a post to criticize the books, the author, or anyone who has read them.  But what is really on my mind is the fact that Christians have a life-changing book at our finger tips that is  a tool that the God of the universe gave us to know Him and communicate with Him and we never talk about it, rarely open it and certainly aren’t passionate about it.    

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The book I’m talking about; the Bible is God’s letter to humanity collected into 66 books written by 40 divinely inspired writers.   As a Christian is just makes me so sad to see how screwed up our (Christians) priorities are.  No wonder people call us hypocrites; we say God is first in our lives and then we spend more of our passion and time reading and discussing some vampire book than we do the only book that can connect us with the one true God.

Many people are in desperate situations–marriage problems, financial crises, flu pandemics and all we are offering them is fantasy, a temporary escape?  Let’s wake up realize the amazing miracle we have in our hands and share it with passion everywhere we go.

If this post sparks any interest in becoming passionate about the Bible, I would highly recommend “The New Believer’s Bible.  It is the most user-friendly Bible I have ever read!  Check it out!  It will change your life!!!!!

NLT New Believers Bible: Paperback -  

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