Stay Where God Planted You

After my morning walk, I approached my house and was amazed to see what looked like a sunflower growing in the midst of my rose bush.

We’ve lived here for fourteen years. The spot was once a fish pond. We did away with that about nine years ago. In its place, I’ve planted peonies, a couple of rose bushes, and lilies, but never a sunflower seed.

How cool it was that God planted it there. Whether a weed or a sunflower, it grew not next to the roses, but in the midst of the rose bush.

God’s precious voice reminding me that we need to stay where He has planted us and He will grow us up. We may feel like a sunflower or more like a weed. We may not know why we’re planted in a certain spot, or see what the purpose is until He starts to grow us and we rise among the roses.

Never doubt where God has you or why, just watch for Him, trust Him and He will fulfill His purpose in your life.

Nothing can stop God’s plan for your life. For the Lord Almighty has a purposed, and who can thwart  him? His hand is stretched our, and who can turn it back? Isaiah 14:27

Books by Dana K. Ray

Absolution Book 1 in The Luciano Series  http://a.co/1hRwM7T or https://danakray.com 

A Second Chance http://a.co/baTuF38​ or https://danakray.com 

 

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Watch, Trust, Do Not be Afraid

I drove to church today overwhelmed.

Our student minister is moving to another ministry. It’s been five months since my assistant and good friend moved. My work load seems daunting. My youngest son is a senior so this year is already bursting with “the last” of so many things. My new book was just released so the fall is full of book events. I have been wondering how long I can keep up with the current pace.

In Children’s Church we learned three things that Isaiah echoed to King Ahaz.

Watch for God.

Trust God.

And do not be afraid.

I asked the kids to tell me when they’ve seen a sign from God. We heard a lot of cool stories. Then I asked them to share some scary things that were currently going on in their lives. Things they had to trust God to get through.

A few answers… My grandmother has cancer. My father recently passed away. My uncle passed away. I had to have surgery last week. The leaving of the student minister. Grandparents getting older.

Some very serious events going on in the lives of kindergarteners through 5th graders. I was humbled, to say the least.

We stopped and prayed to a BIG God and knew that He heard us.

God told Joshua three times …be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid.

If you’re overwhelmed, He is there.

If you need a miracle, no matter how big or small, He is there.

He wants to show Himself to each one of us.

Watch for Him.

Trust Him.

Don’t be afraid.

 Books by Dana K. Ray

Absolution Book 1 in The Luciano Series  http://a.co/1hRwM7T or https://danakray.com

A Second Chance https://amzn.com/1632132605  or https://danakray.com

Prayers Answered Check out DanaKRay.com

Hi all you faithful followers! God has answered so many prayers over the last few months so I want you to jump over to my NEW blog at DanaKRay.com 

I had my first book published at the end of May and would love for you to check it out! You can purchase an autographed copy on DanaKRay.com or download on kindle or purchase a copy at https://amzn.com/1632132605

Subscribe to my BLOG on DanaKRay.com so you can keep updated on my crazy life and see all the things God’s doing in it!!

Love ALL you readers out there!! 🙂

Dana

My Promised Land

“And after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.” Hebrews 6:15 (NIV)

Have you ever prayed for something for so long that you have to continually remind yourself that God’s timing is perfect? And even though we know His timing is perfect, the wait can be excruciating!

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. God put the desire in my heart at a very early age. Stories have played like movies in my head since as far back as I can remember.

I won my first poetry contest in fifth grade. A simple poem I wrote in 1976, the theme: The Bicentennial.

One of our famous presidents was Lincoln,

He did us lots of good thinkin’

All though he was tall,

He was loved by all and

He kept the southern states from leavin’!

Wow, and I won first place. Amazing, huh? My prize…a book about boys track. Yes, the ultimate punishment, they thought Dana was a boy. Ugh. Not the first time someone thought I was a boy, but I graciously accepted my book, taped my poem in it and have cherished it since. Occasionally I pull it from the shelf, look at it and giggle. It is a reminder of God working in my life even before I knew Him as savior and friend.

I began the year 2015 with these words, “Okay God, it’s been twenty some years since I started putting our stories down on paper and this is the year. It’s time to start trying to get them out to the publishing world. By the end of 2015, I will be entering my Promised Land. And if I don’t have a publishing contract, I will self-publish.”

Reminded of my promise to God daily, and with the help of my critique partner’s encouragement, I subbed one of my books to two publishers in September. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. But God is good and before I knew it, I had both interested and one offered a contract. I’m excited to say that I signed that contract on December 4, 2015 with a release date set for next year. Whew. Twenty plus days to spare.

A Second Chance is due out May 24, 2016.

As I sit here and write this I believe our God to be big and I believe Him to fulfill our dreams. I am a walking example of His answer to prayer. I pray you will dream big dreams and believe our God to be as huge as He really is. Thank you, Jesus, for continued answer to prayer!

God Speaks Through a Diet Coke

I was preparing for an important task and I needed help. Help is one of the hardest things for me to ask for, but I have learned to yield to God in this. I swallowed my pride and asked Tammy (name changed) to help me. Of course she willingly said yes, even seemed excited. The day before the task, I got the dreaded text. Tammy had to back out. In the Spirit I understood and was very pleasant. In the flesh I irritated.  

I’m whining to God about Tammy and having to do the task alone as I stopped for my morning coffee. It was already ninety degrees so I swayed from the hot coffee and decided to grab a diet Coke instead. Very rarely do I buy a screw top diet Coke. I prefer the fountain drink but today, for some odd reason (God) I grabbed the screw top bottle and took it to the checkout.

The checkout person held the bottle up and in an almost too cheerful way, said, “Look, you get to share a coke with Tammy.”

I said, “What?”

He held the diet Coke up, spun the bottle around and there was Tammy’s name printed on the label. “This is Coke’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. They put names on the bottles of a person and you’re supposed to find someone with that name and buy them a Coke, or you could bless them in some other way, I guess. Your call.”

I walked to my car and once inside, held the bottle up and looked at the name in big black letters. Tammy. I laughed with God for a long moment. God, through a diet Coke, had to remind me that sometimes I don’t have the right heart or attitude. I might have done the right thing outwardly, I understood and was nice, but my heart wasn’t right.

I’ve heard preachers say that even when you don’t want to do the right thing do it anyway, your heart will catch up. I’m once step closer to my heart catching up. Next time, it won’t be a forced ‘do the right thing,’ but it will just come naturally in the Spirit.

How Long Will You Wait?

I was in a brand new hospital. After visiting a friend I left the room, found my way back to the elevator, and pushed the button. I was pretty proud of myself. I didn’t get lost. I noticed that the little light didn’t come on under the arrow down button on the elevator. I shrugged it off. It’s a new building. It has some kinks to work out. I’m sure the elevator is on it’s way. I pushed the button another couple of times just to make sure. No light but no worries. I’m sure it’ll be here. I got my phone out, checked twitter and facebook then looked up at the elevator. Hmm, strange, it should’ve been here by now. It’s a small hospital and I’m only on the fourth floor.

I pushed the button, again. No light. I pushed it harder. No light. I pushed it over and over. Still no light. I’m trying not to make a scene but I continually pushed the button. A nurse walked by, smiled and went on her way. I gave it one last push and figure, lights burnt out, surely it’s on it’s way.

I watched a couple of Vine videos then double checked the sign. It said elevator. Maybe I should tell someone. I push it again. I look at the time and sighed. I’d been standing and waiting for a while. I gave it another couple of pushes then gave up. I’m finding the stairs. It’s only four flights. I can walk.

I walked back into the hallway and looked for a stairs sign. There in the corner, hanging from another wall was a sign that said elevator. I turned the corner, pushed the arrow down button. The light lit up and within seconds the elevator door opened. I walked in and began laughing at myself. I later found out the other elevator wass for employees only. If I’d looked closer, there was a black box on the wall that allowed employees to swipe their cards which turned the elevator on.

As I got in my car I wondered why I stood in front of that elevator for so long. Why didn’t I move when it was obvious it wasn’t working? I thought of the Israelites standing at the Red Sea. Yes, God sometimes tells us to be still but sometimes, He tells us to move! The Israelites were backed up against the sea. Moses told them to stand firm and see the deliverance of the Lord. God said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.”

There are times we feel like we can’t do anything but wait. We continually push the button thinking surely the light will come on. We think we are being still, waiting for God, but in reality, we’re overcome with fear or exhaustion all the while God is telling us to move so that we can receive His deliverance.

If you hear Him tell you to move discard the distractions, the fear, the embarrassment, whatever is holding you back and move. Your deliverance, like the elevator, could be just around the corner.

New Year’s Resolution

As the New Year approaches many of you are starting your list of New Year resolutions.  Instead of resolutions, I prefer to spend some time thinking about the path God has me on, where He wants me to go and how am I getting there.  I ask myself, if over the last year, I got closer to His plan for my life and if not, what are some goals I can set this next year to see it happen.

As I drove to an appointment the other morning I was stuck in traffic.  We were at an on and off dead stop for over 30 minutes.  I began to think about the past year and the upcoming one and if I was getting closer to His plan for my life.

I watched cars pull onto the shoulder hoping to catch a glimpse of what was holding us up.  Other cars wouldn’t wait.  They cut across the center median or went through the ditch to take a different route.

I wonder which really takes longer, to sit it out or take a different route.  I mean, we could be seconds away from the lanes opening up.  When I’m ready to throw in the towel and attempt to go a different way we start to move, if ever so slightly.  All I needed was that little encouragement to reaffirm that we will be unstuck soon.

God’s path is so similar.  We are on the road towards His plan for our lives but there are times He makes us wait and we feel like we do when we’re stuck in traffic. We can’t see what’s blocking us or why we are stopped.  I often wonder what taking an alternate path does?  Do we miss the blessing?  Does it take longer? Were we seconds away from our breakthrough?

I find that when discouragement is overwhelming and I’m ready to go another route, God gives me a glimpse of His glory, some encouragement that keeps me on the road with my eyes on Him.  We never now how close that breakthrough is.

This year, lets stay the course.  Stay on the path God has set before you and don’t let anything veer you off.  Keep your eyes on Jesus and do whatever it takes to be closer to Him!

Have a blessed New Year!