CINDYHOUGHTON   45,208
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CINDYHOUGHTON's Recent Blog Entries

Times of Trouble

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I feel the suffering of others deeply. I am one of the first to want to alleviate the suffering too. I have suffered in my life and have not enjoyed it at all. I am overwhelmed again this morning, but this time at the pain that my fellow Sparkers are feeling. One of my favorite quotes is from A Walk to Remember. It says we learn compassion from the things we have suffered. So true, so true. We have people who are dealing with cancer in loved ones and they suffer as they watch their lives slip away. My daddy and grandmother were both taken from me by cancer. I am reminded of Daddy this time of year because this is when he died. I miss my daddy. I also hear the pain of rejection singing loud and clear in the voices of my fellow Sparkers. We fear the judgment and condemnation of other's thoughts. We don't have to know their thoughts to know what they are thinking, perhaps because we too have heard those thoughts race through our own minds about ourselves.
It is my hope and prayer that they all find the strength they need to face what is before them today. Our roughest days can be some of our best. We never want to repeat them, but can be glad for them. I am stronger because of what I have suffered. I would not be where I am had I not suffered. I know more how very well the love of God can carry me when things get rough. I know through them that He will never leave or forsake me. I have seen His power in my weaknesses so that it is far easier to depend on Him the next time. I am more convinced of His love for me and His ability to care for me because of the trying times. It is my prayer that each of you will find this same strength in your times of weakness. May God be with you, my friends.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDABENEDICT 10/14/2010 12:00PM

    Thanks for this blog !

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BESTSUSIEYET 10/12/2010 8:55PM

    Your heart reflects HIS, Cindy -- thanks for letting God care for others through you!

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3CATSLEP 10/12/2010 5:42PM

    I can't think of where the verse is right now, but it tells us to suffer patiently. Thank you for sharing another wonderful, heart-felt blog.

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Overwhelmed

Monday, October 11, 2010

I am overwhelmed with peace right now. I am at peace with who I am and who I have become. I know that God is pleased with me and there is no greater satisfaction. To know His voice and to hear His words of love towards me are what give my life meaning and purpose. Without it there is no satisfaction in this life. I have walked on both sides. As long as I know that He walks beside me I can walk anywhere. I can walk through anything, even death without fear. I loathe anything that takes me from this. I do not desire it because all I want is more of what I have right now. There is so much more that awaits me. I have only just begun to discover the wonders of His love for me. I cannot begin to comprehend how limitless it is. It will take me everywhere I want to go and to places I never imagined existed before He showed me. I cannot ask for more.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BESTSUSIEYET 10/11/2010 8:32PM

    I love it, Cindy! Thanks for sharing your heart!

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NJMATTICE 10/11/2010 4:43PM

    Filled with the Spirit. Enjoy.
Love,
Nancy

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NORTHWOODSMOM8 10/11/2010 4:31PM

    What a VERY, VERY special testimony of the LOVE that can only be found in Jesus! He is the only One that can fill the inner longing and cravings of our souls. Thank you so MUCH for sharing this!

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PURPLELVR7 10/11/2010 4:24PM

    Awesome, God has truly blessed you

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3CATSLEP 10/11/2010 4:13PM

    You are truly blessed sister! I love those overwhelming moments too!

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IMREADY77 10/11/2010 3:23PM

    Thats awesome!!!!

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Ahhhhhh!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Not much to write today. Headin' off to work in another couple of hours. Hope to get a day off to get registered for the prison ministries this year. We have to go to the prison and go through some kind of training. It has been so long since we have been able to get in to do much. Really praying that things will loosen some both there and in town. I so love to do this kind of thing. It's such a wonderful thing God has done in my heart to even want to go. I never would have dreamed this is where life would take me.
My heart is full after a wonderful service this morning. Taking me deeper and farther than ever before. I just want to give my love back to the One Who loves me so unconditionally. How can you make known Someone you don't know? I want to know Him more. I want to open all the unopened doors that lay before me. I want to drown in His Presence where I find real life. I want to rest in the peace of His presence with no agenda of my own. It's a place that only one can go, yet it is there for all.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KHDOESMK 10/10/2010 11:09PM

    Blessing to and for you Cindy!

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3CATSLEP 10/10/2010 5:20PM

    Your last part sounds like it could be a hymn. It was lovely. We had a nice service this morning and are getting ready for this evenings. All went smoothly with the tech ministry this morning also. I have been training all week and now it went into the service part. I love putting artwork with the words of songs and I love computers too. Truly a match made in heaven! Have a great day!

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NJMATTICE 10/10/2010 5:17PM

    Sounds like your worship was very inspiring to you today! Enjoy your week.
Love,
Nancy

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Breathe and Think

Saturday, October 09, 2010

I am flooded with so many ideas of what to write this morning because of my mailings from Spark. Two in particular stand out. Don't let others define you and just breathe. These are two that have been etched into my life over the last decade or more.
One of the greatest things I learned when preparing for my daughter's birth more that 25 years ago was was breathing to reduce stress. You cannot tense yourself up and exhale at the same time. Then there is the cleansing breath which goes deep and long. Whenever the addicts I work with start getting upset over how their children or one of the other clients is acting towards them I remind them to breathe. Take a few minutes to clear your mind and get away from it all if only for a few seconds and take a deep breath or so and you will be amazed at how much better you feel. Most of us breathe far too shallowly anyway. As a musician I was trained to breathe in a way that it was not your shoulders that rose and fell with each breath, but your stomach that actually expanded. This type of breathing brings more oxygen into your system and is good to practice even at random times throughout your day.

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Now the other one also relates to my daughter. Just out of high school she was charged with a felony. That was several years ago, but it still haunts her. She is not who she was then by any means, but that is all others can see when they look at her, especially on her resume. Many times when praying for her I would ask that her past would not define who she was because I knew she was far more than that. In the blog I read to day someone told the junior high kid that they would never become someone that they wanted to become. Every time he failed at it he could hear those words echoing in his mind. As soon as you tell my husband he can't do something, he believes you and quits trying. I just wish that people would think before opening their mouths. I love the proverb that says it is better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. We laugh, but it also cuts. Let our words be filled with grace. We can be bound by and limited by things in our past. All it takes is one set back and my daughter says, " I'll never get anywhere anyway because of my felony." As long as she believes that it may sadly be true. The greatest battlefield we face in life is in our thoughts and minds. Some people seek for acceptance from their parents their whole life because of one cutting remark made years ago. Let us think twice before we open our mouths and consider the other person's past and future before we stand to limit their potential by our words. Maybe it is our words that will unlock the promise that is in store for them today. We do not have to accept every word that is spoken over us even when the other person may think they are an expert.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDABENEDICT 10/14/2010 12:05PM

    Hi ! I just posted a breathe blog too ! It's funny how a step which seems so obvious and simple is so easy to forget !
And I hear you about the past deeds haunting your daughter ....
all the best to you and your family !

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BANKER-CHUCK 10/9/2010 12:14PM

    Great writing. I made a comment earlier on a persons post about breathing and running. I read and sent them the articles. Since I started the C25K training I have learned a lot about breathing and how it affects my endurance.
As for past deeds that haunt peoples future, you are so right. It is hard to forget but not impossible to get over. Several past, hurtful, things I can immediately think of that haunt me, and that was over 50 years ago. I have learned to get past them and move on, but they are still there.

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For the Love of Giving

Friday, October 08, 2010

It is more blessed to give than receive. With the holidays quickly approaching we really see this come into play. We can hardly wait to see the reaction of the one whose gift we put in the most thought. When I cook, I see this also as a form of giving. I give my time and effort to create something that delights all the senses. It is not fun just cooking for myself and I will more often cook from a can when I am the only one involved. Giving brings the giver so much more joy than the receiver.
Like it or not, this is a spiritual law of sorts. Give and you cannot help but receive. Some, in christian circles, have given with the mindset of receiving. Is this not out of whack? I think we all know that it is. It becomes purely selfish and that, my friend is not one of the fruits of the Spirit. At the same time, if we have a need perhaps we need to look into giving more. this baffles the carnal mind. God does bless a cheerful giver whose heart is right. You absolutely cannot out give God. The Bible says to give and it shall be given back to you, pressed down shaken, together and overflowing. The Bible also says that if we do not tithe our finances are held hostage so to speak. We must give to God His ten per cent. That's ten cents out of every dollar. Ten cents, not very much. When we do He will open up the storehouses of heaven.
Recently I had given an extra gift to a missionary friend of mine who is in Africa, a place that my heart cries out for. I cannot go there, but in a small way through him I do. I did not do it with the mindset of receiving anything back. I just wanted to bless him as I know he struggles financially to do what his heart beats for. All of a sudden, I have more hours of overtime than I have had in the last six months. That's time and a half for a few hours work. It adds up to a lot. I have already more than made back what I had given in less than a month's time. I am humbled.
A pastor friend of mine said years ago that you can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. I have never forgotten that. God so loved that He gave... Love compels us to give for the sheer joy of giving. Let love so consume our hearts today that we look for an excuse to bless those we love.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOSPELCLOWN 10/8/2010 10:17PM

    Very timely! Your blog has a lot of wisdom that we should remember all the year through.

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IUHRYTR 10/8/2010 8:17PM

    I know we are not supposed to reveal our good deeds so I relate this only to show an example of what you are saying. This week I sent a check to a SP member whose family lost everything in an apartment fire. We don't know each other but I was moved to help. Two days later I got half of what I sent as a one-time deposit by the government due to a stimulus program. Who would have expected it? But, even if that had not happened, knowing she was helped was gratitude enough. It is truly more satisfying to give than to receive. You've given us another important message. Thank you. -- Lou

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3CATSLEP 10/8/2010 5:59PM

    I can certainly attest to your blog. Giving is a wonderful sort of freedom. I feel very blessed that I am able to give of myself to others.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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NJMATTICE 10/8/2010 5:01PM

    Thanks for gearing me up for the season of giving and reminding me to keep the loving in the giving. The season is indeed fast approaching!
Have a great weekend.
Love,
Nancy

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