Posted by: Anita Montgomery | August 19, 2014

God’s Best!

It’s really been a long time since I have blogged, why, because I have been praying, is this is still something I should do.

Here’s why … and I will make this as brief as possible. I have been asking God what is “His Best” for me.

Often I share with others, when I sense their plate is too full, don’t let the good, be the enemy of God’s best. So here I sit, asking myself this same question.

Do I have lots I could share, that might help encourage others as they walk through life, yes I do, but is that what God wants me to do.

In fact, let me go as far as to ask those of you reading this question, would you still like getting a blog from me? Now, please be honest, I would expect nothing less.

Today people don’t need one more thing to read, or one more thing to do, just like I said, what is God’s best. Is reading this blog one of them?

I never know exactly what I might write here, as I only blog as God leads. One interesting thing has happened, since the last time I blogged. The Lord led me to start, Heartfelt Creations Made With Love and Prayer. If any of you are interested, feel free to check it out, it is a business/ministry page on Facebook.

So now I have a couple of “Heartfelt Things” going, a blog and a business/ministry. So the question is, do I drop one and keep the other, or keep both?

All input welcome, after all, I truly believe there is wisdom in the council of many.

Proverbs 15:22 “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”

Til’ next time …
Anita Montgomery

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Posted by: Anita Montgomery | May 21, 2014

It’s A New Season

Yes, it’s a new season in my life!

Lots has changed since my last post, more than I could ever share in this one blog. You will get these changes in bits and pieces as the days ahead unfold. As you do I pray what I share, just might touch someone reading this, if so, then I am grateful for following the Holy Spirit’s nudge to begin blogging again.

It has been three months since my last blog, two of those months were recently spent in Bali with part of our family, that is where God truly began speaking to my heart about so many things. Today, I will share one of them.

As I was waking up one morning, yes I love to lay awake in bed and let God talk to me. That particular morning I heard his spirit speak this to my heart … “waves of change are coming”. I asked myself what does this mean, I just laid there in silence.

Later that day we were walking by the beach, it was then that it hit me as I watched the powerful waves rolling in one by one. Some were huge, some smaller, some intense, some not. In my heart I knew each wave God was showing me would be very different. Some might even go right over me soaking me from head to toe. Some might just splash in my face a little. God was ready to bring many changes to my life, some huge, some not so much. I knew my Heavenly Father was speaking to my heart, I stood still and simply listened.

How often do we stand beach side, or wherever your spot is to listen to God. In this busy world we often forget to do that, I know I do.

I learned a lot that day and am now ready to begin applying it to this new season of my life.

Stay tuned, in some of my upcoming blogs I will share some of my “waves of change.”

Would you do me a favor after you read this, find your quiet spot, be still and know that HE is God. Take time to let HIM speak to your heart. I feel HE has something special to say to you.

Til’ next time …
Anita Montgomery

Posted by: Anita Montgomery | February 18, 2014

Homeless … With No Church

Never in my life did I think I would blog about being “homeless” with a church that is, and I am sure any of you reading this, that know me, would agree.

In my quiet time this morning, I realize God is calling me to step up with boldness, in areas, he is really speaking to my heart.

My whole life I have lived in a “compliant mode” it started in my childhood and continued into adulthood. But now I feel a call to speak forth on some of the things God is showing me. If I don’t, who will?

Yes some of my posts in the days ahead might be tough ones, but as a part of the body of Christ I believe there are huge lessons to be learned. In the days ahead I want to share some of them, things I have personally walked through that might help others reading this and speak to their hearts too.

One of Webster’s definitions of boldness is, showing or requiring a fearless daring spirit, that pretty much describes my heart at the present.

Yesterday after much prayer, I was led to post a status on Facebook that took a lot of courage on my part. But as I prayed I felt a peace to do so. Briefly I shared after being in ministry 30+ years, we were finding it hard to find a church home. Most people would be quite amazed at this, some of our peers that have previously retired from ministry, would not be.

I have my own thoughts, as to why it is difficult for the leadership and worshippers in some churches to accept those of us that have gone before, but why not take the time to hear their hearts, and never assume. Assumptions always get us in trouble. I know that and I am sure you do too.

I just had this thought, I wonder what Jesus would think if he knew of this dilemma. Hmmm …

My husband and I just want to be real people and humble ourselves before God, using the gifts he has given us when appropriate, in the body of Christ. We desire to share God’s love with others inside and outside the church. That’s who we are, always have been and always will be. Just plain ordinary people, after all isn’t that who Jesus was too?He walked among the crowds reaching out to others and sharing as he was led.

Wherever we are my husband and I love to share as God leads us, that’s who we are and always will be, whether it is out at dinner, beachside, in a grocery store, or whatever the case might be.

So my question is a bold one. If you are a pastor and wife reading this, are you willing to welcome former pastors and wives into your midst, are you willing to let them be who they are and use their gifts to build up God’s kingdom?If you a worshiper of a church, are you willing to accept others that have been in ministry to hang with you and love on you too?

You may not like what I am about to say, but it needs to be stated. Often the world gets it better than we do as Christians, we are often the easiest to judge without even taking the time to listen, before we assume.

Do we come with excess baggage, just like others out there, yes we do. This last year of our lives was the toughest ever, yet God has shown us much grace as we have moved forward with Him. We are no different than anyone else, speaking for myself, I am very real, transparent and willing to share my stuff to help others work through theirs. After all, we learn from one another.

To be honest when we visit churches, we walk in the door as real people just like anyone reading this. We prefer even after a few visits to not share what our past has been, as way too often, it is then that the welcome flag is removed and a wall is put up. If asked what did you do, of course we will be honest.

The good news is we are on a journey and a mission for God, we will never give up until HE calls us to heaven.

If you are reading this today, know how much God loves you, how much I love you too, enough to be bold so that someone like us might be able to find a place to call home here on earth, until we reach our eternal home in heaven.

We will love you and pray for you, I promise, that’s just who we are. We will support you 100% too, as we know how much it meant for others to support us.

Thank you for hearing my heart of boldness, the newness he has put in me, with a topic that is usually not shared. It is hidden away while many former pastors and wives, ones that have served others for years, shepherding and loving the sheep, are now the ones that have been put out to pasture, so to speak, grazing alone on the word.

My prayer is for the body of Christ, that we would all do a better job of understanding and receiving not just those that have been in ministry, but those that feel unloved and hopeless. There are so many that are just waiting for a place to call home. I pray I can help them find it, but first I must find my home here on earth, so that I might invite them.

In pursuit of it even as I write.

Til’ next time …
~Anita Montgomery

Posted by: Anita Montgomery | February 10, 2014

A Time To Heal

Ecclesiastes 3

New International Version (NIV)

A Time for Everything

3 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2     a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3     a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4     a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5     a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6     a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7     a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8     a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Yes, there is a time for everything. As I was waking up this a.m. the Lord showed me now is the time for me to heal. It all started Saturday night when we visited a new church. During praise and worship each song was familiar to me. The tears began to flow. I tried to control them, you know how we women attempt to do that, but as I did God clearly spoke to me just let them flow, I am healing your heart. I listened and let that process begin. I say begin as often healing takes time. In my case, I believe it will as there have been so many wounds these past few years, especially this last one. I know it will take time, as I know myself. Yet I know in HIS time, those wounds will be healed and only the scars from them will remain. I am okay with that too. Scars are a reminder of what we have walked through and how far we have come.

Often when I see His wounded, i.e. those with obvious physical scars I think to myself, I wonder what they have gone through, what is their testimony. Mine is one you can’t see, the scars are internal. But they are there, some old scars, some very recent. None the less, we all have wounds that need healed, we all have scars, some external, some internal.

Do you have wounds that need healed? If so, take them to the Lord, HE is the great physician. I try to remember to take mine to him daily in prayer, often I fail and find myself wallowing in them, that is not a good thing. Wallowing does not bring healing, just more suffering. Time is the healer, at least for me. How we use the time as HE brings that healing is what makes the difference.

I am only focusing on healing today, but as I look at the verses above, I can relate to many other “times” here too. Maybe someday I will blog about another.

As I move forward I am healing, if you need to heal God invites you to trust him as you move forward too. Praying for you, if this is a healing time for you.

Bless you!

Til’ next time …

~Anita Montgomery

Posted by: Anita Montgomery | February 5, 2014

Finding What You Love To Do!

I have recently come to realize, as I move forward in this new season of my life, that finding what you love to do is vitally important. Why you might ask? Here are my thoughts.

In the past 6 months I was really struggling with some of the things I shared in my 3 Part Moving Forward blogs, it was important that I was able to find one of the things God created me to do, that I never had the time to do before.

I have to be honest here, our sons and my husband watched me gather things for years that I wanted to do, but was never able too between raising awesome sons, working, being by my husband’s side in ministry and on and on.

But God has gotten my attention in recent months, telling me he will give me the desires of my heart as I obey him. That walk of obedience is too much to share, but through it all and it still continues, those desires are being fulfilled, one day at a time with sweet Jesus.

Yesterday it was confirmed as I got my first message that a sweet mommy wanted me to create a flowered headband for their little girl that Jesus will be bringing into the world real soon, little did she know how God used her to answer my prayer, a confirmation to continue to create.

My creations are one of a kind, from the heart and made with much love and prayer, to not do it that way, I feel I am not honoring God. One of these days I will have to get a bit more techie and add a few pictures here.

So let me ask, do you know what you love to do, are you able to do it yet? Don’t let other things get in the way if you feel God is nudging you to move forward, trust him and just do it!

Finally I have taken that BIG step and am so glad I have.  I am super excited to move forward as I pray, create and share my love gifts with others.

You can do the same, whatever it is, do what you love to do too!

Bless you!

Til’ next time …

~ Anita Montgomery

Posted by: Anita Montgomery | February 1, 2014

The Love Challenge

Wow, its February the 1st!

As I woke up early this a.m. I felt God was giving me a challenge for the month of February, here it is. What is one thing I can do each day to show someone else I love them and God does too.

During my quiet time I realized just how simple it might be, here are some ideas, at least ones I plan to do.

1. Send some cards, I still love snail mail, isn’t it fun to open your mailbox and find a smile!

2. Pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Now for me that will be a challenge for sure. I am not a phone person, lol!

3. Do some random acts of kindness. Just yesterday I hung a bag of goodies on a neighbor’s door, then texted her to tell her to open her door, I was a bit concerned if I didn’t send that text someone else just might help themselves.

4. Tip a little extra for to show your server you really care.

5. Compliment someone helping you in a store, go that extra mile.

6. Help someone who may have too many bags open their car door, or carry their packages for them.

7. Hold the door open for someone before you go in, how easy is that.

8. Make or buy a small gift and pass it to a friend, just to say I love you!

9. Reach out to someone who might seem lonely or sad, I have been doing that at the gym, it is amazing what is happening as I connect with a lonely gal in her 30’s.

10. Maybe you are out for dinner and there is a family there with well-behaved children, compliment them all. We loved it when others did that as our children grew up.

11. If you like to cook, make a little extra, or even bake something. We were blessed when a friend sent some cookies home with us last night. Share something that you have plenty of with someone.

12. Just a silent smile or thank you may be just what another person needs to know they are loved.

13. Often when I check out of a store, I will say to the clerk, if no one has thanked you yet today I just want you to know you are appreciated for what you do. It is unbelievable the responses I get to that simple comment.

Now you have a “bakers dozen” of simple little ways we can show someone a bit of love each day this month.

You know what, we will be the ones that get the blessings as we do.

Ready, set, let’s go!

Til’ next time …
~Anita Montgomery

“Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

Posted by: Anita Montgomery | January 30, 2014

Moving Forward Part 3

Today is the day I have chosen to close the chapter of my past hurts with friends, as my dear father made his Journey to Jesus, one that never should have played out as it did. If you read the my blogs from the past 2 days, Part 1 & Part 2, then this will all make sense, if not, please do so before reading this blog.

The good news is I was with Dad for 6 hours that day, until the nurse suggested I leave and get something to eat and get some rest. She assured me they would call when it was time for me to come back, that call never came as explained in the first two parts of this Moving Forward blog.

I will never forget as I left that day, I kissed dad as I always did, told him I loved him and if we didn’t see each other again, we would see each other in heaven. I also said dad, I know you love me too and just can’t give me my kiss. He always kissed me good-bye each time we visited, and told me he loved me before I left. I have that precious memory to hang on to, little did I know, I would never get a chance to be with him again before he made his heavenly journey.

In the days that followed many decisions had to be made, again as many of you know, others took some of those decisions out of our hands. But there are some things they could not take and those are the things I must hang on to for the rest of my life here on earth and will.

Each month the VA has a memorial service in-house for those that have passed. That month there were 3. We were honored to be a part of the service and display Dad’s picture. It was special and the chaplains that participated honored each of our loved ones in a very special way.

At the end of the service they asked if any family members wanted to share, I had that God nudge to get right up and did so. I did it to honor both my earthly Father and Heavenly Father too. The most important part of my sharing was when I looked out at all the family members there and said, if my Dad would want me to share anything at all it would be this … “If you don’t know Jesus this very day, it’s never to late to invite him into your heart, so you will be in heaven too”. I paused and looked at each person, there was a hush over the group there, I was just still and knew He was God. It was one of those God moments. I shared a few sentences before and after that, but it was that sentence that was the important one.

After the service, my husband said to me, “Anita, did you notice the family in front of us, I said no not really.” He said they did not stand up and participate in any way in the service. After I thought about it, I realized he was right, they were very non emotional too. If what I shared was just for them, then God was honored and my dad too. God got all the glory.

The 2 chaplains and one of the gentleman that works on a floor, came to me later, one of them with tears in his eyes and thanked me for what I had shared, how kind of them to do so.

That day was a special one and there was another special one too. That was when we honored both of my parents with my Uncle Don, my mother’s brother that is a pastor in IL, doing a celebration and committal service for their ashes. All my mom’s siblings were there, except for one of her sisters already in heaven, some cousins too, along with a few precious friends. My dad’s siblings were no longer living and some of my cousins on his side were unable to join us.

It was extra special as none of my mother’s family could come for the service here, it truly helped them to have closure. It was such a God time, one that shall be in my heart always.

My Dad wanted us to celebrate with a meal afterwards and dance too. How sweet is that. Well the dancing didn’t happen, but the meal sure did. Family and friends were blessed and honored to know their meal was on Bill’s bill, those were the keys words when they ordered. Dad would have been so happy, mom would have too, well I am sure they were smiling right down on us all.

After the celebration dinner Jack and I were blessed to return to the grave site. What happened as we were driving up, only God could orchestrate. One of my Dad’s favorite songs was “As a Deer Panteth for the Water”. All of a sudden what did we see, but a Daddy, Mommy and babies walk out of the trees behind my parent’s grave moving slowly along to another part of the cemetery. I truly believe that the Lord was right there in our midst with all the deer. What a God moment that truly was, I was even able to quickly snap a picture. That picture will be a life long memory.

Yes, I am moving forward, just like God would want me to do. I have forgiven, my wounds have healed and I don’t want to look back, but only forward to what each day holds until the day, I too, make that journey to my heavenly home. What a great day that will be!

I pray this has touched someone’s heart that is reading this. I pray you are moving forward in whatever journey you might be in too. I am.

Thank you for taking time to hear my story, my journey of forgiveness and hope that I know is on the horizon as I close this chapter of 6 months in my life and move forward.

Til’ next time,

~Anita Montgomery

Posted by: Anita Montgomery | January 29, 2014

Moving Forward Part 2

Today is part 2 of my 3 part Moving Forward journey, here goes.

In brief, if you did not read yesterday’s blog I share about the 1st 48 hours of my dad’s journey to heaven, today will be the 48 after God called him home.

After I blogged a dear friend suggested I fill in a few blanks, so I will do so today in a way that will honor God. When I mentioned I had forgiven a friend that had not made a phone call to me, that Dad was soon ending his journey to heaven, here is what happened. I pray this will help others that may have experienced something similar or might ever do so.

This friend had asked to go see my dad, my parents had known her before we ever met. It was later that we also formed a trusted friendship. I told her yes, she could go, I was fine with that. But what I didn’t know is that she gave her number to the hospice nurse in the room to be called as dad was nearing his time to be with Jesus.

I had been there for 6 hours by his bedside earlier, the nurse suggested I go home to eat a little and be with my husband and son. That they would call when the time was near. I took their advice and followed through. They also told me I needed to rest. I laid out my clothes and had everything ready waiting for the call to come back. The call never came until after my Dad went to be with Jesus. The hospice nurse with him, called the friend, why the hospice nurse took her number without my permission I will never know. My friend did not call me until dad ended his lifelong journey here on earth. The hospice nurse called to tell me dad was with Jesus after the fact too, he also was a Christian. The floor nurse called and said dad had passed after that. Now the blanks are filled in.

Later the friend met with me, showed me her phone and the time of the first call. Forty four minutes before dad took his last breath. She gave me two different scenarios why she did not call, one was I would not have had time to get there, that was not factual. The other that she felt dad did not want me to be there. I have processed this over and over again, I want to make this perfectly clear, I have forgive her, but often wake up at 4:16 on a Friday a.m. and look at the digital clock at my bedside when that first call came to her and she did not call me. At 5:00 a.m., she did call letting me know Dad was with Jesus. At that point I was stunned, got dressed and my husband and I were on our way to the VA. I spent an hour plus there with my sweet dad that was no longer with us in spirit but only body. I walked by his side as he was taken from his room and placed in the vehicle that took him to the crematory. I loved my dad with all my heart, I was a daddy’s girl and my desire to be with him at the very end was taken from me. I loved being with mom as she journeyed to Jesus and my mother in law too, it didn’t happen and only God knows why.

As Christians none of us our perfect, I too have failed many, but the good news is we are forgiven as we know God sent his son to die for us and we also need to be that example to forgive. I have, but forgetting is hard, no need to dwell on that.

I blogged when mom made her journey to Jesus, it is only now that I have been able to blog about Dad. I need to do so for closure, it is important as I move forward.

Now on to Part 2, the second 48 hours. The day Dad made that journey only hours later I found to Facebook messages, both from different pastors. One was from the pastor of the church dad had gone too prior to his time in assisted living, followed by the nursing home. It and been many months since he was able to be a part of that church, but rather attended the services in the home where he resided. He enjoyed each service and would tell us about them. How special. He also was troubled that his pastor did not visit, he missed that, only a few times. He even shared he would prefer to be at a church he used to go too. We heard his heart.

The church he used to go too pastor was no longer there. But did visit dad on occasion at the facilities he resided, 3 to be exact. We appreciated that.

Both of these pastors in their Facebook message to me wanted to make plans to do his service when we were ready. They had done my mother’s service 3 years prior to this. We shared with them later via phone calls that was not our desire, nor my dads. However, we were told they were still going to do so, they would not meet with us when we asked for a meeting to follow scripture, if your brother has offended you go to them. By one we were told there was nothing to meet about, the other never returned our call. Other ministry peers advised us to shake the dust off our feet and move on, again following scripture. That is what we have done and thus this blog is helping me to continue to follow through, it will give me the personal closure I need.

Yes, the past 6 months have been difficult for me, but I also know each of you reading this have had events in your life that have wounded you, have caused you to step back and forgive anyone that may have hurt or offended you. My goal is two-fold here, one to share my heart to encourage anyone else that struggles with forgiveness and hurt. It also is to encourage you to move forward, with God all things are possible. I am walking this out.

Just recently sharing heart to heart with a friend brought me to a new level of understanding as God had me outreach to her, it also gave me closure with this all. For that I am forever grateful. Like I said in Part 1, Romans 8: 28 clearly states … ” And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Good has come out of this, I would not be who I am today, had I not gone through this experience. God has shown me much through these past 6 months, we never stop growing or allowing Him to mold us and shape us into the person he created us to be.

I am continuing to put myself on the potter’s wheel this very day.

Thanks for hearing my heart and sharing my journey, again please know as Christians we are not perfect but forgiven, I keep asking myself what have I learned from this all and how can I apply it to my life as I move forward.

Part 3 will be posted in the next few days, you will love the way this journey ends, to God be the glory!

Til’ next time …

~Anita Montgomery

Posted by: Anita Montgomery | January 28, 2014

Moving Forward … Part 1

This is probably one of the most difficult blogs I have ever written, but God is nudging me to do so. If what I share can touch only one person, then I have been obedient to HIM as I write this.

I will make this as brief as possible, long blogs are not productive ones, or at least that is my point of view. Share what you have to say, no more, no less and then let God do the rest.

Here goes … transparent me.

This past year of my life has probably been the most difficult one ever, especially as I reflect on all of 2013. You will get bits and pieces of it in 2014, most likely. Again, God will direct me.

Right now let me focus on the last 6 months since my dear father’s journey to Jesus. The last 48 hours of his journey and the 48 hours that followed, were the most difficult 96 hours in my life. I am being totally honest here, as God has directed me too.

I would not ever want anyone to have experienced those hours with me. Yet my dear husband did and one of our sons too. Those hours were life changing ones in the way I look at Christians, some even being peers in ministry. One that I thought was a trusted friend. She may even be reading this blog, and if so she knows I have forgiven her, but I can never forget what happened as my dad took his last breaths, tears are running down my face right now.

There are no “do overs” when it comes to life and death, but the good news is I will see both of my parents in heaven. I was with my mom when she made her journey to Jesus, unfortunately someone took that right away from me as my dad journeyed to Jesus, my heart still aches. A phone call that should have been made to me, was not. I will leave it at that.

Some things I will never understand until I get to heaven, that’s why it is important for me to forgive and move forward here on earth.

If there is something in your life you need to forgive so you can move forward, do it! Trust God to make a way just for you and HE will. He has for me and I am forever grateful. Has it taken time, yes. Has it been a process, yes. Has good came out of it, yes. Does God get the glory, yes.

There will be a Part 2 to this, as like I said I don’t want this to be too long. Part 1 has been the 1st 48 hours, Part 2, will be the 2nd 48, plus some that may lead to a Part 3.

Writing this is helping me to heal, to move forward and stand on his word in Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

I pray my blog today will help anyone reading this move forward too, God bless you!

Til’ next time …

~Anita Montgomery

Posted by: Anita Montgomery | January 25, 2014

Creativity

Interesting how God speaks to your heart, He woke me up at 4 a.m. and I just listened for almost an hour. I could not go back to sleep, so I got up, prayed then crawled back in bed. I still could not sleep, so I felt He was saying “go create”. That’s just what I did! 

For 30+ years I have had a great desire to create, but God had me put that on hold to serve Him in many other ways, way too many to go into here. But now the season has come to use my creative side. I am so excited! “

Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.” Psalm 37: 3-5

This scripture is coming true right before my eyes … I so love God’s faithfulness. 

If you have a desire, wait on Him, He also will be faithful to you.

Trust, do good, cultivate faithfulness, commit and watch Him give you your hearts desire in His time and in His way! 

I am watching it this very day! 

Til’ next time …

~Anita

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