Thursday, December 31, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Congratulations again to our winner - Sweeter The Berry! The Golden Christmas cd and angel are officially on their way to your house. My prayer for you is that they will bless your heart and your home!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
- Stories that have not been previously published and/or copyrighted.
- Stories that do not disclose and/or identify personal information about others. In other words, don't name names! If your testimony is of a sensitive nature, I will be prayerful about including it in the book. (Only your name will be included with your testimony to give credit to you as the writer.)
- Stories that encourage the readers.
- Stories that reveal the power of God.
- Stories that edify the readers.
- Stories that are funny, serious, touching...whatever!
- Stories about a variety of topics. For example, stories about love, friendship, loss, miracles, healing, giving, sharing, etc.
- Stories that draw the readers closer to God through the positive impact of the written word.
- Stories that are a maximum of 1200 words in length.
Now, since I am just getting this started, please be flexible with me as we go through this process. There may be more than one book in this whole thing, by the time I get all of your submissions. You are more than welcome to submit as many testimonies as you want to, but please know that they may or may not all be included in the book. I must listen to the direction I feel impressed to take this work.
Also, please let me know how you want to be credited...first name only? Last name also? Initials only? Whatever you feel comfortable with is fine with me - at this point in the process. Please be praying for me through this and I will also be praying for those of you who have submissions you want considered.
When you are ready to submit something for consideration, you can do it by emailing your story/testimony to me. Just send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be in touch with you soon after receiving it. If you have any questions, let me know! I can hardly wait to see what I get from everyone. (Isn't this exciting!)
There is a title that the Lord has already given me for the first book of testimonies, however I'm going to wait a bit before sharing it. For now, just put 'testimonies' in the subject line of your email.
One last thing. I will be editing as Holy Spirit directs. However, I will not be changing your testimony in the process. I know that God moves in powerful and sometimes very unusual ways, so you don't need to wonder if the impact of your story will be lost. Before the book is finished, you will be getting a copy of your submission with any revisions. If you are not comfortable with any changes that are made, we can discuss it via email. If we are not able to come to agreement about changes, the submission won't be included in the book. You need to feel comfortable with the way in which your testimony is shared and I need to feel comfortable that the Holy Spirit is having His way, whatever the revisions. This is why I'm asking you to be praying for me as I write, compile and edit and why I will be praying for those of you who want to submit stories!
There will probably be more info as we go along, but for now, just be prayerful about being involved. There is no testimony too large or small when it is from God! And do not worry about being a good writer, either. I haven't had any classes and don't have a college education, but that is not stopping me! I found that God uses me in this way, even with all of my limitations. He could choose to only use college graduates to write books, but I've learned He uses anyone He wants to use - as long as He has a willing vessel. So, having said that, don't hesitate to submit something! The world needs to read, hear, see and experience the power of God! After all, He said it was by 'the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony' that we would see lives changed for His glory!
Okay, now it's your turn! Pray. Consider. Ask God if He has something for you to submit. Do not be shy! Let the light of God shine through you!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
(This is Friday's blog that missed getting posted.)
Good morning all! How is your day going? I'm just trying to get about a zillion things done around here before this evening. We're having a Hannukah party - our first ever - and approximately 20 people will be descending on our little house - and I do mean little! - about 7:00 tonight. Before that happens, though, there's housework to attend to, grocery shopping to be done, lots of cooking and baking...chili to make and a cake to bake...(sounds like a song...) and a cat to be taken to the vet. I think that's all. Anyway, I sure hope it is!
And although my day is just getting started, I've already heard all kinds of bad news and it wasn't through television, the internet or radio. It was from family and friends who have real needs because of the situations in their lives. Probably none of us even needs to turn to outside sources to find difficult circumstances. There are plenty of them all around us, which is not surprise considering today's economy and the general conditions of the world.
I'm reminded of the time that Jesus rebuked one guy for being upset about Mary pouring the costly perfume all over his feet when it could have been sold for a great deal of money to help the poor. Jesus told them that they would always have the poor with them, but what she had done would be remembered and spoken of always. And to this day, that is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful stories in the Bible.
Even in the midst of difficult circumstances with sorrows all around, Jesus was to be honored and adored. I used to be upset about the fact that he seemed heartless in his response...you know, that he would just tell them that the poor would always be here. It seemed to me that he considered what she was doing to be of greater importance than feeding the poor. But I really didn't get it. He was setting a precedent in that moment about how we are to live our lives.
The Lord wanted his disciples to understand that our first priority should be our worship of God. And not just throwing a prayer up to God from time to time. He wanted them (and us) to be extravagant in our worship. He wanted them to see that there will always be needs, trials, struggles, hunger, poverty and every other difficult circumstance we can possibly imagine that will fight for first place in each one of us. There will be things that will labor to push us away from giving him our very best because we're worried, depressed, hurt or confused by circumstances around us.
Beloved friends, whether it's divorce, a death, an illness, job loss or trouble at school... whatever the circumstances, we can't afford to withhold our worship of the very One who created us. It could even be that there are wonderful things taking place in our lives that distract us from our relationship with him, but we must remember that he is The Way - and truly, he is the only Way. You and I need him every day of our lives. We cannot afford to forget that.
So, with all of the circumstances and things that need to be done before our guests arrive, I'm making sure that I give Him my full attention and devotion before I head into the rest of the day. Of course I realize that He is always with me, but I want personal time with Him without all of the busyness of the day. Undivided attention time. I need His strength and the fellowship of His presence. Not only do I need it, I want it all of the time. I want HIM all of the time. I pray for all of us - me included - that the passion of our love for Him will only increase and that each of us will be so hungry for His presence that nothing will ever be able to deter us from pursuing Him with every fiber of our beings.
Love to all!
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Even the words sound skimpy and cute – almost like they aren’t really words. Jots and tittles sound like little pieces of almost nothing. The definition for jot is “the least bit”. A tittle is “the minutest quantity, like the dot over an ‘I’”. Something that could easily be overlooked, perhaps? Hmmmm…I wonder.
And yet, Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” (Matthew 5:17,18 KJV) Sounds like we could say that obedience is a very important thing to Jesus Christ. And we would be right.
I’m reminded of the scriptures that talk about those who are faithful in the least little things, who are later given responsibility over much – like the parable Jesus gave us about the talents. Remember the story? It’s about a man traveling in a far country. He called his servants together before he left on his journey and divided his goods among them. Each servant handled his gift in a different way. One servant, however, didn’t do anything but hide his gift in the ground because he was afraid of his master.
When the master returned and found that two servants had been wise investors, he was pleased and increased their gifts 100%. The servant who had hidden his talent (gift) in the ground was called “wicked and slothful”, and his master took back the gift he had given the servant. The gift was then given to one of the other servants who had instead chosen to be faithful and put their gifts to good use.
We are also called to be faithful in the little things. Things like paying tithing or giving offerings of time, talents or finances into the work of the Lord. Sharing the small things – like a smile, a kind word, a ride to the store, mowing a neighbor’s yard, encouraging a child, hugging an alcoholic or holding your tongue. Things like that. Something that seems so minor, but could impact the whole world. Really.
I remember the story that my sister Linda shared with me one day a few years ago when she was working as a floral designer. On her way into the shop that morning, she had run out of time to stop by the bank to pick up some cash to buy lunch. It was too far to go without making herself late for work, and the schedule for the day was far too hectic to allow her to do so.
After a quick glance in her wallet, she found that she only had a few dollars, and decided that she would just use it to buy herself a fresh chocolate chip cookie from the cookie shop a few stores away from where she worked. They always made a fresh batch in the afternoons, so she made the decision to forget taking a full lunch break, and instead wait until later to get one of those delicious cookies. Since she had to work late that evening, it seemed like the perfect plan. All morning long, she would think about the treat she was going to give herself later that day. Such a small thing, really. But with all of the difficulties she was enduring at that time in her life, it was special to her, and she was really looking forward to it.
As the noon hour approached, one of the new employees at the shop asked my sister if she had any money she could borrow for lunch. The young woman had only recently begun working at the shop and hadn’t received her first paycheck. With a smile on her face and gentle reassurance, Linda told the young woman that it was no trouble at all, and handed over her cookie money. Turning back to finish the floral arrangement she had been working on, Linda cheerfully sent the girl on her way.
The day wore on. Later that afternoon, Linda was busily going about her tasks when a woman from the cookie shop came breezing through the front door. Bubbling with joy, the woman from the cookie shop handed a sack to my sister, explaining that they had just finished baking a fresh batch of their delicious chocolate chip cookies. She said she had decided to bring one to my sister as a treat, because she remembered how much Linda loved them.
As she stood there listening to the woman, my sister stood in awe and wonder at the love of her Creator. She knew that Jesus had sent her that cookie. She knew it as surely as she knew anything. No one else had known what she planned to do with her few dollars that day, but God surely did. She also knew that Holy Spirit had touched that woman’s heart, and the woman had responded in obedience, not even knowing how precious the gift really was to my sister. At a time when the pain in her life was unbearable, the gift of a warm chocolate chip cookie from Jesus meant more to her than words could express. She graciously thanked the woman for her thoughtfulness. And as she opened the bag to enjoy the treat she wasn’t able to buy for herself, she stopped to take time to thank the One Whose love for her encouraged the gift bearer to bless my sister that day.
Now, before any of you theologians get in an uproar about this story, kindly let me explain myself. I realize that there are no references in the Bible about giving warm chocolate chip cookies to women who work in flower shops. I also realize that it’s neither a jot nor a tittle that must be fulfilled. Now that I’ve said that, I’d like to say one more thing…
“Oh God, please help us all be obedient to the impressions You give us daily through the gift of Your precious Holy Spirit. For You have taught me that walking in obedience is the way to live the love we say we have for You. Help us, dear Lord; help us all be obedient with the jots and tittles, and the warm chocolate chip cookies in our lives. In Jesus’ Name...”
Jots and tittles. Such funny little words. Such a powerful message to us all.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
For all of you who have entered the contest, thank you so much! I hope you find something on this blog that blesses you and your loved ones in some way. My prayer is that you will catch glimpses of Him every time you visit this blog - or see my website - or listen to my music - or read one of my books - or watch one of my videos - or see one of my sachets.
I've read every one of the comments that came in today and I am truly excited to see your names and pray over you. I wonder what your lives must be like, where you live and how your families are doing. I will be praying over you long after this little contest is over, dear friends.
Thank you so much for following me. There is such a sweet awareness of His Presence as I see each of your names and read your comments. I visited the websites of those of you who posted one and was blessed by what I saw on them, too. And I'm going to be watching each day to see who else has signed up so that I can be praying for them, too!
You know, the most important thing in my life is my relationship with God. Jesus Christ means more to me than I can express and without His Spirit there is no way I could ever do anything! I know I need Him all of the time - but even more than that, I WANT Him all of the time.
We may have to do this again sometime soon! Suzanne's creativity in this area is so wonderful - I can hardly wait to see what new idea pops into her pretty brain next! :)
Well, I suppose it's time to sign off for now. But let me leave you with this scripture today. These are some of my favorite verses:
"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride, beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, " Now the dwelling of God is with men and he will live with them. They will be his people and he will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."
He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son..."
Isn't that a meeting to look forward to?!
God bless you all today. See you soon!
Golden Christmas Give-Away Details - click here
Friday, December 4, 2009
But for this one post, I've "hijacked" Notes From The Heart. I wanted to take a moment and share my heart. And then - I'll get to the Golden Christmas Give-Away details!
We are all given gifts from the Lord. Each of our giftings are unique, beloved and beautiful. Whoever you are - God blessed you for His Kingdom. He says in His Word that you were beautifully and wonderfully created! What a blessing this very fact is. A startling wonder to think He created, appointed and has molded each of us - in His image for His glory!
It is with delight I have been discovering this Truth in my own walk. And it is with awe that I see His master craftsmanship in my beloved sister in Christ, Vicky. I have been blessed to know her and work with her in her ministry, her music and all the ways God has allowed over the last several years. Her testimony is powerful and it faithfully reflects God's ability to heal and change. Her music is timeless, poignant and beautiful. Her life is in Worship to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I am honored to call her friend. I am blessed to call her sister - Hand chosen by God! Thus - thank you for stopping by Notes From The Heart. I pray you will stay and read more from Vicky's heart.
Now to the give-away: Notes From The Heart and VickyVMusic are giving away a Golden Christmas Gift Set. Vicky's newest CD "Golden Christmas" is in the set. This CD includes Vicky's newest songs along with favorites like Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Angels We Have Heard on High, and The Christmas Song. Also included is a beautiful custom designed VV Sachet Angel. Vicky's talents are vast - and to raise money for her ministry, FIJC, she also designs Sachets. These fragrant beauties make wonderful presents and are designed to delight the eyes and warm the heart. Tulle, faux jewels, flowers, ribbons, wings and halos - all come together to make your little angel so very special. (*The angel in our photograph is an example of what VV Sachet Angels look like. Each one is unique and the one Vicky creates will be designed specifically for our winner!*).
The Golden Christmas Drawing will be December 12, 2009!
Give-Away Guidelines - All you have to do is be a follower of Vicky's blog and leave her a comment on this post, letting her know that you'd like to enter. That gives you 2 entries. If you link to her blog or post a blog about the give-away, you will get another entry. And if you are on Twitter and tweet about Notes From The Heart's Golden Christmas Give-Away, you will have another entry. Make sure to post in the comments section a link to wherever you post (your blog, twitter) so that we can follow you and read your post! It is really as simple as 1,2,3.
To Recap: There is an opportunity for 4 entries per person**.
- Follow Vicky's Blog, Notes From The Heart = 1st Entry and then leave a comment on this blog post = 2nd Entry. (Editor note - you do NOT have to be a blogger to enter - you just need to sign up to follow Vicky and post a comment).
- Blog about this give=away on your own blog = 3rd Entry (make sure to let us know by leaving us a comment w/a link).
- Tweet on Twitter about Notes From The Heart and our give-away = 4th Entry (make sure to let us know by leaving a link to your tweet)
The last day to enter is Friday, December 11, 2009 by Midnight CST. The drawing will be done on Saturday, December 12, 2009. Vicky will announce the winner here, so make sure to check back at Notes From The Heart and see if you won!! I am so excited for the winner already!! You are in for such a wonderful gift!
** This give-away is for United States residents only.
God bless and Merry Christmas!!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Hi everyone. This was a great afternoon - had so much fun singing, even with the remnants of allergy season hanging on.... Ick! I'll be so glad for this to pass, but I'm so grateful that the LORD is always faithful to help me through it. Seriously, two days ago I sounded like a baritone. Glad to be able to get through the show this afternoon and still have a voice left when I was done.
I've probably said this before, but I really want to encourage people to take the time to visit the elderly. Especially now. We're heading into the Christmas and Hannukah season and so many folks have no living relatives to share them with. Whether you celebrate the holidays or not, love can always be celebrated! Share the love you have with everyone you can.
I finished the design for the second website. I've chosen to set up a second website so that existing an potential clients will be directed to either the secular or the Christian site. Of course, the links pages on each site will make them easily accessible.
The secular site is going to take over the VickyV.com address. The ministry site will be called VickyVMinistry.com. Hope you'll be able to visit both of them soon! I'm looking forward to getting the second one up and running in the near future.
I have the most amazing friend who helps me with all of this. Her name is Suzanne and she is priceless to me - not just because of all her gifts and talents, but more importantly because she is one of the most loving and giving human beings I know. She loves the LORD Jesus Christ with all of her heart and it shows. I value everything she does for me, absolutely. I value everything she is even more.
So, there you have it. GOD is always abundantly good to us. He's generous, loving and kind. He surrounds us with people who love Him - as well as with people who just need the opportunity to get to know Him and who are waiting to hear and see how good He really is.
Have a great day, friends. Talk soon!
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Hello everyone. I hope that this has been a good day for each one of you. Mine has been spent resting and recovering from an allergy thing... It just seems interesting to me that there are so many singers with allergies! But, the Lord has been very gracious and made it possible for me to keep singing at times when it seemed impossible to do. I love that about Him!
If you've been reading my blog, you may have noticed that I haven't been on here every day as planned. I've been taking a tiny break from some of my regular computer time to relax. Nothing like a break to refresh your spirit and body! Well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!
Seriously, I may not be posting as much for the next week or two - lots of stuff on the agenda. Still have one more song to record and there are quite a few singing engagements coming up this season. Hopefully, I'll be back in full force before long.
In the meantime, remember that you are loved - deeply and profoundly loved. Your are all in my prayers and I hope that I am also in yours. We need each other in ways that we cannot imagine. So stay encouraged, stay positive, stay in peace and love everyone you know in the very best way that you can. Give your heart fully to GOD and let Him lead you in everything you do.
Blessings until next time!