A Few Words

It is Easter morning and I am thankful – yes even thankful with all that is going on in our world, country and community. I cling to the stories of individuals displaying kindness to one another. I listen to the children next door from my kitchen table as they hunt Easter eggs and my heart is delighted in their voices. This Easter will look different than in the past. I will not be involved in getting dressed up to go to church, Easter Egg hunts, helping to provide a meal for our family. and hugs from those I love the most. And yet – I have a choice to make – being sad for what I can’t control or resting in the knowledge that a special time with my husband and I being together is a gift of a different kind. The same is true for each of us. I look forward to another day in the future when we will be back with our families and that something that once was removed is reinstated. And with that — gratitude is replaced as we remember the time we needed to celebrate differently. Blessings to you and your family. Be safe and please keep practicing social distancing.

If you haven’t tired of reading – below is an interview I gave about my own Faith Walk.

Faith Walk – Debbie Hallock – 8/30/14

  • Was God always present in your life? Was it consistent?  Yes – I grew up in a Christian home and Jesus was introduced to me as a child.  But I believe there is a time when your belief in God has to become personal and embraced as your own. 
  • At what age did you really understand and start to have a personal relationship with Him?  I was 9 years old.  My mom was very ill, my dad was working to provide for our family and I had 3 little brothers.  I spent a Friday night at my grandmother’s house.  This was great fun because she was an amazing cook and let me choose  what was for dinner.  Pinto Beans and Cornbread – yum!  She then asked if I wanted to stay another night. I had to think about this because this meant going to church with grandma the next morning but choosing another dinner won out.  She surprised me when she said after dinner to go get cleaned up; we were going to church for a Saturday Special.   I thought “Church tonight too?”  Soon we were sitting in a church pew listening to a men’s quartet.  To this day – I don’t remember the name of their group; but I can tell you the words of a song they sang that changed me “Don’t try to tell me that God is dead.  I just talked to Him this morning.  Don’t try to tell me He’s not alive He lives within my heart.  His words are always by my side.  He brightens up my day.  Don’t try to tell me that God is dead.  I just talked to him today.”   I walked down the center aisle and accepted Jesus into my heart that night and knew I would never be alone.
  • Was God present in your parent’s life?  Yes
  • Have you ever had a God moment or felt/seen the presence of God?  Yes – several times but this is the one making me smile as I write.  Years ago I was a stay-at-home mom and my heart yearned to help make our house a home by doing some decorating.  Monetarily I didn’t have much to work with.  I took a piece of lined binder paper and drew 3 columns listing my heart desires, what I thought it would cost and then I left the 3rd column blank.  I gave this list to God – asked him to brainstorm and go shopping with me.  I would then place the actual cost in the column when the desire had been met.  One example:  New slipcovers for outside furniture – Waverly fabric – I needed 10 yards (Regularly $26.00/yard – I received for $1.08/yard)  In a years time – everything on my list was complete with the monies I had to work with.
  • Do you have a relationship(s) that is responsible for changing your faith walk? A mentor, pastor, teacher.  Oh, yes – my friends Sue and Madeline.  I attended a bible study at Grace Community Church when we moved from Ca to AZ and they were both in leadership roles.  Their lives weren’t without challenges but they modeled a dependence on God that I wanted for myself.  
  • Did you have a pivotal circumstance that changed your path in life?  When our young family moved to AZ.  We didn’t know anyone here, my husband travelled quite a bit for his job.  I needed to be brave so my young children would be brave; I needed to make friends so my children would make friends and depending on God  taught me how to do this.
  • What does your life look like now vs before you accepted Christ?   My relationship with Christ gives me strength when I am weak, courage when I am fearful, and a joy that is beyond understanding.  This is so important because we live in a world that often wants us trapped in weakness and fear and the enemy grins every time our joy is stolen.
  • Do you think your life would have turned out different had you not heard of Jesus?  I would say most definitely.  I have a people pleasing nature which isn’t a bad thing as long as it’s kept in check and doesn’t move into codependence. I think I could have easily been a person that was swept away by whichever way the wind was blowing at a given moment without His guidance.
  • What about what you read, what you watch, what you hear – do you think it influences your Faith Walk? If so, how do you reconcile this pre Jesus and post Jesus?  Absolutely.  There are many things I used to watch and read that put pictures and thoughts in my head that weren’t beneficial to living a life pleasing to the Lord.  They would give me nightmares and cause me to be unsettled.  In contrast, the bible, books that stretch me like the writings of Catherine Marshall’s Adventures in Prayer, the music of Jars of Clay, Mercy Me, Amy Grant (don’t get me started) guide and grow me as they encourage me in my walk with Jesus.  I love the saying in the 3rd Indiana Jones movie when Indie chooses the cup and the knight says, “You have chosen wisely.”  I know the times I choose wisely bring more peace and joy into my daily life.  
  • How do you balance what culture and friends say vs what the bible says?  This is a constant battle isn’t it?  Where will truth land in our hearts?  I try to be aware, open to their perspective while not losing my belief system.  God says He loves the seeker so I study what the bible says and although I may not fully understand, I trust what He says and that is Truth.  Sometimes friends just have to agree to disagree.
  • Do you feel peer pressure from non-believing friends who don’t understand your faith? Tell us about it in a sentence or two.  I’m not sure we ever get to a point where we can’t be affected by peer pressure especially from people we care about.  We all long for acceptance – to be able to be kindred spirits as Anne of Green Gables would say in the areas that matter the most to us.  So the decision on whose approval is the most important to us (God or people) will be a guiding beacon.  A Christian life modeled is more powerful than one that is expressed in words only. 
  • What’s your favorite bible verse and why?  Is 41:13 “For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says “Do not fear; I will help you.”
  • Share something you struggle with as a believer (if comfortable) in your Faith Walk.      That people have legitimate needs and I’m not the answer to making their lives more manageable.  I can cross a bridge and discover that it is so much nicer on the other side but I can’t wrap a rope around someone’s middle and drag them across with me – they are responsible for their own decisions and their own happiness.
  • If you could have five minutes with Jesus, what would you do?  I think I’d just want to climb up in his lap and tell him thank you for taking such good care of me.  I need Him more than I need to understand what’s happening.
  • Any advice for new believers or non-believers?  New believers – You will walk through valleys – Be strong and courageous for God is with you even when it might not feel like it.  Continue to learn who Jesus is – You can’t trust who you don’t know.  Non-believers –  I know you may think my faith in God is a crutch.  We are all crippled somehow in this life.  People without God will find crutches to try to cope with this life and they are often destructive.  I can’t make you believe that God is as a real of a person to me as you are but I pray someday in your life you’ll consider turning in your crutch for what you call is mine.