Friday, December 30, 2011

The Last Post of 2011

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Proverbs 4:18 

The path of the righteous 
is like the first gleam of dawn, 
shining ever brighter
till the full light of day.

I was going to write about First Fruits but I think I will save that for next week. I wanted to take a moment to reflect back on the past year.  Where have I been and where am I going.  I love the new Facebook Time Line feature because I can look all the way back to last January and follow my posts and remember what I was thinking and doing. Last January I was posting some of my mosaic cards and I was in the midst of my own little Mother Teresa reading marathon. I posted on January 10th
"I am having a Mother Teresa marathon. I read this article and I am reading a book called To Find Hope about her life. I know in my own little bit of work with the poor that there is often great spiritual oppression or darkness that we feel individually and as a team . It has caused me to pull my head out of the sand and admit there is a spiritual war going on. As I try to reach souls for the God's kingdom
I like this quote about Mother Teresa: "Her work in Calcutta's slums illustrated something that the high priests of global development often tend to overlook: in order to pull people out of poverty, it is important to first empower them with self-esteem and with the hope that change is always possible."
 At that time I had not yet started A Devotional Mosaic and was posting occasionally in a couple of other blogs. Here are links to some of the articles that I wrote about my Mother Teresa Marathon. If you are getting this by e-mail you'll need to click on the title and come back to the site. I was reading Mother Teresa at the time because of the work I continue to be involved in ministering to the inner city homeless and poor. Much of her wisdom and inspiration has carried me through this year.
There are a few others posted there. By the end of January I was sick and struggled to get well for the next couple of months. I was also the chairman of the board of our church and we were faced with how we would survive and at that point it looked like we would close if God did not step in somehow. Amazingly a church that should have died continues to stand on the corner of 2nd and Division in Spokane. We continue to feed 100 - 200 homeless people a week. At this point about 20 -30 of those folks attend our church. I am thankful.
Yesterday we served 230 homeless and poor folks. The end of the month the numbers are high. I think this might have been a record beaker."
In February I posted the following to encourage a friend.
This is my quote of the week - God works in the difficult stuff to. Just because something is hard does not mean God is not in it with us. In 1895, Andrew Murray was suffering from a long lasting and very painful back injury. One day a woman in great trouble came to where he was staying and asked his hostess if he might have any counsel for her. He handed her a piece of paper and said, “Give her ...this advice I’m writing for myself. It may be that she will find it helpful." Here is what he wrote:

"In times of trouble, say, “First, he brought me here. It is by his will I am in the strait place, in that I will rest.” Next, “He will keep me here in his love, and give me grace in this trial to behave as his child.” Then say, “He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me lessons he intends me to learn, and working in me the grace he means to bestow.” And last, say, “In his good time he can bring me out again. How and when, he knows.” Therefore, say “I am here [1] by God’s appointment, [2] in his keeping, [3] under his training, [4] for his time."
See More
In March we put on a wedding for a formally homeless couple and I had gotten the church web site functional.  My computer had to be repaired and we found in taking opening it up after 10 years of not problems that it was filled with more dust than imaginable. I guess at about that time God began quite a healing work in my own heart that started by saying yes to a couple of friend request from way back in my life. Wow who knew what one very small click of a computer would take me. Had to deal with some big areas to un forgiveness and repentance that I had locked away. 
In April this quote spoke to me
"Once our eyes are opened by God, we will see all the events of our lives, whether great or small, joyful or sad, as a chariot for our souls. Everything that comes to us becomes a chariot the moment we treat it as such. On the other hand, even the smallest trial may become an object crushing everything in its path into misery and despair if we allow it. ~ Hanna Whitall Smith"
One of my favorite christian writer died in April and I posted about it.
"One of my favorite writers died this week. David Wilkerson passed away on Wednesday in a car crash. He has stood in my mind as one of the mighty oaks of this generation, a Father in the faith. While I rejoice that he is home with Jesus, I will miss his daily thoughts and inspiration.
I know he will have a lasting legacy that will speak far beyond his mortal life. 
In May I started laying glass on the Beloved project - that was quite a journey. Through it I discovered that people were interested in the mosaic process and followed my postings about it.
June a lot of posts about the Beloved project 
In July I started this Blog thanks to the encouragement of a friend. I never imagined that I could actually stick to this Monday - Friday writing schedule.
In August I got my bike and remembered how much I loved to ride. I visited my sister and came home with some new direction and soon after started my Coach Training.   
September started another year of homeschooling - we signed up for a bunch of on line classes - can't say we have really enjoyed them. Niah will head to real high school next year and Cai wants to go back to the way we did things. We are finishing up what we started.  September is birthday month for my kids. We as a family were quite blessed because my husband won a prize from Coke Rewards by turning in bottle caps at their website. We all got new lap top computers from Best Buy. Very cool. I finished the Beloved project.
October - my birthday month. I spent a little time at the Spokane Public Market.  I continue to teach guitar and I have a couple of coaching allies as I keep working through my coach training. 
That gets us to November and December where I have continued to write daily, and post about my mosaic projects. I hear from people that the things I am writing continues to encourage them. Its been a full year full of little purposeful steps. I look at my face book page and I think maybe I have grown up to be an artist, and a writer and one who prays for and encourages people.  I have grown to be much more open and transparant in the past year. My life is much more visible and an open book. I still have some hidden things that are just between me and the Lord. 
In looking back I realize I have come a very long way over the course of one year. God has been gracious to walk with me step by step, day by day. He has picked me up when I have tripped and fallen. He has cared for me in so many ways.  I think it is good to look back and reflect on what he has done. To take stock of where I am at this point and to hold the vision of things he has put on my heart out there and trust that He is working. I'm sure 2012 will have some things that I can't see just like 2011 has been full of surprises and challenges and some major victories.  I hope this has encouraged you it has me. Cause I can get so focused on my daily struggles and the stuff I have to do that I forget that I am making progress. I am stronger and healthier physically, mentally and spiritually than I was a year ago for that I am very thankful. 

See you next year - I'm out of time and will have to post this typos and all.

Dear Lord, 
Thank you for taking us from where we are in this moment to where you want us to go. It is a journey and you delight to take it with us one step at a time.  Thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you that you have started a good work in each of us and you will carry it out to completion.


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