My6inchchallenge's Blog

Tackling difficulties and overcoming the challenges life serves up – by Dona Halliday

Archive for September, 2010

Hush, little baby… shattering the silence around abuse

Hush little baby, don’t say a word, papa’s gonna BUY you a….

It’s only as an adult I’m realizing what terrible messages some of the nursery rhymes I’ve loved as a child and still do, have. What things, I wonder, are bartered for the voices of our children?… There’s nothing wrong with what we are doing, so, Hush, little baby, don’t say….

It may start earlier than we think, that devaluing of the voice. How often do we buy our children things to keep them quiet, throw out hasty promises just so we could be left alone, buy bigger houses so we can hide in our individual spaces… Hush, little baby, don’t say a word…

Something so tragic has been alleged in the body of Christ that I’ve just wanted to hide from it, turn off the news, shut it out. For in a case like this, it’s impossible for the body of Christ to take arms and start a war against opposing sides, for we are ALL the body of Christ, accused and accusers alike — the discovery of truth when you weren’t there, can often be a long journey.

But the message we do not want to send to our children and young people is that no one will stand for them or with them when they use their voices. That no one is interested in discovering the truth.

As members of the body of Christ, there are so many unproductive things we can do at this time. Mostly, I’ve wanted to pray, and one of the things I’m praying is,  “Lord, clean up your body,” and lest you should think me too self-righteous, I always remember to ask Him to start with me.

I may offend some by saying this, but in the church many of us became experts at hiding and covering up sexual sins or improprieties, ours and others. Maybe, as a friend said, it’s time for the church to stop the pretense and deal openly with our issues. For, there are somethings that need to be denied breath so they can die, and there are others that need to be exposed to the light so healing and transformation can take place.

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Come on, Stretch yourself! A new toastmaster’s Ice breaker

Looking good…, but that’s not the kind of stretching I’m talking about today. I’m talking about the stretching of our abilities, our minds, doing those things that push us past our comfort level — the unaccustomed, the new, the different, the challenging — Come on, Stretch Yourself!

Recently, in an effort to do just that I joined Toastmasters International — a non-profit organization with about 12,500 clubs in 113 countries. This organization through its local clubs provide a friendly environment for individuals to develop better communication skills (i.e. active listening and public speaking) as well as leadership skills.

On Monday, I delivered my first speech there, an icebreaker. I was evaluated on the questions below and I would love YOUR evaluation. To listen, click here ICEBREAKER:

EVALUATION QUESTIONS:
1. What strong points does the speaker have?
2. How well did you get to know the speaker?
3. Did the speech reflect adequate preparation?
4. Did the speaker talk clearly & audibly?
5. Did the speech have a definite opening, body and conclusion?
6. Comment on the speaker’s use of notes. (no notes)
7. Suggest improvement the speaker could make
8. What did you like about the presentation?

Please let me know your suggestions by replying in the “Comment field”  and once again this is Dona Halliday encouraging you to stretch yourself by challenging yourself by .

Get up! Don’t just sit there. Check on your resolutions.

The call to get up and go about the business of accomplishing those things we plan to do is really a call to move with urgency.

Get up, don't just sit there!

I stood counting on my fingers like a child. “September, October, November, December.” I was finally convinced, the year was slipping away. As if to press home the point, blasting from the radio, Mary Mary through their song issued this command, “…GET UP, ’cause you can’t stop, GET UP, got a lot to do, 24 hours almost gone, GET UP don’t sit there, GET UP, if you wanna get there, clocks don’t stop and time won’t wait…”

That was Sept, 1st. Earlier, I had jumped out of bed at about 4:45a.m., grabbed a 4″ x 6″ card, wrote on it in bright green letters and stuck it on the TV screen. My subconscious must have formed an alliance with Mary Mary, for my, NO TV, SEPTEMBER note, meant there was better use of my time and there were too many goals that were still untouched.

Four days later at about 8p.m, I said to my second mom, “I’m going to Wal-Mart I need something to exercise my brain,” (one of my goals). Laura, almost 88 years young said she needed that as well. So we had headed to Wal-Mart where I had purchased a game of scrabble and book puzzles, and she, an electronic Ken-Ken.

For the last 17 days, I’ve played Sudoku (EASY level), done cross-word puzzles, dusted off my keyboard (wanting to teach myself to play was yet another unmet goal), pulled out one of hymnals and taught myself to play “Jesus loves me, this I know”, 2 days ago I got back on track to teach myself basic website building and before the end of next week I will have at least the home page of my site online.

This may not seem like much, but after my daily activities, I would still have been on the sofa, snuggled in the arms of good intentions, accomplishing nothing, but for that prompting to get moving.

How are your goals, plans, resolutions, going? In the words of Mary Mary, I am Dona Halliday challenging you to “GET UP… It’s YOUR dreams, YOUR choice, YOUR time, YOUR life, don’t you miss it.”

The power of the tongue: Saying what God says

Sunday evening found me just sitting around. I was pondering what I had learned about seven hours before. That Sunday morning I had heard a sermon that covered the power of confession — empowering our lives through our speech by speaking what God says. Encouraged to develop my personal confession and speak those things that I wanted to see manifest in my life, I sat thinking.

I was wondering what would make such a practice effective when I reached for my bible. It opened to several verses I had highlighted. Without thinking much about it I started reading the verses aloud like I normally do, but I read that passage like I had never read it before, because I realized, this was what I wanted more than anything else. This would be my daily confession.

My aha moment was when I grasped the power behind the practice of confession. Faith is believing that God exists, that He is faithful to and capable of performing what He says. But saying what He says is not just for Him, it’s for us, for there is an awareness, an alertness, a shaping that take place with the confession of truth. There is an awakening, transforming, renewing of the mind that open our eyes to opportunities for practicing our confession.

Tonight at bible study our pastor said it best when he said, the Word FORMS US, not just informs us. So tonight before I go to bed, once again I will confess and reaffirm this great desire that my heart holds:
“Love is patient, therefore I am patient. Love is kind, therefore I am kind. Love does not envy, therefore I will not be envious of others. Love does not boast, therefore I will not be boastful. Love is not proud, therefore I will walk in humility. Love is not rude, therefore I will be courteous. Love is not self-seeking, therefore I will seek the good of others. Love keeps no record of wrongs, therefore I will be quick to forgive. Love does not delight in evil, therefore I will not delight in wrong, Love rejoices with the truth, therefore I will rejoice in the truth of God’s word. Love always protects, therefore I will protect the people in my life. Love always trusts, therefore I will trust and be trust worthy. Love always hopes, therefore I will live in hope. Love always perseveres, therefore I will never give up. Love never fails, therefore I will love totally and unconditionally.

This is Dona Halliday encouraging you to take time to hear God speak, then say what He says.

Take a listen to this song from MercyMe — Word of God Speaks

A Conversation with Moses: Purpose, Preparation, Destiny

Purpose, Preparation, Destiny

A conversation with Moses

Mr. M, do you have a moment? I read about you last night and wanted to talk with you…

I want to know about the years before the “burning bush”. Last night I read you were a shepherd looking after your father-in-laws sheep for forty years. FORTY years Mr. M, that’s a life time!

Did you think you were forgotten? Did you still believe in Him? God I mean, did you still trust Him? You know your mom felt the Lord had purposed your birth and had great plans for your future. I’m sure with all her faith she never imagined you growing up in the palace, as a king’s son. I know she told you what a miracle it was how you were rescued by Pharaoh’s daughter and the way God ordered it so that she, your own mother, became your paid nurse. She made sure you knew your heritage, the greatness of God and His wonders among His people. Did you believe that Moses? After all, you did kill that fellow then ran for your life. You messed up, didn’t you? For instead of becoming a prince you became a shepherd…

Isn’t it strange though, how things can change so quickly. I bet you thought that day was going to be like the others. Then there was that burning bush. Right there in the ordinariness of your life God showed up and changed your destiny forever. Wow, that must have been something!

Did you feel prepared for such a huge assignment? You must not have, Mr M, because I read you told God that you could not speak. I’m not judging, I understand. I can’t imagine you felt the need to practice your oratory skills while tending sheep, and not to say anything against Mrs. M, but, I heard she was quite a talker and did not allow you to get a word in.

Then it was rumored you got upset one day when you got home and Mrs. M. had been out “visiting” and had not prepared dinner. Someone said you got so angry that you dropped her best china and said if she was not going to cook she did not need plates. I don’t know how true any of that is, but the reason I brought up your excuses and temper is because I’ve been making excuses, too. I keep asking God to perfect me before He sends me. You see Mr. M, I’m still too impatient and don’t love like I should, there is still so much in me that need to be changed and I don’t want to go like I am because I may hurt someone. Do you understand Mr. M?

What did you say? You weren’t perfect either, you still got angry sometimes, and still broke stuff. Tablets? Sure, I heard about that Mr. M. Those tablets were mighty important and you threw them down and broke them too, just like Mrs. M’s dishes. Wow, but God still did some powerful things through you, didn’t He? You led his people out of Egypt! Who would have thought while you were learning to care for sheep, God was preparing your heart to lead his people? It goes to show Mr. M. you never know, God could be preparing you and yet the thing may seem so purposeless.

Thanks for your time Mr M. No, I did not introduce myself, I’m Dona Halliday. Yes, it’s quite a challenge, but remembering God is faithful and my destiny is secure keep me steady.

Take a listen: Hezekiah Walker – Faithful is our God

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