I follow Christ. His timing is perfect, and sometimes I get it right, and sometimes, I’ve tried to step out when it wasn’t the right time. I’ve done “previews” of what I felt God wanted me to do before and have met with some small success, but it was never the right time and nothing much came of it. But that’s OK, because God’s timing is perfect.
A lot has changed since my last post. Sometimes I get too busy to update everyone. Some people around me know what I’m up to now, but most of you don’t. So here it is.
I re-entered Global Awakening Theological Seminary (GATS) in late August. I’m pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree. It will take me until the spring of 2025. Some people might think I’m crazy to do this. Don’t I know how old I am? 2 Corinthians 5:13 reads “If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God…” The Lord showed me this verse when I asked Him to show me something from scripture for a sort of “justification” to pursue this degree.
I’m nearly done with my first semester, and I’m loving every minute of it. Our Intensive is this week. It’s where we all come together for 4-1/2 days for more learning and meeting each other in person. We have small groups to help us get to know a few others. I have an advantage – I already know three other women in my degree program. There are 20 doctoral students, nine of us are D.Min. students. The others are Th.D. I’m looking forward to seeing those I know and getting to know new people.
Also, we were encouraged as doctoral students to join a ministry network called the Apostolic Network of Global Awakening (ANGA). To do this, you need to “have a ministry” of some sort. In early October, I applied to ANGA to see what would happen. They let me in! Refreshing Streams is now a bona fide ministry and we will begin events next year.
God is good. So much has happened this year – it’s amazing. I’m doing two things I wasn’t sure I would ever do – go for a doctorate and actually formally start a healing and equipping ministry. But I’ve learned to do it anyway. I’ve battled mentally with doing each of these things. It’s not easy to start something totally new and different at my age. People tell me all the time they can’t believe I’m as old as I am and that I look younger. Sometimes, I do feel younger. Sometimes, I feel really old.
But I will always follow the Lord – no matter what. I pursue, like the apostle Paul, the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Phil. 3:14.
It seems as though my life has been made up of one delay after another — with the possible exception of my birth. I was small, only 5 lb., 8 oz. and had to be in an incubator for some days. I was released from the hospital when I was 13 days old. My first delay. This may be a two-part post, because there is a lot to try to explain.
I didn’t walk until after a year old because my left foot was the opposite of club foot, and rolled in. I had to wear a cast on it for a month or two—don’t remember how long—until it sufficiently straightened enough to walk on it. So, yet another delay.
My mom also told me I was late getting teeth. She was concerned and took me to the doctor. He said, “Your daughter would make history if she never developed teeth. Don’t worry!” They came in eventually. Same with my permanent teeth. When I was 12, the dentist pulled my baby eye teeth because he thought it was time they came out. They weren’t even lose! For all my junior high and high school pictures, and into college — I would either be serious for photos, or barely smile—never showing my teeth, because of the two huge gaps that lasted over six, yes 6 years! I noticed in college that one of my eye teeth was finally beginning to come in. I was probably close to 19. More delay.
I didn’t date in high school, and very little in college. Had one boyfriend when I was working in Topeka, KS at a radio station. He worked at a different station. He was nice, but I knew he wasn’t “the one.” My heart was not broken when we broke up, but I think may have missed him a little bit for a short while. I didn’t marry until I was 33. Yep, thirty-three years old. I waited. He was worth it. I have the absolute best husband for me in all the world!
I’m sure there were more delays, because there always are in life — I just don’t remember more. These are enough. Enough to see a sort of pattern. At that time, you decide how to handle delay. Check out this post from Oct 25, 2019, entitled How Do You Handle Delay? Link: https://donnalhsmith.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=3747
Next week: Part 2
My first two novels went like clockwork, once the literary agency I was signed with decided to publish them through a special Amazon program. Meghan’s Choice was released in November 2017, and Rose’s Redemption followed in 2018. No problem. More about this in the next post.Read More
Why get a Master of Divinity in My Late 60s?
You might ask WHY I would spend three and half years and lots of money to get a Master of Divinity in my late 60s. The only answer I have is — that I pursue God and His purposes for me.
I didn’t start out to get a degree. I started out in healing school because I wanted to help those with rejection issues. I was raised to be practical, and an M.Div. seems to be about the most impractical thing I could do at my age. So — why?
I wanted to know what pastors know. As a layperson, I always felt a bit at a disadvantage with pastors and professors. They had studied things I hadn’t. For most of my life, it didn’t matter … until I went to Bible school 22 years ago. I learned a little about what the pastors knew then. But I still felt at a disadvantage. Yet I kept pursuing the Lord. And I still do.Read More
Transitioning from One World to Another
It was a day like no other. Seeing friends in person I’d only seen online before and giving them a hug.
If you’re a friend on Facebook, you know I had an incredible day last Thursday. I traveled to Virginia with my husband and another seminary friend — and we officially graduated with my Master of Divinity, Ministry Concentration from Global Awakening Theological Seminary (GATS).Read more: Two Worlds Update
I felt God’s presence so strong on me, that I both laughed and cried. The emotions were so strong. The joy I felt. The incredible goodness and kindness of God on me through the day, and during the ceremony, where Dr. Randy Clark and Dr. Tom Jones from GATS and Dr. Sam Matthews from Family of Faith University, (the brick-and-mortar university GATS is affiliated with, prayed for each of the 17 graduates (although only 15 of us were in attendance).
I feel I have left one world behind in the dust, so to speak; and in a way, I have. I feel close to that “sweet spot” my pastor talks about, but I’m still not certain where exactly that is. I have some clues, but at my age, I’m not looking for full-time, just activities. Not to fill my time, but to utilize it. To use my gifts and education for the benefit of others.
I’m older. I was the 2nd oldest student in the graduating class this year. My friend Sally is 2 years older than me. She is amazing, getting her degree at 70. I’m almost 68, but I’m just getting started. I feel that everything I have done was to get me where I am now.
For those of you who follow me because of writing, I’m writing again — probably not fiction though. I will attempt to self-publish my 3rd novel, Hannah’s Hope this year. It’s all ready, I just need the “time” and the “desire” to get it done. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement in the past.
Where I will go from here is still being formulated. I’m on an online deliverance ministry eam and facilitating a class on Global’s College of Ministry. Eventually, they want to have enough classes to offer a bachelor’s degree. Because I have Master Equipper certification with Global’s CHCP program, I facilitate a class. I loved all the classes in that program, so I am facilitating a class on praying for the sick, PH2. More information can be found at https://globalcollegeministry.com/?fbclid=IwAR1kF0XW7dySJqObRHQjRx5gvq8laB1oVuEHVWxDUYZhAoahk4GRuPDBXF8.
I know there will be more. In fact, I’m preparing to launch my own online/in-person healing ministry of sorts. Some of you may have heard of it. Refreshing Streams. Because we are so scattered across the country, online is such a wonderful way to connect people, and bring healing and wholeness. If you are interested in helping with this, please let me know. I’m looking for people to be involved in different ways.
That’s it for now. Next week: The WHY of My Degree
It’s been nearly two whole years since I wrote a blog post. At that time, I decided I wouldn’t write another post until I had something to say. Well, I finally have lots to say! This has been a website for writers and ministry. The main focus will be on ministry and healing, and what God is doing. None of the past information on writing will be deleted. Sometimes having my foot in two worlds is awkward, sometimes uncomfortable. Sometimes, the familiarity of both worlds is comforting, but sometimes thinking I may be saying goodbye to one world (or at least have diminished contact) to embrace another is a melancholy feeling. @donnalhsmith #twoworlds #encouragement #inspirational
I feel like I have my foot in two worlds. While there are some crossovers, they are for me, two different worlds. In the last three years, my whole life and focus have changed, and yet, there is still a lingering project from my past Christian fiction life that needs to be completed—as well as beginning new projects (both writing and ministry) that I have begun.
For those of you who actually know me, you know that in 2017, I went through a horrendous ten months of tooth problems, which were finally resolved. In 2018, I began attending an online healing school—healing for the whole person, body, mind, and spirit. This connected with my past college experience with Oral Roberts University, where educating the whole person and keeping them healthy was the focus there, too. I felt I had come full circle.
2018 was one of the best years of my life. I was writing my second novel, and it got published toward the end of that year. My 1st novel placed in two contests, and I got to present workshops at six different writers’ conferences, (all were pretty small, but still). I was hoping 2019 would be the same—that I had finally reached the place I had been trying to get to my whole life. My pastor would call it my “sweet spot.” I thought I had too.
But in 2019, all the doors that had opened to me in 2018 seemed closed. I only presented at one writers’ conference all year.
Spiritually, I was growing in leaps and bounds, and with that—my focus began to shift from writing novels to learning and practicing more about healing. Then, in a wild and crazy moment that seemed to be confirmed by both God and others, I entered an online seminary in October of 2019. I’ve been on a journey ever since.
I’m nearly done now. I only have two classes left, and one of those starts in two weeks. It’s on Spiritual Formation. I’ve heard it’s a great class, where the professor ministers personally during Zoom sessions as we talk about the subject of the week. My last class will begin in October and I’ll receive my degree next April in Virginia at a special graduation ceremony during a Global Awakening conference.
Anyway, more will be coming. I may not be regular at posting for a while yet, but stay tuned. The next chapter in my life is beginning to reveal itself and I think it will be exciting. I’ve had a little preview of it a couple of times in the last year, and soon, I’ll be able to speak more about it.
@donnalhsmith #twoworlds #encouragement #inspirational
It seems my whole life has been one delay after another since I was born. I was an “early” baby, or premie, but I was delayed after birth by a stint in an incubator. My longest hospital stay was at that time. Thirteen days. @donnalhsmith #amwriting #lifesdelays #howdoyouhandledelay
The other day Facebook reminded me that I’ve been friends with Author Justina Luther for six years. She went on to do a blog post about our Christian Writer’s Guild Craftsman residency in Colorado. @donnalhsmith @justinaluther #memories #goodfriends #amwriting #craftsmanxi
It’s interesting what details we remember about a particular event.
Why is it important to “say something eternal? Many years ago I heard a teaching about our “works.” It changed my life and made me get my mind off myself and onto what God might want me to do. @donnalhsmith #GodsMysteriousWays #SaySomethingEternal #GodsCallOnMyLife