Exact Change


Colossians 3:1-3 (NLT) Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.

When I was in college, I traveled a highway with a toll booth to get to campus each day. There was an alternate route to take but it was much farther. The only problem was that in order to use the toll booth, I had to remember to keep change in my car to pay the toll. In my haste as I am time challenged, there were days I was in a panic scrambling under the seats and checking every compartment to get through. I will admit over 30 years later with complete repentance that there were days I pretended to toss the right amount of change in the bucket and drove right through. I felt really guilty but at that point didn’t know what to do.

Around that time, I spent a summer in Africa as I was considering becoming a missionary. We would drive to different schools and prisons for the ministry and there better the condition of the road the more toll booths. There was no honor system but officers at each booth to collect the toll to pass. However, sitting behind the booth was an armed guard with a loaded assault weapon ready to shoot out the tires, if one was lucky, of those who didn’t pay the appropriate toll. Harsh. The prison system in Africa is very different than the one in America. Overcrowding is not a problem. The maximum sentence is three years. The return rate of repeat offenders is quite low. They believe in the death penalty and execute those who are menaces to society if street justice does not take care of the problem. Now this was more than 30 years ago, things may have changed. When a woman went to prison, her children went with her. The only time children were returned to family members would be in the event of untimely death or execution. It seems harsh. Where is social reform? Where is the care and concern for all humanity? The lack of consideration for each individual may seem harsh. God does not consider us as individuals when giving us grace. It is predestined and predetermined because God does not change.

To truly understand the Way of God and His Will, we must understand His Supremacy and Sovereignty. We live in a world shaped and fashioned by man in the form of society. Normalcy is by the current trend or majority rather than based on the truth. Our justice system is skewed because it based on humanity. Bad things happen to good people and nothing is done. Innocent people are herded through the system and sit in jail unfairly as precious moments of their life drift away. I am not calling for a political agenda. America is in deep trouble with God and the world. I cannot stomach another presidential debate. We have lost our way. But as a believer that does not have to impact or influence my life or its outcome. I have a better way. It is God’s Way. He has a plan. It includes a future hope. It requires exact change.

Numbers 23:19 (NLT) God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?

Titus 1:1-2 (NLT) This letter is from Paul, a slave of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ. I have been sent to proclaim faith to those God has chosen and to teach them to know the truth that shows them how to live godly lives. This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God—who does not lie—promised them before the world began.

God is not a man. He does not lie. He is not human. He does not change His Mind. If He said it, He meant it. If He said don’t, He wasn’t joking or kidding. He cannot and will not accept sin ever in any form. There is no hierarchy of sin that makes one more foul than the next. Man made up doctrine and religion to suit their own purposes. While I believe in the beginning, it was with good intentions – tradition has taken over making Christians who sit on high horses and pride-made thrones. The truth of the matter is that at every give opportunity the altars of every church should be full with. Every person in every congregation should be face down on the floor asking God to forgive them and make them new. I include myself in the pious bunch who have stood up looking around waiting for someone else to go when in all honesty we all need Jesus more and more each day. Offense builds walls that forgiveness cannot overcome. Rather than freely given the love and grace given to us by Christ, it is hoarded for ourselves or those who make the appropriate changes. Blessing their hearts to their face – a knife is plunged in their back by secretly discussing sin and not praying for all sinners. My heart is overwhelmed today by a God who does not change. He does not lie or change His Mind. This works for me most days but today it convicts my heart.

John 14:6 (NLT) Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”

Hebrews 13:8 (NLT) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

John 10:6-10 (NLT) Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

His Grace is sufficient for me. This does not mean that I can abuse God’s Grace or use it as I please. Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life. No one can come to the Father except through Jesus Christ. Most of us probably readily agree with this statement. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. When it comes to His Unfailing Love and Unending Grace, this can only be a bonus for those us who are weak and wandering. Jesus is the Gate for His Sheep. I think I get it. No, I really don’t.

Jesus is the Gate for His Sheep. His Purpose is to give us a rich and satisfying life. The enemy and his thieves will attempt to carry sheep away with misguided truth, unconfessed sin, and lack of love into a pasture that may look like the one Jesus has given us but is a substitution. If you are not living a satisfied life – you may have gone through the wrong gate. The gate that is God’s Way is narrow. It does not let just anyone in, it is a heart matter. We must surrender our heart to Jesus Christ which means yielding our way, believing the Truth and living a new life. The life that Jesus commanded us to live is love. We make it about all these other things according to worldly standards but it doesn’t really matter how I look, what I wear, or what I do as long as I have given all of my heart to Jesus Christ. Like or not – God does not change and Jesus remains the same. They are constant in their insistence that love leads the way.

John 3:5-8 (NLT) Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

2 Corinthians 3:8-10 (NLT) Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way.

Jesus told Nicodemus that to enter the Kingdom of God – you must be born again. Birth is new life. It is not easy but a long and difficult process that requires hard work, discomfort and pain along the way. When a baby is in the birthing process, sometimes complications arise. My second son had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck three times so tightly that it had to be cut before he was actually born to free him. It was a very tense moment as I was not in a hospital. The midwife told the nurse and I the plan – I was worried but determined to get help my baby live. The timing had to be impeccable. The contraction would come. At the peak, she would cut the cord and immediately would push and not stop until he was born. This may not sound like a big deal but any woman who has given birth knows it doesn’t always go as planned. Well, it worked and though he was battered and bruised – he was a healthy baby boy.

There is only one way for a baby to arrive naturally. If anything happens, there must be medical intervention. Only the Holy Spirit can birth spiritual life. Unlike the world and things in the natural which are given to change, new life in the Spirit can only come one way because God is Sovereign. If Jesus is the Giver of Grace (which He is) than His Way cannot change either. We cannot add to or take away from the Truth and God’s Grace is enough. Nothing I do, say or become will ever allow me to earn it.

We should live in the Glory of God every day. If the Glory of God is not emanating from our life, we are doing something wrong. I am doing something wrong. If the condition of my heart, not my life, but my heart is not glorious – I have no one to blame. God is perfect. His Way is, too. Maybe I need to exact change in my own life and line up with His Way to make into the right pasture.

I John 2:7-12 (NLT) Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment—to love one another—is the same message you heard before. Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining. If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is still living in darkness.  Anyone who loves a fellow believer is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. But anyone who hates a fellow believer is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness. I am writing to you who are God’s children because your sins have been forgiven through Jesus.

The Lord has lovingly and graciously placed three ladies in my life who I love with all my heart. They are all believers. If you met them they may seem life like ordinary people, but what I have discovered getting to know them is that they are extraordinary lovers. They love Jesus with their whole heart. Each one is in a different place in life but their love is the commonality that I see. They all serve in church but only one stands on the platform week after week. They are the iron who sharpen my iron. When I get aggravated, they smother me with grace. When I am stubborn, they wash me in the Word. When I get discouraged, they work to haul me back up and get me moving again. The circle is small. Their influence in my life is great. Church can become a society. Church people can become more harsh and critical than the world. The cuts of Christians may even draw blood a little quicker because we expect people to be like Jesus. Well, they are not. They are just people.

Today, my heart is heavy. There has been a strike to my foundation and blow to my flesh. The Lord is quickening me to overcome. To overcome means that I must allow the Holy Spirit to work on my hard heart even if no one else feels the need to submit, surrender and be transformed. I must give my life to the birth process to become a new creation. Somebody who loves like Jesus. One who avoids sin but runs to help sinners. Not to change, but to encounter God’s Love through me. Our time is drawing to an end. Jesus is coming soon. What will we have to show for it… We need exact change. Not religion or tradition but new hearts and new minds that only Jesus can produce in us. We must give Him what we have and let Him have His Way. We must have the exact change to make it through the narrow gate to His Kingdom today.

Ezekiel 36:26 (NLT) And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.

Days Like This


Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV) “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

There have been many crossroads in my spiritual life when the edge of Heaven and reality of life come so close it causes goosebumps to rise on my arm and neck hair to stand at attention but today is one of those days. In a month given to the slightly spooky, sometimes the spiritual realm can be a bit scary though it shouldn’t be. In all fairness, sometimes it can be made into something that it is not. Overly emotional and exaggerated stories make people avoid it altogether. The truth is that God wants to communicate with us. The Lord lives in us to commune and communicate with us. He will speak to others to confirm what He is doing in our life. This has happened many times in the course of my spiritual life. Sometimes it is for the immediate situation, but most often it is for a future time and makes little sense.

A well-respected and dedicated Christian man had a dream about my husband and I not too long ago. It was of a spiritual nature and his heart would not relent until he shared it with us. I wrote it down and prayed that the Lord would have His Way. Well, the dream has come to pass. Not exactly as detailed but specifically as recorded. The dream was about the narrow road. Although we were on it, my husband and I would be “bitten” along the way by the enemy. It has happened. The good news is that in the end – we win and make a full recovery. I wish that I could say this is comforting but who welcomes trials or pain for that matter? No one really. The better news that fills me with hope is that it indicated us to be on the “narrow road” going in the right direction.

Sometimes in our Christian life, though we are trying to “do” all the right things, it is sometimes unclear if we are going through the right gate and on the narrow road. Wrapped up in church, religion, doctrine and spiritual social acceptability, it is difficult to see the forest for the trees, the gate for the fences, and the road in the midst of pavement. The Word of God is clearly defined. The Holy Spirit will lead us in all truth. We must become dedicated to the narrow road and finding the gate – Jesus Christ. Religion must give way to relationship because this path to the Kingdom of God is not the popular way but a very particular lifestyle.

Psalm 100:3-5 (NIV) Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Today I know that the Lord is God. Do I believe it? If so, I must trust Him enough that when I am not sure where He is leading that I will still go. When the road gets so small and not so clearly defined that I am willing to stand on faith. I must enter His Gates with thanksgiving and His Courts with praise even when the next step seems overwhelming. The farther I go in my Christian walk the less I understand and the more trust is required. I know that God is good. I know that His Love endures. I believe that His Faithfulness continues even when mine is a bit weak.

Psalm 107:15-16 (NIV) Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron.

Reading this today, I am reminded that when I enter His Gates with thanksgiving and praise not dependent on my condition or circumstances that the Lord will break down the natural barriers, gates and bars of life. He will fight for me if I fight to maintain my faith in Him. It is all about faith. It will always be about faith in Jesus Christ. He is the Gate. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Him.

John 10:7-10 (NIV) Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

The road is narrow. The gate is small. There are not a variety of ways to the Kingdom or even into the Presence of God. Jesus Christ is the Only Way. He is our Righteousness. It is His Faithfulness that allows us to have faith. Everything in our life must be channeled through Him. Especially our wait times, chaotic episodes and those days when nothing makes sense.

It’s funny that I believe this may be for a lot of people today because I have been stopped from continuing about thirty times. So I hope if you are where I am today, on the narrow road at a definite standstill and trying to pass through the gate that just seems too small to pass that you will be encouraged to keep trying. Keep pressing. Keep pushing. You cannot give up because what is on the other side of the gate and the end of this road is worth it. Jesus is totally worth every pain, hardship, trial and trouble endured to be with Him.

Isaiah 35:3-4 (NIV) Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution he will come to save you.”

Mama said that there would be days like this…okay maybe it is our Father who said it too! On those days when you have done all to stand and are standing, it is our belief that God is good and He is faithful that will keep us on the right track until the gate swings open allowing us to pass to the next pasture or the next step in the road rises up to meet our feet. The Lord is fighting for us. He is with us. He will never let the righteous fall. Those who choose the narrow path will not be forsaken even when they fall. The ones who decide the Highway of Holiness is for them will never lose their way. Be strong, friend. Do not fear. We win. Our victory has a name – Jesus. It is for an appointed time which means that it will come. Sometimes dreams seem like nightmares until the hero comes. We have a hero. His Name is Jesus.

Isaiah 35: 8-10 (NIV) And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it. No lion will be there, nor any ravenous beast; they will not be found there. But only the redeemed will walk there, and those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Restore Me Lord


Psalm 51:10-12 (NIV) Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

“There is no more neutrality in the world. You either have to be part of the solution, or you’re going to be part of the problem.” – Eldridge Cleaver

It has been a long and exhausting week. My mom had open heart surgery a couple of weeks ago. Our state was deluged in rain and wind by a hurricane. After working for a week, I came to help care for her and assist my parents during the recovery process. My routine is disrupted. My schedule out of order. I am not really sure what day it is or what it will hold. A trip to the radiologist confirmed that my sweet mama had the beginnings of pneumonia. I had the best of intentions and expected to work but this task had taken more time and nights are long when your patient cannot sleep. The couch is comfortable but I am a little older than before. In the midst of exhaustion and concern for my ailing parent, my daughter called crushed by a friend. It was just too much. I called one parent and then another attempting to put out the fire before it turned into a firestorm. It didn’t work. Falling asleep last night after turning off an embarrassing debate with two candidates clearly not fit to be our country’s next president, far from home, missing my family, concerned for my people, staring in the dark – I just began to talk to Jesus. Our time has been limited. I have tried multiple times. We get brief and quick conversations but hardly the hours that are usually set aside of us. I believe there are seasons when that happens. It is during those times that we live on what His Word for yesterday was because He never lies or changes His Mind. So what He told me yesterday I can trust for today and build on for tomorrow! Thank you Lord for being constant.

One thing I know in the midst of all the chaos. God is constant. He is the One who I can fully trust and lean on when all hell breaks loose as the conditions around me currently indicate. When I opened my eyes this morning ready to meet the day, I heard my heart say, “Restore me, Lord.” I need restoration. I need to be refilled. So many details have added to this emptiness as my life has been poured out over the last few weeks. This is a test. I know that it is only a test. One thing I have learned if I do not what to do, where to go or how to do something it usually is a call to wait and watch for the Lord. So here I am. I am shifting my weight from foot to foot because the faith that we stand on as believers is not always a wide base. What do you do when nothing adds up? In the world – it is time to refigure and regroup. In the realm of hope, it is time to ask for renewal and restoration. This is not the process that we have made it. It is not opening our hands asking God to pour in us just as we are. It is surrendering ourselves to be restored, renewed and recreated by the Lord. Something has to be given in order to receive. We must make room for the Lord. New wine will never be given to old wineskins.

Eldridge Cleaver is a controversial figure who offered infinite wisdom. “There is no more neutrality in the world. You either have to be part of the solution, or you’re going to be part of the problem.” If the common goal of Christianity is to share the Good News of God’s Love and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ – it will never be about me. It was always be about others. Every attitude and action must be given to changing hearts and minds so they are able to experience the Love of God. There is no neutrality in the world. I am certain that he did not mean this as I hear it today, but I believe that there is no neutrality in this world. God designed the world we live in definitively. There are those who love Him and many who don’t. There are those who serve the Lord – and those who don’t. The Kingdom of God is clearly defined with no median. You are for Him or against Him. We are love. Or we are not.

This idea leads to the next part of this vital revelation…” You either have to be part of the solution, or you’re going to be part of the problem.” Am I part of the solution? Or am I part of the problem? I have previously misquoted this a bit but the concept is the same. When I decide that there is nothing I can do to provide a solution, then I am immediately part of the problem. Change is absolutely essential to problem solving. To do the same thing over and over expecting a change is labeled insanity. We have been faced with a situation with one of our children. Searching for a solution, communicating with all involved, even choosing not to explain or defend ourselves in the midst of lies and accusations – it only got worse. We removed ourselves from the situation. This eliminated a part of the problem so hopefully there will be a solution now.

Create in me a clean heart. Renew a steadfast spirit within me. Restoration begins with me. It begins by emptying my heart before the Lord and carefully examining the contents. It means taking out those things that clutter the space reserved for Jesus. Repentance is a daily process. It is an unavoidable me thing. God is not going to take my sin but will gladly wash away anything given freely. Do not cast me from your Presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. I need Jesus all the time. Every single day. He must be the lead in all things concerning me and my life. He is my existence. Restore to me the joy of “YOUR” salvation. Wait a minute. I thought this was about me… My joy is contingent on my salvation. The grace I have is from Jesus – I get new mercy from the Lord every day when I make my heart, mind and soul available. And finally, grant me a willing spirit. I must be willing to allow the Lord to restore me and put my expectation in Him alone. So here I sit asking the Lord to restore me…

I Peter 5:8-11(NIV) Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

The Lord is ready to restore you. He longs to renew us day by day. During times like this when our life is chaotic and things out of sort. We must come to the Lord as an active participant. To be restored means letting go of that which burdens us. Restoration is only possible through release. I must let go of my sin so my heart is soft. I must let go of my pride and stubbornness so I will be humble and steadfast. I must position myself in His Presence and push through each prayer. I think what is interesting is that it says, “Restore to me the joy of your salvation…” We have salvation through our relationship with Jesus Christ. However, it is the joy that is often missing because it is overshadowed by sin and mess that builds up. My joy is and always will be Jesus. I lose my joy when I expect it from any other source than my salvation. My willingness to walk by faith not by sight and trust the Lord makes all the difference. We have joy provided in our salvation. It is up to us to surrender all for Him to fill us with it.

Romans 15:13 (NIV) May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.



Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NLT) Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

Companionship is important. Relationship is key in life. With the popularity of social media, there is the perception of these two vital accomplishments when in reality there is really no connection between people anymore. Facebook is one of the many social sites that allow us to “friend” one another, “unfriend” those who are no longer wanted in our life and to conveniently “unfollow” those who post things that are not interesting or inappropriate. Relationship in a box if you will how wonderful. So clean and safe, people can manage “friendships” without the messiness of companionship. It satisfies our need to connect with the imposition or discomfort of true involvement. However, is it enough? Is it the kind of relationship that Jesus Christ called us to when He said to “love one another”? Probably not.

Love is a commitment. It is the call of every Christian, believer, and true follower of Jesus Christ. In a world that has made “relationships” computerized, how does the church reconnect according to the Word of God and develop the friendships that the Lord ordained for us to have with one another. The Body of Christ cannot become the Bride of Christ without companionship and relationships that extend from lip service to life commitment. Ecclesiastes touches on this in Chapter 4 when companionship is addressed in detail with its benefits. Two people are much better than one. You may think you do not need or want other people but we all do. We were created to be relational but hurt and betrayal builds tall walls that must be overcome by love and grace to produce trust once again. We need one another to succeed in life. People will always need someone to offer hands to help up and shoulders to cry on. We need to remain close. A person standing alone is more likely to be overcome in an attack physically and spiritually. There is a reason why God created more than one person. God is all about relationships. To be like the Lord, we must build relationships, become companions and learn to be friends all over again.

John 16:31-33 (NLT) Jesus asked, “Do you finally believe? But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Jesus is awesome! He tried diligently to send of clues and messages into the future of what to expect as His Return grew eminent. One of those things is the assault on friendship and relationships that is happening today. First, the family began to fall apart as one generation gave way to another with a staggering divorce rate. Suddenly, relationships became soluble and what God has joined together can be legally torn apart. The time is coming. Well, I believe it is here now. You will be scattered. Each one going his own way. Jesus told us all of this so that we could have peace in us. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. There is no question that there will be hurts and heartaches on this earth trials and sorrows just as the Jesus said. Take heart. I have overcome the world. Jesus overcame the world. I believe that while the latter of these verses are heeded with caution that there is missed significance in the beginning…you will be scattered. A kingdom is a gathering not a scattering. We must come together as the Body of Christ and Kingdom of God again. The Kingdom is built on relationship. Our relationship with the Father through the Son as adopted Children of God. This should not and cannot stop here or the Kingdom is only a partnership. The Spirit of God is the connection that ordinary people have as Christ lives in us. This connection must be distributed among other people to form the allegiance that we are to have with the family of God as His Children.

Hebrews 13:14-16 (NLT) For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.

This world is not our permanent home. Everything should be building for the future. The future given to us through Jesus Christ. Why? It lasts forever. We are to look forever to this home yet to come. Preparations for family reunions and even high school reunions often include self-preparation as it is important to us to show others the significance and success of our past years spent apart. Many opt not to attend based on situations and circumstances they were unable to overcome. Reunions are about relationships and reconnecting but in our minds it can be made it to something else completely. We must prepare for our reunion with Jesus Christ. Repentance is the first step. Relationship is the next. It is fun to attend a reunion when the relationships have remained active. It becomes uncomfortable if it is the first contact in a long time. Each day celebrating Jesus Christ and actively engaged in a relationship with Jesus creates confidence in His Acceptance when we are finally reunited. However, the Kingdom is not just one person and a triune God. It is a Body of Believers. It is time to reconnect.

Allegiance to Christ is a commitment to His Kingdom that is demonstrated in our willingness to do “good” and share our lives with those in need. Recently, our ladies ministry had a meeting at church. Newly reorganized, it was the first time in a long time. Forming a large circle, everyone began to express their needs as women. Every response and comment went back to relationship. Women feel isolated and alone in rooms full of people and homes full of family. Why? There is no connection or companionship so therefore there is no confidence in others. We must sacrifice to please God. Sacrifice our pride. Sacrifice our self. Sacrifice our insecurity and yes, even our pride sometimes. Allegiance to God’s Kingdom is demonstrated by loving and living relationships among all of God’s People.

Matthew 5:43-48 (NLT) “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

We are to love our enemies. How is the possible if I am unable to love my friends? Loving my friends is not commenting on their posts, putting little heart “likes” on their pictures, or following them on social media. Love is a relationship. Love is a connection. It is to reach out and pull together. It is conversation. Communication is important. Listening is loving. Being present is not enough, it is presence that creates strong unity and bonds. Our allegiance to Jesus Christ is exemplified by our commitment and willingness to bond with others in relationship. This empowers the Kingdom and our relationships draw those who were scattered back together again. I challenge each of you today as I am myself to look at my “friends” list on social media and choose some people to call and talk to. Have lunch with or make an effort to connect with. Rather than texting learn to call and talk more. When the Holy Spirit moves on my heart to contact someone, to be sensitive enough to do it right then. Relationships are not maintained passively and must to be promoted passionately. They are one of the things that the enemy wants to “steal, kill and destroy” every single relationship and bond in the Body of Christ as it is an attack against His Kingdom. When we connect with others, it creates unity and harmony in the Body and that is the desire of our Father’s Heart!

Romans 12:16 (NLT) Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!

Psalm 133:1-3 (NLT) How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! For harmony is as precious as the anointing oil that was poured over Aaron’s head, that ran down his beard and onto the border of his robe. Harmony is as refreshing as the dew from Mount Hermon that falls on the mountains of Zion. And there the Lord has pronounced his blessing, even life everlasting.

Chaotic Love


Romans 8:35-39 (NLT) Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

“Chaotic love” is a concept spinning the cursor in my head. I heard it a worship song that I have fallen in love with by Dustin Smith. It is called “The One That Really Matters (Chaotic Love)”. This simple song has brought it home for me lately in the midst of change and new seasons. Stepping out of the “boat” to “come” to Jesus, all one sees is the Lord. But once on the water, the details become vivid including wind, waves, storms and the like. Though there is no danger to those who walk by faith because Jesus is their security, what we see is most off clearer than anything the heart conceives. The bridge of this powerful worship endeavor says, “Chaotic love has messed me up so I could live again.” This keeps coming to mind over and over again. God moves me in so many ways. The boat rocks, the foundation shakes, and things change but every time “chaos” ensues I find that when it relents I am always closer to Jesus. The chorus of this song says, “You’re the one that really matters.” Could it be in His Chaotic Love that the Lord is trying to move us from all the unimportant details, overwhelming tasks, cumbersome doctrine and scary giants to get this point across to His Beloved? I am the ONE who really matters.

When I am confused, uncomfortable or discontent – I have learned to seek the Lord. This is important to know who our help comes from, but in this idea of pursuit it is still based on our condition, circumstance or situation. Like the first thief on the Cross who only had moments to live, yet still he asked the Lord – what can you do for me? I believe that all this stirring in our life is to release us from trying to control those same conditions, circumstances, and situations until all we know is our need for Jesus in all things. The second thief knew that he was going to die and recognized his need for the Lord in that moment. We are on the verge of death every day. Each moment that passes brings us closer. The Lord is desperate for us to know Him and to make Himself known to us so we will be with Him forever. This is the kind of pursuit that He is after. Chaotic love will not allow for us to be content with compromise, satisfied with substitutions or even immersed in religion. It shakes our life until all the worthless garbage and unimportant details fall away and all that is left is our driving desire and desperate need for Jesus Christ.

There is purpose hidden the chaos and confusion of your life today. Can anything ever separate us from the Love of Christ? The question posed in Romans 8 today can only be answered in testing because it is not human nature to trust. This world is constructed on shifting sand with moving judgment, mitigating circumstances, winds of change constantly blowing on whims, and society with a conforming identity that never remains the same. No wonder it is challenging to put our faith in God who does not change and cannot lie. His Word is true. All of it. Not a single detail left out or anything to add. It says in the Word of God that NOTHING can separate us from His Love yet we all know that what ifs and if sos are contemplated and challenge such a revelation. Faith is not logical. We make it logical as we come to know Jesus through His Word and the testing of the very foundation called faith. It is in the violent shaking and persistent stirring that yields a constant and consistent love fortified by committed and constant grace that we truly decide that nothing can ever separate us from God’s Unfailing Love.

Romans 8:18-25 (NLT) Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

Be honest. Have you ever asked God, “Why?” Why are bad things always happening to me? Why is life so hard? Why don’t people get it? Why all the hardship? Lord, why the tragedy? Why the sickness? Why? We all do. It is human nature. God made us this way so He does not find it shocking or get His Feelings hurt when we ask such questions. Why can only be answered when we know. Think about it for a moment. Without the “why” moments, would we seek the Face of God? Nope. I know, I know there are super saints out there who think they would but truly there would be no need to know the Lord, if He just fixed everything. Instead, He gives us a promise that He causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Such a promise is pacifying until put into a position where we need the outcome to demonstrate God worked it out for our good. When it becomes a matter of life or death – it ups the ante just a little bit. Chaotic love is relentless love that can only be satisfied when we meet Jesus Christ.

It is our desire to establish order in our life. With all the moving variables and unexpected things that happen – it is our longing to make it all manageable. If your heartfelt notion is to seek the Lord until you find Him, please just throw this whole idea out the window and it will save you much agony. People develop routines and schedules to order their life and operate under these principles. The church organization is called religion. Religion orders our relationship with God making it manageable and doable with doctrine. But God does not want us to settle with a comfortable outer court ritual but an inner court relationship that wrecks us. He has a plan and purpose that far exceeds the confinement of tradition and can only be explored by radical faith and complete trust in His Word, His Will and His Way apart from any manmade order or establishment. When we understand this and pursue the Lord outside the four walls called church, we find that He is the only one that really matters. We come to a place as the song says, “I can’t help but scream about the way that You move me. Chaotic love has messed me up so I can live again.” Imagine our worship services with such a mindset. People would flock the altars in pure recognition of how much God really loves us no matter how we look or what we do. His Love is complete.

Is He the Only one who matters to you today? Do you care what other people think when it comes to pleasing God?  I wonder if our altars would be filled if just these two statements became true in the life of believers today. If our relationship with Jesus Christ became personal and intimate on a level that the thoughts of others and ways of this world did not impact our love, devotion and commitment to Him at all, what would church be like? If a part of His Presence came in the heart of each worshipper so that when it all connected in that moment, the Winds of Pentecost would bring dead hearts to life in our midst and revival would break forth answering the outcry of the modern church. We have made church, religion and Christianity what we wanted it to be and ordered it to our taste. But what if – Jesus became the One that really matters? I have no doubt that chaotic love would mess us up and we would all live again even forever.

Song of Solomon 8:6-7 (NLT) Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame. Many waters cannot quench love, nor can rivers drown it. If a man tried to buy love with all his wealth, his offer would be utterly scorned.

What Am I Thinking?


Romans 12:1-2 (NIV) Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

It is human nature to have lapses in judgment. Making mistakes is an unavoidable part of life. It is how we learn, grow, develop and mature or at least that’s how I think it is supposed to work. Falls are not failures but opportunities to get up. Failure is futile if one gives up and does not try again. It doesn’t matter how far we have fallen, the Lord is always there to help us up. Bad choices become learning curves when wisdom is acquired. I told one of my children who was soundly beating themselves up over a mistake that it is only wasted if wisdom is not obtained. Trials, temptations, and trouble are all lessons in life. Knowledge discovered in the midst of such things give way to a foundation of truth that can be maintained.

To offer our bodies as “living sacrifices” is not about physical obedience or cleaning up our life. To be holy and pleasing God begins with a change of heart and transformation of our mind. I can come to the altar seeking repentance day after day, but when the Lord looks into my heart it is the thought process called intent that He is after. Grace is sufficient only when it releases the Power of God in our life. If we remain in bondage due to ignorance, what is the point? No really why follow Christ if my life is no better and we are getting nowhere?

Wisdom enables us “to test and approve what God’s will is – His Good, Pleasing and Perfect Will. Knowledge is good but wisdom is better. To know what to do and not do it is futility. To know the Truth and let it set us free is beneficial. Freedom allows us to do anything, but not all things are beneficial. How do we discern?

2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (NIV) The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.

There is very real war waged for our thoughts each day. The enemy does not always have to come at us with a bold-faced lie. For the believer, He usually comes at us with twisted truth. The Word of God is turned askew just a bit. Though many are familiar with what think God’s Word says, few take the time to dig in deeper and know it. How much time do you spend in the Word of God each week? The Word of God is a two-edged sword that rightly divides the truth from all the lies that the enemy offers God’s People in exchange for His Precious Truth. (Hebrews 4:12)

No one can know the thoughts of God which are so much higher than our own (Isaiah 55:8) without knowing the Spirit of God. (I Corinthians 2:11) I was a Christian for many years in a denomination heavy in the Truth of God but that ignored His Spirit. I knew the Bible but it didn’t make any sense and I was powerless to do what it says. The biggest stronghold and obstacle in the life of any believer is ignorance. The Lord says that His People will perish when they lack it. Drawn into discouragement, despair, disagreement and dissension by slight deviations of truth their hearts and minds get lost in darkness.

We must use the divine power of God to demolish such strongholds. We must end the arguments and pretension that sets itself up against God. We must take captive every thought in our mind to be obedient to Jesus Christ. We must be ready to punish every act of disobedience. If our mind refuses to forgive, we must seek grace. If pride overtakes us, we must humble ourselves. When prejudice raises its ugly head, we must chop it off at the neck. What is prejudice? Prejudice is an unfavorable opinion or feeling formed beforehand or without knowledge thought or reason. We prejudge many things in life based on the knowledge base of our mind. We must change our mind and allow the Lord to renew our thoughts to see the world properly and act obediently.

Ephesians 4:17-21 (NIV)  So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.

We must no longer give in to futility of thinking. The knowledge of God is His Word and the wisdom of God is His Way. We must make it a point to search the scriptures, meditate on it allowing it to marinate our mind so that it will become our way of life. It is the very thing that indoctrinates us into the Kingdom. It is a new language called love. It is a new way called humility. It is a new life called redemption. We cannot allow ourselves to be compromised by futile and worthless thoughts. We must take the Word of God and seal our hearts with it. When the enemy comes with temptation, it will be easily identified by the heart and mind immersed in Truth, Knowledge and Wisdom of God. But that’s not all…

We must have a relationship with God to know His Intentions. A text message can be read a thousand different ways and given the same amount of emotion. Misunderstandings arise from communication that lacks relationship. We are to relate to one another, exhorting each other and bonding together to become the Body of Christ.

I Corinthians 14:18-20 (NIV) I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue. Brothers and sisters, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults.

How effective is the Gospel of Christ if it is not communicated? Can we truly expect a revival in our midst if the church cannot convey “five intelligible words to instruct others”? When I read this today, I felt convicted. It the message of our life is not “intelligible” can there be any impact? We speak Christianese and others cannot relate. They cannot see the value in our “sacrifice” because the words of our mouth and meditation of our heart do not agree. We cannot communicate the Gospel without wisdom. We must know what we believe and experience the loving transformation of a renewed mind for others to truly understand what it means to be loved by God. When we speak one thing and live another – our words are invalidated.

Philippians 4:6-9 (NIV) Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

What are you thinking? Our thoughts are born of the knowledge in our mind. What we think is influenced by what we know. If our thoughts are anxious about anything, given to things not of God or even simply unforgiving – there is room for improvement. Not to burst anyone’s bubble, but the renewing of our mind begins now and is not over until we meet Jesus face-to-face. Be careful if you think you have arrived or know more than the next guy, because a fall is just around the corner. Our minds are assaulted by the lie of the enemy day by day. God’s New Mercy allows us to surrender our heart and mind daily to His Transformation process called Grace. As we begin to change our mind, know the Truth and allow wisdom to take over – it is to our benefit and the Gospel will become clear.

2 Peter 3:1-3 (NIV) Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.


Death of Me


Matthew 17:20 (NIV) He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Our youngest came to me the other night and asked to use the computer in my office. “Of course, you can.” I replied then inquiring what she would be doing. She then said three of the most dreaded words in the vocabulary of all school age mothers – I working on my “science fair project”. Cue in the horror movie music played during the climax just before the villain attacks. I asked no more – I have learned over the years. She disappeared into the office to begin the daunting task of finding a topic to test even though it really holds no real significance but teaches kids (and unsuspecting parents) about problem solving. Our oldest son is 26 years old. The one thing I will not miss about grade school is science fair projects. Can I get an “amen”?

The basic steps of a science fair project include a question, research plan, finding information and constructing a hypothesis. Using these steps, the student tests the hypothesis by doing an experiment, analyzing data, drawing a conclusion, and communicating the results. This is called the scientific method. Experiments determine cause and effect. Cause and effect relationships explain why things happen and allow us to reliably predict what will happen if you do something. In each experiment, there are variables. The independent variable is the one that is changed by the one who is conducting the study. The dependent variables are those things that react and produce a response in the testing. And then there is the constant variable which is the controlled variable. These are the factors that remain the same regardless of the other variables though they may respond differently. Now that you know how to do a science project with its many steps and variables let’s talk about constant.

The word “constant” is important in the life of a believer. God is constant. His Word is constant. His Way is constant. His Character is constant. His Love is constant. What is constant? It means something does not change or vary. It is to continue without pause or let up and is consistent. It is continual and persistent. Constancy means faithful, unswerving in love and devotion. Steadfast. Firm in mind and purpose. Certain. Confident. A constant is something that does not or cannot change of vary. In science, an experiment without a constant will not yield accurate data. A life of faith without a constant God will never yield fruit. Since God is not in question for He does not lie or change His Mind but remains constant. Who is the variable? You got it. It’s me. My love. My faith. My commitment. My ability to trust and yield. If my life does not yield fruit or promise, I am the variable in question.

Mark 4:30-32 (NIV) Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”

As God created each human being, He took a little scoop, dipping it in faith, and poured a measure carefully into our heart. It is there for our use and absolute disposal. There are many variables that impact its growth and prosperity but nothing can limit its potential. It belongs to you. It was given to us by our Father to put to good use. Seeds left in packets will never grow roots, come up out of the ground, and produce leaves or fruit. Most will die in dormancy in those packets never having fulfillment of purpose. Seeds need good soil to grow. They must have sunshine and rain. There are many variables to natural and spiritual growth that are often taken for granted in life but essential to it.

A person can eat whatever they want for the first sixty years of their life without any ill effects. One day the same human being will begin to experience some chest pain and shortness of breath. A doctor will diagnose them with coronary artery disease or heart blockages due to a high fat and sodium diet that has impacted their heart. Would they have made better choices given this information sooner? You think you would but probably not. The American Heart Association spends millions and millions of dollars each year to inform people from an early age of the importance of a good nutrition and regular exercise. Most people ignore such information until they are faced with adverse conditions or heart disease.

The Kingdom of God is inside of each person ready to grow into a wonderful relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son. The Word of God promises that all of creation will have the opportunity to experience His Love and make the connection. What are we doing to cultivate the Kingdom in our life? It begins and ends with the mustard seed of faith in each human heart. Unless that seed, grows, takes root, and flourishes – it will die with us one day. The potential in the seed of faith is not limited by the person. A person can stop the potential of a seed by not letting it grow.

Matthew 13:19-23 (NIV) When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Reading the Parable of the Sower today, I feel alone in this place. Like God is the constant and I am the only variable. Sometimes I believe that God isolates us so that it forces us to look at our own heart compared to His Word, His Will and His Way rather than comparing our life to everyone else’s. My life with God is my own journey. The faith that I have been given to cultivate in my life is exclusive to me. No one else can grow my faith though people are often used to test it. Can I get an amen?

The Word of God is the potential of our faith revealed to us. If you can find it in the Bible, it is applicable to your life. God has no favorites. We are all His Favorites. God hates sin. All sin. Since we all need new mercy each day and live only by His Grace through faith, it is important to note that the potential in my seed of faith is the same as yours. The impossible is possible if I can believe. Your impossible is possible if you believe, too. With this in mind, we are all in this together.

God’s Word for our life is constant. When we believe His Word enough to invest our faith in it, it will yield fruit in our life. We will flourish by faith and have branches where others can roost. So let’s talk about the different variables of getting God’s Word and His Kingdom to grow in our life. First there is the seed that falls on hard hearts. It cannot grow because there is no brokenness. A stony heart has no knowledge of God’s Love so His Word is rejected as fiction, folly or false. Evil comes and exchanges truth for a lie. Then there is the Word heard and received with joy but a lack of proper rooting and grounding in the Love of God through Jesus Christ will not allow it to grow. Faith in anything or anyone other than the Lord will not grow anything good in us or through us. Other people hear the Word of God but then become distracted by the natural circumstances, adverse conditions or current situation. Worry produces doubt that chokes out the growing promise making its way from our heart to our head into reality. But the seed that falls on good soil has limitless potential in our life. We must get God’s Word into our heart and cultivate it by faith until it grows.

John 12:23-25 (NIV) Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

I Corinthians 15:36-38 (NIV) How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.

When my husband and I were first married, we began looking to buy a home. Our income was limited. Welcoming a new daughter in the first year, I became a stay-at-home mom. Our agent told us of a foreclosed house that was a good deal and just needed some work. Driving into the driveway, I noticed that although the house was disheveled yet there were flowers lining the flowerbeds in the front yard. On closer inspection, I discovered that they were artificial flowers planted in the ground. I was a bit disappointed. How many times do we put on a happy face when our heart is broken? Or maybe settle for something less because we are tired of waiting on God’s Best? Seeds will produce in time. But it takes time for seeds to produce. They may go through many seasons before fruit will be found on them. One thing that must happen is death to its current form. Are we willing to give up the comfort and control of life as we know it to have the promise of God’s Word achieved by faith? Faith is not in the boat but walking on the water in the midst of a storm. Faith can be misplaced. Even though His Disciples were with the Lord day and night, they still struggled with faithful development. We must be willing to die to self to have the potential of faith produced by God’s Word and His Spirit in our life. We must rely on the constancy of God for fulfillment allowing our flesh to die day by day. Walking by faith and not by sight grows potential and promise in our life. It is the death of me.

I Peter 1:22-23 (NIV) Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.” (I Corinthians 3:6) The constant and absolute potential of my life is God’s Word and His Promises coming to pass in my life by faith. It will be the death of me to give way to the new life hidden inside me. I must learn to lay down my life in order to grow. Here is the secret. I can plant God’s Word in my heart. Many other variables can add to the developmental process but the foundational truth I must live by is that God always makes us grow. Too many times we attribute faith and spiritual growth to what we do when we are just a variable in the process. God is our constant. It is His Word that changes us from broken to beautiful. It is the investment that He made in our hearts during creation that is the game changer. Jesus died to set me free from the bondage of sin so that I can die to self with purpose and become a part of His Kingdom. I have Kingdom potential inside my heart that the Lord desperately is trying to release. It is personal. It is individual. It cannot add anything to the Kingdom until first God grows it in me. I must become the nonperishable seed through living and enduring in and through the Word of God, His Spirit and by faith in the process of cultivation that I am steady undergoing when I choose to seek Him wholeheartedly.

I used to think science projects would be the death of me. When you have three kids in four years, it is inevitable to become overwhelmed. When that just was not excitement, two more were added to the mix. There were days that I thought I would spend my entire life in the parent pickup line. Homework was never ending. I was always taking care of someone or doing something. Now we only have two little birds in our nest, one will graduate from high school next year and the other will be moving up to high school. The season of life that I thought would never end is slowly drawing to a close. It is easy to get lost in the role playing of life. People where so many different hats with a variety of responsibility – it is no wonder that the seeds of promise get lost in busy, overwhelmed, overwrought, and overloaded hearts filled with worry, stress and anxiety. Today the Lord is whispering to us – to let Him cultivate our life so we can thrive again. I must give my heart to the Lord along with everything and everyone in it for His Careful Inspection. He has given me promises and filled me with potential that alone I will never discover. They are impossible without Jesus Christ. By surrendering my life again, I can have all the possibilities of a Constant God with Unfailing Love. Every season of our life has fruitful potential. It is in Christ alone we find it.

Psalm 126:3-6 (NIV) The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev. Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.

Saving Myself


Luke 23:42-43 (NIV) Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Welcome to today! It is a gift you have been given for your own private use. Yesterday is expired, over and never to be regained. Tomorrow is not promised. You have today though to do with as you may. What if the Will of God is that “today you will be with me in paradise”? What if this is it? Can you save yourself? Please do not take these as somber thoughts sent out wrapped in melancholy or deep despair. Consider them as a reality check. It is human nature to live for tomorrow because most are not content in today. Tomorrow has to be better and bring satisfaction since today is forecast as cloudy with a chance of rain. So often caught up in the forecasts and predictions of life by those who think they have a say – distracts us from the One who gave us today. This day. The one I woke up in. What about today?

Three men went to Calvary that day. Two had committed crimes and the consequences seemed just. Then there was Jesus who was an innocent man. His Only Offense was claiming His Identity to a disbelieving world. One criminal woke up reading to face his accusers and take his punishment. The other woke up ready to be saved. The man wrapped in pride marched straight to his death. While the other humbly approached His Savior if even from afar. The criminal in pride taunted Christ like the rest, “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us.” He didn’t have a clue that it was the Will of God and Desire of this Man to die for me and you. This man was completely oblivious to the fact that the Son of God was dying for his sins right there next to him. How significant? Am I aware every day of the sacrificial gift given to me by God’s Only Son? Do I live like it? The man on the other side of Jesus could see past his pain and pride to the beauty of innocence hanging next to him that day, and his heart broke for the Son of God. He asked the Lord, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Clearly the man could do nothing to prove his heart change. He would not be able to attend church or feed the homeless. He could not become a disciple or fisher of men. His hands and feet nailed to a beam yet his heart that day set free. Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

I can do nothing for Jesus Christ. Even though I am not bleeding and dying on a cross or locked in a jail cell, I am still incapable of doing anything to earn my Savior’s Unfailing Love, Amazing Grace or Overwhelming Goodness – I am only a recipient just like the thief hanging next to my Lord on that day. So why do I try to seize the day and make a difference for God, if there really is not point to my flurry of activity? My list of to-do’s for church and ministry mean nothing unless my heart is set free in the One that I love. Is my heart free today? Can it come boldly and confidently into the Kingdom today? Or once again, am I trying to save myself?

Are you working on your salvation today? Trying to feel confident and satisfied in the Kingdom provided in our surrender to Christ? Or like many, including me most days, trying to earn it like everything else in life. I have never been to prison. I have not been tried and judged. But I am guilty. Sin is a plague in my life with only one solution. How can I be prideful and judgmental when I am just as guilty as the rest? No sin is greater or transgression deeper than the ones that I have committed today yet I try to place myself above others looking down from my throne. The exaltation and self-preservation of pride only hides the insecurities within us that the Work of Christ on the cross was not enough. It proves that in our heart is disbelief that His Grace is sufficient for me. A glimpse of forever or that placed called eternity can often jolt us back to the reality that we are saved by faith through grace and not of ourselves. Lord, remind me today that I cannot save myself and that Your Work on the Cross is complete. I can add nothing to it or take nothing from it. I must learn to live in the place of submission and surrender in the Light of your Glorious Grace.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NIV) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.

If the only way to be saved is by grace and through faith, why do we try to get there so many other ways? If salvation is a gift that I cannot afford or ever earn, they why do I boast about it on so many levels? When the “things” I do for the Lord overshadow my ability to stay humbly submitted and forever indebted at the cross, I have missed it altogether. When my life (or pride) is too much to lay down for a friend (or enemy), I am saying that I am more important than Jesus Christ who though He was completely innocent and all-powerful gave up His Life so that I could be saved.

Nothing I have is my own. It all belongs to Jesus Christ. I did not find myself imprisoned to discover my inadequacy but at the bedside of my child who was given a death sentence called cancer. After three relapses, the doctors were uncertain of his fate. But God had given me a promise on the very first day as his diagnosis began to sink into my brain. “He will live and not die. Trust me. Throughout my life and many disappointments, I learned to trust no one. Not even me, most days. I seldom set high expectations because then I would not be disappointed when the outcomes did not meet them. It was in my complete inability to save my son’s life that I came face-to-face with Jesus in an encounter that has changed my life forever. Entering the realm of hope to most people is a place of uncertainty and fate, but for me it was the place where impossible things happen. It became a place of confidence that I enter boldly each day.

I saved by grace through faith, not of myself. This statement changed everything when I read it and applied it to my life. Each day that I wake up with breath in my body it is by grace through faith that I successfully navigate this day one step closer to eternity. My life goes on forever and ever in Christ so my earthly expectation has waned. I am going to die. So are you. It is that next step that I must concentrate on. The one where I am holding on to grace by my faith so that I can enter forever with Jesus. There is nothing I can do to attain it – I must simply believe. Jesus told Thomas (the doubter) that he believed based on seeing, but more blessed are those who believe yet never see. Is it possible to live for forever today? To truly step out of our self and reality to enter the realm called hope and live there. It is absolutely possible. We must crucify self.

Galatians 2:20-21 (NIV) I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

I must be crucified with Christ and no longer live so that Christ can live in me. Me = pride. If anything I do or say becomes more important than surrendering my life, mind, will and emotions to Jesus Christ – I have missed it completely. I have a great uncle who my family witnessed to for the majority of my life. My grandmother prayed for him often. It grieved her heart that even though his entire family had accepted Jesus that he flatly refused to believe. My grandmother and aunt got the news that Uncle Jim was sick and traveled down to be with him. On his deathbed, he asked Jesus to be his Savior and Lord. He died the next day. He did not attend church. He never gave in an offering. He told no one about Jesus and refuted God his entire life until the day before he entered the Kingdom. Is it fair that I give my all to Jesus day in and day out yet someone can pray and make it into Heaven just the same?

Blessed are those who have not seen yet they believe. The man who hung next to Jesus and gave the Lord his heart that day walked into the Kingdom just like any other saved person. He didn’t have to do a thing for Jesus. He simply believed. “I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Period) Sometimes I think we have to make a journey to the Cross and look at the man who wasted his whole life yet in the final moments made them count. He did not do it as a preacher, teacher, deacon, usher, faithful attender or obedient giver. In fact, he didn’t do anything religious. He did the one thing that is required. He believed.

Philippians 3:7-9 (NIV) But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

It is human nature to make our life about us. It is not uncommon for Christians to try to find self in service. But it also up to us to crucify our flesh to be found in Jesus Christ each day. I am nothing apart from Him so have I made room for Him to live in me. To know Jesus is to love Him. I cannot know Him completely without surrendering my life and love to Him and following Him. Where He goes I go. What He says I say. What He does I do, and yet still in all this my life is meaningless without Him and I am of no use. My service does not add a moment to my day or anything to my salvation – it is all I have to give the Lord. He graciously accepts my offering of love not based on what I do but looking into my heart to see its intent. Everything I do should be to intentionally love the Lord though I cannot see Him and trust Him by faith that walks where it cannot see. Today is a gift given to me by God. It proves nothing of my worth but simply gives me the opportunity to know and love Him more.

Righteousness or right standing with God can only come through His Son, Jesus Christ. I wonder if I have forgotten that living in this thing called today making projections about tomorrow? Such a life pushes Jesus back for another day and time but what if this is all that there is? Any regrets? Guilt? Shame? Should have, could have, would haves as they say? The only thing that matters today is that I know Jesus Christ and He knows me. If anything comes between me and His Glorious Grace, then I am in big trouble and doomed in that moment. Nothing is worth more than knowing Him and loving Him today. In this moment and for this purpose, He died to set me free. Are you free today? Souls set free in His Love tear up long lists of dos and don’ts to be with their True Love. It means that nothing I have to do is as important as making sure nothing has come between us. Looking around to make sure that Jesus is on the Throne of my life and I have not taken His Place. Has anything or anyone else for that matter? I woke up today because the Lord continued to breathe new life in me. I cannot save myself. Jesus has saved and set me free. My purpose today is simple. It is to live in the Presence of God through His Son, Jesus Christ. This is how I save myself.

Revelation 2:7 (NIV) Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

Becoming Greater


John 3:30 (NLT) He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.

Turning the pages of my journal – it is quite clear that I have made a mess of things. Whether the pages just stuck together or in my haste I skipped a few, the dates are all out of whack and segments left blank. Not to waste the precious pages, I have begun to fill in the holes each day. It’s really only for my benefit so it really doesn’t matter if it chronologically doesn’t make sense. Maybe the Lord has a reason for ordering it as such, who knows? All I know is that once again I have managed to mess things up.

This is not a browbeating – just a simple reminder from my God, Father and Creator that I am imperfect and He is perfect. A call back to the reality that He orders my steps and has a plan for my life that is much greater than anything I could construct or even imagine for that matter. I forget sometimes allowing distractions to make way for discouragement in certain areas of my life. It can happen to the best of us just about any day. We get up with a heart full of good intentions, our mind made up to follow the Lord and then it happens – this little thing called life. We are called away to fight giants that have already been defeated. To overcome walls that have already been knocked down. Engage in battles already won. How do I keep from falling for such things day after day? I need to conquer the “busy” beast. Tear up the foreboding list of to-do’s so I can shout ta-da. Somehow managing to exchange my “Martha” mentality and adopt “Mary’s” precious spirit. There are greater things hidden in my life. They reside in me. These promises are only possible when I become less and less making way for greater things.

I John 3:19-21 (NLT) Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.

To be honest, the whole journal thing did not lead me to John 3:30 this morning. It has been building for about a week. Distractions – lots of them. Once my attention was turned to the lesser things in life including all those little details carefully orchestrated by the Lord yet hugely taken for granted by me – the people around me started in. You know – you get a little tired and overwhelmed and then it seems like that’s just about the time all the “people” around you start acting up. Like salt in an open wound, it gets you all worked up. Your mind begins to contemplate just what you are gonna do or telling the Lord what He needs to do to fix their little red wagons. Suddenly, I have become totally engrossed up to my eyeballs in the lesser things of life and I cannot see the greater that God has for me. Well, I am here to admit that other people are not my problem. I am my own worst enemy sometimes. The Lord has called me and equipped me for greater things but sometimes I decide to be the greater in my life or allow others to take His Place.

My feelings are not as important as my submission to God. What does that mean? It means that on those days that I do not understand the Hand of God or His Thoughts I can know His Heart and that it is set on me. My condition and circumstances do not dictate my outcomes so I should not allow my emotions to either. When I decide that the One who lives in me is truly greater. I can leave all this foolishness behind…what foolishness? Glad you asked.

2 Corinthians 4:6-10 (NLT)  For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

How foolish can you be? He is the Potter, and he is certainly greater than you, the clay! Should the created thing say of the one who made it, “He didn’t make me”? Does a jar ever say, “The potter who made me is stupid”? (Isaiah 29:16)God made us with purpose. He designed us with a plan including a future and hope. His Greatness was given to us when Jesus Christ released His Spirit and breathed Himself into us. We are now filled with His Greatness and the potential to do greater things. Faith is the seed that allows the greatness of God to be exposed in our life. As we love and trust Him more, this greatness gives way to His Glory which fills our life with His Goodness. The enemy of faith is pride that works its way into the good things God is doing and somehow takes credit for it. We can do nothing to bear fruit apart from Jesus Christ (John 15) and every good and perfect gift in our life is from the Father (James 1). Jesus is the Goodness and Greatness in our life.

“Students are not greater than their teacher, and slaves are not greater than their master.” (Matthew 24:10) I am not sure how it happens other than maybe a religious spirit or prideful indignation but sometimes we forget. We forget that it is all about Jesus and not about me. How I feel? What I want? “I” get in the way of Him. These are the times when His Grace is not enough for me or anyone else. It is the moments when I think that the way people treat me is an excuse to react rather than respond with love just the same. I will be honest. Church aggravates me more than anything else. Why? We should know better. Services are offered at least two times a week. God’s Word is taught. The Holy Spirit moves yet there is no brokenness. Our hard hearts are supported by pride that keeps us from releasing the Greatness of God hidden within us. To do so is to suppose that I am more than a vessel of God in this world, which is just not true.

The beauty in this life is brokenness. When our heart and mind is open to all that the Lord is doing and all that God has promised us. It is with such purpose – pride is laid aside and our lives placed on the altar. A commitment to Christ comes with the promise of pressure and pain as the Greatness in us surpasses all the lesser things once held on to.

Psalm 71:19-21 (NLT) Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens. You have done such wonderful things. Who can compare with you, O God? You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. You will restore me to even greater honor and comfort me once again.

The discomfort, distractions and disturbed state of my life is not anyone’s fault but my own. The enemy will offer such things in exchange for God’s Greatness and Glory each day. It is up to me if I choose to take the bait and chase another little fox along the way. People are not and will not ever be the problem. In fact, laying my life down for others is my purpose. This means sacrificing my life for others – all others. Jesus said, that there was no one greater on the earth than John the Baptist yet in prison it was John who asked his followers to go ask the Lord one more time if He really was the Messiah. Our life is full of testing to insure that our faith is genuine. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is through hardship that the rough edges and sharp corners are broken from our life so that the Greatness of God hidden in us will be exposed for His Glory and our Goodness. We must believe that there is such greatness in order to experience it.

John 14:11-13 (NLT) Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do. I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.

There are greater works in store for us. The Holy Spirit is insurance that God has greater things in store for us than that which could be accomplished outside of His Presence. God will never give us less than His Very Best no matter how many times we try to compromise. The Lord is intent on giving His Children the best of everything. God promised Abraham greater things. Abraham grew tired of waiting and tried to replicate God’s Promise in a child who he called Ishmael. But God had a greater work being prepared who would be named Isaac. Abraham waiting patiently and His Promise arrived. People make promises every day. How can we expect imperfect people to keep their word? But there is a perfect God who loves us with perfect love who has promised that we will do greater things. We can take Him at His Word because He does not lie or change His Mind. (Hebrews 6) His Spirit living in us is evidence of these greater things. We must learn to have great confidence in order to see greater things.

2 Corinthians 3:8-9 (NLT) Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God!

We should expect far greater glory under God’s Grace. We must believe that He who lives in us is greater than the one who lives in this world. Our commitment to Christ will produce His Glory and Greatness in our life if we remain connected to Him. The Greatness of God in us gives us victory every day enlarging our territory and creating influence among others. (Deuteronomy 11:22-24) This is the Promise given to those who devote their life to following Jesus Christ. His Greatness allows us to live in a state of joy, peace and rest no matter what life throws our way. (Psalm 4:6-8) If I am not experiencing or expecting this kind of life and waiting on the Lord to do it, then I am not striving to become less so Christ can be more. I must become less and less. He must become less and less. Things are out of order but thanks to grace can quickly be right back in place. Lord, you must increase and I must decrease today.

Romans 5:1-2 (NLT) Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

Thank you Lord for the gentle and loving reminder that it is not all about me today. It is all about you. My heart and mind must be set on the greater that lives in me than all the distractions around me. Even if my faith is small, it is enough to release your Goodness and Glory in my life today. Thank you for the grace that is always enough to get me back on track. I want more of you today Lord. In fact, I want all of You! Move me out of the way as you become my greater again! I ask you Lord to remove the lesser things that I have settled for to make room for Your Goodness and Glory to fill my life.

I John 4:4 (NLT) But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.

Scattered Thoughts


Proverbs 16:32-33 (NLT) Better to be patient than powerful; better to have self-control than to conquer a city. We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall.

Patience and self-control have proven quite beneficial yet the most hard gained lesson in life. I was born quite impatient. Waiting is not my natural response in any situation. Self-control is definitely a quality of the Holy Spirit and nothing I have derived from myself. This morning I opened the Word of God looking for purpose and a promise to remind me why I engage in the good fight of faith day after day. The Lord has been good to me. His Promise is that His Grace is enough for me (2 Cor. 12:9) so surely if I toss down my shield and sword for one day – I will be covered. I serve the Lord simply because I love Him. I also know now why new mercy is necessary on any given day – well, every day to be exact. It is given so in the midst of opposition and adversity that grows in my persistence to follow Christ that I can “still dare to hope” when I remember that “the faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His Faithfulness; His Mercies begin afresh each morning! (Lamentations 3:21-23)

“We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines how they fall.” What’s the point of faith? Why must we learn to be patient? What is the betterment of self-control? If the Lord determines every outcome, why not just sit back and relax? Why must I stand on faith? Why do I need His Word? What is the point of His Spirit? Why do we follow Christ if we are all going to end up in the same place? Truthfully and transparently – I have discovered that the more immersed I become in my pursuit of Christ the more detached I feel from ordinary life. Always looking for His Handprint in the midst of chaos and uncertainty I wonder if maybe just maybe I have taken it too far. After all, I am only human. God created me and knows my limitations. So why must I press, push and pray until something happens. Isn’t it already predetermined by predestination?

Patience is better than power. Why? Power gives us the false confidence of control in life. Our power is limited by our inability to be perfect. Due to our fallibility, there is no possible way for us to be in complete control. Self-control is better than conquering a city. This thing called faith has the potential to produce great glory in our life. Our purpose is to be the Sons and Daughters of the One and Only True God. Our process is called life. Those that endure to the end will be saved. (Matthew 24:13) Yet in the midst of this process, there is a disconnection from the world and its problems that creates a longing and yearning for the Kingdom. How does one deal with this displacement? How do I continue to stay engaged until the end?

Matthew 13:10-13 (NLT) His disciples came and asked him, “Why do you use parables when you talk to the people?” He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. That is why I use these parables, for they look, but they don’t really see. They hear, but they don’t really listen or understand.

There are some days when I feel like a foreigner. We are called to be temporary residents yet the isolation and lack of community in this place can be overwhelming. People flock to churches each week. They hear the same word. Yet the seeds of faith found in God’s Word are scattered. Some hear the message but do not understand it so the evil one snatches it before a single root can form. There are those who receive it with hope and find a sense of joy that is quickly overshadowed by the problems of life so that give up on it quickly. There is seed that never makes it past the cares, concerns and worries of life to the heart. Only a few seeds will make it to the good soil of the broken heart ready to receive the faith that is offered in following Jesus. But what about the rest…

Faith is compared to the size of a mustard seed. If I hold it in my hand, it will die there. It must be planted and allowed to reproduce in my life which requires all the patience and self-control that the Holy Spirit and I can muster. It is in this tiny seed that I can have new life. As for “good soil” in my heart, it is brought forth by brokenness. It’s funny that as my mom continues to recover from open heart surgery that I have become more aware of how important the human heart really is. Listening to a doctor talk about her inability to maintain a steady heartbeat, he shared that her heart has been cut and handled – this is its response to the violation. My mom must be patient as the process of healing is well under way but to also be mindful that once her heart was manipulated it may never be the same. The Word of God that has been planted in my heart must grow. Growth potential in Christ will always displace self. We must be patient. We must maintain self-control – not responding to the change or the pain but the promise that is being birthed in our disposition.

Ecclesiastes 11:4-6 (NLT) Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.  Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things. Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both.

The wisdom that I have found in the Lord is labeled “wait”. Patience is birthed in our wait times. Though it seems like I have grown more patient, it is not hardly enough. I must wait on the Lord and endure to the end. No matter how frustrated, uncertain or overwhelmed I become – I must wait on the Lord. The Lord has ordered my steps with purpose. I have a future and hope found only in Jesus Christ. I can choose life or death today. It is in each moment that I decide to wait just a little longer for the Lord. It is decided in the crucifixion of my flesh to gain self-control. There are some days it is easy as hope in the future is as clear as day. But in those moments, days and seasons when I am begin tested for genuine faith and valid trust in the Lord, that I can see nothing but solely must rely on what I know of the Lord that I must seek more wisdom and grow the knowledge base so my roots will grow deeper in a love though fathomless requires faithfulness to be seen.

My thoughts are scattered today. I cannot understand the activity of God. I hate those days that seem like two steps forward and three steps back. I am terrible at line dancing including the electric slide. If given the opportunity, I will take you out inadvertently just trying to learn the steps. Lord, I need patience but hate the process most days. I desire self-control but my pride is hurting. I know You! I love You! I trust You – even on those days it seems hard and overwhelming! You have a plan for my life that is good and beneficial. It is Your Desire to bless me with every good thing Your Kingdom has to offer. Help me to keep planting today even though I don’t feel like it. Challenge me to press and push each seed just a little deeper and wait for each one to grow. I must not abandon my field but dig in to watch and wait until you come. I know that you are coming!

Proverbs 16:1-3 (NLT) We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer. People may be pure in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their motives. Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.

“The Lord examines their motives.” Faith is my motivation today. Nothing more and nothing less. It is the only thing that has allowed me to live through what I thought might surely kill me. The hope that I have in the Lord is life to me. We can make all the plans that we want but God will always be available to clue us in to His Way, His Plan and His Purpose. We may be pure in our own eyes but time and time again I have discovered in the Word of God and by His Spirit that my right is not as important as His Righteousness and sharing it with others. God does not cram righteousness down my throat or gloat in it – the Lord offers His Righteousness to me as a life giving gift smothered in grace that makes my worthiness of it unimportant. He is patient with me. The Lord exemplifies self-control because while I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me. The Lord examines the motives of my heart searching for a commitment to Him rising from faith, surrounded in trust, governed by patience and maintained by self-control. What will He find today? Will I continue to live a committed life based on what I know and not what I feel? I hope so. If I fail, then what? His New Mercy will be waiting for me again tomorrow.

Proverbs 16:22 (NLT) Discretion is a life-giving fountain to those who possess it, but discipline is wasted on fools.

As my life advances, those things that I once thought were important really aren’t anymore. It is true that people mellow with age. Brokenness will change hearts and minds, too. Patience is an invitation to be broken again and again as we give up our need for immediate gratification to wait on the Lord to grow His Plan and Purpose from the mustard-seed called faith that He has planted in us. Self-control keeps us from abandoning the field allowing others to reap the reward. I can live a disciplined life and experience the Blessings of God through the law of sowing and reaping. The Lord always honors His Word. Discretion is one’s ability to make the right choice based on the knowledge and discipline that they have acquired. It is to decide based on fact rather than impulse. It is to wait and watch for the Lord even when nothing points to His Arrival. Faith grows in the waiting. It responds to His Promise and not our predicament. There will always be days when you question what you are doing with your life based on the results. The Holy Spirit encourages us to wait and watch some more. To be patient. To maintain self-control. This is a trait of  endurance marking those who will be saved.

Isaiah 30:18 (NLT) So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.