All in the Waiting

All in the Waiting

Ecclesiastes 7:8 (NKJV) The end of a thing is better than its beginning; the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

The end of a thing is better than its beginning. The conclusion reveals a concept fully conceived and completed. The destination is the end of the journey. When our children were younger, trip planning and preparation was essential. The word “spontaneity” was not in the vocabulary when accompanied by almost a half dozen children. I would begin the process months before our trip. I would reserve condos or homes rather than hotel rooms. Plan activities that would be kid-friendly and parent approved. The day before would be endless checklists of everything one might need for the family and a printed map to the nearest Wal-Mart close to our accommodations. But when we finally arrived at the desired location, unloaded the car, and began our vacation – the end was definitely better than the beginning while enjoying our family and making memories. May I encourage you just a little today? The place that God has promised to take you – He is now preparing you for. The end will be better than the beginning if you choose to allow Him the time to prepare you for it and prepare it for you.

The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Having five children is the product of multiple pregnancies. A tiny egg inside the body that becomes a living breathing person. It is nothing short of miraculous. Pregnancy is the process to the promise. Just ask Abraham, who for his entire lifetime desired a child. When it finally came to pass, he was in his nineties. I cannot even imagine such a thing. Once the process of pregnancy begins so does the waiting. It takes nine months or 40 weeks on average from start to finish. In my case, I tend to gestate for 42 weeks which means I had to wait two extra weeks to meet my children. Our last child was a scheduled induction. She was due to be born on Christmas, and due to my readiness to be done, the doctor picked a day to induce the labor process. After three completely natural childbirth experiences, I was not ready for what was in store. Tweaking the natural process of childbirth does not always work with our body or timing. My other children were delivered in about two hours. It took more than 12 hours to see her beautiful face. She had trouble along the way due to the fact she was not fully in position. God’s Timing is an essential part of His Plan and Process. You are pregnant with promises today that the Lord planned for you and is preparing for you. Waiting is an important part of that process to have the desired result of God’s Very Best. Just as interrupting my body’s birth plan made the delivery much harder than before, so it is when we do not endure God’s Process. If you want God’s Promises, there is always a process that goes with it. The promise has a time and place for its arrival. We must wait for it.

Proverbs 14:29 (NKJV) He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, but he who is impulsive exalts folly.

The literal translation of the word “impulsive” in this verse means “short of spirit.” Impulsivity is characteristic of human nature and can only be overcome by self-control. Our will can overcome many things by changing habits or applying knowledge to become wisdom in our life and essentially making better choices. However, to become the person God has called you to be and do what He has commissioned you to do requires the Spirit’s self-control that overpowers our flesh giving way to God’s Plan. To be impulsive is to be swayed by emotional or involuntary impulses. It is the opposite of steadfast and immovable qualities which are essential to growing our faith into hopeful confidence and the ability to trust the Lord even in His Timing. Impulse is the influence of our feelings, emotions or mental state so it is subject to change with our condition. We must learn to be patient in our faith. Patience is developed and matured by the art of waiting. We must learn to be patient and faithful in the waiting.

Hebrews 6:11-12 (NKJV)  And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

When a pregnancy ends too soon, there is an abortion, miscarriage, or prematurity. Abortion is when someone chooses to end the process. Miscarriage is failure to attain the just, right or desired result. Prematurity means occurring, coming or done before maturity or proper timing. Babies who are born prematurely are not fully developed and ready to sustain life on their own in many cases. A promise aborted, miscarried, or prematurely released will never reach its full potential because it is out of God’s Timing. God’s Promises are made beautiful in His Timing. We must wait for God to complete the good work that He begins in us rather than forcing a counterfeit or substitution by accepting less than God’s Very Best. We must show the “same diligence to full assurance of hope until the end.” We must endure to the end to be saved. Do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Hebrews 6:15 (NKJV) And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

Abraham had to wait until he was over 90 years old to receive his promise. How long have you been waiting? Does it feel like a lifetime? Does every old season just give way to a new season of preparation rather than the prospering harvest of God’s Promise? Faith and patience inherit the promise. Nothing less and nothing more. Our willingness to wait on the Lord and trust Him until He delivers is essential in obtaining every spiritual blessing and fulfilling every high calling in our life planned by God and promised in Christ.

Psalm 37:3-7 (NKJV) Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

The prosperity of patient and faith is God’s Promises. Trust takes dedication to doing good, dwelling where God placed you, and dining on His Faithfulness. It is to delight in the Lord while He plans, prepares and promotes His Promises for you. To make the commit to see this thing out to the very end and trust Him UNTIL He brings it to pass. Trusting God’s Timing is one of the biggest challenges because walking by faith and not by sight is tough. His Timing usually leads us to the impossible so that by faith the impossible becomes our promise. He is bringing forth His Righteousness and Faithfulness so your life will resonate His Glory all around so others can experience His Goodness and Love. Rest in this season of waiting friend as I try to do the very same thing. Wait patiently for Him and do not compare your life to other Christians but accept your calling in Jesus Christ. He is preparing you for something more than you can think to ask for or even imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)

Zechariah 4:10 (NKJV) For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the Lord, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.”

Do not despise small beginnings. Israel faithfully completed the second temple but to them it seemed small. They became discouraged. The temple was only a tiny step in God’s Great Big Plan. God is still building His Church, His Kingdom, and completing the Body of Christ. We must celebrate new beginnings, patiently wait through each process, and endure to the end to receive every promise ordained in our life. The bigger the promise the greater the preparation. Patience is born in the waiting rooms of life. It is the place where tiny seeds of faith sprout and blossom into trees of life with leaves that do not wither and bearing fruit in every season. Abraham carried the tiny, single seed that would become Isaac inside of him for almost a century. Faith is the size of a mustard seed but has the potential to become life everlasting. It takes time to grow. It is not an overnight sensation but a lifelong legend. God is doing something in you and through you far greater than human comprehension understands. You will need to invest your faith and time into waiting so His Spirit can produce the characteristics and qualities necessary to have all that He promised because honestly right now you couldn’t handle it. Do not resent small begins. Do not vacate waiting on the things of God. Give yourself wholeheartedly to do all that He is asking you to do. Jeremiah 29:11-13 expresses the connection between wholehearted obedience and God’s Plan. Read it. Trust becomes confidence when exercised properly. Faithfulness in the smallest things will produce more as God increases us in our ability to have faith, trust Him and wait while He works all things together for our good and His Glory. It is all in the waiting friend. I must choose to wait.

Philippians 1:6 (NKJV) Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…

 

More Life

More Life.jpg

John 7:37-39 (ESV) On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Are you satisfied today? Truly satisfied with your life, your love and your lot? What do you want? Do you have a specific need or desire unfulfilled? Contentment is not a product of comfort or compromise but evidence of hope. Thankfulness is not always a result but sometimes a resolution. Outwardly our hands reach for the things in life that are often thought to bring security only to find that it does nothing to offer satisfaction. Satisfaction is fulfillment. It is gratification that leads to contentment. The acceptance of something as satisfactory, dependable and true. To be fully compensated. To discharge a debt and live freely from it. The word “satisfaction” is from the Latin word meaning to make enough. Jesus came to give us life and have it abundantly. (ESV) The New Living Translation of the same verse says, “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” How do I find satisfaction in the midst of dissatisfaction? Where is abundance when it is not in my hand? The enemy has a purpose clearly defined as well. The thief’s desire is to steal and kill and destroy ever good thing God is doing for His Children. Night and day it is his mission to stop us from having a rich and satisfying life in Jesus Christ.

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 

Dissatisfaction fuels desire in the heart of man. It creates desperation that draws out the inner flesh and rallies our pride to take over and make do. To hunger is a desire. To thirst is desperation. Without food, our body can survive for about three weeks. However, without water, the body will only make it about three days. Desire is one thing, but desperation is another. Jesus said, “Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” Life is full of fluff. Distractions that make us desperate for things that really only are desires. Jesus promised those who thirst and drink from Him will be filled with Living Water that will overflow from our heart. A heart full of His Love will not desire anything else – it becomes satisfied.

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

The Words of Jesus tell us directly from His Mouth that His Purpose is to give us life and that it would be abundant. This defies human logic when the details of our existence do not produce soul satisfaction. I have several buckets around the house used to carry water. If the bucket has a hole in it and I turn on the facet to fill it – it doesn’t matter how long the water runs it will never be satisfied. It can run and run but until I fill find the breach and patch it – it will never be satisfied. My heart has holes in it. Broken places. Open wounds. Insufficiencies. To have life abundantly – they must be satisfied first. I came that they may have life…and have it abundantly.

Satisfaction is a two-step process it seems. I must give Jesus my heart. He then can fill my life with good things that used to run right through me. My heart can be full. Expectation met and exceeded. My soul must be satisfied for my life to prosper. I must be made whole and complete to become the vessel where abundance flows.

Matthew 15:32-38 (ESV) Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” And the disciples said to him, “Where are we to get enough bread in such a desolate place to feed so great a crowd?” And Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” And directing the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces left over. Those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. 

It’s funny how fellowship with church folks usually involves food. I wonder if this is where we got the idea from. We live in a small, rural community with only about four restaurants to choose from. After church on Sunday, they are full of congregants. All the churches are fully represented. Sitting in their designated groups, wearing Sunday best, smiling and waving yet I wonder if they are satisfied. Are they filled to overflowing from the Word of God they just received? Did the Spirit of the Living God saturate their heart and soul in His Presence? Jesus had been teaching the people for three days. There were no restaurants to serve the people. It was quite a crowd. More than four thousand men, women and children. Tasked to feed the people, the disciples applied human logic and quickly came to the conclusion it would be impossible to feed them all. The disciples were looking for an outward solution to an obvious problem. Jesus asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” What do you have today? What is in your hand right now? Elisha asked the woman with enormous debt the same question, “Tell me; what do you have in your house?” (2 Kings 4) The abundance in our life is limited by perception. Our nature is to hold on to what we have. Fear of lack grips the superficial when God wants to do something supernatural.

Jesus told the crowd to sit down and took what his men had brought – seven loaves and some a few small fish. He gave thanks for it and blessed it. He then gave them back to his disciples who distributed it among the people. They all ate and were satisfied. How is this even possible? “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Now here is the important piece to the puzzle – when everyone was satisfied there was an abundance left over. Our life is filled with the substance of abundance. There are times when desire and desperation are necessary to experience the promise of abundance. Times of extreme hunger and thirst that drives us beyond ourselves to Jesus. In Matthew 14, Jesus fed more than five thousand with the lunch of a little boy. It tells us that Jesus had compassion on the people. Jesus wants to satisfy you today. He wants you to experience life and abundance. It will require being blessed and broken. It always does.

Proverbs 19:20-24 (ESV) Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar. The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm. The sluggard buries his hand in the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth.

Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

God has a plan for your life. It contains a future and hope. The purpose of God is never to our detriment. It is always for our good. This is wisdom for your life today that must become fully engrained in our brains to overcome the fear of lack that keeps us holding on to what God gives us rather than using it to prosper in abundance. Releasing seed to soil gives increase, while holding it tightly in our hand does nothing. The potential of every seed is a plant. The purpose of our life is to live and do so abundantly. We need godly advice and instruction to continually sow the seeds of faith and hope in our heart and mind until total trust takes over. It doesn’t matter how many times I get it wrong, fall short, give up, or quit – the purpose of God for my life will stand.

What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar.

The desire of every heart is steadfast love. It doesn’t matter how cold or callus the exterior or hard the human heart becomes it still beats to find love, connect with it, and become one with it. God has placed eternity in our heart for that very purpose. So that our desire cannot and will not ever be satisfied with lesser things. That it will not be content in the things of this world or find fulfillment in compromise. We are Children of the Living God blessed with an inheritance of abundance that the Father desires to give us and will stop at nothing to produce “in” us. The Love of God satisfies our heart, mind, and soul. It is the plug for the bucket of blessing that we think has run dry. The blessing is pouring in. As Jesus binds our broken heart with love and grace, finally our life begins to increase in abundance because there is no longer a breach between God’s Kingdom and His Children.

The fear of the Lord leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.

There are two kinds of fear. Fear meaning distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil or pain and then there is the kind that is reverential awe, respect and admiration. In our sinful condition, fear of the Lord is that of distress and rightfully so. When Jesus becomes our Savior and Lord, fear becomes respect and admiration or at least it should. Old habits die hard. Our life in Christ makes us new creations. (2 Corinthians 5:17)  It is a transformation process. All of me for all of Him. I decrease while Christ increases in me. (John 3:30) To fear the Lord leads to life. A life of peace in the Presence of God that offers us true satisfaction, contentment and fulfillment through this process called transformation.

The sluggard buries his hand in the dish and will not even bring it back to his mouth.

The truth in this small statement weighs heavily on my heart today. There are times when the abundance of God is in our grasp but our unwillingness to bring it back to our “mouth” limits us. We falter in obedience. We stop engaging in the process. We give up on the promise due to a lack of faith or commitment then blame God for not doing His Part. Where is the satisfaction the Lord has promised? It is well within our reach. It is just outside of our grasp. It is right there before us maybe just a step or two in the distance. We bury our “hand” in His Presence but do not reach for God’s Heart. When our heart is sealed with His Love, holding on to hope is no longer pointless but essential. We will not only reach out for the Lord but pull Him tightly to our chest. To breathe in His Love and breathe out prosperity. Christ lives in us. His Life is engrained in our being. But until we allow our hearts to be broken and blessed – healed and restored – satisfaction remains elusive and contentment out of reach. Fulfillment is only possible when we become one with Jesus Christ. To reach for Him but not grab hold of Him leaves us empty handed and brokenhearted. Abundance cannot flow from such a place. Increase is not possible where seeds are not sown. God is calling to us. He holds satisfaction in one hand and is ready to give us a brand new heart. As our soul prospers, so will we. It is never Christ’s intention to leaven anyone hungry or thirsty but that all will be fully satisfied by His Great Love.

Matthew 5:6 (ESV) “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

It Matters

It Matters

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.

I used to work with someone who professed vehemently to be a Christian. In theory, the confession was absolutely true. This person would tell others that God was in control… which He is. Serving in church attending all the services and sharing the experience. Feeding the soul with the Word and good teachers – conversationally this person was living the life. However, at work this person was not a faithful employee. Arriving late, leaving early, not coming at all, and when in the office doing others things. Poor performance and inconsistent contribution forced the company to eliminate the position due to the tremendous weight on the company. The employer was extra patient and completely understanding until it took a terrible toll on his business. Seeds sown for life now have left nasty weeds for others to uproot and plant good seed in its place. It matters. Life matters. What I say as a believer is not nearly as important as how I live? To live for Jesus Christ is to put my feelings, emotions and bad habits in check to represent the One I serve appropriately and faithfully. It begins in real life doing ordinary things as though I was serving my extraordinary God.

“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ.” This is the very reason why it is important that our life line up with our conversation. The Lord has given us the opportunity to live a new life as a new creation. I must set my sights on the “realities” of heaven. Let’s pause right there for a moment. Reality is important. It is resemblance of what is real. It is take the tiny seed called faith and plant it in every area of our existence until the life I live is based on heavenly concepts rather than worldly conformity. It would be easier if given a full heart transplant when coming to Christ but the truth of the matter is that the Lord did not come to you, call you and confirm you so that He could change you into someone else. You were born with the potential of God in you and eternity in your heart along with a measure of faith so that when the time came to pull it all together – you had everything needed. Coming to Christ, just activated God’s Plan and set the wheels in motion. He loves you. He made you. He have given you vast potential and called you to greater purpose. So how you live each day matters when it comes to God’s Process at work within you!

The reality of heaven is realized when Jesus Christ lives in us. To acknowledge Jesus is to recognize that our life is no longer bound by sin and grave. There is now more to live than this for those who desire and choose to live it. It is a conscious choice made every day to give up my way and follow Jesus.

Colossians 3:11 (NLT) In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.

Christ is all that matters…and He lives in all of us. Rather than dissecting and scrutinizing each other, what we believe and how we serve…what if…just for today…just for this moment, one considered the fact that the Lord has called us to one mind, one body, one heart and one purpose. This would mean that how I live my life directly impacts other people whether I know it or not. The things that I do each day reach someone. As the Light of the world by calling, others look to us for answers for practical life. My sights are set on heaven. I want to be with the Lord one day. How am I treating His Body? We are the Body of Christ. Jesus died for everyone not just one but all. This means that even those who do not believe – I am accountable to treat with respect. Why? Because my interaction with the Body should always represent the Christ in me and not the me He lives in. Let me take this home for a moment. When someone comes into our church, not my church but the one that each of us call home, how are they received? Is there condemnation as their appearance relays their choices? Are we judgmental? Are we fake? Do we ignore them? How do we receive them? Is it like the Father welcoming the prodigal son? See that is how Jesus would do it – He would run to them, wrap His Arms around them, genuinely receive them, welcome them, and love them in that moment not when they cleaned up nicely and fit our religious routine and could speak fluent Christianese. We are the Body of Christ. Even that homeless man speaking to unseen facing and caring on quiet a debate. Jesus loves him. He died for him. He desires Him. God has no favorites. It matters how we live our life when it comes to other people.

Colossians 3:12-15 (NLT)  Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

Can I be transparent today? It is hard to live out the Gospel when it comes to people sometimes. Seventy times seven is a lot when you are the one who has to forgive and forget. We cannot forgive without forgetting and be like the Lord. He puts our sin in a sea of forgetfulness and justifies us just as if we never sinned. Can you say the same? I can’t and still be truthful. People can be downright difficult. BUT…since God chose (me) to be the holy (person) who He loves… I must clothe (myself) with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Ugh! As if that is not enough, I must make allowances for faults and forgive ANYONE who offends me. In the South, it might be called even those who hurt my feelings. I must forgive like Christ forgave me. He did away with a lot of junk and mess that’s for sure. Above all. Clothe yourselves with love. Walk around in it every day. It must be the filter through which every emotion, attitude and action goes through before it reaches another. I must be a lover. I must love all people. This will most definitely influence the choices I make and how I live because it matters. I am not representing myself any longer but the Christ who lives in me. “Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:16-17)

Colossians 3:22-24 (NLT) Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.

It matters how we live and represent the Lord not only in the midst of our congregation but especially in our everyday life. The daily interactions with others as our character is revealed. Each day is the opportunity to be the Light for someone else but it requires strict attention not to others, how they live, what they do or even what they say. People have no influence over my purpose in the Lord Jesus Christ. They are my purpose in the Lord. For me to live is Christ and die is gain. This must be the reality of my life.

Work willingly at whatever you do as though you are working for the Lord rather than people. Think about the tasks on your to do list. The places you will go today. The things that you are planning to do. There is no better representation of Jesus Christ then to do it all wholeheartedly as if working for Him and to love everyone in the process. Your pay grade doesn’t matter. The people you work with do not control your destiny. You will be rewarded abundantly for every seed sown in love and faithfulness. The Word of God tells us that as long as the earth remains – there will be seedtime and harvest. Those who live in drought and famine must carefully evaluate the seeds being planted in their field called life. Grumbling and complaining just grows into bitterness. Unforgiveness creates a wall that love cannot find its way around. Discontentment lead to discouragement but hope never will take you there. God has something far better for us hidden in Heaven and He promises His Goodness is for us in the land of the living. I do not pursue the Hand of God but rather His Heart so I must live according to what is found there – love, grace and mercy that gives way to faithfulness and obedience in all things. A diversified life is at risk. To fully invest my life in the Kingdom and have its reward requires a wholehearted effort to live, move, breathe and exist in Christ while I live this life. It matters. It all matters. Do not let the enemy convince you otherwise.

I Corinthians 15:58 (NLT) So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

The greatest ministry in life is not found in a position at the local church. It is not given the title of pastor, preacher, teacher or apostle. The greatest ministry is the life of worship lived by men and women who commit each day to work enthusiastically for the Lord in all things. To erase the line drawn between life and ministry. To decide that Heaven came exist on the earth and work diligently to make it so. It all begins by believing in the reality of Jesus Christ. He has flooded the earth with gracious, overwhelming, overflowing and unconditional love that is in us. We must decide to make it the reality of our life and decide each day matters to the Kingdom. Jesus set us free to live the life of our choosing but He clearly shows us the life that He desires for us and the promises that come with it. I want that life. To live a life that matters.

Ephesians 6:7-8 (NLT)  Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.

Chasing the Wind

Chasing the Wind

Ecclesiastes 11:4-8 (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. Light is sweet; how pleasant to see a new day dawning. When people live to be very old, let them rejoice in every day of life. 

Saturdays are precious in our family. Five work days and one day of church worship leave only one for my husband and I to do spend time with our children and do some chores around the house. To wake up when we want to and dawdle through the day is quite nice rushing through the week. The alarm this morning did not greet a happy and expectant employee ready to jump up and seize the day. With a sigh, I immediately began to pray and thank the Lord for the opportunity I have in the workplace and the great weekend that we had. Gratitude seems to change my attitude. It is a great help when the dark cloud of drudgery tries to overshadow God’s Goodness, His Grace and His Glory in our life.

This Saturday an industrious spirit took over as Spring Fever was in the air. Our neglected front porch is right outside the windows of the study where I write. As the morning sun beamed brightly through the windows, I decided to wash away the residue of a long winter and pollen that collected as spring arrived. Armed with all my supplies, I tackled the windows inside and out. The front porch of our house was barren. There really was no point upon our arrival and many other areas of our “new” home that needed our attention, but an image filled my head of two porch rockers. Well, you know the old saying, if mama ain’t happy then… well you know the rest. My husband and I headed to our favorite date place or the home improvement store. Loading a hand cart with two black rocking chairs, a couple small palms and a can of black paint along with a couple other “necessary” items – we headed home. After some assembly required, the two rockers were just as I imagined. We sat down to overlook our work for the day. The yard was manicured, the windows washed and porch cleaned – all the details in place. Sitting in the cool breeze, just rocking along, I realized that the newest chapter in our life had finally arrive. Our littlest girls are almost grown. The three older ones all in their twenties and living their lives. Me and my best friend rocking on the porch in the chairs that will be the place to rock our grandchildren, visit with friends, or maybe even share the greatest love story ever told with someone who is hurting. I have named the two chairs – one is satisfaction and the other will be contentment.

“Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant.” If a perfect life were possible, grace would not be necessary. Since people are not perfect, the ability to live such an existence escapes them. To live this live pursuing our dreams and working for our goals outside of satisfaction and contentment is chasing the wind. I believe this is the meaning behind 3 John 1:2. “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” Funny that it comes in 3 John and not 1 John. The prosperity of our soul is satisfaction. The confidence in Christ born of faith is called contentment. Both are qualities birthed by trust, yet hard to grasp much less hold on to in a world that lives according to immediate gratification and a constantly changing perception of what will bring these two qualities. If it were power and wealth by the world’s standards, there would not be so many people who end their life in the height of success because of dissatisfaction and disappointment feeding a disease called depression or fueling the fire of anxiety buffered by mood altering drugs and pain killers. So many talented people who no matter how successful could not catch the conditions they desired most – the peaceful stillness found in two rocking chairs on a front porch in the county.

“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.” Balance is the art of both hard work and peace of mind that is very hard to achieve outside of Jesus Christ. Striving becomes thriving when this balance is achieved. God gave us goals, dreams and desires when He placed eternity in our heart. Without a perspective of heaven or His Kingdom including the blessings and benefits that His Children have there, the joy and peace marked satisfaction and contentment are impossible. The Lord planted a seed in you and I called faith. It is the substance of all that we hope for. Unless this seed is cultivated in every area of our life – it will only bloom where it is planted. A diversified life will only contribute to stress and worry increasing our burdens but Jesus invites us to “yoke our life with Him” and He will partner with us in all our endeavors sharing the heavy load of responsibility that weighs us down in life giving us a precious promise called rest. (Matthew 11) You have the potential of prosperity in you. It will yield the two things you desire most but we must work into the fields and furrows of our heart to be incorporated in every endeavor of life or we are just chasing the wind.

Ecclesiastes 2:11-12;17 (NLT) Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure. I even found great pleasure in hard work, a reward for all my labors. But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.

So I came to hate life because everything done here under the sun is so troubling. Everything is meaningless—like chasing the wind.

The Lord has a plan for our life. Recorded before our birth (Psalm 139), it is a good one with a future and hope. God didn’t design our life for disaster. God promises to hear our prayers. He will be found by those who look for Him wholeheartedly. This is an important detail often missed in a world that cries “what is in it for me.” Life. Jesus died to give us a rich and satisfying life. (John 10:10) All of us. He didn’t go to the Cross just so you and I could just make it but that in Him find live a prosperous life according to God’s Riches in Glory. To restore the glorious standard of living that sin had taken from us but Jesus came back from the grave to give us. He didn’t force us to take the Keys to the Kingdom but rather offers them to us each day. Our willful disposition fostered by the old Elvis anthem, “I Did It My Way” will find many in the same position that the world renowned “king of rock and roll” did. A man who could have had anything he wanted, denied himself nothing, reaped a huge reward for all his labors and fully accomplished in his industry died in addiction. We must seek soul satisfaction or risk putting all our efforts into a success that will never reach the innermost part of us. Without faith it is impossible to please God – without faith there is no satisfaction and contentment continues to wave in the wind at those who pass it by.

Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 (NLT)  So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from him? God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please him. But if a sinner becomes wealthy, God takes the wealth away and gives it to those who please him. This, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.

“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” (James 1) The realization that every good thing in our life is from the Hand of God can change one’s perspective. The greatest revelation is that of Romans 8:28 in the promise that “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His Purpose for them.” To find truth in the words and apply trust to them will change our lives forever. To believe that every good thing in our life is a product of God and not self or random fate is one thing, but to also see the potential of God in every situation and know that He will work it in our favor – now that my friend is life changing and soul altering. Soul satisfaction comes from faith that trusts God and believes in His Goodness even on our worst day.

Ecclesiastes 4:4-6 (NLT) Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind. “Fools fold their idle hands, leading them to ruin.” And yet, “Better to have one handful with quietness than two handfuls with hard work and chasing the wind.”

Comparison is a joy killer. It comprises faith because it plants a seed of envy that will bloom into bitterness. God has no favorites. Before declaring the grass is greener in someone else’s yard, perhaps one might ask what fertilizer they use. See God uses every detail of our life for our good. Before comparing our life journey to another, one might decide if it is worth the cost. We are a masterpiece – each one of us an individual work of God with his or her own process of completion. The end result is the same. The process is different. To be jealous of another displays disbelief in God’s Purpose and Plan for us. It destroys satisfaction. It corrupts contentment. A seed demonstrates the growth process in God – one must first die to self. Our present form must be completely undone to incorporate His Goodness in every facet of our life until His Love completely overtakes us and trust allows all good things to grow hidden in our new heart – new life – new creation. To prosper without satisfaction and contentment is not to a blessing. Any form of prosperity does not change our heart but simply magnifies what is already in it. The Lord offers us the Mind of Christ. We must know Him, trust Him and believe Him to have perfect peace that is not challenged by condition or circumstance but leads us to safe harbor every time. The truest blessing of prosperity is a satisfied soul resting in the Peace of God even in a stormy situation.

Ecclesiastes 5:15-20 (NLT) We all come to the end of our lives as naked and empty-handed as on the day we were born. We can’t take our riches with us. And this, too, is a very serious problem. People leave this world no better off than when they came. All their hard work is for nothing—like working for the wind. Throughout their lives, they live under a cloud—frustrated, discouraged, and angry. Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat, drink, and enjoy their work under the sun during the short life God has given them, and to accept their lot in life. And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God. God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.

I love our new rocking chairs. I love the front porch. The wind feels good blowing on my face. I love the promise represented called satisfaction and contentment. I know they are a product of age and maturity. There is no need to chase the wind for it will blow where it will. Looking back, I do not see the broken life that I have lived and all the bad things that have happened. I do not look ahead with fear, worry or stress but I sit there rocking and thinking of all the good things that the Lord has done for us. Our youngest daughter sits at our feet with playing with our little dog laughing at her antics. She is the last of our children who is growing up so quickly before us. But I am not afraid my role as mom will soon be over. Sitting next to me is my best friend and soul mate given to me by a gracious God. Our journey has not been easy but it has been worth it. From the beginning, we decided to be yoked with the Lord. He has carried us to this point. As I continue to rock envisioning children running around the yard as the days turn into years, I ask the Lord not for more of anything but to continue this work in my heart. Give me a wealth of satisfaction and rich contentment to fill every nook and cranny of my heart. There is nothing in this world worth more than a prospering soul. It shines a new light on an ordinary life magnifying far greater potential then hard work and motivation could ever afford. To find satisfaction is really what we are after no matter how hard we try to seem confident and uncaring. We want to be loved just as we are in a world that cries to take – maybe God wants us to give. You cannot give to others what you do not possess yourself. It is common sense. You cannot share the fathomless love and endless grace of God with others until it is found within ourselves. You cannot faith it until you make it. Faith is a solid footstep in God’s Direction. Real love and true faith produce satisfaction in life because they are the seeds that God planted in us and faith in Jesus will begin to grow. Once our soul is satisfied, the sky is the limit literally as the windows of Heaven open and His Light reveals all the blessings in our life and sends down all every promise day by day.

I Timothy 6:6 (NLT) Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great worth.

Mom on Purpose

Mom on Purpose

2 Corinthians 4:5-7 (NIV) For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.

 

To be a mom is probably the most wonderful gift that I have ever been given. Each birth has brought a whole new level of love and understanding that I never thought possible. In each face, I see my purpose even now as little babies have become grown adults. Through the years, the future was hard to visualize in the midst of raising five children. I never thought past active parenting to what might come next. I literally poured my life into my kids. This is not an exaltation of self or boasting about me. Not at all. When my first son was brought to me all clean and pristinely wrapped in a blanket, I couldn’t take my eyes off this awesome angelic creature. I could not credit anyone with his beauty and presence but God. Tears rolled down my face as I realized how unworthy I was of such a blessing and that it was now my responsibility to raise him up in to be a responsible human being full of good qualities and traits to meet the purpose that he was designed for. Though far from God in the days, months and years preceding his arrival, it was with vivid clarity that I experienced God’s Presence wrap His Arms around me. I was crushed by the realization that because I am would make mistakes and not always be the perfect mom. Struck with paralyzing fear that I would mess him up with my inability to be flawless, I needed more grace to take the next step. The Lord showered me with love, grace and mercy in that moment so I could take the next breath and breathe in the extravagance of the moment.

 

Today is Mother’s Day. It is a new season in our home and family life. With just two girls still here, it is a quiet Sunday morning as I reflect on God’s greatest and most precious purpose in my life called motherhood. I love being a mom. I cannot imagine my survival during the darkest days of my existence had I not had little people who loved and depended on me. Now, looking back I wonder sometimes where to go from here. For all of their childhood, they always took precedence. Now what? As moms, we give and give to our children. We try to love them selflessly. Give them every opportunity. Encourage, equip and build them up to be the person that God created them to be and fulfill His Purpose. During the days of running, wiping, delivering, retrieving, cleaning, cooking, and caring for our brood, the days seem long and endless until you open the door to an empty room. Now what?

 

Two of my favorite mothers in the Bible are found in 2 Kings 4. Both are examples of woman devoted to their family who were willing to do anything for their children.

 

2 Kings 4:3-7 (NIV) Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.” She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.” But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing. She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”

 

This mother was a widow. In Biblical times, this was a desperate situation which made this woman completely vulnerable. She could not pay the family’s debts. Her sons would be taken into slavery as repayment. When Elisha arrived, he asked, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?” She said, “Your servant has nothing except a small jar of olive oil.” As moms, we tend to pour into our household. We give to our spouses and children often forgetting ourselves. Building homes filled with love yet taken for granted. When Elisha came to the widow’s home, he asked her what was in her home. She told him a small jar of oil. Oil represents the anointing of God.

 

A good mother will fill her home with more than just fancy meals, inviting accommodations and continual hospitality. She forgoes her office as housekeeper, bookkeeper, nurse and more to seek the Lord’s Face and pray for her family – her oil jar gets just a little bit fuller each time. There will come a day when it is time to take that anointing and passion filling our hearts reserved for our children (or so we thought) and pour it out on the world. Just as this woman, we have an anointing on our life that is not small and insignificant yet sometimes stifled by the lie of our enemy, He tells us that is all that we are good for. We become defined by a role portrayed by the world rather than embracing it fully and accepting that there is more.

 

I ask you today what do you have in your home? Is it time to take the show on the road? When we realize that God’s Anointing on our life reaches past our perceived roles into more, then we will begin to examine our life as God sees it rather than just how life titled it. Your role mom is not small or insignificant. In you is a Light of Love so profound and selfless that when you coupled it with Christ, now you are unstoppable. Your love for your children is full and complete so now as you look for other vessels to pour into you find that the overflow is more than imaginable. There are people who have never experienced the Love of the Father or their earthly parents who need the Light of His Love hidden in the fragile jar of our heart.

 

In motherhood, those who know the Lord will seek Him desperately and immediately on behalf of their children. Praying without ceasing is not a problem when it is your children who you pray for. This training ground of parenting in which we engage is to grow and develop us into fulfillment so with that same love and desperation – we can love others as Christ loves us.

 

2 Kings 4:27-30 (NIV) When she reached the man of God at the mountain, she took hold of his feet. Gehazi came over to push her away, but the man of God said, “Leave her alone! She is in bitter distress, but the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me why.” “Did I ask you for a son, my lord?” she said. “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t raise my hopes’?” Elisha said to Gehazi, “Tuck your cloak into your belt, take my staff in your hand and run. Don’t greet anyone you meet, and if anyone greets you, do not answer. Lay my staff on the boy’s face.” But the child’s mother said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So he got up and followed her.

 

The second woman found in 2 Kings 4 is the Shunammite woman. A godly woman who had opened her home to the prophet. She and her husband made a room in their home for him and provided for him when he came their way. Moved with compassion, Elisha wanted to bless this woman. When Elisha asked her what could be done for her, she asked for nothing. Her response, “I have a home among my people.” The woman was barren and her husband old. She had accepted her lot in life and was comfortable. Elisha told the woman, “About this time next year, you will hold a son in your arms. The woman was not overjoyed or overly enthusiastic but cautious. She said, “No, my lord! Please, man of God, don’t mislead your servant.” She was hopeless. She had learned to be content in her barrenness. She had accepted her lot in life. She refused to reach higher than reality anymore. It had served her well and she did not want to encounter disappointment again.

 

Nothing can stop the Lord when He intends to bless us and the woman did bear a child just as Elisha had said. But this is not the end of her story but her purpose unfolding. The child became ill and on his deathbed. She knew straight where to go. She saddled her donkey and went to find Elisha. When Gehazi came and asked if every was okay, she said, “Yes” but why did she lie? Or was this her faith speaking? At any rate, she wanted to go directly to the man of God and seek the Lord’s Presence. Once there she said to him, “Did I ask you for a son, my lord?” she said. “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t raise my hopes’?”

 

Elisha immediately dispatched Gehazi to lay his staff on the boy, but the mother refused to leave Elisha. She knelt wrapping her arms around his feet. “But the child’s mother said, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So he got up and followed her. Elisha went to the boy and he was healed. Most woman would have remained at their child’s side and sent someone else to get the man of God. But not this woman, she knew exactly where her hope was found. Not in the boy but in the Lord. Our life gets wrapped so tightly in earthly responsibility that it is hard to remember that our purpose is not found in the earth but Eternity. We must be very careful not to exalt our children above God. They are a blessing of God to us. He loves and cares for them. We must remain at His Feet and fulfill our purpose according to His Will.

 

2 Kings 8:1-2 (NIV) Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, “Go away with your family and stay for a while wherever you can, because the Lord has decreed a famine in the land that will last seven years.” The woman proceeded to do as the man of God said. She and her family went away and stayed in the land of the Philistines seven years.

 

Our purpose is not in a single moment but cultivated in a lifetime of serving the Lord. The woman was instructed by the prophet to leave her home as there would be a famine. So she obediently followed his instructions which cost her everything she owned taken by others in her absence. So just about the time Gehazi was telling the king he story, 7 YEARS LATER, the woman walks into his court.

 

2 Kings 8:5-6 (NIV) Just as Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had restored the dead to life, the woman whose son Elisha had brought back to life came to appeal to the king for her house and land. Gehazi said, “This is the woman, my lord the king, and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” The king asked the woman about it, and she told him. Then he assigned an official to her case and said to him, “Give back everything that belonged to her, including all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now.”

 

We cannot see the end from the beginning. God knows the beginning to the end of our life as He has written it in vivid detail. It is human nature to become consumed by the role played in each season of life without regarding the future. God’s Plan always contains a future and hope. We move from glory to glory because Christ lives in us. These woman both experienced great hardship that led to dramatic growth in God. The blessing of God on their life in the process made a way for the rest of their life.

 

Today there will be moms who are celebrated and some who think they are forgotten. Children grow up. Move away. Rebel. Wander. Get busy and forget. Perhaps as the active role of mother wanes – you are wondering if your purpose is fulfilled. Never. The years of pouring into your family and children will make a way for an even greater blessing as we allow the Lord to use us in other ways. We just have to take our eyes off the present and choose to reach for more jars to pour into. They are out there believe me. If you will simply seek the Lord, He will show you your purpose beyond the four walls of your home. Motherhood is important. God created us for that role as women, but there is more purpose hidden in our fragile hearts.

 

Proverbs 31:25-31 (NIV) She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

 

Being a mother causes us to become selfless and teaches us the value of unconditional love. Jesus gives us children to love and care for but not to be our fulfillment. They are just a part of a much greater purpose. We are not small and insignificant but mighty and strong. Our lives are developed through our attempt to raise individuals and we learn responsibility that once they are grown or gone allows us a gift for others. We learn to love a little more like Jesus when than sulking in our season, but striving to share His Love as diligently with others as we do with our children. Miracles will happen. Lives will be changed. Our joy will be full both now and forever. We will be celebrated not just in our home but the city we build in His Love. Lord, teach me today to become the Titus woman you have called me to be. Living in Proverbs 31, I have prayed and believed to be transformed. Just like the woman with the alabaster box poured it out at the feet of Jesus, our life of motherhood is our most valued asset. What I do with it matters after the children are gone. Now I must move to Titus to share this treasure of wisdom and knowledge with the next generation of moms lost in doing in need of undoing. Thank you for the reminder that I have purpose beyond the four walls of my home and caring for my children. Thank you for making me a mom… and so much more.

 

Titus 2:3-5 (NIV) Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children  to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

God’s Law of Physics

God's Law of Physics

Ecclesiastes 3:9-14 (NIV)

What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

 

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. (Ecclesiastes 3:1) This statement is followed by each seasonal partner under the sun. There is a time to be born and a time to die is the very first one. I understand that everyone has a birthday and a day that they will leave this world. I just don’t always understand God’s Purpose in His Timing and execution of His Plan especially when the good die young, and evil live long lives. There are many things about God’s Way that eludes me. These are the areas where faith and trust bond us together with Jesus so we can continue to follow Him walking in His Ways even when there seems to be no goodness or mercy to be found.

 

I knew who she was when I saw her. I asked someone to introduce us. I was supposed to meet her. We were meant to connect. However, she was very stand offish. My enthusiasm overwhelmed her, it took me by surprise. When she grasped my extended hand, I could feel it. I remember it. I understand it. God has saved, healed and delivered me from it. Timing is everything and though she endured much more than what was required of me, I knew in an instant that this was part of my purpose and plan to help her experience the freedom found when our heart is free again. Even though I don’t understand the Plan of God or His Way, life has produced enough experience to realize that we don’t have to know if we can just find it in our heart to love, trust and honor the Lord – over and over again.

 

Sir Isaac Newton is credited with the important law of physics that says, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. I am no scientist. Barely making it through science in school and struggling even more with mathematics, I have to give credit to the Holy Spirit for bringing this concept to my mind. God loves science until it decides He is not the driving force behind it. Science in not the enemy but rather the one who tells us that science is responsible for the complexity and perfection of humanity and the world in which we live. Reading Ecclesiastes 3 puts this into perspective today. There is a time for everything. It is predetermined. It is predestined. To learn, understand and live by God’s Timing requires faith. Without faith, it is impossible to know or understand that all things work together for our good even concepts. Each one represents an action with an equal and opposite reaction. This totally eliminates the gray area that humanity has created as a dwelling place between this world and God’s Kingdom. It forces us to choose.

 

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

God has a plan for you that was handwritten from beginning to end before our birth lasting beyond natural death. (Psalm 139:16) It is completely comprehensive lacking not a single detail. Finite thinking has a problem with this not in the action but in the equal and opposite reaction. So how do we know that God works together all things for our good (Romans 8:28)? This is the verse that allows us to step over God’s Timeline when it does not meet human expectation or automatically breaks the human heart effecting our mind, will and emotions.

 

We are given a free will. (John 8:36) Without freedom, we would not be able to express love to the Lord because we would be bound and held captive. God does not save us and keep us. Jesus saves us and frees us to choose darkness or light and good or evil. With the slate wiped completely clean in each moment of every single day, we have the right and responsibility to choose. Our choices determines the resulting action in our life. The Son gives us absolute freedom to choose life over death in each moment.

 

Jeremiah 29:11 is often claimed by Christians who do not read beyond this verse to know what is required. The requirement of God’s Plan filled with prosperity, hope and a future is to seek Him with our whole heart. Any part of our heart given to something less than God’s Best has an equal and opposite reaction that can and will produce consequences apart from total obedience and absolute commitment to God. How will we ever discover God’s Plan and live out its fulfillment? Obedience and commitment founded on love and trust allow us to submit and surrender our heart willingly even if we do it piece by piece.

 

Proverbs 16:3-6 (NIV)

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. The Lord works out everything to its proper end—even the wicked for a day of disaster. The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: they will not go unpunished. Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided.

 

Love and faithfulness is the desired response of humanity for the salvation received by Jesus Christ. Though human nature is to toil and earn it, it is impossible to do so. If our response is obedience, we will have the outcomes promised in God’s Word according to the Will of God. Our commitment to Jesus Christ as Savior allows us the freedom to choose. It is one’s personal decision to call Him Lord that allows us to possess all the Promises of God according to His Word and dictated by His Prescribed Plan for our life. A proud heart seeks the Lord of its own accord. It tries to make a way other than the One Way already provided. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me.” Is He your Savior today? Is Jesus the Lord of your life? This is the secret to successfully living in the full satisfaction that Jesus has offered to those who follow Him.

 

Matthew 10:37-39 (NIV)

“Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”

 

The process of acquisition according to God’s Will is faith. Faith means that we live by what we know not necessarily what we see, feel, taste or touch. Godly knowledge is discovered by reading, studying and meditating on God’s Word. The more one desires God’s Plan the more they must dig and delve into His Written Word. Not only that, but Jesus is the Word of God wrapped in human flesh. It is by His Example that we have a guideline to follow in this life. He was subject to all the same temptations that we endure and did not sin or rebel against the Father. He was fully God and fully man. Are we so different? Though not the Son of God as Jesus was God’s Only Child, we are created in His Image which means we have the ability to grow, mature and develop to be more like Him. It is in our DNA. When sin impeded our progress and stole our future and hope, Jesus went to the Cross walking perfectly through the earth to the Cross. He laid down His Life completely before God the Father to save His Dying People and gave up His Life freely for you and me.

 

We are to give up this life (our way) if we desire God’s Plan. There is no other way. We do not always understand what the Lord is doing or why He allows certain things to happen. Faith is what we use to step over the unknowns to be surrounded by the comfort of knowing God’s Timing is just as perfect as His Plan and all things work together for our good. Our alignment with Christ give us the impossible outcomes that only God provides. To take up our cross and follow Him could be all those things that we don’t understand to carry them out to fulfillment. I don’t know why bad things happen to good people. I am grieved when the young die too soon. Yet I know that I know God is good all of the time. It is with this in mind, that I take up my cross daily and follow Him even when that thing I bear is heavily burdened with the unknown.

 

John 14:26-27 (NIV)

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

 

The Lord did not leave us to fend for ourselves or figure it all out alone. We have an Advocate. He is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is described by many names. This one is very important. He pleads on our behalf. There are times when we have no idea how to pray or have exhausted every effort to petition God for a change. It is in that time that the Holy Spirit intervenes. On those days when everything seems to be falling apart, even us, the Spirit of God holds us together until new mercy arrives the next day. He helps us in ways we do not know. He strengthens us in weakness. He is the understanding we need when it comes to God’s Word. (John 5:26) He equips us to keep going when our faith seems so small. He is the Power of God invested in us to carry us through. God’s Grace is sufficient in our weakness. The bigger they are the harder they fall. Crying out to God for His Intervention is one thing, but moving out of the way so that He can perform is another.

 

“My peace I give you.” I have confided over and over again that the battle for our son’s life broke me. It completely shattered my image of normal life and completely destroyed my carefully constructed comfort zone called control. God gave me peace in exchange for all the stress, worry and anxiety that I accumulated before he got sick and carried us through three long years on faith and hope alone. I had more peace throughout his battle against cancer than I did in “normal” life. God used this horrific experience to change me from the inside out. However, when it was over I walked around like a zombie for a year. Every bit of my personal and physical being a shell of who I was with no idea of who I should be from then on, everything changed including me and now I had to learn what God desired for me again.

 

When I touched the hand of the woman, I could feel the weight of her burden. Her daughter who also battled cancer is victoriously with Jesus. I see the pain in her eyes. I felt the weakness in her hand. I saw me not too long ago. I felt purpose rising up. I saw a plan forming. I cannot lead others to where I have never been, and though I did not walk as far in faith as she did, I came out very much in the same condition. God wants to set her free. I didn’t know her yet during our battle I prayed for her, too. Following her plight through social media, I cried when she had to say goodbye. God’s Plan for our life seldom includes just us. He is uniting us with each other to bond us together in love. I have what somewhat else needs. I have gone through things gaining valuable experience that can help them go around. In this case, I know what it takes to release the heavy burden. Death gives way to life in Jesus Christ. As our soul prospers so do we…

 

Psalm 33:10-11 (NIV)

The Lord foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

 

God’s Plan is perfect. It was planned out extensively for our life. To have God’s Plan means surrendering our lives to God’s Will and His Timing in all things. Sin produces consequences. Obedience allows us to wallow through life in God’s Grace. The equal and opposite reactions of Grace populate our life with promises. Every consequence can yield a promise in our life when surrendered and submitted to Jesus Christ. There will be things that happen in everyone’s life that cause hurt, pain and hardship. Through our deep and abiding relationship with Christ by faith, we step over these times to find more grace, love and mercy than every thought possible. We cannot fathom the Favor and Goodness of God in our life. It can only be discovered by faith and hope that goes beyond consequences and is willing to wait on God’s Timing. How many times have we abandoned the promise that comes with the pain simply because we refused to wait on the Lord? Have many times has God provided a miracle that melted when we walked away? I know that the Lord has big plans for me. I know that every detail of my life can turn out for my good. I must be willing to wait for God’s equal and opposite reaction to take place.

 

Jesus wants to turn our mourning into dancing today. He desires our sorrow be traded for joy. The Lord promises for those who endure to the end will be saved. I encourage you today to pick up those dead dreams and abandoned promises and tuck them back in your heart. The Lord has not failed or forgotten you. He is working out all the problems, hardship and trouble for your full benefit. The magnitude of your pain will be produce an equal measure of joy in your life. I know it seems impossible. With God all things are possible if we believe. The immeasurable lose you have endured will produce more abundance then you have ever known. Don’t give up. Scoop up all the pieces of your broken heart and lay them on the altar. The Lord makes all things new. God does nothing halfway. He doesn’t compromise for our comfort. He doesn’t offer substitutions along the way. Those who wait on the Lord are renewed. They are restored. They are made complete lacking no good thing. This is God’s Law of Physics in our life.

 

Psalm 30:10-12 (NIV)

Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me; Lord, be my help.”  You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

 

Speechless

Speechless

Psalm 19:14 (NKJV)

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your Sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.

 

I lost my voice. No, it was not a bout with illness or straining my vocal chords. Nope. I handed it over. I was done with it, I guess. When met with opposition, I became silent. This is the revelation overtaking me in church yesterday during Sunday school. The lesson was on discerning our spiritual condition and the importance of exercising God’s Will for us. As I sat taking notes, it hit me. I am mute. Like the Little Mermaid, I surrendered my voice to the dark side where it has been hidden for years now.

 

Ariel desired a human prince rather than keeping to the sea of her birth. She wanted to be human just to be with him. When offered the chance, she gave the sea witch, Ursula, her voice. Ironically, this was what attracted the handsome prince to her in the first place. Left to her own girly devices she must woo her beloved in other ways. In the Disney classic, she does just that with a happily ever after ending. However, this is not the original story. The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson ends quite differently for our heroine. The mermaid does not get the prince. Her exchange with the sea witch gives her legs for her words that cause pain. She dances for her prince at his request in overwhelming agony. He chooses another. The only way to regain her voice and return to the sea is to kill him but she cannot. She dissolves into sea mist. The end. Not quite the glamorous ending one might hope for, but more realistic of life’s tragedies.

 

I gave my voice away. I became speechless. I see when it happened. I remember the day. The church built by people will always possess some imperfection of humanity. We can get hurt. Become bitter. Encounter opposition. Experience separation. Heartbreaking outcomes in a place of that should harbor the miraculous. It was traumatic. I shut me up. I have been so ever since. How about you? Are living in the consequence of brokenness? What have you surrendered in your hurt? What is keeping you from fully pursuing the Lord wholeheartedly? I asked. He answered. Now I must find a way to fix it…

 

Romans 10:8-11 (NKJV)

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

 

Confession is good for the soul. (Scottish proverb) It actually states that “Open confession is goof for the soul.” It reminds my soul what I believe and Who I believe in. We must confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, as well as, believing in our heart to be saved. Confession is not a suggestion but a requirement. It is not the only requirement on our life. It is just the beginning.

 

“The word of faith is what we preach…” See it is hidden in the midst of basic Christianity. The foundation of our life of faith is Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 3:11)  Jesus is the Word of God wrapped in human flesh. (John 1:14) In His Death, He released His Spirit to all mankind. (Matthew 27:50-53) Giving us the Word in the form of Living Water (John 7:38) inside of us to be fed cup by cup to the world in which we live. (Matthew 10:42) With our mouth, we must confess our salvation but the mandate on our life does not stop there. It is the preach the Gospel in season and out of season.

 

2 Timothy 4:1-2 (NKJV)

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

 

Day after day, week after week, month after month, I stood before others teaching the Word of God. Telling of His Great Name, about His Son, His Plan of salvation and the pursuit of holiness. The day it ended, I fell silent. I didn’t do it intentionally. In fact, I was completely unaware of it until yesterday. I stopped teaching others. I stopped standing before many to tell of His Great Name. My faith was intact. I still believed. I didn’t walk away from the Lord. However, now as I consider my trepidation and fear of speaking – I cannot help but wonder where it came from. I sit day after day in the Presence of God and type out what I believe He tells me. Others use it to teach and preach literally around the world including communist countries and even in the heart of Islam there are people reading it. I didn’t realize that this place of comfort and security had also become my prison.

 

God didn’t change. His mandate on my life remained exactly as previously prescribed. It was me who stepped back. It was me who allowed the enemy to render me speechless. Now as I try to reclaim my voice, it is much harder than I thought. For 2,615 days (including today), I have come to this place. I have listened and responded the same way but transcribing what the Lord is speaking to my heart. For the same number of days, I have not taught a single lesson. I have not preached the Word. I have simply shared it with those who asked or I came into contact with and even then somewhat reluctantly. We are all called to preach the Word of God in season and out of season. I have lasted well beyond any season of rest that may have been given and built a place of personal protection that has kept me from fulfilling His Call.

 

Psalm 40:3-5 (NKJV)

He has put a new song in my mouth—praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord. Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies. Many, O Lord my God, are Your Wonderful Works which You have done; and Your Thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order; if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

 

If I can assure you of anything today, let it be that God still speaks to His People. In all those days that I have spent in quiet time, Bible study and prayer – the conversation has never been lacking. I think that He opened my heart to this daily blog to fill me with His Word and prepare me for the moment that I might stand up to the enemy, give back the spirit of fear, and snatch my voice back from him again. I believe that day is coming. Who knows it may already be here? God has put a new song in my mouth.

 

Heaven and earth declare the Glory of God. (Psalm 19:1-4) The Word of God is worthy of my breath blowing it into speech and speaking it into the atmosphere. (Psalm 19:7-11) If I do not glorify God with my voice, the rocks will cry out in my place. (Luke 19:40) He has given me a message to offer others without anything else from me other than submission, surrender and obedience. Just giving my life to the Lord affords me enough goodness, grace and favor to tell others about. Yet, I say nothing. The Lord has purposed that I speak up. He has filled me with His Word. (Isaiah 51:16) It is not a distasteful word that is sour to the taste, but as sweet as honey straight from the comb. (Psalm 119:103-104) If I don’t speak up for Jesus, one of two things will occur. Someone else will take my place and/or I will use my words for someone else. There is only good and evil. I decide what the confession of my life is when I decide to allow the Lord to have complete control over my lips, tongue and voice. “A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!” (Proverbs 15:23)

 

Psalm 61:1-3 (NKJV)

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

 

2 Corinthians 4:5 (NKJV)

For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus’ sake.

 

The Spirit of God is upon me. He has given me the Holy Spirit. I have the resurrection power of the Living God inside me making all things possible just because I believe. Why do signs, wonders and miracles not prevalent in my life? They have been. When our son was sick, the third cancer diagnosis was by far the worst. Cancer was in his lymph nodes literally from his neck throughout his torso to his abdomen. The doctors declared our entrance to the realm of hope because modern medicine was failing. We were losing the fight. I acknowledge the realm of hope as the place where impossible things happened and called it openly, publicly and unashamedly God’s Presence and Christ’s Dwelling Place making all things possible. Now I really don’t know if that was a true confession or a constant reminder for my soul that giving up was not an option. When it was time to see if the treatment had slowed the cancer’s progression, I was warned that they did not expect to see improvement but just an overall lack of progression. I said, “But what if it were gone?” Patting me gently, like a disillusioned child, the doctor spoke slowly and deliberately to me that it was impossible. To hope for nothing more than a halt to its continued spreading but that the chemo had not yet had time to work given the gravity and depth of his disease. I inquired again, “But what if it has…” She finally gave in and said, “It would be a miracle.” When I answered the phone that night, it was the call I had been expecting with his scan results. What I did not expect was the laughter met with. She continued to chuckle as she said, “Lori, you are not going to believe this…” I immediately blurted out. “It’s gone isn’t it?” His cancer was completely gone.

 

I am anointed with the Spirit of the Living God just like any other believer. I have found in those moments that my faith is tested to the extreme and I have no other choice to trust and believe that the power in my words is significant. It is not me but the Christ that I have allowed to work in me as I believe AND confess. Confession is not only good for our soul but has the power to change our situation. Our message is but one thing – Jesus Christ and His Power. (2 Corinthians 4:5) His Spirit adds wisdom to His Word allowing us to effectively express it to others. We are mandated to do so because His Spirit is in us. God’s Word hidden in me is to be preached (by me) from the rooftops. (Matthew 10:27-28) The Gospel does not become salvation until given to another. (Matthew 11:4-6) The Lord invested it in us not just to sit there or fill our own life with goodness but that we would produce much fruit. We must plant it in others to experience a harvest. This will make our own soul prosper, too. The Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus must make it around the whole world so that Jesus can come back. (Matthew 24:13-14) The purpose of discipleship is to preach and spread the Word of God. Equipped and empowered there must be execution to be valid.  I can spend my whole life seeking the Lord, reading His Word, studying, meditating and serving but if I do not preach His Word effectively to the world – then what? It is in giving others the Precious Gift of God’s Grace, Mercy and Love that makes our pursuit successful. Each preacher has a platform. In the past, mine has been teaching. Taking the Word of God and breaking it down for everyday life. Making it a practical application for this life. That is until I became speechless. If we desire to see signs, wonders and miracles occur around us, we must release the Word of God and its wonder-working power with our mouth. (Mark 16:19-20)

 

Romans 10:14-15 (NKJV)

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”

 

We have all the Power of God in our frail human being searching for a way into the atmosphere of our life. God’s Intention and Primary Motivation toward humanity has always been and will always be love. Nothing more or less. He loves us completely. Our response to that love would be acknowledgment only since we can do nothing to earn His Love or make it a reality on our own. To believe in His Love will produce a message in us worthy of the world. It will shine Light into the darkness surrounding us and illuminate the way for others or at least it should. The Lord called me and anointed me to teach others the Way of Christ. I know that but have not been obedient with my mouth for quite some time. I have been rendered speechless by fear, self-doubt, and an overall whooping (as we say in the south) at the enemy’s hands. He cannot take my message from me. It is my salvation. It is the Holy Spirit that lives in me. Until I am willing to give back the spirit of fear and take hold of the Holy Boldness that He offers for those who are free, I will never escape this self-built prison. I do not want rocks to cry out for me. I want to be a messenger of the beautiful love story written in my heart.

 

Ephesians 3:8-13 (NKJV)

To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

 

Did I fail the test? When the trial came and I gave up, did I fail? Nothing is ever wasted in the Lord. For the last seven years, I have dug in the Word of God like never before. I have developed my mind, conditioned my heart, and survived the worst tribulation I could even imagine. While the enemy has gloated in my silence, the Lord has been secreted preparing me for more. I feel it stirring inside of me as shackles of fear, doubt and anxiety fall off. The Lord promises in His Word to make good on every detail of our life as believers. What does your prison look like today? Not everyone is called to teach, there are many other Gifts of the Spirit that the enemy will gladly steal from us when given the chance. Today I am taking back what the enemy stole from me, how about you? In Jesus Name, we ask you Lord to show us what has been taken and give us the faith to take it back!

 

Isaiah 6:5-8 (NKJV)

So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.” Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

 

 

Changing Seasons

Changing Seasons

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV)

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Our life is fulfilled in seasons. Each season preparing and welcoming the next. Though one might think that life is random determined by fate, comprised on consequences, driven by circumstances ultimately ending when we die, nothing could be more from the truth. There is a time for everything. Every single detail of our life has meaning and purpose. Obviously, there are some seasons that we welcome and others we hope never come. Sowing and reaping in the natural is dependent on the seasons. Sowing and reaping spiritually in the cultivation of our soul requires seasons as well. In order to grow, develop and mature bearing the Fruit of His Spirit, believers must learn to change with the seasons of life or they will die in the past. A seed left unplanted will never grow. A field without water will die in the drought. Overrun by weeds, new life is choked out. When the harvest comes with no one is there to take it – it will be consumed by those who did not plant or water or die back to the ground. This is both naturally and spiritually true.

When the seasons begin to change, we must be ready to change with them. When the season is pleasant for example a birth, everyone celebrates. However, when it changes to death, it becomes mourning. Both must occur, yet only one is welcomed. Catching up with a friend, we talked about the seasons in our life changing this year. It is difficult sometimes to walk out of one season and into another without looking back. If the season before was too challenging, fear keeps our eyes on that which almost overtook us in attempt to protect our future. That’s silly. No really it is. When winter turns to summer and we head to the beach, I pack things relevant to summer like sunscreen, umbrellas, towels and a cooler of drinks. I do not bring a heavy wool coat and space heater just in case with steaming hot cocoa. Our transition in spiritual seasons of life should be no different. The Lord has given us a promise that there is a place for every season that we go through. There is a time for everything. A season for every activity under the heavens. He goes so far as to detail many of them in Ecclesiastes 3:2-8. No one will argue these seasons for many of us have lived through most of them already. The key is never to stay in the season you are in, but learn how to change with them just as nature does.

Ecclesiastes 3:9-11 (NIV)

What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

 

Farmers who plant use the Farmer’s Almanac to guide them through seasons. Children of God have the Word of God to lead us through the spiritual seasons of life. Do we use it? I know that when something breaks or goes awry in our house, that my husband “googles”, “you-tubes” and searches every forum available for the best solution to our problem. How do you make it through the season that you are in? Do you search the Word of God? Do you pray? Do you seek the Lord wholeheartedly?

The Authority of Life is God. He created you with a purpose and plan that is in full effect. It contains a future and hope found in Him. (Jeremiah 29:11) When we seek Him wholeheartedly, His Plan is implemented in our life. (Jeremiah 29:13) Nothing is a surprise to the Lord for every day of our life was written before a single one began. (Psalm 139:16) He promises to take every detail of our life and work it for our good. (Romans 8:28) The Lord can do that because of His Grace given to us through Calvary. It is enough to carry us through the seasons of life even those that leave us weak and broken. (2 Corinthians 12:9) Jesus wants to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we can even think to ask for just because He loves us so. (Ephesians 3:18-20) He promises to perfect that which concerns us. (Psalm 138:8) The Lord is doing a new thing, but we must forget the former things in order to focus on it and embrace it. (Isaiah 43:18-19) He creates streams in wastelands so even that barren valley of darkness you just came out of has great potential in God.

The Lord says, “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it?” Sadly those fixated on yesterday will not see the vision for tomorrow, today will be wasted worrying that the past will catch up with us. New life results in those who love God living from Glory to Glory and Victory to Victory. You cannot repeat yesterday’s race. It is over. You must engage in today’s opportunity to see its results. Jesus said it himself, those who endure to the end will be saved. Finally, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17) As your soul prospers so will you. Your soul cannot live outside of Jesus Christ. He has a plan. He died to give you access. What one does with it is up to the individual.

Ecclesiastes 3:12-14 (NIV)

I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

The cancer our son endured and beat is very aggressive and rare. When I hear of a child diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer, I immediately try to make contact with the family to be sure that the cancer has been screened for the Epstein Barre virus which is the cause of mononucleosis the origin of this monster. The treatment plan changes dramatically when it is determined as the culprit. it is labeled as rare though sadly gaining in popularity. The young man who has it lives in our area and is being treated by the doctors that made this journey with our son. Except this time around, they know their opponent and what it is capable of. The chances of survival for him are now greater because of the journey of our son. I am thankful for that because again the enemy both cancer and the devil who cast it into humanity gets kicked in the face. His mother and I spoke at length yesterday. We will talk again. I will walk as closely through this battle as she needs, wants and expects. Why? I have already walked it. I have resources that she can use and not have to look for. I know my way around the hospital she is in. I have felt the emotions she has now and will have as time goes by. Who better to escort her on this journey than the one who walked it before?

If all those verses previously noted about God’s Authority and Power in our life are true, who better to do life with ? If He really has a Plan and Purpose for our good and blessing, shouldn’t He be the One we follow? We can find satisfaction in all the “toils” of life. Toil is hard and continuous work. It means exhausting labor. Some seasons are just that hard and laborious. The Lord has ordered our life into steps. Each one is its own season. Who better to escort me on my way? We must learn to keep our eyes on the plow. (Luke 9:62) If we look back, we will move to one side. But if we keep our eyes facing front fixed on Jesus Christ, we will endure to the end and be saved. Isn’t that what life and all of its seasons is all about? To claim the prize of Eternity. It is hidden in our hearts. It is our drive for success. It shapes the desire of our dreams. It is the longing for satisfaction left unfulfilled by this world.

Hebrews 12:1-6 (NIV)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

 

I feel the need to clarify when talking about our son’s battle with cancer, God did not give our son a deadly disease. But God has used this experience to change some things in our heart and mind, it is the harvest of the season. My priorities radically changed immediately when my heart was broken and the contents strewn out. I was forced to take only what I could carry in its remains. I chose Jesus. Live or die. He was our son’s only hope. He was the only way that I would survive the horrible ordeal. I knew that nothing good would come of this horrible experience if we didn’t have Jesus and allow Him to maintain control. So we did. We won. Our son is alive and living his life just as he did before cancer came and now that it is gone. However, we are different people now with different priorities. I am learning to walk in this new season not looking back over my shoulder waiting for yesterday to assault us again. This is just as important as the lesson I learned the day I heard the awful words, “I am sorry, it is cancer.”

If the enemy cannot take you out in the valley, he will try to keep you there. It is time to move on. It may be very difficult but God has not given us the spirit of fear so rebuke it and move on. The man who wanted Jesus to heal his son said to the Lord, “But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” “If you can?” Then Jesus corrected him saying, “Everything is possible for one who believes.” The man immediately changed his mind and said, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief.” To believe means to have confidence in the truth, the existence, and the reliability of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in this life. Not just in the everlasting but here and now. Faith gives us access to eternity. Like a boarding pass, you have to have it at the gate. You board the plane without it. Do you believe? Trials and tests in life allow us to see the limits of our faith and trust in the Lord and presses us to know Him more. Triumph reinforces our confidence in God’s Goodness and Grace so we are renewed and restored before the next test comes. All of this works together to prepare us to life forever with Jesus. We need to see life from Eternity’s Perspective to see meaning and purpose in each season good or bad and by faith become convinced that there is beauty in them all.

Psalm 139:1-5 (NIV)

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Brand New You

Brand New You

2 Corinthians 5:17-19 (NIV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

It’s that time of year when people decide to make positive changes and pursue better choices in life. I have not made resolutions for a number of years now. I do have goals. I live by the list if you will. I am constantly writing it down, mulling over it and going after it. Whatever “it” is. I wasn’t always that way and I am really not sure when it happened. Some call it maturity. Maybe it comes with age. As a young person, I seldom finished what I started. But in 1990, my life changed for the better. I became a mother for the first time. I felt meaning and purpose in that little baby’s existence. I had achieved what I know now was one of God’s many callings on my life. I relished it. I enjoyed it. I was challenged by it. The Lord blessed us with five amazing children. They are all different and unique filled with purpose and potential that it is our pleasure to see unfold in their lives.

In the past five years, there has been a subtle shift occurring slow in coming. When you have a houseful of children and not a moment of silence, it seems like the day will never come when you and your spouse have time alone. We have always had children with us. With two boys grown and gone, the house grew a little (or a lot) quieter. The pantry seemed fuller. Our daughter married and moved away. Now there are empty rooms and it seems like our house just got bigger overnight. Suddenly, I am faced with the task of finding the new me in the midst of transition. With only two girls left at home, one on the verge of adulthood it is clear that it is only a matter of time before my purpose will change and transform to the new one that the Lord has for the next stage of my life. Change is hard. Especially if we do not want it or like the ways things are. When our life is bettered by our relationship with Jesus, it is easy to become comfortable and complacent with the change so far and stop seeking that “glory to glory” promised in His Word. Guilty as charged. I was not sure that I wanted this new role that is coming. I like being a mom. It is who I am.

If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old one is gone. The new is here. We are the message of reconciliation to the world. However, what I have decided through the Word of God and a whole lot of prayer in this transition is that new is not like the world offers it. It is not an overnight process but the process achieved as we live our life constantly moving closer to the Lord. What you think you are today may not be who He created you to be tomorrow? I can set goals. I can make plans. But ultimately it is the Lord’s Plan that will prevail in my life. (Psalm 33:11; Proverbs 16:9; Proverbs 19:21) What does this mean? To live the life that God created you to live and Christ died for you to have means reconciliation to Jesus Christ not once but every single day of our natural life. It requires change that may be uncomfortable and even unwelcome.

Romans 5:9-11 (NIV)

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

When sin made us God’s Enemies, Jesus died for us to be reconciled back to God and attain right standing or righteousness again. There are many differing opinions about this process. I think I have lived them all. I have been the one who wandered down the aisle to pray and receive Christ not really knowing what I was doing or what I was asking. I have been the one who answered a pastor’s call to return to Christ because all that was required is calling on the Name of Jesus. Left the church and wandered right back into the wilderness of life. It was not until I completely wrecked myself and figured out that the way I was living amounted to nothing but devastation and destruction that I realized until I walked down to the altar ready to give something back I would continue to leave unchanged. I do believe in once saved always saved. It is more than words mumbled in regret. It is not one prayer but a life of communicating with our God, Savior and Lord with the Holy Spirit’s Help. To come before God with no intent to change, be delivered, healed, changed or restored is not going to ever amount to anything. The first act of reconciliation is to come to Jesus Christ with the express purpose of asking Him to be our Savior which means leaving sin, shame, guilt and regret behind to become the new creation that a life reconciled to God produces.

Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have now received reconciliation. How much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through this life? There is more to life than an altar call and simple prayer. You are not forced to live in freedom. You do not have to walk in the Blessings of God. You do not HAVE TO DO anything. Reconciliation is the act of reconciling. To reconcile means to bring into agreement or harmony and make more compatible. When we give up sin to accept salvation, this is immediate. It is how we achieve right standing with God the Father. But it is not the end of God’s Creative Process in our life. To reconcile means to settle (Isaiah 1:18) and reconsecrate our existence. To give our life up for greater purpose. It is an active choice with great reward. As we reconcile our life to God, lining up our life to His Word, Will and Way something wonderful begins to happen and we are restored.

Romans 6:5-7 (NIV)

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

 

2 Corinthians 3:3-6 (NIV)

You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

If you want to be a brand new you this year, there are certain things that must occur. You cannot do everything the same way that you did them last year. You must pursue positive change. If your desire is a closer, deeper and more meaningful relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ it will require reconciliation in a two-step process. First, you must take a walk to the Cross and give up your old self. I venture to the Cross daily because I need His Grace more and more. The more I live the more I know I cannot make it a day without God’s Love and Mercy in my life. I can stop right there and live in the cataclysmic cycle of sin and repentance that leads nowhere but circling the wilderness. Constantly battling my flesh without resolution, I can never move on to what God has purposed for me to do or fully see the potential of my creation or salvation. Merry-go-rounds are fun and entertaining unless you have to live on one that would be insanity.

We must not only reconcile our sin to the Cross but our life to God. He doesn’t leave us high and dry but gives us His Spirit to live in us and partner with us in our pursuit of complete reconciliation. To be new is not something that we do, but what Jesus does in us taking the good that is placed in us and allowing it to grow, develop and mature into the new creation hidden there all along. We are not competent to produce such change in our life that leads to completion only compromise. It is the God in us that restores us to His Glorious Standard of Life.

 

Colossians 1:19-23 (NIV)

 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.

As I venture into this season of change and become who I am in addition to being a daughter, wife, mom, friend, church member and employee – it is with great expectation. I have decided to quit trying to reconcile my life to human expectation. I didn’t even make a list of personal goals for the coming year. Like many years in the past, we are fasting and praying for 21 days. We have been doing it for two and it is clear that the Lord has been trying to get my attention for some time. This is a brand new year. It is a new season in our life. It is time to embrace the new things that the Lord is doing. I can only do this by reconciling my life to Him.

Last month, our bank account did not add up. I am one of those crazy people who still keeps a check register even though I do not write checks. Everything that goes in and out. When my account balance and the register did not agree, it began to drive me nuts. I thrive on order. Character flaw for sure. Finally, I sat down to review each transaction and found the problem. I had made a mathematical error. Even though it was a costly one, I was satisfied when I fixed it because things were in order and right. Life is not random. We are created with a purpose and plan that is made by a Sovereign God who does not change His Mind or make mistakes. Even when we deviate from the Truth, it does not change anything about our life. His Plan is still intact. His Purpose will continue to prevail. Our participation is that of reconciliation. If I want God’s Best in my life, I must continue to live in agreement and harmony with God’s Word, Will and Way because He is relentless. Not because He is a mean god, but because He is a Good Father who is intent on the very best for His Beloved Children.

Titus 3:4-7 (NIV)

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

 

It is pointless to participate in a religion without a relationship with Jesus Christ. Reconciliation is proof that someone intends to live in unity, harmony and agreement with their Savior and make Him their Lord. What is the point of going to church and doing good things if in the end you still die? You’ve left your mark on the world. What does that matter – this world will die and pass away? Unless we have established a place in the Kingdom of God, we will go with it even our good reputation and earthly legacy is nothing when the end comes. But those who endure to the end will be saved.

Today is the Day of Salvation and beginning of a new life of rebirth and renewal that has the potential and promise to carry out every purpose and plan that God intended for your life. Jesus came to give us a full and abundant life with complete satisfaction so that we lack no good thing. His Spirit completes this process in the yielded life that pursues reconciliation with God completely accepting His Standard of Living that far exceeds what we can even think to ask for. It is a new season for you. It is a new day. God’s Favor is ready and waiting. It will not begin with anything you do or say. It is not according to how much self-control, motivation or determination one can muster. It is a commitment to become the new creation and accepting the new life offered by Jesus Christ and learning to reconcile our entire existence to God and His Kingdom. I want to be that brand new person in 2016. How about you?

Ephesians 3:14-21 (NIV)

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Pondering

Pondering

Luke 20:15-20 (NIV)

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

What mother does not look into her newborn’s eyes and begin to ponder their every moment? The future of their baby becomes their mission to mold and shape their little one. To breathe in the smell of newness and not miss a moment of their life. To be the best mom possible never making a mistake or falling short in their calling. A fierce protector rises within us ready to defend that defenseless human with our life which does not end only intensifying as they grow. Sitting with my firstborn in an empty hospital room, the sun slightly breaking through the shrouded window, he was breathtaking. His presence intoxicating. I could not believe that this perfect little person was the result of anything I had taken part in. At the time, I had wandered from the Lord but in that moment a conversation began in the quiet of early morning. In that moment, I knew I was not perfect. I realized that I would make mistakes and let him down just because I was human. As has been my experience in life, my God of compassion and love simply reached down and hugged me in His Presence. I began to cry at the realization that no matter how hard I tried or what I did, that I would never be all he needed me to be.

 

“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” To ponder means to consider something carefully and thoroughly. To meditate on it with utmost consideration. To the shepherds who experienced the angel throng, they had all they needed to spread the Good News. The Lord told them of the Messiah as they tended sheep in the field. They went to Bethlehem and found it just as the Lord had said. They returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen. But not Mary, her intuition told her something was up. What king is born in a manger? His power compromised from the start as the current reigning government and principalities of darkness bore down on Him. Mary was his mother. In her all the dreams and longings, coupled with the knowledge that this indeed was the Son of the Living God.

 

We can learn from Mary the mother of our Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ. She was chosen by God for a reason. The Plan of God and His Purpose are mighty complex. His Authority and Power are the greatest in all the earth and His Comprehensive and Complex Nature stretches beyond finite human thinking, reasoning and intelligence. Though she saw these things come to pass, she did not stop there but rather continued to think about the future carefully considering it in her mind, heart and soul. We should do the same. We live moment to moment in God rather well. We sing joyfully look what the Lord has done as if that is the end to purpose. Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. The Lord has already provided everything we need on a daily basis. His Goodness comes pouring from Heaven like rain and those who seek Him will have it just because it is. We do not have to hope for these things. What we hope for is that which cannot be seen or created in our humanness. The greatest hope we have is heaven and our arrival into Eternity.

Isaiah 55:8-11 (NIV)

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

When are youngest daughter was a toddler, she developed rapid onset asthma. It showed up one day and got worse every day. The doctors were perplexed. During that time a pastor friend of ours began to teach us about faith and walking in it. It was a crash course. We would pray and nothing. I was intent on finding out how this faith thing works. On one of the then routine visits to the doctor, she had shown a tiny glimmer of improvement so the doctor wrote the most recent protocol on the prescription pad followed by the word “FOREVER” and underlined it. I really am not sure what happened in that moment other than to say heaven and earth collided and there was a war in the spirit realm. Blind fury rose up in this mama and I began to pray all the things I had learned seeking the Lord through this ordeal. Once in the car, I prayed, cried and prayed some more until finally I was out of breath. In that moment, the Lord healed our daughter miraculously. She never had another dose of asthma medicine. The doctor was ready to call child protective services on us until he confirmed she was completely fine. Never has she had another rasp, rattle or wheeze in her chest. In fact, even colds and viruses are mild when she gets them. So fast forward to our son’s bout with cancer, my natural expectation once the Lord confirmed that he would live and not die was that he would be healed like his sister. Well, that did not happen. He would be diagnosed four more times. We would have to fight to the finish for the transplant that would ultimately drive out the cancer. My experience made me think that it would be like before. My expectation of God was based on a previous encounter.

In the past few months, the Lord has made many changes in our life. There are a lot of new things happening around us. The whirlwind of activity draws us deeper in His Presence. Even good change is seldom comfortable as human beings we like things to be familiar and the same. The Lord is reminding me today that His Thoughts are not my thoughts. His Ways are not my ways. They are much higher from a greater vantage point and larger perspective. Everything the Lord does in my life has purpose and meaning beyond what I can understand. The promise is this – My Word that goes from My Mouth will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and will achieve the purpose that I sent it forth to do. How do I see from God’s Vantage Point? How do I gain godly perspective? Is there any possible way to tap into the Thoughts of God?

I Corinthians 2:10-12 (NIV)

These are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.

 

The only one who will ever identify with the Word of God for our life and effect the change necessary to do the Will of God is the Holy Spirit. Notice that Mary didn’t talk to Joseph about her thoughts, she pondered them and kept them in her heart. Sometimes the Lord works in us and talks to us personally and intimately. We can know the Thoughts and Plans of God but it is not confirmed by the world but rather in our spirit. As we direct our spirit to connect and relate to the Holy Spirit through prayer, fasting, obedience and self-control, we begin to understand the peace of God that surpasses understanding. This is important as hope is never something we can see or do but lies solely and completely in the Hands of God attained only by faith in the unseen.

Sowing and reaping will be in effect as long as the earth remains. If we do what the Word of God says, it will yield the promised harvest. We must somehow come to know and understand that God is our Provider. When we sow, we will reap. By planting, we will always harvest in the natural. It is our spirit that must learn to sow in the Spirit that will reap in our soul. Why is this important? What profits a man (or woman) to gain the whole world, but lose their soul? Religion allows sowing and reaping to take place in our natural life. We do what we are told and gain the reward that is promised. God’s Plan and Purpose is always higher than what we can see or do. If you want a comfortable life, the written Word of God will take you straight to it. If you want a complete life, we must learn to ponder and meditate on His Word in our spirit.

Joshua 1:7-9 (NIV)

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

When our son’s transplant was denied six times, I was devastated. I finally took the Promise of Life that the Lord had given me and laid it at His Feet. I did everything I could do to get an approval. Nothing. The very next day, we got an approval. No one knows how and it really didn’t matter. But after the approval came, he had to undergo the transplant. The doctors would fill his body with toxic levels of chemotherapy killing all his immunity. He had a 2% chance of survival. However, there was no other option. Cancer was attacking more quickly with each new onset. Time was running out. Sometimes when we finally achieve what we are praying and believing for it takes even more faith to get through it.

Our church was believing God for a new building. They fought through banks, buyers and even devastating discouragement. As a church we prayed for the final push on Monday, it came to pass on Wednesday. Woo hoo! Look what the Lord has done, right? Yes, but know we must do what God called us to do and build the Body of Christ as He has ordained. God leads us from Glory to Glory which means that faith is a never ending process and hope greets us in the end.

We must be strong. We must be courageous to walk by faith and not by sight. We must be sure that we also carefully obey the Word of God given to us, do not turn from it to be spiritually successful. We must exchange human experience for godly expectation because the promise is not a one-time thing but daily acquisition that unfolds into beautiful salvation to those who make it to the end. I am pondering the Will and Way of God in my heart but I must meditate on His Word and do it to make it to the end.

Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV)

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.

We must ponder the Word of God. We must meditate or think about it. God is not a random god. He does not lie or change his mind. He has all the answers. We can put all of our hope and expectation in Him. However, sometimes it will defy human logic or natural expectations. It will take courage and strength to do the Will of God and Wait for His Word to come to pass. Those who attempt it will be mocked. The enemy will rattle his cage so loudly you will be sure he is making his way out and into your life. It is a lie and a bunch of bravado to instill fear, doubt and worry in our life. We must retreat to the Refuge of God’s Presence and ask Him again. Tell me the story again. The one filled with my promises and remind me that you have a plan. One of my favorite verses in the Word is Micah 6:8 as it tells me how to live – “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

 

This year is coming to a close. I am ready for the new thing that the Lord has promised in the New Year. I have no idea what all it encompasses, I just know it is coming and almost here. I am pondering His Word in my heart. Meditating on His Promises. How about you? This year will soon become the past and tomorrow is quickly approaching. What are your goals? What are your thoughts? Are you ready for something new? Do you want God’s Plan and Purpose to come to pass? You must ponder these things. Meditate with your mind and fill your heart with His Promises. There is difference between dipping and dunking.

Have you ever seen the videos of brides in the wedding dress wading in the water? Their intention is to only get their feet wet and capture the moment in a beautiful picture, but somehow it all goes wrong. The wave no one noticed that comes and overtakes her and suddenly she is saturated in salt water, flailing to get up, but weighted down by her attire. Well, that’s me today. I thought I knew what our life might be like. I thought I knew what to expect. Well, God has other plans. Exciting ones. Good ones with a future and hope so I will ponder these things in my heart today. Mary understood that God has a complex nature. She saw the baby before her and knew he was so much more. She waited and watched by faith in the unseen hope that would come. Will you? Will I? Lord, let it be me.

Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV)

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.