A Gift

Thursday

Your emotions are a gift, not a curse.

They are the colors of the soul and a part of being human.

They are indicators and gauges, letting us know where we are emotionally and what is going on inside.

They are a gift for you to experience, not a guide for you to follow.

“Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.”

Isaiah‬ ‭26‬:‭4‬ NIV

Feelings will ebb and flow but Jesus’ love for you is unchangeable.

His love is the truth you can build your life on and the guide for you to follow today. Ask Him to help you understand why you feel the way you do and then ask Him to guide your next step. He is the rock that will not be moved and His faithfulness will not end.

Change

Wednesday

Seasons change.
Children grow.
Jobs come and go.
We grow and change.
Sometimes the seasons of our lives change gradually, gently.
Sometimes life brings a storm that strips you bear and changes the season overnight.

With all this change all around, how do we manage?

“I the Lord do not change.” Malachi 3:6

He is our anchor in the storm,
Our guide through the wilderness,
Our peace in the chaos,
Our security in the economy,
Our friend in the darkness,
Our God clothed in light.

Everything else will change, but He will not.

May you find rest in the refuge of the unchanging love of God in whatever season you are in. 

Make Time For It

We have had an especially rough year and the pandemic has impacted every area of our lives.

We have all experienced losses.

It is important to make time to grieve those losses.

Ungrieved losses of the past must be processed so that you can fully experience the present. 

Make time to grieve as you need to, Jesus did. As He approached the tomb of His friend, Lazarus, Scripture simply states:

“Then Jesus wept”. John 11:35 NLT

Being a Jesus follower doesn’t mean that you don’t deal with loss, it means you can deal with loss in a healthy way.

It means that you choose to walk with Jesus through all the emotions that life brings.

It means that you choose to walk with Jesus through them, acknowledging them and embracing them.

Walking with Jesus during this time means you are more fully present in it than you have ever been before.

Permission

Yesterday, I was in the check out line at a store and listening to the song they were playing. I liked it. I started to move a little bit to it. Then I realized that it was a Christmas song that sounded like a pop song and felt like I was being tricked! I am not ready for the holidays and here this song was sneaking its way into my heart and body. Sneaky song.

As we head into the holiday season, I want to remind you that the holidays can be wonderful and terrible at the same time. Moments of joy and thanksgiving are often mixed with sadness and loss.  

Jesus allowed himself to feel emotions, all of them. He mourned. He loved. He was thankful. He knew that there was time for all of them and that they often overlap.

Ecclesiastes 3:4 says,

“There is a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,”‭‭ Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:4‬ ‭NIV

‬‬This year, give yourself permission to feel all the emotions the upcoming season will bring. Ask Jesus to be with you and show you how. As you give the emotion space to exist, you give it permission to move through you instead of being stuck in you.

You have to feel it, to heal it.

And the first step is to give yourself permission to feel.

Take a Deep Breath

Today may you experience Jesus and know Him as your

loving Savior, 

close friend, 

trusted counselor, 

reliable guide, 

powerful redeemer, 

hope giver, 

grace maker, and sovereign Lord.

” in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Colossians 2:2b-3 NIV

Take a minute to breathe Him in

Stubborn and Courageous

Motivation quote: “Be stubborn about your goal, and flexible about your methods.” – GnomeAngel.com

Change doesn’t occur without courage.

It takes a special kind of stubbornness to start a new thing in your life and to change the course of it.

It is a stubbornness to keep going against the odds and swim against the current.

Life in Christ means that you are being called upon to be a pioneer. He is calling you to be the first in your family to stay married, to break the cycle of unhealthy habits or to break the cycle of emotional or physical abuse.

But you need to stick it out, staying with God’s plan so you’ll be there for the promised completion. It won’t be long now, he’s on the way; he’ll show up most any minute. But anyone who is right with me thrives on loyal trust; if he cuts and runs, I won’t be very happy. But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:32-39‬ ‭MSG‬‬

God is asking you to be a change-maker and to be stubborn about it.

Be stubborn about your goals but flexible about your methods.

Jesus never did the same miracle twice.

Each one was different and unique.

Be creative, use what God has given you and fight for change. 

Change worth having is worth fighting for.

Go ahead – be stubborn and courageous today.

Be Kind

Someone needs you to be kind today.

To preach without words.

To listen without judgment.

To speak the truth in love.

To serve without complaining.

To be brave.

To be real.

To be available.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
‭‭Ephesians 4:32 ‭NIV‬‬

Be available for God to use you anywhere, anytime with anyone and He will.

Not Easy But Worth It.

Relationships are not easy.

They take grace, forgiveness, honesty, and courage.

You may think that it would be easier and simpler to withdraw, it is not.

Don’t cheat yourself or others by withdrawing in fear.

Persevere.

Go toward the problem.

Reach out.

God can make a way where there seems to be no way.

Quiet the fear-filled beat of your heart and listen for the encouraging whisper of the Holy Spirit.

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had,”‭‭

Romans‬ ‭15:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Fix Your Eyes on Him

Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭MSG

Jesus began and finished this race – this faith journey of trusting God while dealing with the reality of the broken lives living in a broken world.

Jesus entered this brokenness, was broken in it and then rose again to offer hope and wholeness to the world. He didn’t lose sight of God’s future, He focused on it. He focused on you.

Jesus knew that going to the cross would restore mankind to a right relationship with God. He is your Advocate, He sees your future and has the authority to give you what you need to get to it.

When you are overwhelmed and the difficulty before you begins to weigh you down – fix your eyes on Jesus.

He went through the unimaginable so that He could get you through the impossible.

You were His reason so He could be yours.

A Life in the Making

Friday

In the artist’s hands, paint becomes a masterpiece.

In the carpenter’s shop, wood is transformed into a beautiful table.

It is cleaned and prepared to be formed into the Master Craftsman’s vision.

It is cut.

It is pressed together.

It is sanded down.

Different parts are chiseled down with great skill until they are a perfect size. Not too big, not too small as they must be strong enough to stand under great pressure.

They are wrapped tight.

Then sanded, sealed, and polished.

When all the parts are ready, they are brought together. By force and pressure, they are joined by glue or secured into place by the hammer and nail.

In the Master’s plan, it is given for use.

By the Master’s hand, it is created as a gift.

By the Master’s desire, it is used as needed.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ephesians  2:10 NIV

My friend, you have been chosen and your life is being crafted into a masterpiece.

No matter what stage of preparation you are at (and no matter how many times you go back into the workshop), God knows what He is preparing you for.

Trust His vision and His heart.

You are His.