Worried?

What are you worried about today?

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.  It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Philippians 4:6-7 MSG

Worry is not meant to be the center of your life. 

Jesus is.

Worry will keep you distracted and you will miss the small moments of joy that are sent by God to let you know He loves you. 

His love for you is better than worry.

Love is a better way to make decisions than fear. 

Instead of worrying, pray. 

Put it in God’s capable hands. 

Hand over what you are worrying about to Jesus right now. 

Then allow a sense of God’s wholeness to fill your soul.  

Then get busy loving the people He has placed in your life.

What is worry stealing from you today?

Only A Thread of Hope

I want to encourage you today that no matter how dark the situation is, believe that God can do something in it anyway.

I want to challenge you to dare to trust Him in the desert – there is a promised land and you are on your way to it.

My prayer for you is that like Abraham you will decide to live today not based on what you can’t do but on what God can do through you.

God freely gives you His power to sustain you to walk, to love, to care and to be fully alive even when you may feel mostly dead inside.

“Abraham was first named ‘father’ and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing.

When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭4:17-18‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Long before Abraham saw the fruit of the promise, he believed God anyway. Though everything in his life seemed to indicate otherwise, he lived his life, every day, not looking at the impossibility of the promise but in the possibility of God.

I am sure that there were times that Abraham barely believed. I know that there were days that he was only holding on to a bare thread of hope…but he held on.

Hold on, my friend, you may only have a thread of hope, but in Christ, that thread is stronger than what you face and will hold against that which you fear.

Find and Hold

Feeling lost is a terrible feeling. 

Years ago on our way out of Disneyland our youngest son, Kyle, was intently looking at his new stuffed animal and got lost in the surging crowd. One moment he was there and next he wasn’t. I immediately stopped, told my husband and began the search. We went back to the last spot we saw him and began calling his name. Within a few minutes, we found him. Kyle was shaken up. Big tears welled up in his eyes and he said, “I couldn’t see you, I couldn’t find you.” I gave him a big hug and I heard Bobby say, “You did the right thing- you stopped right where you were. We will always find you, always come back and get you.” Kyle stuck close to me for a while after that and didn’t let go of my hand. I wanted my child close and I didn’t let go of his hand either.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”    Luke 19:10

Jesus said that he came to seek and save the lost. 

He came for the ones that got distracted, swallowed up by the crowd and blinded by those around them. For the ones who panic and don’t know who or where they are.

Jesus came to:

Seek and save.

Find and hold.

Reclaim and restore.  

Many things can cause that terrible “I’m lost” feeling. It’s a scary feeling.

Stop wherever you are and let Jesus find you. He loves you and has crossed the boundary of heaven and earth to embrace you with His love.  Let Him guide you through the crushing crowd of fears and failures. He can see more than you can, is stronger than you are and knows how to direct you out of it.

Hold on and let Him hold onto you today.

A Glimpse of Grace-Living

Why are you here? 

Not to collect more things.

Not to become an expert.

Not to be happy all the time.

Not to look good all the time.

Not to feel good all the time.

Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God.

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭2:14 ‭MSG‬‬

You are here to be a light.

A witness.

A glimpse of God living through you.

A glimpse of grace-living.

A breath of fresh love-laced air in the sin-stained world.

That is why you are here. 

Don’t get so caught up in yourself or in the present circumstances that you miss your God-empowered purpose for today: SHINE.

My prayer for you is that you are so filled with the Light of Christ and that it spills out of you in every way possible, to every person you meet, in every moment of darkness or discouragement or overwhelming circumstance, in spite of the current crisis, through the present obstacle. May the Light of His Love be uncontainable and contagious through you today.

Pause the Panic

“This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply.”
Matthew‬ ‭6:7 MSG

What is causing you to panic right now?

Panic is defined as sudden uncontrollable fear or anxiety.

All kinds of things can cause panic to rise within you and when it does, I am going to ask you to pause.

To wait before you react.

To take a moment to take a deep breath in and out.

To pray and ask God for His perspective.

He is your Father and He knows you.

He knows what is happening and why it’s causing you panic.  

He also knows how to lead you down the right path, not just the first one that presents itself.

He knows how to calm your heart and clear your mind.

When you go to God with your panic, He will give you the wisdom and guidance you need to deal with it.

Pause the panic and pray.  

Even if all you can manage is “help”.

First Thing

“The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know.”
‭‭1 Timothy‬ ‭2:1-2 ‭MSG‬‬

Prayer doesn’t have to be eloquent to be powerful.

It doesn’t have to be lengthy to have consequence.

You don’t have to get the words right for God to hear you.

You just need to do it.

Pray.

Every way you know-how, for everyone you know.

It isn’t a test to pass or a class to take, it is prayer.

There is no wrong way to pray, just talk to God.

The power of prayer is that it connects you with a powerful God who loves you so much that He took care of all that hinders you from connecting to Him.

Through Jesus, you are connected to God.

All that you are and all that He is.

Be unhindered in prayer for others and honest in prayer for yourself.

Jesus has made clear the way to talk freely with the Holy One.

Let no excuse stop you from doing it today.

That’s It

“Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.”

Romans 12:2 (MSG)

Don’t worry about defining yourself within your culture.

Don’t limit yourself by trying to find a place to fit in it.

Look to Jesus and allow His unquenchable love to change how you see yourself, transform how you think about life, and impact how you treat those around you.

That’s it.

Love That Moves Mountains

Is there an obstacle in your life that just isn’t budging? 

Jesus told His disciples in Mark 11:22-23, And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.” 

A “mountain” was a term used in that day to mean any insurmountable problem and Jesus says to speak to it. 

Use your words. 

God has given you words to speak out, to pray and to proclaim as you trust Him to do what you cannot do. 

God loves you so much that He sent His Son to earth to redeem you into His arms. 

While Jesus walked, taught and brought the good news of God’s amazing love to everyone who would listen, He told His disciples to activate their faith in it (God’s love for them) and use their words to move the insurmountable problem before them.

What mountain are you facing today?

How does God’s love for you empower you to move it?

The Lord of Peace

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”      

2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NIV)

Is worry ruling your life?

There are a lot of things to worry about right now.

Some of them are things you worry about all the time.

Some of them are things that are brand new.

Either way, you can collect worry like it’s your job or you can run into the tower of God’s love for you.

A love so strong that it is not moved or changed according to circumstances.

A love so constant that it is not dictated by behavior.

A love so giving that it will never run out and a love so powerful it will not be stopped.

Out of all the decisions you have to make today, the most important one will be if you choose to hold on to God’s love for you or your worry.

May you be filled with God’s immutable love and your soul overflow with the peace of it.

Living Forgiven

“Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.” Matthew 6:12 MSG

Jesus, keep us:

Right with God, right with others.

Taking stock, taking responsibility.

Receiving grace, giving grace.

Living forgiven, living forgiving.

Everyday.

Jesus lived like this and then said, “follow me”.

Forgiveness sets you free to live the adventure that God has for you.

Don’t miss it.

Who do you need to forgive today?

Who do you need to ask for forgiveness from?