While You Wait

But GOD’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. GOD takes the time to do everything right—everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭30:18‬ ‭MSG‬‬

I can’t see what God is doing “behind the scenes” in your life but I know he is working.

I don’t know how he is going to meet your need, but I know that he will.

You don’t have to worry about the why’s or how’s. You can rest in the truth that he knows them.

God is not finished with your life. He has more for you. Jesus took all that separates God from you so that you can recieve all he has for you.

I am praying that today you will experience God’s matchless, unbroken companionship while you wait.

That you will know his victory, favor, love, peace and joy, while you wait.

He is preparing things for you right now and they will be right on time (maybe not your time but in his time).

While you wait, trust.

While you trust, worship.

While you worship, rest.

Have an amazing weekend enjoying what you have while you wait for what God wants to give you.

Grow Your Gift 

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭1:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

You must tend to a fire to keep it going.

In California we had a fireplace in our little living room that we would use to warm the house during the few cold, damp winter months. I loved the warmth but I loved the ambiance that it created. I actually had a terrible time keeping it going though. My husband was fabulous at it. I would watch him carefully build it, pay attention to it, poke at it, feed it and adjust it until it was a blazing fire warming the whole house. There were days when he would get the fire started for me in the morning and then leave. I would gaze into the flames for a few minutes and then get engrossed in reading or writing. I would forget about the fire until I realized it was only a smoldering pile of half burnt wood. It gave me an appreciation of what “fanning the Flame” means.

When God gives you a gift, it comes in a spark. A small light with great potential but will not grow unless it is fed, prodded, poked and paid attention to.

Jesus gives it to you and expects YOU to fan it into a fire. He gives it but you grow it.

The verse after “fan the flame” is “God has not given us a Spirit of fear”.  God knows that fear is the number one reason we don’t grow our gifts, so he gives us something more powerful than fear: himself.

When God sparks a gift in you to use and grow in, he helps you grow it with three key things:

Power


Love


Self Discipline

Don’t focus on the fear, my friend. Focus on the Spirit of God within you and fan the flame of what Jesus has given to you.

What has God sparked in you?

What are you doing to grow it?

What is stopping you?

Tender Hearted

“A tenderhearted person lives a blessed life; a hardhearted person lives a hard life.”
‭‭Prov.  ‭28:14‬ ‭MSG‬‬

You were created to be tenderhearted, to feel life.

To feel the good, the bad, the joy, the sorrow and all the moments in-between.

It seems easier to let your heart go hard when the hurt gets overwhelming and when the betrayal stings.

Don’t do it.

Don’t succumb to the temptation to become brittle and bitter.

Don’t stay stuck there, dwelling on what happened or what should have happened and letting that shape your future.

Fight for a tender heart.

It means that you have to feel the pain and process it. It means you have to walk through the valley of the shadow of death with God, not without Him.

It means that you grieve what you have lost all the way through to acceptance, so you can live after it.

Stay tender hearted, my friend.

Don’t let life (or other people’s choices) rob you from living in full color.

Your future will thank you for it.

Jesus died for you to live in it.

God will walk with you all the way through it.

Rejoice 

“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:4‬ ‭NLT‬‬

As a child of God, redeemed by Jesus through the cross and being recreated in him, the day doesn’t get to choose if it is enjoyable or not, you do.

The “always” is there because you won’t always feel like rejoicing.

Some days test your patience, challenge your sanity and make you want to say bad words.

“Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:5-6‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Instead of blowing up, bow down in prayer.

God is close- so close, you can lean on him, talk to him and ask for his help all day long.

“Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The peace of God does not depend on outward circumstances, other people’s choices or mistakes. It comes from God and transcends all human understanding.

You can have the peace of God within you as the world goes crazy around you.

You don’t have to understand it to receive it.

Rejoice is the Lord always. I will say it again: rejoice.

Enjoy it all as you walk with Jesus today, my friend.

Simply Love 

“The whole point of what we’re urging is simply love —love uncontaminated by self-interest and counterfeit faith, a life open to God.

Those who fail to keep to this point soon wander off into cul-de-sacs of gossip. They set themselves up as experts on religious issues, but haven’t the remotest idea of what they’re holding forth with such imposing eloquence”.

1 Timothy‬ ‭1‬:‭5-7‬ MSG

The whole point is to love others and live your life open to God.

To simply love and simply be loved.

To love God and love people.

It is simple but certainly not easy.

Self-interest complicates it. It is difficult to simply love others when your innate human desire to self-protect kicks in.

It is easier to go with the flow of human nature than to intentionally choose God’s way.

It is easier to hedge your bets against hurt than it is to be vulnerable and reach out.

It is easier to build your case of good reasons to disconnect than it is to lay them down and trust Jesus.

Going down that road, you will find yourself isolated and self-righteous instead of connected and invested.

A life open to God means that you recognize when human nature high jacks the work God wants to do in you and through you.

Sin complicates it, brokenness contaminates it, unforgiveness taints it.

The cross simplifies it.

The only way to deal with your human nature is to take it to the cross of Jesus.

The place he laid down his life and took up your sin.

He took your brokenness there, so he could offer you wholeness here.

He took the bitterness of unforgiveness there, so he could offer you the sweetness of grace here.

The cross is where you can lay down your nature and freely take up his.

Be set free to be who God created you to be and simply love those who God brings to you- they need it as much as you do.

What do you need to take to the cross today?

What does living your life open to God mean to you?

Who, in your world, desperately needs your love?

Survive

A grasping person stirs up trouble, but trust in GOD brings a sense of well-being. If you think you know it all, you’re a fool for sure; real survivors learn wisdom from others.

Proverbs‬ ‭28‬:‭25-26‬ MSG

Mankind’s definition of surviving is:

Do whatever it takes.
Grab whatever you can.
Serve yourself first.
Learn from other’s mistakes.

God’s definition of surviving is:

Trust Him.
Give whatever you can.
Serve others first.
Learn from other’s success.

How are you going to survive today?

Let Go & Hold On

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. Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭12‬ NIV

Let go of trying to earn God’s love.

Hold on tightly to God’s grace.

Let go of  your fear of failure.

Hold onto your faith in Jesus.

Let go of perfectionism.

Hold onto the vision Jesus has for your life.

Let go of habits that sabotage your growth.

Hold onto the hope of transformation.

Let go of trying to control everything.

Hold onto trusting Jesus with it all.

Jesus doesn’t give up or let up and loves you so much that he will continually press you to press on.

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:12 ‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Yesterday is gone, press on today to take hold of that which Christ Jesus has taken hold of you.

Doing the Impossible

“Come,” he said.  Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.”
Matthew‬ ‭14:28-29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

It’s impossible to walk on water.

It’s impossible to feed 5000 people with a small boys lunch.

It’s impossible to heal a man born blind.

Jesus did all this and more while inviting his disciples to join him.

Jesus will invite you to do the impossible without expecting you to do it in your own strength. He knows you can’t do it without him. He fully expects you to fully depend on him for it. 

Peter wanted to be where Jesus was, which happened to be on the water.

Peter helped Jesus feed over 5000 people by doing what Jesus told him to do: pass out bread and fish.

Neither miracle came from Peter’s faith but from Peter’s focus. He was focused on following Jesus, on being where Jesus was and ended up doing impossible things.

When you follow Jesus, you will end up doing impossible things because of who he is not because of who you are. 

Whew, that is a relief.

Instead of fixating on how impossible it is to walk in the freedom Jesus paid for you to live in, just admit to yourself that IS IMPOSSIBLE in your own strength.

Without Jesus there is no way you can forgive your abuser, be set free from your past, be transformed by the renewing of your mind, be free from guilt and condemnation, walk away from a lifetime of lies and bondage and embrace the truth that you are a precious cherished child of God who is free to live everyday in the lavish love of Jesus Christ.

Don’t focus on what is impossible. 

Don’t even focus on your own faith.

Focus on following Jesus and following through on what he has asked you to do.

Today I am praying for you to receive all Jesus has for you, to boldly go with him to places you have never been before. To experience new life, new love, new freedom, new hope and a new normal. 

In Jesus Name, Amen.

Salty

“You are the salt of the earth.
Matthew‬ ‭5‬:‭13‬ NIV

Salt has been used as valuable curency, it is a precoius food preservative and it is an additive that enhances flavor.

Wherever God has placed you, whoever he has surrounded you with, whatever job he has given you to do, he has you there for a purpose and it is not as complicated as you think it is.

You are there to add value. That alone is a gift that so many people are craving- simply the recognition that they are valued and they are valuable to God– so valuable that Jesus paid the ultimate price to love them.

You are there to be a precious preservative to the world you live in and in the work you do. Perserve respect, show dignity and honor those around you.

You are there to enhance the essense of who God has created them to be. When you celebrate what God has put in them, you liberate them to see it as well. 

May God shake you up and pour you out for someone who desperately needs to know that they are precious and valuable to God. May you bring honor with you and enhance every relationship you engage in today. 

Stay salty.

He Goes Before You

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭31:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

You can face today with strength because God is with you.

You can face the future with courage because God goes before you into it.

The scripture above was spoken by Moses as he commissioned Joshua to take the children of Israel into the promised land.

A nation of former slaves facing a future of freedom.

They knew it would not be easy.

They knew they were going to have to fight for it.

They were leaving their past behind and venturing together into a new normal.

You don’t have to know all the details of what is to come. You just need to know God has called you to it and he will give you what you need, when you need it, to live it.

Rest well, stop worrying and meet the battle head on to take possession of God’s promised land for you.

What is your next step?

What will be your new normal? 

What will you have to fight once you get there?