Unplug and Restart

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Godʼs will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

You know that moment when your phone or computer is not working the way it should?

It’s response time is slow and simple things become frustrating.

Instead of wrestling through it or simply giving up, the first thing to try is to refresh the screen or app.

If that doesn’t work, you shut it down.

Unplug it.

The screen goes blank and you have to wait for it to restart.

It is the same with your mind.

When you are tired or overworked your response time slows down and simple things become frustrating, instead of wrestling through or simply giving up, take a break.

Unplug from the world around you and plug into God’s love for you.

Rest in His grace.

Refill your soul in His presence.

Even if it is just for a minute.

You will be amazed at the difference it can make.

One Step At A Time

This quote is from Abraham Lincoln

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.”     ‭‭

2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

How do you walk in faith?

One step at a time.

Perseverance and determination is needed.

Don’t give up.

Take another step.

Your Heavenly Father is cheering you on.

He is proud of you.

My friendmay you take one step of faith at a time into every new area that love takes you. 

Never Give Up

Love never gives up.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4 MSG‬‬

So much can be communicated through a small touch.

A reassuring pat of the hand.

A hug.

A gentle tug on the elbow of someone who you want closer.

Holding a hand.

A small touch can make a bad thing okay, an okay thing good, and make a good thing great.

Small touches are difference makers in a relationship and in our lives.

They can be the first thing we unconsciously give and the first thing that we unconsciously withhold.

When we struggle, when we are angry, when we are hurt, we withhold the small touches.

It’s easy to forget how important they are to us and to those we love until we can’t give them anymore.

For your loved ones in your home, hug them, hold them, touch them.

For your loved ones outside your home, save them up, and send virtual hugs until it is safe to embrace them.

Today is my virtual hug to you.

Be Stubborn

Life in Christ means that you are being called upon to be a pioneer.

He may be calling you to be the first in your family to break the cycle of unhealthy habits or to break the cycle of emotional or physical abuse.

He may be calling you to start a new business to help people that need it or create a home unlike the one you grew up in.

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 God’s goals but flexible about your methods.

Jesus never did a miracle the same way.

Each one was different and unique.

Change worth having is worth fighting for.

Go ahead – be stubborn and courageous today.

Stay

“Friends, stay where you were called to be. God is there. Hold the high ground with him at your side.”

1 Corinthians‬ ‭7‬:‭24‬ MSG

Stay where God has called you to be.

If where you are is boring, stay there.

If where you are is overwhelming, stay there.

If where you are is fun, stay there.

If where you are is challenging, stay there.

He will give you the strength to withstand the monotony, wisdom to navigate the stress, clarity to get the most out of the fun and vision to conquer the challenge.

Look to God for your identity, your purpose, and the strength to live it out.

Hold the high ground. 

Stay where you are.

When Going Forward Looks Impossible

The Israelites were stuck between the sea and their former slave masters coming to recapture them. Hemmed in by the mountains on both sides, they had no way out and no way forward. Their newfound freedom seemed fleetingly short and ultimately doomed.

It was an impossible situation.

They knew that God had delivered them from slavery but little more. They had not been free long enough to learn how powerful He is. They didn’t know that He would fight for them, split the sea before them and rescue them from an impossible situation.

But Moses told the people, ‘Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today.The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭14:13-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

They did not know God…yet. When you don’t want to go back but don’t know how you are going to go forward, stand still. When going forward looks like an impossibility, stay calm.

He goes before you.

He goes behind you.

He stands next to you.

Don’t let fear dictate your decisions. 

The LORD Himself will fight for you. 

You get to know about God as you trust Him to be God.

Trust Him and watch what He is about to do.

When You Feel Like Giving Up

When you feel like giving up, don’t.

There are gifts that only come from facing the hard things.

There is growth that only comes from holding onto God through the toughest times.

There is a maturity that only develops as you persevere when everything around you is uncomfortable, difficult, and hard.

“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:4 NIV

Don’t give up.

Hold on to Jesus and let perseverance complete you.

If you quit halfway through you will never know what God has for you.

He has a plan to complete you, to bring you to wholeness, to bring the parts that are broken and disconnected together knitted by His grace restored by His strength completed by His love.

Don’t quit.

Hold on and keep trusting.

You are worth it.

A Storm of Uncertainty

Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.”  Matthew‬ ‭8‬:‭24‬ NIV

We have all been living through a storm of uncertainty for the last year. In one way or another, Covid-19 has disrupted our lives like a storm disrupts a clear blue sky.

Since living in Southern Florida for the last few of years, I have a healthy respect for storms that come on quickly and are ferocious. Every afternoon in the summer, the fluffy white clouds that fill the blue expanse of the sky in the morning turn into dark thunderclouds by the afternoon.  Some afternoon storms are gentle showers and over quickly. Some of them rip the sky open with the crack of lightning, heart-pounding thunderclaps, and vicious wind.

The verse above describes a storm on the Sea of Galilee that came on so suddenly and was so ferocious that seasoned fisherman (the disciples) feared for their lives.

And what was Jesus doing? He was sleeping. He was resting.

He didn’t get in the boat at the beginning of the voyage and quiet the winds and calm the waves before he fell asleep, Jesus rested right in the middle of it.

The storm did not disturb him.

How did Jesus rest in the midst of an unexpected storm?

Jesus knew three things:

  1.  That God, His Father determined His time on earth, not a storm- even the most ferocious of ones.
  2.  Who and whose He was: the Son of God, on a mission from God, filled with the power of God.
  3. He knew that His mission was not over yet.

The best thing for you to do in a storm is to trust God and rest. 

Rest in God’s sovereignty:  He knows the moment you will cross into eternity.  This storm will not be the end of your story and God does not have half a plan.

Rest in knowing who and whose you are: a cherished child of God, redeemed by the cross of Christ to live life loved and drenched in God’s grace.

Rest in the knowledge that as long as you are here, God’s mission for you is not done yet.

I know it is stormy where you are but I want you to know that God is there with you and He will get you through whatever happens.

Your Amazing Race

“In light of all this, here’s what I want you to do. While I’m locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel.

Ephesians‬ ‭4:1‭ MSG‬‬

In light of this: God can do more than you can ask or imagine. 

In light of God’s ability, not your ability.

In light of God’s worthiness, not your worthiness.

In light of God’s power, not your power – RUN on the road God has called you to travel.

God has not called you to run on someone else’s road but your road

This is your journey, your family, your school, your job, your road. 

The road God has called you to travel has more to do with your character than your career- who He wants you to be rather than what he wants you to do for a living.

Paul’s road led him through prison but he did not see it as God’s failure but as an opportunity for God to use him where he was. He saw it as a part of his path.

Paul’s identity was defined by his relationship to God through Jesus and by his passion to share that truth with everyone that crossed his path: guards, fellow prisoners, politicians and anyone else who God brought to him.

Anchor your identity in the love of Jesus and share the good news of the gospel with every person who crosses your path. 

Stop waisting your time by comparing your race with someone else’s.

Run your amazing race and let others run their own today.

Keep Going

Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.  Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT

The eleventh chapter of Hebrews is often called the “Hall of Faith”.

It tells the stories of those who served God with great passion and unflinching faithfulness through the toughest of times.

They suffered, risked, obeyed and trusted God to do what only He can do.

This verse says that the way they lived their lives, and seeing how they trusted God, is like having a great grandstand of people cheering you on as you follow Jesus.

What are they telling you? 

They are telling you to throw off everything that hinders and run the race God has called you to run.

Not your mom’s race or your neighbor’s faith race but your faith race. 

They are telling you to keep focused on the finish line and lay down whatever is weighing you down from getting there: other people’s opinions, irrational fears,  fear-laden doubts, time-wasting worries. 

They know that a life of faith isn’t easy and that the only way you can do it is by keeping your eyes on Jesus.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, my friend, take a deep breath and run your race.