Faith Full

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I remember a time a few years ago when I was discouraged and heartbroken.

My hopes had been swept away by a flood of circumstances fueled by other people’s choices and actions. I chose integrity but no one else saw it that way. My character was questioned. My reputation was shredded and I could do nothing about it.

I could only walk forward into a future that I had not anticipated or imagined.

I clung to Jesus. I grabbed hold of the promise that He would never leave me or forsake me. I tried to trust that He could redeem the circumstances as I watched everything we had built crumble around us. I tried and failed. I couldn’t find trust or hope within my soul, only heartbreak and fear.

Psalm 119:116 became the words I held onto:

Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.”

One morning I got up early and took a walk. We were living in Las Vegas and my neighborhood edged the desert by the Red Rock. With worship music loaded on my iPod, I set out to pray and breathe in the presence of God.

As I turned the corner out of my neighborhood and onto the desert road behind it the song “Great is Thy Faithfulness” began. The sun was just rising over Red Rock Canyon and it was so beautiful that I almost dropped to my knees.  I heard God’s whisper in my heart, “Hold on. Your hopes are not lost. I am faithful to complete what I have started in you. I will sustain you through this and strengthen you in it. My faithfulness knows no end.”

It was a turning point for me. I carried that promise through a time that got harder long before it got better.

Hold on, my friend, your hopes are not lost. 

Jesus is faithful to complete what He started in you.

He will sustain you and strengthen you in it.

God’s faithfulness knows no end.

Called to Climb

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“When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him.”

Matthew 5:1-2 MSG

Sometimes Jesus calls you to climb with Him.
He draws you away from the noise of the crowds to a quiet place where He can speak to you.
It is a place that you can hear Him clearly with no distractions.
Some mistake these times for loneliness when really God is trying to get your attention.
He wants to show you something.
I don’t love hiking (a.k.a. climbing a mountain) but I know this:
• It forces me out of my comfort zone
• I get to see things I have never seen before
• It causes muscles to form that I never knew existed
• My breathing capacity is expanded and heart is strengthened
Jesus loved the crowds. He taught them, healed them and fed them. But the teaching He was about to give was not for the crowds, it was for the climbers.
When Jesus calls you to climb with Him, you can bet that it is for your benefit.
You can also bet that it isn’t going to be easy.
Nothing worth having comes easy.
When Jesus calls you to climb higher it is to make you stronger.
If you are feeling lost in the crowd, maybe it is because you don’t belong there.
You belong to Jesus and He is calling you higher.
What you learn climbing the mountain with Jesus changes your life in the valley.
What mountain is Jesus calling you to climb with Him today?

Your Heart

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Some seasons are harder than others.

In some seasons it seems like having a hard heart is easier than feeling the pain of it.

It is not.

Your heart is made to process the pain. When you harden your heart instead of processing the pain it is like locking the pain inside with no way out.

Don’t harden your heart.

Don’t give up.

Push through the hard parts but don’t lose your heart.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Guard it, grow it, fill it.

Don’t just get through your present struggle, process it all the way through. Feel it, embrace the pain and let it work all the way through and all the way out.

Take care of your heart.

Clean it out.

Pull up the weeds of bitterness and resentment and if needed, ask Jesus to do heart surgery.

How is your heart?

All That I Am

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“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him”.

Psalm 62:5 NLT

Let all that I am

Daughter, wife, mother, friend, dreamer, detailer, realist, writer, speaker, cook, cleaner, pastor, inspirer, frail, my own worst critic, stubborn, strong, passionate, fearful, faithful, wonderful, beautiful, worry-full, redeemed, restored.

Rest…

Stop and don’t take another step forward. Hush anxious thoughts. Put down the to-do list. Quiet fearful eyes. Close the door. Rest with abandon. Embrace moments of peace. Breathe silence. Cease to think, worry, wonder and simply be.

Before God…

Not before the damage from the storm. Not before your bills. Not before your responsibilities. Not before your failures and faults nor your achievements or success. Wait quietly before God. The Creator, Provider, Peace Maker, Redeemer, Savior, Lord. He is sovereign and merciful, strong and gentle. Powerful and purposeful.

For my hope…

The tender expectations of possibility. Easily bruised. Unrealistic. Fantastic. Wonderful. Amazing hope.

Hope is the vehicle of momentum filled with a gas tank of faith and moves you forward. Without hope, the tank is empty, you feel as if you are going nowhere with no indication of possible change. With hope, nothing is impossible because with God all things are possible.

Is in Him…

My hope is wrapped up in the arms of grace surrounding my soul. My hope is not in temporal things, temporal circumstances, fleeting happiness but in a Person. My hope is held securely in nail-scarred hands. My hope is in Jesus, Precious Jesus. Faithful Jesus. Powerful Jesus. Loving Jesus.

Where is your hope?

#knowing #goals

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At the end of your life, you may or may not have human praise and awards but if you have gone after a real relationship with Jesus, you will have so much more than that.

You will have rich relationships, miraculous moments, great faith adventures as well as the single most important thing you can have with you as you step into eternity – Jesus Himself.

Don’t waste your life by pursuing goals to make yourself more comfortable, more secure or safer.

Following Jesus is not comfortable or easy but it is unique, unexpected and adventurous.

“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.” ‭‭

Philippians‬ ‭3:8‬ ‭NIV

Knowing Jesus is the goal.

He is the prize, the purpose, the goal.

Not just to work for Him but to work with Him.

Not just to know about Him but to know Him in every area of your life.

Keep this goal as the top priority and all the other goals will quickly fall into their proper perspective.

Go after it.
Go after Him.

Your Promised Land

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Where is your promised land?
Where you now reside.

The secret of walking in faith is recognizing that your promised land is not somewhere else but right here.

It is where you are right now but transformed by God’s intervention.

It is your life transformed by God’s intervention.

It is your marriage transformed by God’s intervention.

It is your workplace transformed by God’s intervention.

It is your parenting transformed by God’s intervention.

It is you- transformed by God’s intervention.

Walking in faith, not in the flesh, in grace, not legalism, in love, not hate.

Close your eyes. Open the eyes of your heart and ask God to give you His vision for your life.

With eyes of faith see the promised land laid out before you.

Taste the bounty you will cultivate, the joy of habitation.

Fall in love with the hope-filled future God has planned for you.

Then with courage and tenacity walk hand in hand with God. Grow forward in faith and take hold of your purpose, one step at a time. Hold nothing back from His loving gaze or hand of grace.

There are unimaginable blessings awaiting those who will walk in the purposes of God, hand-in-hand with Him. You have barely scratched the surface. Now, as it was then, your faith will become sight and you will see with your own eyes the promises of God come to pass.

“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, forever and ever! Amen.”

Ephesians 3:20, 21 NIV

Today

I wanted to remind you that today hasn’t happened yet.
It is a day yet to be lived.
It is a page in your story that is unwritten.

Just because your story has been going one way up until today, doesn’t mean it has to continue that way.

Just because you made a bad decision yesterday, doesn’t mean you have to make one today…or tomorrow.
Just because you are in a habit that is unhealthy yesterday, doesn’t mean you have to repeat it today.

You have the freedom of choice and you have the power to change.

Today is unwritten.
God has a plan.
You have the pen.

Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.  Philippians 4:13 MSG