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.

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.

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.

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?

Should-Haves and What Ifs

“So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There is nothing in it, nothing at all. The best thing to is to give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons.” 

Romans 8:12-15 (MSG)

What “should haves” are holding you back from being fully present in the beautiful life Jesus has for you?

When God sends you a vision of your future, it is to get you moving in the right direction. When He lays a burden on your heart it is to pull you towards His purpose for you. He will not lift the call but He will refine it. He will not lift the burden to be His change agent in the world but He will redefine it constantly.

And God will never ask you to “do-it-yourself”, His visions always come with a “you-can-only-accomplish-this-with-God” clause.

We can all easily slip into a habit of tending the graves of “what ifs” and “should have dones” but that only hinders us from living in the power of the resurrection life of Jesus.

Life in Christ is meant to be a moment by moment adventure with God.

Give your “should haves” a decent burial and get on with it.

What regret have you been grave tending?

Don’t Procrastinate Hope

What are you hoping for today?

“Wait, Israel, for GOD. Wait with hope. Hope now; hope always!”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭131:3‬ ‭MSG‬‬


Hope now. 

Right now.

While you wait.

While you are stuck.

Open wide your heart and let hope flood in.

Let it wash over your mind and fill your spirit to the brim.

There is no better day than today.

There is no better time than right now.

No matter what is going on around you, hope is available to you.

Jesus died on the cross, destroyed the power of sin and rose again to eternal life.

He is alive.    

He is holding out eternal hope to you.

Don’t procrastinate hope, you have permission to hope now – no matter what.

Hold Onto Hope

Do you have something in your life that you don’t think God can change?

You know, the places that you don’t think God can reach.

That thing you think God can’t change or that place that you don’t believe God can help.

I call those things, my “even there” places.

Psalm 139:9-10 says, “If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.”(NIV)

No matter how difficult or dark your situation is today, Jesus can guide you out.

Because of Jesus, God’s power flows unhindered to you.

His healing love can wash over you.

His help is available to you.

He will give you the support you need.

Hold onto hope – there is no place that God can’t reach, heal, or restore …even there.

Hour By Hour

Desperate, I throw myself on you: you are my God! Hour by hour I place my days in your hand, safe from the hands out to get me.” Psalm 31:14, 15 MSG 

When you have run out of options,  done all you can, and come up wanting. 

When you realize you have no control.

No control over how others react.

No control over what others think.

No control over what others choose. 

When you are tired of trying to figure it out – throw yourself on God.

He will not leave you without support:

 “…for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down(relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]” Hebrews 13:5 AMP  

When you are surviving hour by hour, I want to remind you that God is providing for you minute by minute. 

Don’t give up.