Priority

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Did you know that when the word “priority” was introduced and used in English that is was not plural? It was was only singular as in “what is your top priority or your priority for today?

Over time, it became plural as now we have five top priorities rather than one. Our culture is now more about trying to figure what is the top priority out of the five top things that must be done today.

I vote that we make priority singular again, especially now as we are waist deep in the holiday season.

I don’t know about you, but it is so easy for me to fall prey to “just surviving” and then being sucked into everyone else’s crisis of the moment and it ramps up even more during this season.

Along with the sweet memories being made during the holidays comes the stress of added parties, stretched finances, being exhausted and days that fly by in the blink of an eye.

It is so easy to forget that if you are empty, you will have nothing to give others. Before you make your to-do list today put time with God in the number one spot.

Make your relationship with God your first and only priority. Spend some time with your Dad. Let Him love you.

“Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”

Matthew 6:30-33 MSG

Today, may your soul be filled with His presence and may your heart be overflowing with His love.

Spend some time just being His kid and you will be pleasantly surprised by how that changes everything.

Happy Monday!

Hiding Place

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Sometimes you just need a place to hide for a while.

Something happens and you feel vulnerable and wounded.

You want to crawl back under the covers and not face your world.

Only life doesn’t work that way.

You still have things to do, people to take care of …life demands doing, especially when trouble surrounds.

“For you are my hiding place;

you protect me from trouble.

You surround me with songs of victory.”

Psalm 32:7 NLT

There is a place to hide in for a while that is a healing place.

A safe place.

A place of refuge where gentle songs of victory, thanksgiving, and praise echo all around you.

That place is God himself.

He invites you into Himself and says, “Hide here– let Me be your refuge in the storm”.

Instead of crawling back in bed, crawl under God’s covering of unconditional love in Christ Jesus who has rescued, redeemed and is using the trouble you are facing today to recreate you into a person who rises to the challenge and overcomes it in His strength.

Even If

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The best way to break the power of the past is to forgive.

Forgiveness is not a feeling it is a choice. A choice to let God have it, hold it, and be responsible for it- whatever it is. 

Forgiveness is taking the power away from them and giving it back to God. 

You don’t have to trust them to forgive them. Forgiveness is not about restoring trust in them, it is about trusting God with them. 

They don’t have to be sorry in order for you to forgive them. They don’t even have to know that you have released them to God.

What you do have to do is make the choice.

And every day after, continue to make the choice until the feeling lines up with the decision.

“The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:17 MSG

Forgiveness is not about trust, it is about freedom.

What is keeping you from forgiving them?

What are you afraid of?

What does Jesus say about it?

Hold On

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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. His power sustaining you to walk, to love, to care and to be fully alive even though 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.

I know you don’t see how it will happen but God does.

Hold on.

 

Impossibility

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In Exodus 14 the Israelites were stuck between the sea before them and their former slave masters coming to recapture them. It was 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

Hemmed in by the mountains on both sides,  they had no way out and no way forward. Their new found freedom seemed fleetingly short and ultimately doomed.

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.

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, trust God and:

1. Don’t be afraid (don’t let fear dictate your decisions).

2. Stand still and watch the LORD rescue you (stop trying to fix the situation yourself. Let God work).

The LORD Himself will fight for you. 

When going forward looks like an impossibility, God is not punishing you, He is teaching you more about Himself. 

Trust Him and watch what He is about to do.

Great Risk, Great Reward

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“The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,”

 Nahum 1:7 NIV

When you step out in faith with God, you are going to face great risk.

You will have to walk in what I call “crazy obedience”.

The kind of obedience that leaves what you know, sacrifices whatever is needed and eagerly embraces temporary difficulty for the hope of a future promise.

Know that even though the risk seems great, the God you serve is greater and the reward you will reap is priceless.

This is the prayer I am whispering over you today, “Jesus, take care of my friends as they step out in faith. Thank you that they are trusting you as they face risk. Reward them with courage and vision and do what only You can do – the impossible. Amen”

Dream Again

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“By faith, barren Sarah was able to become pregnant, old woman as she was at the time, because she believed the One who made a promise would do what he said.” Hebrews 11:11 MSG

We are born dreamers.

As children, we see that world around us and dream about being a part of it. We dream about what our place in the world will be, what we will do and who we might become.

The dreams revolve around us and what it will mean for us if those dreams come true.

As we grow up, there are some dreams that hold onto us more than we hold onto them.

It is those dreams that feel devastating when they shatter and remain unfulfilled.

When the Lord told Abraham that Sarah would give birth, she overheard it and laughed   (Genesis 18:11).  She laughed not because she thought it was funny but because she thought it ludicrous. The dream of having children probably died when she was in her 60s or 70s.  She had accepted her barrenness.

God often challenges what you have already accepted.

He will speak a word to you that seems impossible.

That seems ludicrous.

You have given up that dream of dreams and now God is asking you to dream again.

But this time to dream differently, not for what the dream will do for you but for whatever God wants to do through you.

God asked Sarah to dream again. She knew she couldn’t do it, could not make it happen. But somewhere along the line…she believed God.

And then God showed up and does what only He can do: the impossible.

My friend, put your hope in God today.  And when He calls you to dream again, say yes and be open to embracing whatever He wants to do through you.

Don’t hold onto the dream, hold on to the Dream Creator.