Heaven

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Earth is not our home- heaven is.

What does heaven look like? What does it feel like? I don’t know. But I do know what the Word says about the atmosphere God creates in the place that He dwells:

“Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and joy are in His dwelling place.”

1 Chronicles 16:27 NIV

I may not have the details of what it looks like but I know that it is magnificent. More than that, joy and strength permeates the air and fills its rooms. Truthfully, wherever God is, He brings these attributes with Him. They are a part of who He is.

Where He is, strength abounds and joy lives.

Heaven is a real place and someday you will be there.

Until then, may you experience God’s presence here on earth and be filled with such peace and deep joy that it makes you homesick for heaven.

Made for More

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You are created to live every day with:

overwhelming love,

deep joy,

persistent peace,

solid patience,

thoughtful kindness,

soul deep goodness,

stubborn faithfulness,

grace-filled gentleness and

Spirit inspired self-control.

What a beautiful existence, can you imagine?

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives:love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5:22-23‬ ‭NLT‬‬

God wants you to do more than just imagine it, He wants you to live it.

Jesus paid for it.

The Holy Spirit provides it.

You can live it.

You were made for more, don’t settle for anything less.

What is holding you back?

It’s the Holidays

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As we head into Thanksgiving Week and then Christmas right after, I want to remind you that the holidays can be wonderful and terrible at the same time.
As much as they create opportunities for new memories, they also bring reminders of old ones. Moments of joy and thanksgiving are often mixed with sadness and loss.
Jesus allowed himself to feel emotions, all of them. He mourned. He loved. He was thankful. He knew that there was time for all of them and that they often overlap.
Jesus knew that there is:
“a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,”
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬
This year, give yourself permission to feel all the emotions this time brings. Walk with Jesus through them, acknowledge them, embrace them. Grieve if you need to.
When you take time to mourn, you make room in your heart.  Ungrieved losses of the past must be processed so that you can fully experience the moments of joy in the present.
Being a Christian doesn’t mean that you are always happy or only feel “good” emotions. It means that you choose to walk with Jesus through all the emotions that this time in your life brings.
Walking with Jesus during this time means you are more fully present in it than you have ever been before.
May you fully embrace and be fully embraced by Jesus as you experience this holiday season with Him by your side.

Gifts to give

“Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people!”
1 Corinthians 12:7 MSG

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As the gift-buying season begins, I want to remind you that God has already given you precious gifts to give this year.

Gifts unique to you.

Gifts that are meant to be given.

By using the gifts God has given you, the talents of your hands, the strengths of your personality, the driving passion of your heart, God uses you to reveal Himself to others.

It is not a prideful thing to use your gifts for the glory of God, it is needful.

The world needs people who are connected to Jesus, using their gifts so that God is revealed and those people can get connected to Him. When people are connected to Jesus they pass from death to life and from darkness to light.  With Him, they begin to develop their gifts so that others can get connected to God and pass from death to life… you get the picture.

In the midst of the gift buying madness, may you freely and generously give to others the rich gifts God has given you.

May you grow them, practice them relentlessly and walk in them confidently until they are an extension of who you are to the glory of God.

What gifts has God given you?

How are you going to use them to bless someone today?

Centered

 

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“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.  It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Philippians 4:6-7 MSG

Worry is a master joy stealer.

Put your worries in God’s capable hands and get busy loving the people He has placed in your life.

Who are you centered on today?

Take the Gift and Throw a Party

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Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Philippians 4:4 NIV

Rejoicing is the theme of the book of Philippians, even though the circumstances with which it was written hold no reason for such a sentiment. Paul is under house arrest in Rome waiting to go before Caesar. He is cut off from his friends and chained to a guard 24 hours a day. He is not comfortable and does not know what the future will hold.

And that is the point.

We don’t rejoice because life is good, we rejoice because God is good.

We don’t rejoice only when good things happen – God works through all things.

We don’t wait to rejoice until we have all the answers, we rejoice in knowing that Jesus does.  And He loves you and will be with you whatever comes.

Set your heart to rejoice in Jesus today: who He is, what He has done and that your eternal future is secured by His amazing sacrifice. Your present circumstances are provided for by the strength of His grace no matter what they look like.

We like to rejoice when we get our way but sometimes the harder way is what we actually need to grow in.

Set your mind to delight in a security of the love of Jesus and the mercy of His grace.

Rejoicing when there is nothing to rejoice about is a divine gift that will transform you.

And if you ask Jesus to open your eyes to see what you have right now to rejoice in, He will.

Take the gift and throw a party.

Be You

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John the Baptist faithfully fulfilled what God had called him to do without looking to others in envy or for acceptance.  More than once John was asked if he was the Messiah.
He replied with this:
A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’”
‭‭John‬ ‭3:27-28‬ ‭NIV‬‬
John the Baptist knew who he was and he knew who he wasn’t – he was not Jesus.
Reminder: There is only one Savior,  Jesus Christ.
You are not tasked with saving people, that is His job and He is good at it.
Your job is to faithfully point people to Jesus.
Knowing who you are and who you are not is vital in carrying out your own God-given assignment.
When God lays a burden on your heart, it will always be bigger than you and it will be something only He can do through you.
Pride burdens you with a sense of importance that only you can fulfill.
Pride traps you in perpetual misery about all the things you can’t do and about all the gifts you don’t have. Humility sets you free to do what God has called you to do without looking to others in envy or for acceptance.
You are called to faithfully fulfill the assignment God has given you without trying to be someone you are not or function in gifts God has not given you.
John the Baptist held tight to the attitude that defined his life:
“He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.”
‭‭John‬ ‭3:30‬ ‭NLT‬‬
It is all about Jesus.
Be honest with others about who you are and point people to Jesus.
Be who God made you to be and endeavor to fulfill what God has called you to do.
What have you been given from heaven to do?
Are you doing it?