The Gift of You

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God has given you gifts. 
All kinds. 
Some come as talent.
Others are revealed in character. 
Some are gifts to you as well as through you that bring such joy that you can’t wait to share them.
Some are so close to your heart that you are afraid to reveal them. 
The gift that you are
with your smile and words, 
your hands and heart,
how you cook or clean, 
create or organize, 
how you lead and follow, 
bless and pray 
is meant to be given, not hidden.
Salt is made for seasoning.
Light is made for lighting. 
Gifts are made for giving.
The more precious they are to you, the more powerful they will be for others.
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬
The gifts you have been given are to be given away: to serve, to love, to mend, to tend, to bless, to build.
What gift is Jesus asking you to give today?
What opportunities is He giving you to bring the uniqueness of you into?

Your Why

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Your motives are the “why” behind the “what” of your life.
When you are soul drained, the simplest tasks can begin to feel like heavy burdens.  You slip into autopilot and just go through the motions.  Your “why” is to survive, to make it through one more day.
Survival is a good “why” to make it through hard things but it is not meant to be your permanent state of being.
God has more for you today.
He is the God of inside workings, attitude makeovers, perspective shifters. He is the forgiving God, the wipe the slate clean and start over God. He is the miracle-making God, creating something out of nothing God with just one word from His mouth.
Your Heavenly Father created you in love, to love and to be loved. God so loved you that He sent His Son as a sacrifice to restore you to Himself.  He did not do it out of duty, He did it out of love. He does not live out of duty but out of love and wants the same for you.
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.”
‭‭1 John‬ ‭4:16‬ ‭NIV
When your why comes from love it feeds your spirit and invigorates your soul. Duty devoid of it drains it.
May the God of the inside workings give your attitude a makeover from duty doer to lit up lover.  May the forgiving God wipe clean the slate of the past and help you start over today.  May the miracle-making God, create something out of nothing and fill you so full of His love that it overflows onto those around you.
Are you living in survival mode or love mode? 
What’s your why today?

The Adventure of a Lifetime

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“Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.”
Matthew 6:12 MSG
Right with God, right with others.
Taking stock, taking responsibility.
Receiving grace, giving grace.
Living forgiven, living forgiving.
Everyday.
Jesus said to pray like this so that you could live like this.
Forgiveness sets you free to live the adventure that life brings you.
What do you need to ask forgiveness for today?
What do you need to forgive someone for today?

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.

Something that seems ludicrous.

Something that you gave up on and now He is asking you to dream again.

But this time to dream it differently.

Place your hope not in what the dream will do for you but in what 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 chose to trust God.

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 Giver.

The Grace that Grows you

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The same grace that saves you, grows you.

The same gift of grace through faith in Jesus that lifted you out of the depths of the lost wilderness will guide through the narrow mountain pass before you.

Your faith journey in Jesus begins with grace, continues by grace and will end in grace.

“Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish!” Ephesians 2:8-9 MSG

The best way to grow to where you want to go is to get in God’s presence and let Him love you. Let Him shower you with amazing grace and uncontainable kindness. This will do more to heal your heart and life than you trying to be better.

Jesus loved you at your worst, loves you where you are at today and will love you where you are tomorrow. This relentless love will give you the courage to do whatever Jesus is asking you to do.

Grace will take you where works never can and do more than your best efforts ever will.

May the God of uncontainable love drench you in His presence.  May His awe-inspiring grace recharge your hope and fill your faith with the courage to trust Him. He has you in the palm of His hand.

 

The Connection Point

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One day when my son was about 11 years old, he came into our bedroom with his shoulders slumped and said, “The charger is broken- it won’t charge the laptop and it just died”.

My husband brought the laptop into our bedroom and the first thing he checked all the connections on the cord. A few minutes later, I noticed that he had put the laptop down and didn’t seem too worried about it.

“Did you fix it?” I asked.

“Oh, yea I did”, he said. “The connection just needed to be cleaned. It was just dirty. After I cleaned it, it connected just fine and now it is charging.”

It was that simple, a clogged connection.

On our way to church this weekend, Justin’s phone wouldn’t charge…for the same reason. He cleaned it out and it started to work again.

Your connection point to God is your heart.

Your heart is your connection place to God. It is where the power of God fills you and the grace of God heals you.  Your heart gets clogged and dirty from the wear and tear of life, with bits of small lies believed or big judgments perceived getting in the crevices.

Your heart needs to be cleaned often.

Forgiveness asked for and given.

Mercy asked for and given.

Tough love asked for and given.

When life seems like it’s just not working right, check your connection point to God and ask Him to clean it.

“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭139:23-24‬ ‭NIV‬‬

It is amazing what a difference it makes when your heart is clear and your connection with God is restored to full power. 

Little Faith

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“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

Galatians 5:6 NIV

Q. What counts more than money, things, activities, entertainment or even a clean house?

A. Faith expressing itself through love.

It is like having a keychain packed full of keys and on it is this really little one. You know that one random key that you are not sure what it is for but you are afraid to throw it out in case you need it.

What if on the packed keychain of your life, you find out that there is a key that unlocks a vault where all the richest treasures are stored?

That key is your faith in Jesus expressed through love.

Jesus told His disciples in Luke 17:6 that they didn’t need to have big faith. He said that if they put into action the little faith they did have, mountains would move.

My friend, it’s not the size of your faith but the size of your God that moves mountains. 

All you need is a tiny bit of faith to take the first step or a crumb of hope to get you moving.

All you need to do is see a little bit of the dream Jesus has for you,  then add love and put it into action. Take a little bit of trusting in His power, add a pinch of faith and do something.

When you are at that place where it seems a positive change is more like turning the Titanic than turning a key, get with Jesus.

If you need faith for your situation, He will let you use His.

If you need to remember the dream, ask God, He dreamt it first.

If you need hope and a bit of encouragement, He is the God of all hope.

Take the little you have and put it in action. 

What can you do with the little faith you have?

How will you express it through love today?