Your Take

“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.  His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”  

2 Peter 1:2-3

All relationships have to be give and take in order to be healthy.

This includes your relationship with God.

Your “give” to God: to journey with Him and hold nothing back.

So what is your “take”?

Your “take” is to partake of God’s promises, dwell in His presence and walk in His power in every area of your life. 

This taking is not a selfish act, it is a trusting one.

How is your relationship with Jesus today?

What do you need to recieve from Him?

What is He asking you to give?

Surrender All

“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.”    Psalm 62:5 NLT

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, wonder-full, beauty-full, worry-full, redeemed, restored.

Rest…

Hush anxious thoughts. Put down the to-do list. Quiet fear. Close the door. Rest in abandon. Embrace peace. Breathe silence. Cease to think, worry, or wonder. Just be.

Before God…

Not before bills. Not before responsibilities. Not before failures and faults nor achievements or success. Before God the Creator, Provider, Peace Maker, Redeemer, Savior, Lord, Father. Sovereign, Merciful, Strong, and Gentle. Powerful, Passionate, and Purposeful.

For my hope…

Tender expectations of possibility. Easily bruised. Unrealistic. Fantastic. Wonderful. Amazing. Hope.

Is in Him…

Wrapped in the arms of grace surrounding the soul. Hope not in temporal things but in the eternal One God in three expressions- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Hope not in temporal circumstances but in the embodiment of LOVE itself.  

It Won’t Be Easy

You will have to face difficulties, impossible situations, and fierce battles as you pursue God’s call on your life.

And through each one, Jesus will lead you to rest in the security of His love. To pursue the power of His peace. To find and capture the truth that is the freedom He died for you to live in.

God doesn’t say, “it will be easy” nor does He say, “there will be no battles.”

He says:

“My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭33:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬

No matter what is happening around you, you are not alone to deal with it – the Spirit of God is with you.

God’s promise is that His rest is yours. His peace is yours. His freedom is yours.

You don’t have to earn it, you have to receive it.

Today, trust His love, power, grace, peace, knowledge, goodness,  faithfulness – take a deep breath and rest.

Wholeness

“May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ.

The One who called you is completely dependable.

If he said it, he’ll do it!”

1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:23-24‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Wholeness takes time.

Abundant life in Christ includes abundant rest in Him.

Resting from trying to figure it all out.

Resting from worrying yourself sick.

Resting from trying to control everything and have the answers for everything.

Take a deep breath, slow down.

The very best thing you can do is rest in Him.

Let Jesus work.

God knows real change takes time.

Rest in Him today and give yourself permission to stop worrying about things you can’t control.

When You Are Tired

Life often demands that you keep going even when you are tired.

When you are burdened with grief, you still have to go to work.

When you are battling anxiety,  someone still has to do the dishes.

When you are restless to go but must stay right where you are.

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Jesus invites us to walk with Him, work with Him, and watch how He lives in the fullness of God’s love every day while bearing a great burden.

Your world may be dripping with unmet expectations, foundation-shaking experiences, and unbearable obligations.

Or it may be boring and frustrating with endless monotony.

Whatever is happening around you, Jesus wants to walk with you through it.

Lean on His strength and let Him love you right where you are.

The Invitation

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” 

Matthew 11:28 NIV

The Greek word for “rest” in Matthew 11:28 means:

1) to cause or permit one to cease from any movement or labor in order to recover and collect his strength

2) to give rest, refresh, to give one’s self rest, take rest

3) to keep quiet, of calm and patient expectation

It is an invitation from Jesus to stop striving and rest.

To stop producing, stop creating and simply breathe.

To take a minute, an hour to do something that fills your soul.

To close your eyes and look at what is going on inside of you.

To open your eyes to love the people who are around you.

It is not a one-time invitation, it is an invitation to live a lifestyle of trust.

Jesus says “come to me” whenever and as often as you need to.

Are you soul tired today?

Come to Jesus, His arms are open for you.

Find Rest Here

I want to remind you that you have a place of refuge in Christ.

He is like a fortress of strength to love from.

He is a tower of trust to give from.

Live from the truth of who Jesus is and what he has done for you on the cross.

You are restored and redeemed. 

You are accepted and forgiven. 

You are cherished and loved. 

When the strong sun of adversity beats down, rest in Shaddai’s shadow. Tuck yourself into His side and remind yourself whose you are.

“You who sit down in the High God’s presence, spend the night in Shaddai’s shadow, Say this:‘GOD, you’re my refuge. I trust in you and I’m safe!’ That’s right—he rescues you from hidden traps, shields you from deadly hazards.

His huge outstretched arms protect you— under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭91:1-5 MSG‬‬

When fear screams the loudest, run to the refuge of the cross. Jesus died for you so that you could have this: an unhindered relationship with your Father in heaven who has strong arms and strong love. 

Fear nothing. 

Hide in Him. 

This is where you find rest.

A Storm of Uncertainty

Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.”  Matthew‬ ‭8‬:‭24‬ NIV

We have all been living through a storm of uncertainty for the last year. In one way or another, Covid-19 has disrupted our lives like a storm disrupts a clear blue sky.

Since living in Southern Florida for the last few of years, I have a healthy respect for storms that come on quickly and are ferocious. Every afternoon in the summer, the fluffy white clouds that fill the blue expanse of the sky in the morning turn into dark thunderclouds by the afternoon.  Some afternoon storms are gentle showers and over quickly. Some of them rip the sky open with the crack of lightning, heart-pounding thunderclaps, and vicious wind.

The verse above describes a storm on the Sea of Galilee that came on so suddenly and was so ferocious that seasoned fisherman (the disciples) feared for their lives.

And what was Jesus doing? He was sleeping. He was resting.

He didn’t get in the boat at the beginning of the voyage and quiet the winds and calm the waves before he fell asleep, Jesus rested right in the middle of it.

The storm did not disturb him.

How did Jesus rest in the midst of an unexpected storm?

Jesus knew three things:

  1.  That God, His Father determined His time on earth, not a storm- even the most ferocious of ones.
  2.  Who and whose He was: the Son of God, on a mission from God, filled with the power of God.
  3. He knew that His mission was not over yet.

The best thing for you to do in a storm is to trust God and rest. 

Rest in God’s sovereignty:  He knows the moment you will cross into eternity.  This storm will not be the end of your story and God does not have half a plan.

Rest in knowing who and whose you are: a cherished child of God, redeemed by the cross of Christ to live life loved and drenched in God’s grace.

Rest in the knowledge that as long as you are here, God’s mission for you is not done yet.

I know it is stormy where you are but I want you to know that God is there with you and He will get you through whatever happens.

Don’t Get Stuck

Your faith journey is dotted with many parking places.

Places to pull over when you are tired.

Places were you can stop to rest and recover when things get rough.

However, don’t get stuck there.

Rest stops are important but aren’t meant to be permanent.

Don’t start living at the gas station. Don’t let a parking place become a permanent place.

Parking places are meant to be a temporary place to stop, not a final destination – you do what you need to do and then get back on the road.

You are on a life journey with Jesus. 

You are made to be free to live in the powerful freeing truth of God’s love for you.

Don’t settle where you are.

Get moving.

“You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth?”

Galatians 5:7 NLT

Jesus has new places for you to see, new people to meet and new opportunities to glorify God.

What has gotten you off track on your journey with Jesus? 

What is holding you back from following the truth?

What do you need to do today to get back on the road of truth?

Prayer Is

“May God look you full in the face and make you prosper.”

Numbers 6:26 MSG

The word for “prosper” here in the original Hebrew is “shalom” and often translated as peace.  Shalom is the peace that comes after the conflict and the quietness that comes after the chaos.

At its core, “Shalom” means the type of wholeness that comes after being broken.

Prayer is a retreat from the world and the battles you fight in it.

The word “retreat” is a military term. It means to get off the battlefield, to quit fighting, back out and regroup.

Prayer is creating time with God to regroup, reassess, restrategize and recover.

Fighting a battle when you’re exhausted, wounded and discouraged never works.

Are you exhausted, wounded, or discouraged? 

Then it is time to pray.

A time to rest in God’s love for you.

A time to take a step back, find a quiet place with God so He can repair what is broken, remind you of His purpose and arm you with His vision.

Jesus has given you full access to God’s presence.

Enter in and rest.

He is waiting for you.

My prayer is that you would get off the battlefield for a while and allow God to love you to wholeness. 

Stay there as long as you need to.