His Grace is Sufficient

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 

2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV 

I am so glad I don’t have to pretend to be perfect. 

I am glad that the more I embrace my weakness, I am given the key to walk confidently in God’s strength, power, and peace. 

Not by willing myself to be strong but by laying down the illusion I have to be.

Not by working for God’s approval but by resting in His love. 

Not by memorizing words but by allowing the grace of God to permeate every fiber of my soul.

Are you done trying to be perfect?

Good. 

Now may you truly rest in the abundance of God’s amazing, all encompassing grace delivered to you wrapped in the love of Jesus.

Perspective Matters

Perspective is powerful. 

Jesus said how you see the world around you, impacts you:

“Your eyes are windows into your body.  If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have!”‭‭ 

Matthew‬ ‭6:22-23‬ ‭MSG‬‬

How you look at the world around you impacts how you experience the world within you.

Do you see the world and the people in it with wonder and delight or in fear and distrust? 

Have you “dropped the blinds” and given up?

If so, you are in a dark place. 

Jesus came for you. 

He came to unleash heaven’s light and love in you. 

He came to heal the hurts and tend the wounds that fester distrust and fear.

He came to restore wonder.

He came to restore 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.

It’s Not That Kind of Test

img_8507-1
“We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.”
1 Thessalonians 2:4 NIV
When God “tests” your heart, it isn’t a test to pass or fail. It is a purifying of the soul.
“The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the heart.”  ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭17:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬
The crucible is a vessel that can take extreme heat and not melt. It is used to melt the silver so that the impurities of the precious metal will rise to the top. Then the refiner will skim it off the top.
It is the same with your heart. The Great Refiner will use the hot fires of life to cause the impurities in your heart to be revealed so He can clear them out.
He will bring to the surface the things that are holding you back from loving freely, what is tripping you up in your relationships, what is sabotaging your peace.
Things that don’t belong there but have never been processed out.
Your job is to stay in His Hand, deal with what comes up (which almost always begins with repentance or forgiveness) and allow the healing balm of His love to make you new.
How is your heart? 
What is Jesus bringing up? 
What do you need to do with it?

Get Ready to Move

ccde36bf4d229ac6a1b048eeba084a20

“The Lord our God said to us at Horeb, “You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Break camp and advance into the hill country of the Amorites;”
‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭1:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

A year and a half ago we moved our family across the country from California to Florida.

We have moved a few times before but not this far. Looking at the house in California and deciding what to take and what to not drag across the country felt like a full-time job all by itself.

I saw things differently.

Every item I looked at came with questions:

Do I need this?
How badly do I need this?
Do I want this?
Why do I still have this?
Do I even like this?
Do I want it enough to drag it across the country?

It wasn’t easy but it was good.

I needed to get rid of stuff.

I needed to discard the clutter, the extra, the just because, the what if’s, the someday-I-will-use -this-but-I-haven’t-for-10-years- and- it-doesn’t-even-fit-me stuff.

Break camp and advance.

It is an invitation to get rid of the dead weight and take only the important, the beneficial the essential, the absolutely without a doubt I-will-need-this-in-my-next-place stuff.

Before the children of Israel could advance into their promised land, they would have to break camp where they were.

Before you can advance in God’s vision for your life, you have to break camp where you are.

It is an invitation to reevaluate what mental and emotional baggage you are carrying and ask yourself:

Do I need this?
How badly do I need this?
Do I want this?
Why do I still have this?
Do I even like this?
Do I want it enough to drag it into the new place the Lord has for me?

Pack up the essentials.
Keep memories.
Get rid of the crap.

What do you need to get rid of in order to be free to go after God’s purpose for your life today?

Culitivating a Quiet Life 

  
Culitivating a quiet life begins with your heart.

It ‘s more like a garden than a to do list.

It needs loving care and tending to.
 
It needs to be protected from predators.

All weeds MUST be pulled.

New things NEED to be planted.

Old things NEED to be pruned.

An untended garden grows wild and will produce good things as well as weeds. An untended garden is vulnerable to virus as well as open to destruction. It is the same with your heart.

Only you are not the gardener, God is.

You are the soil. 

You invite Him in, He works.
You spend time with Him, He works.
You obey Him, He works.

It is a partnership but different than you are used to. Your most important job is to give Jesus time, opportunity and full access to do His work in your heart. 

“Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. 

God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. 

In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.”
‭‭James‬ ‭1:19-21‬ ‭MSG‬‬

I am asking God to culitivate a quiet inner life with Him wherever I am in the loud world around me and it all begins with my heart. 

What are you asking for today?