Happy New Year!

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I stopped making New Years Resolutions a few years ago. It has been a relief to not put the focus on myself and instead focus on one new thing God has given me to do.

Where Jesus guides, He provides. When He gives you something to do, He will provide a way for you to do it.

“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 NIV

That doesn’t mean it will be easy.  If it was easy, you wouldn’t need God’s help and power.

You will need Him. You will have to choose to keep going in spite of all the obstacles, all the setbacks, all the failures, and the frustrations.

You are going to have to fight for it and start over again and again with His help.

Sometimes the most important things in life are not the biggest things – they are the small things that will make a big difference and they so easily slip through the cracks of a busy life.

So, my challenge for you this year: don’t make a New Year’s Resolution list.

Instead, be resolutely committed to being simply and wholeheartedly faithful to do one thing that God is asking you to do.

What is one thing Jesus is asking you to do this year?

Keep it simple.

Keep it consistent.

Find a way to stay faithful.

The Road Before You

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The road before you may look different than you expected.

You may not be sure where it will lead.

God does.

He knows what lies before you and He has promised that no matter what happens, He will be with you:

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

Isaiah 43:1-2 NIV

God is not suggesting it. He is not asking you to consider it, He is not giving it to you as an option… it is a command: Do not fear.

Fear will never cease to have power over you until it is replaced by a greater power – the love of Jesus.

You are a chosen, treasured child of God, redeemed by the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross for you. God has called you out of the place you have been and planted you in a new place.

A new place that has new possibilities, new problems, new opposition to face and new victories to experience. Not one of these things is meant to be handled by yourself. You are not alone, God is with you. You are His and He is good at taking care of His own.

Rest today in His grace and mercy – He has an endless supply for you to use.

How To Break the Power of the Past

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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.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  

Colossians 3:13 NIV

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?

All That I Am

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“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him”.

Psalm 62:5 NLT

Let 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, wonderful, beautiful, worry-full, redeemed, restored.

Rest…

Stop and don’t take another step forward. Hush anxious thoughts. Put down the to-do list. Quiet fearful eyes. Close the door. Rest with abandon. Embrace moments of peace. Breathe silence. Cease to think, worry, wonder and simply be.

Before God…

Not before the damage from the storm. Not before your bills. Not before your responsibilities. Not before your failures and faults nor your achievements or success. Wait quietly before God. The Creator, Provider, Peace Maker, Redeemer, Savior, Lord. He is sovereign and merciful, strong and gentle. Powerful and purposeful.

For my hope…

The tender expectations of possibility. Easily bruised. Unrealistic. Fantastic. Wonderful. Amazing hope.

Hope is the vehicle of momentum filled with a gas tank of faith and moves you forward. Without hope, the tank is empty, you feel as if you are going nowhere with no indication of possible change. With hope, nothing is impossible because with God all things are possible.

Is in Him…

My hope is wrapped up in the arms of grace surrounding my soul. My hope is not in temporal things, temporal circumstances, fleeting happiness but in a Person. My hope is held securely in nail-scarred hands. My hope is in Jesus, Precious Jesus. Faithful Jesus. Powerful Jesus. Loving Jesus.

Where is your hope?

Insurmountable Problems

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“Have faith in God,”
 Mark 11:22 NIV
Jesus had a teaching moment with his disciples smack dab in the middle of this history-making week. It was right after the Triumphal Entry and before He went to the garden of Gethsemane.
It is easy to miss and easy to misunderstand.
The disciples heard Jesus curse a fig tree on the way to cleanse the Temple.
The tree was advertising fruit with its full leaves but in reality, had none. Jesus is not a fan of false advertising.  On their way back, they saw that it had withered to its roots and was utterly dead.  It wasn’t a winter frost or harsh storm that killed the plant- it was the words Jesus spoke to it.
He told them to “have faith in God”, then gave them an example they would understand:
“Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”
Mark 11:23 NIV
A “mountain” was used in that day to mean any insurmountable problem.  
God can overcome any obstacle, no matter how big or immovable it seems.
Jesus reveals the secret of His strength: “Have faith in God”.  
Not faith in faith (simply believing whatever you want) or conjuring up a feeling in your heart but faith in God, trusting God. 
Today, my friend, speak to your insurmountable obstacle with words of faith and confidence knowing that God can move the immovable.
He has given you words to speak, to pray, and to proclaim.
Speak them out, lift them up and proclaim that with God nothing is impossible.
Then put the outcome in God’s hands.

#knowing #goals

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At the end of your life, you may or may not have human praise and awards but if you have gone after a real relationship with Jesus, you will have so much more than that.

You will have rich relationships, miraculous moments, great faith adventures as well as the single most important thing you can have with you as you step into eternity – Jesus Himself.

Don’t waste your life by pursuing goals to make yourself more comfortable, more secure or safer.

Following Jesus is not comfortable or easy but it is unique, unexpected and adventurous.

“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.” ‭‭

Philippians‬ ‭3:8‬ ‭NIV

Knowing Jesus is the goal.

He is the prize, the purpose, the goal.

Not just to work for Him but to work with Him.

Not just to know about Him but to know Him in every area of your life.

Keep this goal as the top priority and all the other goals will quickly fall into their proper perspective.

Go after it.
Go after Him.

Gracefully

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“It was God giving me the work to do and God giving me the energy to do it.”

‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:10-11‬ ‭MSG

It is a sweet moment, a defining moment even: The moment you realize that the work of God doesn’t depend on you but that you get to join in the work of God by depending on Him more and more.

“So whether you heard it from me or from those others, it’s all the same: We spoke God’s truth and you entrusted your lives.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:10-11‬ ‭MSG‬‬

What only God can do: set people free, love them relentlessly, deliver them consistently, fill them with His Spirit and His Love.

What only you can do: point people to Jesus.

Love people grace-full-y, speak God’s truth and then let Him do the heavy lifting of changing people’s lives.