Grace When You Need It

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.”

1 Corinthians‬ ‭16‬:‭23‬ NLT

Today you may be venturing into unknown territory and uncomfortable terrain.

You may need to have a hard conversation with someone you love.

You may need to extend mercy for someone you don’t love or don’t know.

Whatever happens today, my prayer for you is that the unstoppable grace of Jesus will be with you.

His grace is the very grace of God that was with Him as he walked on the earth, went to the cross and rose from the dead.

His grace is to you, for you and in you.

With Him, you can face anything that comes your way.

 

 

From Worry to Worship

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A whisper of fear can wedge open the door of worry.  Instead of being focused on all the wonders of your world, the worries of it eclipse your perspective.

I have a better idea.

Instead of being caught up in worry, throw yourself headlong into worship.

When you worry, you are focused on what if’s, what’s next and what is going to happen?

When you worship, you are focused on God’s faithfulness, goodness, and love.

The shift from worry to worship is like being transported to another world. The tightness in your chest releases and opens up, faith floods in and overflows.

The things you are worried about might not change but by changing your focus from worry to worship you will dramatically change how you experience them.

“I’ve thrown myself headlong into your arms-I’m celebrating your rescue. I’m singing at the top of my lungs, I’m so full of answered prayers.”
Psalm 13:5, 6 MSG

When David wrote this, he was in the middle of a battle. He had not seen the rescue or seen his prayers answered yet but he had decided he was tired of looking at the battle and looked up to God instead. He decided to celebrate the coming rescue, fill his heart with the kind of overflowing gratitude that comes when you see the answer to your prayers. David just didn’t feel like waiting until he saw it- he wanted to celebrate the victory now.

You know what I love about God? He doesn’t mind when I decide to party prematurely. He doesn’t shake his finger at me and says “You just need to wait until you see it with your eyes then you can celebrate”. No, that is the world’s way. God’s way is to celebrate before the battle is won, say thank you before you get the gift and dance in the jail cell before you are released!

Because the battle has been won on the cross, the gifts are on their way and
the release has already been secured by Jesus himself.

It is time to break away from worry and break into worship, my friend. To throw yourself headlong into the arms of Jesus and worship him for all he has done, all he will do and most of all – for who he is. He is Lord, Savior, Redeemer and the Son of God.

Run from worry and start celebrating the victory that is on its way.

What is your favorite worship song or album?

When was the last time you shut out the world, pumped up the volume and surrounded yourself in worship?

How will you make that happen today?

The Road You Are On

  

Where are you headed?
What are you believing God for?
What does God have on your horizon?

When your eyes are on the ground as you walk, you can only see the next step and it can seem like you are not going anywhere at all. 

Look up from your feet. See farther down the road. See with eyes of faith what might be there and keep walking forward. 

“Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. 

Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. 

See things from his perspective.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:1-2‬ ‭MSG

‬‬The road you are on may feel long but God can see where it’s headed and He knows why you are on it. He is longing to share His perspective with you. He wants you to see what He sees but you can only do it with eyes of faith. 

If you are struggling today with anxiety or discouragement, I’m challenging you to lift up your eyes and change your perspective. I’m asking Jesus to pour His faith into your heart and show you His vision for your future. 

“For we live by faith, not by sight.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Life begins….

…at the end of your comfort zone.

I have spent all morning pulling together music, song chords, lead sheets and the like. Why, you ask? Such a good question. I stepped up and onto the Youth Worship team a couple of months ago to be a support and back up singer. Originally, I just wanted to support a couple of girls who were starting to step out of their own comfort zones and be there to help cheer them on as well. I had been hearing and ignoring a nudge from the Lord to step up and provide leadership in this area for a while but like I said, I was ignoring it. It wasn’t long after that first week that I felt the inner shove right out of my personal comfort zone to move from backup singer to lead singer. We have a wonderful worship leader who has such s great heart of worship but needs to grow in his guitar skills. I have been praying about it and am going to lead over the summer so he can just play the guitar and grow in this gift. That is my plan, lol. Baby steps.

This is more than a step outside my comfort zone, it is a flying leap. I can carry a tune in a bucket however I have never felt the need to lead from that bucket. Over the years, I have stepped up and lead worship when the need is great and then step back when the need is gone. I think someone usually feels sorry for me and rescues me- someone with a better voice.

But something has changed in me this year.

Over the past few years, I mentally took this (singing) off the list of things God could use. Writing- check, speaking- check. Drama- uncheck. Singing- uncheck. In January, I prayed a prayer that sounded something like this, “I won’t hold anything back. I will obey and use every gift I have and even the ones I think aren’t good enough. You call, I will come. You say the word, I will obey. Use me however you wish, I won’t argue with You.”

As a result, I am writing on this blog five days a week, I wrote and performed three monologues in Reno at the women’s event I spoke at in March and now, I am going to lead worship at the Hub (our youth ministry). I am being stretched. I am not saying to brag, no, i am saying it to show you God has meet my prayer with an “About time. I have some wonderful things for you to discover“. And I am, I am discovering the joy in allowing God to use me however He desires to. To usher in His truth, His presence, His freedom into people’s lives through more areas than just the ones I think He should. To step out in faith. To release the limits.

I have surrendered all these areas before, mind you. Then I have slipped right back into my comfort zones. Why? Because stepping out of a comfort zone:
• is hard and takes work
• is exhausting (because it is hard and takes work)
• is scary (because it is unknown- I don’t know the outcome)

God calls us out of comfort zones:
• to grow you (you did ask to grow, yes?)
• because miracles happen outside comfort zones (if they happened inside your comfort zone, wouldn’t you already be living them?
• to call us out of ordinary living and into extraordinary abundant life with Him.

I have no idea how my newest leap out of my comfort zone will lead but truthfully, I don’t have to. I’m not doing it because I need to be upfront, or need everyone to hear my voice. I am doing it because God is asking me to. That, and I love to worship- who cares if I happen to have a mic at my face when I do it? Okay, my fear of failure cares a little bit, but I have already told him to shut it.

I know this much. When Jesus calls me out of the boat, so to speak, it is to walk with Him.
There is no place i would rather be.

Come,” Jesus said. So Peter got out of the boat. He walked on the water toward Jesus.” (Matthew 14:29 NIRV)

Photo: Boat in Clear Water Painting by David Van Hulst

How is God challenging your comfort zones?

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