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seems right

under the surface webI woke to this verse several weeks ago.

There is a way that seems right to a man,
but its end is the way to death.
Proverbs 16:25 ESV

Am I heading in a wrong direction? Is this a warning to me? Is this to guide me in pray for someone else? I wasn’t sure so I continued to ask… As I wrote yesterday, this verse came again and reminds me also of Romans.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2 NIV

Sometimes when we are doing what seems right to us, it’s acceptable to the world and to what we know of God’s ways, yet the results can be detrimental.

Maybe its words spoken that hurt relationships.
(No, we can’t control when saying “Hello” will bring someone pain.)
Times we settle for easy fixes that cause even bigger problems.
(That would be me in some of my home repair projects.)

Jonah decided he was not going to do as God asked. Was his reaction fear? Plain ole disobedience? Or just a matter of being in control instead of surrendered to God? His choice didn’t go well and came with a great cost to others. Jonah didn’t die in that fish belly – but a part of him was certainly killed after that experience! God’s grace redirected him so his purpose was completed.

Why do I talk about the dreams God has for our lives so often? Because I know that is part of His message for me to share. He has uniquely designed each of us “in His image and likeness” and He really NEEDS us to walk in that.

It’s not just a matter of us needing God but even more is His need for us to be “fully” who He created us to be. The master blueprint before you were even born showed a God sized destiny – not just an earthly lifespan. Will you dare to dream big again?

 

change, comfort zone, expectations, God is faithful, hope, influence, living in fear, living in the past, ponderings, renewal, self help

life to the full

free to soar
Free to Soar

Much of my life right now is around “retired” people. Their focus is helping the aging, being the aging, time with kids and grand kids, extra travel, hobbies and relaxing.

What does “retirement” mean to you?
Do you think of it as “life to the full”?

We spend LIFE working to save for retirement.
Investing to save for retirement.
Exercising to be fit for retirement.
Dreaming about when we reach retirement.
Hoping we make it to retirement.

Many don’t make it that far, others are forced out of work early, health issues keep some home bound and the dreams and ideas for those “later years” don’t always happen.

The words of John are potent and this is a powerful verse in a great variety of ways.

The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness. John 10:10 TLB

Are we under the rule of the thief OR the King of Kings?
Do we really understand the “fullness” of God’s “purpose” here?

Maybe it’s time to take back what the enemy has been stealing.

Dear God – HELP! Help us to see the fullness You desire for our lives, no matter our age, health or other perceived limitations. Help us to step up and step out to bring Your fullness to others. Give us the wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Your ways so we can truly do what we were created for. Bring boldness, courage and strength to Your body Lord that we would stand in unity and see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living…

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trusting God

h48This photo is from a time in Haiti. The USA piece of metal was from vegetable oil and poked over and over to become a grating surface.
Sound like our political tensions? 

The pot below is made in Haiti…on lids all around the country are the words Jesus. Extra sturdy and smooth compared to the improvised grater.  hmmmm…

Today will be filled with good and bad. It’s guaranteed no matter what day of the week or the year. No matter your feelings – be kind to others. 

I know we’ll have a great mix of emotions with President Trump being sworn into office today. I’m not a fan but I won’t resort to spewing. Who we elect affects our country and our lives but even more important is our SOURCE! That should not be found in the government but in the Creator of all. We are much more than Americans or part of democracy, we ARE children of God!

IN GOD WE TRUST should be our mindset no matter what. 

Where is your trust today?
Is anything to hard for God?

We come today Lord to pray for that peace that surpasses all understanding to guard hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. That grace and love will triumph over evil and we will be UNITED in You. Thank you that You are always concerned with what is on our hearts and long for us to know Your peace. I pray that no matter our feelings, we will not agree with hate. Thank you Lord that you are always at work on our behalf. We give You praise and declare Your goodness – today and every day. We ARE TRUSTING IN YOU! We are ALL made from dust and yet made in Your image. Guide us Lord to pray for our nation and leaders, to seek You first, to trust You fully and rest in Your wisdom. In Jesus name – Amen.

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in the words

reach out webThere is so much depth to God’s Word. Beyond searching out… yet we try, we seek, we explore, we ask. We read again and again, we memorize, we pray…

but…

Who am I to understand God?
How can anyone really comprehend?
Why the parable, the hyperbole, the paradox?

1 Corinthians 2
And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”— the things God has prepared for those who love him— 10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.12 What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 

15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for, 

“Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?”

But we have the mind of Christ.

Thank you Holy Spirit that you are one with us and one with God. That you are the counselor and guide to reveal God’s mysteries and truth as we seek understanding. Let this week bring us new wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You as we seek Your heart and Your ways.

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knowing his voice

img_4290

The sun was shining.
The snow was melting.
The beach was calling.
…I listened…

The beauty of the day is not always in your surroundings but in the peace found in your innermost being. It comes in many different ways to each of us. Taking notice of God’s work in our lives and all around us should be a place of great comfort. Hearing and knowing His voice should be our biggest goal for the day.

 

How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand – when I awake, I am still with you. Psalm 139:17-18

Even to those who don’t know God – He is still speaking…

Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 1 Samuel 3:7-11

Lord, help us to hear Your voice with clarity and seek Your voice each day. That we would recognize the variety of ways You talk to Your children and respond, “your servant is listening.”

anticipation, blessings, change, day to day, encouragement, God is faithful, Holy Spirit, hope, Jesus, joy, living in fear, negative words, ponderings, relationships, renewal, trust, wisdom

above the waves

img_4191
on the easel

I heard someone over Christmas say, “Oops, I forgot, I’m not going to speak negative, that was negative.”

I think she is is her 80’s and still decided there was a change she felt would be worth it for her life! Keeping up with news, friends, and family – is not always encouraging. Many of the topics most will discuss are the negative ones. She had also commented about getting the paper again. I suggested if she wanted to stay positive – skip the newspaper! :0)

One thing is for sure – the good news of Jesus and the Kingdom of Heaven is definitely something to uplift us!!

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. 

Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! Psalm 46:1-3, 10

The waves will come – it’s part of any great beach scene… but be sure to look up and see what God wants to show you for this coming year. I’ll be taking some time to paint, pray and ponder…

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8

Have a wonderful celebration of the NEW! Thank you for joining me on this journey. Praying God’s bountiful blessings to you and yours!

anticipation, expectations, God is faithful, hope, Jesus, joy, mystery, ponderings, praise, relationships, worship

noel

Wishing you a Christmas filled with awe, wonder, hope, joy and peace. May this beautiful song and video fill you with even more love for this one called Jesus as you celebrate this Noel “birth of God”.  God’s blessings to you and yours.

The birth of a child who is also a King, Savior, Redeemer, Shepherd, Lamb, Healer, Light and more. 

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you have promise

coming
Coming Home

I think of Mary and Joseph traveling that long journey for the census during pregnancy. Not knowing when the baby might come, if they will find a place to sleep or what it really means for this child named “Jesus”.

God’s word is so filled with promises,
with mysteries,
with miracles,
and questions…

He knows every hair on our head (and those that have fallen out), those buried dreams we have locked away in our heart and the hurts that have never been voiced. He knows our deepest dirt and still loves us completely.

We can’t dilute that love. It doesn’t change no matter what we do in this life.

His character is constant. Even if He doesn’t like our actions – He loves us. We are ALL made in His image. We are ALL worthy of His grace. He loves us intimately, He loves us immensely and He wants us ALL to know and experience that love.

Lord I pray that this Christmas we will take some extra time stop all the worldly fuss, to sit with You, to ask You to share Your heart, to listen and realize that voice that has always been “whispering” is really Your voice trying to share love and wisdom. I pray we would realize the fullness of Your gifts to us and find new boldness on how we can share them with those we meet along the way. Thank you Jesus – for Your gift of life.

The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your saints shall bless you! They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power, to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations.
Psalm 145:8-13 

 

blessings, day to day, expectations, God is faithful, hope, influence, Jesus, meeting needs, pleasing others, ponderings, praise, real love, relationships, trust

receiving your gifts

New Discovery
New Discovery

Tis the season of giving and honoring others. God is the most generous person and wants to honor His children. Think about these GIFTS (statements of His truth) given to you. If any of them feel a bit uncomfortable, look into the scriptures and ask the Lord to reveal His heart to you about that area.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17

WE HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN
WE ARE REDEEMED
WE ARE GIVEN NEW LIFE
WE ARE BLESSED
WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS
WE HAVE THE MIND OF CHRIST
WE ARE CO-HEIRS WITH CHRIST
WE ARE SEATED WITH CHRIST IN THE HEAVENLY REALMS
WE ARE GIVEN AUTHORITY TO TRAMPLE ON SNAKES AND SCORPIONS
WE  HAVE ALL THINGS THAT PERTAIN TO LIFE AND GODLINESS
WE ARE BLESSED WITH EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING

These aren’t just simple gifts given because we’re Christians; they are part of our calling as believers in Jesus Christ and they came at great cost.

Jesus first had to give up all of His heavenly power and authority to be born of a virgin and then cry, nurse, grow up and mature just like us. He came as Son of God and Son of Man separating the chasm that was created in the garden. Then the bigger cost of the crucifixion. We have these gifts because of His many sacrifices and the following triumph on the cross. They are imparted to us through our belief in Christ. This isn’t just so we can live a happy go lucky life on earth but so we would continue His work. (That can bring even more discussion.)

To bring Kingdom and God’s will on this earth as it is in heaven. (Matt 6) Some of our heavenly inheritance is for now, some we must continue to grow into with the renewing of our mind (Rom 12:2, Eph 4:23), like Jesus, growing in stature and favor with God and man (Luke 2:52), being conformed into His image (Rom 8:29), going from glory to glory.

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. 2 Cor 3:18

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unthinkable

2012 birth childYesterday was a little thought stretching on what we might consider obstacles.

Today, imagine yourself in the journey with Mary and Joseph when they hear what God has in mind for them…

“You will be with child”- but I’m a virgin!
A quiet divorce – “Keep her as yours!”

How would you advise them?

Mary was told she was “highly favored” yet she could be stoned because of this pregnancy. She still said, “Let it be unto me according to Your word.” Joseph was ready for separation but heard the Lord in a dream – STAY.

Mary and Joseph listened, trusted and moved in faith. The simplicity from John 10,

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27

 

I pray you will seek His voice and find a new measure of comfort and knowledge of His great love for you. That He also desires for you to birth something more amazing that you could ever dream (not necessarily a child.) It’s not about the obstacles seen on this earth but about His heavenly plans laid out before you were even born. Trust that He knows you more intimately than you know yourself and that you are filled with all the fullness of God. 

Using both the Luke 1 and Matthew 1 stories of Joseph and Mary. You might even see how you might advise Elizabeth and Zechariah with the obstacles in their part of the story.