who does the work

Still in Galatians but a Haggai reading certainly stirs up a bit of wonder with words from God of shaking up everything and turning things upside down from governments, foreign powers and more… In these prophetic words from Haggai also shared how God’s temple was being neglected and people were only working on their own ambitions and not those of God so they were not thriving because their focus was a bit off. Does that sound like some of our worlds problems today?

It actually relates well to Galatians 3 MSG
You crazy Galatians! Did someone put a hex on you? Have you taken leave of your senses? Something crazy has happened, for it’s obvious that you no longer have the crucified Jesus in clear focus in your lives. His sacrifice on the cross was certainly set before you clearly enough.
Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God’s Message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren’t smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it? Did you go through this whole painful learning process for nothing? It is not yet a total loss, but it certainly will be if you keep this up! vs 1-4

Haggai and Paul are both sharing how God’s people (us) were focusing on self fulfillment vs God fulfillment. Self confidence vs God confidence. Working vs responding. I know we have work to do and He does want to give us the desires of our hearts but it needs to be WITH HIM – not just for ourselves.

Maybe print this verse out and meditate on it for a week or more…
Answer this question: Does the God who lavishly provides you with his own presence, his Holy Spirit, working things in your lives you could never do for yourselves, does he do these things because of your strenuous moral striving or because you trust him to do them in you? Don’t these things happen among you just as they happened with Abraham? He believed God, and that act of belief was turned into a life that was right with God. Galatians 3:5-6

I pray you see the beauty of His promises and hear the ways He challenges us to be His beloved children, receive His goodness and see ourselves from His perspective.

Walking with Him you are – Loved. Redeemed. Whole. Capable. Free.

anticipation, expectations, follow God, God is faithful, Jesus, mystery, prayer

kingdom come

kingdom mindset
kingdom mindset
I’m currently in a kingdom ministry class and loving it!

Do you ever read through the Word with a special focus, like Holy Spirit, Kingdom, Strength? I do, because sometimes in my listening to His Voice…a word comes repeatedly.

Maybe you will want to read the Gospels with a “Kingdom” mindset…

Many verses say the kingdom has come near and others talk of the coming kingdom of heaven. (Scholars go deeper but I’m trying for 150 words!)

Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. Matthew 4:23

This, then, is how you should pray:
‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’ Matthew 6:9-10

Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

adventure, confusion, expectations, faith, God first, Holy Spirit, influence, meeting needs, mystery, ponderings, prayer, rest, trust, wisdom

new perspective

Over Focused (we become what we think)
Over Focused
(we become what we think)
Do you jump to conclusions you don’t know are truth?

We have thoughts faster than our mind can process. They’re not always about others, often they’re about ourselves.

…someone didn’t return our call – they must be mad…
…no thank you for the meal – it must have been bad…

Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”

Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do.
John 9:1-4 Message

This blind man was healed with spit and mud. Some thought that impossible and others were upset it happened on a Sabbath. Were they looking at the right thing?

God did not create in black and white. He has great imagination. He likes the word mystery and speaks in parables…not to confuse but because He wants to be the one to help us to understand.

Note to self: stop trying to figure it all out on my own…listen to Him.

attitude, blessings, day to day, God first, influence, living in the past, love, negative words, relationships, renewal, self help

mind over matter

Do you find some days you wake up with an attitude?

Maybe it’s every Monday, the weather, or dentist. Most of us have things that trigger negative thoughts. It’s a free country so let’s voice them, right?

Recently I was feeling one of those patterns again. And I don’t like having them. I told the person I was with that I needed a time out. I think they thought it was them but it was me. I found 10 minutes with God and felt released. When I returned, I apologized and shared what was going on in my own mind. We had great conversation and it was gone. The atmosphere changed for the better.

How are you affecting the atmosphere around you?
Is it just our bad day when we carry it around others?

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:1-2

I’ve heard of others doing negativity fast’s. It’s making me more aware of what really matters to my mind and what I want to focus on. How about you?

attitude, blessings, encouragement, faith, God is faithful, hope, living in fear, living in the past, praise, seeing beyond, self help, trust, wisdom

from the bottom

Even at the bottom there is beauty.

A group is reading The Wild Goose Chase together. Tonight we talked about how our assumptions can limit God and ourselves.

One of mine was “If you’re following God, you should be successful.” That seems logical right?

I think we all have assumptions about God, self and others that hold us back from God’s best.

Years ago a friend said many fear success as much as they fear failure. I’m working to remember His perfect love casts out fear.

Think of it this way. Logic questions God. Faith questions assumptions. And at the end of the day, faith is trusting God more than you trust your own assumptions.
Mark Batterson

Above the floodwaters is God’s throne
from which his power flows,
from which he rules the world.
God makes his people strong.
God gives his people peace.
Psalm 29:10-11

follow God, God first, God is faithful, hope, relax, seeing beyond, trust, worship

your focus

“Over Focused”

If you focus intently on something then close your eyes…the image is still there, usually in silhouette.

Years ago when I used to play Dr. Mario…I would go to bed with the little pills dropping, dropping…
At church the next day…still more pills dropping, dropping…
Thankfully I have quit!!

What are you focusing on?

Side tracked again…
A call comes…
Head is pounding…

Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus, Helen H. Lemmel, 1922

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conqu’rors we are!

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

adventure, anticipation, confusion, day to day, expectations, follow God, God is faithful, hope, living in fear, peace, praise, prayer, relationships, renewal, trust, wisdom

hit the mark

While praying with others yesterday we were in Psalm 25:1-7 and it perfectly fit the topics we were praying through. When I got home I wanted to dig further and found this gem in the Message version.

My question: What are God-worshipers like?
Your answer: Arrows aimed at God’s bull’s-eye.

Am I aimed at God’s bull’s-eye?
Are you?

Is the focus on circumstances, troubles, or trinkets?
Maybe people, teachers, or processes?
The forest or the trees?

Who is the man who fears the LORD?
He will instruct him in the way he should choose. vs 12 NASB

God alone knows what our direction and focus should be.
Are we listening?
Do we hear His voice?
What is it like to hear Him?
How are we supposed to fear Him?

May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my hope, Lord, is in you. Psalm 25:21

anticipation, mystery, ponderings, seeing beyond

beauty seldom seen

Our focus is usually straight ahead and quick. The book Blink shares amazing studies of this process.

How often do you look under a flower or up through a tree? Our speedy mode makes us miss so much. New beauty awaits…

I remember driving home from art class and realizing EVERYTHING had such depth, color and richness. Why didn’t I notice before?

This isn’t just about nature…look for that hidden beauty in people too.

Take some time…study things around you. I often ask, “What do you need me to see Lord?”

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. Phil 1:9-11

joy, ponderings

the beauty of rain

I didn’t get to continue in the garden. The rain kept pouring down. I’ve been some places where that isn’t a good thing.

But the rain on a tin roof….sweet music.

Many days I long to live like the Amish, rural Haitians or Guatemalans. One with nature – unplugged and simple. But once you know power tools that is a bit difficult.

Some things are the same whether in Haiti or Michigan….a mouse wanted dryness and dared to enter…one of my cats found it. I heard her excited meows and went to look…in my tennis shoe was her lifeless capture. Even after I emptied the shoe outside she continued looking for her treasure.

Rain brings many inside but it doesn’t have to dampen the spirit of joy.

Let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
Psalm 5:11

anticipation, God is faithful, hope, Jesus, ponderings

hows the view


…a new baby…
…tie breaking score…
…sunshine peaking through…

Are these daily feelings?

Do you notice life’s miracles?

Or – are circumstances overwhelming and clouding the view? Don’t let them!! I personally know it’s not easy but so important.

Take this one verse – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (Jesus) have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10

Do you see the differences in the two sides? You have to decide where YOUR focus will be. It doesn’t come from someone elses decisions or actions…it’s YOUR choice.

Accountability/counsel with another can help but if just a complaint session… or sharing negatives over and over… its feeding the thief.

I have told you these things, so that in me (Jesus) you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

*Each painting in my Sunflower Series has a verse from the Psalms on the painted sides. No frame needed.

“You gave abundant showers, O God;
you refreshed your weary inheritance.”
Psalm 68:9