Who Is In Control?

thankfully, not me! who are we to know what God has for us? let’s approach each day, not decided on what we have to do, but rather what He wants us to do as we take care of the responsibilities He has placed before us. there isn’t anything that can come our way that can shake us, if we are firmly planted in Him! 

He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭112:7‬

see also:
Trust Me!

“But What?”

we have excuses for everything, don’t we? especially when we are wronged or hurt by others. our initial, human response is to return to them “what they’ve got coming!”

in a word … don’t!

there is no excuse that makes us qualified to judge the situation. we have the perfect example of a Man, in His own right, who could have fought back, but didn’t! 

He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.
1 Peter‬ ‭2:23‬

see also:
No Matter How You Slice It
= growth

40 Days Later

as i sit here and reflect on the last forty days and how the Lord worked in my life as i “gave up” the spirit of poverty for Lent, i am thankful for the knowledge He is always faithful to show Himself when we truly seek! it doesn’t take a genius to know He would show me the areas i was rich in and how counting and recounting those riches/blessings does wonders for how i approach each day. but what i didn’t expect was lessons in obedience, the attitude with which money is spent and the confirmation of how He is always working on us and is faithful to use what He is working on for our betterment!

two very significant events happened within the last 40 days, along side a host of others. i wish i could sit here and tell you of each event but that would take too long. so i’ll just leave you with this statement i sent via text to a friend as He took care of His child; “i obediently listened to His voice and He took care of me with an option that wasn’t even an option! He showed up and showed off!” 

isn’t that just like Him?!

My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. Proverbs‬ ‭2:1-5
Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.” John‬ ‭8:47‬

Be The Light

as Christians we are called to love everyone and show kindness to whomever crosses our path but we need to be careful about those we call friends and those we choose to spend our time with. there’s a very thin line between being the light in someone’s life and them being the one to dim yours… watch out!

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew‬ ‭5:13-16‬

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:33‬

see also:
Bad Medicine

I Chose

every year for Lent loads of Christians, no matter the denomination, choose to give something up for 40 days. we do this in remembrance of what Christ did for us. a sacrifice of some sort, although we could NEVER come close to what He sacrificed for us. this “lack” is supposed to help us press into Him more. It’s supposed to help our prayer life and cause us to rely on Him when we miss what we give up. 
for some years now i’ve tried something different, instead of something physical or technological i’ve been choosing some type of mental awareness or mindset. 

this year: i give up the spirit of poverty! now i know He has ALWAYS taken care of all my needs and that will NEVER change and my faith has never wavered in regards to this. but in my head it’s really tough not to look at the situation I am in and let it not affect me. i will strive for a consistent headspace that reminds me God always has more than enough. He always provides!

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 

see also:
Stop It
If You Can’t Say Anything Nice

“If we were here to be obedient, wouldn’t Jesus have been delighted with the religious leaders of his day?” ~Susan Cottrell

wOw! in my opinion beautifully stated! 

to me, this really drives home ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:1-3‬:
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Susan Cottrell is dedicated to “helping LGBTQI heal from family, religious and community wounds; and helping those in the faith community love and include.”

her entire article follows:

“One of the biggest lies perpetrated throughout Christendom is that God is primarily interested in our obedience. Not true. Patently false.

To say our first responsibility to God is to obey is a big fat lie and distortion of the relationship God wants with us. God’s paramount interest in us is a relationship. Didn’t Jesus say simply, “Follow me!”?

How quickly we complicate things by adding cherry-picked list of right and wrong behavior and focus our attention on that. By the way, focusing on EITHER list is still eating from the same tree – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, instead of focusing on the Tree of Life.

Let’s say that a couple is about to have their first child, and you say to them conversationally, “What is most exciting to you about having a baby?” and they answer, “Making sure this child obeys!” You’d be shocked. Really? That is the main point in having a child?

You would wisely identify that something is seriously wrong, and you would suggest they run, not walk, to a qualified therapist who could help them unravel this unhealthy obsession with power and rule.

The amazing thing about bringing a baby into the world is the new life this person gets to emerge into, and the astounding relationship we get to enjoy with them! That’s the main point. Anyone whose primary interest is that their child obey them is a narcissistic sociopath.

Do we want them to learn to heed our voice, lest they burn their hand on the stove or dart in the street and get smacked by a car? Of course! Because all of that protects them and facilitates relationship. But that is not the same as enforcing “first-time obedience” in some sort of patriarchal power structure so they know who’s boss.

Humans in their folly can be very drawn to fortifying their power this way. Some of us endured parents (or coaches, teachers, pastors) who imposed their will in the name of “obedience to authority.” And we wonder why many of us have “authority issues”? Yeah, we can stop wondering!

This path leads to death – of the soul of the one made to submit, and to the relationship itself.

God created us for community.

If we were here to be obedient, wouldn’t Jesus have been delighted with the religious leaders of his day?

They were extremely obedient, but without love. Indeed, they were the only group Jesus blasted, for their selfish, prideful and loveless focus on legalistic adherence to rules without relationship, and for marginalizing, oppressing and excluding those who did not adhere to the list.

Remember, it’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance. Kindness is relational.

We are here on planet earth to be in relationship – with God and others. Period.

Blind obedience to parents, to a pastor, to the Bible, is not healthy. It’s idolatry.

Set your heart free… focus on relationship.”

FreedHearts

FB post from 2/22/13

I want to share that yesterday I experienced a glimpse of victory over my fear! although I wouldn’t call it a “success”, was certainly a step in the right direction. actually, not a step, I’m going to call it a leap! too much to get into here. I’ll just say I wasn’t going to let the “all consuming” fear paralyze me. I accepted the challenge, posted sticky notes (pic to follow) to remind me Who was in control and hit it head-on. I read once “what you fear reveals where you trust God the least” (Craig Groeschel)… not today!!

I sought the Lord , and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. (Psalms 34:4 NIV84)

there really is so much more to come on this topic… I’m done with letting this fear stop me!! yesterday was a breakthrough. with the help of a very dear friend (who just happens to be a Life Coach) I was able to get in touch with a childhood memory that has plagued me long enough!! all having to do with my fear of crowds, and even more so, my fear of speaking!

postits

 

Get Out Of MY Way

when the Lord speaks these words it is best to step aside asap. the choice to do so is the difference between receiving good consequences vs bad. the decision is up to us.

i can’t tell you how many times He has had to teach me this lesson. and every time I end up getting in my own way. one day i’ll grow up and not have to be the perpetual student when it comes to this. in the meantime, i press on toward the goal He has for me! i’m just glad He keeps speaking!

may Your words turn from “get out of My way” into “good, now I can work!”

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”‭‭
Deuteronomy‬ ‭31:6‬

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.‭‭
Philippians‬ ‭3:14

Getting Unstuck

now that we are letting Him lead the way, even in the ugliest of times (see Stuck below), how do we actually become unstuck?
He does it!
how do we let Him lead?
[peace]
how will we know what He is telling us to do?
[peace]
what if the answer that is bringing you peace doesn’t seem like it’s the “right” fit?
that’s My God! He doesn’t abide by our rules, we should abide by His! search your motive and if your motive is pure and you are receiving His peace: it doesn’t matter what the world or anyone in your life says. He has provided exactly what you’ve been praying for: the path He wants you to step on!

always follow His Peace!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
Isaiah‬ ‭58:11‬

Stuck

have you ever been stuck in a situation or circumstance or life scenario that you don’t want anymore? you know the ones, all you want to yell is “uncle! i give up!” of course you have, that’s a silly question.
maybe the question should be: how did you cope when you were stuck? or what did you do to get unstuck? as much as we may hate where we are or what we have to do at the moment, the Bible promises He is with us, guiding us. we just need to let Him lead the way and not get stuck in what we think is going on or not. look for Him even in the ugliest of times, He is there and wants to help!

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.‭‭
Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew‬ ‭28:20‬b