GOD IS UP TO SOMETHING GOOD…

momma 2 and fawn sailing together

GOD IS UP TO SOMETHING GOOD…

Proverbs 16:33 (NLT2) 33  We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall.

Max Lucado:

We have a good God and God is up to something good and in all things, even the evil plots of others, God is at work. So do not lose hope, do not give up. Do not assume the story you are a part of is the only story. Listen…listen to me, there is another storyline and that storyline is being written by the Almighty God.  God declares that, in that story line, He works the full story for the good of those who love Him.

“Paul didn’t say, ‘In each thing’ there is good.”

Think of the thing that has (or is) hurting you the most. Is it good? Not unless it is surgery of the body or heart. I think of the things that hurt me the most and many times I can make no sense of them, until I remember our God.

Pastor Lucado says, “The Apostle Paul says that when all these things come together, God uses them to create the higher good.”

The example he used was coffee. The one I usually think of is cake. Would you take a big old bite of coffee grounds and call it good? Would you take a sip of vanilla or a big bite of bitter cocoa, flower, baking soda, and call it good?

“He can take all of these events, joyful and hurtful, and mix them together into a story of deliverance! Just like He did in the lives of Esther, Joseph, David and most of all in the story of Jesus Christ!”

But, friends, we cannot expect to see it, believe it and wait for it unless we are leaning hard into Him! That means obedience, forgiveness, choosing to wait in faith, and understanding that we will not truly know the full story until heaven. Still, that said…we will see some of His purposes if we only have eyes to see.

Without intentionally developing a deeper relationship with our God, through Jesus Christ, which takes prayer, God’s word and a willing heart of obedience…how can we say…

This is…or will be…good.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BElOl0m2tHY

Posted in GOD IS UP TO SOMETHING GOOD, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

AMAZING GOD…REMEMBER IT…

flower

AMAZING GOD…REMEMBER IT…

Below is the link where you can listen to the song but…it is worth it to go over the words and meditate on them. Our choir sang this on Sunday…how thankful I am for the ministry of music, whether at home, in my heart or at church.

God gave us every blessing (and…the enemy does all he can to distort each one). Whether it is music, your marriage, your child, your view of God, or the way you look at your daily circumstances or your life as a whole…recognize Who He is!

Meditate on and absorb who God really is! Do this often throughout the day! Music is one of the ways we can do this. Through truly recognizing Who He is, we can “recalculate” the way we think and the way we choose to live out our lives.

We change…when we stand in awe!

This song describes the One who loves us.

This…is the One we can trust!…

 Indescribable:

From the highest of heights to the depths of the sea Creation revealing Your majesty From the colors of fall to the fragrance of spring Every creature unique in the song that it sings All exclaiming

 Indescribable, uncontainable, You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name. You are amazing God

All powerful, untameable, Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim You are amazing God

 Who has told every lightning bolt where it should go Or seen heavenly storehouses laden with snow Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light Yet conceals it to bring us the coolness of night None can fathom

 Indescribable, uncontainable, You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name You are amazing God

 All powerful, untameable, Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim

You are amazing God

 Indescribable, uncontainable, You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name

You are amazing God

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zfHQdQTVo0

Songwriters: Laura Story

Indescribable lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group

 

Posted in Amazing God, Change, Committed to Praise, Praise, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Turning Sadness to Joy…

fawn running

Turning Sadness to Joy…

Do you sometimes awaken sad? You may know the reason or…you may not. Some days it can feel like you are trying to climb/claw your way out of a dirt hole that is several times taller than you are and much wider. Big enough to need someone to throw you a rope.

The rope is most often my quiet time. Today…I wasn’t sure why I was feeling sad and I wasn’t sure I could figure it out or…even wanted to. So…I did what I do every morning…started my quiet time. This time, there was no anticipation. It was simply a discipline. I reluctantly grabbed my “Sunday School” (Bible Study) quarterly. My childhood memories are that the material was dry and the questions redundant. As an adult, God often teaches me through that “old dry material”.

As I read the first verses in the Psalms, I felt even more perplexed as to why I was feeling down. I feel like I am walking in His ways…where am I missing the boat?

I was confused. But God reminded me of the verse that says, “God is not the author of confusion…” (I Cor 14:33).

As I continued to read and pray, God began to clarify for me where the sadness was coming from. Some things I can do something about. Some things I need to pray and leave to Him. He will be guiding me through the maze and so…why should I be sad?

If He is not the author of confusion, and He works all things together for our good and His glory (as we walk closely with Him) why be so troubled? His ways really are higher than our ways. He knows the road we need to take…the joys and sorrows we will encounter; can I not trust His heart and His plan?

How many times the enemy whispers lies in our ears and then…we shout them at ourselves! Why do we forget and fall into fear or dread?!

The answer to the fear and dread is to listen to the truth of God in His word. Rehearse His ways. Obey Him. Shout The Truth…not the lies! Sing His praises and recall the love and strength of His Holy Name! Rehearse the Truth of Who He is and who we are in relation to Him.

Rehearse the Truth and praise Him, thank Him for all of the ways He has shown you His love.

Do yourself a favor and keep a “blessing journal” nearby. Jot down the prayers He has answered…His present and past faithfulness. When you feel sad, fearful or discouraged…pick up your journal and read what you have written. It will remind you that you are loved and taken care of. Then…even though you still might not feel all that thankful…don’t listen to the lie. Shout the truth that you are blessed! Pick up that pencil and add several more lines to the journal!

Your thank you can be as simple as the soft light streaming through your window. It might be the quiet in the room, or the noise of “life” in your house.

No matter what our hardest situation is…there are blessings to be counted and joy to be found in the midst of the struggles.

Thank Him…your eyes will open and your joy will return!

Hebrews 12:1-3 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Psalm 119:105 – Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.

Joshua 1:9 – Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your god will be with you wherever you go.

Psalm 32:8 – The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”

 

Posted in Joy, Sadness, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

When We Pray…His Ways Are Higher Than Our Ways! Period…

sail boat2

When we pray…His ways are higher than our ways! Period…

My prayer list for friends and family is so very long. I imagine yours is too.

I am in a season in my life where it is extremely important to me to pray. There are so many hurting and broken hearted. So many things that are  inexplicable to our minds and excruciatingly painful to our hearts.

Let’s face it, we live in a very broken world. It can be overwhelming.  We are trying to keep our families (and others) safe emotionally and physically. How do we do that? The list is long of things that can cut the legs right out from under those we love and therefore us! Marriages and families we thought were so very solid are often in trouble.

And yet…God has given us spiritual weapons. One of the most powerful, is prayer. Prayer for peace, for healing, for wisdom and direction. Prayer for hope…joy. Prayer for purpose…for rest. Prayer for our friends and family, our nation, our world.

Prayers of thanks. Yes, there is so much pain and yet…we have so much to be thankful for. We must be very intentional about “coming into His presence with thanksgiving”. (Psalm 95:2) This is for our good and His glory, for sure. Whether I feel thankful or not, I find that starting prayer with intentionally thankful words recalculates my desperation and lack of faith. My prayers are very different than they would have been had I jumped right in with my desperation.

With a prayer list so long and names to be named along with each situation, I have discovered something that I love. It helps me  remember not to tell God what to do! It keeps my prayers faith-filled and allows me to pray for everyone on my list.

My core prayer for each and every person and situation is for redemption and healing. Yes, I am often specific, but I don’t feel compelled to go on and on or get the wording just right, as though prayer is some kind of voodoo.

We tend to think of “redemption” as something for unbelievers and healing for the physically sick. But do you see it? We are all in need of some kind of redemption and emotional or spiritual healing, whether we are believers or not. We are all cracked pots…broken vessels. We have broken places and blind spots hidden even from ourselves. Don’t you truly want open eyes? I do. I don’t want to keep doing things the wrong way because I am too blind to see, feel or understand the right way. Talk about an investment in futility!

Isn’t that something you want for those you care about? We think we know what others need…but do we really? Do we see all of what God sees? Do we know the method needed to get them out of the ditch they stay in continuously? We. Do. Not. We do not fully know the mind of God…or even of those closest to us and…

His ways are higher than our ways! Period…

Isaiah 55:8-9 (ESV) 8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. 9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

 

 

 

Posted in His ways are higher than our ways, Prayer, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Light the Way…NOW and For The Generations Who Come Behind You…!

fire in glass

Light the Way…NOW and For The Generations Who Come Behind You…!

Matthew 5:14-16 (NRSV) 14  “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15  No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

Gosh…it feels like as believers…as parents…we have too often placed our lamp under a bushel basket…hidden it in small ways that eventually become life altering for us and those around us.

We have sometimes hidden out of self-consciousness. Some of it  is because society has thrust on us this feeling that we can’t offend anyone by sharing what we feel or believe. At the same time, others have pushed their version of “light” into our school systems and families in ways we may not even recognize.

Of course, we have become desensitized. The sins of the “average person” are publicized everywhere we look. What we see now on media would have been horrifying only a few years back. You would have to be blind not to have seen it coming. Did we choose our blindness? Was it forced on us? Were we “blindsided”?

We have no excuse. God has continuously put the warning signs in front of us. We let others shut our mouths. Whether by fear, busyness, apathy, lack of faith or rebellious unbelief…in life-altering ways we have let our homes, our nation go dark. Pessimistic? I think…realistic. Yes…there is much good going on. I see it around me…happening in my sphere and beyond. At the same time the darkness threatens. It wins way too often.

Christians who hold to a higher standard are seen by other believers…by other believers! as narrow minded, old fashioned…out of touch.  Our families are paying a high price for hiding our light. We can come out of hiding anytime. We can choose to stand and light up our sphere or we can choose to hide and let the light grow dimmer.

Our choice.

How do we change things?

Same old, same old:

  • Seek God’s face each morning through His word and/or a spiritually strong book that is built on His word
  • Pray fervently…never give up
  • Obey what you sense God is saying/showing you about your own life that needs to change…take action

Fear you will lose friends or look weird? Maybe. Where is that fear and self-protection coming from? The prince of darkness.

2 Timothy 1:6-7 (ESV) 6  For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, 7  for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Fan the flame of clear thinking, power, love and self-control that keeps you from hiding, ignoring and seldom speaking up for God’s higher standard!

We must make the choices to be the light we are intended to be…make a lasting difference for those in our sphere and…light the way for who come behind us!

 

 

Posted in Changing Generations, Choices, Light of the World, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Bad Brokenness Can…Become Good Brokenness…and Joy!

child riding stick

Bad Brokenness Can Become Good Brokenness…and Joy! 

These last years, our family shed a lot of tears. Maybe yours has too…

During times like this, we all go through a lot of confusion regarding the “why’s”. Why? Why…again? What is happening? Who can help us? What can we do to reverse this?

Then…the stages. The accompanying indignation, the anger…facing the losses.

All the while, seeking Jesus…sometimes not sensing Him. Sometimes…no strength to seek Him. Yet…He is ever there.

Then…loss of hope. How can we do this? I can’t do this. I can’t keep doing this!

We cannot bear this kind…of loss. Not. Again.

Though the situation isn’t better…in fact, seemingly “worse”…we are now further down the road and… on the edge Easter. (As you can see, I am posting this well beyond Easter and that sentence is still true.)

And…

Because of Jesus Christ…we have hope. Actually…we have immense hope. We are moving forward in that hope. Our greatest desire is to learn, to grow to touch other broken lives. To laugh.

I am looking at my little Snoopy “Happy Journal” with the verses on each page and tiny, happy, Peanuts characters. It makes me smile and think…Another year to practice thankfulness and…

Hope…!

And…this brings me to tears: Another year of seeing each of us grow in spiritual strength when we should have been…could have been crushed. A year of watching those I love seek joy…the kind you can only find in God. Not only in His word and prayer but in taking on life the way He intends. He is a giving and joyful God. Think of Adam and Eve. Where did He put them? In a garden! A beautiful place of glorious nature, creatures…a place to love and be loved.

And…in His presence.

These are the things He wants (has always wanted) for all of us…for you and for me. Despite our disobedience and the weeds/broken places we have allowed (or others have caused) in our garden…His desire is for any “bad brokenness” to become good brokenness.

What a joy to see that happening in in the lives of my family. Some have taken on life in ways only God could orchestrate. Only He could put that vision, that hope in the hearts of me and mine. Only He can take the bad brokenness and make it good brokenness.

It’s true for each of us. As we seek Him…and do not give up…

He will be found.

And in His presence…hope and yes…joy will rebound…

Isaiah 61:1-3 (NASB) 1  The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; 2  To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, 3  To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.

 

 

Posted in Brokenness, Joy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

We Believe…We Don’t Believe…We Hope to Believe. Our Hope…is In Him!

surfer under water

  We believe…we don’t believe…we hope to believe. Our hope is in Him!

Gosh…so many broken hearts. Families are in disarray…sometimes with seemingly no explanation. The relational pain within the family is so deep, so deadly that human logic will tell you this can never be made right.

Maybe you are experiencing physical pain. Maybe a disease is ravaging your body and making you feel ever so helpless. Sure, there are days you walk strongly by faith. But some days…some days it is all. just. too. hard.

Of course, what often follows a day (or pocket of days) of feeling nearly hopeless is a feeling of guilt and worthlessness. “I am not much of a Christian. Who am I to speak into the lives of others? I can’t even figure out my own life. I don’t know how to walk consistently in faith and joy. I need to hush…keep to myself. I have nothing to offer.”

I sat with a loved one going through such emotional pain that breath would almost not come. Tears could not be stopped. Oh…that we would not feel compelled to try to stop our tears. Of course, accompanied with the tears is often guilt and shame and loss of hope. “What could I have done differently? Why can’t I feel more ‘stable’?”

Guilt is also a tool of the enemy. He is good at waiting until we can hardly breath and then whispering his lies in our ears. Then the icing, “You are a weak Christian…you are a hypocrite…you have nothing to offer anyone else because you are such a failure.”

As I thought about my life and yours, I thought… “We believe…we don’t believe…we hope to believe. This…is being human.”

Oh yes…the books we read and even the blogs I write can make it seem like we should be completely strong all the time. I need to double check as I write in the future to be certain I am not leaving that impression. I bet I have…maybe more often than I can imagine.

Remember David’s Psalms? We all know he is all over the place emotionally. Strong one minute and weak the next.   Yet…he was called, “A man after God’s own heart”. You know why? He kept coming back to our God for his strength and assurance, comfort and joy. He never walked away from God because he gave in completely to guilt or uselessness.

Remember in Matthew, the father of the child who so wanted his child healed, who said, “I believe…help my unbelief!” His child was healed, though his faith wavered.

Tenderly I remind you, remember Jesus? The One who came to earth to give His life? In so much emotional pain, knowing what He was about to experience, Jesus…even sinless Jesus said, “Oh Lord…if it can somehow be your will, please don’t let this happen to me.” Then He said, “But your will, not mine.”

 You see…Jesus was an example of what it is to struggle with our humanity and our faith.

Like you and I, the child’s father was human. David was human. Jesus was (yes fully God) but also fully human.

As we continually return to Him and renew our faith and strength by His Spirit, we too, are men and women after His own heart.

 We believe…we don’t believe…we hope to believe.

 Our hope is in Him!

Psalm 147:3 (ESV) 3  He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147:6 (ESV) 6  The LORD lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground.

James 1:2-4 (ESV) 2  Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3  for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Revelation 3:21 (NIV) 21  To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Faith, guilt, Hope, Unbelief, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment