Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Is seeing believing?



I've been wondering about the future lately. 
Been thinking about what I have to do to get from here to there. 
I feel like my dreams are so unattainable and far fetched that I will never be able to achieve them. 

I'm sure I'm not the only one who struggles with this. 
I love my life, my husband and kids, my home, etc...
It's not that I'm ungrateful. 

It's just that I know there is MORE for me to do, be, see, etc... 

And I wonder how long it is gonna take.
Do you ever find yourself asking God that question?


"God, I know you have called me to such and such but I'm not seeing any signs of such and such happening right now so how can I move things along a bit? Or can you just drop such and such right into my lap this very second so I don't have to wait anymore?" :)


Can a girl get an Amen? 
I'm just being real. 

This waiting period of my life has felt like it's been going on for the past 3 years. 
The more progress I make in the natural, the less clearly I'm able to see how the heck this miracle of a dream is going to happen. 

Seriously. 

But God is so hilarious sometimes. 
I mean, He really has me laughing over this one. (Sarcasm intended). 
I can hear Him now. 


"Daughter, you are so adorable in your frantic efforts to make this giant dream come to pass on your own. I can see how badly you want it. I want so badly to give it to you. There's just one catch: you have to let ME do all the work." 


This comforts me and challenges me. 
It really is such a huge concept to grasp that I can spin my wheels getting everything perfect for my dreams to come true but really God's just waiting on me. 
TO STOP.
So He can finish what He started. 


His word even says it as clear as day:
"There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears." (Philippians 1:6 MSG)



Why do I doubt? Because I'm blinded by my own "Gotta Do It Myself" mentality.
GDIM for short. :)

Just because it looks like my dreams are on hold doesn't mean they aren't going to come true. We are such an "I have to see it to believe it" kind of culture but God says, 
"Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:29)

Let that sink in for a minute.
BLESSED are those who believe before they see it come to pass. 

How hard this is for me! 
You too, right?
(Cause you're human.) 

God knew this would be difficult for us. 
Our flesh cries out to be appreciated by doing everything in its power to achieve success. 
But that's just it.
We gotta stop listening to our flesh. Our flesh is made up of me, myself, and I.  

The only way to get from here to there is to listen to the One who has the whole journey planned out perfectly... the Holy Spirit. 

When we listen to Him: we can laugh at the seemingly giant obstacles in the way of our dreams. We can dance in the rain of the storms that threaten our very existence. We can sing out at the top of our lungs to the tune of heaven's song. 

Why? Because we know that He will do what He has promised.Did you get that? 
HE WILL DO IT.
I don't even have to sweat the details, girls.
And neither do you.

Your Daddy's got this.



Thursday, February 26, 2015

Darkness is Temporary

"Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, 

but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you." Isaiah 60:2


Today is "Shine a Light on Slavery" day.  
It's a day devoted to telling those around us the shocking news that slavery still exists. 
In fact, there are more slaves on earth today than ever before in history. 
Over 27 million in fact. (Source: A21 Campaign )

That is some dark news, my friends. 
Sometimes, it seems like the darkness is overtaking us, doesn't it? 

But, you know what? 
Darkness is temporary. 
It can't stand the light and runs away from a single flame.  
It cowers at bright beams of hope and shrinks back at rays of grace.


FEAR is it's weapon of mass destruction.  
But don't be misled by this impostor of darkness.
It's all a lie. A ruse to try to distract you from the truth. 

And this is the undeniable truth: 
The Light always wins. (Isaiah 58:8)
The Light lasts forever and ever. (Isaiah 60:20) 
Eventually the things done in the dark are exposed by the Light. (Eph. 5:11-14)
And the Light's weapon is far stronger than that of the dark:   LOVE.

This is NOT the time to shrink back or give up or stay quiet. 
Fear can't exist in the presence of love. 

So, we have to keep fighting. 
We have to keep loving.
We have to keep shining. 

More needs to be said. 
More needs to be done.
So. Much. More.

And the love-light of Christ is a beacon to the hopeless, desperate, and forsaken. 
He's inside of us! 

Jesus is the Light of the world. 
He is the bright morning Star.
He is the Dawn at break of day.  

How can we keep quiet?!!

Jesus is the only way to fight the Darkness. 


Do you live with a knowledge that you carry His Light inside of you? 
This truth brings us courage to keep pushing back the dark. 

It's not just a cliche to say that we are here on earth to be the Light.
No, it's a calling to see things differently, a mandate to bravely act. 
It's a revolutionary way of living, a mission to live for the cause of Christ. 
Are you shining?




We have no reason to shy away from burning bright 
because His Love is our guiding Light. 



Tuesday, January 20, 2015

How to Really be Free

Are you really free?
Can you throw your hands up in the air and dance like you just don't care? :-)

That might seem like a funny saying but the fact remains that if you're really free....
then you just don't care what people think.
I'm not talking about putting on the facade of freedom.
You know, like going to a concert and crazily screaming over the band along with thousands of other fans.
Or, like yelling for your favorite team during the playoffs along with the rest of the football lovers in the stands.
It looks like freedom...but, it isn't.
Freedom doesn't necessarily mean reckless or loud.


Just ask yourself this question-
"Would I scream over the band and yell at the game if no one else was doing it with me?
Am I willing to be the only one making a fool of myself?"

Free people stand out from the rest.
They don't fit into the modern day mold.

Freedom is messy and uneven and imperfect and, at times, lonely.
Freedom gets misunderstood and misinterpreted and mistaken.
True freedom ticks people off and ruffles feathers.

Free people passionately pursue their God-given purpose without bowing to their critics.


But, I'm not gonna let what other people think hold me back.
Are you?

Galatians 5:1-
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again
by a yoke of slavery."

To not be free means that I'm a slave to something.
Here are some types of slavery that many women struggle with:

Perfectionism
Vanity
Comparison
Insecurity

These struggles are really chains that entangle us and keep us bound.
They hold us down and keep us stuck in a cold, dark cell of self pity.

Ladies, that is not God's best for you.
Freedom is always God's best.

Wanna know how to really be free?

Simple.
Be who God has called YOU to be.

Freedom looks different to everyone.
It comes in all shapes and sizes.
And it's available to all.

But one thing remains the same.
True freedom is not the same as self expression.
It may look unusual or different.
That's ok.
But let's be clear:
Real freedom is an inner work that results in an outward change.
It is not self-earned or self-made.
Free people know that only Jesus can set them free.

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John 8:36
"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."

In the words of one of my fave singers, Bruno Mars,
"Girl, you're amazing just the way you are."

Embrace the masterpiece of you.
And then stand firm in your new-found freedom.
Trust me, it's a gift to truly be free!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Magnetic Beauty

As we get older, we should be maturing a little bit more every year.

We should be able to look back at this time last year and say,
"I have learned so much since then."
And, we should be able to look ahead to this time next year and say,
"I will not be struggling with that anymore by then."



You can call it what you want:
GOALS
PRIORITIES
STEPS

All those things are correct.
But, I personally like to call it GROWTH.

Because staying the same is just not God's best for me....or you.
Staying the same means comfort and predictability and stagnant living.
Not growing means limiting ourselves to what we 've always done.
Like, staying a sprout when God calls us to shoot up towards the sky and bloom.

I want to bloom!
I want to flourish!
Don't you?



GROWTH is a sign of health and life.
It means we are letting God direct our steps.
Because HE wants us to GROW and CHANGE.

HE wants us to be so beautiful with our colorful petals that other sprouts and seedlings will look at us and want to GROW too.
Cause when we let God lead us in our GROWTH, we are magnetic in our beauty.

It's not a "look at me and how far I've come" kind of beauty.
It's not even an "I've worked so hard to get here" kind of beauty.

It's a "by His grace, for His glory" kind of beauty.




GOD breathed His life into me, watered me with His love, and warmed me with His touch.
I can't take any credit for where I am or who I have become.
It's all because of Jesus.

So this year, 2015, be intentional in your goals, priorities, and steps.
But don't forget the only ONE who can get you to your intended destination.

Ask Him to lead you in your GROWTH this year.
Surrender your plans to the ultimate Plan-maker and watch as God blooms in you.

It's not just about what we are becoming...it's also about what those around us are becoming.
When you bloom, they will too.



Let's be magnetic in our beauty this year....
And GROW in the grace and glory of our loving Saviour, Jesus.

"We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand - out in the wide open spaces of God's grace and glory,
standing tall and shouting our praise."
Romans 5:2 (msg)
 
 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Light

Are you trying to find the Light?
It can easily be seen by some but others have to look for it.


Maybe you're in the dark and you can't find the light switch on the wall. 
You're just stumbling around the room hoping to feel your way in the right direction.
You are trying to escape your circumstances but nothing seems to be working.
You know what?

God is with you in the dark.


Maybe you're in the dark because you are blinded by your problems.
You can't see the light because your situation is blocking it from shining through.
Every time you take two steps forward something happens to push you three steps back.
Did you know?

God is with you in the dark.


Maybe you're in the dark because you chose to be.
The blackness of the night lured you in and you got so used to night vision that you forgot what it was like to see during the day.
You want to leave the toxic familiarity of your circumstances but are afraid that the light will draw attention to your flaws.
Can you believe?

God is with you in the dark.



So many of you are suffering in silence because of the darkness in your lives.
Addiction, illness, depression, abuse, etc....these things represent the DARK.

They will consume you if you let them.
Please don't let them.
The key to overcoming doesn't come in a pill bottle.
Victory isn't a drink away.


The way out of the dark is simple.
His name is Jesus.
And He doesn't belittle you, embarrass you, or shame you into following His light.

He just loves you.
Right where you are.

Cause you see,
"At night I’m immersed in the light!

It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to You."


Monday, October 20, 2014

Brave the Deep

A part of me has always wanted to go scuba diving in the ocean.


To see the beautiful array of coral and fish
To play with the friendly dolphins
To experience the underwater world


trips.jpg


But my desire to venture into the depths has been largely overshadowed by my fear of what lies beneath.


I could run out of air and drown.
SHARKS!!!  (Isn’t that reason enough?)
The water pressure could crush me.
danger-of-scuba-diving-image-sharks.jpg


Yeah, yeah, I know. Those excuses have about a 3% chance of happening. 
But, c’mon, that’s still a very real possibility.


And I don’t typically do things that I’m not sure 100% sure are going to work out.


Do you?
Personally, I like to play it safe.


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But, I have been feeling a slight nudge in my Spirit lately to go deeper.
You know what I mean.
Like God is saying, “ You are living too safe. I have so much more for you. Jump in . Dive down. I want you to throw off your fears and live reckless with your faith. BRAVE THE DEEP."

I’ve never been what one might call the “brave” type.
I like my life in definite terms. My future to be clearly outlined.

Give me a set of rules, a list of objectives, something concrete...and I’ll  gladly come along.
But to move with the wind of the Spirit, not sure where He might lead me...that’s just plain scary.


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Do you know what SCUBA stands for?
Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus


An oxygen tank allows the person to breathe, explore, and swim around freely in the aquatic atmosphere.
I find this such a great analogy for the Christian life.


With Jesus we can move around with freedom in unfamiliar territory.
We have our own breathing machine….the breath of Jesus...to keep us from drowning.
We have access to the source of life...the only way to live without fear...at all times.


He is our Scuba tank!
When I recognize that my ability to brave the deep is not dependent on how much I can do on my own but on the very presence of Jesus Christ living within me, then I feel empowered to conquer this fear.


I can go beyond my very real and very daunting limits by allowing the Holy Spirit to navigate the waters for me.
He wants to take us to a deeper level of trust and intimacy with Him.
But we have to let go of our fear...and allow Him to be our oxygen tank.

















Unlike the physical tank that Scuba divers use, the breath of Christ is always available...it never runs out.
He can keep us from crumbling under the pressure of a rapidly changing environment.
He can keep us from being eaten alive by the sharks of social media, negativity, or unforeseen circumstances.
He can keep us from drowning due to personal lack or insecurity or past mistakes.


Because He is the breath of life, the conqueror of fear, the never-changing One.


What are you waiting for?
This is your chance to go somewhere you've never been before.

Let God lead you into uncharted waters.
Let's brave the deep together.