Wow, this summer is flying by in my opinion! It is already mid-July and school will resume before we know it. Here are a few mini-blogs for you to enjoy amid swim lessons, VBS, and summer road trips. I hope they bless you as you continue to follow hard after Christ.
I wanted to share this event with my north Florida friends. There will be a national tour coming through Tallahassee on November 12 at Wildwood Church’s Northside Community Center. My dear friends, Lisa Appelo and Christy Mobley are joining me for this event and you do not want to miss what they have to share about finding joy amidst grief and overwhelming circumstances.
I will be a keynote speaker for this event and my topic will be “Finding Joy NOW!”. It would my delight to meet you in person so I hope to see many of you there! Here is the link for tickets. She Found Joy 2019 Tour Tickets
It has taken me too long to learn this lesson. Now at 52, I recognize the unfailing and immovable love of God that kept me from what wasn’t His best for me.
I wasted so much time on relationships, opportunities, and desires that would not serve me well. I was frustrated over why things were not working out as I had hoped. Now I realize that they were not His will for me. He had something better in mind that would fall into place perfectly.
When life or relationships are not going as you expect, consider that they may not be what He wants for you.
Do yourself a favor and let it go. Stop fighting against perfect Love. Start trusting it!!
I cannot echo this truth loud enough! What I fought the hardest to prevent or quickly resolve has been used to benefit me (and those I hold dear) more than I could have ever imagined. Pain does not always need to be viewed as our enemy because God can always use it for our good.
The greatest fruit came from undesirable circumstances. The good God brings forth ends up blessing more than the pain cursed. All I can say is do not give up! Keep following hard after God and wait for His blessing. It WILL come!!
You have too much to gain to give up now!???
Here it comes! Are you ready?
I saw this guy walking with his back to an approaching storm. I could see how threatening it looked. I wanted to call out to him so that he wouldn’t be caught in the downpour but in the next moment, I realized there was no need for that.
He was already prepared.
As the first few drops ☔️ were felt, he whipped out his umbrella. He didn’t need to keep looking over his shoulder because he had already equipped himself to handle what may come his way.
I thought of how this reminded me of our relationship with the Lord. Storms will definitely come our way yet we don’t have to constantly live in fear as we look over our shoulder at what may be “approaching “.
We are prepared for the unexpected as we spend time with God. By immersing ourselves in His Bible and spending unhurried, consistent prayer time with Him, we are ready for the storms that inevitably come.
Being strong in the Lord means we are prepared and strengthened for what comes our way. Devotional time has so many benefits and peace is one of my favorites.
Yesterday at the beach, the weather was perfect, except when a cloud blocked the sun. Then, it was almost too cool. As I looked up, I thought of how the clouds blocking the warmth of the sun interrupted my pleasure of my time at the coast. The clouds crowding in front of the sun reminded me of the same result when “life” crowds out the Lord in my life.
When I allow the “worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desires for other things to come in and choke the Word, making it unfruitful ” (Mark 4:19), I risk more than I could ever fathom. It is a lie if I say I don’t have time for Him. I have time for what I want to have time for in my life.
If we allow sports, hobbies, work and family crowd out a few minutes a day to spend with Jesus or to attend church, we are revealing He is not WORTH our time. How can we “know” Him if we never spend time with Him?
There is a consequence when we live our lives like that. Matthew 8:15-23 reveals Jesus explaining such when He says every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and destroyed. He goes on to explain that not everyone who calls Him “Lord” will enter the Kingdom, meaning enter heaven. He says He will tell them plainly, “I never knew you”.
That is not what I want to hear as I stand before Him one day. I want to know Him and be known by Him! Only then will I enter heaven.
Calling myself a Christian, yet living a life where He is crowded out, will not get me anywhere I want to go! I only have one life to either live for myself or for Him. It will impact my future as well as my children.
If my children see more of a commitment to the pleasures of this world than to Him, I am teaching them that He is not worth my time and attention. That in turn, hastens the probability that He will be crowded out of their lives as well. I have to ask myself, ” Is all this desire for other things worth my eternal future and theirs?! Faith without works (fruit) is dead. James 2:26.
One of the absolute best lessons I have learned from my favorite Old Testament character is from this verse. When I marvel at how determined, strong, faithful, confident, and devoted David was through all the ups and downs of his life, this verse explains how.
David made a choice multiple times every day to “set” the Lord before him. He did this through time in His Word, worship, prayer, and just plain meditation. He was known for thinking about the Lord often and he enjoyed that immensely. In essence, David’s intimacy with God became his strength for life.
He could not be shaken because he was so closely communing with his cherished Lord. By turning often to the Lord throughout each day, God was never far from his thoughts. Isaiah 26:3 NKJV says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You.”
As we set the Lord continually before us, we will experience this peace and strength for ourselves. David felt that following hard after the Lord was worth it and so will you and I!
It can be so tempting to plan our lives away. As a twenty-something, I used to get frustrated when my plans went awry or when it was impossible to plan at all! ?Somehow I had equated a well-planned life with a life well-lived.
What I found out was that the best position wasn’t being “in the know” about any and all that pertained to me. It was following hard after Christ who could be trusted to determine the path and lead the way. He even promises to be with me every step of the way. That offers a peace far greater than knowing what the plan is or what is coming my way! ?☺️
So, although I may not know WHAT awaits me around the corner, I know WHO is waiting right along with it, ready to support and carry me through anything that threatens to overwhelm me. THAT is assurance. THAT grants me peace over all the “what if’s “.
As followers of Christ, we were never meant to live in fear of the “unknown”. Our courage is not based upon WHAT we know but WHOM we know. Therefore, let us be strong and courageous!
Are you a relief to those around you or a stress?
Jesus was peace entering a room and so should we as those who profess Him.
What are we bringing to the office? The classroom? The meeting? The neighborhood? The church?
The more we examine ourselves here and now, the less ashamed we will be when we are standing before Him as He examines the fruit of our “Christlikeness”.
We have only one life to make a difference for eternity. Let’s make the most of it!!