faith

When It's Taking Too Long...

What do you do when it's taking too long? When the things you've been dreaming about or the things God has promised you don't seem to be getting any closer. You can imagine them, but they always seem to be just out of reach.

You can either start to think God is teasing you by dangling the thing you need just out of your reach, or you can choose to trust the process He has you in.

The father of our faith, Abraham, fell into the trap of not trusting. God promised to make him the father of many nations, but he didn't even have one kid! He and his wife decided things were taking too long and decided to take matters into their own hands. If you don't know how that worked out for them, you can read all about it in the book of Genesis in the Bible.

God knows just what you need and exactly how to get you to the right place at the right time. All you need to do is submit your heart to Him and follow His lead.

Don’t worry if it seems to be taking a while, just keep doing the next thing that He sets in front of you. This is the path to living in true peace and joy!

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I'm excited to let you know that my book about dating is now available on Amazon.com

 
A must read for anyone in a season of singleness or those walking through life with other singles! This book really changed my perspective on what a season of waiting is truly intended to look like. Beth speaks Biblical truth and peace over singleness and dating while providing practical ways to reflect, guard your heart, and prepare for dating. -Jessica  This book is the confirmation that you’re not wrong for being patient. You’re not wrong for being undecided or particular. Set your standards high to the value that God sees you as having. He knows how to pick ‘em. -Sam  Dating - Keys for Christian Singles is a quick and fun read filled with keys of wisdom and stories of individuals who have navigated singleness, dating, and marriage. -Megan

A must read for anyone in a season of singleness or those walking through life with other singles! This book really changed my perspective on what a season of waiting is truly intended to look like. Beth speaks Biblical truth and peace over singleness and dating while providing practical ways to reflect, guard your heart, and prepare for dating. -Jessica

This book is the confirmation that you’re not wrong for being patient. You’re not wrong for being undecided or particular. Set your standards high to the value that God sees you as having. He knows how to pick ‘em. -Sam

Dating - Keys for Christian Singles is a quick and fun read filled with keys of wisdom and stories of individuals who have navigated singleness, dating, and marriage. -Megan

 

How Big Is Your But?

I know that God says He works all things for my best, but........ things just never seem to work out for me.

I know that God is good, but........ only to other people.

I know I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength, but.... I don't really think that applies to me. 

Pay attention to the words that come to your mind after that sneaky little word "but." This is how you can tell what you truly believe. 

Don't let your thought life drift along with the natural current of the world's patterns. Be intentional to make your thoughts line up with God's truth.

The Bible clearly teaches us what we are supposed to think about.

Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8

The fact that we are given this instruction shows that we don't have to be captives or victims to our minds, but that we are powerful to decide which direction our mind goes in. God never commands us to do something without giving us the grace to do it. 

Once you start to realize what your true belief system is, you can start to cooperate with Holy Spirit to transform your thought processes. 

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

KEY IDEA: READ THE WORD OF GOD EVERY DAY TO REDUCE THE SIZE OF YOUR BUT.

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Which Direction Are Your Dominoes Falling?

(I Want to Be a Tree Part 6 of 6)

For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,

But the way of the wicked will perish.

Psalm 1:6

Do you ever feel invisible? Life is full of mundane moments. There are basic things that we have to do each day that seem trivial. The little, godly choices that you make day after day do not go unnoticed by God.

Remember Psalm 1:6.

  • For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, God sees every little good choice that you make. He notices it, and it makes Him smile.
  • But the way of the wicked will perish. Unbelievers will not prosper in the end. It is impossible to live in rebellion to God and have lasting peace.

If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:8-9

In the kingdom, it is impossible to sow good seed (make good choices) and reap a bad harvest. It is equally impossible to continually sow bad seed (resist God’s way) and live a blessed life long term.

Make sure you are knocking your dominoes over in the direction of life and not death.

Don’t give up on doing good. Keep making right choices. Keep moving forward in God. He has given you everything you need to live in victory!

Click here  to be notified when the book is released.

Click here to be notified when the book is released.

I Want to Be a Tree Part 1

I Want to Be a Tree Part 2

I Want to Be a Tree Part 3

I Want to Be a Tree Part 4

I Want to Be a Tree Part 5 of 6

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Are You Sick of Bad News?

I Want to Be A Tree Part 5 of 6

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

Psalm 1:5

There is coming “A Day.” None of us know which moment will be our last. After we die, each one of us will stand before God alone. We will not have a friend or spouse standing with us for moral support. We will not be able to cast blame for our life’s choices on any other person.

If you are in Christ, you will have Him standing with you, and He will be your Way into your heavenly home.

Psalm 1:5 speaks of people who are NOT in Christ.

  • Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement, When that final day comes, unbelievers will not be able to enter God’s throne room with their heads held high.
  • Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. When we are all gathered into our heavenly home, those who have rejected Christ will not be able to join with us.

It is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment. Hebrews 9:27

If you have not surrendered your whole life to Christ, please to do it right now! Give Him every single part of your life. He knows how to take care of you much better than you ever could take care of yourself.

Once you are in Christ, you can live with a completely clean conscience. Jesus made the way for you to be able to hold your head high and have complete confidence as you get to know your heavenly Father intimately.

Jesus' blood changes everything. When you've been washed clean by it, you never have to live under a cloud of guilt again. This is the Good News!

 

I Want to Be a Tree Part 1

I Want to Be a Tree Part 2

I Want to Be a Tree Part 3

I Want to Be a Tree Part 4

I Want to Be a Tree Part 4 of 6

When Wickedness Abounds

The wicked are not so,

But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.

Psalm 1:4

It is easy to feel put out when we see ungodly people climbing the ladder of success. We can start to feel like the Prodigal Son’s older brother (Luke 15:25-32) if we are not careful. He was jealous of his younger brother’s blessings. He didn’t stop to notice how blessed he already was.

Psalm 1:4.

  • The wicked are not so, At first glance, ungodly people may appear to be winning, but they don’t have long lasting stability because their roots are not planted correctly.
  • But they are like chaff which the wind drives away. When the storms of life blow, the wicked will fall like dust and fly away with the wind.

This verse may be a comfort for a moment. It reminds us that our godly choices really do matter in the long run.

After further meditation though, I feel a sense of compassion for the unbeliever. They are living their life the best way they know how, but their best efforts are not enough. All of their ventures will turn to trash in the end. How tragic!

I believe that people all around us are searching for meaning. They know that there has to be more to life than what they are currently experiencing.

Action point: Let’s ask Holy Spirit to help us connect with unbelievers around us who are ready to hear the truth about God’s kingdom today! Let's spread seeds, water and fertilize sprouts, and nurture new young trees all around us. After all, trees should reproduce after their own kind.

I Want to Be a Tree Part 1 of 6

I Want to Be a Tree Part 2 of 6

I Want to Be a Tree Part 3 of 6

My sister-in-law who is an artist, sent me this amazing testimony that came out of last week's post Why I Color in My Bible.

Part 1: I have been thinking a lot about "coloring in my bible" ever since I saw your first post on it. <My husband,> John got me a Beautiful Word Bible with lots of room for journaling and drawing on the sides.... but I still haven't been able to jump in (so to speak.) One would think that an artist wouldn't be so hesitant. I think I have finally come to a place where I am ready tho. I am seeking peace.... it's something that doesn't come easy to me, but I NEED it so desperately.... my mind is anxious, and I'm so tired of it. I hope that this time I spend really meditating on certain scriptures as I draw will help quiet that. Thank you for inspiring me to take the plunge and deface my Bible.

Part 2:

So often people look to Christians or even just adults as having it all together. I can't tell you how many times I have heard people talk about other Christians as hypocritical because they mess up and do such and such, as if because they are Christian they should have it all together and never slip and never struggle. Well, I have been a Christian for 15 years now, and let me tell you, I have had my struggles! I have periods of time where I think I'm not doing anything right... lately I have struggled in the area of getting into the Word. I go to church on Sunday, and I cry out to God asking Him to forgive me because I miss that time with Him (and I REALLY want to spend that time daily), but then Monday comes and goes, and I don't. I fall into that Romans pattern of "what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing." And then something comes along and a light bulb goes off... something really connects and you start to think "maybe this can help."

This is what I came to when I read my sister-in-law's blog about coloring in her Bible. I read it and "chewed on it" for a while, and then finally decided to try it for myself. This has helped immensely in my meditation of the Word. I cannot remember the last time I spent over an hour meditating on a small portion of scripture.... really getting it in my Spirit, which is what happens when I am coloring in my Bible. For once in a long time I am excited about the time I'm spending in the Word! Thank you, Beth.... really, I can't thank you enough!

PS- If anyone is interested in seeing my "artistic meditations in the Word" let me know.... I would be happy to share my Bible art and maybe inspire someone else like me that needs a boost. Sahra-Dora Olson.

Part 3: Thought I would share this morning's meditation with you. I really can't thank you enough for inspiring me to do this. I can't tell you the last time I spent time concentrating and focusing on a small portion of scripture for over an hour! I REALLY think this is going to revolutionize my time in the Word!
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I bet this makes you want to check out Psalm 12!

I bet this makes you want to check out Psalm 12!

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

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My dream is for us all to dream big and go after our dreams with everything we have. Regardless of how exciting dream chasing is, life will always be full of boring moments. We all have basic maintenance things we have to do each day. We have to clean our homes, feed our dogs, and fill our cars with gas over and over again.

Personally I find it tedious to wash my face and brush my teeth every single night. I choose to be faithful in these little things because I know that they are important in both the short and long term.

These maintenance moments are some of the basic building blocks of life.

Sometimes God leaves us in a place of boring repetition because He has us in a holding pattern. Regardless of how boring our lives may seem, people around us are watching.

There will suddenly come a moment when all of your steadiness will pay off. Your consistent choosing to have a joyful attitude in the midst of plain normal life will open up the door for a "wow" moment.

You never can tell when your faithfulness will open the door for you to make a forever impact in someone's life.

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.

Galatians 6:9

Slow and steady wins the race!

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Practical Help for Raising Creative Kids #firefliesaglow

I Want to Be a Tree Part 3

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He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,

Which yields its fruit in its season

And its leaf does not wither;

And in whatever he does, he prospers.

Psalm 1:3

I love trees, but I’m not a tree hugger in the environmental sense. Trees are a poetic inspiration for me. I love to look at them in pictures and in real life.

One of my spiritual daughters has heard me talk about my love for trees so many times, that she has started to tease me about it. She suggests that when I die, I should be cremated and planted with a young tree so that I can physically become a tree!

Consider Psalm 1:3.

  • He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Firmly planted makes me think that someone took the care to plan where the tree was placed. Being close to streams means that the tree’s root system has underground access to life giving water.
  • Which yields its fruit in season At the right time fruit happens. The tree doesn’t have to strain to produce fruit.
  • And its leaf does not wither; Because this tree is planted in fertile soil and in a strategic location, it stays healthy all the way to its tips.
  • And in whatever he does, he prospers. The person whose life is rooted like this tree will have success in whatever he does. Everything he touches will prosper.

Take time to consider your root system today. Ask Holy Spirit if there is any gardening He wants to do in your life. He knows exactly which nutrients and which environment you need so that you can stand firmly planted.

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I Want to Be a Tree Part 2

But his delight is in the law of the Lord,

And in His law he meditates day and night.

Psalm 1:2

There is nothing like the Word of God. It is the start to everything good in life. Blessings come all over us when we start off each morning and end each day thinking about God’s words.

Think about Psalm 1:2.

  • But his delight is in the law of the Lord, I love the Word of God! I am growing in my love for the Word of God.
  • And in His law he meditates day and night. I remind myself of God’s ways at least twice a day. I ask Holy Spirit to help me understand His words as I contemplate them.

 

We all know what it is like to have a tune stuck in our head. What if you were to choose which song got stuck instead of leaving the soundtrack of your mind to chance.

When I was a kid “scripture songs” were very popular. People would sing scripture verses word for word. Recordings were made of these songs so that people all over the world were able to learn and sing the scriptures together.

Putting scripture to music is a great way to store up God’s words in your memory. I find that verses that I learned to sing as a child “randomly” pop up in my mind all the time. I am able to sing the songs, even silently to myself, as I go about my day.  This is one of my favorite ways to meditate on His law. What a blessing!

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Click here to read Part 1 of this series!

I tried to find a Psalm 1 song for you, but I couldn't seem to choose one that I thought would appeal to the majority of my readers. If you know a good one, please share it with me!

 Click here to check out the Joyce Meyer teaching I have been enjoying this past week.

I Want to Be a Tree Part 1

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How blessed is the man who does not walk

in the counsel of the wicked,

Nor stand in the path of sinners,

Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

Psalm 1:1

Years ago, when my kids were very young, I got into a habit of starting my day by watching a popular morning show on t.v. At the time, I had four small kids. Getting out of the house was a major production. Watching this show made it possible for me to experience some of the outside world without all the hassle of actually going anywhere. I enjoyed the news updates and the playful way that the hosts related with each other. They also featured advice on a variety of topics. Some of the advice was helpful; some of it was mixed with ungodliness.

One day the Lord reminded me of Psalm 1:1.

 

  • How blessed is the man (or woman in my case) who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, This reminded me that God’s word has all of the perfect advice that I need to live my life with the maximum amount of blessings.
  • Nor stand in the path of sinners, I will be more blessed if I do not spend the majority of my time hanging out with sinners. I need to spend time with unsaved people so I can be a light to them, not to absorb their mindsets.
  • Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! Though it can be entertaining to listen to stories and jokes about other people, joining in making fun of others is not the path to the blessed life.

I still watch morning shows occasionally, but overall I have learned that moderation is best. There are some things that go on in the world that are simply better for us not to know about. There are blessings galore for the person who does not look to the world for wisdom.

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Do You Think I Should Practice What I Preach?

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Recently I went through several days of extreme sickness. I literally did not have enough strength to hold my head up and had to lie down for five days straight. I actually felt worn out just from lying down existing. Turns out I had a severe sinus infection or possibly bronchitis.

I am feeling much better now, but I've got to tell you, that was hard.

I have had to really practice what I preach lately. There is just something about not feeling well physically that tears away at your emotions.

I am getting better, but I have had to choose to put my focus on positive hopeful things more than I normally do.

Philippians 4:4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

I want to encourage you to join me in picking what to think about.

Let's harness our thoughts starting right now so that we can live in peace today!

Be Still and Know Song by Mark Snider

Do You Matter?

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Do you ever feel insignificant? The world is a big place and it can be easy to blend in.

I want to remind you today that YOU MATTER!

  • The way you walk into a room matters.
  • Your presence matters.
  • Your smile matters.
  • The words that come out of your mouth matter.

You can literally shift the atmosphere around you wherever you go!

  • People need you.
  • They need what you have to offer.
  • They need the wisdom you have gained from your many life experiences.

Put your peace and joy on so you can show up powerfully.

Don't be afraid to show up in other people's lives.  Don't sit down and shut up.

 


 

 Click here to listen to the song for today!

I have given you a purpose for living my child,

I have called you by name,

I have chosen you to do something special for Me.

No one else can do it just like you can,

For the gifts I have given to you,

they are unique, my child.

So don't go your own way,

And don't serve your own plans,

For I,  your God, will cause a new day to dawn,

Just rise up and walk

And listen to my voice.

(Peter Warren)

Friendship & Betrayal

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  Have you ever been betrayed? In order to be betrayed you have to have loved and trusted someone deeply.

It is stunning to me that Jesus knew from the beginning that Judas would betray Him, but it did not hold Him back from including Judas in His inner circle and risking His heart.

I think that if I knew ahead of time that someone was going to betray me, I would not even introduce myself much less bring the person into my inner circle.

Jesus is so different from me. He blows my mind. He keeps His love turned on towards all people 100% of the time.

For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. (John 6:64b NASB)

Jesus' life illustrates this truth: even if you do everything absolutely perfectly, you will still experience rejection.

Perfection does not equal acceptance from the people around you.

You might even say that the more Christ like you become, the more you may experience rejection.

Jesus walked in confidence because His sense of self worth did not come from His companions.

When the Jews wanted to kill Him He said,  “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing. (John 5:19-20 NASB)

Jesus' identity was completed wrapped up in what the Father thought about Him and in living according to His Father's wishes.  

You won't be healed of your rejection by analyzing the source of your rejection but by looking at the source of your acceptance. (Bob Sorge)

Your Father loves you with the same exact love He loves Jesus with. Make living your life in Him your highest aim and the acceptance or rejection from people will lose its hold on you.

 

Any pain you have stored up in your heart from betrayal belongs to you. You can choose to own it and to let it go. Choose to let it go today!

I bless you to live in peace.

P.S.

Our family watched a movie this week that I would love to share with you. It sucked all of us in because it is a fascinating true story.  I also liked it because it shows brothers laying down their lives for each other.

I checked it out for free from our public library, but here is the link to check it out on Amazon:

The Good Lie

Help Me Name My Book

On my recent trip to Cuba I spent many hours traveling the countryside on a bus. There were moments where I sat gazing peacefully at the scenery outside. There were moments where I gave in to exhaustion and fell asleep. There were also many moments of wonderful conversation with the other team members sitting around me. In one of the moments of swapping stories, my friend Kristi pointed out that I had a lot of unusual stories to tell. Honestly, my stories are my stories, and they have always just felt normal to me. The longer we talked I started to realize that my life has not been an ordinary one.

I decided to write a book. I have poured out my heart and soul onto the written page. I am in the final stages of editing, and now I need YOUR help.

Would you please help me name my book.

Click below to vote on your favorite title:

Click here to Vote

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Everything Worth Doing is Worth Doing Poorly

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  Do you have big dreams but don't know where to start? Maybe you lack the confidence that you will be successful.

You really have to start somewhere. It is like the old question. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

When people ask my husband how he learned to speak Spanish he often responds, "You have to speak bad Spanish before you can speak good Spanish."

His desire to speak other languages is much greater than his desire to not look foolish. This thinking has served him well.

Pride is sometimes what stops us from trying. We don't like to look silly in front of other people, but you simply can not be perfect at something the first time you do it.

You have to be willing to try and fail. Fear of looking like a fool is pride.

God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6).

This is something that I personally struggle with. I much prefer to do everything as "perfectly" as I can the first time around.

I spend hours studying and researching a thing before I do it. I think there is wisdom in preparing well, but at some point you have to stop preparing and move forward.

I have to remind myself that if I am willing to humble myself and take a step forward, grace will come to me.

Everything worth doing is worth doing poorly....at the beginning.

You have to start somewhere. We have to get right up to the starting line and take that first step.

No one is born knowing how to walk gracefully. You literally have to take baby steps.

 

Take some baby steps towards fulfilling your destiny today!

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Cuba Update

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I had a wonderful time on my trip to Cuba. This was my second visit to the island, and it was everything I expected it to be and more. The first time I went I felt such joy the moment I stepped off the plane and into the immigrations area of the airport. It is like there is something in the atmosphere in Cuba that my spirit connects with.

As I spent time walking along the ocean and riding a bus throughout the island my spirit came alive more and more. The only way I can explain it is to say that the airways feel different there.

Each time I have gone to Cuba I have returned with fresh clarity and vision for my life and my family. It is amazing what getting away to a different location can do for your focus.

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One of the very best parts of my most recent trip was that I was able to take a few people with me. I absolutely loved seeing my team members come alive as God stirred up old and new things in their hearts.

One of the greatest joys of my life is to see people prosper in their souls. I love to see them living life to the fullest. Life is too short to sit back and wait for something interesting to happen.

We have to happen to life!

If you have ever considered going on a mission's trip, please do it!

Here are some links for ministries that you can join up with in your adventure:

Leanne Goff Ministries

Heartland Breakthrough to the Nations

Randy Clark Global Awakening

 

"Just Pray I Don't Die"

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It was the first day back to school after Christmas break. The kids were dragging. As I dropped my son off at his school I said, "Elijah, remember that the kingdom of God is in your hands. You have power in your hands."

I know my son, and I could tell that he internalized what I said and was in agreement.

Then, as he got out of the car he said, "Just pray I don't die."

What the heck?! Why is that phrase even a part of his vocabulary.

Now, he was not worried about school shootings. He was simply referring to the drudgery of math class!

"God help me to just make it through this boring class one more time."

Two mindsets were crashing against each other in his head: the possibilities of going on a supernatural adventure and the process of living the everyday mundane.

This battle in the mind happens to us all. The struggle is real. The question is which line of thought are we going to choose to run with?

Many times over the years I have had to remind myself of who I really am in the midst of the mundane.

Running errands is not one of my favorite things to do by far. I much prefer to be at home. I have developed a habit while driving around town of praying and reminding myself that I am not a mere human. Even my presence in a public place, my smile, or a kind word holds power to shift the atmosphere wherever I go.

Here is a song I sometimes listen to in the car as I am headed out:  Supernatural by Mark Snider

When we give our lives to Christ and Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us we are not just normal humans anymore. The trick is to get your mind wrapped around that concept. Let's believe and grow in this together!

 

God's Weak Spot

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A new year brings transition. Transition can be awkward and even scary, but you have a good Father who has picked you as his favorite. I recently watched a couple of documentaries about Queen Elizabeth 1 of England. She was a powerful leader for 46 years. She was bold, and she knew her own mind.

Though she never married there was one man in her life who was her favorite. She had a serious weak spot for him. She gave him her ear, positions of influence, and great financial provision even when people around her thought she was being foolish and too extravagant.

When her favorite died too early, she poured her favor onto his son in his place.

As I got to know a bit about this powerful ruler I was so struck by what it means to be a favorite. Favor opens doors to you that would never open otherwise.

God's heart is turned by you and towards you. You are His weak spot.

You can move forward into this next season of your unfolding destiny with faith and confidence because your Daddy God is crazy about you.

As we transition into a new year let's go in with peace!

Seasick

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Have you ever been seasick? I mean, so very seasick that you daydream about jumping overboard just to make it stop? When I was 19 years old I joined YWAM's Mercy Ships South Pacific. It was a grand adventure that I have many great memories of, but being seasick was definitely not a highlight.

The ship that I lived on was called Island Mercy. She was a lovely home full of wonderful friends from all over the world.

We spent our time sailing to different islands in the South Pacific giving free dental and optical care to people who were lost in time. Many of the people we reached out to spent their whole lives living in grass huts. They lived off of the tropical fruit that grew all around them and the fish that they pulled from the sea.

The very first time I sailed I had no clue that I would be susceptible to seasickness. I was just excited to set out to sea.

I spent my first night at sea hugging the toilet. It was so awful.

After a couple days I got my sea legs and felt good enough to get out of bed and be a productive team member.

Each time before we would set out to sea I would study the ocean to see how much foam was stirring, trying to assess how much the ship would pitch when we got underway.

I yearned for the faith to command the waves and wind to be still.

In my mind's eye I can still see the churning ocean as I look over the railing on the ship's deck. Blah.

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I remember my friends telling me to get up on deck and look out to the horizon.

Wow! It was amazing what a difference that made!

When I would look straight down into the sea, I would feel like I was going to die, but when I would take deep breaths and look at the spot where the sky meets the sea, I could rest much easier.

The take away: Don't focus on all the chaos swirling around you. Choose to lift your focus to the Lord, and peace will flood your soul!

The Ultimate Surprise

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Those who know me well, know that I do not really care for surprises. I like to make a plan and work the plan. I like to be prepared. Apparently God doesn't really concern Himself with how I feel about surprises.

He is the Ultimate Surprise. We never know when He is going to show up in the last way we would expect Him to.

God can move anytime He wants and in any way He wants. He is not limited by our prophetic words or our imaginations about what the future will look like.

In John chapter 21 we read about how the disciples were fishing all night but caught nothing. Jesus came along and told them to cast their net on the other side of the boat. That was when they received a great surprise: so many fish they could not haul the net in.

Jesus' fishing strategy was not anything they would have ever normally thought to do.  He always has a plan that is completely out of our box.

It can be easy to get discouraged when we don't see things happening the way we imagined that they would.

That is when we can stop and ask Him what His idea is.

God is the Ultimate Surprise and Ultimate Strategist all wrapped up in one!

 

It Was the Very Wishy Washy Time of Night...

Many nights at bedtime my mind kicks into high gear with ideas and strategies for how to best do all the things I want to do in life. I feel so inspired that I almost want to skip the whole night and get started right away on the next day. Other nights I start to feel bombarded with doubts. I think we all have a certain time of day that doubts try to creep in.

If I ever feel doubtful it is generally at night before bed. Things that seem like a wonderful challenge during the day tend to be much more scary at bedtime when I'm worn out. I am always the the most vulnerable and discouraged at night when I'm tired.

It is so helpful to know this about myself. I am able to notice when I'm feeling unsure of myself which gives me a chance to choose to set my worries aside and reconsider my life with renewed perspective the next morning.

I have also learned that when I'm feeling doubts creeping in I should never make any important decisions. I would never accomplish anything important in life if I didn't put off decision making until I have a peaceful perspective.

Things generally are much clearer after a good night's sleep.

Each day has fresh grace from heaven and sometimes the grace for the day runs out just before it is time for me to close my eyes and recharge.

Here's one of my favorite songs for refocusing and de-stressing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR5IoWH9OiI

Sorrow may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning. Ps. 30:5