Saturday, January 24, 2015

God Is In The Details~

So often we find ourself weighed low beneath the details of life.

We wonder if we are making the right decision about this
or if we are doing what is best in handling that.

We think,
and we fret,
and we worry,
and we wonder . . .
and in doing so, we often forget that God is in the details.


He who designed water from a lake
to evaporate to the sky
only to return as rain to water the earth
is working in the details of your life, too,
causing one action to prepare the way for the next,
one step at time,
all in His perfect timing and perfect way.




He who breathed the stars into being and then orchestrated their orbit,
along with that of the sun and moon and a million other celestial wonders,
is there orchestrating every single detail of that which concerns you, too, -
delicately considering all involved
and intertwining it all in heavenly fashion.




He who designed the metamorphosis of a lowly caterpillar into a glorious butterfly 
is here, too,
in the details of all that is changing around you, -
gently,
miraculously,
amazingly,
creating something new,
that no doubt will be unlike anything you've known before,
but beautiful in its own way.





Trust Him.

God is in the details.~♥


Commit your way to the Lord 
[roll and repose each care of your load on Him];
 trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him
 and He will bring it to pass.
~Psalm 37:5 (AMP)









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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Through God's Eyes~










 
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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Comfortable in HIM~









 
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Monday, January 19, 2015

A God-Given Invitation to Dream~

Have you ever read something and knew instantly God had placed it in front of you for a distinct purpose?

A year ago, God led me to this quote.

“If the size of the vision for your life isn’t intimidating to you, chances are it’s insulting to God.”
~Steven Furtick

The moment I read it I knew God was speaking to me.
More specifically, I knew God was speaking to me about the vision for my life: writing.

Keyed
{Photo Credit}


I love to meet the Lord at my computer.



As I place my hands on the keyboard,
He is faithful to place his message in my heart.



As I move my fingers to the beat of His heart, words begin to appear, sentences begin to form.


In moments of sweet communion,
we weave together His story of love and forgiveness, hope and encouragement, redemption and restoration.

There is no doubt about it.
I love to write.
But, for some odd reason, thinking of myself as a writer is very....what is the word?

Yes!
Intimidating!
In fact, when I think of myself as a "real" writer, intimidating almost isn't a big enough word to describe all the emotions I feel.

Intimidating. Usually, when we think of this word, we associate it with something that instills fear. I think it is interesting to note, however, that this word means so much more than just us shaking in our boots.

Dictionary.com defines it this way:
to discourage, restrain, or silence illegally or unscrupulously

I don't know about illegally or unscrupulously, but I know all too well about intimidation being discouraging, restraining and worst of all, silencing. I also know, if I allow it to, intimidation can steal my dream and cloud my vision.

But that morning, as I sat in my pajamas, the light of the new day just beginning to spill into our living room, I realized in this quote, the Lord was giving me an invitation. God was inviting me to dare to live out the dream He himself had placed in my heart.

Before I was ever formed in my mother's womb, God knew me. It was God who molded me and formed me. It was also God who planted the "I want to be writer" seeds in my heart. This passion, this longing of my heart, is not incidental. It is my invitation. It is not meant to be intimidating, it is meant to be invigorating.

And, it is - when I let God write through me. In fact, when God chooses to use me to speak His words of hope, encouragement and love, invigorating almost isn't a big enough word to handle all the emotions I feel.

Intimidation comes when I forget the words of the Lord found in Zechariah 4:6:
Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

Remember the rest of the quote?

"...chances are it’s insulting to God.”

The plans God has for my life (and yours, by the way) are far grander and more amazing than I could ever think or imagine. And, by myself, they are unreachable. Yet, when I partner with the creator of my heart to fulfill the desires of my heart, they not only become obtainable, but they become the very thing that will bring life to my life.

That's the way God made it.

That's the way God made me.

He made me to be a writer; a teacher of His Word through the written word. The intimidation is simply a reminder to never step out into my dream without my Dream Giver. It is also a reminder to not take this gift lightly. God has placed within me a treasure, His treasure, and it is my responsibility to utilize this treasure so His excellency can shine forth from this earthen vessel. (2 Corinthians 4:7)

Now, I ask you.

What is your vision for your life?
Is it intimidating to you?

If so, no worries.
Your intimidation just may turn out to be the invitation of a lifetime.~






 
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Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Wounds of A True Friend~

As I gazed into my mirror, curling iron in hand, I was reminded of a conversation I had with a straightforward second grader over ten years ago. I can still hear his soft spoken voice, although the words he spoke were anything but soft to my ears or my ego.

Each morning, I would read a short devotion to my class. I was right in the middle of the reading for this particular day, when out of the corner of my eye, I saw a hand shoot up, signaling to all that this youngster had something to say. And boy, did he!

Not wanting to deviate from the spiritual lesson I was sharing with these young hearts, I smiled at this student, assuring him I had seen his hand. Then, I did some hand talking of my own as I gave him the "hold that thought" sign. Instead of his hand going down, like I had hoped, his mouth started doing the talking for him.

"Teeeeeeeeeeeeacher, I have something to tell you!!!!"

"I know, honey. Can it please wait until after we finish our devotion?"

"No, Ma'am. You're gonna wanna hear about this!!!!"

"Ok. What do you want to tell me?"

"There is a gray hair sticking straight up on the top of your head. I can see it from way back here!"

He was right about one thing. If I did indeed have a gray hair standing straight up on the top of my head, I would definitely want to know about it. But, me? A gray hair? No. This was where he had made his mistake.

"Thank you for sharing that with me, but I think you must be mistaken. You see, I don't have any gray hair yet, honey."

"Oh, yes you do!" The remark came from a student sitting on the opposite side of the classroom. "I see it, too!"

Within seconds, the room was flooded with eyewitness accounts of a gray hair spotting in our classroom. Unfortunately, all reports were linking my head with this bizarre sighting!

I immediately headed for the nearest mirror. And you know what I saw? Yep! A gray hair standing straight up on the top of my head. No wonder this boy had seen it. It was proudly proclaiming it's arrival in grand fashion. As it stood tall, reflecting every bit of light in that classroom, it wasn't any wonder it had caught their attention. After all, who could miss THAT?! Uhhhhhh, obviously me. Until this honest, straightforward little boy had so bluntly pointed it out to me, I had been totally oblivious to it.

Don't fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don't act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.
~ James 1:22-24, The Message

I had looked in my mirror that very morning and had failed to see what others could see so plainly. I wonder how many times I have looked at my reflection through the pages of God's word, only to be blinded to my own sins. How often has my pride kept me completely in the dark about my true spiritual condition, while those around me can spot my need for repentance a mile away?

The truth hurts and is never easy on our ears, our ego or our heart, and yet how we should covet the honest words of a faithful friend. The words of truth that bring confession, dropping us to our knees and into the hands of our forgiving God.

Nathan was that kind of friend to David. Thinking his sin of adultery with Bathsheba and the consequential prearranged murder of her husband on the battle field were well hidden and out of sight, Nathan confronted him with words that cut to the very heart of David.

"You are that man!"


David confessed.


God forgave.


Then, David continued his journey, pursuing the heart of God.


The truth hurts. There is no getting around that. But, truth also sets us free. The pain has a distinct purpose; to open our eyes to the real us, and our need for a real God.

Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend [to show rage or worthy purpose].
~ Proverbs 27:17 Amplified

When truth is given to us, we have a choice to make.
We can resist it and in anger turn away from it.
Or, like David,
we can run to it,
embrace it,
be broken by it,
and be all the closer to God for it.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.
 ~ Proverbs 27:6








 
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Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Prayer for When . . .~









 
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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Don't Miss God~









 
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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Pause, Maybe - But Fast Forward, No Way~

 “Stacy, I need you to fast forward this part.”

The request came from a four year old. He and his older brother were watching a movie we had checked out from our local library earlier that morning. Even though both boys had seen this movie several times before, it had still made its way into their book bag and now, into their DVD player.

“Why, honey?” I asked. “Is this part upsetting to you?”

“No. I just don’t want to watch this part. It’s boring. I want to hurry up and look at the funny part.”

“Well, you can’t hurry up!” His six year old brother now jumped into our conversation. “You have to go through the part you don’t like so you can get to the funny part. It’s all part of the movie and that’s just the way it is.”

I never cease to be amazed at the simple, yet profound words of wisdom commonly spoken by children. Countless times, my heart has been pricked and my thoughts sparked by their keen observations and raw honesty.

Ohhhh kaaaaaaaaaaay,” the younger brother replied. “I’ll look at the TV, but I’m not really going to watch it!”

And so it is with life.

blur
{Photo Credit}

How many times have you and I wished we could simply hit the fast forward button and speed through a time in our life that wasn’t exactly pleasing to us? How many times have you and I looked at life, but not really lived it? If the truth be told, most of us, whether we realize it or not, are inevitably living our life in fast forward.

“What?” You say. “Not me.”

I hate to burst your bubble, but does the acryonym T.G.I.F. ring a bell?
Thank God it’s Friday?
I thought so.

If you are like me, there have probably been numerous times in your own life when you have climbed out of bed Monday morning already thinking about the upcoming weekend. If I can just make it through the week, then I can enjoy the weekend. Sadly, five whole days – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday – are passed over in an effort to hurry through the part we don’t like in hopes of getting to the part we do. Before we know it, our entire life has passed before us or worse yet, passed us by.

Every single day is a unique and precious gift from God. Just like a snowflake or the prints on your thumb, no two days are alike. We only get one chance to live this day. In the light of that great revelation, isn't it absolutely bizarre that we don't choose to be more selective and more intentional about the way we spend each moment God has so graciously given to us?

Yes, we have obligations, such as work and family responsibilities that may dictate to some degree how our 24 hours of time are spent, but ultimately, you and I are the only ones in control of our day. It is you and I who have been given the final say as to whether we will spend this never-to-be-lived-again moment of time

happy or miserable,
thankful or complaining,
giving or taking,
doing or watching,
enjoying or enduring,
living or going through the motions.

The choice is ours and ours alone.

When the sun sets this evening, our today will vanish only to become yet another one of our yesterdays.
It will be over, never to be lived again.

Life passes all too quickly. Each day begins and ends before we have barely had time to make its acquaintance. Shouldn't we choose to live every single moment of today, regardless of whether the moment is good or bad, happy or sad?

Why should we long to hit the fast forward button, when one day,  
we will inevitably long to press rewind and live moments of our life all over again?

Time is ticking.

 Let's start making the most of this precious gift and truly start living!

This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it.







 
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