Friday, April 24, 2015

ARE YOU HUNGRY?


He slowly descended, wings wide, landing softly; having nothing to do as I waited for the green light, I watched. A second bird, identical in size and color glided in next to him. They turned to look at one another, the second bird lowering its body and turning his beak upward.  The first bird leaned down, putting food into the waiting, open beak.

I want to be just like this second bird; trusting, expectant...as I spend time with my Lord each day, waiting in openness for Him to feed my soul the nourishment needed for today

I want to start my day knowing that I'm empty, needing a healthy portion of what The Lord wants to give me to make it through this day, finishing strong; fed, and then feeding others who may, "glide in next to me."

Lord, help me to spend time each morning, bending low, looking up to You for exactly what I need. Open my heart as You faithfully and lovingly meet me, fill me, guide me and direct my every step, thought, word and action. You are more than enough for whatever I face today. Help me so I don't MISS IT! In Your Mighty & Holy Name Jesus, Amen.  

"Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?"~Matthew 6:26

"The eyes of all look expectantly to You,
And You give them their food in due season."~ Psalm 145:15


"Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."~Romans 5:5

Monday, April 20, 2015

I Got Pulled Over For What...?

It was in that moment, after he walked back to the flashing lights, I was reminded to pray. I didn't want to...I was mad! I mean really, what CHP officer pulls someone over on the freeway for tinted windows? My hubby couldn't believe it. My mother-in-law and 98 year old aunt were sitting quietly in the back seat, a little perplexed by the whole situation. We had just finished a great day at The Flower Gardens and now this!
Let me back up for a minute to the start of my day. It all began with my morning prayer, "Lord, help me to be a light for You today, not my will but Yours. As you bring people in my path, remind me to pray for them. In Jesus' Name, Amen."

During the first part of the day, I prayed for several people as we walked through the beautiful gardens. My joy spilling out in prayer. 
Who know's, I may be the only person praying for them. I know the importance of prayer and I know The Lord has divine appointments for each of us daily. So, with that in mind, am I only called to pray for people during happy times? Or does The Lord want me to also pray for people who cross my path even in difficult ways?
I prayed for the police officer as he sat in his car writing my ticket. It wasn't as heartfelt as my prayers earlier in the day. But I prayed for a hedge of protection around him while he worked. I prayed that if he didn't know Jesus, He would meet the officer right where he's at. I prayed for peace and comfort for him and his family. Then I reluctantly signed my fix-it ticket.

Later I thought, "What if I'd been even bolder? What if I'd stepped completely outside of my situation, choosing to be, KING and KINGDOM focussed?"  What if I'd said, "Do you or any of your family and/or friends need prayer for anything? I send out prayer requests for my church and would love to pray for you." Of course this would have to be said after signing the ticket or it wouldn't be taken as a sincere request.

How powerful would that have been to truly show Christ-like love; not thinking of me, but him? Hmmm...difficult appointments that call me to rise higher, looking to Jesus for HIS WILL in my everyday situation. 
Lessons. Growth. Areas The Lord is asking me to go deeper in my faith and trust. 

I pray that each and every one of you has a deeper encounter with Jesus in the coming days and weeks. I pray you seek Him, He's calling you to be bolder in reaching out to others. You and I are called for more...KING & KINGDOM FOCUSSED. Let Christ be formed in and through you.
But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”~John 5:17

"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men"~1 Timothy 2:1

"praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints"~Ephesians 6:18

"Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart"~Luke 18:1



Friday, April 10, 2015

WHEN FOLLOW THROUGH & LACK OF DEDICATION COLLIDE!

Today in class they prompted people to go into "Crow Pose." I balanced my knees on my arms, but was only able to accomplish a quick little push off the ground with my feet. A few little mini-hops. No balancing. My arm strength just isn't there yet. I looked over to see my son balanced and holding his "Crow Pose" perfectly. His arm strength, obviously working to his advantage. He puts in daily time, preparing for his upcoming football season; lifting, running and now weekly yoga classes for flexibility, balance and to avoid injuries. The work is paying off. Dedication.

I on the other hand am hit or miss with my workouts/gym time. The result of my lack of dedication very apparent in my strength and body image. Oh believe me...I want that summer body. I'd love to feel strong and healthy, but somewhere in-between my want and follow through there's a lack of dedication.

How often does a lack of dedication to a relationship with Jesus Christ get in the way of your desire to grow stronger in your faith and trust?

How can you trust when you're not putting in the time to truly get to know your Savior?

How can you grasp the depth of His love, forgiveness, and healing power in your life if you never seek Him?

Would you trust an acquaintance whom you may barely say hello to with very personal and/or intimate details of your life...even if other people told you how amazing and trustworthy they are?

No.

Why?

Because you have not personally formed a deep relationship with this person. Our human nature keeps us at a safe distance from people we are not familiar with. The enemy will use trials, struggles, pain, loss and heartache to keep you from seeking The Lord. Jesus wants you to truly seek Him. To ask Him into your life and heart. He wants to reveal who HE IS and how much HE LOVES AND CARES for you.

Today, make a commitment or re-commit your life...get to know your Savior on a personal and intimate level. Don't just know "about" Him...seek Him throughout your day. Put in the time to talk to Him. Read His love letters to you (The Bible). This dedication to a true, deep and meaningful "relationship" with Jesus will reveal the things you've been longing for in your life. A peace that surpasses all understanding. A love that abounds in the midst of your every day, ordinary life. His Light, Wisdom, Guidance, Truth and Direction...overflowing. 
  
Let the words of this old Hymn fill those empty places with truth today:
WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS-(Joseph M. Scriven-1855)
What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.
Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there.

"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."~ Philippians 4:4-7

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

IT LEAKED OVER EVERYTHING!

I changed plans, instead of a nice day relaxing on the beach after yoga, I decided to take a walk deep into the wetlands. I stopped and picked up my favorite tri-tip/veggie bowl, threw it in my bag and headed off down the trail. I walked for quite a while before stopping at a quiet location with benches. It was time to sit and eat, bird watch and write. As I pulled my bowl out, I realized the delicious teriyaki juices had seeped out, right through the paper bag and into my backpack. It poured all over my Bible and writing tablet...soaking in from the cover to the pages.
Absorbing in.
The good stuff.
The flavor.
The very thing that makes it good.

I was struck by the comparisons to my life's journey. As I made a choice to turn from my old empty life and walk toward Jesus, as I made a commitment to read The Bible at least 10 minutes every morning, to pray daily, changes began. Small at first. My attitude...I wasn't always expecting the worst in my day. I felt hopeful...the good words of God seeping in. Trials would come, but they were no longer my undoing. Day by day, 10 minutes stretched into 15, 20, 30 minutes; the sweetness, the craving for more truth, absorbing into the deep recesses of my emptiness. My words, my actions, my desires...they all began to change.

How can it be that simple? 

Reading and praying, "Yes JESUS, have YOUR WAY in my life!" The truth. The good stuff of Christ being absorbed. 

Just like my leaking teriyaki sauce, that covered everything in my backpack, Jesus' truth, words, forgiveness, grace, love, and light will sink deep into your heart when you open The Bible. Pray. Ask Jesus into your life. He comes like a flood...a wave of rushing water to the dry, parched soul.

If you are at a crossroads, stop and ask Jesus which way to go. He is, He has, the answer you've been looking for. He will pour out His love. ASK HIM! 
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."~John 14:6


And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him. And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.”~Mark 9:28-29
"Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you: I will make my words known to you."~Proverbs 1:23
"And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams."~Acts 2:17



Sunday, March 22, 2015

WHEN ALL LOOKS IMPOSSIBLE

“PRAY-I Am making a way in the desert, My Way, YAHWEH. Pray through impossible in worldly eyes but possible in and through Me. Pray. Bold. Blind Faith. Moving. Right here. Right now. MY WAY opening before you. 

You are loved. Be bold. Speak My words. Share My words. Captives are being set free. Blind eyes will be opened. MY Truth, Spirit, Glory, revealed. Walk in the ways I’m leading you. A place where impossible gives way to possible. I Am your Savior, Jesus Christ. I have given all for you because I love you. Share Me with the lost…the people roaming the lands without a Shepherd.” 

“This battle is not yours but Mine,” says the Lord. “Is anything too hard for Me? My Hand is outstretched. Grab Hold. Do not let go. I Am Mighty to Save. You are mine and I Am yours. Go Forth. Proclaim My Name. I will provide.”
"Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness
And rivers in the desert."~ Isaiah 43:19 

"You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious."~Ezekiel 2:7

"But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd."~Matthew 9:36  

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven."~Matthew 16:15-17

And he said, “Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus says the Lord to you: ‘Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s."~2 Chronicles 20:15

"The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”~Zephaniah 3:17

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

UNDESERVED

I sat in the waiting room trying to stay busy and pray for my son, Josh who was in surgery for an extensive ankle break from a recent motorcycle accident.

There were two girls sitting to my left, also waiting for a loved one. A doctor, still in his operating scrubs came directly up to the two women. He began to talk to them about the surgery, his voice lowering to a whisper in the crowded waiting room. He stayed and talked to them for quite a while. Once he left, the younger girl leaned into the older one's arms and began to cry. I started praying for them, assuming they'd received bad news. 

After a few minutes she lifted her head and said very loudly, "Thank You Jesus, Thank You Jesus, Thank You Jesus!" Her tears had been tears of joy. The surgery was a success and she knew exactly WHO to thank. 

How many prayers has the Lord answered for you? How many times have you been blessed throughout your life? Are there too many to count...too many to recall? Do you remember to cry out and thank Jesus each and every time? Does your everyday life reflect your gratitude?

These are all questions I need to ask myself. I don't ever want to get into a place of complacency; a place where I don't thank my Lord for His many blessings. But if I'm honest, sometimes I do. I expect and receive. In my haste and rush I may forget to say, "Thank you Lord." I mean really..how many times throughout the day do I feel His love, His comfort, His peace and His guidance? They are all blessings...not to mention the specific requests answered.

I need to remember to always stay in a constant state of gratitude. The Lord has been good to me. Undeserved Blessings. Undeserved Love. Undeserved Forgiveness. Thank you Jesus for Your unending, over-flowing showers of grace and mercy. May I take my thankful heart and point people to You. Offering them the same undeserved, forgiving, redeeming, restoring love of You, Jesus. May I daily cry out, "Thank You Jesus, Thank You Jesus, Thank You Jesus!"
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”~Matthew 19:26

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.~2 Corinthians 12:9

Jesus said to him, It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”~Matthew 26:64

Sunday, March 8, 2015

ARE FOGGY DAYS SURROUNDING YOU?

The fog was thick. I walked farther hoping it would lift and provide the view I'd come for. Unfortunately, it grew thicker with each step. I stopped and decided to make the best of the moment. I knew that although the conditions weren't ideal, there was still beauty in it. I may have to look a little harder, focus on something other than easy, because simple was hidden.

I lifted my phone to  snap a picture of the fog bank over the ocean, when a seagull flew right towards me. Startled, I jumped back, regaining composure just in time to get the bird in flight, close enough not to be blurred by the fog.
I scanned the pier. A lone boy fishing, skateboard layed aside. A row of fishing poles perfectly lied up. Telescopes empty...unusable in the present conditions. 

Click. Click. Click.  

All beautiful. All right in front of me...close enough to see when I actually decided to focus on it; when I no longer tried to scan the distant blurred ocean landscape.

Life can often be like this foggy day. You may always be focussing too intently on the blurred future, missing the very things Jesus is placing right in front of you at the moment.

Are you forgetting to slow down, to stop, to look around? Where you're at right now may not be easy. What you're going through can seem dreary and dim. But it's right where the Lord has you. This very second you can ask Him to show you what He wants you to see. 

Things may not be ideal, but the Lord's beauty can still be found in the foggy days of life. Ask Him to reveal truth to you. Ask for His joy, peace, comfort and direction. He will show you the way. The beautiful things right here...right now...slow down. Focus on the Lord for a minute. He's close enough not to be blurred by life's fog. Stay in the moment as He gently reminds you...

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

"This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it."~Psalm 118:24