Monday, May 18, 2015

Are You Running in Circles?



Her tail began to wag furiously in anticipation; treats...her favorite highlight of the day. I opened the back door. She ran out thinking I was going to give it to her out there. But I quickly shut the door.

You see...I have a problem, I love to play jokes, whether it's on my hubby, kids, friends and yes even my piercing blue eyed, beautiful Siberian Husky, Allie.

She sat outside for a minute staring at me through the window and then quickly ran through the doggy door, into the living room and back into the kitchen. I promptly had the door open for her again. She ran right out. I closed the door. Back through the doggy door she came, circling back in to the all too familiar open back door. Slam. I was seriously curious to see how many times it would take her to catch on. We were all standing in the kitchen laughing. She ran back in and as I opened the door she stopped and stood next to me, waiting this time for me to go out first. The third time was the charm. She wasn't going to fall for it anymore.

How many times does it take you to learn a lesson? Are you continuing to run through the same door that's led you down the wrong path time and time again? As you crawl your way back through the small "doggy door" trying to start over again...do you find yourself running straight at the door you know will close on you? Without changing habits, you will never see different results. The Lord is always calling you to Him. He has given you an escape. He wants you to learn to seek Him before you go running in the wrong direction again. He wants to teach you to "wait on Him." He will open a door that no man can shut when you "allow" Him to go before you preparing the way.

Pray, seeking Him for the right path. Learn from your past mistakes. Don't continue to run in circles, never getting anywhere. Jesus wants to guide you to your true purpose, away from past sins that so easily entangle, attempting to drag you back in...a constant trick...a joke. You know the door will slam shut on that empty way of life. The Lord has sacrificed everything to show you a better way...a way out!

Today, call out to Him. Ask Jesus to guide you, heal you, forgive you. Ask Him to make ALL THINGS new; setting you free from the chains of bondage which have held you captive for far too long. Lay it all down. Ask Jesus into your life, your heart...setting you free. Ask Him to take you deeper in His love. He is your Savior. He stands with outstretched arms, waiting to embrace you and go before you on the journey He has prepared for you. A safe passage.

It's time to stop running in the wrong direction. You are loved! You were called for more!

"Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us."~Romans 8:37


 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,
‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”
“I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name."~Revelation 3:7-8

AND AGAIN...

"The key of the house of David
I will lay on his shoulder;
So he shall open, and no one shall shut;
And he shall shut, and no one shall open."~Isaiah 22:22 


 "And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart."~Jeremiah 29:13

Thursday, May 14, 2015

HOW DEEP ARE YOUR SCARS?

I focused on the cracks in the wood floor; the deep scrapes and scarring. They've been there every single time I've sat close to stretch, but today I noticed. They seemed more obvious...battle wounds; class after class, weight bearing down. It's old and worn now. It's taken much. As I continue to stare, my battle wounds come to light. A struggle in the waiting currently engulfs me. 

Is that why I noticed?

Is it cancer? How bad? What am I going to have to face?

Old scars from the last time I went down this road a year ago...re-opening, tearing deep.

But I received a miracle. It was gone and I required no further treatment. 

Scars leave a mark. A reminder left behind.

Jesus shared His scars of sacrifice with a doubting Thomas~(John 20:24-27). A reminder of the truth of His love, words and actions. The scars remained but the truth prevailed. Hope to the hopeless. Love for the unloved. Forgiveness to the lost. Healing's for the sick. Resurrection from death. Promises of a new way of life, above all we face; above all we're dealing with.

Jesus Christ bears the truth and love. As we look to Him in the middle of a crises...we are healed.

As I focus on Jesus in the waiting, my worry gives way to peace. My fear gives way to trust. 

We are all scarred. We all have a choice. Are you...am I...going to continue to look at the scars too long? Or are we going to focus on the Healer, Jesus Christ? It's a moment by moment, minute by minute choice. What are you choosing? Today I choose healing. My Lord and Savior meets me as I seek Him. Today Lift your eyes up...your Savior, Jesus Christ is holding out His love scarred hands toward you. Grab Hold. Be healed.


Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”

Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Return to Me,” says the Lord of hosts, “and I will return to you,” says the Lord of hosts.~Zechariah 1:3

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”~John 8:12

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Are You Running Fast Enough?

The boy, no older than 2 years old ran as fast as his short legs could carry him. Laughter filled the air as he glanced several times over his shoulder to see if his dad was getting closer. In just a few short steps he closed the gap, stooping down, he scooped his child into his arms swinging him around and around. He gently set him down and began to walk away. The young toddler, realizing it was his turn to chase his dad, set his legs in motion, awkwardly trying to maintain his balance while increasing his speed. Faster and faster he went, until the pace was too much for his tired little legs. He launched forward, falling to his knees; his father immediately coming to his rescue.

I want to be just like this young child. I want to be running after Jesus so fast that my feet give out and I'm constantly falling to my knees.
"Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
And the young men shall utterly fall, 
But those who wait on the Lord 
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles, 
They shall run and not be weary,They shall walk and not faint."~Isaiah 40:28-31

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart."~Isaiah 40:28-31


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