Thursday, January 31, 2013
I came upon a tree that had one lone leaf still clinging to the lifeless branch. It survived the fall and continued to hang on through the winter. It somehow never realized that it was time to move on. By clutching the dried up branch, it was actually harming the tree, causing the branch to remain open and exposed to the cold elements. It also was forcing water to be released to the leaf...water that needed to be stored within the tree during these winter months to help it endure until spring.
You can often be just like that leaf, clinging to a lifeless branch in your life. You may know it's time to let go but you're afraid of change, afraid of the unknown, afraid of giving up your security blanket...(fill in the blank~whatever that may be.) We all have them, they come in many forms and can cause more harm than good. A false sense of security, but slowly it eats away at you; taking the much needed nutrients away, hindering your growth.
Just like a tree in the spring, which sprouts bright new life giving leafs, branches and even brilliant colored flowers; there are areas in your life that you need to let go of. Things that you continue to grasp that need to be cast aside enabling you to grow into all that God has for you; His good and perfect plan for your life. Change can be painful, letting go may seem impossible and fear can become almost debilitating. But God is bigger than your pain and fear. God is able to do remarkable, immeasurable things in your life. Have you asked Him for wisdom and guidance in this area? Have you listened to His promptings...trusting Him more than you trust your lifeless branch? If not, I encourage you to spend some time each day reading the Bible and praying, asking for God's life giving truth to be poured out over...(fill in the blank)___. Don't continue to hang on to your lifeless branch, let go and fall into the Lord's capable, loving arms. You are His child and He is guiding you safely toward HIS good and perfect plans for you. LET GO AND LET GOD!
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6
" What shall I say? he hath both spoken unto me, and himself hath done it: I shall go softly all my years in the bitterness of my soul. O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit: so wilt thou recover me, and make me to live. Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back." Isaiah 38:15-17
"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:28-31
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
"Of course," I replied. She continued, "I've been here before and I parked by an entrance that was near a walkway leading down to the beach, but I can't seem to find it." She was carrying a large heavy bag and beach chairs. She had two little girls with her who were also weighed down with umbrellas, toys and towels. They looked tired of searching and ready to give up, head back to the car and go home. "Where am I? I can't find a trail down to the beach," the woman desperately asked, glancing down at the girls with droplets of sweat shining off their bright red faces.
I smiled and said, "There are two ways down in each direction. If you want to head back towards your car, there's a trail at the end of the road or you can go down the driveway in the same direction you're now heading." With relief she asked, "Which one's closer?"
"I would walk down the driveway that's just around this corner," I replied, pointing to my right. All three exhaled, as if they'd been holding their breathe, afraid they might have to walk miles farther. "THANK YOU!" they answered in unison. As they walked away I heard the woman apologizing to her exhausted girls.
Do you ever feel lost in a familiar place? Do you feel overwhelmed, tired and at your wits end, struggling just to make it through the day? Just like this woman and her two girls, the right path may be just around the bend. You may be tempted to quit, give up or throw in the towel, but your road to true happiness is so close. It may be hidden from your immediate view. You may need to take the necessary steps of trust and faith in the Lord, praying for His guidance and direction. With each step, Jesus Christ will lead you toward the path that takes you to that perfect place of peace, happiness, love and joy. Let the Lord be your guide. Stop and ask Him for directions today. Don't continue to walk for miles in the wrong direction with a load of burdens on your shoulders. Set them down at His feet and run in the direction He's leading you...to the true treasure He has planned for your life. Don't give up before you receive the glory and blessings He has in store for you. Your guide...your Savior, Jesus Christ is but a prayer away. Don't waste another minute...call out to Him and He will lead you safely through this.
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. Matthew 21:21
"Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?" Jeremiah 32:27
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
Monday, January 14, 2013
With the recent passing of a girl that had come into my life for a short period of time, I found myself asking, "Can I do more?" By worldly standards she had everything, she was beautiful, perfect figure, large gorgeous home in Huntington Beach, CA, a loving husband and children. Not to mention she was a stay at home mom, enabling her to be with her kids and spend time doing the things she loved like volunteering her time and walking along the beach.
I'll admit, when I first met her I was a bit envious. She had it "ALL," along with an incredible, outgoing personality and infectious smile that immediately drew me in. But now, in hindsight, "Did she really have it all?
On a seemingly normal day...beautiful, vibrant, full of life, Annette passed away unexpectadly. No one could have foreseen it. It was a terrible tragedy. A life stopped short at the age of 40. Now I ask myself, "Could I have done more?" My answer...a resounding, "YES!" You see, I don't know if she knew Jesus Christ. I'm not sure because I didn't take the time to talk to her more. I didn't take the time to pray for her to allow Christ to fill her with His peace, comfort and love. I was too wrapped up in my everyday life to even think about it. In my quiet time with the Lord each morning I need to remember to make time for the people the Lord's put into my life. He's placed them there for a reason...it's ALWAYS about the people. We all need to remember that we, who have the love of Jesus Christ in us, have the most valuable treasure that can ever be shared with someone. The gift of eternal life with Him. As I reflect on all Annette had, I don't know if she was missing the greatest treasure of all, a Savior, Jesus Christ.
So today and everyday henceforth, I'm determined to pray for those who cross my path and those who are in my life, to find Jesus Christ. I will show unconditional love to all I come into contact with allowing the Lord to work in me and through me. I want people to see and know the life restoring gift that can be theirs. I'm not talking about being annoying, judgmental or pushy, but through love and prayer. Allowing them to see Christ's nature in me and then praying for the Lord to open the doors to share what He's done in my life; how He restored a lost, broken, hurt, beaten down, hopeless woman who needed His forgiveness and love.
Can I pray for the people in my life who are struggling, hurting, filled with anxiety and no hope? Can I pray for those who have hurt or disappointed me? Can I pray for those who seem to have the perfect life but may be missing the key ingredient to make them complete? Each and everyone of us need to step it up this New Year. You have a chance to fulfill the Lord's purpose for you. Don't waste another moment...no one is promised tomorrow. Remember...IT'S ALWAYS ABOUT THE PEOPLE! Go share the treasure of Jesus Christ through prayer and unconditional love today!
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16
"Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us." Hebrews 9:12
"How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance." Hebrews 9:14-15
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Changes don’t happen because you make a New Year’s resolution at the beginning of the year. Changes take place because of daily choices, an undeterred resolve to make the tough decisions every second, minute and hour of the day. A complete and total steadfastness to seek the Lord daily to help you with the tough choices and decisions, allowing the Holy Spirit to fill you with truth.
So today as you see the hope of a new year begin, seek to make changes in you, not others. Pray for others, but know that the only person you can change is you, with the Lord’s loving help and guidance. Remember you are not alone. You have a new beginning each morning; a fresh new day to make the right decisions; to be more loving, patient, kind, forgiving, and caring. Ask the Lord to show you and help you in the areas you need change. Start each morning in prayer and scripture study, feed your soul first thing, it is the most important decision you will make each day. As you begin to see changes happening within you, the Lord reveals His truth about who you truly are in and through Him.
Happy New Year and remember, you are a new creation in Jesus Christ!