Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Light In Life's Clouds

Sometimes you may need to take a step back from your current situation to see God's Light shining through!

Never give up on your trust, hope or faith...things WILL get better. It's always darkest before the dawn. There's always a light at the end of the tunnel, a silver lining in every cloud and a rainbow (God's Promise) after the storm. I've found all this to be very true in my own life. The problem may often be remembering everything that God has already guided you safely through.

Today, I'd like to encourage you to take a moment to reflect on past "impossible" situations that the Lord has taken care of...carried you through...fixed! Let this be the light and truth of God's love and faithfulness to you."

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." 
Deuteronomy 31:6

"For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;" 
2 Corinthians 4:17

"The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace." 
Exodus 14:14

"You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you." 
2 Chronicles 20:17

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Are You Seeking?

I was reading the book of Mark 2:1-12, in the Bible and was really hit by the determination of the people to get close to Jesus to heal their friends, family and even servants. The word about Jesus was spreading rampant from town to town. Thousands upon thousands were flocking to Him. It was almost impossible to get close enough to Him...but four very determined men dug a hole through the roof and lowered the man down to Jesus.

Can you imagine actually lifting a paralyzed man onto a roof and then physically digging a hole big enough to lower your friend and having blind faith that your work will not be in vain? These men didn't hesitate, they didn't look at the problem and say, "It's too crowded, sorry friend, no healing for you today." No they found a way to get to Jesus. They did whatever they had to. Their faith was strong enough to know that getting close to Jesus was the answer.

Today, we do not require this kind of physical labor to get close to the Jesus, and yet He is still just as alive today as He was all those years ago. The only difference, He's now able to be with each and everyone of us whenever we call out to Him. He is but a prayer away. So I ask you, in light of the story and the incredible work it took to reach Jesus, are you doing all you can to seek Him? Are you willing to give 20, 10, or even 5 minutes out of your day to pray and read the Bible? This costs you nothing, no pain, labor, lifting, or struggling. The only thing you are being asked to do is seek the Lord. Give Him a little time in your day. Ask Him into your life in faith. Allow Him to begin to fill you up with His truth and heal you in all areas. Are you falling short in seeking the Lord with the same fervency that they did while Jesus was walking on this earth?

The Lord loves you unconditionally, no matter what you've done, where you've been or how low you feel. He forgives you. He gave His only begotten Son so that you can be set free of the bondage of sin and guilt. Open your Bible, call out to your Heavenly Father, seek Him and allow Him to begin to make the changes in your life. His love for you is unending. Put your faith in the Lord...spend some time with Him and watch Him work in and through you. Getting close to Jesus is the answer your seeking!

"A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them,“Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” Mark 2:1-12

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pushing Through Life's Desert

On our recent vacation hike, I couldn't help but relate our journey to Christ... 
Heading up the dusty, cactus filled trail, the goal seemed impossible by the view currently in front of us. The mountains were scarce in trees and a small trickle of water wound back and forth in front of us. (You may have been told about a peaceful life when you seek a relationship with Jesus, but often find it difficult to see past your present circumstances.) 

Continuing on, we jumped over the "river," heading toward our goal. 
Steeper and steeper we climbed, the cactus/desert view slowly began to disappear. Green, lush trees now lined our path. 

The next part of the river we came to was wider, the water deeper and moving faster. It was beginning to look more hopeful. (The more you continue to chase after the Lord through prayer and scripture study, your view begins to change.) We stomped through the ice cold water in our tennis shoes, no longer able to avoid getting wet. In the excitement of what was to come we increased our speed, foregoing the trail and traipsing directly through the river to reach our final destination quicker.
I'd been told about an incredibly beautiful hike from a long time blogger friend who lived in the area that we were currently vacationing in. I was finding it hard to imagine that this trail was leading me to the final majestic beauty that I'd seen in her pictures.  

People began to pass us as they were heading down the trail. I asked, "How was it?" "AWESOME!" several teenagers replied in unison. (Church leaders, family members and friends will often tell you how God changed them and their life is now amazing.) "How much farther?" my husband asked in anxious curiosity and still lingering doubt. "Oh, you're almost there!" a teenage girl replied. My husband shot me a quick doubtful glance and said, "I wonder if they're just joking us and it's still really far or worse, not there at all!" As we looked around, there showed no signs of anything close to what we came for. (You may feel doubt in the middle of your struggles, wondering if God will really hear and/or answer your prayers.)

We continued walking and headed back onto the trail due to fallen trees blocking our path. (The fallen trees are like difficulties, often causing you to leave the narrow path God is calling you to stay on with Him.) 
When we were able to, we jumped back into the water knowing that we couldn't get lost by following it directly. (When you get closer to Jesus, you will not stray or get lost because He is your guide.)

Finally, as we turned a corner, we stared in awe...the slot canyon stood before us reaching towards heaven.

Our eyes fell on a small narrow entryway of amazing yellow, orange, grey and black colors marking the way inside this hidden treasure. (“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14) 

My husband ran to it and with his arms extended, was able to reach both sides. The only way to enter was directly through the river.

A loud, thunderous echo, was resonating from inside the canyon walls, beckoning us to see where it was coming from. (This is just like God inviting you to come closer to Him; wanting you to have a deeper more intimate relationship with Christ.) As we rounded the corner, there it was. 

One of the most glorious slot canyon waterfalls I'd ever seen.

(When you press in and continue to grow closer to the Lord, you will be filled with His unending love and peace which surpasses all understanding.)
Your life may be just like our incredible hike. You may be walking uphill in the hot, dusty, desert of life. The view around you may seem hopeless and unending. But the more you press into God's word, pray and seek a "relationship" with Jesus Christ, the closer you get to the dream he's placed in your heart. He begins to do a work in you; changing you one step at a time. Walking you closer and closer to His amazing light. The view around you begins to change. The dark grim areas...become brighter. You are filled with renewed hope and strength. You no longer feel lost and alone. The more you seek the Lord you begin to realize that your "hike" through life is easier when you allow Christ to be your guide. 

Today, take the journey of seeking a "relationship" with Christ. He will never take you down a wrong path. He will make all your paths straight. Eventually transforming you into His amazing image. Your life will become more than you've ever hoped or imagined it could be. His path will lead you to a life, "rooted and grounded" in Him. Start your hike though the desert into God's glorious waterfall of love, peace and light. He has a good and perfect plan for you and is calling you to take the steps in His direction. 

"For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:14-19