Monday, October 17, 2016

When You Begin To Fall...

I made it up, over and around. It was low tide just like the local report said. I could've simply headed down the street for a normal beach shot, but an adventurous view was tugging at my heart. 

I sat basking in the warm glow of the setting sun. My tripod strategically placed in the middle of the fluorescent-green moss filled pools, as the sun dipped low beyond the horizon. I carefully climbed my way up a slick ledge above a break in the cliff to capture water shooting through and splashing high. 

I always push myself to areas that may be a bit treacherous attempting to achieve that perfect shot. After a short time, a rogue wave barreled up and over the entire area below. I immediately realized I'd waited a bit too long and my escape route was closing fast. I quickly scanned the ocean to see if another wave was coming. I had but a moment to get down and across the tide pools to safety. I wedged my left foot in a nook and attempted to place my right foot on an area to climb down. I hadn't accounted for the slickness of that particular spot, unaware the wave had reached that high. My foot slid down the ledge, my body following, my leg scraping on the way down, as I pummeled into the sharp, jagged pool below. My knee must've taken the blunt force. It was throbbing and I could barely walk, along with my shin, ankle and foot being pretty sliced up. But I was still in danger, so I forced myself up and hobbled to safety. 

I know, I know...what was I thinking? 
I don't know! 
I sometimes just charge forward and then find myself in deep water. 

Sin is like that, it can be enticing, attractive, misleading in its hidden danger. But when you go to those places you know you're not supposed to, you're bound to fall. 

I'm thankful I was able to walk to safety. I'm thankful I don't appear to have broken anything (pray for my knee-we'll see tomorrow). 

Friends, join me in remembering the next time temptation comes to pray before you act on it. Ask for The LORD's guidance, direction and strength to stay on the right path so you don't lose your secure footing and fall.  

"As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving."~Colossians 2:6-7

Jump on the Thankful Train...what are you thankful for?

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Answered Prayer vs. Unanswered Prayer: A Lesson In Both

Today I'm thankful for answered prayer *and* unanswered prayer (a lesson in both). So let's review. I had two big prayers I lifted up today, one for health and one for favor. When I received the text that my dad's surgery to place a plate in his arm was a success and he was doing good, I was grateful. But after I knew my dad was okay...I couldn't stop focussing on the second request that didn't quite get answered the way I'd hoped. I asked, "LORD, what is going on? I don't get it?" 
And then, you know what? I planted myself right there. I sat in that place of discontentment, completely disregarding the *huge* answer I'd just received.  

Finally, after a few hours of mulling over it, I was reminded of two very important things: 
1) GOD is not my personal genie. HE is *always* working for what is *best* in every single situation. HE sees the end result to the trials and unanswered prayers. 
2) I need to trust and remain faithful in remembering all that GOD *has* done for my family and I; a constant state of gratitude. 

Friends, join me in praying for help to stay in a place of thankfulness even when some prayers seem to go unanswered. Let's ask The LORD to help us focus on the answers we *have* received...strengthening our faith. Let's ask forgiveness for the times we make it all about us, forgetting that it's really all about JESUS, what HE's done for us and our Salvation (the bigger picture.) Let's ask GOD to reveal the lessons HE's teaching in times of waiting (helping us grow).

"Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
But to Your name give glory,
Because of Your mercy,
Because of Your truth."~Psalm 115:1

Jump on the Thankful Train...what are you thankful for?

Monday, October 10, 2016

When Your Mistake Costs Much

So I was watching football after church today because duh...isn't that what everyone does during the most amazing season of the year? Anyways, while waiting for my Packers game I had the Eagles vs. the Lions game on. The Eagles were undefeated and on their way to yet another win when all of a sudden the Eagles running back fumbled the ball and the Lions recovered it. The cameraman continued to flash over to the running back whose error cost the Eagles their first loss 23-24. 
The running back was sitting alone and visibly upset at the magnitude of his error. Again and again, the camera went back to focus on him. I felt so bad for the guy, he was so distraught over his fumble. Finally he put on his helmet with a dark visor attached to keep the camera off him. 

This visual reminded me how we often react to our life mistakes. We sit alone too long, mulling over again and again, mentally beating ourselves up. 
Today I'm thankful for the knowledge that while I'm not perfect and mess up often, I don't have to carry the weight on my shoulders, hiding behind a dark mask of shame and guilt. I'm thankful for a relationship with JESUS CHRIST that allows me to be forgiven, forgive myself, as well as others. 

Friends, if you've been carrying a burden for too long, it's time to let it go. Don't sit alone and hide. GOD's got big plans for you and it doesn't include moping around and looking behind. The past is past. Ask The LORD for forgiveness; lay it down and don't pick it back up. Keep your eyes on JESUS, ask HIM to take away your sins, forgive you, and come into your heart and life, making all things new. HE already paid the price, accept HIS forgiveness, the free gift HE gave to you upon the cross, rising on the 3rd day to newness of life. You've been called for more. Let the Light of CHRIST shine into the darkness. Let it go!

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."~2 Corinthians 5:17

Jump on the Thankful Train...what are you thankful for?