Purposeful Faith

Tag - peace

7 Reasons Why God Is Allowing Your Trial

Allowing Your Trial

Life is good.
Life is great.
Life is manageable.

Until it breaks down at it’s core and the serial killer of joy, (aka your trial) comes back to haunt you again.

Ever noticed that what hit you yesterday,
still threatens to come after you today?

Same vein, different day, but all the same pain. 

It threatens to hurt you like it did.
It threatens to arrive when you least expect.
It threatens you with the same feelings of yesterday.
It threatens you into fearing like you once did.
It threatens to pop right out of your bushes, saying “Now is the time to hit!”

Then you hear the smallest rustle of the bushes makes you think, “I am doomed.”
A resemblance to his tactics of yesterday make you cower, “I can’t.”
The scars of past cut deep, making you say, “Why me?”

Why does God allow our beaten evil to return?

Why doesn’t he annihilate them and say, “You can never touch my child again”?

Paul said, Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 2 Cor. 12:7

7 Likely Reasons Why God is Allowing your Trial

1. To keep you humble.

Pride goes before the fall (Prov. 16:8). If Paul had fallen, Christianity would not have risen. If Christianity did not rise, it easily could have meant our demise.

2. To keep you in training.

Olympic runners aren’t built without sprinting through walls, forging through exhaustion and getting up again when they want to quit. It is in the pain that we find our greatest spiritual gains – to become more and more like Christ.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. Ja. 1:2-3

3. To gift you with the grace of God.

It often takes the face of crisis to see the smile of God’s grace over you. It is here you learn to stop saying things like, “I oughta”, “Why can’t I?” and “I should have”. Instead a quiet and gentle prodding arises within; it is one that begins to know “with God, all is possible”, “no weapon forged against me shall prosper” and “I am a work in progress and I will get there”.

4.  To make you start thinking spiritually, not carnally.

When you have nothing left, you start to see all that is left – and all that matters – God.  Sometimes the stripping, is much more about clothing you with Spirit things than it is about hurting your earthly things and body.

Strip yourselves of your former nature.… And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude]. Eph. 4:22-23 (AMP)

5. To show you growth.

When you hit bad, you can start to see the forming of your good. Meaning, you see how less anxious you are, how less worried you feel and how much more you know God will take care of you.  It becomes a cause for praise.

6. To change things in your unseen.

We forget that while we are living our song, God is conducting a blaring orchestra with moving instruments around us. All rise up to sing, “Glory to God on the highest and peace to his people on earth”! Our sound may play odd, but in the grand scheme of his leading, all things are working together just as he wants them to. Things are being accomplished. People are being reached. Lives are changing. We just don’t know what he knows.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. Is. 55:8

7. To develop you into eternal gold, not rotting dollar bills.

When delivered, what emerges from the rot of a once selfish body? Praise. Glory. Honor. Things that are worthy, valuable and eternal.

These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Pet. 1:7

God uses what is coming to get you, not to ruin you, but to make you.

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When God is Punishing You

God is Punishing

You kind of figure, because of you,
because of all your bad actions,
he’s going to open the heavens,
rain down lightening like pocket knives
​and  land one straight on your head.

Maybe it is already happening. All is plummeting and God is: hitting you with health issues, cutting into finances, shredding a marriage, stabbing emotional well-being, hurting your kids, slicing out pain at work and dicing up trials for your course du jour.

And, it has to be you, right? All you have done, you deserve it. All you keep doing, it makes sense. All of your past, you get it. You are a degenerate in so many ways.

You may not hear his words from his mouth, but you certainly hear them in your head:

 “Get your bad self to your room. Don’t return until you act better.”
“Get yourself together.”
“What is wrong with you?”
“You can’t do anything right.”

Exasperated, you wait to hear from him, expecting a whole lotta words on how you are a royal mess-up and a giant loser. You expect to hear a list of practial law and rules and insights and plans that you need to stick to.

Instead, a whole different picture rises – a picture that puts God’s truth first.

It is painted.  Not in muted shades of pained grey, but with the spectrum of new life. It beckons you to step in and to feel the warmth, to participate in growth and to enjoy the ride, so you listen and hear things like: 

1. You see all you do wrong, I see so much that you do right.

2. You’re my first love. I don’t want to hurt you, I want to prosper, grow and see my glory shine through you.

3. You see your mistakes, I see how your mistakes are the starting of new.

4. You get discouraged and defeated by relational hiccups, but I see the pauses as space for me to work.

5. You’re the child I created, I love you exactly the way you are – strengths with weaknesses, weaknesses with strengths.

6. You don’t have to have it all figured out in the today, because I have it all figured out in the tomorrow.

7. Your repentance is the start of my next best thing. You turn away and then you see me.

8. Other people acting badly, is the best chance to show holy.

9.  When you turn towards me, in turn you see my kindness.

10. When you say you’re sorry (and mean it), I say, “I forgive you” (and mean it).

Staring at the image, your mind dwells on the new story:

“God’s face looks a whole lot different than mine. His love is ten times more infusive than mine. His ways are galaxies more compassionate than mine. His grace is tanks more abundant than mine.

While I look at the immediate, he sees the long-term. While I get defeated in battle, he cheers the victory over the course of the war. While I get angry, he knows that anger does not produce righteousness (Ja. 1:20)”

The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. Ps. 145:8

The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Nu. 14:8

You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. Ps. 86:5

Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. Ps. 25:8

But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. Ps. 130:4

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 Jo. 4:8

God calls you in.
Deeper.

God calls you out.
To head towards grace.

God dares you to hear him.
To listen to his true sounds.

For to know him,
is to know love.

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Regular Contributor, Katie Reid, is delighted to have a memoir piece published in Tales of Our Lives: Reflection Pond by Matilda Butler. The book launches today on Amazon for only 99 cents! Don’t miss it.

The Good and Bad of Giving Up

Post By: Katie M. Reid

She wants to give up, and rightly so.

She has been fighting hard, in faith—on her knees, with her time and finances, and with a broken heart.

She sacrifices beyond what she feels capable of. She doesn’t experience the noble results her heart aches for and she is weary.

She is one of the strongest women I know, and she is hanging on by a thread.

She has experienced injustice, fought corruption and been slammed up against disappointment more times than she can count.

She reaches out to others as she falls to the floor and waves the white flag.

She wants to give up and it’s understandable.

But, giving up can be bad:

  • It can rob us of the miracle just around the corner.
  • It can tempt us to walk away from the One who can do the impossible.
  • It can take us down a road of regret.
  • It can chew us up and spit us out—further from our faith than we ever dared to go.
  • It can trip others up, taking them down as we fall.
  • It can leave us depleted, like a dead man walking.

“Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

It is understandable to be in a position where you want to give up. We are human. We have limits. But, if God has clearly said He will do it and laid it out in His Word, than you can count on Him to come through.

He cannot lie. Even when the road ahead is a mangled mess of darkness and tangled roots, His Hope can be found.

O God illuminate the way!

Don’t give up hope but give up control. This kind of giving up can get us somewhere.

Because, giving up can be good:

  • We reach the end of ourselves and we cry out to the Creator.
  • We cease striving and resolve to let Him fight for us.
  • We trade our grasping control for His steady Sovereignty.
  • We pour out our hurts and He meets us in our brokenness.
  • We lay down and He lifts up.
  • We yield and He fills up with peace that passes understanding.

As we begin this new year there are destructive ways of living that we should give up—bad habits, addictions, angry tones and murderous thoughts.

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Ephesians 4:31

And as the new year begins there are beautiful things that we can give up, as lavish offerings to our Lord—trusting Him even when life hurts, following Him even when we can’t see the next step, abiding in His Word even when it’s not popular or convenient.

“Give unto the LORD the glory due unto His name, bring an offering, and come before Him: worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.” 1 Chronicles 16:29

Giving up can be an act of defeat or an act or worship. Which one will you choose today?

Dear God,

You know the depths of the burdens that we bear. Yet You carried the weight of sin upon You so that we could live. Help us to lay down our cares and catastrophes at Your feet. Give us hope in dark days. Give us help to keep going. Give us strength to believe that You are who You say You are. You became a dead man so we could walk free. Now You reign at the right hand of the Father so we can be resurrected one day as well. We take a moment, on the cusp on this new year, to declare that we believe in You. You are good. You are trustworthy. You see all and are able to sustain us this day. Help us not to give up hope but to give up control and rest in Your ability to hold us, and the whole world, together. We love you and we thank you that You gave up all for us to prove you won’t give up on us!

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Katie M. Reid Author

Katie M. Reid is a tightly wound woman, of the recovering perfectionist variety, who fumbles to receive and extend grace in everyday moments. She delights in her hubby, four children (and one on the way) and their life in ministry. Through her writing, singing, speaking and photography she encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life. Connect with Katie at katiemreid.com.

P.S. Katie is delighted to have a memoir piece published in Tales of Our Lives: Reflection Pond by Matilda Butler. The book launches tomorrow, January 8th, on Amazon for only 99 cents!

 

God’s Invitation: Do 2016 With Me

God's Invitation

I love you.
This year belongs to me –
as do you.
So know, I have both; in all ways.

There is no way you can be left behind,
I “go before you and will be with you”. (Deut. 31:8)
I “see all your work and your love;
not one labored breath goes unnoticed.” (Heb. 6:10)

Dead-gaze on me, be entranced and shadow my ways,
then your confidence will come easily, your burden will feel light and your heart will get sure:
Sure that you “will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” (Ps. 27:13)

Child, please, wear the world like perfume, on one moment – and off the next,
not penetrating your deep, not altering your mind, and having no significant hold on you.
Violence: Let the pain hit, then let it waft into my being.
Opinions: Listen and let them rise.
Fear of man: Get a whiff and then let them go.
Goods: Say nice that you have them, then breathe deep – my love.
Then, I will permeate your insides with my infallible grace. 
Your mold will more easily fit mine and your mind will mock mine. (Ro. 12:2)

Don’t let enemy forces fool you into thinking my love can be thwarted.
Don’t let them plunder your joy, peace and patience by demanding an already established timing.
It may look like you are being besieged, but I am the one who controls the word “proceed.”
It may look like I want to hurt you, but every time I am helping you to grow, glisten and glean truth.
Pain is temporary, but my care, compassion and consolation withstand.
Hardship doesn’t mean I love you less or that I hold you less – it means the world will hold a little less of you when all is said and done.
What comes against also has the capacity to push me into you with the same force.
Let it be so; let me rule.

So, child, watch carefully that you don’t plan against me, but plan with me.
You may set out a course, but, know, I am determining each movement. (Prov. 16:9)
There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the me. (Acts 5:39)
My ways are the ways that lead to the places you want to go; let’s go together.
Let’s move holding hands, rather than me pulling you through the mud –
we will both be happier, move easier and enjoy the journey.
You will delight in my love rather than resist it.
You will find I have so much good laid out for you – even in a world of set land mines.

Distraction abounds around you.
But so do I.
Keep your eyes set on what matters, what will fill you, what will change you.
I am always there, make a choice to see me above the diversions.
See the birds chirping, the sunset and my habitat of love, before you reach to answer that text.
Enjoy your children laughing, before you throw your face in front of a screen.
Welcome your spouses inviting words, before you think of your next scheduled activity.
Here my ready-to-lift voice above the talking fear-puppets of the world.
My love rises above world issues; it contains the only answer to genuine peace.

Love people like they are me,
but don’t let them rule you like you are Judas.
Money, people, things, toys, voices, actions, words,
they will try to gain a hold in your life,
they will try to rule you by opinion, feelings or  control,
but just let me hold you, as you love,
wave to them as they pass you by,
and you will be okay, we will hold firm together.
When you realize you can’t control another’s peace, you start to find yours.
When you step back from looking at others progress, you make yours.
No weapon forged against you shall prosper. (Is. 54:17)
When you realize this, you make instruments of love,
and you start singing new songs that make people break down and cry.
Your love begins to dance.

Discouragement will knock on your door,
let that salesman of sleazy goods pass by ungreeted.
You won’t be rude, you’ll be as shrewd as a snake
and I like that kind of thing… (Mt 10:16)
because my encouragement exists all around you.
Hear the knock, say they “There it is”,
but don’t pull open that door,
and, together, we’ll make it out okay.
That sleezeball has never been known to bring an ounce of anything that is from me,
why mess with that?

Jealousy, lust, comparison and pride –
they are like gangrene; they hinder my healing, helping and calming work in you,
don’t let them steal your view of what I am at work to do.
They love to come in, take over and make healthy ones fall.
Don’t think you are above their grasp,
for they sneak in…
when that one person does just a little better than you,
your eye strays just a tad too far,
you look at her appearance and mark yours bad.
you pat yourself on the back and vow to keep letting your awesomeness shine.
Set up your fence this year, so that you and I can play, laugh and move within safe confines,
we don’t need predators hanging around with us.

Let not money be your guide, dear child.
Sure, on earth it rules,
but in my vast kingdom,
that transcends the farthest known galaxy of human comprehension,
I do.
Lift me higher and you will see how high I extend.
Let me rule and you will start to see how much I rule.
Take a chance of faith and I will see your faith…
and then I’ll answer by faith,
to give you more and more faith.
You’ll come out the other side saying, “Wow, look at me now!”

And until we meet at the banqueting table, dear one,
be not afraid, I can’t stop thinking of you,
Come, be with me, and I won’t lead you wrong.

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From Commander To Surrenderer

Surrenderer

You can do it.
Make it happen.
You’re the boss.
Lead the way.
Get ‘er done.

Life makes us more into commanders than surrenderers doesn’t it?

I have been thinking about this lately, because, sure, I pray to God, I ask him for help, I follow his lead, I read his Word and I go to church. But, how much of my life do I manage, manipulate and mangle rather than letting him mend, mold and make me holy?

In many ways, I step up to God to say,
“You are my helper. Assistant. But, you are hardly my rescuer.”

Which translates to:
I’ll call on you in prayer God; you better pull though when I ask.
I have the day-to-day interactions covered, you handle the miracles.
I can figure my way out of the small; I will circle back on the big.
I am the boss of my office; I will call you, the assistant, if I get overwhelmed.
I will buzz you in if there are some things I really don’t want to do.

Let us examine our ways and test them,
and let us return to the LORD. La. 3:40

I am a large part pride and, I entirely hate to say this, a small portion trust.
I often think I can help myself better than God can help me.
I run over God with the tread my dirt-laden wheels that head to reeking lands.
My direction and intentions leave me with a flat tire and no way out.

Be not far from me, for trouble is near; For there is none to help (including Kelly Balarie or [insert your name here]. Ps. 22:11

Trouble is always near. So is the devil; he prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. 1 Pet. 5:8

God waits.
He sees our trouble.
He is acquainted with our adversary.
He knows our door out.
He knows his door in.
He calls us to it.
He pleads for us.
He advocates for us.
He waits.

Will we call back to him?

Like a child with a breakage, knowing daddy will run to rescue?

Like a mother of a terminal one, knowing her great physician will save?

Like a distressed homeless one, knowing the benefactor has good?

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. Ps. 55:2

He will handle our all as we hand over our all.
He loves our all, we need not be afraid of his all.
He brings us to his all as we seek his all.

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7 Verses for Relational Encouragement

Relational Encouragement

Christmas is here, but so is family tensions.
Christmas is here, but so are dysfunctional relationships.
Christmas is here, but so are old habits.
Christmas is here, but gone are people we love.
Christmas is here, but baggage of old still exists.
Christmas is here, but fears surface.

God says, “I see all that, and I can handle all that.”

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Is. 41:10

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Tim. 1:7

Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.” John 14:27

“But now, this is what the Lord says…Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1

“Tell everyone who is discouraged, Be strong and don’t be afraid! God is coming to your rescue…” Isaiah 35:4

“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1

What looks unscalable, God boosts you over.

What seems unbearable, God brings you through unbelievably.

What can’t be managed, God says let down your guard and I will guard you.

Will you throw your cares upon God’s shoulders? He is the only one that can hold the weight of them without breaking his back.

“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22

sustain
transitive verb sus·tain \sə-ˈstān\

  • : to hold up the weight of (something)

As you cast it over, God gets under its crushing weight (just like he did at the cross).

The weight is no longer on you, so when you walk, talk, eat or digest other’s insults, you don’t fall. You are preserved, whole and entire.

Press in and God will press his being through you.

Cast your cares and he will care for you.

Be strong and trust – God is about ready to rescue you!

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The Hidden Good in the Bad

Good in the Bad

I tried my best. I put my whole heart into it.
I sought God and followed him.
I didn’t give up despite the big barriers.
I kept my focus and kept going…
Only to hit hard times.

Ever noticed, how when you give your all,
all of a sudden, you somehow start to believe – 
God should give his all too?

Silently, longingly and righteously you start to say things like:
“I did my part. Now, you better do yours.”
“You helped me through. Now bring me all the way.”
“You are giving me this? I have done good by you.”

Somehow, I believe my following, trusting and abiding with him DESERVES some sort of sundae with a cherry on top (don’t miss the hot fudge, God) – from him. That is the sticking point. 

God’s blessings are not dictated by our demands.
God’s blessings are always good, but not always easy.
God’s blessings are given and not demanded.
God’s blessings are unearned and, often, unexpected.

Perhaps, God doesn’t always payback hard work,
because he wants to payout the better gift.

Think of Mary.

Just a young girl, did she ever expect an angel to visit her from high? Likely not. Blessing.
Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.  Jesus. Lu. 1:30

Might she have thought having a baby, unwedded, was more of a curse than a blessing? Perhaps, but again it was a blessing.
You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. Lu. 1:31

Might she have been let down by the fact that ultimately Jesus was less great and more humble? He was a King nailed up against a cross. Still – a blessing.
He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High…his kingdom will never end. Lu. 1:32

What we see as unusual, unwanted and often unwarranted –
are often unknown blessings in the process of being baked to done.

Done to the point where:

  1. Things spiritual are cemented forever. Jesus reigns over earthly forever.
  2. Wars are won as people are pressed against difficult. Jesus proclaims it is finished – man will be saved from themselves.
  3. Things of darkness are trampled on. Jesus put everything underneath his feet; he stands above it all.
  4. Lives are saved. The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mt. 20:28
  5. God is glorified. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, Father, into my hands I commend my spirit. Mt. 23:46
  6. You are changed. Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. 1 Jo. 2:6

Blessings can look like nails. They can also feel like crosses being carried. Yet, at the end of the day, what springs forth from the winter of cold agony is the warmth of new Spring – overflowing with Christ’s majesty and strength.

The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The LORD has clothed and girded Himself with strength; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved. Ps. 93:1

The cross was an unusual, often unwanted and unwarranted (for a perfect lamb), but it was a blessing that would change the tides of the earth forever. 

As Mary’s love was being nailed to the cross, as he cried out as and as she likely wondered why it all had to lead to this – she was being blessed.

What seems to be nailing you? Might it actually be blessing you?

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God’s Love Letter for You

love letter

Dear Father God,

I am struggling.
My heart is ripping in two with the thought of how I hurt you.
My defensiveness is boiling, spilling over, with the burning effect of protect or be harmed.
My guilt is cascading onto those I love.
My fears seem to keep me stuck immobile, feeling more like a pillar of salt than the salt of the earth.

There is a insidious inclination to look at myself, in these moments, and to say, “I hate you.”

“I hate how you can’t get things right.
I hate how you don’t love properly. I hate how you make others feel.”

In these moments, it seems like I’m riding a roller coaster that is only descending, that is only heading into the swamplands of no movement, no progress and eternal frustration. I don’t want to go…still though, I move there, even despite my best efforts.

God, why can’t I be all you want me to be?
Why can’t I do better and be better?
Why do I fall into my own traps of defeat?
Why can’t I beat my mind so I can be a “good” follower of you?

Kelly

Dear Child,

Love. Do you feel it? Do you know it? This is all I have reserved for you. It is the only seat I offer you, it is front row to my unending offering of everything I have. For you are mine and I am yours. Love. Move in and let it sink in.

Even when you may feel like you are pulling up the covers, turning off the lights and laying down in disappointment and discouragement, flick the switch, see the light and dead-stare into my eyes. I wait, not to give you the evil eye, but to let you know that you are mine. 

Inhale.

I want all of you. I delight in all of you. The places where you are falling, are the places I am uprising. Will you trust? You see the skinned knees, I see the miraculous renewal. I don’t just bandage and regrow, but heal and remake a zillion times more abundant than your smallest comprehension of new.

My work transcends earthly and rebounds into the spiritual
which far surpasses what you consider – natural.

For nothing will be impossible with me (God). Lu. 1:37

So, dear child, don’t be angry at yourself, for this is all part of the process. Don’t cast your efforts into class “loser”. Don’t tell yourself you need to go to bed with no dinner. You will fail, fall and falter. But, here is the truth:

I don’t want to return you to the orphanage and wipe my hands of you.
I don’t want to drop you off on the side of the road, unless you put a smile on your face.
I don’t want you to know that you better – shape up or ship out. 

I just want you, all of you, in my hands, moldable, breakable, pliable, makeable and malleabe so that I can make you incredible as you lay back into the warmth of my will.

Stay with me.
    Take heart. Don’t quit.
I’ll say it again:
    Stay with me.

Ps. 27:14 MSG

Don’t fear my process of remake, but open yourself up to it. Let love sink in – into the cracks, into the chaffed edges and into the unseen – so I can revive every cell you believe is of disrepair. I promise, I work wonders for beauty.

You see, my love is the healing point of all pain.
My love is the answer to your lash-outs.
My indwelling love is the answer to your out-dwelling peace.
My love is the end of condemnation and the beginning of affirmation. 
My love is the termination of avoidance and the conception of acceptance.
My love is arms around you when agony is too.
My love is the only current that removes the constant buzz of unbelonging.

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again;
rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.
And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Ro. 8:15

Will you give it a chance? A chance to just – be? A chance to sit on your heart as you sit quiet on your couch? A chance to change you? A chance to remake you?

Cherished child, don’t let love become cliche. Common. Normal. Ordinary. See it afresh. Consider it anew. Resign yourself to know that you can never know the fullness of my love; there is always more and more to it.

So, step back, hold on tight and let it flood your insides so that it floods your world, not with proper actions, but with me.  

You will be astonished at what comes out when you let my love move in.

Forever yours,

Daddy

 

Daddy,

When I find your heart, things change. What was up is down and what was down is up, meaning you, God, move down, and the enemy moves far, far, away. Rather than feeling like all the walls are caving in, rather than feeling suffocated by sub-par Christianity, I feel young again. I feel uninhibited, released and restructured. I feel like running downhill, arms wide open, body receiving, will disappearing, all the same emerging. Emerging into a better me, not because of me, but because of you.

The wind of your gentle Spirit strips away the old, the useless and the unneeded, to pack in new, useful and entirely needed. You bring me to your destination and, as I trust you God, it is great adventure, with great joy and great power in distinct and purposeful movement. God, keep me there. Keep me in the place where my heart says let’s go! Let’s go wild and free down your journey of adventure.

For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. Job 19:25

You love me, oh how you love me,

Your daughter

 

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Bloggers,

  1. Exciting news! We will now be linking up #periscopes every Friday. I have created a new Facebook group for this. I will share tips, tricks and insights on Periscope with encouragement along the way. Join now! Invite friends. Get linking!

  2. Join the linkup Facebook group, Cheerleaders for Christ.
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When God Makes Your Bad Day Worse

Bad Day

Faith is easy when life is simple.
Faith is tested when life gets infested.
Infested with: trials, trauma, ticks, testing, tainted people, tiny bank accounts, T-Cell Cancer

Then, we start to lose our marbles, we run after them as they spread left and right and downhill and diagonally. We think that somehow they are our source of pleasure, our primary need, our must haves to stay in this competitive game called life.  When they go wild, we go wild. We zig and we zag, frantic with the what ifs, the how comes and the if onlys. We run tired with metastasized doubt.

Just the other day, my bag spilled out.
Kids were going to bathroom in places they never should go.
Water was being poured faucet-to-floor.
Shoes were being protested as we headed out the door.
Bad news was arriving via telephone.

Later, I sat in my car, zoned, and seeking: “Dear Lord, please help me right now. Send me some encouragement that will uplift my heart.”

I stared out the front windshield, a tad dazed, yet I still saw it, a beacon of hope, a blessing in the making and a little valentine from God – I was sure this card tucked under the wiper was the answer to all my days wrongs.

“God, this must be it. What is on that card, you have written for me, to encourage me. Please Lord, let it be.”

I plucked the card out and, with excitement, read it, sure of my oncoming peace. But, what it said shocked me, it nearly broke me, “Alert: You park like an idiot.”

bad day

And, boom! There it was, the hammer that broke the frozen dam of pent up wild, the final condemnation I needed to lose and the final word on what was already written up as horrendous day.

Have you ever been there? Just needing a little pat on the back, only to get a great whack?

What I never considered, until I got the chance to consider how much of a parking idiot I really am, is that no one ever really knows our situation.

While that person placed a card on my windshield to help all mankind, they had no idea that a man of my kind was near her breaking point. They had no idea that I parked the car like that because kids will not be able to open the backdoor if the car is too close. They had no idea that leaving two littles in the center of a crazy parking lot to back up and load them in is frankly idiotic.  They had no idea that my head was going to explode from the pressure of all the marbles that were already hitting all the walls of discouragement.

How often do I judge someone before I know?

How often do I see bad moves and curse the person
for not moving another way?

How often do I miss the chance to love and lift
for a decision to kill and destroy?

That person had the chance to change my whole day for the better, I bet they had no idea.

All the same, in that moment, for a split second, another marble came loose. It was the marble with the name God on it, for a split-second it started to roll – away, far far away.

I watched it.
Would I get it?
Not sure.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Ro. 8:28

I know this verse, but sometimes it is hard to believe this verse. Sometimes it is hard to live in the eye of tornado and still keep an eye on truth.

Truth like:
God cares less about wiping our feelings clean and more about wiping our souls clean.
God sometimes let’s us go through the fire, so we get a chance to see the miraculous undoing of our self. 
God is holding our heart, even when we lose heart.
More important than earthly mayhem is spiritual peace. Mania makes us motivated to find it.
People don’t drive our standing in God’s Kingdom, Jesus did.

If I stop chasing marbles, I start to get back into God’s game. I start to think strategy, promises and peace to myself. I start to find life abounding in the face of myself rebounding.

I start to think of how all this bad is made for all God’s good.

I start to feel calm again, steady and ready to stick solidly to all that really matters in this world.

Sense starts to boil up from all the nonsense – and that is enough for me.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. James 1:2-3

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The Unexpected Repairing Ground

Repairing Ground

Dear eyes, you have looked through the glasses of not enough for so long. You have gazed upon other’s lots wishing to grab their “a lot”. Their kids, cars, houses, smarts, clothes, cars and blessings. You crave it all. You have hoped and dreamed, pleaded and called, but still, your eyes constrict when you see all you don’t have. There is hope.

Dear hands, you are trying, you are fighting and you are walking by faith, but sometimes the work of your hands falters. You trip up and chip up your nails, your best efforts, which only seems to send you into a cycle of defeat and discouragement. You feel like you can’t make it holy enough. Don’t give up.

Dear mind, you carry around the self-condemning thoughts of “I wish I could be better, love more, do more and be more.” You tend to miss the mark and punish yourself for doing so. Honestly, the way you run circles, chasing the tail of “perfectly all together,” may just rip you apart. There is more. 

Dear feet, you go to the places of need. You rise to the moments of emergency. You run to help others. You go far lengths. But, still, you wonder, do these feet travel far enough? Are they making a difference? Are the steps futile? They count.

Dear other person, I wonder, will you still love me entirely with my flaws? Will you be able to look past all my frame is not to see all I am? What would happen if I trusted you? Take a risk.

For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it. Col. 2:19

Suddenly, my eyes open, my ears listen, my mouth waits, and my hands reach out to see God’s nourishing truth. While I always thought the freedom was centered on me, I am realizing it transcends time-sensitive bodies – it transcends our body. It is not just about one flawed and damaged part, but it is entirely about the whole part. The part he is moving and making into his greatness, for his greatness.

His body that makes my body. Why? Because my body is his body (I am his temple). His body is the church (we are his people). The church is God’s primary mission field to repair damaged bodies (if we let it work).

Founded in Christ and deployed through our willingness, we – together – become the healers of the awkward thoughts, the repairers of hidden shame and the bringers of the most hope inducing words ever – “me too.”

Unity creates immunity. An immunity that wards off loneliness, unsteadiness and unsightliness. We were at our worst, but together, we hit the potential to become our best.

If we give unity a fighting chance, we give let progress walk in – shuffle around –
and do it’s victory dance.

For then, a collaborative voice emerges, saying, “We can do it, make it and conquer it. We can see our bulges, our wrinkles and our indents and say, this body is very good.” (Gen. 1:3) Not because everything is perfectly beautiful, but because everything is beautifully transparent in a way where one needs Christ, where one needs another.

Holding hands, there is joy, there is a sliver of something – a glorious sunrise emerges in the center of the darkness of night and what appears is the new beginning to a story that we thought ended.

We see our ill-formed bodies, as a whole, formed into the image of Christ.

Our body emerges remarkable, radiant and restored.

You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you. Song 4:7

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