I did something new this week. I went back to school.
Evidently my brain was due for a workout since, “I used to know this….” has been the catch-phrase of the week.
It’s no secret one of my favorite quotes is by a wise man, CS Lewis. He said: “You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” I’m glad God is in the business of new, aren’t you?
Have you felt a tug on your heart to step out in faith and reach for a new dream?
If you’re struggling to find answers I’ve got one for you. Head to the Word.
I say that because there’s this lie we believe about the Bible, the lie that we’ve been there, done that, heard that verse before. We know it. We’ve read it. We’re good. Notice the past tense? Have you ever had those thoughts? Yeah, me too. But those thoughts rob us like a thief in the night.
We’re not good. We’re far from good. Transformation comes from renewing our mind through the Word. You’re right, that’s in the Word and we’ve heard it before. Yet with every delicate page turned there’s something new to learn. We grow. We see things our eyes didn’t see before, because before is when we glazed over that one word that makes all the difference in what we need for today.
Have you read the passage about a place called Gethsemane? Me too. But this time it touched me so deeply. The weight of His Jesus’ sorrow is beyond our comprehension. Jesus knew what He would endure. The weight of our awful, horrific, devastating sin put upon the One who knew no sin. To be crushed beneath the weight like olives in a press. Aren’t we thankful for mercy and grace? He took our place.
Then there’s the way Jesus prayed: “He fell with His face to the ground.” I’ve read those words before yet the picture was missing. We’ve seen images of Jesus on His knees in the garden looking up to the Father, but evidently Jesus face down in the dirt isn’t picture worthy. This posture of prayer is a thing of beauty, a position of reverence and total submission. As He lies face to the ground, He asks the Father if the cup could be taken away.
Jesus’ prayer doesn’t end there though, it’s what comes next that teaches us the difference between what we want and what we should want…
“…Yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39b
That’s key. Jesus prayed this prayer not once, not twice, but three times presenting the same request, yet in all those times He never wavered in submitting to the Father’s will over His own.
Am I prepared to accept God’s will over my own?
What God allows to happen in my life often times looks very different than what I would choose, but I’m still learning and He knows the big picture. My big picture is smaller than a speck of dust compared to the infinite grandeur of a picture God has designed. I need to trust the writing of my story to Him. He knows all.
Let’s not believe the lie that we’ve learned everything we need to know. Trying to depend on dusty knowledge will leave us stale and thirsty. It may serve us well for a time, but the well will run dry. Keep learning and stay fresh in the Word.
I’m thankful for this new journey at Liberty U. I know God led me to this place because I’m still not exactly sure how I got there. Boom. You’re back in school. What? I know, I said that earlier. But really, what?
Don’t lose sight of your big dreams and pray God’s will be done. He’s already made a Way.
Have these words touched you in some way? What dreams are you reaching for?
Who needs this verse today? Raise your hands.
So what do we do with all the stuff making us anxious?
The verse says be anxious for nothing, but what has nothing meant to us? If you’re wondering what I mean, read on…
When have we skewed this word nothing?
It’s when something is bothering us, and we’re asked what it is, and we say nothing.
It’s when a child hides a cookie in a hand behind his back, and mom asks what he’s got, and he says nothing.
It’s when we’re hurting, and others care, and we tell them it’s nothing.
Get the idea?
I think we have an issue with nothing, because we’ve used it far too often in the wrong context. Basically, we’ve lied about what nothing really means.
So if we’re anxious, and someone asks what we’re anxious about, if we say nothing we’re not getting it. We’re not suppose to push it down to fit our definition of nothing, because God’s definition of nothing is there is not one thing that need make us anxious. No thing.
When God says be anxious for nothing, His nothing means everything. It means He can take everything that makes us anxious, and make it nothing. I love God’s math, don’t you?
We can’t control when anxious comes knocking, but we can cast it into the nothing pile.
God gives us the key, the direction, the instruction. It’s right there in the verse.
Aren’t you glad God doesn’t make us figure out scripture like a crossword puzzle?
When we become anxious, we may not be able to answer, what is a six letter word we tend to forget…
True He may not reveal all the answers, but this verse? I think it’s about as plain as day.
Read it again. Can you say it without looking?
I don’t know about you, but knowing the peace of God is guarding my heart and mind, causes me to wonder what in the world I need to be anxious about.
We must continually remind ourselves to let this truth sink in deep.
These are not just words on a page, this is the Word of grace and truth. Big difference.
Isn’t it beyond amazing, that God uses scripture to teach us the importance of scripture?
I have hidden your word in my heart
that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
So we’ve got to hide Philippians 4:6-7 in our heart.
If God is telling us to be anxious for nothing, I’m thinking we need to pay close attention, and adhere.
According to Merriam-Webster, the word anxious comes from the Latin anxius; akin to Latin angere to strangle, distress — more at anger. Google search references the origin to mean to choke.
Anxiousness, anxiety, it chokes us.
We can choose choke, or we can choose peace. Let’s intentionally practice what God says, and experience the peace He wants to bring us.
Don’t forget, it’s with thanksgiving.
So since we all have our hands raised, we can praise God, lifting our right hand a bit higher because He holds it.
For more encouragement from Jesus loving bloggers, follow me over to Grace & Truth.
I had a bizarre encounter on Saturday. Can I share it with you?
I enjoyed a pleasant morning with a friend, then set out to pick up a few groceries. I entered the parking lot of the nearest grocery store, and pulled into an available spot. All quite normal up to this point, right?
Stay with me…
Before exiting the car, I took a moment to open the banking app on my cell. Just a quick check to see if I needed to transfer funds. To my dismay, the internet connection spun so many times, it made me dizzy. I decided to wait for a moment, then try it again.
Meanwhile, I noticed a blue truck pulling into the space directly facing me. A middle-aged women exited the driver’s side, but oddly, she left the door standing wide open. Next thing I knew, she was heading towards my car.
She made a beeline for my driver’s side window, so I hit the button, allowing the glass between us to slide down.
Thinking she either had the wrong person, or perhaps she wanted to ask me a question, I waited.
But she didn’t say anything.
Instead, she held up a small silver camera, and appeared to be video taping me. Yes, you read that correctly.
Not being accustomed to seeing paparazzi in the grocery store parking lot, and unaware of my seemingly celebrity status, I was completely baffled. Shocked even.
I tried conversing, but she wasn’t interested. She may have mumbled something, but honestly, I cannot recall.
Then as mysteriously as she had arrived, she turned to leave.
Don’t try this at home, but I felt compelled to get out of the car. I needed to know why.
I actually tried flagging her down, hoping we could talk. Yes, for whatever reason, I didn’t want the encounter to end this way.
But my efforts were to no avail. I stood there as she pulled away, still videotaping me as I waved goodbye. OK, now I was the one with the bizarre behavior.
After she left, I remembered something:
Before pulling into the grocery store, I had made a right turn at the red light. This is perfectly legal, however, there was a vehicle already in the intersection attempting a u-turn. That vehicle had the right-of-way, and guess you could say, I was in the wrong-of-way.
Could that be it? Could this women be the person who made that u-turn? I couldn’t be certain, but it seemed to fit.
After she left, I was a bit shaken. I decided to leave the area and head to the grocery store closer to home. The entire way there, I prayed about the bizarre encounter with this woman.
I surrendered the disturbing feelings to God, feelings of being violated, bullied, and harassed.
Not only that, I prayed for her too.
God allows things to happen for a purpose, and we may never know why.
Maybe before this encounter, nobody else was praying for her.
Maybe that’s why.
What did I learn?
- As strange as it was, it wasn’t personal. She didn’t know me, and I didn’t know her. She directed her anger at me, but she was really angry with my action. She had an unacceptable reaction to my action.
- No amount of prayer is too much. We need to bathe ourselves in prayer, and pray for others too. We never know what our day will bring, but God does. Let’s pray for His direction in our every step. In praying that way most mornings, I have to believe driving into that parking lot was no accident.
- There will always be people in this world who will choose evil over good, road rage over grace. As the Word says, let’s not repay evil with evil, but give a blessing instead. I could have retaliated, but what good would it do? What good does it do, when we become like them, and unlike Christ?
- There may have been times, we have been like them. Sometimes we’ve lost it, so forgiveness is applicable in all situations. She’s my neighbor. I don’t have to condone her actions, but I’m still called to love and forgive her.
- The Lord fights our battles. It’s a battlefield out there, but we can armor up. The enemy may try to attack, but we can trust our God has our back.
I pray someone will have the opportunity to speak to this woman, and that a seed can be planted, then watered.
Will you join me in praying for her?
Wouldn’t it be crazy if her camera wasn’t even rolling?
What similar experiences have you encountered? Please share them, and any thoughts on this bizarre encounter in the comments.
Ever feel you’ve wandered into a desert place?
Stranded on a deserted island of desperate circumstances? Sort of in-between, stuck.
I faithfully watched Gilligan’s Island as a kid. Ridiculous at times, yet amusing to see the zany plans the cast would devise in their desperation to be rescued.
The entire show hinged on rescue.
What happens when we need a rescue?
As the theme song goes, the weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed. We can surely feel tossed like salad when the seas of life get rough.
Remember the next verse? If not for the courage of the fearless crew, the Minnow would be lost.
God is calling us to have fearless courage. But life can be scary, making us feel like wimps in rough waters, nauseated and green. Lost.
Isn’t it true we can become comfortable in our deserts? As long as we’re in the desert, things are familiar. Dipping a toe out of the comfort zone can be more frightening than the desert places themselves.
So again I say, God is calling us to have fearless courage, to gear up and be brave. Our brave can look quite different than someone else’s, so let’s not compare.
If God is for us, who can be against us? Truth be told, it may not feel that way at times, but…
God is for us. He loves us always. It’s His character. It’s His promise.
By the way, God doesn’t send us into battle without the proper equipment. He has given us spiritual, supernatural armor. Not the kind David rejected, bulky and clunky. This armor fits like a glove.
Here’s the proof of truth:
“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 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 6:10-18
God instructs us to stand. Let’s stand together. Let’s quench fiery darts and wield our Swords and raise our Shields. Where’s your sword of the Spirit? I hope it’s standing open, but if not, it’s time to dust it off. Don’t worry, it’s still as sharp as ever.
Love Dorothy’s ruby slippers, but clicking those heals together will get us nowhere. Hands lifted in praise and prayer? Exceedingly more powerful than we can even fathom.
The Holy Spirit is our guide, our Comforter, our Helper.
Let’s stand in fearless courage and be brave. Nothing is impossible with God.
Let’s gird our waists with truth. And what does Merriam-Webster.com say about the word gird?
to prepare for action : muster up one’s resources
Prepare for action and muster up heavenly resources.
Did you know resources include friends to stand with you in prayer? Friends who will stand with you in battle? If you don’t have true friends, pray for them. If you pray for them, they will come.
There are some serious fiery darts flying that need extinguishing.
Let your helmet of Salvation protect your mind from fear. When you are saved, He saves you. Rescued.
Need a rescue?
- When we feel desperate in the desert God will not desert us. The words desert, deserted, and desperate begin with the same sound. How about the sound of this: destiny and design.We were designed by God to fulfill a destiny. He has plans for us, and they’re not zany.
- When we feel nauseated and green, He is the calm to our storm.
- There’s water in the desert to dampen parched lips and quench dry souls. Jesus, Living Water. Drink Him in and we will never thirst.
- Hungry? The Bread of Life is free. Jesus, He is the Bread of Life.
- Those worldly things we like chasing after; wealth, fame, position… They’re a mirage. They don’t fulfill. They can disappear right before our eyes. Seek God, He’s real and He’s not going anywhere. He’s with us:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NASB
Here’s a challenge: Share these passages of scripture to encourage at least one person this week. Your feet may be the ones meant to take them the gospel of peace.
Once you’ve shared the scripture verses, let us know in the comments.
See you on the battlefield.
Love In Christ,
Do you know Jesus, our Living Water and Bread of Life? He is the Way. Check out the Meet Jesus tab on this website. Surrender your life, and be changed.
“I don’t care anymore, do what you want. I’m done worrying about it. I’m done.”
She clicked the disconnect button on the cell, missing those old phones you could slam down hard on the cradle. Somehow a finger tap wasn’t enough. Raw emotions rang the bell atop her internal ‘test your strength’ limit.
It wasn’t true you know. She still cared, but she was spent. The worry sucked the breath from her lungs like a vice grip. Maybe if she stopped caring, she could let go of the worry.
Sound familiar? I think we’ve all been there.
But caring isn’t an emotion we can easily switch off, and why would we want to?
How can we still care, yet ditch the choke-hold of worry?
There is a way.
Pray away the worry-gray.
Praise Him in the light of day, and dark of night where He brings light.
It doesn’t mean we stop caring, it means we start surrendering.
And worry-free we can be. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
Are you ready?
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:6-7 (NKJV)
What was your favorite childhood game?
Hide and Seek tops my list. Talk about adrenaline rush; hiders frantically scattering as the seeker shouts “one, two, three,… ten; ready or not, here I come!”
Stifling nervous giggles with hand over mouth, I’d slip behind a tree, or scurry inside and nestle tight between winter coats in the front closet. The goal of course, was to elude the seeker. The goal was to hide well.
As women, isn’t it true we’ve done more hiding than seeking? I think you’d agree, we’ve learned to hide things well.
We’ve become quite good at hiding what we dare not expose; we stuff it in closets; sweep it under rugs; throw slip-covers over it. We hide it from others, and try to hide it from God.
The baggage isn’t always the kind we can slap a luggage tag on; hurt, shame, addiction, worry, debt, abuse, pride… As we know in Hide and Seek, either we’re hiding or we’re seeking; but what if we could do both?
“You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.” Psalm 32:7
In Jeremiah 29:12-13, God guarantees we will find Him when we seek Him with all our heart. He doesn’t say we might find Him; He doesn’t say if we’re good enough we’ll find Him; He says we will find Him.
He’s not the one hiding, He’s right there. He’s right here.
“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.” Jeremiah 29:12-13
Call, Pray, Seek, Search, Find. The difference is “pray,” it’s the step we leave out in the game Hide and Seek.
So here I am, all grown up and back in the closet; only this time I’m not hiding, I’m seeking. If I giggle it’s not because I’m afraid of being found; it’s because I once was lost, but now I’m found. You can be too.
Go giggle in the closet.