Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Somebody's Waiting

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses..."
   Hebrews 12:1

"I've just got to share _______________ with you!" she blurted out when I answered the phone.
As a lady, what's the first thing you find yourself doing when you stumble upon a new, absolutely delicious, can't-live-without-it recipe which just changed the course of your life. (I know, that's being a little extreme, but you catch my drift, don't you?) What do you find yourself doing when you happen upon that perfect little clothing shop or new cafe on the corner? Or how about when you decide to give a new facial cream a try and the results seems unbelievably amazing? What do you most often do? Let me give you the answer I'm looking for...YOU SHARE IT!

Something THAT wonderful can't be kept to yourself, you see. You want everyone around you to share the experience you had. You want to offer the chance for them to find the same satisfaction you did. While, that's not always the case because we're each different; we share anyhow in hopes of someone else sharing in our moment of joy and experiencing it for themselves.

I found myself eagerly texting a Scripture reference to a dear friend. Why, of all things, wouldn't we want to share the most important words, of the most important book, from the most dynamically anointed author ever, with the most amazing people in our lives? It seemed a no-brainer to me after what I had just gotten out of it! Somebody's waiting~

I answered the phone, only to hear the excitement in the voice on the other end of the line as a sweet lady rattled on about the miraculous healing the Lord had performed in her body. It was undeniably real, a genuine testimony of the power of the Mighty God we serve. Who wouldn't want to share the miraculous works, of an amazing God? Somebody's waiting~

Opening a message on Facebook, I witnessed the sweetest little message that struck a chord in my heart which I hope never becomes silent. I had sent a short, heartfelt message earlier that day, the return message read: "You must have known....". I replied, "No, I didn't, but God did!" GLORY! Somebody's waiting~

We share. We were created to share. It's in our DNA to share. It's what we're made for! We can't keep it to ourselves! Yes, God intended for us to share the things He places on our hearts, the trials He allows us to experience and the wonderful blessings He bestows in our lives. They are not for us only, but for those whom we touch every day. It's a basic concept, but it's so important. Can we open up and share? Somebody's waiting~

What if there is someone waiting on the other end of the phone line, or the the other side of an email, or on the other side of a closed door? What if that person needs the hope of our "shared experience" to help strengthen them in their time of discouragement? I know I've found myself there on many occasions. What if we are the ones grasping for hope? Somebody's waiting~

When we share, we are being witnesses. That is what we are called to be. If I can, I'd like to encourage every lady out there today to take the risk. Take the plunge. Go ahead and share that thought, verse, or even that recipe or cafe on the corner. We were made to make a difference in the lives of others and we do so by sharing our lives and stories. What do you have to share today? We all have something and...somebody's waiting~

Disclaimer: Sometimes it's difficult to open up. It takes intentional work and starting over again and again. Don't give up if you feel you've failed or it seems you have nothing to offer at the moment. Keep opening that door and it will become easier and easier. (Learning in process!)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Together...Never Alone

We're all on this journey called life. Along the way, we encounter different obstacles. One might trip you up, while another might be more of a clincher to me. Nevertheless, we walk this road together.

We're all on this journey called life. Along the way, we encounter different emotions. One might make you falter, while it might be another which causes me to stumble. Nevertheless, we walk this road together.

We're all on this journey called life. Along the way, we encounter different struggles. One might cause you to doubt, while the same might cause me to fear or take flight. Nevertheless, we walk this road together.

Yes, we're all on this journey called life. Today, you might be feeling discouraged and alone. Or maybe it might be me feeling that way. Nevertheless, we walk this road together.

May each of us diligently pray that we might take notice when those who are walking this road with us are in need of a helping hand, a listening ear or a shoulder to lean upon. May we pause and take a break from our busy lives to hand a tissue to someone who is weeping, to give the gift of our time to someone who needs to talk or sensitive enough to offer a fervent prayer and a reminder that God is always present. 

Yes, we're all on this journey called life. Today, you might win out and score the enemy with an epic fail. Or maybe it will be me who emerges from a valley victoriously. Nevertheless, we'll rejoice together, because we walk this road together.

Yes, we walk this road together, never alone.

 "Two are better than one...For if they fall, 
the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him 
that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not 
                                                another to help him up."  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

Friday, February 5, 2016

Joy Zappers - Moving Beyond

"He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, 
out of the miry clay, and set my feet 
upon a rock, and established my goings."
Psalm 40:2
We've made it to the first week of February and I'm sure there are some resolutions which have already fell by the wayside and been deemed unattainable, not-doable, not worth the hassle, etc. However, maybe you're still in control and striving to keep pushing toward your invisible finish line. If so, that's great. I'm cheering you on today!

Here's a quick note though: Discouragement and distraction can be found everywhere. One doesn't have to be awake very long in the morning hours before something can throw us for a loop. What we began on January 1st with much determination was probably challenged within a few hours of our waking that day. This is just how life works. It could be a disheartening phone call, comments made by family members, bosses or friends, a report from the doctor, why it may even be as simple as a stubbed toe or lost keys. 

Distractions are unavoidable if we plan to "live." The trick is to figure out a way to keep them from becoming joy-zappers.  Remember those prepositions we learned back in elementary school? Under. Over. Around. Beneath. Above. In front of. Between. Into. Across. Around. There's a strategy in the making with those wonderful words. (Who knew God was into grammar?) While distractions are unavoidable, they don't have to determine our destination or the outcome of our situations. We can endure distractions and retain our joy, peace of mind and our path in the right direction. 

"How?", you might ask. We CAN overcome distraction and discouragement without giving into them.  We might just have to go around when we thought we could just walk right on through. We might have to go over when we planned to go beneath. We might have to go across when we planned to go beside. Learn to be flexible, allowing God to be guide. Release control of the situations to Him. These potential joy-zappers don't have to be the victors in our lives when we have God on our side. We can be victorious!

Step 1) Recognize the potential joy-zapper.
Step 2) Admit we might have an issue if we stay right there too long and focus on it. Then...
Step 3) MOVE! Allow God to choose the preposition.

Moving involves allowing God to take the reigns and lead us out of our dilemma at His discretion. It means allowing God to take over and continue to trust, without a doubt, that He knows best and is fighting for us. After all, He wants to see us win! God can bring us through the fire trials, around any knee-busting pot hole, and over any mountain that might seem impassable or across any valley which lurks with shadows. Nothing is impossible with God. 

Moving means to continue to praise Him, just from a different position than we intended on being in. Praise Him when we're going up a mountain, when we're lagging behind the opposition, and when we feel we're between a rock and a hard place.

So, no matter where we find ourselves in this second month of the year, we can stop and refocus. If we've become distracted or feel at the bottom of a pit, we can ask God for help. We don't have to do it on our own. We no longer have to wallow in the slimy pit of distraction and discouragement. Pull those boots up and let's start MOVING beyond. We are more than conquerors! He can bring us up out of that pit, place us upon a rock and establish our goings. Say good-bye to joy-zappers today~ 

Monday, February 1, 2016

God's Set-Up Work

Have you ever committed yourself to the Lord and decided to step out of  your comfort zone and "get busy" doing what He had called or led you to do? How exciting the prospect of doing the will of the Lord; of accomplishing your purpose. Weren't you invigorated and full of zeal? Renewed vision and purpose seeped from the core your very being. YES! Let's do this!

Reading in Exodus, about Moses leading God's people out of the land of Egypt, I thought about how excited the children of Israel must have been. What an exhilarating finally be set free; to see deliverance just beyond the horizon. Moses and Aaron came on the scene to "bring them out" because God had given them orders to do so. Only, all the sudden things became much worse for these people. Pharaoh became irritated with the whole ordeal and the task masters made them work even harder. This caused God's people to question Moses' plan and whether he had heard from the Lord. If this was God's plan then why was the situation getting worse instead of better?

Don't we find ourselves with that same mindset at times? We make that giant leap of faith (which in all reality is probably more of a "baby step") and we submit to do the will of God. Things should start getting better, right? Makes sense to me. Only sometimes, as in the case of the children of Israel, things seem to get much worse. What?! It's true, my friend.

Sometimes, in order to bring victory into our lives, God has to do some "set up" work on the stage of our lives so the deliverance will be miraculously HUGE. God is most definitely always in the small things, but on some occasions He likes to show off in our lives in huge ways. He likes to get the glory! After all, He is magnificent. To do so, He has to set all the wheels in motion and the ride can get really bumpy at times.

Let us not be weary and become discouraged while God is setting up something big in our lives. The children of Israel had to be patient through 10 plagues; all the while their work became more taxing. God was setting their situation up. He did indeed deliver them from Egypt but it was so much more than that. Remember the final hoopla when Pharaoh's army went up in smoke (or maybe I should say down in the water)? God usually always has a more detailed and grander plan than we could ever imagine.

Remain zealous. Exhilarated. Excited. Hopeful. My friend, He might have you in set-up mode presently. Hold on though. Learn. Grow. Hang. In. There. It might be a little bumpy right now, but if you're stepping in the right direction, to bring Him glory and might have to work harder and endure a momentary not-so-thrilling ride. Don't be baffled by what seems so NOT RIGHT. It might be exactly right! God does His own set-up work. Never fear, God has the best plans and may choose to bring you out in a blaze of glory.