Monday, October 31, 2016

God Showed Up In Masks & Super-Heroes #write31days

God showed up today...

Masks and Super-Heroes

Since it's Halloween, I'd like to remind us that we'll probably see a lot of masks today. A lot of children will be out in the streets this evening posing as someone else. They will temporarily lay aside who they really are for a more desirable character and appearance. However, behind every mask lies one thing: the real person.

It doesn't matter how we label ourselves or the life we live. No matter how we dress it up in our efforts to make it presentable, there are dreams and lives which have been shattered by hurt and brokenness. No matter how hard we try to "fake it until we make it", there are real wounds and brokenness which have to be dealt with. The mask has to come off eventually! 

Personal example: I've been trying the "act as if" method and found I totally veered off course of what it originally meant for me. At one time it was a faith statement. I intended to act like God had already answered my prayers. I would have faith and trust that He was working on it even if I didn't see it yet. However, somewhere along the way I twisted it around a bit and started proclaiming to myself, "Act as if nothing is wrong and just keep moving forward!" Looking back, I see I was kind of hiding out behind a mask, hoping God would fix a mess that wasn't going to go away until I took the disguise of being "OK" off and admitted I needed help.

There are many different masks we wear. Ask yourself what mask you're wearing today? Do you need to take a disguise off? I'm not talking about Spider Man or Casper the Ghost here. Nor my grand-loves favorites: Sophia or Ninja Turtles. 

I'm talking about those masks with labels such as "I can do it all", "I have to be perfect", "I have to fix it!" You know, maybe we could put action figure labels on those labels. They might look something like an action figure with 10 heads, Mrs. DO-IT-ALL. Or the perfectly airbrushed and chiseled model with no problems in life, Ms. Perfecto. What about a bionic being with the answer to every problem in life, Mr. Fix-it-ado. How silly, right? Yet, we try to fit into those masks and many others on a regular basis. 

There's only one answer for us: to unveil and place ourselves at the feet of Jesus. It is He who was, and will ever be the only One, that could carry the weight of the world upon His shoulders. It is safe for us to take off our masks, to reveal our true selves because He sees under every facade we erect. He wants to help us crawl bravely out from under the rock which we've buried ourselves. He waits patiently for us to take off our masks and ask for His help. He's waiting. Knocking.

There's no tricks with God. No hidden agenda. He's not hiding out somewhere waiting to ambush us on our darkest nights. He desires to hold us close and give us the best "treats" we can imagine. We don't have to stay bound and hidden behind a mask to receive His best for our lives. In fact, He can't work with our masks. Instead, He accepts us, brokenness, faults, failures, and emptiness. What He longs to do is take all the ugliness and turn it into beauty. Remember the verse? Beauty for ashes.

Let's take off our masks today and allow Him to change us. Be willing to exchange the shame, guilt, fear and doubt for the only thing that should cover our faces - the glory of God. That's what we were made for! 

After all, we really do have Super-Hero names: Children of the Most High, Daughters of the King, the Bride of Christ, the Righteousness of God. Shine bright, my friends!

Friday, October 28, 2016

God Showed Up in the Energizer Bunny #write31days

We see God on the good days and in the good things that happen to us. That's easily noticed, isn't it? But what about when life happens and we have to find God in the ugly? It's difficult to locate God on our GPS during those heart-wrenching moments, isn't it?

Not because He isn't there, but more likely because our perspectives are askew, or the pain is so great, or maybe we're just plain exhausted, weak and numb in every way. Our head knows He's there, but our heart can't seem to find Him.

I don't know about you, and let me be really transparent here, but sometimes I just have plain old "bad" days when I don't function efficiently for one reason or another. Some days there are endless tears. I might just want to roll over and act like the world has stopped in its tracks even though I know better. Sometimes I feel I'll die if I'm not around my people, and still other days I need time alone. Some days I feel like I can't do anything right and previously spoken words rattle around in my head reminding me that, indeed it's true, I am a failure and have too many weaknesses to be of any value to God or anyone else for that matter. Worthless. Useless. Broken.

Finding God in the ugly. Some days that's exactly how God chooses to show up. 

Kind of like the Energizer bunny!

He doesn't make our days look ugly, circumstances and choices do. Life happens. It's in those moments, however, when we're most desperate for Him that we cling to His hand for all we're worth. He LOVES those times when we totally rely upon Him. We know we can't do it without Him anyhow when it comes right down to it. 

It's on those dark, unpleasant days that God shows up with a dose of simple will-power to keep us going. Kind of like the Energizer bunny...we just keep going. Remember, it's the power in the batteries that keeps the bunny going. It's not in our strength or abilities. It's solely because of His power as He gently carries us on those days. He holds us close and helps us get our focus back and our perspective corrected. He allows us time to regroup without condemning us. That time of being close to Him allows us to gain renewed strength to just keep going.

Ugly days will come for us all but God isn't scared of the ugliness and will faithfully walk by our side. Yes, we can find beauty and the blessings of God on those ugly days. He doesn't disappear like our emotional GPS would like us to believe; rather, He is as constant, powerful and able as ever. He shows up with that quiet, unconditional love and patience to see us through. He also gives us a dose of His power...to just keep going.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

God Showed Up In a Word #write31days

God showed up today in the word:

"GOOD"

Go with me, if you will, to the fair. (It's that time of year, ya'll.) Any fair. Walk with me down the end-to-end aisle of concession stands. Smell with me for a moment the delicious aroma's of unhealthy, all-things-fried, turkey legs or pulled pork plates. See kids of all ages, young and old alike, as they look through finger smudged windows and order up their favorite bites. Now, let's go to the circus tent and watch the ringmaster work skillfully with animals as they do trick after amazing trick. 

I'm certain you'll hear the sounds of a child or adult, "OO-ing" somewhere along the way. If I could describe or define that two-letter word it would be something like: an expression of awe or appreciation at what is being beholden. (I'm not Webster though.) Whether it be a delectable bite of food they've waited all year for, or maybe it's a monkey that can open a locked cage or a lion that can jump through a ring of fire. "OO! That's awesome!" Can you hear it from where you are?

This little word, if you want to call it that, is also stuck right in the middle of the word "good". That's where I found it today. Stood out to me like a neon light! "OO, that's good!" 


We're all aware that God created and then "saw that it was good." Of course it was! How could it be anything but so when He was the One doing all the work? Can't you just picture Him admiring the work that He had just created? As trees came on the scene, as fish splashed in the cold waters, "OO! It is good!" I'm sure He also proclaimed it was good as the children of Israel crossed the sea on dry land? And when Jesus was baptized by John or when His spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost. So many countless examples we could name - "OO! It is good!"

Every GOOD and perfect gift comes from Him. There is good in every one of our days. Benefits of serving Him. I'm finding that as I write in this 31 day challenge that if I look hard enough, if I pay attention, I CAN ALWAYS find God...and therefore good

He's undeniably there in the midst of every one of my days...giving me His "good." Sometimes it doesn't look exactly like I thought it might, but then, His ways are not my ways, are they? 

So, I'm sitting here typing this post to remind myself, and to let you know, that we can all "OO!" and "AH!" at the works and plan of our Maker. As He works each situation out for our good, as He bestows blessings upon us, as He makes us into what He sees for us, and shows up in our best and worst days, let us proclaim that He is good and because of that, we are blessed and it is well with our souls. "OO! That is good! He is good" - pass it on.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

God Showed Up In Peanut Brittle #write31days

God showed up in my day...
 with peanut brittle

The first three ingredients are added to the pot and I begin to stir. Sweet anticipation for a shiny, amber brittle keeps me standing here at the hot stove, stirring the pot with a wooden spoon. Once the beginning components finally begin to simmer, I continue to stir. What I'm looking for is a wispy "thread" to know it's time to move on to the next phase. Until then, I keep waiting and stirring.

Once I notice that thread, just the right amount of peanuts are added. A new phase, but I'm still waiting and stirring. This time, waiting for that perfect golden color to bubble into being. Until then, I keep waiting and stirring. I can't walk away and leave it. It's a labor of love as the peanuts begin to cook and the wonderful aroma entices me to persevere.

Finally, at just the perfect moment, I take the pot off the stove and add the last of the ingredients into the pot. I'm not done yet though, I stir vigorously until all the components are thoroughly mixed...and then, it's time to pour it up into perfectly buttered pans which have been prepared ahead of time. Then, I shake the pans a bit to spread the sweet mixture evenly. Then, more waiting as the patties begin to cool. 

Sure seems like a lot of stirring and waiting at times to me. 


God does the same thing with my life. He begins a new work in me and waits. Sometimes I pass the test on the first time around, sometimes He has to wait and test me again and again. He never leaves me unattended however; He's always there monitoring my progress. Once He sees what He is looking for, I am moved to the next phase. He's making me into the vessel He knows I can be but it takes time and patience. Of course, He could work a miracle and, BAM!, it would be finished, but He doesn't work like that. He has a time scale all His own.

He's working toward that beautiful, sweet aroma and the final shining masterpiece.  He's waiting for me to shine and bring Him glory, and unlike me at times, He is not in a hurry. 

"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it..." Phil. 1:6 

 

The work of making us all we should and could be is a process. Our wonderful Lord is all about us shining for His glory; about us being His representatives on this earth to show others the way. It's a work He obviously thinks is worthwhile. He gave His life as payment for you and I to be stirred until we're exactly what He thinks we should be. 

As I sample a delicious bite of peanut brittle, I am reminded how pleased the Lord must also be with His fine work. It's about the final countdown, the ending, the result. Let's be confident today that He is making us exactly what we need to be. We must allow the discomforting heat to change us, the stirring to temper us. ALL ALONG THE WAY, throughout the entire process, we will bring Him glory as we are perfected into samples fit for the KING.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

God Showed Up In a Sunday School Song #write31days

God showed up today in a...

Sunday School song

The simple things always bring you back around to the most important things. I learned it in Sunday school when only a child...and have never forgotten the words. Yes, Jesus loves me!

To say I haven't forgotten the words is a true statement...sometimes I've failed to recall the truth of the words however. How about you? At times in life, we all question, "Where are you God? What in the world is going on in my life? Does He know where I am? Have I been forgotten?" 

The truth is, He knows because He loves us. Sure, we'll question and wonder from time to time, but no matter what it looks like or how it feels, God loves us. After all, He IS love. We belong to Him.

As I sang the song during altar call this morning, my heart was overwhelmed with His goodness once more with the awe of His love. As the tears ran down my face, I turned once more to that little Sunday school girl who trusted God with her whole life, who knew who she was and who she belonged to and that in spite of what life or others said, that she was loved. Back to the basics. Child-like faith.

For those of you out there who find yourself wondering if, after all the wrong you've done, or where you are in life, if you're looking at the mess you've made or even if you're feeling beyond the reach of help and love, GOD LOVES YOU. He's there for you with open arms. Run to Him and feel Him squeeze you tight. Oh, how He loves us! 

It may seem simple, but it is the most important truth you'll ever know. Yes, Jesus loves me~

Friday, October 21, 2016

God Showed Up In an Inconvenience #write31days

God showed up today in an...

INCONVENIENCE

It's quite windy here in Georgia, this sunshiny autumn day. I have my doors and windows open enjoying the breeze...although, that's not originally WHY I opened them in the first place. The true reason I opened them to begin with was because our power went out and we needed some air. However, today God showed up in that lack-of-power issue in a beautiful way. 

What originally seemed like a less-than-desirable situation, turned into a day full of fresh breezes and beautiful strings of music from my wind chimes on the front porch. Did I say that I adore the sound of wind chimes? Well, I do! The truth is, our power only stayed out for a couple hours or so...and four hours later, here I am with my doors and windows still open wide. Enjoying every moment, mind you.

Isn't that just how God often times works in our lives? We reach an unpleasant bend in the road, a burdensome valley, or we find ourselves in the ditch on a desert place - and we are tempted to (and sometimes do) question God or we look at it through our carnal eyes as an inconvenience or setback. Can you recall such a situation in your life?

When, all along, God's plan is to use that issue to bring about something we'll enjoy and take pleasure, or learn and grow in. It's meant for our betterment! Truly, His ways are NOT our ways. He's a master designer, isn't He? And honestly, I wouldn't really want it to be MY way all the time, would you? He has such a better plan - every time. I think of the scripture in Romans 8:18, "...the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed..."

I'm not someone who has it all together and this concept conquered. I won't even pretend to. However, I am telling you that today, God nudged me enough to show me, once again, there can be beauty in spite of any circumstance or inconvenience. 

That is what I wanted to share with you. May it encourage your soul wherever you may find yourself today. This ugly moment might break forth into glorious beauty before your very eyes at any moment. Have faith and wait upon the Lord~

Thursday, October 20, 2016

God Showed Up Today As Faithful #write31days

God shows up again and again...

HE IS ALWAYS FAITHFUL

I. AM. NOT. For instance, yesterday, I didn't share how God showed up in my day. (shaking my head!) I have decent days. I have good days. I have great days. And, I have bad days. There are days when I feel "less than". Unproductive. Weary. Discouraged. Ill. You get the picture. We all have those kinds of days scattered here and there. And...sometimes our days even turn into seasons. Nevertheless, God is ALWAYS faithful.

GOD. IS. My heart is reminded and encouraged by a song this evening and I'd like to share it with you. Here are the lyrics, but if you'd like to listen to it click here

He's Been Faithful (Vicki Yohe)

In my moments of fear
Through every pain every tear
There's a God whose been faithful to me
When my strength was all gone
In my moments of fear
Through every pain and every tear
There's a God whose been faithful to me
When my strength was all gone
And When my heart it had no song
Still He was faithful to me
Every word He promised, is true
Oh yes it is
And What I thought was impossible
I see my God do


He's been faithful, faithful to me (He's been faithful)
Looking back Your love and mercy I see (mercy I see)
In my heart I question You're there and I fail to believe
But You've been faithful (faithful), (faithful) faithful to me

When my heart looked away
The many times I could not pray
Still In love, He proved faithful to me (faithful)
The days I spent so selfishly reaching out for what pleased me
Still in love, You proved faithful to me
Every time, every, every, every every time
That I go bow to Him, don't you know He's waiting with open arms
And I see once again

The song says it perfectly. Exactly what my heart has been reminded of so many times today. Time and time again, He's proven to me, that He is indeed faithful. Too many instances to share, but trust me, He's never let me down...no matter what type of day I might be having. I'm thankful to serve such a wonderful Savior who is never too busy and is ever alert to what's going on in our lives. Today, I am reminded once again...He is indeed faithful!!! And, that makes me (and you) blessed~

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

God Showed Up In a Field #write31days


God showed up today in a...
FIELD

My husband and I were out cruising the area of the Chickamauga Battle Field, in north Georgia, this evening. I always love to ride through looking for wildlife along the way. On this Autumn afternoon, we saw eleven deer out and about in the fields.

It's always an amazing to me. I get so excited! (Like a little one on Christmas morning. I know, may sound crazy, but that's just how the good Lord chose to wire me up.) Yet, this evening as we road slowly along our usual "back roads", scanning the wide range of land between wooded areas, there about 20 yards off the road something caught my attention. 

I looked once, then did a double take. Yes, what I thought I saw was truly there. Not standing, but sitting there stoically among tall, wispy tendrils of wheat was a tiny family of deer. All three animals, resting peacefully, even with us looking on from our vehicle. They were never spooked, never moved...it seemed they didn't even care that we were there. They were perfectly content right where they were. Beautiful! 

Confession time. You know, I find I'm a lot like most of the deer I've encountered in my lifetime...easily spooked to the point of taking off and running for what I think is safety at the mere hint of perceived danger.

This "first" was a beautiful sight for my eyes to behold. My mind immediately traveled to one of my favorite passages: Psalm 23, "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures." A place of nourishment, contentment, a time of restoration designed especially by God. A good place for my soul. A place of refreshing. A haven of safety.

As I sat there in the car, gazing in awe at this cute little family, my heart leaped within me as I began to quietly thank God for those perfect times of refreshing that He brings about when I slow down and allow Him to step into my busy days. How I long, more and more each day, to simply sit at His feet. How I long to be near Him. To learn more of Him. To obtain more from Him. To bask in His sweet presence without quickly running away. I think that's what it means to simply "rest" in Him.

No matter what comes our way, He is our Refuge. We can rest in Him on even the toughest days. You know, those days when we feel like we can't make it any longer. When the slightest wind gust threatens to send us tumbling. Those days when it seems simply too hard to stand. We can be still. We can find a field, a safe place where we can be near to Him. A place to be completely safe, restored, refreshed and made whole once again.

Thank you, Lord, for each field experience you place in my life. Let me always run to you. Let each person reading this post chose to run to you also. You are our resting place. Thank you, for allowing this special little family to be perfectly poised this evening to minister to me. Thank you for showing up in the field for me today.
Not the best pic...but here they are...resting~

Monday, October 17, 2016

God Showed Up In October Hues #write31days


I think it was Anne (with an "e") of Green Gables mentioned something about being thankful for a world with Octobers. Today, God showed up in:
OCTOBER HUES

...the flaming bright reds, oranges and yellows of leaves scattered in bright, warm sunshine.

I love this time of year. It is absolutely gorgeous in my opinion. As things begin a season of dying off, it is a display of pure magnificence. A priceless artistic work by our masterful Creator. It amazes me how He does it year after year. Always beautiful and stunning. Never a let down.

Made me think about my life, and maybe you'll stop to think about yours as well. We all go through seasons, each different and unique in its own way; however, God always has a way of making each one beautiful if we'll simply cooperate and continue on the journey. 

In Autumn, leaves fall. Branches become bare. Things eventually start looking gray and hopeless in winter. Again in spring, things burst forth with life...and on and on it goes. Yet, with each passing season, God has always tucked away details of beauty, sweet delights and pleasures which we can enjoy along the way. So it is with life. I'm finding it more so every day as I "stop" to see God in each of my days. #write31days

In all our life-seasons, God is there. He never fails to show up. He never does half-hearted work. What He does is always amazingly beautiful if we can only look at it in His perspective. Let's enjoy our seasons! Celebrating, learning, growing and most of  all enjoying the journey that God has laid out for us. Each season brings a beauty all its own. Blessings on you this October~


Yesterday, I did not have the opportunity to sit down and write; however, yesterday, God showed up as a Healer. During our church service, a gentleman was healed and received His sight. It was amazing! God still performs miracles...He's the same yesterday, today and forever.




Saturday, October 15, 2016

God Showed Up As Enough #write31days

God showed up in my day as...

ENOUGH

As my Protector. As my Defender. Provider. Strength. Hope. Joy. He supplied mercy, grace, hope and joy. Today, He reminded me that He is more than enough in every area of my life. He is my Shepherd, I shall NOT want. He is everything I need. It is He who sees about me, guides my footsteps and holds my world together. In Him I am complete...I love Him so...and that is enough for me.



 

Friday, October 14, 2016

God Showed Up In a Mixer #write31days

Today God showed up in a...

Sunbeam Stand Mixer


I was thinking over my day, trying to decide what to share. As I stood at the counter prepping my son's twenty-first birthday cake (strawberry with Cool Whip icing), my thoughts turned to that deep red mixer. I watched as it spun the silver bowl round and round mixing the cake batter thoroughly. I watched the shiny beaters cut through the ingredients making them smooth and ready to pour into cake pans.

As the mixing bowl went round and round, I watched and my thoughts turned to the Potter's wheel. I've always been intrigued by the potter and the clay. I've always loved the stories of lumps of clay being turned into beautiful displays of art. I've always loved the Biblical concept of the Lord being the Potter and us being the clay. I've always prayed that God would keep me on His wheel and make me a vessel of honor, a vessel He could use.

I continued to watch. Then, I said quietly to myself, "I'm so thankful the Lord molds and makes us with His gentle, patient nail-scarred hands. I'm thankful that He doesn't beat us up like the mixer was doing to that pink cake batter." Sometimes we feel like we have it so badly. Things don't look quite like we'd like them to; but we can never say that the Lord abuses us and treats us poorly. 

He always applies gentle pressure when He's working on us, and always with those loving nail-scarred hands. How safe we are in His hands. What beautiful vessels He desires to make out of each of us! He is patient. Loving. Compassionate. Always with our best interest at heart.

As I placed those cake pans into the oven, I whispered a quiet "thank you" to the Potter of my soul. Again, nobody can do us like He can. Perfect works of excellence. To bring Him glory. Thank you Lord, for not leaving me like you found me and for being the perfect gentleman.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

God Showed Up Today in a Chat #write31days

God showed up in my day thru...

a chat!

God is so awesome...always and continually showing up in the most surprising ways. This challenge has turned into quite an ordeal for me. It's made me tune in and look for God in ways I don't usually. So, I'd say this 31 days will be a new beginning for me...I pray I never stop looking for God like I have begun this month.

I had the privilege to sit and chat with a dear lady this morning after a time of prayer. It's so refreshing to sit and talk about the things of God, don't you think? I could have sat there for hours! Sharing your story and testimonies with another - as well as listening to theirs - is a for-sure way to guarantee a successful, refreshing conversation...for all parties involved. An added bonus, this type of conversation uplifts and brings glory to the Lord.

So, I thank the Lord for showing up in a chat today, for allowing me to experience Him at work in my life and the lives of others, and for the opportunity to share it all. Maybe we should make a greater effort to gather together more often and share. It builds our faith (not to mention our relationships), makes us excited about what the Lord is doing in our lives and the lives of those we share with, and ultimately, we give the enemy a black-eye every time we speak out for the Lord.

It's your turn..give it a try tomorrow, if you dare, and see how it works out for you! It's worth it!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

God Showed Up In a Broom #write31days

God showed up today in...

A BROOM

I know it's October, but before you get all Halloween-ish on me, hear me out.

As I was doing some cleaning this morning, I noticed a few cobwebs here and there. Side note: I'm NOT decorating for Halloween, they are there because I've been busy with life. Now, that that's made clear let me continue. I took my broom and lightly swept the silky, silver webs away with no problem. Those ugly, intruding webs that disgust me vanished completely in a split second. Gone!

Isn't it amazing how tiny things sometime creep into our lives and without much ado, one day we notice they've worked themselves into our lives in a major network, with arms far reaching, striving to touch every area and relationship in our life? We can find ourselves wondering, where in the world did that come from? 

It's easy to become distracted and discouraged by what we see. What we feel. (Hello!) What the "monster" may look like. It's even overwhelming at times. Here's a little secret I've discovered though, God knows. Isn't that awesome!? What a relief! Nothing spooks Him or catches Him off guard. My rock!

He showed me with my broom today, how at a moment's notice, He can work out any situation. Nothing is too hard for Him. However, sometimes He desires us to take the broom into our own hand and do our part. Someone said the other day, "God won't do our part. We have to." Sometimes we have to get out our own broom of prayer and let it sweep over our situation. I've experienced it enough to know that prayer works! One session down on our knees in prayer is often times all it takes to sweep the "scary" away. If the situation doesn't actually go away, at least our perspective is changed when we get up and that's all it takes sometimes. True statement.

So, if you're struggling with the "spooky" of life, I challenge you to take out your broom and get to work. Join me. Let's get rid of those webs that distract and disgust us. It doesn't have to be some major sin, it can be as simple as placing something and LEAVING it in the capable hands of God or clearing your agenda to spend quality time with Him. We all fight cobwebs on occasion. Whatever it may be, it doesn't have to be. Sweep it away! Poof! Web be gone!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

God Showed Up In Strength #write31days

God showed up in my today in...

Strength


You know those mornings, when the alarm goes off and your arm involuntarily flings over and slams the snooze button. Your eyelids are stuck together and refuse to open no matter how much effort you give it. Then, you fall back into a momentary slumber only to be jarred awake once more by the alarm. Good morning, Sunshine! Finally, you to peel yourself out of bed because you have a day ahead of you that won't wait. By the time you swing your feet over the side of the bed and they hit the floor...

How often do we wake up in the morning from a good night's rest and think about where our strength to get up comes from? I know I take it for granted more times than not but it is something worth thinking about...and today I am. He is my strength...and yours too. 

Even before our feet hit the floor He is working in us and on the day that lies ahead of us. He knows what's on our agenda. He is aware of every detail. He realizes that we'll need His help to get to the end of our day and He's there to provide the strength we need to make it through. Not only in the physical, but spiritual realm too. I thank the Lord for knowing that some days we need more than other days. He always provides just enough. How encouraging!

Aren't you thankful with me today? What a blessing it is! Strength.

Tomorrow when we arise, let's pause to take a moment and thank Him for another day, for strength to do what we need to do in our personal lives and for His Kingdom - the most important stuff. 

We are a blessed people!

Monday, October 10, 2016

God Showed Up In His Word #write31days

God showed up in my today through...

HIS WORD

Yeah, I know that's kind of an "obvious" place for Him to show up, right? Just the same, doesn't it feel overwhelmingly inspiring to open the Word and for things to just start flowing into your spirit? It brings about a renewed confidence in the Lord, a blessed calmness, a sweet reassurance to my soul. 

This morning, my cup was left full and overflowing because I had such a "moment" with the Lord. The Lord's been dealing with me lately about completely trusting Him. You know, the blind-faith kind. The kind that's invigorating and knocks you out of your socks at the same time. Can that even happen?! (chuckling at my comparison) 

As a Christian, I "trust" God. That's what we're supposed to do, isn't it? Yet, I admit to you (confessing a fault) that sometimes I fumble the ball when it comes time to trust Him. I don't have it all together nor will I pretend to.

2 Timothy 1:7 spoke to me this morning:
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power
and of love and of a sound mind."

The Bible is full of verses about not being afraid so He must have known we would have issues with this. I don't believe the Lord wastes His breath speaking unnecessary words. 

Why do we fear? Most of the time I find I fear because of something that happened "yesterday" (in the past). Think about it, as a baby we have no fear. As we become a toddler, we begin to experience life. Until we touch the stove burner, we cannot know the pain it will cause. Until we fall down, we just aren't aware of the suffering it can bring. So, to put it simply, YESTERDAY may have brought pain and suffering,  causing us to fear similar situations TODAY. However, God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He can be trusted regardless of the scars we carry within our hearts.

We don't have to fear today or tomorrow if we'll simply give all of ourselves to God and trust Him to do best on our behalf every time. True, yesterday might have left scars on our life but today those scars are not to hold us back from moving forward and doing what He's called us to do. NO WAY! Today those scars are only there to prove to us, to remind us and show others that we came through. We were victorious through God! And that, my friend, means when fear rears its head in our lives, we can look at those scars and be reminded that we can get through "this" today.

It probably won't happen in an instant. The testing of our faith is a life-long process I believe, but one well worth taking just the same. If you find yourself fearful today, know it's NOT of God and then begin to take baby steps toward trusting God and watch how your faith begins to grow as God gently leads the way. Won't you join me in this journey? God is with us, fighting for and defending us. He is our Father and He desires to work every situation out for our good....for His name's sake.

Think about it...look at that fear and those scars...and press on toward victory.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

God Showed Up In His Amazing Vessels #write31days

God showed up in my today through...His amazing vessels.


Today is a special day: Pastor Appreciation Day

So today, I'd like to say that God showed up through my pastor and pastor's wife, Rev. Ron & Sheree Linville. I give honor to them for their example and leadership. For their vision and passion for the things of God. Pastor preaches the Word with great anointing and my soul is always fed and constantly challenged to grow and be better. My pastor's wife, First Lady of The Sanctuary, is an inspiration to me. She consistently gives her all. She is a true worshiper. She loves God with all her heart. Simply beautiful.

I could keep writing forever, but some things are too personal and are to be "pondered in the heart." I'd just like to thank God that He placed these two beautiful people in my life. I am better because of it. They may never read this post, but I just want to express my love, gratitude and appreciation. 

After an honorary dinner this afternoon following service, an elder touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes as he expressed his love for this precious pair. The simple, straight from the heart expression made me a bit more thankful for the precious gift God has given us. If you have a pastor in your life, you should cherish him and his family. They sacrifice much!

Today...God showed up thru these two, very special, amazing vessels of God. My heart is grateful. Thankful. Overwhelmed with awe at the plan and order of God. I am blessed ~ and I pray blessings upon them and thank them for their love for us and their dedication to the work of the Lord.



 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

God Showed Up In...My Kitchen #write31days

Yes, God is in our EVERY day. True statement. Sometimes we look at all the obvious stuff. For instance, if we received an unexpected check in the mail. You know the sort, that's kind of obvious. We say, "Look what God did!" Today, I found myself in the middle of the evening, thinking, "Where did I see God today?" You know, the quote about friends being like stars? It goes something like, "You might not be able to see them, but you know they're there." Sometimes we have to take a deeper look and "search" for God in our days.

So, I found myself standing in the kitchen preparing for a church dinner tomorrow. I love to cook, most of the time. I began thinking about how excited I get whenever I prepare food for someone. It doesn't matter what the dish or occasion might be, but I always get a tad bit excited about doing so.

I began to wonder how excited God must get as He prepares our home in Heaven. How must He have felt when He was telling the disciples that He was going away to prepare a place for them? I thought about how excited He must have been creating our world. Remember, He spoke things into existence and said it was good?  Even when He was in agony on the cross, I wonder how He felt in spirit because He knew He was doing what He came to this earth to do and what it meant for those He left behind and those to come?

And...while I was preparing my pasta dishes...I stopped at my sink and thanked God for it all. Don't you just kind of love the fact that God probably gets excited to do stuff on our behalf? I remember a verse that said something about it being His "good pleasure to give you the Kingdom." He knows the plans He has for us...each of us...complete details...beyond what we can even imagine. That's exciting!

What a way to find God in my day! It is well with my soul.

Friday, October 7, 2016

God Showed Up Thru Snail Mail, My Husband & Quietness #write31days

Well, God showed up Wednesday and Thursday...I just didn't show up to post to tell you how. Oh my! Some days happen that way, don't they?

On day 5, God showed up thru SNAIL MAIL! I don't remember the last time I received a letter that way, but Wednesday it happened. The letter came from an unusual origin...from a jail cell. Guess it's not SO different, lots of Paul's letters came to us from jail, didn't they? I haven't really had any contact with this person for several years.

Let me just sum it up by saying, we never know quite the effect we have on people at the time. It might seem at times like every ounce of effort we put forth is canceled in some way by the things which we didn't "do right" or didn't say or...you get the picture. It's a classic trick the enemy never gets tired of playing on us. However, it is possible to touch someone's life in ways which we cannot even begin to imagine. In this letter, it wasn't one really big thing that made a difference in this persons life, but it was several little, simple gestures that stuck in this persons mind. Things I did, with the help of God, that stood out. So, I say...never can we be too careful in our actions and the way we bless people who come along our path. We're making some kind of difference. On that we can be sure. I thank God for that small reminder for me to keep being who I am and doing all that I can to touch lives.

Thursday...God showed up thru my husband of 25 years. He'd been gone on a job trip since Tuesday and got home to me yesterday afternoon. When he walked in the door and swept me up and held me tightly...I melted. It was at that very moment that God reminded me how very much He loves me, how He longs to hold me each day, how He longs to be with me. It was quite powerful. I basked in my husband's love as he gently rocked me in his recliner. I know, I am a little "large and old" to be rocked...but it felt so good. I'm thankful that God loves us even more than our spouses do and we never get too big for His lap either.

Today is Friday, day 7...God showed up today thru quietness. Sometimes life can get really loud and I find myself out of control. I'm trying to learn balance! It's a hard one for me, I admit. Today has been a quiet day. Although I spent time running the roads, I spent extra time being quiet and still. Pastor just taught in Bible study how we miss out and are often disappointed with life because we miss our appointments with God. I so enjoyed my time with my Savior this morning. I'm extra thankful that He's always there...in the quiet and in the noise; however, it's so nice to shut ourselves in and enjoy His presence for a bit. Times of refreshing!

So, now I'm caught up sharing how God has showed up in my days...hope you're finding Him in yours as well...stop, look, listen...when we seek Him, we find Him. Truth!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

God Showed Up In Music #write31days

God showed up in my day thru:

MUSIC

Music is an important part of worship. Music is uplifting. Music speaks to the heart when nothing else seems to work. Music...it touches people. It is a vehicle which helps people to touch God too.

Today I'm thankful for the music, for the new song God allowed me to hear. I'm thankful for the hope it inspired within me. Music...a gift from God. 

Psalm 40:3, "He put a new song in my mouth..."

Monday, October 3, 2016

God Showed Up In People #write31days

God showed up in my day...

IN PEOPLE


This morning, I opened an email and what I read encouraged my spirit. I was thankful. Then my phone rang a bit later. Actually, after a couple rounds of phone tag, I listened to the voice on the other end of the line talk about the favor of God. I hung up the phone a while later encouraged in my spirit once again. This evening, on a trip to Walmart, I stopped long enough to speak with the door greeter. Our conversation soon turned into a God-thing as she shared with me her loss of her first grandchild and the topic turned into trusting God. I offered my condolences and walked out the sliding doors feeling thankful and encouraged once again.

God uses people. People are often God with skin on! He can do it ALL BY HIMSELF, however, He chooses to use humanity often times to "help" Him out. As if He needed our measly efforts! We are His vessels. He desires to use us, to speak through us, to teach through us. He often times shows up in our days through others. He used Aaron to encourage and help Moses. He used apostles to encourage the churches. He used all kinds of people in the Bible...and He's still doing so today.

So, this evening, on day three of this 31 day writing challenge, God showed up to speak to and encourage me...and He used ordinary people to do it. I find myself blessed today and thankful for the different relationships I have with these people because He showed up through them. Can't wait to see how He shows up tomorrow!!!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

God showed up in LOVE #write31days

In keeping with my GOD IN EVERY DAY #write31days challenge, today I found God in...


LOVE


God is love. If you told someone you loved them today, if you felt loved by someone or love for someone...that is a God thing. Why are we able to love? Simply because we are all made in the image of God...and God is love. It's a privilege. 

When we look into the eyes of our children, when we take them in our arms and shower them with loving hugs...we're mimicking our Father. When we take the hand of our spouse or loved one or put our arm around a brother...we are practicing being more like our Savior. When we share a smile with a neighbor or stranger, or give a sandwich to a homeless person...we're sharing the love of God.

So...if you've seen or experienced anything like this today...you've witnessed God in your day. Yes, we love because He first loved us. Stop a moment and thank Him for this precious ability He's allowed us to experience and let us be quick to share it with others. Let's be conduits of God's love and pour it out freely...freely we have received...freely we should give.

God showed up in Love...




Saturday, October 1, 2016

31 Day Writing - God Shows Up

Welcome! Today begins my first day of a 31-day writing challenge. It's a big commitment, but I am excited about it and hope that, with each passing day, that my eyes will be open and alert to see the blessings God installs in each of my days...and share it with you.
 I know often times we (I) get busy. Don't most of us jam-pack our days with things to do? Don't we oftentimes say that there aren't enough hours in the day? Truth is, God made the span of time in our day and He said, "it was good." So, that settles that. There are enough hours in a day after all...its just how we manage our time and priorities. We're often times not good stewards of what God has given us in that area if we're daring enough to be brutally honest with ourselves. So, I've determined to do what I can to carve a spot into each of the next 31 days...and write.

So, having said that, let me start this day off with this phrase: 
"God shows up in our every day! Period." 

Can I challenge you, along with myself, to take a different look, perhaps gain a new perspective on each day. Let's LOOK for ways God shows up. Let's share those things with others and challenge them to do the same. How different our world would be, how different things would look if we did. 

Each of those precious, God-filled moments are opportunities and testimonies to brag on Him! At the same time, when we brag on God we're boosting our own faith. 

Let's do this...are you in?