Tag Archives: journey

I am resolved

4 Jan

It’s a long story.

Maybe it’s my life story or maybe this story just seems long because I’m not quite sure how to express myself and if we were siting in front of each other over coffee, I would ramble on but you would understand…

Maybe.

For the past several years, I’ve joined friends and family in praying through our year in December and January and putting a name to it. It’s not always serious, hence my year named Biscuits (ironically enough, that was the year my health nose-dived, then re-energized when I cut out grains and sugar and we discovered Grace had a gluten intolerance). But it is about accountability and clarity.

Sometimes the Holy Spirit moves so clearly and distinctly in your life you can point a finger and say, “Aha! I know this is what I should do. This is the direction I need to go and here is what I need to do in the meantime to get there.” I love that.  Clarity and vision are usually where I do well. I know what He requires of me (Micah 6:8and everything else should fall under that heading. There have been times I’ve had my new year named by Thanksgiving. Oh but this year…

2015 finished hard, started hard and was hard in the middle. Life, family, ministry, self, marriage, children… not one thing that I hold dear was untouched.

But can I tell you something?  Jesus was (and is still, and always will be) so good to me. He sets my feet on the rock and gives me a firm place to stand.

For a week now I’ve been humming a song:

I am resolved to go to the Savior;  Leaving my sin and strife; He is the True One, He is the Just One, He has the words of life.

I am resolved to follow the Savior, Faithful and true each day; Heed what He says, do what He wills, He is the living way.

I know it’s not the flashiest hymn or really the one with the best tune, but those words… They jump out to me and I just can’t shake them.

So I am resolved.

And this morning in my time alone with the Lord He spoke to me from His word:

“But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” 1Corinthians 15:57-58

Steadfast. This year, steadfast. – Thanking Him for the victory of the last 12 months.

I am resolved, and who will go with me? Come, friends, without delay, Taught by the bible, led by the Spirit, We’ll walk the heavenly way.

 

 

 

Even in the Desert

22 May

photo

 

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines;

even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren;

even though the crops die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, 

yet I will rejoice in the Lord!  I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!

The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as sure-footed as the deer, 

able to tread upon the heights.”           Habakkuk 3:17-19

Even in the desert, He is good.  He causes manna to fall from the heavens and water to spring out of rock.  His promises are not forgotten; He is the Promise Keeper.

There are days that I need to be reminded:

  • He is my sustainer.  John 6:35
  • He is my refuge.  Psalm 46:1
  • In Him is life.   John 14:6

 

So today I’m choosing to be thankful for a place in the desert, and sun-scorched skin – because He doesn’t leave us to wander alone.  He is living water.  He is hope.

“Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming.  

Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.”   Isaiah 43:19

Be Faith Brave

8 Feb

Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.      Joshua 1:9

This weekend I’m watching IF:Gathering via live stream. There are so many things lately that the Lord is confirming to me and in me, but really, that’s a longer blog post for another day.  Right now I want to leave you with something that spoke to my heart.  Ann Voskamp and Amena Brown spoke of an Esther generation and in that poem was this:

“Let us redefine comfort zone because wherever He takes you, you are with the comforter.  Wherever He calls you – you are always in your comfort zone.” 

Amen. Let us be faith brave.

A Moment of Grace

8 Feb

The day was hard and it started when I woke up late.  The getting my husband out the door rush bled over to the hurry and make breakfast for the little people so we can start school drama.  Quiet time was skipped over in favor of paying bills while silently screaming about the lack of groceries in the pantry.

Frustration abounded and grace was looked over in the busy mess of life.

Have you ever had one of those mornings?

Unfortunately this morning lasted all day.  Isn’t it interesting that when one person in the family is off kilter the whole group is thrown awry? My mood affected my husband which trickled down to the children and from there the snow that first fell as a flake became a barreling ball rolling break-neck down the mountain.

It’s a cycle isn’t it, this sin trap?  Sometimes we choose the trap because these are “acceptable sins” that seem to remain unnoticed by others and we think it’s easier to keep running in circles than to step out and walk the straight line.

But He says, “For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”  Mt. 7:14 ESV

The way that leads to life is hard. *sigh* Yes, yes it is.

And so as I stood at my kitchen sink, doing the fourth load of the day, lamenting about the state of my house and the bills that still needed to be paid, I had a moment…the kind of moment where you know that God is moving in your heart and aligning your spirit with His.

It’s painful, seeing your sin in the light, but so, so sweet to know that it has already been covered by the blood of Christ.

It was a moment of grace. Life was going round just like before, the tasks were still there waiting, but my heart was moved, changed.  I plunged my hands back into the soapy water and saw with fresh, grace-washed eyes:  my son sharing my love for reading at the kitchen table,  my daughter dancing to the worship music streaming from the computer, and the look of concentration on my husband’s face as he learns a new song to share with our students…

And I smiled as He whispered, “Behold, I am making all things new…”.

Yes, even me, Lord.

Curve balls

26 Jan

I’ve talked about living like we have an inheritance and how that is to be my theme for this year.  Looking ahead to what He has already promised while living in His grace moment by moment…

But sometimes life throws you a curve ball.

And you know, curve balls are just hard to catch.  You can’t always predict where they are going to end up and when you miss, it seems that everyone else has scored but you.

Can I say that I don’t really care for them, the curve balls of life? I know in my head that they make us stronger and a better player, but in my heart I really want to be in control of the game or be the someone who knocks it out of the park.

That’s where I’ve been this past year and if I’m completely honest it’s where I still find myself part of the time.

But today I read:

“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:11-12 (ESV)

I was so encouraged.  I can’t even begin to tell you.  The fact that He planned our inheritance in advance and that He is working all things according to His will…

It makes my heart sing.

Be encouraged, friends.

He’s there.

He holds everything with His promise.

And you know what?

Those curve balls don’t look quite as scary as before because I am not the one who has to catch them or hit the home-run.

Thank you, Jesus.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 (ESV)

Carrying His Message

18 Jan

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” 2Corinthians 5:17-19 ((ESV)

He has given us instruction through His word:

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us.  We implore you on the behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5: 20 (ESV)

So what does that look like, being an ambassador?

Is it using the street corner as a pulpit declaring the day of the Lord is near?  Maybe.

Or maybe it’s seeing a neighbor struggling to carry a burden and you sharing about the One who wants to carry those for us.

It could look like forgiveness given to a spouse, or a child, who needs to see grace in action.

 

God is making His appeal through us.

“For our sake he made him to be sin, who knew no sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

It’s a little overwhelming. To think that He, the Maker of the Heavens, wants to use us to spread His message when so often we stumble around acting as though we don’t even know what His message says.

 

But then, who better to share with those who are drowning in sin than one who used to be…

Teach us, Lord, how to be ambassadors for you.  You alone can save and make new.  Show us what it looks like to carry your ministry of reconciliation to a broken world.

All glory and honor belong to You.

 

 

 

 


 

Inheritance

12 Jan

John Piper told a story from John Newton at the Passion 2011 Conference.  You can listen to the sermon here.

Newton says, ‘Suppose a man was going to New York to take possession of a large estate and his carriage should breakdown one mile before he got to the city, which obligated him to walk the rest of the way to the inheritance. What a fool we should think him if we saw him wringing his hands and blubbering out all the remaining mile, ‘my carriage is broken! my carriage is broken!’.

I had to stop and think; what does my life look like as  follower of Christ?

Am I focused on the broken carriage, or is my hope in the inheritance waiting for me?

Some days I carry the weight like a yoke around my neck.  So much in this world is beyond our control.

There will always be bills to pay,

cars that break down,

families in crisis,

loved ones who are sick and hurting…

It’s broken isn’t it? This life.

So how are we to respond?

Do we walk, wringing our hands with worry, and grumbling as we go the mile, so focused on our circumstance that we miss the point of this life?

This year I’m praying that God will teach me to look past my circumstance and see His inheritance…

And praise Him:

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.”  Ps. 19:14

…No matter where He takes me.

What about you? What is your prayer for this new year?