Sunday, October 30, 2011

Becoming

There is an advantage to blooming later in life. Late bloomers don't run the risk of sprouting too soon. Somehow, they have an innate understanding of saving the best for last, or for later. They realize that life is not about the science of blooming, it is about the art of becoming.

Who are you in process of becoming?

Or who have you already become?

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." -Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Growth

If I had only known then the things I know now, I would have lived in a place of perfect peace when reality reared its ugly head. I would have counted the cost of sacrifice before catering to my own comforts. And I would have fiercely stared fear in the face before backing down.

If I had only known then the things I know now, I would have been able to leap without knowing where I would land. But back then I could not even get my feet off the ground, much less sprint through life with confidence.

Still, I take comfort today in resting with a relaxed understanding of who I have become.

"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."
-Philippians 1:6

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dreaming

Sometimes dreams disappear while plans fade into the background. So I wave goodbye as darkness settles in. At one point the future seemed bright, now it only seems invisible. But then, just as twilight surrounds me, a fog rolls in, bringing with it a change called morning. And my hope reappears with the sun, reminding me not to give up on those dreams that disappeared in the night.

Have you stopped dreaming? If so, wait for a new day.

"Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning."
-Psalm 30:5

Monday, October 24, 2011

Focused

Life is a tightrope. A fine line on which to balance. Lean a little too far to the right or to the left and you may fall off. So you concentrate. And you give. And you take. So let me ask you this: What is your focus? We all need a focal point, don't we?

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus . . . " -Hebrews 12:1,2

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Reflection on Womanhood

When I wanted to hang up my hat and go home, I remembered I was still just a woman-to-be wrapped in the heart of a girl. So I packed up my gypsy ways, tightened my grip on commitment, and walked the road most traveled: the road to womanhood. Day after day I walked until eventually I disappeared. Maybe I was lost. Maybe I was found. Either way, the girl I once was is not the same as the woman I have become.

How would you describe your journey?

"When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things."
-1 Corinthians 13:11

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Statement

Leaves fall in a cascading shower of red, yellow and brown. At this time of year a jacket is a necessity for some. But for this Floridian a jacket is a novelty. It almost becomes a fashion statement.

And I wonder if it's the same with Christianity? Do we sometimes wear religion as a necessity or a novelty, depending on what kind of statement we want to make?

What kind of statement are you making?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Moving

I came to a place that seemed like a fork in the road. But a fork in the road indicates a split in direction or a place of decision. And I don't know if that is truly where I stood. So I weighed my options, but more than that, I let God weigh my heart. And I trusted him to see my motives before I even made a move.

Which direction are you trusting God to move you toward today?

"We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps." -Proverbs 16:9

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thirsty

What does it mean to thirst? How many times a day do you think, I’m thirsty then seek to fulfill that basic physical need. What do you drink when you feel thirsty?

What does it look like to spiritually thirst? Jesus makes several references to a spiritual thirst during his ministry; “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6), “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink” (John 7:37). On most occasions, I think of spiritual thirst as a need I take to Christ because he satisfies, he gives, he quenches, he provides.

When I think of God, I try to comprehend His union of the physical with the spiritual so that we might better relate to Him. In doing so, He relates to us in such a basic way that God himself, so holy, so perfect, so divine, would thirst. In John 19:28 Jesus says, “I am thirsty” just before He dies on the cross.

I try to wrap my brain around the fact that the God of the universe sent His son Jesus to this earth as a man, that He would thirst, so that I may thirst no more.

Are you thirsty today?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Time

We all hear the popular clich├ęs, “Give it time” or “Time heals all wounds”. These phrases bear some truth when set against the truth of God’s Word that says there is “a time to heal” (Ecclesiastes 3:3). But what is time, really? Is it an elusive force that winds in and out of our lives? Is it a thief that steals from us? Is it Father Time who cares for us? Is it something we can manipulate to fall back or spring forward? We all have different perceptions of time, but time only has one perception of us; it moves and travels regardless of where we stand or what we do. We all have moments we wish to preserve, and we all have moments we wish to erase.

So what do we do with time? Shall we carpe diem? Shall we concern ourselves with time since the Bible says, “with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:8,9).

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Heroes

Prayer Warriors serve as silent soldiers in unseen battles. They combat the captains of dark armies. They devastate dark horses with their powerful weapons of war. Their prayers light up the night sky like bombs bursting in air.

Praying for love tucked cozy into bed across the hall or across the world. Praying the prayers of faith for babies grown or babies not yet born. Praying for leaders whose decisions affect where we are today, and where we are headed tomorrow. Praying for peace. Praying for God's will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Praying for the sick, the poor and the brokenhearted. Praying for shifting shadows to be brought into the light.

These are my heroes. They travel through this life, sometimes radiant with the Spirit, sometimes incognito, touching our lives in ways only heaven can see. Meanwhile the rest of us slumber across the hall or across the world . . .

"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for the saints." -Ephesians 6:18

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

From Troubles to Triumphs

Life seems to have a way of giving us a handful, then leaving us empty-handed...or so the world would say. But I have found a new life. One that gives without taking. It enables me to see the troubles of this life, not for what they are worth, but for what they have the potential to become: triumphs! But it is more than a matter of seeing the glass half empty or half full. It is a matter of placing my trust in Jesus Christ.

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
-Jesus (John 10:10)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Praise-Worthy

Faith gets fueled when God moves behind the scenes. Even though we may only be left with an empty stage, that same stage can still be filled with expectation. It is not until we are stripped of our costumes and our masks, when our self-confidence dwindles, that God shows up. But if our business is just for show, then our egos leave no room for the only One truly deserving of our applause. He alone is praise-worthy.

"Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor."
-James 4:10

Monday, October 10, 2011

Take Heart

Hard times can produce hard hearts. And dreams can wilt like flowers scorned by the sun. The pressures of this life can drive us to extremes; the loss of a life, the loss of a career, the loss of a hope and a future.

But what if the Author of all life pens that there is still more to the story? Even though there is conflict, there can still be resolution.

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." -Jesus Christ (John 16:33)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Too Casual

Sometimes he seems familiar. Other times he seems foreign. Sometimes he seems as close as a lover. Other times he seems as distant as a loner. But a walk with God is to be taken much more seriously than just a walk in the park. So when God seems foreign and I feel alone, I have to ask,"Why have I been so casual in my pursuit of this holy God?"

"Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: 'Be holy, because I am holy.'”
-1 Peter 1:13-16

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Anxiety

She walks a fine line between the broad and the narrow. But walking a tight rope or sitting on a fence's edge is not a comfortable place to stay. Still, her comfort zone is hard to find when comfort is a feeling she's barely known. Instead, she clings to familiar feelings far from comfort. And you think, "maybe it's time to talk her down", but how can you talk her down when she finds shelter in your very own mind?

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
-1 Peter 5:6,7

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Reflection on Motherhood

She tugs and she pulls, needing to take from the strength I don't have. So I tug and I pull, asking him for the strength I know he has. And he gives me what I need so that I can give her what she needs. Then as the end of the day falls into night, she calls me a good mom, and I call him an even better God.

"Each time he said, 'My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.' So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me."
-2 Corinthians 12:9

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Security

Financial security does not equate with eternal security. Still, sometimes I think we believe the more creature comforts we acquire, the more smoothly paved the path toward heaven will seem. But if we are honest with ourselves, we know can neither buy our happiness nor our salvation.

So does that leave us feeling empty handed? Or does it move us to place our trust in the Lord, the only one who can truly offer security?

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength."
-Philippians 4:12-13

Monday, October 3, 2011

No Regrets

Jesus came to save the world, so when I realized I couldn't even save the day, I knew I needed him. Still, the world wanted me to sell out, but I knew I needed to buy in, regardless. Now the days when I sang songs of sorrow are gone. Instead, I cry tears of joy for the years I have not lost and for the regrets I have not made.

"For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost."
-Matthew 19:10

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Consuming Fire

The God of the Bible who appears as a burning bush now burns passionately and personally today. He kindles a fire in the souls of men and women that may start out reminiscent of the tune "This little light of mine...", but it grows and burns brightly. You see, we have the luxury of experiencing God, not as a burning bush from a distant desert in the middle east, but in the closest confines of our own hearts.

"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our 'God is a consuming fire.'"
-Hebrews 12:28,29

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Love of God

He is the picture of perfection and his picture hangs on every wall of my heart. But even while I am not picture perfect, my picture still hangs on every wall of his heart.

Do you know where your picture hangs?

"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
-Romans 8:37-39