Be A Seed

Be a seed2

“24 I tell you the truth: unless a grain of wheat is planted in the ground and dies, it remains a solitary seed. But when it is planted, it produces in death a great harvest. 25 The one who loves this life will lose it, and the one who despises it in this world will have life forevermore.” John 12:24-25 The Voice

This scripture pointed out so clearly why I have to die to myself.  The concept is a tough one to embrace.  It boils down to what do I really want?  Do I really want all the fullness that God has for me?  Or am I satisfied with just a taste?  His fullness requires the sacrifice of self.  This helped me to understand that it’s not about me and my plan.  It’s about God and His plan.

As I picture the planting of a seed, I want to be planted.  I don’t want to die on the stalk and wither away, useless and wasted.  I REALLY want to plant and have a shot at being part of a larger harvest.  When I think about all the things in my life that I need to lay down, a few things come to mind like over-planning, over-preparing, and over-performing.  These are top of mind.  I have had a tendency to charge “over” the path all three ways without seeking God’s direction.  Moving ahead instead of following.

Father I repent for that old pattern. I can feel it kick in. I turn to You. I want to walk in Your light.  I want to understand Your ways.  I want to follow Your lead.  Help me relax and just walk with You. Help me keep it simple. Help me to count on You. Thank you for Your love.  Thank you for making my heart sing!

1 Corinthians 15:36-38, Acts 4:4

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He Always Delivers

he always delivers2

“10 For as rain and snow can’t go back once they’ve fallen, but soak into the ground and nourish the plants that grow, providing seed to the farmer and bread for the hungry, 11 So it is when I declare something. My word will go out and not return to Me empty, but it will do what I wanted; it will accomplish what I determined.” Isaiah 55:10-11 The Voice

When my niece was little she was afraid of storms, especially the thunder.  So when the thunder would start we used to tell her “Thunder makes the flowers grow.” It seemed to comfort her in that moment.  I think of that as I read this scripture. Sometimes we look at rain and snow as scary or a nuisance instead of the precious life-giving water that nourishes the earth.  God always delivers.

So then, what about my life?  Are there things around me that I view as a nuisance? Is there something making a lot of noise that I would like to just shut out?  Or are they necessary for me to receive the life-giving nourishment that God has for me?  It makes me realize that sometimes I have to step in a puddle to get to the Spring in my life.  Sometimes I have to put on my boots and wade through drifts of snow to get to the warmth of God’s love.  It’s all a part of the journey…and maybe helps me appreciate the destination even more.

Thank you Lord for always delivering.  You are always by my side.  Thank you for Your never ending love. Give me the patience and wisdom to complete the journey You have designed for me. I pray I see Your beauty along the way, appreciating every season.

2 Corinthians 9:9-11, Deuteronomy 31:6-8, Joshua 1:5

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Third Time is a Charm

third time is a charm

“28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

I am learning that God does not want us to walk in fear. He wants us to have fun and enjoy life! It was not His intention for us to be hampered or burdened by putting too much stock in the things of this world.  He loves to watch us operate in our gifts and talents. That’s how he made us!

I have had concerns about old patterns at times.  Sometimes operating in a new way feels unfamiliar and awkward.  I can’t build new patterns without practice. So, I look at it as exercise.  I am simply practicing my faith in a new environment.  I have to trust God.  Let go of myself and any self-consciousness. I have to let go of perfection.  I know that He would rather I take a step and fall, trusting in Him, than stand in a corner in fear.

Father, give me the boldness, confidence, courage and wisdom to continually take another step closer to You.

John 6:37, 7:37-38

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Practice

practice2

“28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

I am learning that God does not want us to walk in fear. He wants us to have fun and enjoy life! It was not His intention for us to be hampered or burdened by putting too much stock in the things of this world.  He loves to watch us operate in our gifts and talents. That’s how he made us!

I have had concerns about old patterns at times.  Sometimes operating in a new way feels unfamiliar and awkward.  I can’t build new patterns without practice. So, I look at it as exercise.  I am simply practicing my faith in a new environment.  I have to trust God.  Let go of myself and any self-consciousness. I have to let go of perfection.  I know that He would rather I take a step and fall, trusting in Him, than stand in a corner in fear.

Father, give me the boldness, confidence, courage and wisdom to continually take another step closer to You.

John 6:37, 7:37-38

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Dance with Me

Serve Me2

 “If anyone serves Me, he must continue to follow Me [to cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying] and wherever I am, there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.” John 12:26 AMP

I read this verse and had to ask myself the question “Am I serving Christ?” I have the sense that a big part of serving is letting go.  Letting go of everything that I hold dear. So what does that look like? I have to press in and really listen for God. I have to trust steadfastly. I have to be patient. I have to wait and not go charging down a path wasting energy and resources. I take time to delight in God, show my love and get to know Him. I picture God and I being like Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, nimble and fluid.  Our moves are seamless. We just flow.

Father, help me.  Show me what to do.  Search my heart. Show me how to dance with You.

Luke 6:46, John 13:16, 14:15, 15:20; Romans 14:18, Galatians 1:10

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Faith In Action

faith in action

“So also faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obedience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (inoperative, dead).” James 2:17 AMP

Several years ago I really felt like God was calling me to write a piece on faith.  It was a relatively short piece that took me on an interesting journey.  What came out of a review of many scriptures was an outline that looked something like this:

  • Don’t look back
  • Eyes forward
  • Trust steadily in God
  • Hope unswervingly
  • Love extravagantly

Each area had a unique insight of its own in how it connected to the expression of faith.  There were several personal antidotes shared and many scriptures.

The scripture that really got hold of my heart was 1 Corinthians 13 in a new and different way.  It is historically referred to as the “Love Chapter.” However, what I began to see is that it also has all the components for a robust faith life.  My conclusion was this: without love we cannot walk in faith.  Love is the foundation for everything.  Just as faith requires a demonstration to be activated, love does as well.  We cannot operate in either one without interacting in community with others.

So my prayer is “Father help me to love like You believing that all things are possible, ALL THINGS are possible, with You.”

James 2:24, 26; Matthew 23:23, James 2:5, Philippians 4:6, 13

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A New Fashion Statement

A new fashion statement

“12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:12-13 NIV

As I read these verses, I started to imagine putting each of these characteristics on as if they were articles of clothing.  A beautiful gown of compassion with a robe or jacket of kindness over it.  Gorgeous custom boots of humility.  Dazzling ear rings of gentleness and a necklace of patience.  Then my make-up would look flawless with a foundation of forgiveness.  I really had to sit with that for a while.  It sounded regal and beautiful in such a stately and timeless way.  It made me think of all the money I invest in clothes, shoes, the latest face creams and moisturizers.  Closets of clothes are all over my house!  But God’s garments are timeless, ageless classics.  They never go out of style and their beauty never fades.

Lord, help me dress in these beautiful characteristics that reflect You.  Help me wear each of them daily and with joy.  Thank you for teaching me a new way to dress for success!

Isaiah 61:10, Ephesians 1:7-8, Romans 5:5, Ephesians 2:10, Hebrews 12:3, 7, 10

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