Saturday, December 25, 2010

Twists and Turns

Well, anticipation turned to wonder and amazement.  In one week life took a new direction...not Florida, but Virginia; not soon, but after major surgery. How strange to me, yet how expected to God. He is not surprised and not worried. He is holding our lives in His kind and loving hands.  We still have anticipation, just a different flavor to it.

As we celebrate the birth of the ONE who holds our lives, let's celebrate the moments today that we have for certain and love those around us with purpose and intent.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I am at a crossroads of sorts. The life I've known for 26 years in Alaska is giving way to a new chapter of life in Florida. It's quite impossible to comprehend what awaits me in that new place. Beyond the obvious change in climate, there will be changes in wildlife, friendship, lifestyle, and church. I'm told I'll be watching out for alligators instead of moose!  There are bugs and snakes where I'm headed and many other things I have no experiential knowledge of. I can read about what awaits me and learn information, but none of that will give me experiential knowledge of Florida. They'll only give me head knowledge.

We've begun the season of anticipation (advent) the church observes each year.  We look back at the coming of God's Son to us in a poverty-stricken, God-blessed family and we look ahead to the return of Jesus in all the glory and power we're told of in the Bible. Trying to comprehend heaven and life after His return is quite impossible. When we read about heaven and our future with God in the Bible we get head knowledge, yet until we experience it, we'll not KNOW it.  We can hope for and be excited for it...we can ANTICIPATE that life.

Life on this side of heaven is good practice for what awaits us there. I'll still need to rely completely on God no matter where I am.  Life, now and in eternity, is a great adventure! I wonder what's REALLY around the corner.....

Monday, November 22, 2010

Peace that makes no sense

Philippians 4:6&7 say, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving make your requests known to God and the peace of God, that surpasses comprehension, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." (NASU)

I am experiencing that peace in the midst of circumstances that are loaded with other feelings.  At any given moment I do feel fear and anxiety and uncertainty.  I am convinced my circumstances are not a mystery or surprise to God Who LOVES me and has GOOD plans for me. As I converse with Him about my feelings, hopes and my future, I am comforted in a place so deep, I can't describe it. The peace I feel makes no sense. It's delightful to live out a Bible verse and KNOW in my deepest parts it is true.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Following The LEADER

My life is in the vortex of significant changes. Such things have happened before, yet I find myself coping with this season in a more peaceful way. For the sake of my friends who struggle to rest in a mess, here are a few tips from the journey I've been on.

1. Expect that God is in control AND that His character (love, goodness, kindness, justice, mercy, compassion, grace, patience) is influencing the direction of what is happening.
2. Through that lens, keep a conversation going with God expressing all of your feelings, hopes, longings and fears.  Identify them so you are aware of what's going on in your heart.
3. When new twists on circumstances come your way, first engage with God on them. Ask what He intends in it.
4. Check your heart for pride. Get humble before God. You'll end up there eventually, it's far better to do so voluntarily.
5. REST in the day at hand. Worry won't affect outcomes and will only rob you of the good things in the day you have.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Legacy of Faith - have we started ours?

My daughter has a college assignment to look at patterns in the family tree to understand what her heritage is and what she may have to overcome.  It has been a priceless experience to listen to my parents recount generations of God-followers in their families.  I have this blessing to pass on to my kids by the faith of my parents, their parents and so on.

No matter what our past heritage, God has made all things new in His kids and we have a heritage of faith in God to pass along to our kids.  Our life choices DO impact future generations.  Every good choice is something God gets excited about and adds His blessing to.  Every bad choice is redeemed in a few generations. None of the things we're ashamed of or our parents/grandparents were ashamed of is permanent in the generations to come.  God is the ultimate OVERCOMER!  May we live believing that to be true and start or continue a heritage of believing God to future generations.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Believing God

I'm currently teaching the Beth Moore study, Believing God, for the second time and am challenged in a fresh way to do more than believe God simply exists and He's "out there somewhere".  Beth says that God's family suffers from unbelief and that God is working to get us to believe Him, to believe He acts personally and intentionally in relationship with each of us to work mighty and good deeds that bring people in touch with His goodness and kindness.

One of last week's assignments brought me face to face with a concept I thought I understood. Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ.  In a message by Bill Johnson from Bethel Church in Redding, California, he conveyed that we grow in faith when we hear what God intends to do in a situation and the word of Christ we hear is an active, current message of God to our hearts.  Brad Jersak in Abbotsford, BC, Canada wrote a good book (Can You Hear Me?) along similar lines.  He encourages us to tune in our hearts to God much like a radio is tuned to a signal.  His conviction (biblically based) is that God continues to speak to people today.  In our busy lives (especially in the western world) we don't stop and get quiet in order to hear or we hastily brush past the quiet voice of God in the midst of the din of our busy lives.

I am making a renewed effort to listen for God's words, to be eagerly awaiting what He says, and to act on what He tells me to do.  I choose to BELIEVE God, not just believe IN Him.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Gifts are for giving

A friend reminded me that I LOVE discovering spiritual gifts in people and encouraging the release of those gifts for the benefit of others. God gives every one of his followers certain "graces" (most often translated "spiritual gifts") that are to benefit other followers AND the world around us to draw people into relationship with him. Many people don't consciously think about this and consequently leave dormant grace gifts that could be making a difference in life with people.

Do you know your graces?  Do you love serving others or leading?  Do you find hosting people to be absolute joy?  Do you share your faith effortlessly? Do you get frustrated when others struggle to believe God will do what he says he will do?  Those are indications of gifts God has given.  Explore these Bible passages (I Corinthians 12Romans 12:6-11, Ephesians 4:7, 11-13) and ask God what your gifts are then release them, give out of that special grace (ease in giving, joyful, "natural") provided by God just for you.