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Rak Chazak

Rak chazak: ancient Hebrew war cry from Joshua 1:7 rak chazak va’emats or just be strong and courageous.

I was considering not writing today. Nothing stood out for me to say. Then, as I was scrolling through my news feed on Facebook I saw an interesting and incredibly sad fact posted. There are over 400 distinctly different phobias recognized by psychologists out there. A phobia is an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. When I saw that I knew God was leading me to speak on fear. It is a major issue even among believers and is a spirit. There’s a natural caution type of fear that isn’t spiritual and is healthy. But tormenting, paralyzing fear is not from God and we do not have to nor should walk in that.

I’ve heard this before and it’s too good not to share. The word fear can be an acronym for false evidence appearing real. Really, if you think on that, fear is usually irrational or illogical. How often are we anxious over something that might happen. But it might not too. Yet the focus is on the negative that “could”. How sad is it that we tend to put more trust in what we see and our circumstances than we do Elohim. Why is that? Mostly I believe it is because God is a spirit and our flesh has trouble comprehending that. The words “fear not” are said over and over throughout scripture. Fear is something we all face to some degree. But, it doesn’t have to be victorious in our lives. We can be ruled by faith and led by the Ruach (Spirit) instead.

Years ago and post partum I battled with panic attacks. Some of it was hormonal imbalances but some of it was fear. I let fear plant a mental stronghold. I had unhealthy thought habits (still do as I’m not obviously perfect). Past disappointments and wounds led my actions. I had walls around my heart and I met every person with skepticism. My life was full of knee jerk reactions and self protection. What set me free? God’s perfect love. Perfect love casts out fear (see 1 John 4:18).

Today, I want to speak to those bound by fear. The Lord YHVH rebuke the spirit of fear in Yeshua’s (Jesus’) name! You do not have to live bound by what ifs. Remember, God is ultimately in control. Your protective measures cannot stop the enemy nor God unless He allows it. The only thing your bondage will do is keep you from walking in His best and rob you of peace and joy.

Today, I speak over your life rak chazak. The banner over your life is fear not! You have victory in Him. Live it out. Speak it. Choose to believe it. Have faith in God not your fear. He is the I AM. Nothing is stronger or greater than Him. He has no equal. The enemy is a defeated foe.

Rak chazak!

Deuteronomy 3:21-22 ESV And I commanded Joshua at that time, ‘Your eyes have seen all that the Lord your God has done to these two kings. So will the Lord do to all the kingdoms into which you are crossing. You shall not fear them, for it is the Lord your God who fights for you.’

Joshua 1:9 ESV Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Psalm 27:1 ESV The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

John 14:27 ESV Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

2 Timothy 1:7 ESV for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control (sound mind in KJV).

1 John 4:18 ESV There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

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Psalm 121

​Psalm 121:1 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains— from where does my help come (TLV)?

Something that has helped me during difficult times is taking well loved passages and putting myself in them. Psalm 121 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible. Psalm 1, 23, and 91 are also especially cherished of the poetic writings. When life is really tough, I’ve learned to do three things: read scripture, pray, and love others on purpose. The first is where I want to focus today.

Not long ago I found myself in a very painful, difficult circumstance. In the midst of tears I was praying and attempting to read the Word. But, the verses seemed flat and distant. It was as if I was an outsider reading something foreign. The Bible is, in fact, written for us but not necessarily to us (I am not Jewish, a man, or the church of Ephesus, for example). However, there’s spiritual applications throughout. In the above situation, I felt God leading me to personalize what I was reading. I didn’t do that with Psalm 121 then but this is something I’ve done which has brought me much comfort.

Laurel’s paraphrase:

I will lift up my eyes to the mountains-from where does my help come? Laurel’s help comes from Adonai, Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let my foot slip. My Keeper will not slumber. 

My Keeper is Adonai, the Keeper of Israel. He is my shadow at my right hand. The sun will not strike me by day, nor the moon by night. 

Adonai will protect me from all evil. He will guard my life. Adonai will watch over my coming and going from this time forth and forevermore. 

Today, I want to encourage those of you who are hurting and lonely.  Take a Psalm or other verses in the Bible and put your name in there. Be cautious of course, as there are a few places where it wouldn’t be applicable (context is key). The verses in general people memorize and turn to for comfort are usually fine. As you read and say aloud those passages, using your name and I, my, mine etc, realize that the Word is your Creator’s message to you. 

Use the Bible like you would medicine. Have a good concordance handy and say out loud verses that pertain to your need or struggle. Put yourself in them. It is your life, healing, and deliverance. The more you do it, the better you’ll be. It may not immediately fix all of your problems or make life easy, but you’ll have health and peace in the midst of the storm. It will change you. Leave the rest to God.

Psalm 121 TLV A Song of Ascents. I will lift up my eyes to the mountains— from where does my help come? My help comes from Adonai, Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip. Your Keeper will not slumber.

Behold, the Keeper of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. Adonai is your Keeper. Adonai is your shadow at your right hand. The sun will not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

Adonai will protect you from all evil. He will guard your life. Adonai will watch over your coming and your going from this time forth and forevermore.

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The Shoes Didn’t Fit

1 Corinthians 12:12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ (ESV).

There’s lyrics in a song called “Someone Believes in You” by Cindy Morgan that came to mind:

She always wanted to be a dancer
But the shoes just wouldn’t fit
Thought about being an actress
But someone told her she lacked the wit

He always wanted to be a doctor
But the money just wasn’t there
Thought about taking up baseball
But couldn’t find a glove he could wear
And he wanted to be like daddy
But Dad was never there
And now the truth is so hard
‘Cause the truth is he doesn’t care

Oh, don’t you know
Someone believes in you
No matter who you are
No matter what you do
Oh, don’t you know
Whatever you’re going through
He’s got His eye on you
Better believe it’s true
Someone believes in you

These words were playing in my mind and the lyrics I could recall of the song. God led me to 1 Corinthians 12 and began speaking to me clearly. Some of you are feeling depressed and discouraged because you don’t have God’s dream for your life. Elohim, Creator, knew who you were before you existed and you are given talents from Him. The Ruach (Spirit) has entrusted you with giftings. The problem is we take up the world’s dream and label of who we are and should be. Eyes are trying to be ears and hands are trying to be feet etc etc. Or, perhaps we are trying to wear shoes that don’t fit.

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My mother liked ballet when she was growing up and was rather good at it. She was taller and had at the time a dancer’s physique. She wanted the same for me. One of the few things she actually really did for me was give me dance lessons as she could afford it. Ballet, tap, and jazz. I hated it. And I was terrible. I was a skinny kid but I’m slightly bow legged and only just under five feet four inches. I am not a dancer. I went to a charter arts school and was good in music and theater. But dance and art were off the table. I have no talent in those areas. Believe me. One day I just refused to go to dance class. I think she realized that the shoes just didn’t fit. She took back the tap shoes. I felt peace. No longer was I being something I’m not. I focused on other things and was happy. My mother thought I needed to do more, be more, or different to be a good kid. I didn’t. That’s how some are living right now.

Today, I want to speak to those who feel a call on their lives yet seem stuck and miserable. It may very well be an issue of timing. But I know there’s someone reading this that God made to be an amazing eye trying to be an ear or mouth. Sometimes we get caught up in envy and insecurity thinking we need to sing like this person or speak like that person. We all have a place in the body. The loving, kind women who are godly in character fulfill a tremendous role. The hardworking “steady” men who faithfully provide are amazing. So many need spiritual mothers and grandmothers. Spiritual fathers and grandfathers.

You are not just a stay-at-home mother or a carpenter. A plumber or secretary. A pastor. Teacher. You are a child of God called to emulate His character and love your neighbor as yourself (see Matthew 22:39). Ask God to show you your giftings and the specific work He has for you. Then trust Him and allow Him to refine you.

Be what you’re called to be. Wear the right shoes.

1 Corinthians 12:14-28 ESV For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.

If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, which our more presentable parts do not require.

But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.

And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.

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Think on These Things

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (KJV). 

I don’t watch television much. Other than a few football games (I’m a Green Bay Packers fan) or children’s videos it’s never on. My husband watches it a bit more. Even then, he follows a few shows on Hulu and that’s it. There’s a reason.

Few things can rob my peace faster than the news or many current shows. An agenda is obvious. Sitcoms are off color, full of sexual innuendos, and inappropriate things I don’t want my children viewing. And it seems we are desensitized to the evil and violence in the world. It’s just normal to hear about some awful thing that happened to someone somewhere. Apparently it was decided by the powers that be the definition of news=negativity. Our mind is in a battle and our focus is key. Feelings follow focus. Peace is worth protecting.

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Social media is another place peace can be taken quickly. Sadly, it seems a few of my Facebook friends have a fascination or perhaps feel compelled to expose/share the current evils of the world. Lots of it. After just a few minutes life seems dark and hopeless. And, it is. But God. Yeshua (Jesus) makes all the difference. Know Him, know peace. No Him, no peace.

Today, I want to encourage you to think about what you’re thinking about. There’s so much darkness out there. Life is full of challenges and details to potentially worry about. Remember Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble (ESV). Don’t worry. Choose to meditate on scripture and positive things.

God’s goodness is everywhere, even in this dark fallen world. There’s much to be thankful for. Stay grateful and keep your focus on Him. God is in control. Let Him worry about the big stuff.

Psalm 56:3-4 ESV When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?

Psalm 91:2 ESV I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Isaiah 26:3 ESV You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Philippians 4:6 ESV Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Colossians 3:2 ESV Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

 

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Fuel to the Fire

Proverbs 26:20 For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases (ESV).

I recently read a post I, and many others, seemed to have issue with. Because my time is limited I am much wiser about where I’ll bother to comment or give a rebuttal. I’ve learned that, while healthy debate is OK, division and disagreements do not glorify God. Yes, there will be times when we will not see eye to eye with someone. That’s not necessarily wrong. But when differences in opinion cause broken relationships, gossip, and offense there’s a problem. Both sides need to pause, step back, and pray.

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I’m an extrovert and someone that likes to communicate. It’s not always easy for me to bite my tongue when I really want to give someone a piece of my mind. Successfully handling social media takes discipline and wisdom. Foolishness and negativity abounds. I can scroll through Facebook and in less than 1 minute find a post I disagree with. Sometimes I’ll give my two cents worth. I’m all for civil discussion. However, all too often a decent conversation quickly turns into name calling, judging, and unfriending/blocking. People are hurt. Nothing positive or productive was accomplished. No good fruit. The fire was being fueled. Then, to make matters worse, a new post pops up criticizing a previous one for being divisive. The fire just keeps burning hotter and stronger.

Today, I want to speak to those (most of my blog readers) who frequent social media. I want to make two points. First, don’t be a division sower or controversy poster. Do not spread gossip or add fuel to the fire. Be cautious before publicly slamming someone’s ministry. Second, do not entertain and contribute discussion with those who only seek to complain, tear down, and attack others. There is a place for Ephesians 5:11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them (ESV). Yes, sometimes exposing is needed to protect the Body from wolves. Most of the time though, it’s better to leave something be.

Remove the fuel, the fire dies. Leave the Ruach (Spirit) to people’s hearts.

Proverbs 11:13 ESV Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.

Proverbs 20:19 ESV Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.

Matthew 5:9 ESV “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

Titus 3:9-11 ESV But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

 

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Like a Honeycomb

Proverbs 16:24 Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body (ESV).

This morning the book of Proverbs was stirring in my spirit, especially verses regarding words. As someone who likes to write and talk, words come easily and frequent for me. Some days I feel I’m hit especially hard regarding the tongue because of my giftings and personality. I am very aware of the power words can bring. Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits (ESV). Kind words, encouraging ones, bring healing, hope, love, joy, wisdom etc. There’s many potential good fruits. Harsh and unloving words bring despair, discouragement, frustration, hopelessness, anger etc. How interesting that letters uttered in a certain formatted string can have the power to restore a relationship or separate close friends. Words, therefore, are very important.

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Just the other day I received a message of encouragement. I hadn’t told anyone but I was having a bad day. Men may not relate to this much, but it was one of those days where you just find a quiet place and cry. I had trouble even praying as words just didn’t suffice. I felt like my soul was hurting and I needed to release the pain. This encouraging message came from a person who normally doesn’t reach out to me at the perfect time. I literally went from feeling discouraged and low to feeling hope and peace. I saw firsthand what a few words can do. I was also reminded of another, very different occasion.

A few weeks ago now I got a “bright idea”. You know what I mean. Those things that pop in your head to say and seem wise and good but aren’t. You act on it anyway. Not surprising, it doesn’t turn out that well. And it didn’t. I was sobbing at one point. I was actually well meaning. Perhaps the person should have been more gracious and patient. But my words caused offense. It made things worse. I didn’t think through how it might be received or understood. Now I look back and realize that sometimes things are better left unsaid and just prayed about. Or, at least wait for better timing.

Today, I want to encourage those who are struggling with words or are desiring to be encouraged yourself. Perhaps you have been speaking in frustration and anger. You complain. Gossip. Or maybe you feel unfairly criticized. Torn down. Misjudged. You want someone to say they love and appreciate you. First, get your heart right before God. Pray Psalm 51:10-12 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit (ESV). Then, choose to be an encourager to others daily.

Proverbs 11:25 Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered (ESV). As we give to others and sow positive words and actions in their lives, we too will receive blessing and enrichment. This is a biblical principle.

My challenge for you now: do not complain for the next 24 hours and find someone to encourage and speak life to them.  You will both be blessed.

Psalm 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Proverbs 15:4 A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.

Proverbs 18:4 The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.

Ephesians 4:29 ESV Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

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Mattered not Revisited

“It’s history, can’t rewrite it. You’re not meant to be trapped inside it…it’s history and every mile mattered.” lyrics by Nichole Nordeman

This morning I was listening to new music by one of my favorite singer/songwriters. Every Mile Mattered by Nichole Nordeman. The song is also the album title. As I was listening to this song’s lyrics I was thinking about my life. How important it is to learn the balance between mattered and revisited. The past does matter. Our life experiences shape who we are and how we live our lives. They can make us better, wiser, and kinder if we let them. But, the past is meant to matter only. 

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I’ve shared in the past that I’ve experienced trauma in my life. I have symptoms of C PTSD. It doesn’t run my life or hold me. But, it has been something I’ve had to battle to gain victory over. Sometimes life will throw a potential “trigger” to remind me of something from the past. That’s when it’s absolutely vital I know, and live, the difference between mattered and revisited. I’ll bet a few of you know exactly what I’m talking about. Some deep pain you experienced that made you cry now you face straight on and calmly say, “That hurt.” That’s the extent of it. But it wasn’t always that easy.

As someone who came from abuse and dysfunction, I can tell you it’s not fun or without difficulty to heal. But it can happen. Healing hurts. Being healed doesn’t. I do believe pain and peace can coexist. Life is lived out in a process. Getting to a place of understanding there’s a time for everything is freeing. Ecclesiastes 3:1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven (ESV).

Today, I want to encourage you to live with a mindset of mattered, not revisited. Stop allowing that broken record to play past hurts over and over in your brain. Choose to say, “It mattered, but I’m listening to a different song now.” Maybe you need to draw a map. Put those pins in where you were born, had key life events. First kiss, first heartache, loss of innocence, came to Yeshua (Jesus), graduated high school/college, miscarriage, death of a loved one, marriage, divorce etc etc. Realize God was with you through it all. We will never understand the whys about some things. I don’t know know why you experienced the tragedy you did. But I do know God is love. He is good. And doesn’t withhold good.

Live facing straight ahead. Your story isn’t over yet.

Psalm 23:3 ESV He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Proverbs 4:25-27 ESV Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 ESV He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

Philippians 3:14 ESV I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

 

 

 

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Altogether Beautiful

Song of Solomon 4:7 You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you (ESV).

Last night, after my family went to bed I stayed up. As I started praying I was sobbing. I ended up curled up on the floor. It was as if I could hear the enemy say, “You’re a failure. You don’t do anything right. It would be better if you weren’t around.” I allowed myself to listen to those lies for a few minutes. After I cried out, “Abba help me” I heard His voice. “I don’t think you’re a failure. I call you lovely, chosen, worthy and beautiful because I made you and redeemed you.” I’m sharing this very personal moment for the benefit of other wounded souls that need it. In life, even among other believers, there will be many voices that aren’t necessarily truth calling out to you. Who we listen to is everything.

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I’m not a huge fan of taking the book Song of Solomon in the Bible and just making it a picture of Christ and the church. It is about human love and lust, no way around it. However, I do believe that Elohim looks at His creation, us humans in particular, as beautiful and wonderful. After all, men and women are created in His image per Genesis 1:27. It has been healing for me, growing up in abuse, to see God as a father who loves me and sees me as valuable and special. But, what matters most to me is that I am bought with the blood of Yeshua (Jesus). I am redeemed. When the enemy comes hurling lies, shame, and condemnation at me I can answer it with His blood. His truth. His word and promises to me.

Today, I have some questions for you. Whose voice are you listening to? God, people (especially your critics), or the enemy? Do you know how to tell the difference between truth and lies? Some of you may have lies deeply rooted in the foundation of who you are. You may not be able to tell the difference. That is why reading the Word is so important. That is truth. It explains who God is, His nature (love), and His will for His creation.

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My prayer for you is that in the midst of hearing voices saying, “Failure, dumb, ugly, hopeless, unlovable, unlikable, worthless etc” you’ll hear the voice of your Abba say, “Altogether beautiful/wonderful daughter/son of mine.” I sense God wants to do heart surgery on someone reading this. Seek Him with all of your being. He will be found. God will make Himself known. Freedom and healing will come when you start speaking and living truth.

Genesis 1:31a ESV And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good.

Psalm 139:14 ESV I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

John 10:11 ESV I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

 

 

 

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The Tongue

James 3:5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire (ESV)!

A few days ago when I was praying I felt God really challenge me in how I speak. Without even realizing it I had spent most of one particular day complaining. I like to call it “venting” when I don’t want to be accountable. Wrong I know. Don’t misunderstand here, there is such a thing as healthy venting. But venting and complaining are two different things. I was whining about a couple of instances that really bothered me. I got to mentioning a person that was really irritating me. The Ruach (Spirit) made it clear I was wrong. Once again I was reminding myself of lashon hara (evil speech) and how easy and unintentionally we can fall into this sin.

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The tongue is such a destructive force if not careful. Most of the time I’m very mindful on how I speak. In those weak moments is when we need to choose our words most carefully. For we can speak in essence life or death. Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits (ESV). We can build someone up, encourage them, provide a good reference to help with opportunities, bring wisdom and hope with our words. However, we can also tear someone down, embarrass, wound, ruin a reputation or career, and lead someone astray with our words. Our choice. It is something both men and women can possess equal strength in. And our words can bring our blessings or block them.

Today, I want to encourage you to speak life. Really, a mouth issue is a heart issue. If you’re struggling to speak in a positive, loving, encouraging, and thankful tone then it’s an indication you need to get your heart right before God. Repent of any bitterness, jealousy, pride etc residing inside of you. Your words have power and they matter. Choose to be an instrument of love, life, healing, truth, and hope. A few kind words spoken to another may seem small to you but to them it can be huge.

The Word spoken is what Yeshua (Jesus) did to combat Satan’s attacks in the wilderness. It is your sword. Speak well.

Psalm 34:12-14 ESV What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Proverbs 13:3 ESV Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.

Matthew 12:34-37 ESV You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Titus 3:1-2 ESV Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.

 

 

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Hurry Up

Hebrews 6:11-12 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises (ESV).

Through faith and patience. Those two words jumped out at me from Hebrews 6:11-12. As I was praying this morning, I could feel impatience bubbling up in me. My family has been in a tough season. God has told me there would be a shifting soon. This season will change. But, His timing isn’t mine. I want it now. Really, I’d prefer it have happened a while ago. I’ve been basically telling God in every way possible, “Hurry up!”

My husband and I have been looking around at those who are much younger seemingly with ease just fit right into their purpose. Life was easy, or at least easier for them. Why wasn’t it so for us? It’s so tempting to ask why. To doubt. To question. If God is good (and He is), then why isn’t life always good? It all comes down to trusting the Potter. And His timing.

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I received a message from a friend venting on God’s timing. They have dreams in their heart. They have faithfully served God for many years and they’re not seeing doors open for them. Discouragement is setting in. God’s faithfulness is being questioned. I tried not to give canned responses or seem insensitive. I do truly understand. But, at some point I gave the answer that just has to be given and faced: trust God and His timing. Even when it hurts. It’s not all about us. There may be one person He desires you to reach and you’re there out of His love for them. If there’s one thing about God I’ve learned it’s this: He is deliberate and everything serves a purpose.

Today, I want to encourage you and remind you of God’s goodness. As it says in Psalm 84:11b No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. God doesn’t withhold good and He works all things together for our good per Romans 8:28. I sense a momentum shift at the door for many of you. Your season will turn around. But, don’t rejoice in things getting better. Rejoice in everything He has done. The waiting serves a purpose, but when it’s time, it’s time! 

It may be tempting to tell God to hurry up. Perhaps your spirit knows the change of seasons is coming. But, wherever you are in this moment give God a shout of praise! He is faithful and He is with you every second of the journey. It will happen at the appointed time.

Psalm 100:5 ESV For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 111:7 ESV The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.

1 Thessalonians 5:24 ESV He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

2 Thessalonians 3:3 ESV But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.