Saturday, November 16, 2019

Step into Your Unknown

You call me out upon the waters

The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep my faith will stand

- Hillsong United




I love that line in the song, "Where Feet May Fail," that speaks of the great unknown. The truth is our futures are unknown to us and it is definitely within the realms of possibility that both success and failure are waiting (probably some of both).


Here's the thing: it really doesn't matter. If you are truly His, and He is yours, you will make it through the pits of despair as well as on the heights of success. He is big enough to keep you either way.


So, if you're poised on the brink of a giant step you are thinking of making, you might as well take that first frightening step. Remember He is with you, sticking closer than a brother. What's the worst that could happen?


If you mess up, rely on Him to help you pick up the pieces.


Could the worst thing be to just stay where you are? After all, we're on a journey.


Yes, there is value in waiting ... but not forever. At some point, you have to step out into your unknown!



YouTube video (subscribers will need to click through to my blog):





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Hey, I'm late to the party but couldn't let the opportunity to write on the prompt, "unknown" go by. Want to join in? You can find the Five Minute Friday group of writers here.

I'm also linking up to:
Grace&Truth
Inspire Me Monday

Friday, November 8, 2019

Settled and Stayed

I'm remembering an experience at Youth Camp. We had one of those "sing around the bonfire' type services. It had been just a few months earlier when I walked the aisle, giving my heart to the Lord.



"I have decided to follow Jesus," I sang - and meant it with my whole heart.

Since then, years have passed and I discovered though I settled the direction of my life; I have to settle it again every day, and every new decision must rest on that first decision.

And when the dust settles from that initial decision, the ground to build upon is God’s Word.

We find in 1 Peter 5:10:

But may the God of all grace,
who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while,
perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

Stay in the word and it will settle us. We are strengthened by learning the character and nature of God and how He interacts with His people.

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3

Stayed is just another word for settle. When we keep our minds on Him, through the Word, through prayer, through meditating on the word, we’ll be on solid ground. We won’t be wishy washy.

And, we won’t turn back.

What about you? Have you settled the direction of your life? If not, I'd love to pray with you about it. Drop me a line.

~~

Thanks to my friend, Dayna, who caused ideas to pop up when she said, "dust settles!"


I'm linking this post to the communities at 

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

The days of October

Today in the first week of November, I want to look back with a fond farewell to October.

“I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables





One of my favorite writers, Emily P. Freeman, speaks of keeping a list entitled, "These are the days of ..." and listing all the simple joys that happen that month. Here is mine:

October was the days of  ... 











Wedding preparations in our family
Welcoming a new son
Chaos during renovations
FINALLY getting rid of blue-flowered walls that we had lived with all the days of my children's lives;  
Color swatches and paint samples; 
Sawdust and donut dust (powdered donuts go so well with hot beverages!);  
Playing school with the grands; 
Soups! 
Getting out the boots and sweaters;
Fall decor



Deep spiritual conversations: In October I was struck by a thought first mentioned on an Out of the Ordinary podcast, "In the Presence of Your Enemies," (Podcast #49). This is not her exact words, but what I heard Lisa-Jo say is that Psalm 23 tells us He prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies – and those enemies could well be the voices of the enemy shouting at us – it could be our own thoughts!

I mulled that over and shared with several friends. Then this amazing thought came up: Our enemy, our negative thoughts if you will, have to watch us being fed and blessed. They are not invited to the table - He prepares it for US, those He is shepherding.

I don't know about you, but realizing this truth not only lightened my October but is bringing joy to my November.

In closing, one of my Facebook friends, Teresa Eaves Gaikema, shared a quote (not sure from whom) that really spoke to me:

"There are three months left in this decade. In. This. Decade."

Sobering thought! It's your choice how you spend them.

Now ... we're down to two .... 

~~~

I'm sharing this post at the following communities:
(Wedding photos courtesy of A Shot of Faith Photography and other friends and family.)

Friday, October 25, 2019

Lady-in-Waiting

Have you ever heard the term lady-in-waiting? This was a person, often a bit lower in rank, who was a personal assistant to royalty.



Ah! We personal assistants even existed in ancient times. After all, who organized all those big dinners and made sure all the visitors to the palace were treated royally? Yeah, the servants did the work but somebody had to organize.

I consider myself a lady-in-waiting to my Lord, Jesus Christ. I'm waiting to go Home - of course - but I'm also hoping to assist my Lord in any way I can while I'm here on the Journey.


And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. Joel 2:28-29 KJV

He has gifted us in various ways to assist Him. In these last days, He has poured out His Spirit on His handmaids (or ladies-in-waiting if you will) and anointed them to prophesy. In other words, go and teach the Word, showing what God has revealed.

Some of us do it by singing, writing, creating, teaching, evangelizing; or even taking a friend to coffee and explaining how there is a Friend who wants to help her.

Why, I'm told even giving a cup of cold water in His name is valuable!

~~~

What about you? Are you a person in waiting, assisting wherever possible. Or are you just waiting, marking time?

This post was written in response to the word prompt, "Wait," given at Five Minute Friday. (Post was written in 5 minutes, inserting the scripture and creating the graphic took longer.)  I'm also linking up at:

Friday, October 18, 2019

The Word is Active

We were in the Dollar Tree the other day when my sister picked up a set of math flash-cards. "I think we should get these," she remarked, "and exercise our brains every day."


The knowledge we have a family history of Alzheimer's, with an uncle recently dying from the disease, makes keeping our brains active a real priority for us.







Not only do I want my brain active, I want the Word of God working actively in my life:


For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 ESV)


When we study the Word, we are setting loose truth that goes down into the very marrow of our bones. It actively seeks to reveal to us two things: our intentions and what we really think about things. Sometimes we are greatly surprised!


The great thing is, He helps us. He doesn't require anything from us that He doesn't empower and equip us to do. Such a God definitely inspires my allegiance.



Why would I want to devote my life to anyone else?


Do you actively embed the Word in your life?
~~~



This post has been linked to the following communities:
#TellHisStory
InstaEncouragements Link-Up
#TuneInThursday


I'd love for you to join me on Instagram. Click here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Checking In / Going Deep

It's been mighty quiet here on the Journey the past two weeks.

Here is one reason why:




Also, the past week was filled with time with this cutie:



Add to that a remodel of the bathroom and some structural repairs that meant NO toilet for 4 days, and yeah, I've been busy.


No time for writing, blogging or IG when a family wedding, babysitting and renovations are going on.

But now the dust has settled, the happy couple and the grandbaby are all back home, and it is time to get back to pounding the keys.

I saw the prompt for Five Minute Friday last week and though I didn't have time to participate, it has been on my mind a lot. 

So almost a week later, I'm going to give it a go:


Going deep!


How often in our world today do we take things lightly, skimming over the surface of this or that, never making the effort to really research and find things out?


As a bible teacher, I am passionate about the Word. I find it life-giving, and thrilling, to discover truths when I mine deep into the Word, finding out the context and the whole story of whatever scripture I'm reading.


If I believe the Word is my guide, and leads me to find out how God thinks and His will for my life, which I do, then why wouldn't I make every effort to discern what His Word means?


Many believers let dust collect on the cover of their swords, the Word of God; but we are told by the example of Christ that we can fight the enemy - and win - simply by saying "It is Written," and quoting scripture. He can't argue with truth, but in order to use truth as a weapon, we must know it like the back of our hand.


Go deep: research, study, question and pray over the Word. It can mean the difference between victory and powerlessness.


How about you? Do you like to dive deep into the study of the Word?


~~~

I'm linking this post with the communities at 

Friday, September 27, 2019

Talk, Think and Do

Once again, my friends, I'm joining the Five Minute Friday crew on writing for 5 minutes on a one-word prompt. This week's word is one that I think almost all of us have thought about in one way or another:  SUCCESS!

GO:

Joshua 1:8 tells us:


This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.



I've not done an exhaustive study, but in the King James Version of the Bible, the word success is only mentioned once.

Funny that a concept so important in today's world would only be mentioned one time!

I decided to look in the New King James Version to see if it was mentioned more often. There were 10 references, most often as a root word, think "successive," and all instances were in the Old Testament.

Why? Could it be that as New Testament believers, we are to put to death our earthly natures as the apostle Paul told the Colossians? It's hard for a dead man to be successful!

Just something to think on!  

It matters as to what you define as success. Our American culture defines it as having money and power. Those are not good goals for the believer. Don't get me wrong, money is a tool, and we can certainly use money in ministry!

I know God blesses His children with money sometimes. Look at how He blessed Abraham and Solomon!

[STOP]

My five minutes are up, but as usual, I have more to say!

Instead of looking at the word "success" as our culture looks at it, why not think of it as the culmination of reaching our goals? After all, we work very hard to reach these goals. We don't want our efforts to be wasted, right?

It wouldn't be very smart or productive to start out doing something and not make every effort to actually accomplish what we started out to do.

Joshua 1:8 tells us how we can crush those goals:

1. Talk about the Word.
2. Think about the Word continually.
3. Be careful to do what the Word says.

That's it! Talk, think and do.

If you do those things, your way will be prosperous. I think that means the journey getting there will yield all sorts of gifts. And when you get there? You will be fully equipped for everything you are called to do.

Isn't that what success really means?


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I'm sharing this post at the following communities:
Five Minute Friday
Grace&Truth
Inspire Me Monday
Kelly Balarie's Purposeful Faith Link-Up
#TellHisStory


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