Friday, January 30, 2015

Wait:Five Minute Friday

Wait is an appropriate word for this post, as I waited until Friday afternoon to write.
(If you have not yet seen what the Five Minute Friday is all about, click here. We write, we link our writings, and we enjoy fellowship. It's all about sharing and not perfectly scripted or punctuated, but real and wonderful.)

God's timing is not my timing-oooh, what a sensitive subject that has turned out to be in dark valleys of my walk. As Christians, we tend to use that phrase to encourage others but instead it pours salt in wounds already being wrestled with. If someone dear is waiting for something, a better encouragement would be, "I'm praying for you." (And then, please pray!)

Though, when Isaiah speaks of Waiting on the Lord, I don't think he means it in the sense of delayed gratification or postponed fulfillment of promise.

If I were a maidservant, a "lady-in-waiting", it meant more that my attention would be focused on that of my lady. If I am to "wait" on the Lord, I will direct my full attention and desire for life to please Him and ensure that what He wants is being brought to pass.

Thank you, King James English, for being so insightful and yet so difficult to relate to in the year 2015. :)

Truly, when my focus is on Christ and not my circumstances, my strength is renewed, refreshed, and I have a sense of purpose and value and energy that no amount of delicious creamy sweetened coffee can ever attempt to copy! Too often, we are "waiting" on our own selves, and therefore are exhausted.

May today be a day where you find new strength and hope in the promise of eternity and the anticipation of taking others with you! (For nothing else in our lives will remain, save the relationships we build before we leave)


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Share: Five Minute Friday

When I first read the word "share", I immediately thought of the verse in Galatians 6:2 (which I had to Google to discover accurately). New Living Translation states
Share each other's burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

Where life has taken my husband and I these past few years has required a lot of burden sharing. Falling on our knees on behalf of others, those same sweet friends on their knees petitioning on our behalf.

The beauty of fellowship with other believers is that not only are we reminded of God's faithfulness, but often He lets us take turns in turmoil. While one couple is strengthened and in a time of praise, the other couple then can rely on some additional encouragement. 

If we are willing to ask for help, it is often surprising how welcome that help becomes.

Today, I was able to ask for strength and prayer from others as I knew a challenge was coming that was necessary and good but would tax me greatly. These same friends have recently been on my lips daily before our Mighty and Powerful God. I am so thankful for sharing praises, prayers, and the faithfulness of a Holy Spirit that continues to bless us with His revelation.

I cannot stop singing the praises of our Almighty God. His works are too wonderous to be counted!
That may not be an exact quote, but the spirit of the Psalmists is resonant deep within me tonight.

We walk together and press on toward the goal for which God calls us. Let us share His word with others that they may be edified and encouraged as well!


Friday, January 16, 2015

Send: Five Minute Friday

There exists a group of women who take five minutes on Fridays and write whatever they are led to write. One of them is the darling Kaitlyn Bouchillon. This is my first time writing for fmfparty -yes, that's a link to Kate's site.

God sent His Son. In the short 33 years that Christ was on earth, He was always pointing to His Father who sent Him.
Recently, it has become clear that it's about God. About His kingdom. He uses the willing and equips them by allowing life to happen that His glory would be shown. He knows that those who love Him and cling to Him will allow His glory to reach the unreached. And we marvel at those who shine so brilliantly, and yet we know, somehow that it's deeper.

These beautiful, tender souls leave us envious for the depth of relationship they have with their Creator. And yet, we have that within us if we simply stop.
Stop trying and start trusting.
Stop doing and start being.
Seek the Lord while He may be found.

For after all, we are not going out on our own. In Matthew 28 He sends us. He continues to send us to share the Good News. That salvation is available to all who would call on Him. To all those who seek truth, He says "I am the way, the truth and the life."

What better purpose could our lives serve if we just awoke one day at a time, savoring His breath in our lungs, His words in our ears, His delight in our love? Like parents glimpsing their child for the first time, He delights over us with singing! Can you hear the angels rejoicing in the Goodness of God that washes over each of us?!

God sings over you. You are Chosen. You are Loved. You are Special. And yet? It's about Him. His performance. His perfection. Those cover our performance and imperfection.
He wants to promote us to His services. Where it's no longer our meager fishes and loaves but His mighty banquet table! Do not become weary in doing good, because the One who sends always provides immeasurably.

With Love and Joy,

Sunday, January 11, 2015

How God used Taylor Swift

This past year, I started on a journey, wanting to trust God. I had a lot of challenges, a lot of breaking down walls, a lot of brokenness.
I am so excited to tell you that, though I cannot pinpoint that moment where or when it happened, as I began my new year with my new "oneword365", I realized, it happened! I trust God!
One of the challenges He prepared me for was a very deep, painful one.

Christine Caine is quoted as saying, "The devil on his best day did not take you out on your worst day. You are still here. You are still standing. The best is still to come!"

God can see what a challenge will do to you. He can foresee that coming through that challenge, He will be glorified and you will be stronger in the faith than ever before. 

I was told by a friend that another friend in whom I had placed great value and trust, was speaking unkindly of me behind my back. My heart was broken at the betrayal. How could this be? I grieved. I longed for peace, reconciliation, trust restored.

I did not know if I should contact this friend, or even what I would say. God in His everlasting gracious provision was calling to me...through Taylor Swift.

I know, so spiritual. But, it's true. At that time, I had been listening to the radio and subjected to the song that will never leave your head if you hear it, "Shake It Off".
And, I cried myself to sleep with that tune a couple of nights. Anytime the pain came back to me, I'd remind myself that the "haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate"...and that it was not because of me or up to me to change that fact.

I had not done anything to upset this person, at least, not knowingly or intentionally.
Still, I sensed that this was not the entire story. I began to pray that God would take the hurt away. Prayed that the Holy Spirit would restore our trust and friendship, and that whatever was going on in that friend's life that would cause such pain to spill out of her would be addressed.

God began to take that pain over the next week and completely fill me with His love. Over and over in my devotional, in my subscribed newsfeed from Christine Caine, Proverbs 31 Ministries, YouVersion, Beckah Shae, I began to hear His word to me. 

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." 1 John 4:7-8 (NIV)
Romans 13:10, "Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." (NIV)
Malachi 4:2
"But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture."
This next photo, I recommend reading this story from Renee Swope at Proverbs 31 ministries.

This was immediately after I gave it to God and asked Him to take the hurt.
I tell you, He opened His storehouse of love and healing and poured it on me daily!

And, when I finally felt His peace about it, I called this friend. She admitted being stressed and shared all that she was carrying, and it all added up. It had not been the festering wound I feared, but in a high point of stress, the second friend was a listening ear, and surface irritations came out much harsher than they really were.

It's said that "hurting people hurt people". I'm so thankful to have heard and learned that prior to this place I had been through. It helped me to look beyond the words, beyond the tears, to "shake it off" and to search for the real problem. I found it, and I found my depth of friendship began to grow in this situation.

So, if God can use Taylor Swift, imagine what more He can do with you when you're intentionally trying to be used by Him?!