Sunday, January 29, 2012

Looking Back?

Recently, whilst talking to God, He spoke a word to me that’s opening up a world of freedom to my weary way of thinking.

To understand this transforming revelation, I suppose it’s necessary to tell you that years back – I turned from God in an ugly way, but this isn’t a confessional and that’s not the direction we’ll go today.

Before I turned my back on Him, I loved the communion we had, the quiet times, the walks, the anointing I knew when I sang publically or taught a class or spoke to a crowd. But all of that changed when I no longer felt worthy of His presence. Forgiving oneself can be incredibly hard, though He gave me His forgiveness in an instant.

Since then I’ve struggled at almost every turn. He’s always been with me; He’s loved me and shared with me. He’s blessed me to be His pen. I love it! But – I’ve wrestled with that issue of worthiness. Truth be known, none of us is worthy of His love – yet He loves us anyway. We’re only made worthy by His grace, His sacrifice. And I know this. But….

The other morning while praising Him and sharing what was on my heart, I told Him, “I wish our relationship was like it was before.” He spoke, “I don’t.” Before His words even began to resonate in my heart, I was flooded with the freedom from needing to ‘fix’ our relationship and trying to make it like it was before. Along with those two simple words, “I don’t” came the understanding that:

*we’re past that

*this is better

*there’s more to come, the best!

*that was only the beginning

*God is always moving in me, growing me and our relationship

*that was just the kiddie pool

*what we had wasn’t what God wanted no matter how ‘great’ it looked to me – He has so much more for me

*I’ve been looking back instead of forward; I need to break off the rearview mirror if necessary

*I need to LET IT GO and move beyond it, He has

Though to all of this it could be said, “Duh!” I needed this nugget of revelation – and I now have it. I’m free to move forward without longing for the past!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sisters VS Friends

“Friends are the sisters I picked out for myself” – that’s what it says on my new favorite mug, and I love it! My precious friend gave it to me in a restaurant the other day and her son told me to pour my soda into it. Always one to oblige a child when I can, I did. The waitress loved the mug, too. Since then I’ve enjoyed coffee, tea and even chicken noodle soup from this big, meaningful mug. Another incredible friend gave me a mug that reads, “God is using you for His special purpose – to shine His light, to share His love, to shape His people.” What an awesome revelation to take to heart. God uses all of my sisters and friends this way, whether they know it or not.
The ladies are my friends and they’re also my sisters.
Sister vs friends: You sometimes get mad at your sisters, but then, that happens with your friends on occasion, too. Friends are there for you – when you let them know you need them, but yes, sisters are, too. Sisters were born into your family, but friends just prove that families grow. You discover new things about your friends all the time, but there are mysteries about your sisters you need to find out about, too. Some friends come in and go out of your life, but sisters can choose to do so, too. Sisters confide their secrets into your secret-keeping vault, but if you couldn’t do this with your friends, too, they probably wouldn’t be your friend for long. Friends can betray you, but so can sisters. Friends love you like sisters!

Is there a difference between sisters and friends? I will argue, no. No discernable difference at all. (Who knows, maybe one of your parents has a secret and your best friend is even your sister by birth!)

Proverbs 18:24 tells us in part, “…there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.”  I’m going to feminize that and tell you there is a friend that sticks closer than a sister… God has blessed me with some of these amazing treasures and they’re worth more to me than gold. Thank you to all my sisters and friends for being there with me and for me in this journey called life! I love you all!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What's a Haboob?

I woke up with a story for you.

An offer is made to you that sounds too good to be true. But, through whatever appropriate channels, you check it out and discover it’s a legitimate offer.

The wealthy businessman that’s made the proposal is giving you, yes, for free, what amounts to a small city. You can invite your family and friends to live with you there, if you’d like. We know almost everything about you can now be discovered through the internet, so it’s reasonable to see that he’s designing it to your likings. Everything you’ll ever need or want is within your reach, including a treasure at the center of the city, valued at more than you can fathom. And it’s even located right where you’d have built it yourself if you’d had whereabouts to do so.

The decision to accept it or not has faded from existence. It’s yours!

However there’s a little man (in my mind he looks rather like the man that begs for hamburgers in the old Popeye cartoons, Wimpy) that walks the perimeter of your city pushing a small vending cart. You approach him and ask what he’s doing there. He offers to sell you protection for your city. He tells you a giant haboob (an unreasonably large sandstorm) will come and bury your city, but he’ll protect it for you in exchange for your treasure. You still have everything else the generous businessman is giving you, he simply wants the treasure. The choice in this story isn’t whether you take the city from the businessman; it’s whether you give your treasure to the Wimpy-man. What do you choose?

God is already at work building you a mansion – your city. It’s yours. The treasure at town center is whatever it is you hold dearest. The Wimpy-man is Jesus.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Getting Rid of Your But

With resolutions to get fit abounding this time of year, some of us realize we just need to get rid of our buts. (No that wasn’t a typo.)

Remember the song that starts out, I like big buts and I cannot lie… yeah, okay, we’re talking about different buts.

Getting fit means more than just losing weight or toning up. There are other buts that need to be dealt with, too, like:

I know I shouldn’t eat those bacon covered cheesy fries, but….

I know I should exercise this morning, but….

I know I need to read my Bible today, but….

I know God’s plans are good, they’re better for me and my family and friends than any plans I could come up with, but….

I know God wants me to love that person, but….

I know God wants me to bless that slow driver, not curse them, but….

I know God has gifts for me and He wants to bless me, but….

I know God wants me to be a giver, but….

I know God wants me whole, healed and sanctified, but….

But God….

True, our buts may sometimes be followed by some really good reasons (or excuses). But when our but gets too big, it gets in our way and holds us down; and worst of all, it negates what we know. ‘I know this, but….’ actually means, ‘I really don’t know this,’ which makes us unfit.

Yes, this is the season for resolving to get fit and healthy. Let’s begin with our buts.
"The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever." - 1 John 2:17 (NIV)