God’s Wedding Day Prep

This morning as I peer outside on my deck and I see the fog, the wet ground, and the amazing growth of me and my son’s flowers garden, I am thankful for the rain. One week away from my outdoor wedding I see rain as just another preparation for that big day. While we scurry to complete programs, place cards, and favors, God is doing the real preparation. God is preparing our hearts, our minds, our spirits, and even the the beautiful outdoor ceremony garden for what is to come. This morning I wake up thankful for the rain. I wake up thankful for how rain washes away the old, cleanses all it touches, and prepares the ground for all the beautiful newness yet to spring up. This morning I wake up thankful that while I am checking off the little things; God is doing the real preparation. #7moredays:)

You want to be great, but do you want to be a blessing?

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Genesis 12:2 “And I will make of you a great nation and I will bless you and I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.”

We all want to be great don’t we? We all want to do great things, have great things, and fulfill our dreams. We have aspirations and countless goals and we ask God to be with us in the pursuit of those. But why? Is it for our personal satisfaction and enjoyment;for our personal and family gain? Does anyone else benefit from our greatness besides us? Do you want a great house so that you can marvel in its beauty or so that you have some private time away from the kids or are you willing to open up your home to fellowship with others? Is the promotion at work simply so that you can continue to stock your savings and investment accounts for the what if that may never happen or do you desire to be able to do more good in the world. Are you so consumed with having that you have forgotten to command to help?

The Lord came to Abraham and told him that He would make Abraham great and God fulfilled that promise, but God always has a purpose. He would make Abraham’s name and his family great so that he would be a blessing to so many others. His life would be a blessing not just for himself or his family but for countless others.

God desires to bless us as well and make us great. But just like the blessing he placed upon Abraham, he wants us to be great, so that we might be a blessing to others and so that we might use those blessings to serve and help others. Let’s use our blessings, to be a blessing!

Be blessed!

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A Thief Called Fear

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John 10:10 NIV The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

It’s funny, some of the things that I desire most to do, I am most fearful of. Literally, I will do those things by myself and enjoy them like I can never explain, yet I am too afraid to share that with those I most desire. I had to ask myself, is there something that this fear has me missing is it robbing me of some great joy or an avenue where I can continue to grow in God’s purpose for my life and ability to bless others. Then I remembered who fear is and where fear comes from. Faith comes from God but fear is just a trick of Satan. Fear is a friend of Satan. Satan may be the thief that we are on the look out for, but what about the thief that he recruited called fear. Fear is the biggest thief out there and like Satan, fear only comes to steal our ability to step out in God, kill our unlimited potential to be what God called us to be, and destroy avenues where we could be a blessing for ourselves, our families and others.

Think about what you really want to do, wish you could do, and think maybe you could do but you will not even dare give it a chance due to fear. You may have a tugging on your heart to write but out of fear you don’t, or worse you do but out of fear you never share it. If so, the thief called fear has just robbed so many of the witness and testimony that you have for others. Perhaps you love music and yet will not sing out loud in front of others. If so, just maybe Satan has stolen an avenue of your praise.  Maybe you want to be more fit but fear of what others may think of you or because you don’t think you can stick with it keeps you from going.  If so, fear has just destroyed your ability to live a long healthy life. Fear has caused you to go against God’s desire to maintain your temple that he blessed you with. Fear is robbing us from businesses, relationships, service, worship, and growth every minute.

Every night we lock our doors, we put on our alarms, and do all these things to keep thieves out of our homes and our lives, yet we are walking with, hanging out with, and being controlled by the biggest thief of all. How much has the thief called fear already robbed you of? How much more will you allow? Theft is an awful thing and oftentimes recovering what you lost is nearly impossible — but this is one instance where you can always recover what fear has stolen.  Choose today to safeguard your mind, your heart, your life, and your gifts from the thief called fear.

Be Blessed!

Go Hard or Go Home!

Go Hard or Go Home
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Mark 10:51-52
Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you? ”The blind man answered, “Master, I want to see!” Jesus told him, “You may go. Your eyes are healed because of your faith.”
In the story of Blind Bartimaeus, Jesus meets a beggar who cried out to God to have pity on him. People told the man to stop shouting but he shouted even louder to Jesus. When Jesus stopped, he asked the man, “what do you want me to do for you” and the blind man told Jesus that greatest desire that he had for himself. Blind Bartimaeus, while he was unable to see, he knew exactly who was before him. He knew the power of God and when God asked him what he wanted, he held nothing back. Blind Bartimaeus needed to see. He did not ask for a guide to help him get around, he asked for the ultimate thing he needed – which was his sight.
Jesus asks each one of us that calls out to him, “what do you want me to do for you?” Unfortunately, we tell Jesus a lot of stuff but we do not often tell him what we want from him – specifically. When we do, we sometimes give the watered down version. We ask Jesus to give us that which will help us cope or function in our current state. In God we have a Father who desires to bless us abundantly; he just wants you to tell him what you truly need; what you truly desire. As your desires line up with God’s word and plan he will bless you in those areas.
If you need to be healed of an illness, tell God. If you need your husband to make better money, tell God. If you need your spouse to follow God, tell God. If you desire to spend more time in ministry (and less time working) and want your husband to be able to support your family, tell God. There is nothing you need that is too big for God so go hard in your expectations and faith in what God can do – or go home!
Dear God we thank you for this awesome example. God, as we have needs, let us trust you to be able to change complete situations. God, today we release our fear and doubt that keeps us from specifically telling you what we want you to do for us. God, we thank you for your power to do BIG things in our lives. Today, we stop doubting you and we trust you with every want and need we have in our life at the highest level. We recognize that we have not because we ask not. Today, we live following the example of the old beggar man Bartimaeus and we shout out to you and submit our requests to you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Has the Power of God Changed or Just the Measure of Our Faith

For the past few Sundays, I have watched the series, “The Bible” on the History Channel.  As I started watching the series, I marveled at the great feats accomplished by God for his people and using his people.  In watching I could not help but think about how I would love to experience God in the way of people like Abraham who left his home and traveled without a clue to where he was going with complete faith in God believing that he would father more descendants than the stars knowing how old he and his wife were in age.  Or Moses who came so boldly challenging a man who could have him killed with the bat of his false eyelash mandating with all confidence the he would let God’s people go with no more than a wooden staff and a faith that many today would call absolute craziness.  

Is God the same today as he was when he was walking with Abraham, Moses, Noah, Sampson, Joshua, and so many others? Absolutely! So then why are so many of us not seeing the power of God exhibited in our lives like the old Bible greats.  Where have the multitude of indescribable miracles gone?  Actually, I would dare to say that the miracles have not gone anywhere.  The more I asked myself this question, the more I started to look at Abraham and Moses and then back at myself .It was not difficult to see the difference.  The measure of faith that these guys had is amazing.  They didn’t just know and expect that God was going to do something but their zeal for what was about to happen seemed just as strong. I would even go so far as to say that they had a relentless type of faith. There was no other option in their minds — they knew what God told them and they KNEW he would deliver.

I want to be like those old Bible greats – living out and experiencing God’s miracles, not just in my life but in the life of others.  I want the faith that never dies, never wanes, and doesn’t get anxious when circumstances do not instantly change.  If I increase the measure of faith in my life, I am sure that God will increase the measure of his power in my life and those around me.  

Most wonderful God, I thank you! I thank you for yet another ah-ha moment that propels my life in the right direction.  God, increase the measure of my faith and the strength of my zeal for what you can, will, and are about to do in my life.  God make me over more and more in your image and less in the image of myself. God I thank you for the miracles that I will see, experience, and participate in simply because I am relentless in my faith.

Blessed and Brought Out

Blessed are those persecuted for righteousness for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 5:10)

Have you even been uncomfortable with what you are asked to do or say at work, to your clients, or to your team? Are you ever asked to mislead, be less than transparent, or flat out lie? If you have, you know that it is a very uncomfortable situation. It is the type of situation that causes dread on Monday morning (every morning for that matter) as you prepare to start the day.

While your heart is heavy and your soul feels persecuted, know that God will bless you for yours is the Kingdom of Heaven. God desires us to deal with others righteously. He desires that we are honest, that we are transparent, and that we walk in integrity in all areas of our lives. Patiently wait on God and He will bring you out that situation and into something better. You may seem mentally, emotionally, and spiritually persecuted but God promised that you will be blessed when you are persecuted for righteousness.

Dear God, thank you for peace that passes all understanding as I prepare to go into spiritual conflict in my office. God protect me today from the mandate to be dishonest or unrighteous in my dealings. God bless me as I desire to be only what you called me to be in every area of my life — Righteous.

Walking in Faith; Seeing Your Change

EngPic14Last night, I went to bed with a somber spirit. Drained of work, my profession, my office, all I could think of was wanting to see a professional change but at a minimum a new job change. The most draining part was that I could not “see” it. This morning just as I was beginning to open my eyes, I could feel an involuntary smile forming as I heard the words in my mind, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.”

It is very easy for us to get down at times about various situations. Sometimes things in life are overwhelming and it does not seem like the possibility of change is real but it is. It becomes real the moment we take our eyes off of the impossibility, and place them on the ability of God. And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you. (Matthew 17:20) Now, this morning as I prepare to log in for work, I have been reminded that my faith changes my situation. I can now see it!

Dear God, thank you for seeing our life through your eyes. Thank you for seeing possibility. Thank you for seeing a new reality even before it comes to fruition. God today, we thank you for newness of situations, change in circumstances but mostly we thank you for the reminder of the importance of our faith. This morning God, I can see all that I hope for. Amen.

It Doesn’t Have to Add Up

EngPic14Yesterday while driving to work, the story of Jesus feeding 5000 with 5 loaves of bread and two fish was pulling on my heart and weighing on my mind. I was drawn to read the account of this story over and over. As someone who has always been very rational and logical, this was a story that I needed to be reminded of. Jesus was doing the will of His father (just because that’s what Jesus does) and as he was about doing that, he had a need….a need to feed the 5000 men plus the women and children that followed him and his disciples into the wilderness. All they had was the bread and fish from a little boy’s lunch. How could that be enough to handle the enormous task of feeding 5000?

This story is like the daily stories of our lives. We are sometimes overwhelmed by all that we need to do, and rather than thanking God for the resources that he has provided us, giving those resources back to him, praying over them and asking God to bless them, we look at the numerical amount available and we begin to do the logical math. Like Jesus’ disciples we look at the situation logically and we limit God’s ability. We allow ourselves to “think” it through instead of praying it through. Balance your checkbook but do not limit God. God was a multiplier back when Jesus fed the 5000 and He is still a multiplier. Don’t focus on the numbers, focus on Jesus. Jesus still performs amazing miracles. Healing the sick, feeding the poor, and even multiplying our resources are not stories of the past; they are possibilities each day.

Dear God we thank you for the time this morning to pause, to spend time with you, and just reflect on amazing you. God we thank you for showing us how you can do so much with such a small amount. God today, we stop placing limits on what you can provide for us and we start focusing on you. God as we follow you, as we live out your purposes for our lives, as we are blessings to others in the wilderness, we trust you to fulfill our needs. From this day forward we stop our pattern of seeing our direct deposits and busily paying bills and we pause to pray over that which you have given us each time, we offer it back up to you, and we thank you in advance for meeting all our needs. God thank you for being the same God that fed 5000 men. Thank you for being absolutely the same God yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Amen.

Be Blessed!

You are blessed!

EngPic14The other day, I was looking for a particular scripture and I came upon more scriptures than I could count with the word blessed. Many report that the word blessed alone is used the in KJV 302 times. As Christians, we seek to look more like God — to read and speak the word of God.
How awesome would life be, if we spoke the many blessings of God over our lives and the lives of others. Today, let’s start speaking the blessings of God. Here are just a few to get you going! Feel free to add others!

.Deuteronomy 28:3 (NIV)
You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.

..Romans 12:14 (NIV)
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

..Numbers 23:20 (NIV)
I have received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot change it.

.Deuteronomy 28:8 (NIV)
The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

..Revelation 1:3 (NIV)
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. Greetings and Doxology

..Genesis 5:2 (NIV)
He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind” when they were created.

.Psalm 40:4 (NIV)
Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.

..Psalm 45:2 (NIV)
You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever.

..Deuteronomy 28:6 (NIV)
You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.

.Proverbs 8:34 (NIV)
Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.

.Proverbs 31:28 (NIV)
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:

.Luke 1:45 (NIV)
Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Mary’s Song

.Psalm 89:15 (NIV)
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.

..Psalm 144:15 (NIV)
Blessed is the people of whom this is true; blessed is the people whose God is the Lord.

..Matthew 5:4 (NIV)
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

..Luke 1:42 (NIV)
In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!

..Luke 6:21 (NIV)
Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.

..Psalm 106:3 (NIV)
Blessed are those who act justly, who always do what is right.

..Psalm 119:2 (NIV)
Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart—

..Proverbs 3:13 (NIV)
Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding,

.Psalm 84:5 (NIV)
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.

..Psalm 84:12 (NIV)
Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.

.Psalm 115:13 (NIV)
he will bless those who fear the Lord— small and great alike.

..Psalm 115:15 (NIV)
May you be blessed by the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

.Proverbs 22:9 (NIV)
The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.

Watch how your day, your week, and hopefully the day and week of those around you are uplifting! Be blessed!

Everything in Life is a Journey; Sometimes Journeys Mean a New Path

EngPic14One’s career, like everything else in life, is a constant refinement of not just who they are but who they realize they want to be. Hopefully we can each be honest enough and brave enough to shift courses when we realize that who we want to be requires a different path.

Isaiah 41:13 For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.