Thursday, October 1, 2015

Cracking the Safe...

Most of my adult life I have always lived my life in a safe way. Anyone that knows me well, knows that I think out my next move before I do it. I have to plan to be spontaneous! Ha! As a child, my mom would probably say I was a little sneaky & found interesting ways to get into trouble at times. But even then I thought those moves out, just maybe not using a lot of common sense. I did things that were not always safe for me, but I always had this underlying feeling of being secure in my family… no matter the punishment afterwards!!!

I was reading John 10:7-30… it led me to think about stuff I am dealing with right now. So here’s the question that came up… Am I being too safe?
Over the last 3 years we have changed our life drastically… we allowed God to do a work in us that is definitely out of the “box”, so to speak. But you know how it goes, you start to get settled & comfortable… maybe even a little spiritually lazy… you start to play it safe! Living “safe” does not bring God glory!
“The thief comes to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that you may have life, and that you may have it more abundantly.” ~ John 10:10
Do you see the difference between being safe & being secure? As followers of Christ we cannot afford to live our lives in a safe way! We just can’t! There are too many people out there that do not know the love of Christ! There are too many souls that need God’s healing touch! And there are many Believers that also could use some encouragement! We have no right to be safe when we are secure in Christ!
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” ~ Romans 8:35
What’s God asking of you… of me… right now? Has Holy Spirit been prodding your heart about a new godventure (that is what I call this wild ride God takes me on)? If you know you are secure, which you are if you have put your faith in Christ… why are you living a safe life? Is God asking you to step out of your comfort zone? Be brave! Live in the courage that you have through security in Christ the Lord!
“… in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~ Romans 8:37-39
Rejoicing in Truth! 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Fairness or Forgiveness...

We have had such a great summer with the B&B… so many unbelievably kind people that we have had the privilege of having stay with us! Many of the guests we have had stay with us left the rooms so neat that it didn’t look like they even slept in the bed. It has been unbelievable of how God has blessed the Inn & us... from the beginning our prayer has always been, “Lord, bring the people You want through our door.”

Labor Day Weekend we had a couple last-minute guests through Airbnb so we ended up with a full house! That was great! I was a little hesitant about taking one of the last minute people, but after Luke reassured me, we “ok’d” the reservation. Anyway, we had the worse experience we have had with a guest so far. It was an awkwardly strained experience from the moment they came through the door. I will not go into any of the details, except to say, we have never had anyone be so disrespectful of our home or other guests!  It was so upsetting for me to think of someone treating our home with such disregard!

Fast forward to Wednesday… we received a review that this person wrote on our B&B… it was so disrespectful to our home & to other guests that were staying at the same time as him! It just upset me all over again! He did say the food was “superb”, but everything else was not good. It took me awhile to be able to stop talking about. So when we got home & I went into that room where they had stayed, I felt so violated all over again! This bad experience had completely thrown me off balance… distracting me from God’s vision for our home. I knew I had every right to feel the way I did, but it really was not going to do me any good or my husband (putting up with my crabbiness) any good either. So during my quiet time God showed me how I could let it go... here is that "secret"... FORGIVE!

Oh, forgive! It really never occurred to me that I needed to forgive how this person treated us & our home. It is one of those things that this person came into my life for a moment & then left, no ongoing relationship, so I wasn’t even seeing it as a forgiveness-needed situation. Here’s the picture God gave me… it is like little nicks in my heart & after I keep letting those little nicks build up it turns into a gouge out of my heart. 

I know that forgiving people that I have relationships with is so important, but I never gave any thought to forgiving strangers that hurt me. There are people that come across my path that may treat me poorly, like aggressive, rude drivers, strangers that I will never see again, but if I allow their actions to affect me, then I do carry them with me as a “nick” in my heart.

There are things that happen in life that are not fair, but forgiveness is not about fairness! Forgiveness is about releasing that person to let God handle it. Forgiveness is about not letting others’ actions change your actions for the worse. Forgiveness is about letting that “nick” in your heart be healed by the refreshing love of Christ… forgive others as the Lord has forgiven you for Christ’s sake. (Ephesians 4:32) Forgiveness is freedom from a wounded spirit!

What are you going through today? Will forgiveness go a long way in healing the nick in your heart?

Rejoicing in Truth!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Intentional KINDNESS

Just a few thoughts from my heart to yours!

I have been thinking about KINDNESS… especially when you see so much cruelty in the world. I’ve been going through some tough things lately, physically, emotionally, even spiritually. I know it is only God’s grace & mercy that has brought me through, but something else too… a KIND husband!

What a gift his KINDNESS has been to me! My crying & complaining… not to mention my moodiness & down right ugliness at times… and what has he given me in return??? KINDNESS! There is nothing like a little KINDNESS to encourage a person’s heart! And you know you don’t have to understand exactly what someone is going through to just be KIND!

You hear all the time about doing, “random acts of kindness”… what if KINDNESS wasn’t just random… what if it was an intentional act?And what if we started doing acts of KINDNESS daily in our own homes with our own family??? What would that look like? How would that change the dynamics in the home?

“Love is patient. Love is KIND. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t sing its own praises. It isn’t arrogant. It isn’t rude. It doesn’t think about itself. It isn’t irritable. It doesn’t keep track of wrongs. It isn’t happy when injustice is done, but it is happy with the truth. Love never stops being patient, never stops believing, never stops hoping, never gives up!” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

I think KINDNESS is one of those things that is so overlooked! It is not about a “political” statement… it is about a condition of the heart! To be KIND doesn’t have to infringe on your rights! To be KIND doesn’t have to cost you anything, but your pride & selfishness!To be KIND doesn’t go against your religious beliefs!To be KIND takes way less effort that it does to be cruel! 
I’m not talking about just ignoring the bad things going on around you, I am saying to speak the Truth, but speak it in love! Ephesians 4:15 talks about “speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things unto Him who is the head - Christ.”

And men, you have a great task ahead of you! God has placed you as the head of the home, to love your wife as Christ loved the Church & gave His life for it (Ephesians5:25). That is the ultimate KINDNESS and act of love! KINDNESS is obedience… obedience is expected! Are you doing what is expected from God? I have a great husband, he sets the “bar” pretty high, but he is not perfect… however he is working on himself daily… and how do I know that??? Because he shows me KINDNESS even when I am not so KIND!
How can any of us show KINDNESS when we don’t really feel like it? Through prayer, being in God’s Word, & encouraging words through the KINDNESS of others. See it is a continuous cycle! Try showing a little KINDNESS today, for the love of Christ! 

Rejoicing inTruth! 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Muddy Moments...

Have you ever come to a time in your life where it feels like you have been stripped away of almost everything that you know & are familiar with??? In some ways, I really feel like I am there. Just when I think I am making headway & connections… it seems like I am back to square one!

I have been pretty self-sufficient in my way of thinking & doing things… rarely letting what others think have an influence over me. God has blessed me with natural abilities, talents, & lots of stick-to-itiveness… or is the bull-headedness??? I have been aware of my abilities, aware of my strengths, & oh so aware of my weaknesses, which has brought me to many good & successful moments in my life. Realizing that none of this would have been possible without God’s guidance! I can also see God’s “green light” in new endeavors… even when I wish He would put on the “red light”… but He knows best… Right?

This I know… my love for Father has brought me to this point! His love for me & for you is greater than anything imaginable. He has placed compassion in my heart for those living without knowing Him. He has asked me to trust Him as He guides me down unfamiliar roads. He knows that my burden for others to know His love… to live in fullness of joy will be a difference maker in my life & in others’ lives as well.

Here is my struggle with this… I am not always able to get this message across! I have so much passion in my heart for people to know they are loved… that God loves them! To have them experience how special they are in God’s eyes! I have prayed for God to let me see others through His eyes… and those moments when I get just a glimpse of that… WOW! It has changed my outlook! The hardest part for me is when people don’t want it for themselves. I can want all the goodness in the world for someone, but I cannot force them to receive it!

My heart is a little heavy… I am fighting off discouragement. There are 2 events I am involved with coordinating in the next month & it feels like I am at a stand-still. It is not about putting on the events… it’s about getting people interested in coming… to see how much more God has for them. That’s the thing, when you try to do new things… it is a risk! And trying to control what I have no control over is a cause for anxiety in my life. Here is what the Holy Spirit reminded me of… “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer & supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6

The truth is, no matter what happens with these events… I am being obedient! If only one person shows up… then I will pour out God’s love on that one person! God knows my heart… it is not about me… it is all about Him! I will give Him glory no matter what!

Obedience to the Lord will never be seen as failure!

Sometimes when you step out of your comfort zone, you will step in the mud… but that is okay, ‘cuz God will turn that mess into a message to be used for Him! Not a message in a bottle, but a message in a puddle! It will be worked for good!

Rejoicing in Truth!.

PS: Go over to Holley Gerth's "You're Loved No Matter What: Freeing Your Heart from the Need to Be Perfect" for more inspiration!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Chocolate Milk Day…

I can remember when I was in elementary school we always had chocolate milk on Fridays. Not only was it “Friday,” the day before the weekend, but we also got this extra special treat of rich, sweet, chocolaty goodness! Something as simple as that was what I looked forward to all week! I “suffered” through with the plain milk the other 4 days… knowing & expecting & believing the chocolate treat would come at the end of the week! A little thing that brought joy to a kid’s life!

Why couldn’t every day be a chocolate milk day??? And if every day was a chocolate milk day, would I still appreciate chocolate milk??? Such perplexing questions! ;) 
So now I come to the real reason I was even thinking about elementary school beverages… JOY!

I would tolerate the other 4 days of the week, just to get to the good stuff at the end of the week! When Friday rolled around I had joy that this was the last day of the school week, plus I got to indulge in chocolate milk!

In Hebrews 12:2 it reads, “We must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith. He saw the joy ahead of Him, so He endured death on the cross and ignored the disgrace it bought Him. Now He holds the honored position-the one next to God the Father on the heavenly throne.” (GW)…now don’t blow a gasket! I am not comparing elementary school to death on the cross or chocolate milk to being in Heaven! The point I am trying to make is that Jesus endured what He did because He knew what good would come from His sacrifice… He not only would save the world, but He would get to be with His Father in Heaven forever!

So let me ask you the same question I have asked myself... Am I living each day like it is a chocolate milk day or am I just enduring each day like a plain milk day???

We all have circumstances to deal with in life, some are more tragic than others, but what we all need to remember is JOY has nothing to do with our circumstances... it has to do with our focus!

"He is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trusted in Him, and He helped me. Joy rises in my heart until I burst out in songs of praise to Him." ~ Psalms 28:7 (TLB)

Are you ready to trust God more? Are you ready to let JOY burst out of your heart & mouth in praise? Shout it out loud!!! God, You are good! Thank You for this "chocolate milk kind of day!"

"But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You." ~ Psalms 5:11 (NKJV)

I pray we all have a chocolate milk kind of day! Keep the faith! Keep hoping with expectancy for God to work it all out in His way! Keep focused on Jesus!

"Also pray that by the will of God I may come to you with joy and be refreshed when I am with you." ~ Romans 15:32 (GW)

May you find refreshment in a "Chocolate Milk Day!"

Rejoicing in Truth!