Thursday, June 01, 2017

Crazy dreams



 I was reading in my last year's journal this morning about a dream I had one year ago today. I was hiding in the linen closet with a pillow in front of me to hide from a man who is coming to judge me for something that I'd supposedly done wrong. But I didn't feel like I was guilty, but I was fearful. I waited a long time and I used that time to just be with Jesus. Then I got out of the closet to apologize to a Mexican man that I had offended. Once I did that I was no longer afraid of the judge or of being judged and when the judge arrived, I intentionally and cheerfully greeted him and waited for the judgment to come, but it never did.

As I pondered this dream, it spoke to me exactly where I am: hiding from others judgments, but a soft hiding, indicated by the pillow. That soft hiding shows up in that I try to make myself look good to others and even hide my issues from myself.  Also I realize that apology dispells judgment as does truth or at the very least frees me from my fear of rejection. It takes being with Jesus to release me as a captive of fear. Also there is truth about if I don't judge others to feel better about myself,  I don't feel judged. Isn't that what Matthew 7:1 is all about?

 So Jesus I just need you to help me walk all this out in my life today. I see that over the last year you have been making me more aware of where I do judge others and that the root of that is I'm really judging myself so I judge others to make myself feel better. I don't want to do that anymore. I want to believe the best about people, and see that they're doing the best they can. I want to offer grace and compassion and love instead of criticism, judgment and negativity.  I want to sow love so I can reap love. The way I can do this is to remain in your love and receive your love so that I can love myself as you love me and then love others as you love me.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Which kind of transformation are you looking for?

Image result for transformation

One of my favorite new devotionals is New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp. He speaks truth in such a way that I can take it in and live it out (hopefully and only with God's grace.) Here is an excerpt from February 1 that spoke to my heart.

1 Peter 1:6-7  Now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials so that the tested genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that perished though it is tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

In grace, He leads you where you didn't plan to go in order to produce in you what you couldn't achieve on your own. In these moments, He works to alter the values of your heart so that you let go of your little kingdom of one and give yourself to His Kingdom of glory and grace. God is working right now, but not so much to give us predictable, comfortable, and pleasurable lives. He isn't so much working to transform our circumstances as He is working through hard circumstances to transform you and me. We are being blessed with the heart transforming grace of difficulty because the God who loves us knows this is exactly the grace we need. 

Friday, May 05, 2017

Would you recognize Jesus?

Image result for jesus breakfast on the beach


Jim Branch is a man I highly respect and enjoy his blog immensely. I had the honor of attending one of his retreats several years ago and he impressed me as a man who has humbly walked with Jesus and is willing to be vulnerable with others that they too may walk more deeply with God. His words ignite something deep within that draws me closer to Jesus. I am sharing his thoughts here today:

Posted: 04 May 2017 09:44 AM PDT

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not recognize that it was Jesus. (John 21:4)

It seems that one of the disciplines most necessary during the Easter season is the discipline of recognizing.  After all, the risen Christ could appear at any moment and we must pay careful attention, lest we miss him--just ask the disciples.  They were so busy not catching fish that they were oblivious to the fact that Jesus had been standing on the shore, at least long enough to build a fire and get some coals hot.  Why had they missed him?  The simple answer is that they were preoccupied.  They were so busy with the task at hand that they were paying no attention to anything else.  I get that.  I can get caught up in the comings and goings of my day just as easily.  Busyness, preoccupation, and hurry can blind me to the fact that Jesus is standing right there on the shoreline of my life and I have not recognized him.  I must learn how to slow down, to pay attention.  I must learn how to go through the course of my days with an eye out for the Risen One.  I must not let the chaos and activity of everyday life sweep me away and distract me from the real reason I am here in the first place--Jesus. 

Lord Jesus, give me the grace and the ability to recognize you today, however you may come to me.  Amen.  


If you enjoyed this,  just click on the word "recognizing" and it will take you to his blog where you can sign up to receive more in your inbox.







Sunday, January 08, 2017

Sorrow....



After reading Ecclesiastes 7 I asked myself the question, "What have I learned from times of extreme sorrow in my life?" Here's my reflection:
  • that those moments will pass if I allow myself to process them
  • I will get to the other side eventually, I won't always feel this way
  • that life doesn't always turn out like we want it to
  • to appreciate and enjoy the people in my life because they won't always be there
  • tell people I love you while you can
  • it is good to have friends around who can pray for you, allow you those feelings and just be with you, wordless, bearing your burden
  • it hurts to your core
  • when the sorrow is because of someone's unhealthy lifestyle choices that are destructive, you need to detach in love
  • Crying cleanses the soul
  • You can actually feel the sorrow physically in your heart and body
  • the degree of joy you feel will match the degree of sorrow
  • sorrow is part of life; you can't avoid it
  • Sorrow allows you to experience compassion for others who feel it too
  • God comforts the brokenhearted. It's a promise in Isaiah 61:1!
  • God gives a joyous blessing instead of mourning, beauty for ashes
  • that I am held and enfolded by Jesus
  • Sorrow has a refining influence on us (Eccl 7:3 (if we will embrace it)
  • that Jesus weeps with me, His Spirit lives within me and comforts me

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Waiting




I’m not very good at waiting. This is the season of Advent which means waiting…waiting for Christ’s birth and for His coming again. I can wait with hope because I wait with Jesus, who is literally Hope Himself. I recognize that I need to let go of the outcomes I have pictured in my mind and allow His outcomes to come forth. His ways are not my ways. As John Eldredge says, look at the wild way Jesus chose to bring about the Kingdom of God on earth…through 12 ordinary men and through us. He gave three years of instruction then left it to us.

So Jesus… I need your faithfulness to me to create faithfulness IN me to persevere in prayer for what I’m waiting and hoping for, especially in my relationships, without giving up just because what I hope for hasn’t yet happened. Thank You for what I’m learning through this that I probably couldn’t learn any other way. I continue to ask You to bring your Kingdom into the hearts of those I love.


I invite you to awaken in waiting but with your eyes open, to be aware of what you see Me doing in the waiting…in you, in the world. BE patient but wait in expectancy, as a pregnant woman waits for her baby to be born. Knowing he/she will eventually come forth into completion and yet just beginning again.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Crushing.....

So often I push back when something hard or negative happens to me...don't we all? But one day God gave me a different view of this....
My crushing produces the greatest gifts. When grapes and grain are crushed, they produce wine and bread. When I crushed My Son, that brought forth eternal life and redemption for all. When you are crushed, your false self is crushed to release your true self AND a more itimate relatiomship with Me.

I realize that God's ways are not my ways but because His intentions for me are always deeply good, He can be trusted no matter what.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9

Yet it was the LORD's will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. Isaiah 53:10

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Green Meadow Joy



Here's my response to Psalm 23...

Jesus, You really do supply everything I need. Not just food and clothes and a roof over my head, although I am grateful for how You have supplied that in abundance and I never want to take any of those for granted, but You also give all I need to thrive emotionally and spiritually too.

Your presence with me through thick and thin, through the ups and downs of life, sustains me in unimaginable ways. I love how You invite me to lie down with You in a beautiful green meadow, with beauty and life all around. You know how important resting in You is and aren't calling me to achieve and produce but to rest. I'm able to rest because You tell me "I've got this!" so I don't have to strive or control.

You lead me to life-giving waters, to those things You know will bring me life because You love me. You yourself renew me, make me more like You and that makes me strong and capable, even though I myself without You am weak and inadequate. You complete me!

You show me the right path to follow. All I need to do is be in Your presence to see it and then follow You. I don't even need to see the destination, the outcome. All I  need is eyes on You. You will guide me into the way that brings me life and You glory because, " The glory of God is man fully alive."  When we are at our best it shows what an amazing Creator and Father You are.

Thank You for always being with me, in me wherever I am. I choose to dwell in Your presence every moment and on into forever.