Wednesday, January 13, 2016

WHEN YOU'RE FORCED TO REST


It's funny how things pan out. Since the fall of last year, I purposed in my heart to blogging about my "BE" theme, starting with Be STILL. One of my plans was to start the Daniel Fast the first Monday in January to refocus, be still, and draw closer to the Lord. January 4th came along and I did just that. But there wasn't a grace like other fasts. Then, by Friday of last week, I got hit hard with a stomach virus and have been down for the count for a few days. In my opinion, it couldn't have come at a worse time (not that there's ever a good time for a stomach virus to roll up). But after tossing my cookies like it was an olympic sport, all I could do was rest and be still...

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

BE STILL




Since the beginning of last year, the Lord has been speaking to my heart about being vs. doing. Doing comes natural to me but to BE, that is not so easy. By nature, I am Martha, not a Mary. Much love to Martha. She was serving. I mean, in and of itself, it’s not bad. Jesus called us to serve and was the greatest example of a servant. We’re called to do just that. But it’s not the serving that was wrong, it’s that Martha was “distracted with much serving.” This led her to be anxious and troubled. When we’re distracted, it’s a sign we’ve lost focus. It’s time to choose what is better, sitting at the Master’s feet. BEING with our Lord. 

We’re all called to DO. Most of us are familiar with the verse in James, “Faith without works is dead.” That’s true! As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to make moves in the Kingdom. But what we’re called to do must flow out of who we are in Christ. Otherwise we strive in our own strength until we crash and burn. 

Friday, January 1, 2016

BE 2016



New Year’s has always been special to me. A time of reflection on all God has done in one year and a sense of anticipation for what He will do in the next. 

As I drove to church last night for our New Year’s Eve service, I began to reflect on the year as I normally would but found it to be a challenge. The commute was long but not because of the typical traffic from Long Island to Brooklyn. 2015 was a rough year in a number of ways, filled with hurts and brokenness that have only begun to heal. But I wanted to enter church with a right heart and attitude so I turned off the music to intentionally stop and consider the good things. It wasn’t hard to do in the earlier part of the year but it required some digging once the summer hit. That’s when it all shifted and I found myself on the most grueling, difficult journey. Despite the painful memories, I was able to see a thread of God’s faithfulness and grace throughout the entire year. There were days I didn’t know how I’d make it through the next couple of hours. Now it’s 2016 and I see how the Lord carried me through those months and moments. The Good Shepherd was with me and cared for me the entire time. 

Seasons change. We all encounter good times and not-so-good times. Regardless of whether or not your year was awesome or horrific, what’s amazing is that God does not change. He remains the same yesterday, today, and forever. And that is why this time of year is so special to me. Sure, it’s hard to look back on what’s painful, particularly when some of the wounds are still gaping holes. But it’s so comforting to see how Jesus was with us through it all, even in the darkest times. Because I know He will never leave me and I experience His nearness in the trials and tribulations, I only love and appreciate Him more. I can boldly face the new year with hope and joy, assured that no matter what happens in 2016, I will declare again at the end of the year how good and faithful my God still is. 

Another thread of this year was the theme of being and not doing. It started early on in 2015 when God began to reveal His love to me in a new way and the need to rest in Him. Over the past few months, as I’ve prayed about a word for 2016, the word BE kept coming to mind. I feel I’ve barely begun to scratch the surface in the realm of being vs. doing. There is much more to learn and much more that God wants to show me. My goal for this year is to share my BE lessons with you here on the blog. Each month, I’ll have a different focus: Be LOVED, Be HEALED, Be DEVOTED, Be ALERT, and many more. The theme for January is Be STILL and the posts will begin next Wednesday. I’ll have much more to share then.

I’m excited to embark on this journey with the Lord and with all of you who stop by here. My prayer is that 2016 will be the year where we will BE who God created us to BE… in HIM. 

Happy New Year! 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Joy



Let me start off by telling you that I totally did not want to write this blog post. At all. In fact, I decided there was something ‘better’ to write on so I devoted a ton of time crafting the right words to share. A bunch of words, at that. I was ready to post it here on the blog and then realized that my file didn’t save and I lost everything. Totally not a coincidence. I couldn’t even get mad. I can’t help but think it was because I was supposed to write about the very thing I really didn’t want to write about. Yet I know I must. And if nothing else, it’s probably just for me. Not to mention obeying the Lord. But since the opposition in me finishing this little blog post has been great, I trust that it must be something to share. So, alas, here I am.

Ever have a recurring theme in your life? No matter where you turn, the topic is in your face? Whenever I sense a thread throughout circumstances that are completely unrelated, I know it’s time to stop and listen closely to what the Lord is saying. Even if I don’t want to hear it. Actually, especially when I don’t want to hear it. My present recurring theme? JOY. The thing we’re told in scripture to consider in the midst of our trials. Basically the last thing I want to consider right now. But I must. And if ever there was a season, it’s now.

Joy quotes in books, joy posts on social media, joy lyrics in songs… it’s been everywhere. For cryin’ out loud, I even have a tattoo on my arm that says joy in Hebrew. Strategically inked. Not because I always have joy but as a reminder to myself to always fight for it...