Braver Sarurday – We blame it on that devil and usually rightly so. Yet, we have a BIG BIGGER God Who can make the enemy’s mess in our lives into His Message filled with Truth, Love and overcoming joy.
Tenacious Tuesday-COME TO ME!! This is the song I played for my sister over and over as she moved to heaven. Today I’m remembering life. Remembering my sister. Thinking of my sisters here on earth. Time with Him.Time with me.
Peace. Rest. Clarity.
Wisdom. Reassurance. Boldness. Love-d
Surely, I won’t be here long…this is what I would ponder…as I asked myself why on earth was I still stuck in a parking lot.
I am at the end of an odd season. Everything within me wanted to give up and turn back and give in and look down. However, this was new territory for me since my mantra for some time had been just the opposite. I pondered a little bit on how many friends would stick around if I was no longer the go to friendly let me pray for you person who encouraged when life was bleak or dark. It only crossed my mind but let’s me honest now…how many friends have you chosen NOT to hang out with or be friends with WHEN they are not their usual fun self? This may not be you but it is some of you. God wants us to rejoice when others rejoice…but He also wants us to weep when others weep – not condemn, not try to change, not try to hurry them along so they can get with the happy program. But how about you take just a moment out of your day to be their sunshine, lighten their load, give them a word of encouragement, be their spiritual mom, friend or confidant. Are you able or willing to make room for others when they are not who you want them to be in YOUR season of life? Don’t be condemned and don’t be upset. God says it’s okay to go there – after all – honesty is a fabulous place to sit when still stuck in a parking lot.
Thankfully, I’m about to the end of a season where I have been weeping any given moment of the day. Sadness would take me over and I would just cry and cry and then cry some more….and then I would be fine again – until the next wave of sad rolled my way. It was as if I had turned into a Hallmark commercial because I teared up at the strangest moments! I could have thought I was losing my mind but that was not the case. The LORD is my light and my stronghold whether I’m in the dark or in the light. HE still lives in me and through me and does not leave when I’m not on the top of my game. I think that is the challenge with all of us when living out life with one another. It’s easy to be around someone who is a happy camper but a whole new story when their day has turned dark and they need a friend to light a candle for them because they have no strength to even find the matches. Still it’s a beautiful season for me personally because of my relationship with the Lord…its so sweet and so timely and so good. I’ve been sitting in my prayer room listening to some specific lyrics from Merchant Band when they sing, “You are so good – You never leave, like I think You should. You are so kind ….You still give me life. I’ll let You make me, I’ll let You break me, I’ll let You fix me until we’re One.” It’s on repeat until I switch over to another song by Jason Upton when he sings, “Come up here, come up here My beloved” and he sings about John on the Isle of Patmos and his encounter with God. Powerful. In case you don’t know, John was banished to an island because of him being a follower of the Christ. He had to encourage himself in The Lord for many years because in a much stronger way than me, he was definitely stuck in a parking lot.
You might ask if I’m feeling sorry for myself – no that’s not it. You might ask if I’m hurting or in pain – no, not as far as I know – but it could be part of it. Frankly, I have a sneaky suspicion that some of the emotions and ideas stem back to earlier in the year. Also, I feel I made some sort of emotional covenant with an ungodly source and this is truly the enemy to my soul right now….granted…yes…God is living and breathing in me and loving me….but some of this emotional duress is due to something other than God drawing me. Yesterday, I dealt a bit with the enemy of my soul and felt a strong breaking through into my true self. I will tell you that whatever season of life you are in – if you don’t deal with your emotions, ideas, feelings – they WILL eventually deal with you. So all of that is pretty much why I’m still stuck in a parking lot.
I’ve experienced some loss – our sister moved to heaven in January of this year. Prior to that we had some friends who decided they were no longer our friends. My sister’s husband also, suddenly passed. We had strong changes as well as several deaths in our church family. In addition, we have had sicknesses in our immediate community. I’ve been taking in one thing at a time like a good soldier 🙂 with rare discussions with myself on how I am handling these shifts and transitions. I laid down my superwoman cape many years ago or so I thought…apparently, I had a spare cape in my closet that I slipped on….and have just been going going going…. Though I’m a spirit being, my human being part of me needs ministry and loving and stopping and considering this thing called life. So, that’s kind of what I sense The Lord doing in me in this particular season. Though it feels very odd and out of sorts to be stuck in a parking lot, I’m cognizant that I have a good Father Who cares for me and is drawing me into His lap. We are reasoning together in this season – Him doing the talking and me doing the weeping – I mean listening. HE is building me back up and encouraging me and strengthening me. Admittedly, I’m thankful HIS love for me is so deep and wide. Though you may not be stuck in a parking lot, I want to encourage you to take deep breaths, look around, breathe again and give yourself a great big HUG from God. HE is never too busy to love on us whether we are on the road or still stuck in a parking lot.
Therefore, it may be time for you to prepare yourself to be BRAVE and #bravetobraver. Get ready to GIRD yourself up with BOLDNESS and realize you CANNOT live in a parking lot. So, have some RESPECT for yourself and get the plan of ACTION you are going to take when it is time to take it. Know it will prove to be a VICTORIOUS move over your past and very ENCOURAGING! God loves you and HE is for you and HE knows who we are and where we are and HE is not in a hurry to be in a hurry. So, I declare over you and me a release from false obligations, false responsibilities and false relationships so that you and I can BE STILL AND KNOW how good HE is and how for us HE really is….
PS………I’m not living here and you should not either – I’m already planning my escape and writing my next word – LEAVING THE PARKING LOT……..LOL – how about you?
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Until next time,
Lately, I have been pondering on the life of Judas – you know – the one who threw Jesus under a bus? I’ve been thinking about how Judas ate with Him, spent time with Him, had his feet washed by Him, took communion with Him – lived out life with Him and STILL betrayed Him. How did this happen? And how did Jesus do what seems impossible – in the midst of betrayal – He loved Judas & forgave Judas. Did Jesus know what was inside of his disciple turned rogue?? I think He did – I really do. However, in the midst of betrayal, Jesus moved into His destiny. What about you?
What season in life are you? Have you been wondering what you are supposed to be doing with your life? You have been finishing projects that have been weighing you down, re-prioritizing your private world, moving forward one step at a time knowing even where you are headed could change any moment? Read here to be encouraged on taking back your life – Things are shifting – people are receiving their assignments and moving away. New houses. New lands. New territories to be taken for the King. These changes are happening all around me – what about you?
What are you doing with your life? Today I feel lead to ask the question – what about you?
Do you have a vision for you? Do you know what God wants from you? Or are you simply living day by day by day in survival mode? IF you are in survival mode, do you have a plan to implement so that you can move from survival to thriving? Are you replacing the thoughts of the Lord for the thoughts of the enemy by accident? I have had to stop periodically and look objectively into my own private world and make a new decision. Click and read here about something specific I took action on in my private world – What about you?
Judas. He erred so deeply he could not find repentance. He found no relief. He found no peace. He found no remorse. He found no sorrow. He only found his own heart taken captive by the enemy. When it was all said and done – Judas’ thoughts had been so clouded by darkness that he found the only solution to his problem was to hang himself. I do NOT think this was the right move. What about you? Where are your thoughts today? Are they consumed with you? With friends? With problems? With crisis? With survival? Somewhere along the way we must get with the man in the mirror and get with God and hear His heart for us. Jesus gave us life on the cross. Judas gave himself over to death and hung himself. What about you?
Listen, life is precious – its not what we do or where we go or the activities we find ourselves in that determine our worth – our worth is found only in Him. His Words to us. His thoughts for us. His ideas inside us. His vision for our lives. God talks about how we can be destroyed without vision. Why? Because with vision comes success! Even Jesus had vision for Jesus! Through that vision, Jesus had vision for the disciples who became His friends. Interestingly, one of them was lured and enticed by temptation and turned from his relationship with Jesus and gave himself to darkness. Look, Jesus had vision while on the planet and called those living out life with Him to fulfill it – to walk out His vision with Him, for Him and ON HIS BEHALF. VISION. HE had it. They caught it. What about you? Click and watch this video to be encouraged – Famous Last Words.
Then, there was Peter who denied Jesus and could have been caught up with the voices in his head as much as Judas but somewhere along the way, Peter was BRAVE and was BOLD as he said NO to the enemy of his soul. #bravetobraver Somewhere along the way, Peter HAD to be RESPECTFUL to himself and take ACTION and receive forgiveness from his community AND from himself. What about you? How is it that Peter moved into his calling? Peter did not start out as an apostle. HE had to make choices and one of them was to be VICTORIOUS over his past. At first he was a fisherman – who followed a Man Who turned him into a fisher of men. There were some bumps in the road along the way but Peter decided to receive the mantle of Apostle. It was God’s plan for him – an imperfect man – who was given the task to help build the church. Jesus even told Peter that after he was converted and truly became His that he was to strengthen his brothers and sisters – in other words – take a position of ENCOURAGING others to trust Him! Peter bravely moved step by step into his calling, his mantle, his new nature, his new self. What about you?
I want to encourage you today to get with you and get with God- our Father and get a vision for YOU! Let God convict you! Let God change you! Let God support you and lead you! Let God LOVE you. I believe when Peter was at rock bottom, he may not have even been able to stand had he not had honor for God. When you cannot believe in you – believe in the God Who made you and remember HE believes in you! HE loves you! Honor God! Honor is what love looks like!
HE has an assignment for us! HE has an assignment – VISION! HE has a plan! Jesus carried out the vision of the Father up through His very last moment on earth – from forgiving others to assigning a place for His mom to live with a friend – to assuring eternity in paradise to a fellow on a cross – to calling out to the Father and connecting with Him before He took His final breath. Famous last words that live forever and point the way to living with vision and community. What does God have for you? I promise He DOES have something for you. Reconnect with God. Reconnect with you. Reconnect with community. Do not let another day pass you by! Get a vision for your life beyond the four walls of you! I commit to you that even if you have betrayed or denied God – HE has a plan – God is smart and HE always has a plan. What about you?
Until next time,
Have you ever been doubted by a friend? No matter what you do – they doubt your every moved? One minute they tell you they are for you and the next they have so much unbelief towards you – you have to ask yourself why you became friends in the first place? Tough stuff when we have friends who just can’t seem to get it together for us huh? You feel loved one moment and unloved the next? You are not alone. You are in good company. Jesus lived in the midst of betrayal, was rejected and doubted by a friend.
Have you ever allowed yourself to be so close to another human being that you thought they knew you inside and out and then you find out later that they never knew you at all? As a matter of fact you are doubted by a friend who lived out life with you.
You are not alone.
So was Jesus.
I want to talk to you about the reality of living life and loving others until the very end – even when doubted by a friend. Picture Jesus – sitting with his friends at a feast, washing their feet, drinking with them, eating with them, conversing with them and loving them…until the end. Thomas is one that doubted Jesus – have you ever been doubted? Check out this short 3 minute video:
OR click this:
You can read about it yourself in John 12-13 – how Jesus chose not to be offended and how Jesus loved Thomas even though HE KNEW he doubted Him. UNOFFENDABLE!
Maybe you are in a relationship with someone you know doubts you and you know deep inside your gut that at this season of your life – you just want to walk away from them. BUT GOD. To your face – they love you and act as if they will be your friend forever and they believe in you and are for you but then they come out with a statement that throws you for a loop. What do you do with a friend like that? How on earth can you remain unoffended by their actions? What do you do when confronted with the door of doubt?
Can you love them anyway? Can you love them as if they will never hurt you? Can you serve them and honor them in the midst of them not being able to love you with the same love you give them? Can you in fact be unoffendable by their doubt?
This is what Jesus did and it is a hard thing you know – to love – to really love – not with lips but with actions that speak louder than words. It is possible as long as you love with HIS love and forgive with HIS heart and look through that person into the potential of who they will or can become. Otherwise you will have expectations that never are met. Am I saying trust them with your innermost thoughts? Probably not wise to trust one who doubts you that much – however you can love them with HIS love anyway. After all – why do we doubt others – it is because we lack within ourselves something…… confidence…..that rooting and grounding…..IN HIM that keeps us stable – and gives us the fortitude to believe in others. The enemy wants you to hate them. God says love instead. Even when doubted by a friend.
Jesus loved Thomas though Thomas even doubts HE was resurrected. Jesus meets Thomas right where he is and lets Thomas feel the nail print to PROVE it is HIM. Wow. This is how much Jesus loved Thomas.
Sometimes we must be BRAVE and see one another as we are and accept one another right where we are – with imperfections – with doubt – with unbelief. Be BOLD and look doubt in the eye and say though you do not trust me – I LOVE YOU ANYWAY. Have RESPECT for yourself and follow up on whatever it is they doubt you in – maybe they doubt you because you continue to fall through for them and maybe they have reason to doubt. WHOA. Imagine that. So, this time – take ACTION AND follow through and follow up and finish what you started and do the best you can do – not for them but for God. Be VICTORIOUS over your weakness to feel rejected OR to not finish. ENCOURAGE yourself in the LORD because the bottom line is that they won’t be next to you when you stand in front of the Lord in that great day. So, let them be them and you be you and LOVE until the very end – even if they stand in the door of doubt.
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