Tag: life

God meets us – right where we are

Thank You, God, for meeting me right where I am…

my-lakeI have been lamenting the fact that I can no longer walk around the lake, the beautiful lake where You spoke to me so many times and showed me things about my own life and about You through Your creation there…the birds, the flowers, the trees, the sky, the mountains. You used each one of them to convey a message to me about who You are, and who I am, and how I should live.
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And then I look at my yard and garden, and lament that I no longer have the ability to work in my garden where You spoke to me so many times through seeds, growth, planting, watering, weeding, and the beauty and abundance Your provision.

bed-1846251_960_720And even as I do this lamenting, I find myself rejoicing! For even here in my bed where I spend more and more time each day due to the loss of energy and good health, I find that You are speaking to me here too. Of resting, reflecting, readjusted, reprioritizing. And I can find delight in Your willingness and ability to reach me wherever I am, whatever the circumstances of my life.

Each time I moved out of a phase I worried I would lose the revelations and inspiration You brought me. I would cling to each stage because of the beauty and the blessing You shared with me wondering if I would ever hear from You again. The truth is, as I moved through my life You have always been there beside me whatever the stage or phase I was going through. Meeting me wherever I was and now wherever I am. And the tears flow for the time I’ve spent lamenting what I had, instead of embracing what I have.

I am finally believing that when You say You will never leave me, that’s exactly what You mean… You really mean it! That You will be with me wherever I go even if I can’t go to the same places I used to go to be with You. You will come to me.

The truth is You always did. It was never me going to You where are You were. It was always You meeting me right where I was.

I no longer need to strive to get back to those places or the circumstances where I heard from You before. In truth, You are everywhere! You are as close as a whisper, as present as the air I breathe. And whatever comes, I know now that my hearing from You is not dependent on me or my circumstances but it is, and always has been, simply a condition of who You are and that You are true to Your promises.

womanbackpackarmsraisedIs there a time you were hearing from God more clearly? Have you struggled to get back to that place or put yourself back in those circumstances?

It’s not the place or the circumstances that matter. God is right here beside you. You need only reach out and ask Him to speak to you.

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He is not limited by your location.

He is not constrained by your circumstances.

He is only awaiting your invitation to speak into your life.

Tell God You’re listening…

Invite Him now.

Let God be your Treadmill

I don’t typically like treadmills. There’s no change of scenery – and since we live in such a beautiful place – I’d much rather walk outside.

My RockiesBut this summer in Colorado, the heat has been exhaustive. And with the terrible wildfires, smoke has kept the air quality so bad we have stayed mostly inside for exercise.

So I’ve been considering a treadmill to go along with my exercise bike and weight machine. And I thought – wouldn’t it be great if we had a treadmill for our lives? And imagine…if God were the guiding force behind it?

May God be your treadmill!

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May He keep your feet set upon the path He has laid before you, so that you can feel confident you won’t stray from His will. But will be assured that every step you take is in the right direction, exactly in God’s plan for you and your family.

May you feel His guiding hand set the pace for you, so you don’t have to worry about anything happening too quickly or too slowly. May you have confidence in God’s timing, and know that He is protecting you from your own tendency to want to speed up or drag your feet.  And trust that He knows just when the pace needs adjusting to provide for all of your personal needs.

pexels-julia-larson-6455851May our Lord help you see and feel your progress along the way. With no change of scenery, it’s hard to know if you’re moving forward. Some treadmills have a little graphic to let you see you are advancing around an imaginary track.

If we don’t see or feel any signs of improvement, we can easily get discouraged.  We might think we aren’t making progress- but that isn’t the case.

May God, who is All-Powerful and All-Knowing and Ever-Present, who loves you and wants what is best for you, allow you to see with His eyes, from His perspective, that you are moving in the right direction.

And may He allow you to see His Angels in the midst of every spiritual battle, fighting for you, and giving you victory.

Lord God, be our treadmill. And we will give You the glory for the success of each step along the way.  And thank You for making it possible for each of us to finish the race You have set before us.

Amen, and amen.

Need some Traction?

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Ever since I heard the word “Paraclete” I have thought of the Holy Spirit as a “pair of Cleats.”

The Holy Spirit gives us traction in our walk with the Lord.

“Paraclete” is the Greek word that translated, is used to describe the Holy Spirit.  It comes from “para” meaning close or beside, and “kaleo” a legal advocate who makes a right judgment; an advisor, or helper.

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It comes to light in a picturesque way in the verse in James 1 where he says “each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.”

Pair that with 1 Cor 10:13 where Paul is speaking of temptation and says God will “provide a way of escape.”

Now we have a picture of a believer walking with the Holy Spirit, (their “pair of cleats”).  And when temptation comes along and tries to drag the believer away, God has provided these cleats so the believer can dig in and have the traction and power to resist and not be dragged away.  That’s the Holy Spirit!

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With our “pair of cleats” we can go farther, climb higher, get a better grip on the trail of life.  Our “Pair of Cleats” will take us places we wouldn’t be able to get to on our own.

adventure-1850912_640The Holy Spirit will stick by our side no matter the circumstances – through storms, harsh terrain, cold, heat – more literally challenges, temptations of every kind, hardships, even elections and pandemics.

All these things can make our way seem dark and slippery.  But we have a partner on the journey – teaching us, guiding, course correcting, encouraging, strengthening us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

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Praying for you, that you will make use of your Pair of Cleats in your daily walk.  That you will listen to the Holy Spirit and dig in when temptations and challenges come.

That as you walk through life, you will recognize your walking partner’s voice and knowing that you are never alone, you will be encouraged, instructed, equipped, advised, counseled, guided, strengthened and protected.

Stay in the Boat!

I had been having a difficult time making a decision about an opportunity that came up.  Difficult because it involved something that I value highly and really want to do, but feel very inadequate and insecure about.

Are you ever faced with decisions like that?

choice-2692575_640I felt the Holy Spirit was leading me to move forward, in church and through the daily prayers I was working on.  But I also felt my fears holding me back.

Half awake and half asleep, a vision came to me that seemed to sum up my situation.

I am floating in a tube on a river. The water is choppy. I have come through dangerous Rapids and am feeling exhausted by the effort it took to stay afloat. I can hear the loud Rumblings of fast-moving water. Not one but two Mighty Rivers come together at a confluence up ahead of me. They feed into the river I’m on.

They could take me far very quickly but the ride would be dangerous and extremely rough with no guarantee that I would survive.

In this dream/vision I pondered what I should do:

tubing-3506869_6401 – I could get out of the river and camp on the side choosing not to move forward at all. And die there on the riverbank my Journey complete.

2 – I could get out of the water and hike up to the confluence watching the turbulent Waters come together. Maybe there would be a way to go around – there wasn’t.

3 – Or I could put my faith in God, the God who made the rivers and who sent me on this path and move forward into the ride of my life.

I do not think of myself as a risk-taker. Not with money. Not with emotional decisions.  And this involved both.

As God often does, I realized He had placed someone in my life who I could take to about this.  Miraculously,  in about an hour, we were speaking on the phone.

Eric listened to my situation.  And to my vision of floating down a river in a tube.  He loved the analogy since he’s a big white water rafting and adventure experience guy.  And he acknowledged that my fears were real and legitimate.  Then he turned my vision into a devotional for me, right then and there, and said “Now, I’m going to upgrade you!”

“You’re no longer sitting in an inner tube with a little penguin hat on, drifting at the whim of a river of life.”

God is the River. You’re already in Him!  And you will be all of your life.  You can trust The River!

life-raft-241789_640“And you are now in a White-Water Power Raft!  And you have a paddle.  And you have a Guide!” 

I said, “I get it, my guide is the Holy Spirit!” I was feeling more confident and excited about this River trip.

Eric said “Your job, Laura, is to: Stay in the boat, Paddle hard, and Listen to your Guide.”

He continued, “So there is no pulling the boat out of the River to sit on the side.  That is not an option.  Your Guide has a lot to show you downstream.  And He doesn’t want you to miss any of it.  He is there to make sure you make it down the River safely.”

“Plus you have a customer paddle, but your Guide has a much bigger paddle and can out-paddle you.  With that He will make sure you are headed where you need to be headed. You need only do what?” 

I answered, “Stay in the boat, Paddle hard, and Listen to my Guide!

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It feels good to have made a decision.  And to feel more confident that the Holy Spirit will continue to “course correct” if I can’t handle it all.

I am still both excited and scared. 

Odd how we can be afraid of failure and afraid of success at the same time.

Is there something you are feeling prompted to do?  Ask God to give you a dream or vision or some way of knowing you’re supposed to go forward.

Ask Him who He has put in your life to encourage you.

Your job, should you choose to accept it is:

Stay in the boat!

Paddle hard!

Listen to your Guide!! 

Go for it!

Lift up your head!

Lift up your head.

In Hebrew: Naso et-rosh.

The English version of most Bibles translates this to say: take a census, or be counted. In Numbers 4:1-2 this makes an oversimplified statement of the historical activity.

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The Israelites had left Egypt, spent two years in the desert, and constructed the Tabernacle. They were no longer slaves to the Egyptians. Now they were to look to the Lord their God for new direction and a new life purpose.

Naso et-rosh does not just mean “take a census.”

In context, to those people, the weight of the meaning of those Hebrew words meant so much more!

Naso et-rosh means to lift up your head, gaze intently into the clarity of the Holy One and accept the purpose and the passion for who you were created to be.

religion-3452582_640Usually we live life running busily from one task to another – even trying to multitask to get more done in less time. But in these times of worldwide pandemic and isolating at home we have plenty of time on our hands to take a moment for a spiritual refreshing.  We can make the time to seek in prayer and in God’s Word the essence of who we are and who God wants us to be.  

Many of us will emerge from this pandemic with cleaner houses and a few extra pounds.  But you have the opportunity to emerge with a new sense of God-given purpose and direction. 

Set aside 10 minutes each day this week to hear from the Lord.  Wait expectantly to hear something exciting.  Imagine yourself, His child, passing through ascending tongues of fire (like Moses saw on the burning bush – fire that burned but did not consume the bush) and coming into His presence.

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Ask God to speak to you, and then listen – with your spirit.  Write down anything you believe you hear.   About who you are. About how He created you with special gifts and talents and a unique personality.  About where He is already working and how He invites you to join Him in that work.

Confirm what you have heard by comparing it to what God says in His Word and with the fruit of the spirit.  For more on how to do this see my blog post Googling God part 3 click here.

“Naso et-rosh”  invites you to spend time with your Creator in order to seek out and receive from Him.

Accept the invitation.

Lift up your head!