But, what if I don’t like it?

elisabeth elliott 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We need to quit trying to change everything we don’t like about our circumstances and let God change us in those circumstances. Some of them will then change and things will be better. Some of them won’t and things will still be better.

debbyberrysignature

 

 

My SELF

self

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Self-confident. Self-assured. Self-improvement. Self-made. Self-sufficient. Self-esteem. Self-discipline. Self-reliant. Self-preservation. Self-conscious. Self-control. Self-interest. Self-indulgent. Self-image. Self-important. Self-imposed. Self-fulfilling. Self-restraint. Self-satisfaction. Self-starter. Self-proclaimed. Self-promotion. Self-realization. Self-respect. Self-righteous. Ick. It really all comes down to being SELF-RIGHTEOUS.

In John 5:30, Jesus said, “I can do nothing on My own…”

And way too often, I think I can do so much by mySELF. If He could do nothing on His own; how much greater is my need?

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Relax. You’ve got time.

too busy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Martha vs Mary

Spoiler Alert: It’s ok. You’re fine. Jesus isn’t upset and the Father isn’t disappointed because you are “too busy” for Him. Because you’re not. And, this isn’t about how to get up an hour earlier or stay up later or cram another group Bible study into your already daunting schedule. Relax. Ok?

Luke 10:38-42 (NLT)
38 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. 39 Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what He taught. 40 But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to You that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.”
41 But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42 There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

I have been a secret, equal opportunity judger on this one for as long as I can remember. Seeing both sides. A little tough on both of them. I SO want to be like Mary. Yet, I can relate to Martha who resents her. But, how could Martha NOT SEE how important it was to soak up all that Jesus had to say???? Yet, Jesus and His posse had descended on her house and she was responsible to make sure everyone and everything was taken care of and provided…on top of whatever else had to be done on a normal Martha day – unless those things could be put off to make tomorrow more complicated.

Hmmmmm. Torn. Pressured. Offended. Maybe a bit overwhelmed.

Been there? Our hearts yearn for more of Him. To even know what that means in the real world in a real life with real responsibilities and very long days with not enough time in them.

So, we can find ourselves in a very Martha place. Because that’s what our lives look like. A wonderful opportunity walks through our door to spend time with the Master and all we see are the things we need to do. And Him in our house quietly adds pressure to the to-do list and the condemnation in an already crazy life.

So, we make resolutions, grit our teeth, set the alarm earlier, force some quality time with Him (or hate ourselves for every time we hit “snooze”) and wonder why this life doesn’t feel abundant.

It doesn’t have to be an either/or, Martha OR Mary life. I’ve always had the impression that I was either a Martha OR a Mary.

I’m both. You’re both. Not Martha from 9 to 5 and Mary from 5am to 6am. Both. All. Day. Long. 24/7/365.

Really???? How does that work?

[Read more…]

Nothing is impossible

audrey hepburn impossible

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s a challenging day ahead for me. Maybe for some of you, too. These lyrics have been swirling through my spirit the last 24 hours…

Don’t need to wait for the sun to shine
. Don’t need to wait for the clouds to clear, 
I’ll still sing. 
I know that my God You’re so good

Don’t need to wait for the waves to still
. Don’t need to wait for the storms to calm
. I’ll still sing. 
I know that my God You’re so good

I praise You. You are for me. 
I praise You. Yes, You love me. 
I praise You. You are faithful
. I praise You. You’ll see me through

Your goodness, Your mercy
 shall follow me all my days
. Your goodness, Your mercy 
shall follow me all my days

Words and music: Andrew Tan

Whatever’s in front of you…

If God is for you, what or who can be against you? (Romans 8:31) And, God is definitely for you.

With God, nothing is impossible. (Luke 1:37, Matthew 19:26, Mark 10:27) Jesus said so. Nothing. What we’re facing hasn’t stumped Him or outmatched Him. Whatever it is falls into the “NOTHING” category here.

He’s already overcome whatever it is. Jesus said that here on earth, we would have difficulties and even some harsh stuff happen. But, He said to go ahead and be cheerful (whaaaaat???). Why? Because He has already overcome this world and all it has to throw at us.

John 16:33 (HCSB)
“I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.”
John 16:33 (NLT) “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

So, let’s have peace. Let’s take heart and be courageous. He’s conquered and overcome. Already. For us.

Here’s one of my absolute favorite songs. “Nothing Is Impossible” by Planetshakers. I don’t even know how to estimate how many times I’ve listened and sung along. Do yourself a big favor and listen/watch.

God is good & He adores us.

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Get ready to party…

party time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love Psalm 91. It is bold. It is assuring. It is over-the-top. It’s truth.

Psalm 91:14-16 (MSG)
“If you’ll hold on to Me for dear life,” says God,
“I’ll get you out of any trouble. 
I’ll give you the best of care 
if you’ll only get to know and trust Me.
 Call Me and I’ll answer, be at your side in bad times;
 I’ll rescue you, then throw you a party.
 I’ll give you a long life,
 give you a long drink of salvation!”

Stand on it. Stand in it. Stand behind it. Hold on. For dear life. He’s got it – and He’s got you. Get ready to party.

God is good & He adores you.

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All things ARE possible!

all things are possible

Mercy in abundance…

 

 

new day new mercies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There’s no shortage of mercy. There’s more than enough for all of our needs. For all of our mistakes. For all of our hurts. For all of our dreams. God’s Words says that His mercies are new every morning. That His mercies never end. So, all of the previously dispensed mercies are still at work and in force – AND, new ones keep being added. An abundance of mercy. No matter what.

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Why worry?

God's heart for us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want real peace? Begin to meditate on the immense, endless, measureless love of God. Specifically for you. For me. For your best, most loved friend. For the person who has hurt you. For us all. Never failing love. No matter what.

He’s not holding one thing against any of us. Not one thing. Doesn’t matter how broken. Doesn’t matter how bad. Doesn’t matter how unforgivable in the minds and hearts of others. Doesn’t matter if it is hard to forgive ourselves. (See Hebrews 8:12, Hebrews 10:17, Isaiah 43:25)

God’s heart towards us is loving, good, kind, merciful, to bless, to heal, to give.

God is good & He adores us. He really, really does.

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We Have His Word On It!

God keeps His promises

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proverbs 30:5
Every word of God proves true,
 He is a shield to all who come to Him for protection.

 

It seems like politicians make a long list of promises before we elect them and then have a longer list (generally blaming someone or something else) later about why they couldn’t fulfill their promises.

Divorce court is the place to finalize the brokenness of “forever” promises between husbands and wives.

In a world of cheap promises and meaningless words, the solidity and veracity of God’s Word and how clearly it reveals His character continues to breathe fresh life into this new life in Christ. I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and He made me new. As a “new creature” because I am now “in Christ,” the Word says that old things are passed away (dead) and all things have been made new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

It is through the Word that I hear the wisdom and instruction of the Lord on how to live this new life. The new person I am cannot function in the deadness of the person that I was. The Word gives us the history of our new family, the way our new family and each of its members should operate as representatives and ambassadors of this new life, and clear instruction and correction to get there – and most of all reveals the love and heart of God towards us…His children.

2 Peter 1:3 (NLT)
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know Him, the one who called us to Himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence.

When we come to know Him – through His Word and through His Spirit bringing His Word to life in us, the new life in Christ becomes HD…High Definition. It is clear and it is beautiful and limitless in the ways God’s love can be expressed in our lives. Jesus said that if we are alive in Him and His Word is alive in us, we can ask God for anything and receive it. (John 15:7) Pretty bold stuff! Jesus said it…so it’s true. But, how? Especially when it doesn’t seem to be showing up that way…

We became alive in Him when we received Him and became believers or Christ followers. That didn’t take any effort on our part other than believing and acceptance. Done. For the word to become alive in us, we have to hear it, read it, study it, seek Him in it. Receive its truth.

1 John 5:14-15 tells us that the confidence we have in Him is that if we ask ANYTHING according to His will, He hears us. And, when He hears us, we HAVE whatever we have petitioned Him for. Anything? Really??? ANYTHING????????? [Read more…]

Money, Money, Money

 money, money, money

 

Proverbs 23:4-5 (NLT)
Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich.
 Be wise enough to know when to quit.
 In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, 
for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle.

There’s nothing wrong with being rich. Nothing at all. There’s something quite wrong with wearing yourself out to get rich. It sounds good and noble to push and push that direction. It’s not. Why? We cannot count on money to make everything alright. To fix things. Or, to last forever. It is vitally important to put it in proper perspective. If our security or our trust is based on money, we will never be safe or satisfied.

Be wise. Be diligent. Plan ahead. Be well informed and smart about purchases and investments. Be the kind of employee or entrepreneur that is noticed and blessed for how you conduct your business affairs. All of that is good and admirable. BUT DON’T OBSESS AND GET ANXIOUS AND MAKE THE FINANCIAL REWARDS YOUR PRIMARY FOCUS.

In Matthew 13 and Mark 4, when Jesus is explaining the meaning of the parable of the sower, He talks about the third example of good seed bringing no harvest. The seed is the Word. In this case, the Word brings no harvest or benefit or blessing because of the thorns that “choke” the Word and it becomes “unfruitful.” The Truth of the Word – the message God has for His beloved children – is crowded out and doesn’t thrive or survive.

Why?

Cares. Anxieties. Distractions. Worry. The lure of wealth. The deceitfulness of riches
 (the lie that money and material things solve our problems and will make us happy). Desiring and focusing on other things more.

A scripture that is misquoted more often than it is quoted correctly is 1 Timothy 6:10.

1 Timothy 6:10 (NLT)
For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

LOVE of money. Money isn’t the root of all kinds of evil. Loving it is. Some people, craving money, pierced themselves with many sorrows. Money isn’t evil and it isn’t the having it or not having it that is the problem. It is the craving of it. We bring sorrow on ourselves when it is our focus and obsession. Ever had any sorrows because of chasing or craving money? You’re not alone!

Having money doesn’t equal craving it or loving it. Not having money doesn’t equal NOT craving it or NOT loving it. In fact, the percentage of people without much money who crave and obsess about it is probably just as large or larger than those who have lots of money. IT ISN’T ABOUT THE MONEY. It’s all about the role it plays in our motivations, actions, focus and priorities. [Read more…]