Monthly Archives: March 2019

March 21, 2019 Liv’s surgery day

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Early this morning God worked it out so that I got to hold our Liv before her mom and dad took her for her eye surgery. It was a sweet gift to hold her and Christ in quiet minutes … wrapped up all close. Bringing the Healer into her … into this day. They are at the surgery center now. And, I am about to leave to be there, too. In this place is where total surrender consumes me. There is no place more helpless than when you place your Loves in the hands of another, right?

God Almighty does His deepest work when we are at our most helpless places.

So, in this place, today, I raise my hands, to let all the earth know, “I acknowledge You, my King!” And, every devil in hell knows they have no authority over me … over my loves … because as believers, we belong to another Kingdom.

In Christ alone. And, that’s where it begins.

“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21-23 ESV

This place. This day.

There is one worship that … If you can get it out … It will change everything -it break the chains of anxiety from your life … it will send you running straight into your destiny that God intended.

He is reminding me that when you call upon His name, you get ALL of Him. You don’t just get a little piece, you get the entire Kingdom. You don’t just get His peace for a moment, you get His

-all-encompassing love,

-total, complete forgiveness,

-healing of all diseases,

-redeeming … redemption of life from destruction.

-a fresh crowning of living-kindness and tender mercies,

-youth renewed like eagles

-promises of deliverance

-His wisdom and guidance

-safety and protection

-abundance

-provision

-grace. You get grace.

I could go on and on and on …

Set this as your marking place.

The Savior has come. He is here now.

Worship.

Raise your arms.

Wake up.

Worship here.

Worship now.

Go.

Oh. Thank you, my God and my King! Your mercies are new every morning!

March 20, 2019 connection

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Good morning, DearHeart.

As I woke I thought about connection. That’s usually how the Holy Spirit works with me – I ask for a word or theme for my guide as my final prayer at night. When I wake up,

a word,

phrase,

or scripture is fresh.

All God.

Simply because I ask.

He is good like that – hearing our prayer, and delivering what we need.

His way.

His authority.

His gift.

So, I went back and searched my notes to see how many times I’ve used the word “connect” this year in my writings. 11. This makes 12. That qualifies in my simple heart as a theme that is taking shape.

Connection. That is both harder and easier than ever.

One of my favorite new voices is Lauren Daigle … she sings a song called “Dry Bones”…

‘As we call out to dry bones come alive, come alive,

We call out to dead hearts come alive, come alive,

Up out of the ashes let us see an army rise,

We call out to dry bones come alive,

So breathe, oh breath of God

Now breathe, oh breath of God

Breathe, oh breath of God now breathe …’

The apostle James warns us about the tongue (texting fingers, too) – especially for those of us who teach: ‘Teaching is highly responsible work. Teachers are held to the strictest standards’ (James 3:1, MSG). It is consoling that he adds, ‘we all stumble in many ways’ (v.2) – certainly I do.

The tongue is a powerful little instrument that can do so much good, and yet so much harm. It can unite or divide: ‘By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell’ (v.8, MSG).

Relationships, even marriages, often end because of things that have been said or not said. People lose their jobs, their reputation, their families when words are used to hurt and destroy rather than build and connect.

Harsh, unjust words have destructive power. Learn to control the tongue and fingers so that you speak words of blessing to people and about people.

Speak words of life. Your words have tremendous power for connection. You can bring healing, encouragement and edification. Your words can change a person’s day or even their life.

Wake up.

Speak life.

It connects.

Go.

March 19, 2019 new life

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Have you ever noticed that when God stretches you, you never go back to the original shape? The process of stretching makes weakened areas more suspect to pinhole tears where the enemy works overtime trying to find a way in.

This is especially you when you are in recovery mode and trying to find space to forgive someone. The heart runs its own stopwatch. Not attached to calendar days or years. And, the heart also reminds you that it’s not a “gotcha” competition – “you are a loser, so that makes me the winner.”

Arrogance disguised.

Satan heaping weight on.

Here’s the deal – the heart forgives when it is ready to forgive. And, it begins by forgiving yourself.

Self-forgiveness.

Unlike us, Christ forgives as son as you ask. Boom. Forgiven. Done. Over. Left in the past. Move on.

The Holy Spirit allows love to flow from the place of self-forgiveness. Because, when you forgive yourself, everyone in the pain loop gains freedom in some way. Maybe you got blindsided; and time shows you that you had a role in being betrayed – you were scared. That’s the point your story begins to change from betrayal to forgiveness. This is the place you stop letting the pain of the past hurt you in the present. You keep the life-lessons…and you send the rest into the Light of our Redeeming Savior.

“All is forgiven” includes you.

When we start applying prayer to our confidence in Christ, and His victory over past hurdles, He sends fresh energy into us – resurrection power into a new mindset, and a fresh heart.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

Wake up.

Deliver your pain into the Light.

Forgive yourself. Move on.

Go.

January 18, 2019 possibilities

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“I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes.” Job 42:5 NLT

Good morning, God’s Child.

Woke up thinking about the courage it takes to get to know your soul in the Light of our Creator. Courage … Because once you and I begin to engage Him in every part of our lives, and live according to His authority – His light comes to call with ever more frequency until He becomes threaded into every part of our being. He amazes like that – showing up with possibility and perspective.

The more you become aware of His involvement, the more likely you are to see His call on your life, your days, your hours, your thoughts, your ideas. On the surface, things are seldom what they seem. There is always a deeper work going on that the human eye cannot see, but the heart knows.

Possibility sparks.

Takes root.

Empowers.

His possibilities are endless. He lays them all out and as you walk with Him, you discover more, and more, and more.

His ways are right, Beloved.

His possibilities are planted for your purpose. Do not take them lightly.

Wake up.

Live in possibility.

Go.

March 15, 2019 dry

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Good morning, DearHeart.

There are times when life can be compared to a desert . . .

dry,

dehydrated,

withered.

“Bloom where you are planted.” Is a fantastic idea, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Sometimes, you don’t have control to bloom in this place and every step forward seems to deliver heavy blows back.

Life simply happens. There is no controlling the circumstances as they seem to barrel over you like a steam roller.

Much like a desert, the days suck the life right out of you leaving you feeling parched and withered.

As day turns to night, and night to day again, there is nothing happening as you look to the horizon. Have you been there before? I have.

It is at those times, by faith, we remember ….

‘The desert and the parched land will be glad;

the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy’. (Isaiah 35: 1, NIV)

Much like the crocus, which blooms while it is still cold and snow is often still on the ground, God causes life to burst forth again. I have been there before, too. He is faithful, isn’t He?!

He opens

opportunities,

changes circumstances,

brings healing,

restores relationships,

binds wounds.

Why?

There the Lord will display his glory, the splendor of our God. (Isaiah 35:2b, NLT)

When something comes out of seemingly nothing, it is then and there the Lord is seen most visibly in our lives.

Your bloom is coming.

Wake up.

Your deliverance is near.

Go.

March 14, 2019 wounded

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Good morning, DearHeart.

We are all wounded, aren’t we?

It can come from an event,

or, a moment,

or, a season.

In those wounds, God does His best work.

I love looking back and seeing Divine irony.

How, by

His grace,

His mercy,

His ways,

my attitude gets reconfigured from woundedness to compassion.

We go through elephant graveyards that get soul-wrenched with “why?” places.

“Where did that even come from?” places.

And, from there we look in with full-faced curiosity – to where our judgements have become so entrenched.

Those pain places take us in.

We process there. As we process, our Creator makes Himself known. He reveals more of His ways in us. Authority.

In the no-man’s land.

We are never quite the same after that.

You look at everyone differently.

It is from the “why” places that you ask the Divine in … and, He reveals what is true,

He reveals light and darkness,

right and wrong.

He whittles on us until He reveals a place that resonates within with the Holy of Holies.

And, we are brought full circle, into a new place within His presence.

Within His healing.

People don’t validate the truth of His presence in me … of His authority in me … of His light in me.

That is His work alone.

Am I interested in what people speak into me and over me? Absolutely.

Will I consider the impact and intention of their words? You bet.

External input comes into us for a reason. Even the input that is misguided and unfounded and conjectured.

When it all boils down, though, the still, small voice …

The Holy residing within every detail – yes, hold us captive to Your healing process in us, Lord.

Wake up.

Notice His healing work.

Go.

March 13, 2019 rains

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Good morning, DearHeart.

I love the rain. I remember my Pop Coon sitting at his kitchen table, drinking coffee, watching the rain out the window and saying out loud, “let it rain”. That’s one of my dad’s favorite sayings on mornings like this, too. His voice sounds exactly the same as Pop’s. It’s funny how little sounds or phrases can take you right back to a warm place in childhood memories. A place of comfort. A place we hope to create for our own chickees. A warm and safe place. A place that God created for His own.

Life can bring hard times which bring strong winds and rains that seem to be on a mission to take us under.

But, those driving rains only drive us to Him. We fall before the One who brings healing and restoration. Roots go down more deeply causing us to sway but stand firm, as He assures us that we are in His Presence.

These winter rains serve to grow a desire in us to know Him with an earnestness so we pursue Him, relentlessly.

Relentlessly.

We press on, striving to obtain more of Him in the midst of the harsh season. In spite of it even.

And then come the spring rains …

Gentle.

Refreshing.

Soft.

And those seeds He has been planting in our lives all along, begin to break ground. They grow and blossom and bear fruit.

We begin to see His hand at work in our lives, weaving details with a precision and beauty, which was unseen to us. The winter rains prove to have had a purpose all along.

The seed has become swelled and begins to burst into maturity.

In the trials, in the torn places, in this very day, God has a plan.

“Come, let us return to the Lord; for He has torn us, that He may heal us; He has struck us down, and He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live before Him. Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; His going out is sure as the dawn; He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:1-3 ESV

Wake up.

God has a plan.

Go.

March 12, 2019 unite

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Good morning, DearHeart.

In my home, in my circles, in my worklife, in my church, I have a steady fascination with watching God’s hand form HIS unity. Mostly because I’m fascinated with what our Creator does with IMPOSSIBLE situations, and if you stick in a group long enough, then impossible situations always arise. Right?

I’ve also found that impossible situation is where our Master shows His finest work on our stubborn hearts.

To unite is to come together for a unique purpose. That is my definition.

It can be a challenge to unite. Have you noticed? Yet when operating in unity, we form a single whole, no distinction or separation is seen. Each one comprising the whole has similar thoughts and attitudes – enough that the similar outweighs the polar.

We come together to form the whole. I love that thought. It doesn’t say that each one is a carbon of the other. We each come with our personalities and quirks all our own and somehow, when we are united, the entire purpose is fulfilled.

But … how do we get to grow in unity?

“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ,

if any comfort from his love,

if any fellowship with the Spirit,

if any tenderness and compassion,

then make my joy complete by being like-minded,

having the same love,

being one in spirit, and purpose.” (Philippians 2: 1-2, NIV)

Break it down. Mmm.

We are enabled to unite as we unite ourselves with Christ through His love. It’s Christ.

As our hearts stay tender and compassionate towards one another, our desire to live united with others grows within us. (I really want to all-caps that sentence). Read it again.

We often think of unity as being for our good here on earth. And it is. But this is what stood out to me this morning …

We make Jesus truly happy when we

agree with one another,

love one another,

and work together with one mind for His purposes.

It is His joy that is made complete. He rejoices when He sees His children living in unity. And, in Him is where it happens.

“If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care —then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand.”

Philippians 2:1-4 MSG

Wake up.

Unite.

Pray for it.

Go.

March 11, 2019 humility

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Good morning, DearHeart.

Jesus was a carpenter.

I wonder what kind of carpenter? Did He build furniture, fences, or a trough even. Did He find the days long, the work hard, and His customers picky with His work? Did He find Himself tired, sweaty, and hungry as He returned back home at the end of the day?

Jesus set aside His divinity, His place alongside His Father, to become one of us. A human. He wanted to be near us and understand life from our perspective.

Jesus set aside His divinity with all His privileges and became one of us, and this took humility.

Humility … the attitude we are also to have each day, in all we do and with one another. This will require

self-denial,

a bending low,

and obedience.

To live this way will demand much of us yet we are told:

“You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”

Jesus knew the challenge life would bring us every day. It is the very reason He came to show us the way, living as an example for us to follow:

“This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.” (Hebrews 4:14, NLT)

He gets it, gets us … He faced all that we face. There is not a thing He has not experienced, nor cannot understand. The writer of Hebrews continues to tell us how we can live with a Christ-like attitude, how we can obtain this attitude:

“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (verse 16, NLT)

We come boldly to the throne. He understands and in response to our cries, will supply us with the grace to live humbly with the attitude of Christ.

Jesus.

Our perfect example lived

humbly,

vulnerably,

and obediently. 

May we have the same attitude as Christ Jesus.

Come from a place of love & kindness. There will be people who will always try to tear you down-it doesn’t matter who you are. If someone disrespects you or spins falsehoods or is just downright mean- turn the other cheek and walk away. Respect your soul. Live in the light.

Wake up.

Prepare your Jesus-attitude.

Go.

March 8, 2019 losses and pain

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Good morning, DearHeart.

The old saying goes, “Time heals all wounds” but I am not sure it ‘heals’ them so much … but perhaps the pain is eased as the memories remain.

I have been playing the game, “This time last year …..” for over a semester now. Maybe not every day, but on those days when I join in and play, I get stuck. My mind takes me back to those days a year ago which found me in a different place than today. Luke, our youngest, a senior, was beginning his last high school season of baseball. Dale and I were about to enter into an unknown season.

Maybe you play the game as well …

before the illness hit.

Before the job loss.

Before the divorce.

Before the addiction.

Before the fallout.

Before the death.

Before the relocation.

Before … whatever pain hit your life.

We wonder if we should have done things differently.

Made another choice. Prayed harder.

Fasted more often.

You know the drill.

Tucked in a most familiar story comes Jesus bringing His peace and comfort.

Mary, Martha, and Lazarus – beloved friends of Jesus. Lazarus becomes sick and the two sisters send word for Jesus to come. The women know that Jesus, the Messiah, is able to heal him. But instead Lazarus passes away. He dies. Jesus had taken days to come.

Upon His arrival, Jesus finds the women upset. Mary expresses herself, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:32, NLT). I love how Mary speaks openly and transparently with the Lord. Even more touching to realize Jesus does not chastise her for honest feelings, nor for casting blame on Him.

Our Lord, Jesus, realizes our pain and is spitting mad at sickness and death and loss. His righteous anger causes Him to be moved to come quickly to our side to strengthen and comfort us in our time of grief, even as He eagerly waits for the Father’s command to return and put an end to all pain and suffering.

The day is coming when our Lord Jesus Christ will split the skies. The trump shall sound, the dead in Christ shall rise first, and those yet alive will be caught up to be with the Lord forever (see 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

And He will set all things right. On that day,

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Revelation 21:4, NLT)

Wake up.

Hope remains.

Go.