Embrace change. Really?

There have been a few very kind people reminding me that “change can be good!”. Of course my head knows this is true and even my heart is whispering an affirmation of that statement, my emotions however are a little slower to get on board. This morning I was in a meeting and my face, I’m pretty sure, communicated a calm demeanor but my leg that kept bouncing up and down under the table said something totally different. That darn leg betrayed my inability to control my emotions! But we can discuss that another day…. What I really want to share is a scripture that has been rolling around in my spirit since I’ve started meditating on this process of change, and that is Isaiah 43:19, “Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” 

Three things stand out to me in that verse

1. Behold, wake up! Pay attention! (God  snapping his fingers). I know that so often God is trying to get my attention but I am too caught up in and distracted by my fears, my plans, and my entertainments. I think often about  God teaching Moses that he speaks in a “still,small voice”, and I think, for the most part, that is how God communicates to us, quietly, in stillness so that we are forced to stop, be still and listen in order to hear him speak. But I think also that there are moments and messages that are so important that God has to boldly get our attention, when the Angels brought the message that Jesus had been born to the shepherds, ” behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy…” And before Jesus ascended to heaven, ” …and behold, I am with you always…”, these were messages too important to be missed. The same is true with Isaiah 43:19, the message that God is doing something new is a crucial  one, one that we need to hear and to heed. God is always doing something new and we need to be looking for and be expectant of it. It is when we get comfortable in the routine and the mundane that we begin to get off course and miss what God is doing. Behold, I do a new thing…

2. “…will you not know it?”  Whose responsibility is it to find out what new thing God is doing? This portion of the scripture tells me that it’s mine. Will you not know it? God is asking you a question, are you going to do what it takes to find out what I am doing? Will you do the research to find what the heart of God is? When we understand the heart of God it’s easier to figure out the plan of God. Psalm 103:7 speaks to this subject, “He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the children of Israel.” God showed Moses his ways, how, when, where, why, the children of Israel only saw his acts, what he did after/as he was doing them. What was the difference? Intimacy. Moses had an intimate relationship with God. The bible, in Exodus 33:11, says that Moses spoke to God face to face, he had a face to face conversation in a time when people were afraid of God. In order for us to know the new thing God is going tp do we must spend face to face time with him.

3. ” …I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” I don’t know what you’re going through but I do know that somehow God can make an impossible situation possible. He cam make what looks like it’s dead come back to life, he can change the heart of your spouse, bring your estranged child back, provide finances, a job, a home a car. God, can, God has, God will! “…with man this is impossible, with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
So we must all learn to not just embrace change but seek it out. Gods word and his character always stays the same but what he is doing in our heart and in our life and in our world is going to have a newness, a freshness to it so that we are not tempted to stop growing, stop searching and keep seeking!

Push Through and Pack for the Destination

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In my last post I mentioned how rude my legs are at mile 3.5 on the bike trail near my home. They cry and call me names. They want to go home and watch Netflix. But sometimes in life we need to push through the hard parts and pack for the destination. This morning when I got ready to go for my bike ride I packed a large bottle of water, my debit card, a notebook, a pen and a book I’ve been reading. Why did I pack those things? Because those were what I would need when I reached the beach, my destination.

Sometimes in life we think more about what we will do after we fail than about what we will do after we succeed.  We spend more time planning our exit strategy, Plan B, or our concession speech than we do planning for the destination/goal we are headed for. I know that at times the road we are on seems impossible, sometimes everything inside of us is screaming for us to give up, go home, eat some ice cream and pen that speech. But sometimes, in fact the majority of the time, we need to just push through the hard parts and pack for the destination.

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9

I woke up cranky today. 


I woke up super cranky today.

I overslept, I chose to eat leftover oatmeal instead of the bacon and eggs the hubs made and I began a walk with the hubs but when he started walking ahead of me I turned around and went home. All out of sheer crankiness. Part of it was that I had walked all over Kingdom Come yesterday with the wrong shoes, (I know you feel my pain).  But that wasn’t the real reason for the crankiness… Ive been reading in Exodus about the children of Israel and I woke up thinking about them, out in the desert for 40 years walking around the same mountain, walking in circles, looking at the same rocks and the same cactus. The thought of that would make anyone a little cranky, but not the level of cranky I was exhibiting . Nope, what caused me to be cranky was that I realized I was just like them. 
A couple of days ago the hubs and I had a good conversation, and part of the conversation was about a couple of areas of life that I wanted to see changes in and a regret that I had. We determined the changes that were needed and moved on in our conversation. But this morning as I was contemplating the children of Israel with my cranky pants on, I recognized what bothered me so much. You see, the conversation I had with my husband, I’ve  had that very same conversation before, maybe even twice before, and I’ve come to the same conclusions, had the same regret and decided on the same course of actions that were needed to change those areas. It was then I realized I have been here before!!! I am still walking around the same mountain! Looking at the same cactus and the same rocks! What utter frustration I felt. (Thus, the crankiness.)  
What was it that kept the children of Israel in the wilderness for 40 years? 
1. Complaining, complaining about everything. I am guilty of that!  I’m a blessed women, I’ve been pregnant four times and came out of the hospital with 4 beautiful babies, I’ve been married to a faithful man for almost 33 years, I have a closet full of shoes, I am saved and on my way to heaven, I have a roof over my head and food on my table. What in the world do I have to complain about? In truth, nothing. In my head, plenty. Time after time I’ve shown my ungrateful heart through complaining. God has been so good to me and still I fuss and fume over things that have no eternal significance. God forgive me. 
2. Unbelief. Even after all God had done for them, miraculously delivering them from pharoahs army and the plagues of Egypt, they refused to believe that God could get them past one last hurdle and into the promised land. Guilty again! I’ve seen God come through for me and for my family more times than I can count. I’ve seen him meet our needs when it seemed liked there was no way our need could be met. I’ve seen him bless us and favor us time after time. And yet now, when I am facing another hurdle, I doubt him. I doubt that he will help us pay off our debt, I doubt that he will bless and grow our church and I doubt that other needs I have will be met. Oh how I doubt… But God is so faithful, “rich in mercy” according to his word, and in spite of my doubts he still leads, guides and blesses me, he still calls me his child and still reminds me of his promises. 
3. They kept looking back at where they came from and they changed the truth of what they’d been through. The truth is that they were enslaved and beaten, forced to labor under horrible conditions but they chose to remember all the lovely fruits and vegetables they had to eat.  Really?!? Some times we look back at the past and remember it as better than it really was, we look at it through rose colored glasses, just like the children of Israel did. But sometimes we look back and see things as worse than they really were, that is my sin. I have looked back over a period of my life and there was one person that did not seem to accept me, they did not give me the approval I so desperately wanted from them, at least they didn’t give me acceptance and approval in a way that I understood, maybe they did and I just didn’t recognize it. But I have looked back at that period of my life and all I see is that persons disapproval.  I remember that period as being very hurtful and full of rejection and I totally forget the people that did love and accept and approve of me. I was surrounded by people that were so kind to me and loving and allowed me into their life and I didn’t appreciate it. Bottom line, just like the children of Israel, I have looked back at the past and allowed it to affect my future. I have allowed my ungratefulness, my unbelief and my altered view of the past to keep me in a holding pattern that has stopped me from completely stepping into the future God has for me.
In the story of Moses and the children of Israel, the Bible says that they ended up waiting to enter the promised land until all the complainers died out. I’m not willing to wait that long! I’m just going to go ahead and kill them off right now! The Bible calls us to a life of sacrifice, Paul refers to it in 1 Corinthians when he makes the statement, “I die daily”. So that’s what I am going to do, I will put to death my ungratefulness, put to death my fear and doubt, and learn to look back over my past with a thankful heart for all that God has done for me and then I will make every effort to step into the wonderful future that he has planned.  And I will probably have to do it daily! 
I think tomorrow morning is going to be great!!

Read it Wednesdsy

Streams in the Desert devotional and The One Year Bible.

Streams in the Desert devotional and The One Year Bible.

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This is a book I would recommend to anyone and everyone.

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Love & Respect is what I’m reading right now.

I think that an important, even crucial part of our relationship with God is reading the Bible. It is how we get to know Him.   John 1:1 says, “in the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Spend time with His Word and you are spending time with Him. Enough said.

I also believe we should make an effort to always be learning and growing which is the theme of the John Maxwell book “15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.” It is an excellent book that describes how John Maxwell came up with a “growth plan” in an effort to learn and grow on purpose and not depend on growing “by accident”.

Last but not least, this is what I’m reading right now, “Love & Respect” by Emerson Eggrich. I heard him speak at a Smart Conference hosted by Dave Ramsey and was impressed by what he had to say. I’ll let you know my thoughts when I’m done. So far  I love it!

These are suggestions of books that can help you to become the best you God made you to be!  It takes effort but it’s worth it!

Happy reading!