Shattered

So often when I visualize the impact of witnessing, I see shattered glass. I find myself mesmerized by the beauty and intricacy of the design….how one act can have such a far-reaching impact.

 

Picture with me:

  • Zoom in – our perfect model is Christ’s sacrifice for our sins…His crucifixion, burial and resurrection is at the center; you can literally see the impact of those closest to Him!
  • Zoom out – not only can you can see impact from the initial act of sacrifice, look at how every one and every thing is connected…even the furthest shard (person) is connected to another shard (person) and yet still connected to the center (Christ)! I envision the bursts as willing vessels allowing God to work thru them to reach others…can you just imagine Paul?????

Now…picture your life….what kind of glass does it represent? Regular run of the mill glass that shatters with minimal pressure or heavy duty safety glass?  With Christ, we have security.  Although broken, we are held steady at the center…the Holy Spirit in us…with the ability to work thru us to reach others. The thing is, for God to work thru us, we have to act! Does it have to be some grand gesture? Absolutely not.  Every little act of faith exercised has a far reaching impact when used by the Holy Spirit.

What holds you back from exercising faith?  We all have struggles of one sort or another.  Me? I’ve often struggled with validation – acceptance – whatever you want to call it….doubt creeps in….ususally when I’m trying really hard to carry out God’s call on my life to share a journey of faith through writing.  My head knows Truth, but pieces of my heart faulter and stumble.  In retrospect it’s also clear to see that’s when I’m relying on my own strength – see how easily the glass can shatter without Christ as the center?! Thankfully God is so merciful to provide encouragement when confidence wanes by sharing a glimpse of how authentic obedience can impact another life.  The thing is, we rarely get to see how God uses our acts of obedience.  What to do? Choose to rest in His Word for guidance, assurance and affirmation

5 I wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. 6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and my honor come from God alone.  – Psalm 62:5-7

What about God’s call on your life? The big and small – how do you choose to respond?

signature1

Advertisements

Lost in the Woods

Fair Breeze 040Last month I was visiting friends at their property in the country.  I’d been several times before, so I’d developed a sense of the layout.  I’d been on several walks, but never on my own.  My friends were working on a project where I was of no particular use, so I decided a walk through the woods would be nice before I set out on my way back to Houston.

There were numerous managed (i.e. mowed) trails to choose from – I chose the one I thought would take the longest – off I went with Buddy (their dog) leading the way!

In no time at all, we came to the end of the mowed path…the path ahead was still there…it just wasn’t clearly marked.  Buddy appeared confident in the direction we were headed and so I followed. Continue reading

God is On the Move!

I’ve heard people speak of a burning desire…a true hunger to dig deeper into God’s Word in order to know Him better – something I wasn’t convinced I could ever really relate to and doubting I understood how to get there.  Little did I realize I’m on the
right path!  Gee…I think there’s Scripture about not leaning on my own understanding….

Low and behold, over the past several months in the midst of chaos, He is clearly becoming my center – the One I’m looking to first and foremost – the One I lean on.  One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is so simple in theory – it’s the execution that proves to be a bit more of a challenge.  I’ve learned acknowledging and accepting are two very different things…

Finances:  Last Fall I acknowledged I needed God involved in my finances, but I wasn’t ready – I wanted to be ready, but I wasn’t – at least not until this past Spring…I prayed – engaged others in praying for me for God to give me the courage to deal with years of neglect…it was ugly, but there was also a sense of peace because He also equipped me with the tools to work through poor decisions of the past.

Little did I know after only a few short months into getting God involved in my finances I would be faced with huge home repair bills.  What started as a minor project, quickly evolved into major home repairs requiring immediate attention – repairs I did not have sufficient savings to cover; after the initial shock subsided, it was surprisingly easy to turn the situation over to Him and fully trust Him to handle it – and He did! Although the damage is extensive, actual costs are coming in thousands below original estimates.

Relationships: saying I wanted God’s will for a relationship and stepping aside for Him to reveal His will? Yeah…it didn’t happen…well, not at first.  And of course I prayed for Him to guide me – I just wasn’t ready to accept His answer.  What I did know?  I wasn’t giving my relationship with God the attention it so desperately needed.  I soon realized I couldn’t do both.  After my many failed attempts to fix things on my own, I finally relinquished control to Him, and I am now enjoying extraordinary peace and He is taking my relationship with Him to a completely different level!

So how did my perspective change so radically?  It didn’t.  I just wasn’t there yet – I was, however, doing EXACTLY what God wants me to do – loving Him through obedience, growing in His Word, and letting Him be involved in my life.  It’s not a magical formula, but it is a transformational process only He can manage.

Distracted by Circumstance?

November 1, 2010

 

Have you ever noticed when you’re driving that if your eyes shift from the road to something else, it’s so easy to veer to one side or the other?  The thing is, it happens SO FAST!  Our relationship with God is exactly the same – distractions can be all sorts of things…good things…seemingly harmless things…and yes, of course, the not so pleasant things.

 

And, have you ever noticed how often God answers prayers through opportunities?  I suppose I knew that subconsciously, but the awareness came to me yesterday at the oddest time…in a movie!  I was listening to Evan Almighty playing in the background and a quote grabbed my attention,

 

“Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, do you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If they pray for courage, does God give them courage, or does he give them opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for their family to be closer, you think God zaps them with warm, fuzzy feelings? Or does he give them opportunities to love each other?” 

 

It gives an entirely different perspective when it comes to embracing opportunities… or as some might view, challenges…

 

The opportunity God has repeatedly set before me the past few months has been ministering to women and witnessing.  Yes, we are ALL called to do that – but how many of us actually embrace the calling?  I can’t say I’ve stepped out there to embrace this opportunity…lean? Yes…but not really pushed out of my comfort zone and lean on God to manage the details. 

 

For several months, I’ve been invited to participate in an outreach ministry sponsored by my church.  Each month volunteers attend a women’s service at the local detention center.  I never seriously considered participating and I suppose it’s mainly because I didn’t see how God could use me in the circumstance…yes, I know…my desire to see the picture before I move and irrational feelings of not being skilled enough to really help someone in that particular situation rearing it’s ugly head. 

 

Then I was reminded of a devotional from a month or so ago entitled “The Perfectionist” – the author used Ex 4:10 – the story of how Moses tried to convince God to choose someone else because he wasn’t an eloquent speaker and 2 Cor 12:9 “…for my power is made perfect in weakness” to make a point.

 

“Have you ever not pursued something because it had to be perfect? There is a fine line between doing things with excellence and being a perfectionist. Perfectionists easily become argumentative with God.  When God places His anointing on you He uses whatever level of skill you have to fulfill His purposes in your life. This is why you need not fear moving into an unfamiliar area if He calls you there.  What is God waiting for you to do? It may be time to step out. He specializes in “cliff-catching.”

 

Well, yesterday was my time to step out!  Out the door at 5AM – that in and of itself is a small miracle…I went with a friend only to discover I was surrounded by friends…friends of God…all eager to serve Him…even though I had no idea what to expect, I wasn’t anxious at all…even though I had no idea how to pray for the women I was about to meet, I too was eager to serve.  We went through the technicalities (forms, ID, etc) and made our way over to the building where service was to be held.  I was so pleasantly surprised by the large number of women choosing to attend the service.  Although my partner took the prayer lead, I silently prayed for him – that the Holy Spirit would guide him – WOW! Talk about powerful! I know, it sounds so simple, right? But I’ve never applied it before – needless to say, I had one of the wettest faces in the building – such sweet tears!

 

It was as if God was saying, “See? I really do know what I’m doing!”  The message that followed was a fabulous reinforcement.  Focus.  Keeping our focus on God in the midst of our circumstances – the message and experience gave me such a wonderful point of view – one He continues to build in me.  It doesn’t matter what is going on around me…as long as my focus is centered on God, whatever circumstance (pleasant or a bit more challenging) crosses my path, I can work through…with Him.  And when I view circumstances of others, if I take a moment to try and see it through God’s perspective, I just might see, as in the case of the women at the detention center, we have so much in common!  First and foremost, God loves each and every one of us equally.  We all live through the consequences of our actions and in each circumstance there is an opportunity to grow and know Him better.