Thursday, May 26, 2016

No Dead Ends

"The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
the plans of His heart from generation to generation."
Psalm 33:11

There is always a way forward with God.  He is never boxed in by "circumstances."

His plans are never thwarted.

Sometimes what we see as a dead end is actually a divinely engineered rest, for learning and for building our faith, while He clears the brush away for us to see the path ahead--the path that He knew was there all the time.

So thankful He is leading, and I am the one following,

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Fifty-Two Weeks Of Wonder

I have accepted the challenge to read through the whole Bible in one year.  I am only in week two and I am already overwhelmed by His mercy and at His feet in awe and wonder.  Have I read this before?  Yes, most of it.  Does it ever get old?  Never.  Is there always something new?  Absolutely!

"Open my eyes, 
that I may behold WONDERFUL things from Your law."
Psalm 119:18

You know that's a prayer He will answer!

With expectant joy,

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Platform of Pain

“You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, 
having received the word 
in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit…” 
—from Paul’s first letter to the Christians at Thessalonica 
(I Thessalonians 1:6)

That stopped me in my tracks—joy and much tribulation in the same sentence, simultaneously existing in the same life context.  Tribulation and joy are surprisingly uncommon partners indeed.

They’re surprising partners because too often I let my joy be based on my circumstances.  Life happens to me, and I react, and not always well.  Pain or problems pull back the curtain and reveal the foundation for my joy.  Then they point me back to anchoring my joy in Jesus alone.

Please let it end!  Or maybe not...
I usually pray for pain to go away.  But could it be that God wants to do something else through me?  Too often I forget that pain creates a powerful platform.  Joy in the midst of pain is the very last thing a watching world would expect, so people are going to notice it.  When I reflect on my own life, I realize that some of the most powerful testimonies of encouragement and joyful faith I have ever seen were from people in less than ideal circumstances.  

And that’s exactly what happened with the Thessalonian Christians, too.  Paul’s letter goes on…

“…in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit, 
SO THAT you became an example to all the believers 
in Macedonia and in Achaia.” 
(I Thessalonians 1:7)

So people all over heard about their faith and joy in the Lord.  And it gets even better.

“For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you,
not only in Macedonia and Achaia, 
but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, 
so that we have no need to say anything.  
For they themselves report 
about us what kind of a reception we had with you,
 and how you turned to God from idols 
to serve a living and true God…” 
(I Thessalonians 1:8-9)

That’s right.  Paul would arrive somewhere, and the locals would tell him about the Christians at Thessalonica.  Incredible!

In this world you will have tribulation, so open a Fountain of Life stand.
I want to be one of those talked about believers.  Oh, not for my sake, not to draw attention to myself, but because Jesus deserves to have the story of what He’s doing, the story of His joy, told far and wide.  Especially when life isn’t pain-free.

O, Lord, turn our eyes to you, fill us with your joy, and make us magnetic messengers who make the most of the platform of pain, for your glory alone!

All for His Glory,


Friday, October 31, 2014

Mercy Is Real

There is only One who has never failed, and He is never going to say, “You WHAT???”  

He already knows.

“And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”  Hebrews 4:13

Not only that, but He knows what it’s like.  He was tempted, too.  Only He didn’t give in.

“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”  Hebrews 4:14

And He knows we’re going to need mercy—as in not getting what we really deserve.  Mercy is real because what we deserve has already been given to Jesus.

“Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.”  Hebrews 4:16

Isn’t the gospel glorious!!!