Hello from the other side

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Over the past calendar week, I have experienced more highs and lows than any other time I can recall.  Relationship tensions, tears and sudden bad news amidst a new freedom to be more the me God desires me to be.  All in one.

And not knowing how things are going to look when the blitz of the now hits with gale force power is an uncomfortable place to be, isn’t it?

Yesterday, God reminded me of a truth I had forgotten.  He is the God who was, who is and is to come.

God has always been with us even though we may not have noticed Him or know Him yet.

God is always with us, in the breath we are taking right now.

These two are not the mind blowing news I needed to hear, because I know those to be true, for they have been my constant companions since officially becoming His Beloved.

The Adele song which is all the rage right now has a line that aligned itself into perfect sync this morning  – and the flash of understanding which has followed can only be Holy Spirit highlighting His truth within me.

The future is not yet here. It’s up ahead, but just outside of our reach.  We can’t tangibly see or touch it but we all know that we know time continues to pass.

What I had forgotten was on that other side of now, God is already there…as I heard Him sing to me, “Hello from the other side!”

I can trust He will be there in the not yet future I can’t see.

I can rest in the knowledge He is already there when I get there.

He sees me as I arrive there and desires to guide me there. 

And because He already knows what is to come, He best knows how to help me get there.

God is all three, the God who was, the God who is, and the God was is to come.  All the time, beyond time!

If you need a particular glimpse of God who was, the Bible contains thousands of snapshots of how He has moved on His Beloved’ behalf, over and over.

We can hear His voice speak about how He is with us, right where we are at through His Word.

And the book of Revelation reminds us He is coming again, has a place just waiting for us, and the future is set. Good will win.

This God, who sees the other side of every situation we have ever been in, are currently facing or will ever encounter?

He is deserving  of our thanks, and more than worthy of our trust.

What kind of crackpot are you?

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Years ago, a well known prophetic teacher spoke a word to me which has stuck with me through the hard times.

Basically, it is sometimes hard being me because I don’t fit normal.

And for years I struggled with that very feeling.

Why am I not normal?

Why do people look at me like I am a crackpot for that suggestion?

It has taken several conversations with my Abba to comprehend the reality.

Normal is just a setting on a dryer or a number made up by skewing averages to fit your intended target.

Normal is in reality different for each and every one of us, because we are each different. On purpose.

It’s fine with God that I am nutso for words and music, sisterhood and family, creativity and sensitivity, the prophetic and healing.

Because that is my normal when I step into being who He has made me to be.

Yours may be patterns or numbers, works of your hands, the ability to strike up a conversation wherever you do, cooking like a chef, making baked goods to drool over tinkering with technology, teaching with skill, or organizing the best events…

However we best express His handiwork is to be our normal.

Without His guidance and empowering, our potential, our normal may fizzle into stagnant flatlines.

Today, come to the throne.
Press close to His Presence.
Invite His whispers of love.
Seek His wisdom and direction.
Rest in His embrace.

Then step out into the normal He has waiting for you.

When we take the leap of faith, He catches us. EVERY TIME.

Normal for us is to be the supernatural of Him with us, in us, and through us, Beloved.

It’s time to tune out the world’s loud suggestions of what normal should look like for us, and heed His Words.

Chosen.

Crated by hand.
His.
One of a kind.
Set apart for His purposes.
Empowered.
Necessary to His heart.

Be yourself, Beloved.
Normally living life in His hands šŸ˜‰

Regrets

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Like all of us, I too have regrets in my past.

Not meeting Jesus earlier.
My behaviour in many situations.
My response to several circumstances.
The lack of love or compassion I failed to show many who crossed my path.
How I have been as a daughter, sister, niece, granddaughter, cousin. Wife, mother. Friend, coworker, band mate, employee.
My walk as a follower of Jesus.

Like the image above, many days my regrets follow me around.

What I realized this morning is like the elephant’s egrets, my regrets were meant to serve a purpose.
But not be my 24/7 companion.

When regrets take His place, we take our gaze off His face.

Regrets are a reminder to us to drop to our knees before Him, confess our failings, ask for His grace, then walk in His strength.

Not cause us to do a u-turn away from our present and future living.

God didn’t save us to leave us where He found us, full of regrets, wounds and sin.

He brings us up out of the kingdom of darkness and cleans us off with His holiness.

He clothes us in His identity as one of His household.

He infuses us with His love, like a long fragrant perfumed bath.

He envelops us with hope.

He empowers us with His strength.

And He Himself wants to walk with us, every moment of every day.

Notice the verb tense changed to present, even though I was referring to my past, when He met me, where He found me.

God’s redemption may have occurred once for our salvation, yet it is meant to occur daily for our freedom.

We are fragile beings who have a tendency to focus on what is going wrong instead of all which is going well with us.

God knew this as our Designer.

For God too faced regrets, as we can see in the Word.

He regretted making man at least once, leading to the flood. He regretted His children falling into sin and being lured away by placing their hopes in false gods. (Israel, over and over again)

Yet He never showed regret for giving us the gift of new life through Jesus.

Living a new life means having no permanent regrets following us around. Your regrets get to flock into your past when you place them in Jesus’ loving hands. They become part of your history, not features in your ongoing story.

Regrets turn into redirection as God helps us live the life He has waiting for us to live in Him.

Make a list of your regrets. Bring them before the Lord and ask Him to guide you out of your past into the life ahead of you today. Then toss that list into the fireplace, or run it through your shredder.

God makes all things new, even me and you!

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Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith.

Trust the love of God to help you uproot those regrets, so you can bear the fruit and enjoy the life He wants for you in this moment.

The life you spend together.

careless in His care

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I have been an avid bird lover since I learned that penguin parents sing to their young.

As a ‘songbird’ myself, that resonated deep within me.

I liked that love can be shown through a song.

As a child, i often wondered to myself who cared for all the wild birds I enjoyed soaring across the sky, nesting in the trees and flocking around.

That question gave me a swift shove after I became a believer as a young adult, and first read Matthew 6.

I am called to live carefree.

Nor carefree without consideration for others, but carefree in the ability not to worry.

Because I am covered under His wings, safe in His embrace, completely cared for by the God who loves me.

And the birds we all see about us remind me of that truth almost every day.

If birds are cared for, all their needs are met and they are able to chirp, fly, nest as birds are meant to do because of His care….why do we tend to think He would care less for us?

As a mom and wife, I have a tendency to make sure my kids and hubby are well taken care of before meeting my own needs.

That is a characteristic of our heavenly Father we reflect here on earth, when we care for our loved ones.

He’s a good good Father.
It’s who He is.
Not chooses to be, but intrinsically part of His very nature.

So when we read verses about living carefree in His care? He wants is to take Him literally.

For God doesn’t lie.

If He says He is caring for us, He is.

If He says we are of great value to Him, we are.

You don’t offer up your son as a sacrifice for people you don’t care about.

You give your best for those you adore, don’t you? On their birthday, graduation, Christmas?

God gave His very best on a regular day, because He knew we would need to know He cares about all our days, not just the religious ones.

Just as every bird is under His watch, so is the rest of creation.

But the pinnacle of His love is found in the ones He made in His image.

You and me.

We are the ones He cares so much for He made sure His heart of love and all the actions it inspired was recorded. A living testimony to the God of life who allowed Himself to be recorded within the Word.

In snapshots of promise, hope, purpose, love and care.

His love in action, caring for us all.

He not only shows us how much He loves us, He reminds us how much He longs to take our cares upon His shoulders and shoulder the load for us.

Every care we have matters to Him, because all of us matter to Him. All our hopes, dreams, worries, concerns…. He cares about it all.

So I don’t have to carry my cares all upon my shoulders.

He calls me to bring what I care about to Him, and allow Him to carry it for me, so I can live carefree in His care.

His love is so great for me, He not only rescued me but He holds my cares for me.

He paid a weight of love to redeem me from my sin, and carries the weight of my cares so I can be free to follow Him without worry.

Does that mean I never worry?
I can honestly say, I don’t worry as long as I used to.

God made this verse come alive to me about 15 years ago and each year I take shorter and shorter the length of time to bring my cares to His waiting hands.

I am loved by You.
It’s who I am.
Completely cared for in the safety of Your love.

May God give you too a revelation of His love for you. May it awaken within you like the song you were meant to sing. May you remove the weight of your cares, and allow Him to carry them, and you, as you follow Him into the wide open spaces of grace He has waiting for you.

disappointment

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It’s still there.

That disappointment you have been trying to avoid bringing into the light.

Thinking that if you don’t look at it, it won’t hurt as much. 

Harbouring our hurts only deepens them.

I have struggled with many disappointments over the years, and I have discovered the truth: each disappointment is the opportunity for a divine appointment.

Have you been praying for something you hold dear, and it hasn’t happened yet?

Did someone you love let you down, again?

Has it been x number of years since your last raise?

Did you get passed over for promotion?

Has your significant other broken up with you?

Did your loved one die even though you had been praying for their healing?

Have your womb and arms remained empty despite your petitions?

Last night, He reminded me in my LifeGroup that what matters to us, matters to Him.

Money has been tight for the past few years. Surgeries & schooling, unexpected car repairs & time off work without any raises can leave you frustrated.  I had been praying for increase, however God wants to bless us with it, and not seen almost any fruit in quite some time. All our needs are covered, except my desire to be debt free.

We were invited to pray what was on our hearts during LifeGroup, and as I had already stepped our on Sunday to ask people to join me in praying for something related but equally important, I decided to not speak up about that need, and my disappointment it hasn’t yet come to pass.

Imagine my shock when God prophetically spoke that exact request through the leader a few moments later.  Increase is coming.

God has a way of reminding us we can always bring what is bothering us to Him, doesn’t He?

He has never informed me that what was on my heart was insignificant when I brought it before Him.

He has always welcomed me with open arms, heard me out and loved up on me wherever I was at.  Whether I share my joys, pain, hurts, grief, or blessings.

Every disappointment I experience can lead to my experiencing God in a deeper way, if I not only bring it to Him, but give it to Him.

I have it all planned outā€”plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. Jeremiah 29:11 MSG

Come near to God and He will come near to you. James 4:8

And when we do?

He meets us there.

We experience divine appointment in exchange for our disappointment.

As I stop typing and move on to spending some time with Him this morning, I will close by leaving you with one of my favorite passages to claim when I am struggling with loss or disappointment, when the road ahead is unclear.

May He meet you right where your disappointments are, as you bring them into the light of His Presence. May He comfort & strengthen you too, as you draw near, and remind you of the blessings He has in store for you.

Psalm 23 (MSG)
TheĀ LordĀ is my shepherd,Ā I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides meĀ along the right paths for His nameā€™s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cupĀ overflows. Surely Your goodness and loveĀ will follow me
all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of theĀ Lord
forever.

tick off the to-do list

There is almost nothing more satisfying to an organizer than. being able to check an item off their to-do list.

Organizers naturally love to make lists, and I am sure this characteristic has its perfect mirror in God. 

Because He didn’t just make the planet, He planned it.

I have a tendency to plan and tenaciously just stick to it.  Which we all need to do to a certain extent in the face of adversity, but can become a problem when God is calling you to hand it over.

That’s right. Just coz we planned it doesn’t mean it was always His plan for us.

You see, God knows life is about to happen.  That project deadline gets moved up, your child gets sick, your pay cheque is a little lighter than usual, the car has a flat.

And if we insist on same old, same old we can miss the blessings God has for us when we are willing to hand our plans over so He can unfurl His.

I have been experimenting with handing my day over to God this past two weeks.  I had to take a stand I wasn’t comfortable with, and release my fear & desire to be in control into His more than capable hands.

You know what? I am way less stressed and more content once God got me out of my way.

When I go where He leads, I join the current’s flow of what He is doing.

I have been building spiritual whitespace (grateful thanks to Bonnie Gray for penning that phrase) into my life, and writing in pencil (figuratively) as I wait for God to reveal His plan for my day.

Because He knows the plans He has for me in full, I can trust Him in the now to lead me along the proper path to arrive where He intends me to be in the future.

My to-do list may be filled with serving, but my time is best served when He writes my day in His hand.

So I use my time blessing those He wants me to bless, in His timing, for His plans, for His glory.

Join me as together we let go of the lie that we are in full control over our day. Thank Him for this new day He has gifts us with.  Ask Him to write the day He has planned for us in our hearts.  Follow where He leads.

The to-do list we are to be most interested in is His, always. 

Time after time, into eternity.

Tick tock goes the clock.

My life in Your hands,
my gifts & times Yours.

So tick off your earthly to do list as you must, while you press in moment by moment & allow Him to interrupt you with the to-do list of Heaven.

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all access pass

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image via Remade Ministries

Over and over, I fail.
His love for me remains,
constant, solid, dependable.

Unlike me.

I am nowhere near perfect, inside or out, but I am no longer where I was when He found me.

One thing has changed me for eternity: His love.

And His love is a constant flowing moving living force. It isn’t passive. It is actively seeking out those wanting to be soaked in His Presence, changed by & for His glory.

God never turns away those upon whom Jesus has bestowed His mark, for His love grants us an all access pass to His courts, a freely given gift to enter His Presence, this King over all, at any time.

At any time, you & I have access to the Father.

At any time, you & I have access to Jesus.

At any time, you & I have access to Holy Spirit.

At any time means just that…

Today, take the all access pass you’ve been gifted, and join me as together we use it.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving in your heart.

Sing a new psalm of praise as you remember all He has done for you.

Bring the offering of your sin & past, to leave at the altar & exchange for peace & a future.

Be filled with His living water, coated in the oil of gladness, received with living bread.

The weather outside may be drab or dreary, your soul may be tattered or weary, the path ahead fearful or leery.

Your all access pass brings you straight in to the Holy of Holies, into the arms of the One who calls you Beloved, and longs for you even more than you desire to draw close to Him!

Don’t let your pass stay in your back pocket, only to be used in emergencies.

You will never overuse it, ever.

Any time, any place, for any reason, you have all access to God!

for the best

No weapon that can hurt you has ever been forged.
Any accuser who takes you to court will be dismissed as a liar.
This is whatĀ Godā€™s servants can expect.
Iā€™ll see to it that everything works out for the best.

Ā -Godā€™s Decree, Isaiah 54:17

God Himself has told us what to expect in the battle days ahead.

There is no weapon forged or fashioned that can ever separate us from Him, nor that will defeat us.

But how is this possible when I have ____________ afflicting me right now, you may ask?

Our physical bodies are not eternal, only our spirit is.

And when we are His, He’s got our spirit covered & surrounded with His.

So the garment we all wear, our body, may get hurt in the flack of battle.

But that part of us that is most precious is safe in His care, when we hide ourselves in His embrace, His Stronghold, in Him.

The accuser of the brethren? He is known for who he really is, a liar. There is no wool he can pull over God’s eyes to trick Him.Ā  God knows his true nature, and will always expose him as the liar he is.

God’s plan, His best for us, His children?

It will always come to pass when God is in control of the world, which He always is.

The enemy may have won ground, but that ground always was, always is, and always will be His.

The One who made all things will never give up on His plans being fulfilled, its not in His nature to give up.

He continues to speak His truth into our Spirit, to give us hope when all we can see is dim or shrouded in uncertainty:

I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you, give you a hope & a future.

All things work together for My good.

You can do all things in My strength.

You are never alone, I am always with you.

May our spirits remind us of the truths God plants within us to help us through the hard times, and may we never cease to keep our eyes on our Protector & Lover of our souls, no matter what is surrounding us.

He’s got us, He will never leave us,and all things will work together for our best. For He has promised it, and declared it to be!

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leaf it alone- seasons of relationships part 1

Fall always reminds me God has a season in mind for letting go.

Just as the leaves are meant to fall, so are the weights of worries, concerns, secrets and burdens we carry, to our own detriment. In some instances, it may be an unhealthy relationship or addictive behavior He may be calling you to leave behind.

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We only tend see the death of autumn as leaf after leaf start to fall…but without the leaves falling to the ground, the next season can’t arrive.

We need to let go so God can move us on.

Each leaf knows when its time to leave, when the winds of change are blowing strong.

Leaves are meant to fall, not hang around past their time.

God has designed us to not hang onto burdens for more than for a short season.

He is enough to help us leave our pasts behind us. To let go of the pain. To be healed of our wounds. (Psalm 55:22) To give you peace and rest. (Matthew 11:28)

No matter your past, God is present.

He wants to fill us with hope and give us a bright future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Leave the old behind, and let it make room for the new season He has in store for you.

We are called to have faith.
He not only gives us fresh hope,
He makes all things new. (Revelation 21:5)

We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.
~Rick Warren

God is the soft place for us to fall as we let go and leave ourselves in His hands. šŸ™‚

hope for the disqualified

I have a problem.

I am too hard on myself.

In a way that isn’t healthy.

I tend to talk myself out of where God wants me to be.

You see, I didn’t finish bible college. I have some, but not a lot of higher level musical or writing training. I have read a great deal of works that have helped shape me, but not had a close mentor for the past few years.

Despite all that, God is still calling me to move ahead with a purpose.

Me.

Like Moses, I wonder, “Why me? There are others more skilled, more gifted, brighter and more eloquent than me!”

If you can relate, coz you disqualify yourself from doing as He asks of you too, then I have some hope to offer you:

And we know that in all things God works for the goodĀ of those who love him, who have been calledĀ according to his purpose. For those God foreknewĀ he also predestinedĀ to be conformed to the image of his Son,Ā that he might be the firstbornĀ among many brothers and sisters.Ā And those he predestined,Ā he also called;those he called, he also justified;Ā those he justified, he also glorified.

Romans 8:28-30 NIV

Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called.Ā Not many of you were wiseĀ by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.Ā But God choseĀ the foolishĀ things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.Ā God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things ā€”and the things that are notā€” to nullify the things that are,Ā so that no one may boast before him.

1Corinthians 1:26-29 NIV

When we live with ourselves, we can’t see what God sees in us…but we are seeing ourselves the way we were before coming into the Kingdom. Focusing our weaknesses and lack.

God sees us as His vessels to fill, so we can pour His love out into the lonely, broken hearts of those struggling around us.

Our weakness makes room for His strength.

Our lack makes space for His more than able.

He proves He is enough, when we know we aren’t enough without Him.

Stop putting yourself down, and trying to disqualify yourself from what He has called you to be.

If He called you to it, He will equip you for it.

That might seem trite, but the Bible is filled of the people He used, despite their earthly disqualifications.

Spend some time with Him, and ask Him to reveal if you need to break off any lie you have believed about not being good enough.

Because we aren’t.
He is.

If you believe He can’t use you until…..you have missed the point.

He can use those willing to be used.

Period.

Read through the following list of just a few of those God used…you may recognize yourself somewhere in these names.

In the Kingdom, its about His ability, not our inability.

Let Him remind you of the Hope you have in Him for all things, as you offer yourself to serve Him where He has called you.

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I

know what Iā€™m doing. I have it all planned outā€”plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

Jeremiah 29:11 MSG