Thankfull living

Thankful.

Every Thanksgiving, we are reminded to celebrate all we have to be thankful for in our lives.

But God doesn’t want us to just be especially thankful once a year. He longs for us to be thank-full every day, in every situation, every time we can.

You recall that verse “Give thanks in all circumstances” we hear every year around Thanksgiving? There’s more to it….for it wasn’t meant to stand on its own!

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. –¬†1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Be cheerful no matter what.

Being of good cheer is part choice, and part based upon how we handle the emergencies and hard situations we face. Which links it to the next instruction in this verse:

Pray all the time.

All the time. Out loud, in your mind, or with your spirit, constantly bringing everything to Him in the moment.

And when we connect with Him as we do so?

(We can) Give thanks in all circumstances.

Only when all three occur together does the last part of this verse make complete sense:

This (cheerfully praying with thanks every step of all we encounter) is the way God wants His Beloved to live….

Choosing joy.
Connected with Him.
Celebrating with thanks.

This Thanksgiving season, take the time to look back on how God has been with you in every season, and what He walked you through.

Smile. (Laugh, twinkle your eyes or flash your dimple!) Because cheerful inside usually leads to a sign on the outside! ūüôā

Pray. However you pray. Whether by speaking it. Thinking it. Writing it. Singing it. Drawing it. On your own. In two or three. At home. At work. Over coffee. While walking.

Thank-fully. We are so extra blessed when we are part of God’s family! We are loved beyond measure by our Father. We belong. We are inheritors of the Kingdom, made whole and clean in Jesus. We are free. We have access to resources surpassing our comprehension through Holy Spirit. We are never alone.

Because God is fully with us through all things, we can always, and in all ways, have a reason to be thank-full.

And then these verses, in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, become as they were intended by God in our lives: Thanks-living as we express how thank-full we are to Him!

#thankfull #hopefortheharddays

image

Sunday Psalm: in the depths

In the depths
where we hide our hearts
the deep cries are made

In the heights
of Heaven
Your tears at our plight
were great

For You so loved us all
You decided to send
part of Yourself
to meet our need
with the gift of Your son
merged with our DNA

Such depth to Your love

That very same babe
free to be a Rabbi of renown
who spread Your Words of love
as He walked through our towns
speaking peace to our hearts
and life into our hidden places

No matter to You
was too large or too small
You touched each of us
with the greatest Love of all

Such depth to Your Love

Never ending
Your love will go on and on
Forever
Your heart will beat for me
Drawing me out
from where I’ve hidden away
into Your embrace
which restores each day

Such depth to Your Love!

#SundayPsalm

image

Thanksliving

Thankful.

Every Thanksgiving, we are reminded to celebrate all we have to be thankful for in our lives.

But God doesn’t want us to just be especially thankful once a year.

He longs for us to be thank-full every day, in every situation, every time we can.

You recall that verse “Give thanks in all circumstances” we hear every year around Thanksgiving?

There’s more to it….for it wasn’t meant to stand on its own!

Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Be cheerful no matter what.

Being of good cheer is part choice, and part based upon how we handle the emergencies and hard situations we face. Which links it to the next instruction in this verse:

Pray all the time.

All the time. Out loud, in your mind, or with your spirit, constantly bringing everything to Him in the moment.

And when we connect with Him as we do so?

(We can) Give thanks in all circumstances.

Only when all three occur together does the last part of this verse make complete sense:

This (cheerfully praying with thanks every step of all we encounter) is the way God wants His Beloved to live….

Choosing joy.
Connected with Him.
Celebrating with thanks.

This Thanksgiving season, take the time to look back on how God has been with you in every season, and what He walked you through.

Smile. (Laugh, twinkle your eyes or flash your dimple!)

Because cheerful inside usually leads to a sign on the outside! ūüôā

Pray.

However you pray. Whether by speaking it. Thinking it. Writing it. Singing it. Drawing it. On your own. In two or three. At home. At work. Over coffee. While walking.

Thank-fully.

We are so extra blessed when we are part of God’s family!

We are loved beyond measure by our Father. We belong.

We are inheritors of the Kingdom, made whole and clean in Jesus. We are free.

We have access to resources surpassing our comprehension through Holy Spirit. We are never alone.

Because God is fully with us through all things, we can always, and in all ways, have a reason to be thank-full.

And then these verses, in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, become as they were intended by God in our lives:

Thanksliving as we express how thank-full we are to Him!

on course

People lose their way when they lose their why.

РMichael Hyatt 

You & I have something that millions of people out there do not have and long for.

We know our why.

We know why we are here.

We know who made us.

We generally know what He desires for us, and when we spend time with Him. we begin to learn what He wants for us in the moment, right where we are.

We know His love, His blessing, His grace & mercy, His forgiveness, His restoration.

When you know the One who made you, and why you are here, you can walk confident along the way He has for you.

When we know our Why, we can walk His way.

We are here because He purposes each of us to be.

Each of us has a way to walk which He has planned for us, while He walks alongside us.

Our Way is not just a destination but a person.

Jesus said to him, “I am the Way, and the truth, and the life. 

John 14:6

He is not only the way back to God, He is the reward we get to enjoy forever at the end.

When we live our life the way He long for us to live, we know our why….

Being in relationship, walking, with Him.

When we know the Way, our why, we can make it through the hard times of questions, grief and doubt which can take us over & try to suck us under.

Because He’s got us through it all.

Our Way never lets go of His whys.

Each of us is why He died & rose again.

Jesus was able to walk the path He had to take for our redemption because He knew His why.

And it was you & I.

Let’s follow in His footsteps, deepening our faith as we walk, knowing we are His why & He alone is our Way.

image

free to be

Today is Canada Day, and Independence Day for our neighbors to the south is fast behind.

These dates remind me of the cost of freedom.

Much blood has been shed, and even more prayer, hope & dreams invested in freedom around the world.

And yet, we still have slavery, prejudice, racism & hatred in the forefront of many news stories.

It isn’t enough to be free.

We need to stay free.

Free to not make those same bad choices we may have made in the past.

Free from seeing others through our selfish human viewpoint.

Free to be all God desires for us to be.

We are not called to judge one another.  God is more than enough and capable of handling that role without us.

We are called to love, and proclaim freedom in His Name, for His ways.

We need to stay free of stepping into the role of judge.  We are to be His hands & feet, walking free and speaking His freedom for all.

Does that mean we don’t comment on the atrocities going on in the world around us?

Not at all, because God’s heart is breaking over the hurt caused in the wake of full blown sin.

We are called to help heal the wounds, not add to them.

We are called to help set the captives free. Love up on hurting hearts. Pray for those who don’t yet know they are meant to be free to encounter Him.

We are free to leave the judgment to God. His Word speaks for itself as to what His standards are. The cross shouts His love to open hearts. His Spirit speaks to those who are listening.

We are free to be ourselves, and love the world as He leads us to love them.  How that looks for you may be very different than it does for me, because of how we are gifted.  God uses each of us as He purposes, for His glory.

We were set free at a great cost, in the ultimate battle.
God won.

May we press in close to Him, as His Spirit leads us into greater & deeper freedom. 

May we share His freedom & His heart, and allow God alone to be the judge.

May we hear where we are to best serve, and wholeheartedly do so for His glory.

We are all free to choose how we interact with one another.

His choice was your freedom.

Forever.

Let Your freedom be part of our battle cry, Lord.

May we worship with abandon, and freely love as You have loved us.

Forever grateful.

image

resident

Resident: noun; a person who lives somewhere permanently or on a long-term basis.

Reside: verb;
1. have one’s permanent home in a particular place.
2. be situated.
3. (of power or a right) belong by right to a person or body.

Beloved, did you know God wants you to live, to reside with Him always?  Permanently.

As gobsmacking as that concept is to take at face value, it goes way deeper than this…this idea of resident.

Because not only does He want you to live, reside with Him, He sends Holy Spirit to take up residence, to reside within each of us who belong to Him.

We receive the right to have Holy Spirit, in all His power & Godness, as full time resident within us.

Mind blowing, isn’t it?!

Jesus was a walking living breathing demo to us of this, as He and His Father were one, each living within the other despite one being wrapped in humanity & the other in full unharnessed radiant divinity.

He lives in me, I live in Him.

God situated, with me in every situation, as I reside, found in Him.

God invites us to become full time, permanent residents in Him, and longs for us to allow Holy Spirit to freely move in all the areas within us.

We get the keys to His home, when we give over our keys within to Him.

Each new room we give up releases us to run into a new wonder, more of the wide open spaces of freedom God has waiting for us.

I don’t know about you, but I love being at home, and being made to feel welcome wherever i visit.

We all long to return where we are wondrously welcomed.

And how You welcome us into Your arms, heart & Home!

God, I welcome You into my whole life. Jesus, I thank You for covering my sin & making me right with You. Holy Spirit, make Yourself at home in me. Wherever I need a makeover, gently lead me to the right tools I need to set me free, and rebuild as You desire me to be.

May I reside in You, be found in You, no matter what, all my days.

May I be so familiar with Your Presence that heaven will confirm my feeling of home in the here and now.

Take a moment, and listen to: http://soaking.net/sarah-busco-make-your-home-inside-my-heart/

image

Allow God to speak to your heart about His moving in, and your moving deeper into His Presence & Stronghold.  Soak in Him, rest in His embrace.

May He embrace you as you seek Him afresh.

Note: Sarah Brusco is a Vineyard worship leader, through whom I have been blessed by her worshipful heart. She can be followed at https://m.facebook.com/thewovenwhisper or @SarahBrusco.

hedgeaway Home

Yesterday, I startled a sweet little bird as I took my Nordic poles out for a spin.  Like the giant to Jack, I must have appeared a formidable threat.

Before those of you who have met me laugh too hard at that thought, I don’t mention it because of what I did, but rather what the bird did that split second after encountering me.

Along the boundary lines of this property is a hedge.

That wee bird headed for its entrance point in that hedge so quickly, I almost missed it.

An entrance way now made visible from all the traffic made by this tiny bird.

When trouble comes and appears like a giant above us, we too have a hedge we can run to for safety & protection.

God.

He is our Stronghold, our restful hiding place. In His Presence giants shrink to their proper size when aligned with His grandeur & majesty.

The truth is? Like that bird, we can be easily startled by anything  coming our way.

We don’t have to remain that way.

Today, join me in hiding away in His embrace.  Jesus made the pathway known back to our true Home.

It’s up to us to choose where we want to live.

Because our bodies are just the outer shell for the eternal spirit within.

We can choose where our spirit will live.  In the shadow of giants or in the shadow of His Presence.

I can assure you, no giant will appear to be larger than God when you begin to measure it against the God of the universe.

Cancer, debt, mental illness, abandonment, infidelity, loss?

God is bigger.
Greater.
All in.
Cheering you on.
Loving up on you.
Your safe place for all the emotions swirling within.

You can stay living in the land of giants, fearfully always looking over your shoulder….or staying close to Him throughout your day. Knowing with a plea or thought, He will remind you He is with you in less than a split second.

We can fly in His Presence.

We need to remember when the giant’s shadows begin to appear…..

Our hiding place is His embrace, always and forever.

Like that bird, may we fly into His stronghold at the first sign of trouble, and live secure knowing He is all we need for all we face.

image

running for or to your life

I don’t think you’re running away.
I think you are running for your life.

#TheMercifulScar

Are you tired of running for your life?

When we try to run from our troubles, we end up running for our survival.

Everything we do, our whole life becomes incorporated in the run.

Running for our life implies we are afraid of what is behind us, what may be chasing us.

And that terror feeds our need to keep running.

Running for your life only reveals what is driving you.

Let me explain.

When your fears or hurts are in the driver’s seat, ¬†you are running on impulse, feelings.

Which may or may not be true, or may not ever come true.

It is the actions that follow our feelings which reveals why we do what we do.

If fear is driving you, you run afraid of being caught.

If pain is ushering you on, you run towards anything you can find to dull your pain.

This kind of running only leads to physical exhaustion, excessive mental stress, emotional instability and spiritual drought.

We were never meant to run under such duress, trying to make it on our own.

We were meant to run towards.

Towards what God has for us.

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

Along side Him,

  • the wind behind us,
  • the power strengthening us,
  • the love sustaining us,

we are to run the path of our lives, knowing God is waiting for us at the end of our race.

We were never meant to run any other way.

Jesus came to clear the way for us to run into His arms, find our true Home, and fully live our lives with purpose and intention.

Not allowing our failures, hurts & wounds to cause us to run away from the lives He wants for us.

Its time to hang up your old sneakers, leaving your hangups with them, and lace up your new running shoes of the faith.

For God doesn’t just give us new clothes to cover us when we bring our dirty laundry to Him, He gives us new shoes, ones that help us spread the gospel of peace.

We cannot be spreading peace when we are in survival mode.

Take a few minutes, and ask God to let you know where you have been running for your life, allowing fear or pain to drive you along.  Give Him whatever memory or thought that comes to mind as a result.  Call out to Him. Ask Him to free you from running away from His best for you, and wait as He speaks to you all He has for you to hear to help you run the race along side Him.

There is no better running partner than the One who designed you. The One who died so you can run with Him. The One who constantly coaches and guides you. The One who never leaves you, no matter the circumstance or storm!

The One who will be meeting you at the end of your race, to embrace you and welcome you to where you belong forever: with Him.

He is the prize at the end of our race.

Be sure to run towards Him.
image

when the ground is shaking

Your work schedule has drastically changed,

illness has suddenly inconvenienced you,

the bills keep getting higher,

and the weight of it all makes you feel like you are on shaky ground.

Maybe, just maybe, you are like me.

You can carry too much on your own shoulders, and all it takes is one shift of one situation to throw your balance off kilter.

Like Chicken Little, you begin to think the sky is falling, and you proceed to run around like a little chick in circles.

You too may forget to look up, & give up.

Look up into the face of the One who wants to show you the love He has for you.

Give up trying to do it all alone, and allow Him to shoulder the burden you were never designed to carry.

That sounds so simple, yet many days i find it more of a struggle.

Because i forget to look up, and give up.

When He strengthens me, i can do way more than i ever dreamed or believed i could.

Because He is so much more than we can even imagine!

When i make the time to worship, dig deeper into the Word, and listen to hear His voice above the world’s murmurs of busyness….He never fails to remind me He is there for me, and longs for me to look up, and give up. ¬†When i do, these words come to life within me:

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.
 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.   Psalm 62:1-2 ESV

And He reminds me of these such truths, through my daily quiet time, worship, instagram, Twitter & Facebook, the words of fellow believers and even different translations of the same verse.! Sometimes hearing a familiar Word put a different way can awaken your soul to it afresh:

God, the one and only‚ÄĒI‚Äôll wait as long as He says.¬†Everything I need comes from Him,¬†so why not?¬†He‚Äôs solid rock under my feet,¬†breathing room for my soul,¬†An impregnable castle:¬†I‚Äôm set for life. ¬†Psalm 62:1-2 MSG

God, may i ever take my eyes off of myself & my circumstances and look up to You first before and above all.

Help me to give up what i am carrying, even if i don’t know i am. Free up space within for my soul to breathe in Your company. ¬†Be the solid Rock i am anchored upon, my hiding place & fortress of strength.

In and through and with You, I can make it through, knowing You are more than enough, all i need.

psalm 62v1n2

 

in habit

As I was walking & worshipping early this afternoon, I was reminded by Martin Smith how God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3).

I find that when I am intentional with my praise, I feel closer to God.

If He lives in, He inhabits our praise?

Praise should become our habit!

God waits for us to praise so He can move in us in a greater way.

No matter the situation, God deserves to be praised.

Because of who He is.

We have a tendency to want to praise only when things go right, don’t we?

But God isn’t human, and is without flaw. He is always good, always for us,and never changes.
He loves us no matter what we have done. Always.  As His kids, He is 100% in our corner, loving up on us and present with us.

Those facts make Him worthy of praise, don’t they?

Regardless of what is happening in our day, our bodies or our relationships, begin to purposefully make His praise your habit.

He is waiting to inhabit your praises!

I don’t know about you, but I want Him to be as delighted to live in me as possible.

If my praise makes more room for Him to dwell in, it is a worthwhile habit to be investing in!

image