LSOF: She Smiles…:)

Sometimes I read the Bible in my dreams. Sometimes I read full passages, and sometimes simple verses.

The most recent dream I remember reading Proverbs 31.  I am going to share that I probably have never actually read that passage of scripture all the way through, but the paper on the desk in front of me actually read Proverbs 31, so there was no question.

I read aloud, ” She laughs.” —-

I have been having a rough time recently.  I would say its due to the fact that so many people around me have been experiencing several different traumas in one way or another.  The one closest being that my mother is still in the hospital with an infection that just doesn’t want to leave her system.

Several friends have had everything happen from job loss, all the way to car accidents in the past month.

When things happen to those closest to you all at once its hard to find the positive, and that is the definite reality.

Here is the verse from my dream after a night of praying and asking God to help me through it.

” She can laugh at the days to come.” (Prov. 31:25b)

And the voice bible translation is also beautiful:

” She smiles when she thinks about the future.”

God has shown my heart through a sweet simple verse that regardless of how life may be, and regardless at what is ahead….

He is our reason to smile, and to laugh at the days ahead.

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LSOF: Different Places, Similar Progress

My heart has really been given some wisdom lately when it comes to people.
We are truly all in different places in our walks.
It also occurred to me that different places in our walk didn’t mean necessarily further.

I tried to wear my Sketcher Shape-ups the other morning, and let me just say they live up to their name, ouch would be a total understatement. I only made it around the block before I just couldn’t take the pain in my calves anymore. I made it to the front door, only to be sure to throw them across the room, and off of my pitiful, and might I add, Out of shape, feet.

It made me upset with myself just a bit, because I have allowed myself to get to this state.

I have a job that has me sit down for 8 hrs a day, and I’ve been doing it now almost a year. It is an amazing job, but muscles wear down when they are not used for a long period of time.

It isn’t my job’s fault that I haven’t used my muscles forever.

I think it is similar when it comes to life situations. When things happen to us, we can’t always deal with it like any other time. Sometimes things are so heavy on our shoulders that we are just too worn out to take a moment to just see the purpose of where we are. There is alway a bigger picture.

When we first get back on our feet after being in a pit for a long period of time, it is hard.
This is why you see Pastor’s and other people in position take a break for awhile, its not that they did something wrong, and its not that they no longer want the position, its just that God has asked for some time to reflect and re-evaluate somethings. Sometimes personal, sometimes the view from our side of everything on the outside.

The pit makes you take a look at your life and see that you are in a place and you are to find the purpose from the place you stand now.

I think people have a tendency to look at those who have had rough times, and had the perception that the person just doesn’t have as much faith as they used to, but please if you are one of those people; know that it is in the rough time God makes us stronger.

I learned this walk really is about gaining wisdom, and within the places we feel we are too weak, God has made another area that is unexpected, stronger.

We are not meant to handle everything on our shoulders at once, We cannot be like Atlas, and I believe that is why there is always something weak God is working to make stronger.

We forget that in the situations we go through that we are indeed learning something essential, but it isn’t in anything anyone tells us, but what God shows us.

I am one who has had the opportunity to allow God to do some crazy things in my life, meet people, and visit some places that seem unbelievable to some, to which I actually sat down and asked someone,
” Am I the one doing this?” and the reply I got was,
” It’s too weird to be you, it has to be God.”

I’ve felt pretty inadequate on several occassions when it comes to people. I guess I always let my insecurities bully me into a corner, and many times I let them hold me there.
I’ve compared myself to those who seem better than me, or know better than me.

It was as if God held my face one day and said, ” LOOK CLOSER.”

I got to see for myself that those who appeared to have it all, they were missing more than I knew.
I got to see their insecurities, and sadly, I watched them fall apart.
It took them off the pedastal I had them on.

I’ve shared a lot about different places we find ourselves in, but something else to know is even though you find yourself where you are, we are all working with similar progress.

We are all working one step at a time, one day at a time, to accomplish our personal and professional goals.

We stop our progress when we let the insecurities in our lives get in the way. We have to just keep walking, fall a little, but learn from the bruises we receive.

We need to encourage one another more, and keep ourselves all in check with how far we’ve come.

Just because progress seems small in your eyes, it might mean the world to someone else.

The dynamic of who God created us to be is found in the moments we struggle in.

He knows we are going to question Him, He knows we are going to fall flat on our face at times…

He also knows that we will come out of everything victorious.

Pain truly is gain, whether you believe it or not.

I’ll leave you with a verse that smacked me clear in the face this week:

2 John 1:8 (NIV, 1984)
“Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully.”

LSOF: Walk In It

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21)

Picture a battlefield. Picture bombs, granades, and shots firing all around. Picture others falling at your side. Some fall and are defeated
and never rise again.

Some get up from the place they are wounded, and get up, and prepare themselves to fight again.

In relating this to our circumstances we face everyday…which are you?

Are you someone who has been hurt so many times that you live paranoid of being hurt?
Are you someone who is just letting life pass you by, because everything you’ve wanted in life
hasn’t turned out the way you wanted it to?
Are you someone who has let the world decide who you are, and you spend your time looking in the mirror and being disgusted with yourself?
Are you someone who feels like, because of the life you’ve been raised in that your life is meant for failure?
Are you someone who can’t take a compliment from someone, because you can’t believe you are really beautiful or good at something?

My friend I am sorry to tell you, but if you can relate to any of these in your present moment…
You are defeated.

You are the person who is lying helpless on the ground after being shot. Your wounds run deep, but you are still breathing.

I need to repeat this…YOU ARE STILL BREATHING!

The people who can get up after being wounded:

They have been hurt deep. They have scars. They are in constant pain. But they also realize…
The battle is about more than fighting.
It’s a test of our where we place our hope.

Consider something God brought to my heart this morning:

I am someone whose had my share of being wounded. I definitely have scars on the inside of my heart.
I have been betrayed by many people in my life. I have opened my heart, and its been broken many times.
I have been rejected, I have been called a failure, I have a constant fight with my own insecurities.
I have a never-ending fight that God is real.

I understand when your circumstances are less then great, its hard to believe that there is any reason or purpose in any of it.

There is.

What God shared with me is that in each time we do become wounded, we get up and we walk a little differently than we did before. We still take a hit, but our hearts learn not to be affected as much.
God tweaks how we have dealt with things in the past.
He shows us WHO WE ARE each time we face something. We learn more about ourselves, and the
worth we have in Him.
Our character.

Someone said to me the other day with a situation, ” If its happened more than once, what are the chances you are going to face it again?”

Wow. Not something any of us really want to hear, because plain and simple. It WILL happen again.
It will happen until the purpose of it happening has been fulfilled.

I know that sounds kind of funny to read ” until the purpose has been fulfilled,” because we seem to forget that we are in God’s plan…that we are just as much apart of the pages of the Bible as Moses and Abraham.

We are

We need to learn that when times get rough, when we are faced with situations and circumstances, to let God change our attitudes AT THAT TIME. See the circumstance through God’s eyes.
We have to also be expectant that He will do it.
No one expects you to just let something go. But they do expect you to give some of it to God.
He has the power to handle anything and everything in our lives.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to let myself be defeated by the past, present, or the future.
God is in control of all of it. And He has made it safe for us to walk in it.
He wants us to live free, and not defeated.

I’ve had a lot of healing from just looking at it in the perspective that God has taught ME something more through this or that situation. I learn more of who I am, and what I truly stand for.
I learn about the condition of my heart. I learn the difference of how I handled the thing before, to how I handled it now.

And I gotta tell you, it made me smile with tears in my eyes.

Our greatest weapon that we have against defeat…
Is to GET UP anyway.

If you allow things in your life to bring you down…THEY WILL.

We have to smile and realize we are free from what we are facing.
It is something that is temporary, and it will pass.
We have to realize that there is something MORE ahead,
maybe good, and realize maybe not…

The important thing above all is to know
We are being prepared.

And we get up off the ground, and WE WALK IN IT!

Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.(1 John 2:8)

The people who have no hope in this world are those who have never experienced it.
And will deny it exists.

I’m sorry to say, but the only way you are going to get up, is if you believe that God has more planned for your life, that He loves you enough to heal you.

He does.

I loved the story of the man who was found out in the ocean after the Tsunami hit.
He said, ” I have no house, no wife, but I still have my hope.”

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. (Isaiah 57:1)

Truthfully my friends, all things will pass away.
People, and possessions…

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.(1 Corinthians 13:8)

But the one thing that we have that is powerful above all things…
is HOPE. No one can take it from you…
unless you let them.

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (Revelation 21:4)

He will WIPE EVERY TEAR from your eyes. Just give it sometime. Get out in the battlefield.

He’s already taken the hit for you.

And He got up.

LSOF: The Undivided Heart

We all are given different lives, and different talents. We all have unique areas of ability and strength.
God made us this way to be able to embrace the differences of others in our lives, and we meet along the way.

But our differences are unique to us, the person we meet today may not have a clue to what we’ve been through, and what we are good at…what our passions really are. And that’s OKAY.

I was reading Psalm 86:11-13 the other day, and specifically this part of the Psalm really spoke to me, and even with a situation surrounding my life right now:

Psalm 86:11-13

Teach me your way, LORD,
that I may rely on your faithfulness;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths,
from the realm of the dead.

” Give me an UNDIVIDED heart…”

There are several different ways we could probably try to analyze this verse, but I’m just going to go with what is speaking to me.

Our time, Our passions, Our lives…they are on a different side from another’s. We might sometimes be able to walk across and see apart of another’s life, get to know their heart, and what they are
about, and what interests them…but we cannot stay on their side.
God has a separate plan for them, and for us.

Our time, Our passions, Our lives….where we stand we have to
remind ourselves that God wants us far away from that ravine as
possible.

The ravine is the ” divided heart”.

He wants ours to be complete.

He has to know that we are ready to lose everything in our lives, go after what really is important for US to do and accomplish.
We can’t spend our time wrapped up in others lives, talents and passions…

Our time, Our passions, Our lives…they have a voice of REASON in
this world.
And that voice will drown out by the loudness of anothers life in
front of us.

I have met many people over the years. I have seen lives with far more difference than my own, and I have met people who have had such a similar life to mine that I felt like i was looking in the mirror
of my own life.

Our time, Our passions, Our lives…they will have their own reflection.
We see what we want to in another’s life…its called perspective.

I think it was Andy Stanley who said, ” What you put your time and attention to, will become your god.”

We can’t allow ourselves to let importance and value come from who we ” think” we should be,
Our importance and value has to come from who God WANTS us to be.

” Lord, help me to do what I need to do, to be who I need to be for You.”
I’ve said this prayer over and over…its specific and its with intention that He hears it!

God has moved me far away from that ravine. He did it first by taking away the link to the other side of it.

I’m not going to concentrate on, ” Should ofs or could ofs…”
Should-of and Could-of…they link to regret. And I don’t regret the plan God has for me.

It’s about just turning the direction He wants us to move…and MOVE.

God is constant, but our lives will change.

He already knows what He has planned, and He wants our hearts to be inline with that.
He wants us to stop running backwards, but instead chase after our future.

And sometimes we are going to go on this road on faith alone…and not meet a single soul for miles.
And that’s okay too.

We need to keep our hearts undivided….we need to believe He is faithful in every promise He’s given.
We need to trust that He has a plan, and we need to trust the way He goes about it.

Seasons are meant to change,
and we are apart of them.

In Jesus Name.