Thursday, July 16, 2009

Do you have a flashlight?

As we sat outside tonight with our life group a discussion of success was tossed around. What is success? How do we measure it? By what standards do we compare it? So many questions but answers were few? It seemed like such a big question, but when we broke it down to what God says about success it was straightforward. God wants us to follow his plan, wait on his timing and live life according to his guidebook. When we put it in those terms seems so simple. The tricky part comes in to play when we must apply it to our lives.

Part of success means waiting on God. His plans are greater than my desires. This can be very hard to hold onto when the things in your life are stacked up against you. People around you may be moving faster in a direction of worldly success, your life may feel like it is in a backsliding roller coaster, or maybe spiritually you are waging warfare between who you were before and who you are in Christ now. Satan likes to drag up past failures in order to crush your self worth and security in God.

Patience and perseverence are not two of my strongest attributes. Especially lately! I can be downright selfish and impatient when I let myself fall into that trap. When I start to let my guard down, conjure up reasons for entitlement, and have spiritual amnesia, someone is waiting at my door to help memove down a path that is not in God's plan. That someone is Satan, yes the great deceiver prowls around like a lion waiting to strike at just the right moment. I have learned that when stress, anxiety and tiredness are in my life, nighttime becomes a time of temptation. How do I combat these worldly desires that Satan so cunningly plants around me? The only line of defense is the light..... Light always triumphs over darkness period. Even the smallest candle produces light in a darkened room. God's words ring true in my heart as light. His promises will always defeat Satan's lies. Courageous friends who surround me with heartfelt encouragement girds up my defenses as well. God has placed a great cloud of witnesses around me to strengthen and sharpen me.

What lies are you believing today? It is easy to fall for the traps set for us each day. I will be the first to say that I am not perfect and I make mistakes each day. The promise of grace is comforting at the end of the day when I am making amends with Him. It is not that I sin because of grace, but I am thankful that as a flawed human it exists in spite of me. Thanks for picking me up when I am weak and restoring me to you Jesus. In our travels called life, it is good to have his flashlight to illuminate our path.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Jesus Calling

I sit here in Piedras Negras, Mexico after a week of work and relationship building with a team of 4 adults and 12 high school girls. Leading up to this trip was a fury of packing, preparing for a delivery while I was going to be gone and trying to make the best of the moments with my family. Apprehension and a hint of regret shrouded my mood. I have been on several mission trips in the past 12 years and have seen some amazing things. God always shows up and pierces my heart with what he can do in this world of hurt, pain and suffering. I started to get second thoughts about whether I should be going because of all I was leaving left undone. Then like a wave crashing on me God's words rang in my heart. This trip is for the people of Mexico, but have you not always drawn closer to me during your time of service? My mind answered a resounding "Yes, my life has always been enriched by taking time to see another culture, work with people who thirst for you, and love on people who don't know your unconditional grace." Then the song by 33 Miles echoed in my ears called "Jesus Calling." I encourage you to listen to this song at

Can I step out of my comfort zone, can I look beyond my little world of my business, family, and home, open my ears to something eternal. there is always another side the coin of life. God wants to show us so much that can enrich, affect, and improve our perception of who he is and how He loves this world. He wants to use us for His purposes. I was reminded that my little old self has a definite purpose in His plan. My life is an act of worship to glorify Him. Whether I am in Ohio or Mexico He wants me to follow and fulfill others by His strength and Love.

I have been journaling all week and seeing Him move in marvelous ways here. I intend to share some stories of redemption and restoration in the coming posts. As He promised, He will reveal more to us when we continue to step out of the boat and trust Him. Where are you in your belief and trust of the One who desires to live in an intimate friendship with you forever? Jesus is calling through the mess that you might be in or coming out of. If you feel alone, you are not. He is right there calling your name. Will you listen and reach for Him?