Saturday, September 17, 2016

The path of Peace.....

As a person who fights the urge DAILY to engage in excessive planning, this devotional today was a good reminder. I used to obsessively plan my days. I would write down multiple  lists of things to do in the ORDER they should be done. But it wasn’t just tasks that I would obsess over.  I would plan what I was going to say to someone who had hurt me the next time I saw them. (If they say THIS then I’ll say THAT, then if they do THAT I’ll do this etc… that exchange in my head could go on for hours by the way).  I would also plan how I was going to act at a social event where I knew I’d be uncomfortable (If THIS happens, then I’ll just do THAT… etc.)  Endless possibilities could take control of my brain as I would waste time and energy planning situations in my mind that might never even come into my reality.  I had everything so planned out that I didn’t leave any room for HIM to enter the situation… and that left me in a place of NO PEACE constantly.

I can honestly say that after YEARS of working on that, I have gotten much, much better about turning over those worries to God and letting Him just lead me at the moment. I’m not 100% there, as my old habits can creep up on me easily still.  BUT, after trusting Him in a few situations and seeing how His ways work things out much better than MY ways, I have learned to loosen my grip on pre-planning events and let Him lead the way, day by day..... moment by moment.   When I started letting go and seeing His power in those situations, not only did it take so much pressure off of ME, but it reinforced my faith. There is nothing so powerful as seeing the Lord come into a situation where YOU can't find the right solution, and seeing His plan unfold so beautifully.   Lord, I pray today that we all can turn from the path of planning to the path of PEACE by entrusting you to guide us through whatever situations we might face today. May all my actions, and especially my REACTIONS, be honoring to you.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.  #JesusCalling  #MorningDevotional2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

Soul keeping....

As I read Psalm 139:13 this morning, two words jumped out at me for the first time.  “For you created my INMOST BEING”.  I realized right then that INMOST BEING means the soul. God created our soul. 

After reading John Ortberg’s “Soul Keeping” last year (one of my FAV books!), I have become much more aware of the needs of my soul and try to tend to it properly. That book showed me that I don’t have a soul. I have a BODY.  I AM a soul.  It is the essence of who I am. It is my “inmost being” and the part of me that was truly created by God to be in union with Him.

“When you try to live independently of Me, you experience emptiness and dissatisfaction.” We aren’t fully ourselves when living away from the source of our creation. I went through a time in my life where I tried that. I had been abandoned by some Christian friends during a time when I needed them the most and I twisted that around in my mind to think that GOD had abandoned me. So I said, “Ok, then screw this baloney!  I’ll do this on my own and BE JUST FINE.”   But I wasn’t just fine. I was messed up. And I stayed messed up for quite awhile until I realized that God was the only way out of the mess I had made. And just like the father in Luke 15 welcomed his prodigal son back into his loving care with a PARTY, my heavenly Father did the same for me. Now I know that living life without my Creator means living life with an empty and lost soul. 

 Lord, thank you for leading my soul into the only union that makes it truly feel complete. In Jesus’ name. #JesusCalling #MorningJournal2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016


There is that word again: REST   

Pastor Pete Wilson stepped down from his senior pastor role at Crosspoint this week. I imagine it was one of the hardest things he’s ever had to do. But in doing so, he set an example for us all. 

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says-  “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Did you catch the “season” word?  

As we are coming into my FAVORITE season, Autumn, I am reminded that God set us a template for living when he made the seasons. And we need them ALL to survive.  Winters can be hard.  Slowing down and resting so that we may bloom again in the spring is something we all desperately need.  However, we all feel we should stay in productive mode in order for God to notice us and love us.  I mean, He needs to see us working for His kingdom, right?? No, not always.  I have recently realized that what God needs to see is us working to stay connected to Him.  And sometimes, our productive seasons can get in the way of that. At least for ME it does.

 May we all learn to rest in whatever season we are in today Lord. In Jesus’name, Amen.   #JesusCalling #MorningJournal2016

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Being happily wrong.....

We all do it.

We all tend to see what we want to see and ignore anything that doesn't line up with our pre-conceived beliefs.

We all look for the good in those we love  -- so we can justify loving them -- and gloss over the bad.

And we all look for the bad in those we hate -- so we can justify hating them -- and refuse to acknowledge the good.

We all want to be RIGHT so badly, that we sometimes ignore reality so that we never ever ever have to say those horrible, awful, terrible three words that we hate to say more than anything in the world.


Actually, I have come to the conclusion that saying "I was wrong" might actually be a GOOD thing.   A very, very good thing.  Because.....

....maybe it means I actually learned something new.  

....maybe it means my thinking has evolved.

....maybe it means I have learned to humble myself enough to realize that I don't know everythingand that there is still a lot I can learn about people, places, emotions, situations etc....   I don't have it all figured out and I never will.

So lately, I have been trying to really open my mind to new ideas, thoughts and opinions.  I truly try to listen when someone presents a differing opinion than mine and then sincerely think about what has been presented to me.  I really try to open myself up to the possibility that they might be right and I might be wrong. 

Then, one of two things will happen:  Either I realize that my way of thinking was wrong, and I now am enlightened to a new truth…. which is a good thing.  OR…. if after mulling over the new information with an open heart, and I still feel good about holding fast to my original beliefs, it just reinforces my opinion and I feel even stronger about my original stance/belief/thought/opinion.  

Seems like a win-win to me.   

love hearing about other people’s ideas, beliefs, and thoughts about all kinds of things.  Religious, political, creative arts, parenting, relational…. you name it.  Finding out what people around me think, and why they think that way is always interesting to me.  And I think I have gained the most wisdom in my moments of willingness to listen.  

Everyone’s thoughts/opinions/beliefs are made up because of their own unique life-experiences.   So I don’t blame or judge someone for thinking differently than I do.  Our journeys have been different, so it only makes sense that we might not think alike.  But that doesn’t mean we have to be enemies either.  And that is a stance that is happening way too often in our society today.  Immediately assuming that because we think differently, we are enemies.  It has to stop.

So please....don’t be afraid to listen friends.

We learn by listening.
We connect with others by listening.
And I find that most of the time, we are listened to by listening first.

So yeah….. Don't let your ego convince you that admitting that you might have been wrong is a bad thing.  Next time when you find you have to say, “I was wrong”, ----don’t say it defeatedly. 

Try saying it happily, with self-assured intention. 


 Because now you know you have learned something new, which should make you happy!   

And you know the old saying, “Do you want to be right?  Or do you want to be happy?” It totally makes sense now, doesn’t it?   :-)))

Love y'all,

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Love first.

Social media is amazing.   It can turn strangers into friends, and even more interesting, sometimes friends into enemies.  I've seen both of those dynamics happen in my little "Facebook world" lately.  

Unfortunately, we can't hear someone's tone in a post, so it's easy to misinterpret someone's comment to be mean-spirited when in fact, it wasn't meant that way at all. I learned this lesson myself one day as I jumped into a volatile conversation on someone else's FB page, something I have since learned is dangerous territory.   I thought I would lovingly and sensitively point out another way of looking at something.  I thought my little post would calm the waters a bit.  BOY WAS I WRONG!  I immediately got attacked by a number of folks that I didn't know, or barely knew.  They totally misinterpreted my words and inflection in my comment.  I left feeling hurt and embarrassed and completely misunderstood.  Right then I decided that from now on, I would stay in my own "living room" (aka my own FB page), or only enter into other people's "living rooms" if I felt invited and not barge my way in, thinking my input was needed, when it was clearly not requested.  LoL

I recently posted a question on my own FB page, asking about people's thoughts on a specific "hot topic".   I like to hear what my friends are thinking about current events.  I love to hear how people are coming up with their views and feelings about important issues and most of the time, even if my friends and I don't agree, we can disagree with much respect and dignity toward one another.  The PROBLEM is when my friends start talking to each other, and maybe they aren't personally acquainted, and they easily misinterpret someone's "tone" in their comment and then BAM!!  All out war begins.  I saw two friends getting "into it" with each other in the comments and one decided to try and end the argument by nicely and sincerely saying, "Ok then, well, have a nice day!" and the other one said, "Hey! Don't try that condescending stuff with me!".. and I was like, 'Hey, hey... I know them and I promise they weren't being condescending!  They were seriously just telling you to have a nice day!"

That reminded me that we have to "love first" in life.  Especially when you are in a disagreement with someone.  It's hard to have an open and honest conversation with someone from behind a computer if you haven't invested in them in a personal way first.   Well, I find it hard to have any kind of important conversation with someone from behind a computer period.  I find it's always best to have those kind of discussions face-to-face, eye-to-eye --- but we live in an age of technology and so sometimes that is what happens.  So I think we need to learn how to do it a little better when those situations occur.

Remember:  we need to invest a little love into someone before they will trust you enough to listen to an opposing view.  

We all need to remember that everyone we meet is dealing with some kind of hurt.  Disappointment, devastation, rejection, insecurity etc... Walking around pointing fingers in each other's faces only adds to the hurt all around us.  I really think if we can stop pushing each other away by adding hurt upon hurt, and start choosing to focus on what we have in common... and love first.... we can probably find it easier to show kindness and compassion even in the areas we don't agree.  

I love what Bob Goff says:  "We have to hold someone close before we can hold them accountable."

Love First.
THEN talk about the hard issues within a circle of grace, mercy and accountability.

Love First.
THEN listen with an open heart.

and most importantly.....

Love First.
THEN make that Facebook comment.  :-)))

Love y'all,

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Scared to death.....

Everyone is so afraid these days.

They are afraid that their choice for President won't win.
They are afraid that their religious beliefs are being threatened.
They are afraid that their lifestyle choice leaves them vulnerable and marginalized.

They are afraid of losing their guns, not being able to marry who they want, not being able to choose who they want to do business with.  They are terrified that their comfort zones are being stretched beyond their... well... their comfortability.  AND more than anything, they are all afraid of not being heard.  That's right.  They don't think their wants, needs, and desires are being HEARD.  

So they talk louder.. and louder... until they are yelling, no screaming at the top of their lungs. Begging to be HEARD.   And with everyone so hell-bent on being heard, it seems no one wants to listen.  So with no one listening and everyone screaming, we are left with a very loud cultural problem.

No matter what "side" you are on of the issues today, everyone seems to think that their side is being overlooked, marginalized, and bullied by the other side.

Houston, we have a problem.  

I get it friends.  I have to fight the urge to panic too.  But you know why I don't?

Because I know who is really in control.  

Politics drive me nuts in general because getting down to the real truth of ANY issue seems to be downright impossible, but when an election is imminent, I try to pay attention so that I can be an educated voter.  I see many people exercising their "right" to vote, but they don't use that "right" in a responsible manner by educating themselves about what and who they are voting for before going to the polls.  And no, a steady dose of news from only one news channel/news source is NOT educating yourself.  You have to dig deeper people.  Listen to all points of view and get your information from different sources, then use your brain to sort through as much of the gunk that you can, and then use your heart to vote your conscious.  Then leave it up to God. 

That's right.  Leave it up to GOD.  Because HE is ultimately in control and will use whoever wins to further His plans for our country.  

I hear many people complaining about how we don't have a good candidate from either party to vote for.  They whine and say things like, "We're all screwed!"   Well, if you are putting all your faith in any human being, then yeah, I understand why you feel that way.  But if you are putting all your faith in GOD, then that takes the pressure off.  That's why I don't get too worked up about who might become our President.  And maybe that's precisely why we don't have a "good candidate".  Maybe it's God's way of trying to show us to stop putting all our faith in a human leader and start looking back to Him for guidance and peace.  Who knows?  I mean, it sure has gotten me remembering who to put my faith in.  

So come on friends... let's stop acting like people with different political views/religious beliefs/lifestyle choices/sexual orientations etc... are our enemies.  And if you DO feel like they are your enemies, well..... Jesus said to "Love your enemies".  And he was really clear about that.

Love God.  Love each other.  And stop letting fear dominate our thinking and our decisions.
Aren't you tired of being scared to death??  
Me too.