Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Word for 2016

It seems every year at this time as I reflect on where I need to focus, it is always the area of my spirituality. In 2014 I chose my first word, surrender. In 2015, GO.

This year, I have been reflecting on what is going well. I am a little more surrendered than I was two years ago. However, I am very aware that it is a daily act we need to respond to. It is how we learn to walk as a Christian. It takes a daily commitment. You must be willing to let go and allow God to have the days, the moments and the ability to work in your life.

I do go more, or at least I set out to go. I know that God is at work all around me. I go with that intention. I go intending to walk toward His invitations. I try to move when I feel a nudge. But I am not sure I am always hearing or knowing what it is I should do. I become a little unengaged when my own agenda gets in the way.

But as always, I know I need to do more. I need to surrender more of my time. I need to go every time I am asked, not just when I want. This act of sanctification is always going to be occurring. I need to learn from each lesson. I aim to be more and more who He created me to be.

So, I have been thinking on a few words that help me achieve those goals. I know I need to balance. I get very involved in different pieces of my life: church, family, work, and me. I seem to be in a constant shift, trying to balance and find myself unbalanced all the time.

I thought of intention. But I know I intend to do many things. I intend to be different, I intend to learn and grow and respond.

So, as I searched the Word for what I would want my verse to be for 2016, it also revealed my word to me. My verse will be Joshua 1:8

"The book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do."

I know as I surrender, and as I go...I need to see. However, I need to see with more than my eyes. I need to use my senses. I need to be engaged with intention. My word for 2016...observe. Which to me is an act of seeing, but with all of our senses. It is being aware of all that is around us. It takes more intention, purpose and time. It calls for reflections of what we find. As the scripture says, I need to do it with the word. But I also need to do it with my world.

I chose the word observe because it will require me to slow down and look outside myself. I will need to be engaged with those around me, using all my senses. It will give me more of a vision of what God is inviting me to be involved in. Observing is an act of seeing, listening, feeling, and engaging all my senses into a purpose of reflection. At times it will mean I will sit back and watch, other times engage. It will require me to question and seek. I will want to know the whys and what -ifs. It is something I can do in all areas of my life and will improve each of my roles.

I am excited about this word choice. I am noticing each of my words are verbs. All require action. God is calling me into action. I am excited to see what I will find as I observe. I am excited to know what reflection I will have 365 days from now. What will I learn? Where will it lead me? How will my words work together and continue to help me become a better me?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Getting Darker? Or Do We Just Have Less Light?

"This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2: 13 and 14


These are the words I need to read when darkness prevails. Today our nation changed and many are celebrating that in all 50 states same sex marriages are now legal. Across social media the shouts of joy are heard. I am sure it is occurring in households and offices. If I speak out my opinion, many will see it as hatred, closed minded or some other derogatory term. I have to remind myself, my thoughts are foolishness to them and they will not understand them. Though they don't I must reiterate to all my readers....you are each a sinner, you all have fallen short of what God expects, you are just like me. God also loves you, and through Him I love each of you as well. I may differ from you in that I do believe homosexuality is a sin and because I believe it is a sin, I do not celebrate that is now accepted and legal in my land. I wouldn't celebrate today if addicts could legally use drugs, kleptomaniacs could legally steal, or if liars and cheats could legally steal from us or any sin would be accepted and celebrated. If this doesn't make sense to you or you find it ridiculous, that is okay. You are not my audience today. I am writing to those it does make sense. Those are the ones I want to talk to today.

I want to speak to you who are mourning over the status of the USA. Those of you are seeing the darkness getting darker. People being shot in their churches as they study, laws being passed allowing sin to become legal, and we are continually worried about where we are headed.

I am questioning myself this morning...where have I been as this enfolded? Perhaps I was sitting on a committee deciding on a building plan, or in a meeting discussing the songs or lighting for this week's praise and worship, deciding how to create more seating in a packed sanctuary, or on my knees asking God what are we going to do to help the lost. I am questioning if I am listening to His answer. I am wondering how bright my light is shining in the darkness? I have to question...is sin getting darker, or brothers and sisters, are we just dimming?

I look at the disciples of the new testament. If I were to do a compare and contrast of them to us...my heart becomes heavy. We as a whole do not come close to them. We can not count on a few to stand boldly. We need to stand as one, ALL in. We have become comfortable and complacent. We sit back and shake our heads and worry about what is happening. I think it is time to examine what we are doing. Are we listening to God's call on our lives? Are we open and ready for divine opportunities He places before us? I know I personally stand in shame. My heart is heavy with conviction.

This morning as I read this passage from Jonah I thought of us a Christians in America. God provided us this great country and our founders knew the gift was from Him. It was His will they were seeking, His direction leading and to Him they looked for direction. We have come very far from being that nation. As I read the passage I saw the land of the USA as the vine provided. I encourage you to read all of chapter 4 in Jonah, but these words in verse 10 penetrated my heart...

"But the Lord said, You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend to it or make it grow."

I know I took these words out of context, and it is not the original  meaning intended. But this morning, this was the meaning of these words to me. We are so concerned about this land of America...but how are we tending it, and what are we doing to help it to grow spiritually? What are we even doing within our own states? Our counties? Even in our towns, neighborhoods or homes?

Christian, is it getting darker? Or is it more that our light is dimming?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Promises of God

I have started a new little habit in my life as an educator. I have been visiting twitter chats for educators. One of the groups that has been so refreshing and uplifting is a chat called #ChristianEducators. Each week we discuss the application of God's principles in our personal and professional lives. Last week was all about promises.

What a beautiful thing it was to see us just pour out the promises we knew from God. It was like a fountain overflowing...scripture after scripture of the promises we hold and count on. I have reflected on that through the week. I am not sure we really grasp who God really is. Our infinite minds try to often to place Him in a box. We do not know the depth of his love. We don't understand the purity of his desires. We are so clouded by this world, our flesh and Satan's lies we lose some of His immense power, love and faithfulness. We can trust Him, like we will never trust another.

And this week, I realized a little more of how much I can trust Him and His promises. I can walk through my days laying every moment in His hands, knowing He has it ALL. He will never disappoint me the way people do. He will never lie. He has my very best interests at work, and it is completely pure and out of love. It is not like any relationship we have or will ever have on this earth.

It is my desire to just continue to grow closer and that He will just keep revealing who He really is. My problem is always that I allow this world to get in the way...I forget how much I can trust. I don't need to grab hold of the plan. I need to walk by faith. I have a hope in an incredible-all-powerful-all-knowing-loving Father. The true grasp of that may never occur on this earth, but I will continue to pull back the layers trying to get there. Pulling closer to Him, pulling away from this world.

Hebrews 10:23 "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful."