Tag Archives: Jesus

Uniquely the Same

Uniquely The Same

IMAG1841

We made these necklaces at the recent women’s retreat I was blessed to be a part of.  I wish I had taken a picture of all of them, because they highlighted a wonderful truth.

Each lady used the same material to make the necklace and we got to choose our colors.  Every single woman chose different colors, thus every single necklace was the same…but different.

While walking around the room looking at the beautiful, simple pieces we created the common thing about them was the cross and the beads in the middle which signified to me that we’re all very different…but we’re all very much the same.  We may prefer different colors, clothes, food, etc., but the part that counts is what’s in the center – our hearts.  Although we’ve had different experiences with different things in and on our heart, the unifying mark (for Christians) is the cross – Jesus. God sees Jesus in us and although He “handles” us differently, we’re all the same to Him which gives me great comfort.

Celebrate your uniqueness and the commonality we share in Christ.

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Uniquely the Same

Uniquely The Same

IMAG1841

We made these necklaces at the recent women’s retreat I was blessed to be a part of.  I wish I had taken a picture of all of them, because they highlighted a wonderful truth.

Each lady used the same material to make the necklace and we got to choose our colors.  Every single woman chose different colors, thus every single necklace was the same…but different.

While walking around the room looking at the beautiful, simple pieces we created the common thing about them was the cross and the beads in the middle which signified to me that we’re all very different…but we’re all very much the same.  We may prefer different colors, clothes, food, etc., but the part that counts is what’s in the center – our hearts.  Although we’ve had different experiences with different things in and on our heart, the unifying mark (for Christians) is the cross – Jesus. God sees Jesus in us and although He “handles” us differently, we’re all the same to Him which gives me great comfort.

Celebrate your uniqueness and the commonality we share in Christ.

He’s Portable!

My favorite time of the day is the beginning when it’s quiet.  That’s prime time with God’s word and prayer.  I’m facilitating a Bible study and read through the day’s scripture (2nd Peter 1:3-11) which is all about already being equipped to be “partakers of the divine nature…*” (v4).  Verse 5: “Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence…*” (emphasis mine).  To me this scripture says we already have in us (through Jesus) His nature and best qualities but it’s up to us to APPLY them, which indicates choosing to exhibit the things in verses 5-8. After studying these verses I could feel God prompting me to stay longer taking His word in so I did, even reading them out loud, then praying.  I felt like a mighty warrior woman, ready for the day and went on with my plan.

Then it happened.  A text upset my apple cart and I watched my very well-organized day go right out the window.  I felt my blood pressure going up and my attitude going down.  Then I remembered the scriptures I had read, studied and prayed over just a little while earlier.  I saw a very distinct crossroad recognizing immediately this was a rubber meets the road moment.  I could APPLY what I’d just read or I could allow frustration to dictate the rest of my day.

That sweet time with God doesn’t have to end when we close our Bibles..and it shouldn’t! All that love, provision, grace, mercy, knowledge and wisdom we glean from spending time with him is portable.  HE goes with us.  Here’s the rub: It’s up to US what we do with Him as we live out the rest of the hours of the day.

Just because we spend a little time in the Word doesn’t mean much if we’re not willing to APPLY it to our lives and choose to live it out.  Everything we need to be a blessing and live this day being pleasing to and loving on God has been already endowed to us as Christ followers. Don’t leave Him where you left your Bible.  He and all of His attributes are in us and with us, no matter what the day brings.  Let’s access Him, choose to live and act to be pleasing to Him.  The Bible goes on to say in verse 10 as long as we PRACTICE these things we will NEVER STUMBLE*!  That sealed the deal for me, and I pray it does for you too.

*2nd Peter 1:3-11/Taken from NASB Translation.

The Monster in the Mirror

There she is again.  Every time something goes wrong, even with something goes right, this wicked monster is the first to cast stones.  She’s quick to remind me of everything I’ve ever done wrong.  Every day, I must contend with her.

Every day, she reminds me of how weak and beaten up I am and all I’ve been through.

Minute by minute if I listen to her, I’m reminded of why I shouldn’t try, why I shouldn’t believe for better and should quit while I’m ahead.  With every new day, the old stares me in the face – if I focus on her long enough, her voice overpowers the God in me.

Perhaps the most important choice is at the beginning of the day, deciding who you’re going to listen to.  The monster doesn’t lie, she tells the truth…her version of it, anyway.

She wants to keep my focus on the past and all the pain affiliated with it.  She needs an excuse to make no effort.  Not because she doesn’t believe (she does – she knows God) but because she does and she knows if I choose not to listen to her (myself) and heed His word and His truth instead, efforts must be made, exercises in faith and trust must ensue.  She’s tired.  She’s weary and she’s discouraged.  She finds very little reason to believe a single word she says or trust even a fleeting thought of hope.  It’s all justified.  Just like a victim seeking revenge on her assailant, her actions would be righteously justified.

Here’s the thing, though.  She’s submitted to God so her right to herself has been relinquished to His right to her.  Her own actions to justify herself are null and void…She’s put her trust and heart into the hands of a Mighty Savior who has already won the battle with the monster.  All she has to do is believe it.  She knows she’s no match for fighting the monster but she’s sure her Jesus is more than capable for the battle of the day.  It’s not her strength against who she sees (and remembers) in that mirror that will have victory this day; it’s His.

Every single day, the choice is ours.  Who will lead us?  Who will we listen to?  Who will we believe?  Ourselves or our King?  The battle is won or lost with that one decision.  The truth is, we may have to make that decision on a minute by minute basis. It won’t be easy (the past will attempt to discourage); it won’t be fun (fighting ourselves is ugly and messy) but we will be victorious against our giants if we choose to fight with all of our armor on – trusting Him with everything they throw at us.  Are you in?

“…even if our hearts condemn us.  For God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.”  1st John 3:20 NLT

Go With What You Have

Gideon was in a winepress threshing wheat. I’m sure since it was a winepress and he was trying to thresh wheat it was a hard job because the place was most likely ill-equipped for wheat threshing.  This hard job in a less than favorable place was the result of Israel’s turning from God and being captives of the Midianites.

I can picture him talking to himself not happy with his current circumstances  – because honestly that’s what I would be doing.

In the midst of hardship and hard times, the Angel of the Lord greeted him: “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!” (Judges 6:12 NLT). Gideon responds with questions and doubts. The Angel didn’t indulge him; he simply said “Go with this strength you have” and save Israel to which Gideon responded with statements justifying the reasons he couldn’t comply – “We’re the least of the least…and I’m the least of the least of the least!”

I know you’ve been there – things are looking pretty bad, so bad you begin to question God.  Prayers seem unanswered and you find yourself in a place you shouldn’t be, never intended to be and don’t want to be in.

Take to heart the truth captured in Gideon’s story.  You have what you need to do what you need to do.  If you’re saved you have Jesus, His power and the Holy Spirit inside you Who is the power to get through what you’re going through.

Go with what you have.  Trust God for the rest.

Judges 6

Come Closer

Sampson loves to run and chase squirrels in the park. When he can’t find squirrels and the park is vacant of people, he enjoys his freedom.  He’s usually far ahead of me in a full trot…just because he can be.

Lately when someone approaches especially with another dog, he’ll come right next to me, his side touching me, and stop. He’ll look up at me for reassurance and won’t move until I put his leash on. After I secure the leash, he’ll go back to his normal trot, but he stays closer until the people have passed.

Just like my sweet doggie wanting to be closer to his master when uncertainty approaches, we need to do the same with our Master.  We should stay close to Him in heart all the time, but especially when anything uncertain approaches we should want to be closer.

We’re grown adults who enjoy our freedom, don’t we?  We love we can pretty much go anywhere and do anything at any time.  Sometimes freedom can be a dangerous thing; a lonely thing.  There is no certainty in anything but God. Rest assured, whatever happens, when it happens He’s right there, waiting on us to want to draw closer to Him.  We don’t have to be afraid or even lonely.  There’s a lot of freedom in God and freedom from unsureness and uncertainty with Him if we believe He’s who He claims to be.

Come closer to Him today, if for no other reason than because you’re free to do so.  Enjoy His “leash” of protection and the peace of His presence.  He’s going to see to you whatever comes your way.

Galatians 5:1  “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.”

John 8:36  “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”

Even With Squirrels!

Sampson looks forward to his morning adventures at a park close to us.  After I take my son to work we usually stop by there so he can run the squirrels (his passion) and do his “business”.

Sampson hates rain.  Mind you, he’ll jump in any body of water regardless of temperature, but the boy just hates to get rained on (I’d love it if someone out there could explain this to me).

On a day filled with more than I could do, it was pouring the rain.  I mean pouring.  When it was time to walk, I opened the door prepared to get soaked and he wouldn’t budge.  I tried enticing him with everything I could think of and he just wasn’t doing it.  I was stressed for two reasons: 1) he had a full tummy and hadn’t been outside since the night before and 2) I was going to be gone a good part of the day so the morning was my only chance to make sure we wouldn’t have an accident in the house.

I took my son to work praying the whole time about what to do about the situation.  What else could I do?  “Father, Your Word tells me to pray about everything, so here it is, the concern on my heart. It’s pouring rain and this doggie refuses to go outside…please help us in this dilemma.  I believe You will.  In Jesus’ name.”  I was sure I heard laughter…

I pulled up at the park and my uninterested and very unhappy Sampson showed no interest whatsoever in being at his favorite place.  Any other day, he’d be standing in the back seat wagging his tail waiting for the door to be opened so he could jump out.  I rolled the windows down, still in prayer, knowing I couldn’t budge him – he weighs 100 pounds. All of a sudden a squirrel pops up on the sidewalk right where we were parked.  “Sampson look, a foo-foo!” and with that, he popped up, saw the squirrel and when I opened the door, he hit the ground running. Boom.  That was probably the shortest walk he’s taken with me to date but he got done what he needed to and both of us felt better.

I know you’re laughing, maybe rolling your eyes right now but here’s my point.  To no credit of my own, in a testy situation, I prayed believing God would help us.   I believe He provided the incentive (squirrel) for Sampson to get out of the car to take care of what needed to be taken care of.  I’m still not sure he would have gotten out of the car had the motivation to do so not come. God reminded me, yet again, He is concerned about ALL that concerns me, including taking care of Sampson.  Praying about everything means exactly that; praying about E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

Every time I start stressing over big things or little things in my life, I think about that situation, the prayer and the answer.  Silly me.  If He’s listening when I talk to him about helping me take my doggie to the bathroom, of course, He’s listening to me talk about everything else.

Philippians 4:6:  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

1st Thessalonoians 5:18:  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

DEEPER IN…

What concerns you right now?  Will you pray about it, honestly talking to God?

After you pray will you believe Him?  That means acting like He’s heard and He will provide.  Tell someone what you learned through this experience.