Tag Archives: purpose

Believe, Live and Love

Today’s my 59th birthday.  Honestly I didn’t think I would live to see it.  The majority of my family didn’t live to see 59, including a 35-year-old brother (died on his birthday) and a 47-year-old younger sister, all pretty good reasons to think I wouldn’t.  But here I am, the first day of my 59th year.  I’m thinking…well knowing…there’s a reason I’m still here.  I asked God what He wanted me to do with this year and this is what I felt Him say:

Believe. Believe that I am good.  Believe I have your best interest in my heart.  Believe I control everything concerning you, even the bad stuff.  Believe I have a good plan.  Believe the enemy is still very much working in everything (and lots of those around you) and he’s a worthy opponent for you…but no match for Me.  You’ll witness and experience bad, heartbreaking things you don’t understand and when you do…believe.

Live.  Not just breathe; not just do the thing but live each moment knowing I’m in you and around you.  Even in the mundane, remember?  How many things have I shown you in the everyday moments of your life (?remember The Last Mile Home?).  If you search for Me in everything, every day, I promise, you’ll find Me, you’ll hear Me and you’ll experience Me.  No matter where you are, what you’re doing, look for Me.  I give life…even in the most ordinary things of life…its true and fulfilling meaning.

Love.  The greatest thing you can do, is to intentionally be a person who exhibits love for Love is the one thing…the greatest thing…that shows others who I am.  I know your world, it’s not very easy to be kind with so much meanness and ungratefulness but I called you to be different.  You’re not supposed to act like you’re lost because you’re not!  I called you to be light in all that darkness.  You’re alive for My glory and good pleasure “for a time such as this”.  Don’t waste it.  Don’t think love is a waste of time or not worth the effort.  What if I had felt that way about you?  Remember where I found you!!! Do the same for others.  Don’t fret over their response, I’ll see to that.  Do what I called you to do; do what only you can do – be you – for My Glory.

How easy it is to get caught up in our lives, thinking we’re just here to make money, buy the things we want and do what we enjoy.  God wants so much more for us.  His ultimate will is to know Him and love Him.  My greatest fear is to leave for heaven and never know I’ve fulfilled His purpose for my life.  What a regret that would be!  I want His will in my life so I’m going for it and doing exactly what He told me to do: Believe, Live and Love.

Colossians 3:23  “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men…”



IMAG0752This is so me.  I have good reasons (?excuses) for not finishing this vase. I have lots of nerve damage in my hands as well as arthritis and I type for a living.  Some days, typing is all I can do.  Regardless, the vase is what it is: Unfinished.

Like the vase, we’re unfinished.  God created us for His good pleasure, for His reasons.  We all have specific purposes for our lives, the most grand of which is to know Him and live with Him in eternity.

Unlike this vase I’ve set aside meaning to finish it (which I will this weekend or that’s my plan), He doesn’t set us aside.  He knows we’re unfinished because He’s the Finisher! We won’t be complete until the day we see Him face to face in Glory.  Even when we’re veering away from Him and our destiny stuck in whatever we find ourselves in, He doesn’t glance our way and say, “I’ll pick her back up when she’s finished” and walk on.  Although we may feel incomplete and useless rest assured, He’s still with us, in us and all around us working on His masterpieces.

So I could get a picture of the vase’s incompleteness I stuffed a towel inside so you could see how unfinished it is.  I didn’t need to do that for me; I did that for the reader.  The same concept applies to God.  He knows where we need to be touched and He knows how to do it.  We fill ourselves with all kinds of things to feel accomplished, loved, accepted and complete and we keep stuffing.  God sees through all the fillers and if we let Him, He knows how to touch through all of them, too.

Yes, we’re all unfinished but He’s promised to complete us.  He’s constantly working through everything and everyone, the beautiful and the ugly to make us in to what (and who) He’s destined us to be.

I can pick this vase up and finish it any time I want because it’s mine and it’s accessible to me.  He can do the same with us.  Actually He can work on us and through us when we aren’t aware and when we are.  The vase has no control of when I’m going to work on it. We can choose to spend time, thought and prayer with Him, or in some cases He can work on us making us more of what He intends us to be without our permission.  We’re His!  Either way, Let Him work, trusting and believing no matter what, He’s creating something…someone beautiful.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

Silent Lambs

She’s not how she used to be.  Once vibrant and bright, she’s faded and silent.  What happened to her?

Look at him.  Used to be, you could feel the atmosphere changing when he walked in the room but now he’s barely noticed, blending in with everyone else. What happened to him?

Observe yourself.  Do you have the same spiritual vitality you did 20 years ago…one year ago? What happened to you?

Life deals some hard punches.  When starting out on our Christian journey we feel our feet barely touch the ground. We have to share positive words and smiles because we’re overflowing with what God has done for us and it’s impossible not to share it.  As we deal more and more with reality our once brave, bright light dulls when it’s exposed to the struggles and pain of the world around us.  We relentlessly pursue closer walks with God to survive the hardships of life trying our best not to conform and through it, we find we sometimes lose our voice.  We find our countenance changes with the weight of the crosses we carry.  The lambs sometimes go silent.

Go to the grocery store on a Sunday afternoon after the church hour and watch.  The retail world says we are some of the rudest, most inconsiderate customers.  The opposite should be true. When we leave the parking lot of the church often we forget our mission and purpose. We’re supposed to make our corners brighter and better, not darker and colder. What happened to us?

We’re heavy-laden with our burdens sometimes not seeing or thinking of anyone or anything other than what’s going on with us.

That’s the enemy’s mission and we’re falling for it. Perhaps that’s the purpose of what we’re going through at this moment: to shut us up; to rob us of our joy, our content countenance and our desire to show love and kindness wherever we are.

Let’s choose not to be silent today.  Let’s ask God and believe Him, regardless of our circumstances, for strength, outward joy and be who He’s called us to be wherever we are, what we’re going through regardless of the discontentment around us.  Remember?  We’re strategically endowed with a Spirit who is greater than anything or anyone we face.  We’re where we are for a divine purpose and if our Spirits are silent and we look and act like the lost around us, what good are we?

Psalm 39:2 “I was mute and silent, I refrained [even] from good, and my sorrow grew worse.”

Just Fly!

Matthew 6:25-34

Birds were created to fly. No one had to tell them. When the time is right, the mamma bird picks the baby up and drops it and they fly. I’m sure there is no discussion in the nest, no “wait Mom, take him first”; “Wait I’m afraid” or “I want to just hang out here a little longer”.  The Creator created them to fly; they’re birds.

Humans were created to have a relationship with God.  There’s a deep unfulfilled longing in us that at first, we don’t know what it is but as we grow we become more and more aware that there is something missing in our lives. We attempt to fill that void with all kinds of things – money, food, people, etc. When we do figure out what’s missing – a relationship with God – we should then begin to know the One so intimately acquainted with us. He gave us the Bible for that reason.

He tells us He will provide for us, show us how to live lives pleasing to Him. Through His word, He attempts to direct us into the abundant life that’s possible if we stay close to Him. We make that so complicated. We decipher and try to figure everything out on our own. We fret about anything that gets in our way when the truth is, if we would just simplify and believe, things wouldn’t get so confusing and messed up.

Birds don’t count their feathers and check their wings before taking off, they just spread them and go.  Just fly, little birdie.  The Lord Jesus simply says:

“Look.  I created you for this.  Just fly. Do what you were meant to do:  fly. Don’t consider anything, just do it.”

The same is true for us.  He created us. He knows every single hair on our heads. He knows our struggles and our circumstances.  More importantly, He is with us through our circumstances and struggles.  He simply says:

“Don’t worry”. I know it’s scary and I know life is hard.  I know it doesn’t make sense but consider the birds.  They don’t give a thought to what they’re going to eat, drink or wear; you shouldn’t either.  Didn’t I say I would provide your needs? Why do you fret then? Why do you doubt? Just believe me and keep going. Don’t stop.  Don’t waste your time being fearful and trying to figure things out. I got this. I got you. Now fly!”

Whatever has you hostage, break free with trust in your heart that the Lord will see you through.  You were meant for this, because this thing that troubles you will show someone else who God is.  Just fly!

WHY Am I Here?

I walked in to another Friday afternoon/evening at the very busy grocery store where I work. I was so tired…kind of wishing I could just have a lazy day.  I discovered my position for the shift would be “the cage” (as we call it).  That’s an odd position with sometimes unusual people frequenting that register.  It’s also kind of isolated from the bustle of the rest of the store as it is kind of an “express” check-out.

I wondered why today of all days, I was placed there.  I mean, what was I there for?  We all do that from time to time…why do this and why do that, the result is going to be the same.  Same, same, same.  Blah, blah, blah…

My very first customers were two young women, both with young children.  One mom had an almost 3-year-old in the buggy.  They both were buying baby food and formula.  While checking the other mom out (which required a manager) the other mom told me her son was “special needs”, blind.  She proceeds to tell me their story – which eerily paralleled mine and my son’s – with all the familiar struggles.  I told her a little of the story of my son’s birth and we both teared up because they were so similar.

She told me she knew her son was her “angel” because it took him having him with all the issues he had to meet God.  I had to fight back tears as I listened because I’ve said that about Matt a thousand times, even way before I was saved.

She shared with me all the never-things she was told her son would experience and I told her to not listen that anything was possible with God, to keep going forward with Him and believing He was in control.  I told her about them saying that if my son lived to be a year old he probably would never walk or talk, that he was now almost 33.  The other young woman jumped in and said her child was developmentally delayed and told me of the negative and bleak picture doctors and specialists had painted for her baby’s future.

Boom.  There it was.

Had I not been assigned that particular position at that particular time I would have missed meeting these women.  I wouldn’t have had the chance to let them “see” down the road what is possible in their children’s future when their present was so bleak and uncertain.  That’s why I was there. Take it back a little further – had my life not fallen apart and I hadn’t applied and got hired there, I would have missed that golden moment where God met us…in the grocery store.

It occurred to me, because one of the managers was there – that I could have…maybe SHOULD have…kept my mouth shut, but I didn’t.  God’s teaching me that EVERY single encounter is not by chance and with every encounter comes an opportunity to speak of what He’s done in my life. THAT is why I’m there.

That’s why YOU are where you are too.  You don’t have to preach, you don’t have to quote scriptures, you just need to speak.  Tell it.  Tell how God has brought you through.  I dare say, every single person I meet when I am behind that register is going through something awful.  Some are hanging on by a thread and others are on their way to giving up and giving in.  You never know what a positive, God-led word will do for someone.  That’s why you’re there!

That’s why on my worst days, no matter how I feel I’m going to choose to believe there something much bigger and grander going on than just working at a grocery store and I look for those precious moments through which I see His hand.  Someone needs to know it’s going to be okay.  Someone needs to just be seen and heard; someone needs to be smiled at made to feel like they matter and someone going through something you have already been through needs to know someone understands.

It’s not about us at all.  It’s about them and showing them who God is and what He has done (Isaiah 43:10, Genesis 50:20).  So if you’re feeling like you don’t know why you’re where you are offer up a prayer to God to be used and watch what happens.  Be an encourager; be a light.  That’s why you’re here!


While in the kitchen with some friends, we had a discussion about spatulas; flippers; egg turners. We picked up different shapes and sizes of what we were talking about and each of us called these kitchen utensils something different. What do you call it?

spatula Whatever you call it, you use if for what you need to use it for. The name you call it doesn’t change its usefulness or its purpose in YOUR kitchen. It may be used for something else (and called something else) in someone else’s kitchen but that won’t change the fact that it is what it is! My son uses a spatula as a spoon, a “picker-upper”, a knife because he doesn’t want to look for anything else. When he has it in his hand, he uses it and makes it be anything he needs for it to be.

FAITH is like that. What is faith, exactly? The “Bible word” for it is pistis which means conviction of the truth of anything; the character of the One who can be relied on; persuasion – the moral conviction, reliance upon Christ for salvation; assurance.

FAITH is just that. Some have faith in their faith only and when it wavers, those believing in their ability to believe and have faith are knocked off their feet. FAITH in Jesus & God (that They are who They say They are, will do what They say They will) is much more reliable! Even though what goes on around us isn’t pretty or fun, THEY remain rock solidly the same.

You can call it whatever you want to. Some may name your faith – radical, charismatic, crazy…if you act like you believe. We’re all different and FAITH looks different on each one of us. Acting on FAITH antagonizes common sense. It irritates some because frankly it just makes no sense. Your FAITH may be active in your life in different ways for different things. FAITH works best for us when we exercise it in every area of life, not just some things. Here’s the thing. FAITH is just like a spatula in my son’s hands; you can use it any time you like for anything you need.

Whatever the need – health, financial, fear, depression, etc, FAITH in Jesus Christ is as accessible as a spatula in your kitchen. One thing’s for sure – if you never USE it you’ll never know how FAITH can help. If you never use the spatula for anything other than what you have always used it for, you won’t believe the other uses for it you’re told about. You can talk about it all you want, call it what you want but when the trials come unless you know Him and what He has to offer it may not mean much. When no other resources can be found to see you through, will your FAITH in God be enough?

Sometimes my son grabs a spatula because he just doesn’t want to look for anything else. He knows he can do what he needs with it so in his mind there’s no reason for search for anything else. That’s a great concept related to FAITH. The ONLY thing we NEED is Him – if we “grab” Him first He will help us get our hands on whatever else we need!


“When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.”

I must admit…I don’t like lemonade. Not even flavored lemonade. Never have. Lately, I have “made” a lot of it, it seems. I’ve dealt with a lot of issues (not going to give the enemy any credit here so I won’t name all of it) through which I have made the best of. I have kept on going forward like a good soldier. Sometimes through tears, a broken heart, and fighting paralyzing fear I have done my best to keep moving, believing this is all for the good. I’ve been squeezed in ways I never have been before. Sometimes the “drink” hasn’t been sweet; it’s been bitter. Very bitter.

Something happens in our minds after 50 – or it did in mine – that we think things would smooth out and life would get easier. Nothing could be farther from the truth. It fails me to understand why things seem to flow so smoothly for some and not so smooth for others. It must be me. I must be doing something wrong. Have you ever said that to yourself? There’s always something bad from which we must turn to good. Ah. The “evidence of things not seen”…perhaps? We get to choose making good out of bad, peace in the midst of turmoil, the beauty from ashes kind of thing versus letting the thing consume us. It is exhausting this working to be content at times.

Resolving not to be bitter, angry, depressed is work. If you don’t like lemonade you can make it…but you don’t have to drink it. You can share it, never allowing yourself to taste it. There it is. PERSPECTIVE.

The Lord allows us to be lemonade makers for others. Someone’s watching who is on the brink of giving up, ready to let their lemons rot; they see no purpose for their distresses and thus, their pain seems to be for nothing. What you’re going through may not be for you. It may be for a family member, friend, coworker who doesn’t know Jesus. If you’ll turn your eyes from you and your suffering to those around you, perhaps you’ll see that all of this is really “good fruit”. You can choose to believe it is all worth it.

Even when you find more lemons than you think you can use, there’s a choice to be made. Let them ferment stinking up your life, your attitude, stealing your peace and tainting your countenance OR…you can take what’s handed to you and turn it in to a tool to be used to see God, share Him, and encourage others with. Sounds trite perhaps, but it’s true.

Maybe you don’t like lemonade either. Our faith keeps us lemonade producers knowing it’s not about us…it’s about living and thriving through it honoring God and sharing with someone else how wonderful God’s lemons can be when used for a grander purpose than ourselves. Maybe lemonade isn’t so bad after all…