Because God IS God….. deep breath!!

God isDeep Breath: In Christ — no matter the road, the storm, the story — we always know the outcome. Our Savior: surrounds. Our future: secure. Our joy: certain. Ann Voskamp

I have needed to take many deep breaths this week,this month,this year.

When I’ve felt overwhelmed, deep breath.

When I’ve been afraid, deep breath.

When I’ve wanted to quit, deep breath.

When I’ve been …………, deep breath.

But, I’m learning that no matter the situation, circumstance or problem.

God IS!!!

He is in control, He is on His throne. The Lord is my strong tower.

He goes before me and behind me.

And He knows best.

Not a thing in this crazy world or in my crazy life takes Him by surprise.

In fact, He knows each event before it takes place.

The God of the Universe, who knows the number of hairs on my head and whose thoughts for me outnumber the grains of the sand.

He is GOD!

Remembering who He is, brings calm.

Remembering who He is, brings peace.

Knowing God is faithful and powerful, allows me to take deep breaths and just rest in HIM.

Knowing the Lord is good, brings joy to my heart.

“I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.” Job 19:25

Yes, indeed, my Redeemer, My God, My Savior lives and because of this, no matter what, I can rest in and trust in HIM.

Ah, deep breath, He is God!

Remembering Who I AM

in christ

IN CHRIST: I AM

Chosen

Adopted

Forgiven

Redeemed

Holy

Blameless

Righteous

A Child of the King

Let us then remember who we are and who we belong to! Like the Apostle Paul, never getting over the grace God has shown us. Daily living out our faith not because we have to earn God’s favor but because we have God’s favor!! 

Walking by Faith

walking by faithSometimes following Christ doesn’t make sense.

We have zillions of questions we want answered.

But God just says, “Trust Me.”

We don’t understand.

But God says, “Just follow me.”

Faith is in essence belief in the unseen.

Yet, I tend to want to see how things will work out before I step out.

This is not faith.

“Reckless faith isn’t fake. It doesn’t pretend. It feels deeply and lives fully. It ask questions and cries out. It tests boundaries and has dynamic conversations with God. It molds its understanding as it encounters new situations. God has a plan is a mantra for a way of life that says you don’t have to have all the answers to proceed. You can throw yourself toward the Red Sea and believe if it parts, praise God, You knew it would.” Beth Guckenberger

I’m finding God only shows us one step at a time.

And though I want the full picture, He beckons me to take the next step shown and trust the rest to Him.

This is not easy. This goes against our normal thinking. This contradicts what the world teaches.

Oh, how much easier it is to walk by sight, but this is not what we have been called to do.

So though I don’t understand and though many will probably think I’m crazy.

That’s ok. Because it is what God thinks that matters.

And He say’s “Follow Me, Trust Me, Walk by Faith.”

Setting my gaze on Christ

Phil 4It’s one of the most well-known and misquoted Bible verses there is.

Athletes, students, parents, the godly and the not so godly use it.

It’s the verse, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Quite honestly, I too have used it with my children when they say they can’t.

But Paul never meant this verse as some cheerleader chant to say when we want to give up.

This verse does not refer to winning the big game or passing the huge test.

Paul quoted this referring to fact that no matter the situation, he had learned to be content.

Ouch, contentment is not a topic many like.

In fact, most of us are not content with what we have, we are always striving for more.

Yet, here Paul says that He has learned to be content whether rich or poor, well fed or hungry. In plenty or in want.

That no matter what his “situation” he knew he could be okay with it because the Lord was His strength.

If anyone could truly say this, it was Paul.

Growing up, he was from a wealthy family. He trained under the best. He was well-educated and respected.

Then the Lord wrecked his life and he was never the same.

Now instead of the good, he is shipwrecked, beaten, hungry, cold, in prison and alone.

All for the sake of the Gospel, all for the sake of His Lord.

Still, despite it all, he knows how to be content.

Paul knew that his situation was not the issue.

He knew that as long as his focus was fixed on Christ. As long as the Lord was His strength. As long as He held fast to the Lord, He could indeed be content.

For me though I have yet to fully grasp this, though I’m trying.

Too often my gaze is set on my situation instead of my God.

Because of this, I am far from content.

I’m praying that the Lord would set my eyes, my heart and my mind fully upon HIM.

For as my gaze is fixed on HIM, as I truly trust in HIM.

Then despite the winds, the rains, the pain or the storms.

I can stand firm. I can stand strong, like the tree planted by the waters.

Oh, I’m a far way from being content in all situations and I have much to learn from Paul.

But, I’m striving to set my gaze on Jesus and hold fast to Him.

Knowing that when I do, only then can I “do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Pretty Curtains

pretty curtainsDo you know what I want some days.

I want “normal.”

You know a husband who works 9-5 each day.

Children who go to school every morning.

I want a cute little house with pretty curtains in every window.

I want safety, comfort, and security from the whirlwind of my life.

I want to wake up and see the sun shining through my windows.

For my oldest to have his own room and my youngest to get that room with a door.

I just want to live.

Then the Lord reminds me of the life of Christ.

Jesus was born in a borrowed stable and was buried in a borrowed tomb.

Jesus had no place to lay his head.

He lived to serve and served to live.

He had resolved to do the work of His Father, despite how painful it was at times.

Jesus lived to glorify the Father and to fulfill His mission.

Jesus was fully God, yet fully human.

He knew what it was like to be lonely.

He knew what it was like to just want to belong.

Jesus knew sadness, hurt, and anger.

Jesus was misunderstood from birth.

He was mocked, mistreated and made fun of.

I remember Christ who came and gave His all.

I remember His sacrifice and the grace He has shown me.

That He opened my eyes to Him.

Then He reminds me of the millions who have never heard of Jesus.

My heart grieves for these and no longer does normal seem good.

No longer do the pretty curtains seem to matter.

Again, I feel compelled to go and resolve to trust my God.

No, in light of eternity and the fact that we only get one life, one chance to make our lives count.

Pretty curtains aren’t so important.

Living a life that demands explanation

let your light shineI was listening to a sermon this morning and it began with a commissioning service for a couple who was preparing to sell their home, and take their two daughters to serve in Indonesia as missionaries.

In the midst of his testimony, he made this statement and it just struck me. He said, “As believers we are to live lives that demand an explanation.”

Most would think this makes no sense.

But, to me it makes perfect sense.

Many Christians are fine looking and living like the rest of the world.

In fact they think it is fully acceptable.

Yet, the more I read the Bible.

The more I’m convinced that this is not okay.

In fact, it’s sin.

I John tells us that we “are not to love this world or the things of this world.”

Jesus was despised, hated and rejected in this world and He tells us that we should expect  the same.

This couple got this.

We all need to get this.

Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Daniel, Paul and others knew this wasn’t home and lived for eternity.

As Christians, sold out to Christ, the way we live should not make sense to the non-Christians, or even to the average churchgoer.

Our lives must be different. So different that at times people won’t understand and at times they may even question our sanity.

Many days I have struggled with this.

Wanting to be “normal”.

This however, is not what God has called us to.

He has called us to different.

He has called us to obedience.