Sink the Boat

My Office for the Day

Matthew 14:29 American Standard Version (ASV)

 29 And he said, Come. And Peter went down from the boat, and walked upon the waters to come to Jesus.

Today I worked on my book for quite some time and it is funny how God works.  A brief description of the book:  My life being married to a drug addict and how God walked me out of it.  I did not realize until today what direction scripturally I was going, but it seems to be a lot about the boat stories and trusting God to keep you upright in the water.  I was describing in my book the part of my story where I had to turn to God to be saved from the mess I was in, yet when things seemed to be going okay, I climbed back into the boat I had stepped out of only to find myself taking control again.  The following is a small bit of what I wrote:

Okay, walking on water.  In the story of Peter, we see that God asks him to trust Him and get out of the boat ONTO the water.  Notice it does not tell say to jump INTO the water, DIVE into the unknown or BELLY-FLOP into uncharted waters.  It clearly states:  Walk ONTO the water.  At this point in my walk with God, this was exactly what He was speaking to me.  Walk out of this marriage, spend a time separated, seek after the things of Me and I will surely not let you sink.  Well, it was easy at first and then as you saw my reference to the texting I began to sink. ( I am referring to an earlier chapter where I receive a text from my husband stating that when I was done playing church to come and see if he was till waiting for me)

I started to feel safe.  I began to think, okay God got me out and now I can handle this.  No worries.  Onward and upward.  Forward going.  And then I began to realize I could not do this alone and I had to re-step out of the boat I had climbed back into.  How many times as Christians do we do this?  We get all excited about the things of God, begin to think we know it all only to have it fall apart because we took it upon ourselves to get back in our safety boat?  Get out of the boat!  Stay out of the boat!  Sink the boat!  Stay on the water with Jesus.  Never look down.  Never look back.  Eyes on Jesus.

As I reread what I wrote today I was finally beginning to realize that I had to get rid of the boat I was holding onto.  I needed to know that I knew God had me safely in His arms and I did not need my old boat anymore, kind of like we don’t need the old self either.  By the renewing of my mind in the things of God I was able to come to this conclusion of sinking my boat.  Granted it has taken me a couple of years to get to this point, but I am here now…..let it sink!

As I was finishing up with writing and the battery was dying on my laptop, God decided to have some fun.  Since it was nice day out I decided my “office” would be at an area park where there was a pond and a river, however, God spoke and said it was not the place, so I drove further into town and found a place along the bike path by a local boat launch.  What an office!  The lake, the sun and the occasional greeting from skateboarding teenagers and bikers!  As I was beginning to pack up a gentlemen came down the bike path walking his bike.  He kindly asked if he could sit at the other table next to me and plopped down looking exhausted.

He began to converse with me and being alone, I was a little nervous but soon the conversation turned to God and I felt at ease.  We shared some thoughts on religion vs. relationship and then I began to explain where I was as a Christian writer and shared exactly what I just shared with you.  This man stopped and looked at me intently when I said you have to sink your boat.  He then proceeded to share with me his struggles and how God must have sent me to speak to him.  He said every time he bikes this path he stops at the tables and prays and gives thanks to God.  He said he had not stopped on his way through the first time passing by but he saw me typing away.

Two miles from where I was he popped a tire on his bike and he had to walk it back towards home.  We laughed about how maybe if he had stopped to talk to me the first time through maybe the tire would not have popped.  All in all, the moral of this is that God is at work in our lives every moment of every day.  I know that is hard to wrap our minds around, but He is.  He needed this man to hear the words I spoke as a vessel He uses.  This man was desperate and he needed a word of knowledge to get him to the next level.  I was also able to teach him in the short time we had that he had a testimony to share and as he denied it I began to speak life into him.  We parted ways and we both knew it was a God thing that we crossed paths today.

Last words:

Take a moment and evaluate where you are.  Has God walked you out of something only for you to turn right back around and climb back into the boat where it is familiar?  How can you choose right now to get out on the water again?  What is God preparing for you ahead?  Do you think it’s safe to walk on the water?  If the answer to the last question is no or maybe, then I encourage you to seek the face of God and decide how much faith in Him you really have.

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Daddy Knows Best….Right?

Jeremiah 29:11

The Message (MSG)

10-11This is God’s Word on the subject: “As soon as Babylon’s seventy years are up and not a day before, I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.

Recently there have been several difficult changes in my life.  My boss passed away and we received a new owner where I work.  I feel as though I have lost an entire family just to gain a new set of strangers in my life.  I am still struggling with the separation from my husband of 19 years.  My kids are growing up so fast and with my son moved out and my daughter a camp these past two weeks, I have a taste of empty nest syndrome, and I dislike it.

As my job seems not to fit me so much any more, I am beginning to seek God out more and more, finding answers which just honestly scare me a bit.  I feel my destination in this life is more than being a restaurant manager.  I have a call on my life to be a writer, speaker and a teen leader.  Is it time for me to step into what God has called me to do?  Am I ready to take the leap of faith that I need to?  My friend has given me some material to read, which prompted me to start this blog, begin a website and finish writing my book.  One of the books I read said the average job is 2 to 5 years, I have been at my current job for 25 years and it seems as though I have settled for where I am instead of living and doing my dream job.

A few months ago I attended a revival that lasted 52 days.  I know it is a touchy subject for some, but God showed up in such a real way to me at this revival that I hunger for more of it.  Tonight as I struggled to sort some things out in my recent events, a close friend of mine reminded me of the night we prayed to have the Holy Spirit “wreck” our lives during the revival.  To give Him permission to change us in a way that we would be forever changed.  Is this what is happening to me now?  I get so excited about the prospect of writing full time and speaking to others about the ordeals of my testimony and offering the peace of God to many along the way.

Our Father in heaven, our Creator, knows the plans He has for our lives.  Even though we may not understand through the struggles just exactly what is on the other side, we have to believe that He knows best.  We have to trust Him to open the right doors and to light our path.  We need to let Him use situations and people to teach us right from wrong.  We need to seek Him out around every corner and trust in the revelation.  We have to proclaim,  “Daddy knows best!” even when everything around seems not to make any sense.

Are you going through unexplainable things right now?  Children not following what you think is the right path?  Stuck in a rut financially?  Going to a dead-end job you dislike day after day?  Going through a divorce?  Whatever it is, step back for a minute and find God in it, earmark the place you are and ask God where you are going.  Ask Him to direct your life and begin to fashion yourself into the image God sees you as.  Yes it may take a  giant leap and a tremendous amount of faith, but won’t it be worth it when you are doing the work you were designed to do and changing lives?

Are You Ready to Spark?

1 Samuel 10:7
“When these confirming signs are accomplished, you’ll know that you’re ready: Whatever job you’re given to do, do it. God is with you!

Ever get the chill down your spine or goose pimples on your arms?  Do you feel these things when you are discussing the things of God?  Is God trying to get our attention?  Are these feelings just mere confirmations of God that we are moving in the right direction?  How do we know it’s God?

It seems like lately that each time I am speaking with a fellow Christian and it is the direction I am suppose to go, I get this little electric “prick” in my spirit.  If I decide on my own what is or is not God, I do not get this same feeling, however if I am conferring with another Christian brother or sister, I often get a sure answer about my situation.  God tries to get our attention in many different ways, however when you are working amongst Christians there seems to be this electric spark which flows between those seeking spirit-filled answers.

Websters Definition:

1spark

noun \ˈspärk\
1
a : a small particle of a burning substance thrown out by a body in combustion or remaining when combustion is nearly completed b : a hot glowing particle struck from a larger mass; especially : one heated by friction
Well, if there is a fire burning in each of us, then I think we can feel that spark or shock of electricity through our spirit as confirmation.  I was speaking with a teen today about how to hear God’s voice and how to tell the difference between your own thinking and Gods.  Not having all the answers I told her that if I hear something and I have to put a bunch of flesh thoughts together for it to make any sense, then it was me speaking.  On the flip side, if it was God, even if it did not make much sense, there would be confirmation somewhere, maybe through a friend or internet post, that would show me without a doubt it was God.
If we are vessels of His will, then we are carriers of His fire and can spark into others lives around us, so if we accept who we are in Christ and listen to that still small voice, wait for confirmation, then our life decisions have just become an easier task.  We can become a much bigger blessing to others if we just inject our spark of Jesus where ever we go, trusting in what we feel led to do by God; if it is not God, the spark will not ignite.  There are times when I write and I get an excited shock when certain persons I know read it and comment or like it, it confirms to me that I listened to God and conveyed His message.
Are you ready to spark?  Can you trust that God is using you?  How willing are you to let God become an inferno inside your spirit?  Tune into God and see what fires He can start with you!

Who Lights Your Fireworks?

Psalm 50:1
[ An Asaph Psalm ] The God of gods—it’s God!—speaks out, shouts, “Earth!” welcomes the sun in the east, farewells the disappearing sun in the west. From the dazzle of Zion, God blazes into view. Our God makes his entrance, he’s not shy in his coming. Starbursts of fireworks precede him.

Who lights the fuse to your reactions?  Are you quick to blow up and send sparks flying at the slightest disruption to your day?  Or are you a more contained, reserved person that waits until everything builds up and then BANG!  out of no where you just explode?  Perhaps you have no fuse, you are disconnected and become a “dud”.  Or are your fireworks internal where God has control?

As we reflect on who is your fuse lighter we have some choices.  One would of course be the world.  Aggravation leads to anger and anger becomes explosive words of neglect and hurt.  When we use the world to light our fuse, we are often hot-headed and no one wants to even get close to us.  They feel threatened by the massive about of explosives you carry with you, they never know what might set you off.

Self-fused fireworks are very temperamental.  Never predictable.  Often easy to light one day and then a dud the next.  No clear direction.  No colorful display, sometimes just smoke fumes from them.  These are those who struggle between the world and choosing God to rule thier lives.

Then we have the God-fuse.  This type of firework is seen a quiet way.  It’s color radiates from somewhere within.  There is no alarming BANG or excessive smoke, just beauty.  When we allow God to light our fuse, we are a blessing to others.  Some come to us to gaze at what God has done in our lives.  Many desire to have what we have because there is a peace which surrounds us.

Take a moment.  What kind of firework fuse do you want to have?  One affected quickly by the actions of the world?  One activated by emotions?  Or one ignited by the One who created the fire within us? 

Bring it to Him in Worship

Matthew 4:10
Jesus’ refusal was curt: “Beat it, Satan!” He backed his rebuke with a third quotation from Deuteronomy: “Worship the Lord your God, and only him. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness.”

Just a short note today about how worship can just clear your mind and bring your focus back on track.  Frustration just crept into me today and I was letting it ooze into my relationships, my mood, my attitude and most of all into this ugly thing called self-pity. I sometimes get so angry at where I am in life I begin to lose focus on all the good things I have going for me.

After a slightly heated discussion with my daughter, I melted into this ball of self destruction and even though my spirit knew it was just a flesh thing, I could not stop it.  So in anger I left the house.  Not mad at anything specific but my emotional basket had some how overflowed.  Missing my husband a little, missing my boy, knowing my daughter was leaving again tomorrow for camp after only being home two days and the stress of new management at work.  I had not realized how heavy things were getting in the flesh.

So in the car I crank the radio and it’s this really take charge of your life kinda Christian song and it takes me away.  I go to the local grocery store and am able to minister to someone quickly as I am picking up cat food.  I make my purchases and step out of the store to witness this breathtakingly painted sky.  Followed by seeing some of my favorite persons, TEENAGERS, at the gas station.

See what happened?  I turned on the worship and it almost instantly changed my mood.  I refocused my mind on the things of God and He showed me He was listening!  In a very short period of time He reminded me of the things in my life which I love and He as orchestrated for me.  God is good and worship brings out the best in Him!  I encourage you the next time the flesh is nagging, turn on some LOUD Christian music, praise God like you never have before and watch what He will give to you in return!

Hydration, Not Just a Physical Thing

Psalm 36:7-9

The Message (MSG)

7-9 How exquisite your love, O God!
How eager we are to run under your wings,
To eat our fill at the banquet you spread
as you fill our tankards with Eden spring water.
You’re a fountain of cascading light,
and you open our eyes to light.

Hydration, the supply and retention of adequate water, is as simple as drinking a glass of water to quench your thirst and keep you running around this planet.  It is necessary for survival, yet so many of us neglect to keep enough of it in our systems.  When this happens we become dehydrated, defined as the excessive loss, and we become weak and unable to function, sometimes causing us to be hospitalized or die.

So be it with our Christianity.  What happens to our inner man when we do not give it the Word on a daily basis?  How many of us starve from lack of knowledge about God?  When we begin to ignore the things of God we can become spiritually dehydrated and begin to fade away from His will.  Some of us walk away weakened and only return years later thirsting for the things of God in a way we never had before.  Some never become re-hydrated, missing out on what God had in store for them.

Amos 4:7
“Yes, and I’m the One who stopped the rains three months short of harvest. I’d make it rain on one village but not on another. I’d make it rain on one field but not on another—and that one would dry up. People would stagger from village to village crazed for water and never quenching their thirst. But you never got thirsty for me. You ignored me.” God’s Decree.

We need to hydrate ourselves in the Word.  We must obtain and pour the Living Water into our souls as much as possible.  God calls us to drink.  He beckons us to come by the still waters and fill our souls with His goodness.  I encourage each of us to take a drink from the Word every chance we get.  To be thirsty for the things He has provided for us.   To wake up so hungry for the things of God that we cannot start our day until we have taken a sip from His provision.

Revelation 22:17
“Come!” say the Spirit and the Bride. Whoever hears, echo, “Come!” Is anyone thirsty? Come! All who will, come and drink, Drink freely of the Water of Life!

Always Be Looking for The Cross

How many times have you asked this question:  “Where is God in all of this?”  I know personally over the span of my life I have asked that question, sometimes screaming it out loud, at least a million times it seems like.  We go through trials and we find

Look for the Crosses in Your Life

ourselves in panic mode and we temporarily go blind.  We can’t see God anymore because we have let our emotions overtake the situation instead of looking for God. We run about frantically trying to fix everything ourselves because usually we have put ourselves in dangerous situations and we want to fix things before God notices.

Okay, lesson one:  God is all knowing.  All seeing.  All hearing.  How can we possibly do anything under His watchful eye without being noticed?  Yes we make mistakes, do you think He does not know this?  It’s like a pastor said a few Sundays ago, we live in a Humpty Dumpty society and we just want to fix things all the time.  Well in my opinion, who put and egg on a wall to begin with?  Why do we put things we treasure in harms way?  If we were looking for God in the first place, would we not have found ourselves in such needless predicaments?

Just recently a young man drowned in a river near my home.  My daughter had texted me the minute she heard about it and I began to pray.  I was sitting with my son in a restaurant having lunch at the time, and as I looked up from praying I glanced out the window.  In doing so I noticed a mirror and in the it was a reflection of the frames from the window.  I was quiet in awe for a moment as I realized there was a cross in the mirror and it gave me a peace knowing God was in this tragedy that was unfolding in our lives.

There have been so many times in my life where I wished I had sought after God before making major choices.  I know I cannot go back and change anything but I sure know I learned from these experiences.  If anything it makes me want to look for the crosses in my life first, not after or during a crisis,  instead seeking His will for my life from the beginning.  As humans we get these great ideas and we think we can out do God or function on our own without His direction.  What if we stopped to pause a moment before we set our “egg” on a wall, where we know in the back of minds we are setting it up to fall, and just looked for the cross?

I challenge us all to seek out the crosses.  I often find them in most unusual places like in a restaurant for instance or when I am taking a hike I will find sticks in the shape of crosses.  I encourage you to share those photos in the testimony place here and share how you feel about finding that particular cross in your life.  The cross is the only place you can lay it all down and be a peace with walking away.

 

By Your Testimony Others Will Be Healed