Isaiah 53 The Message (MSG)
53 Who believes what we’ve heard and seen?
Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this?
(I would encourage you to read all of Isaiah 53)
Ever notice how things with God can sometimes be backwards? He gave death to bring life. He sent His only Son Jesus to die so that we may live. There are times when I just don’t understand the whole deal, yet I am ever grateful for this opportunity of life. I am thankful for the life I have been given so that in turn I can give life to the death in other’s lives. From the moment I knew that I was to be a writer for Jesus, my one desire is to mend the hearts of the broken. As I myself have healed from many hurts and wounds I want others to be made whole in His presence. His grace is what pulled me out and it is by that same grace I write.
We were given life so that we can bring the revelation of life to others. Today my husband and I visited a regular customer of mine who had recently been hospitalized. Her and her husband have been in my drive thru every morning for the past two years and I felt compelled to visit her. I brought her both copies of my books and we sat and chatted for awhile. Then we prayed over her. She was ever so touched by the mere fact that we stopped to see her. This is the impact God wants us to make on the world. I can’t tell you what compelled me to visit this person I knew nothing about, yet I know it brought some life to her day.
It’s always the little things that matter the most when it comes to showing love to someone. Take for instance when my hubby picks one single flower and places it in my hair it is much more special than a dozen roses. When someone just simply smiles randomly as you pass by it is way more appealing than just rushing right on by. When someone stops to pick up something you dropped when they could have just walked away means more than them just ignoring it. Do see what I am trying to say? It is the little things which matter the most and those are the things I like to partake in.
So where am I going with this when Jesus dying on a cross was such a huge act of love? Because with one death, the world gained life and for those who choose Life in Christ, they will see so much more come to pass in their lives than the ones who deny His very existence. In death we find life. In darkness we have found Light. When we find death in our situations we get the option of shinning the Light of Jesus on it and moving forward. We have the opportunity then to speak life into other’s darkness. This is who I was designed to be through my writing. I am able to shine a light where maybe only darkness brooded.
Can you be a Light to those around you? What can you do to share Life? Are you willing to allow Jesus to enter into your very own darkness? Are you ready to let Him shine through you so that others can see just how much life they can have? Everyday I strive to shine, some days it is not easy, yet it is by His grace I am able. With His grace I can smile. With His grace I can stop and help someone. With His grace I can be a Light in such a darkened world. If what I write changes one mindset today, God will have used me. The key to all of it is…are you willing to be used? Are you willing to let God bring life to your death? Are you willing to be changed so God can use you to change others? It’s tough at first I know but what joy comes when you see someone surface from darkness. Are you somebody’s only Light to Life?
1 Corinthians 3:21-23
I don’t want to hear any of you bragging about yourself or anyone else. Everything is already yours as a gift—Paul, Apollos, Peter, the world, life, death, the present, the future—all of it is yours, and you are privileged to be in union with Christ, who is in union with God.
When John and I decide to follow after God and get married, God provided all of it! He found rings for us and a photographer. We did the flowers and the cake on our own. Within a few months we got married and began our journey as husband and wife. We once were two and now we are one in Christ. Neither of us can boast about our ministries. We know that we cannot do anything apart from Christ and that is one constant in our life.
John has a unique ministry and so do I, yet as a married couple we minister together. John ministers differently than I do but our ministries fit together like a hand and a glove. Even though we have different calls on our lives, we mesh as one. We have learned our strengths and weaknesses as a married couple and have sought God for the answers to any confusion.
It seems as if God sends people into our lives at just the right times to keep us moving forward as one unit. God knows the plans He has for both of us. He knew this before we were born. John and I were talking the other day and we wondered if perhaps we knew each other in heaven when we were just spirits. We have been best friends since the beginning, almost as if we already knew each other.
Love can never really be measured, but we know this for sure. Love is deep when it is true. You will need a deep vessel in which it carry it because you do not want to lose any of it. If your love is shallow, it will not grow. Roots need room to grow. Roots need some place deep to reside in so as not to be easily uprooted by day to day things. Choose to grow your love deep into the love of God. Choose to let God be in charge of your marriage or relationship. Begin to see your lives as seeds desiring to be massive fruit bearing plants for Jesus.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.
What is fear? Is it real or just imaginary? How come some of us fear one thing and others are fearful of different things? I guess since we were all raised in different homes we learned to fear separate things. For me, water is a fear. I get to about chest high and a panic state arises in my spirit and I begin to really feel the fear. I know in my heart that God did not give me a spirit of fear, so why I am I still afraid of the water?
Fear keeps us from doing so many things. It surely is an enemies tool against our lives. Some of us even fear spiders which are millions times smaller than we are, how is that even possible? What about those who are afraid to leave their homes, they are bound to a fear which mobilizes them. There is a fear for pretty much everything on earth and we either need to choose to live without fear or just avoid the snares all together.
Tonight as I was hanging out in the pool, I tried once again to deal with my fear. I know where my fear started, it was when I was about eight years old and was thrown off a boat in hopes that I would learn how to swim. Then to add to this fear and keep me there, my son had a near drowning experience when he was six. This summer I walked farther into Lake Michigan than I had ever done, but somehow, the fear is still lingering. All I can do is surrender it once again to God for I know He has a plan to remove the fear.
What are you afraid of? Do you run from your fears or do you walk in quiet confidence knowing God did not give you a spirit of fear? I think this is a subject which hits all of us. I can’t say that I have ever met anyone who has no fears, it just proves that Satan is hard at work trying to keep us from doing the things God has set out for us. We at some point will need to come to terms with our fear and face it instead of running from it. We will need to stare it right in the face and speak truth to it, the truth that if we are with Chirst, we have no fear.
I myself want to get over this fear of water. I will keep pressing in each time to be able to conquer it. I no longer want to run, I want to take this fear of water by the hand and walk out what God has promised me….A Spirit without fear! Are you ready to face a fear or two?
They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
Wow! So much going on at one time in my life, I seem to be slipping at this blogging! I have been promoted at work to General Manager and as I am getting my feet wet, I am in that balancing act of trying to re-platform my life. I am sure I will get back into the swing of things soon, yet it just seems out of my grasp. Then today in a moment of wondering what is happening at the court house with my husband I get the text from my editor telling me she is almost done! So excited! I cannot wait to see what doors God will open while I am just here resting in the peace that He has provided for me. I feel as though the more I rest, the more that happens! I have never felt like I was on top of the world before, but I feel very close to that at the moment. My final dental appointment for now is May 17th and I will once again be able to smile like I used to! My book is about to hit the bookshelves and the hearts of those who need to read it. I am settling into my new role as General Manager and the prospect of moving into the new house is getting closer.
So I use the reference verse for this blog because it is the one read at my past owners funeral and it has stuck with me and resonated in my heart for so long. As my roots in Christ grow stronger and I drink in the Living Water, things just begin to grow and spread. My branches become stronger and I am able to reach out to others even while I am just standing in His River of Life. I have wanted to have this peace for as long as long as I can remember. Even when there are storms bashing about, I am in such a firm location, I cannot be shaken. Sure I have my moments but they are few and far between.
My wish today is for all of you to come to the river, plant your roots in the already prepared soil and just relax. Trust God to provide. Just look at my life, and none of it is a lie, it is truth. It seems like a fairy tale at times, yet it is so real. My dentures. My home. The book. The possibility of my husband beginning his walk with God even though the circumstances seem dim. My promotion. All of these things are happening while I am resting in His peace. Resting in the trust. Resting in His glory. I pray each of you will bury your roots in the warm and just feel Him surround you.
Below is a picture of a rock I discovered on the retreat I was just recently on. It was like a love letter straight from God! May I always be buried in His love, surrounded by His peace. It took quite the journey to get here, yet I am completely satisfied with what has happened because I know God has been in control. Will you start now to let Him have control? The River is calling…..