Hang On

 

letting go

 

 

There is a song that I love by Jeremy Camp entitled, I Will Walk by Faith and when it gets to the melody I start to bob and sway my head. This morning, I was bobbing and thinking about my faith. I personally think it’s a good thing to perform a faith check from time to time. Actually, when I really think about it, I think it’s important to do that often.

As I was bobbing my head this morning, looking out the window, I was thinking about my strife. I am for some reason right now meant to wrestle the earth, wood, clay, and marble into forms to seize the air into my own personal faith in Jesus. I am wrestling a lot lately with breaking down two words that are haunting my mind like a bad virus.

At church yesterday, I looked around at the arms outstretched and hands raised to the rhythms of God’s grace. The rhythms of worship were drawing souls closer. My arms, outstretched, realized that the soul within me was growing around the words causing me to grow closer. I dropped my wounds that have been replaying like a broken record. The passageways between what has been growing within me and what has radiated outward yesterday were dreams of truth and love.

Why do I shy away from surrender? Do I not know that I am merely floating around this earth allowing surrender to criticize me rather than comfort me? Ah yes, I do know. Have you ever been there?

If I may give advice, not that I am any kind of expert in life, I would not wait until later to refine the golden life that God has given you. If you could sum up to one word that you need to hold onto to right now, what would it be? Is it job, finance, brokenness, anger, or betrayal? Whatever it is, hold onto it. I know that is contrary to what we normally read. Give your cares and your burdens to God. Yes, I agree with that but I think we need to lean into the emotion that surrounds the word; then in its appointed time, we can then let it go. I want to make that very clear. God tells us to Let Go; Let God. But, how can you let go of something you have no idea of what it is burning within you?

What word is in your bag of words today? Study it! Confront it! Acknowledge it and surrender to it. Learn all you can from it. Let the emotions permeate throughout your body and then let it go. Give it to God and he will bless your willingness.

Where is your “There”

running brook

Life was so much easier back then. I thought as you aged, life was supposed to fall perfectly into place. I thought as you aged all of the pieces of the financial puzzle, the love puzzle and security puzzle were all placed delicately into position. Believe me, changing diapers and potty training was simple compared to aging and having pieces of the puzzle still not in place.

We spend so much of our time on Earth running after or running from…When we want to be loved, we run from the pain of betrayal and fear. When we go after a job and it’s given to someone else we cower and run from other opportunities. I have been writing for years and my hunt to get my thoughts published may look like victory to others but I can easily put my confidence in what they are saying rather than my own self worth.

For the past couple of years, I have pictured in secret, imagining my life as being better somewhere else because I didn’t want to stay on the path I was on. Whether it was illness, financial or relationships, I wanted to go somewhere else…but where is that there? When I visit this picture in my mind I allow the enemy to twist my thoughts. I wait for a person to alleviate all of my numbness. I can retreat to a safe zone but I can’t stay there because God has me here not “there.”

If we hide our desires and actions with the life we have created then we are who we ar through those experiences we’ve endured. Again, we ca’t run after nor run from anything without forgiveness and more importantly without God’s direction. That doesn’t mean that our failures and unhappiness is a reason to hunt for something better, but make sure in that hunt you are holding the hand of Jesus.

How about you? Does your life right now feel like you are captive in a strange land? Remember the Israelites’ heartache…fear…dread…despair? They could do little to save their own lives from their situations. But God had a plan and arranged Ester to be in a place of influence, a place of trust. Esther was placed into the Kings harem but even in that relationship, the King was an impulsive alcoholic. I don’t believe she tried to run away from the past nor try to run ahead of the future. Her time was right there and now with God. She followed his sweet Victory plan and it happened because she persuaded the King to let the Jews defend themselves against the onslaught and they were victorious. Please read the book of Esther and you will see that she honored the goodness of God and the working of His Spirit in her life.

Where are you right now? Jobless? Destructive family relationships? Terminal illness? Spiritually dry? God has a mighty plan for each moment of each day. Psalm 103:2 says, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.”

I am in a humbling mode, giving all of my faults and failures to God so that I don’t run from or run after anything without a clear direction. Lord, keep my eyes clear and ears open to what you might be teaching me through my circumstances. So often I want to run from the world around me but that would mean that I am letting the devil get the best of me. Encourage me God. I’m hungry and thirsty for You.living by grace Join us today as we discuss how we either run from or run after without God.

Returning to the Sweet Fragrance

 

perfume

 

What’s on your agenda Lord? After spending some time in prayer and reading of God’s word, I took some time to reflect and when I do that, I have to write. As I read in both the book of Mark and Luke the account of the woman who poured fragrant oil over Jesus’ head; I asked myself, what am I doing for Jesus that is noble? I took time to recline and think, ponder and pray.

When we pray for others in Jesus’ name, that’s a noble thing. When we bring a meal, send a card; sing a song for Jesus, that’s noble. When we do these things and do them in the name of Jesus, then we are noble. The key in this scripture is that this woman anointed Jesus with her FINE perfume; it was not 2nd best but THE BEST. Why didn’t she pour something over Simon’s skin? After all, he had a serious skin disease. Knowing myself, I would have focused on trying to heal Simon and miss the time with Jesus. I always want to make things better. Anyway, her aim was to give her very best to Jesus. She did a huge thing with a small jar. She anointed His body in advance for burial.

I remember growing up and playing in mom’s bedroom with her glass tray of beautiful perfume jars. My dad always bought her nothing but the best for those special occasions, drawing our noses to sniffing the most fragrant potions. The jars that belonged to my grandmother were intricately shaped with crystal edges. One in particular was cut into an octagon shape with a smooth glass-like texture. It was always empty, but when I lifted the lid I could still smell my Grammy. I would pretend to dab the scent behind my ears and on my wrists as mom instructed. Inside that jar once held expensive perfume.

The woman who anointed Jesus didn’t dab though; she poured; she let it all out, flowing over Jesus’ head. That vision gives me chill-bumps. As I glance over to my small stash of counterfeit perfumes I see my favorite. It is the most expensive, not that it was much but it did cost more and the jar is pretty. I sprayed a little mist on my skin, closed my eyes and pictured myself with Jesus.

We are anointed by the Holy Spirit when we accept Jesus as our personal Savior. His Spirit navigates our every move. Sometimes we can stray from the moment of being in the direction of the Spirit of God. We create a tension between the human thought and the spiritual thought. I don’t believe the woman was thinking anything other than serving Jesus during the anointing. When we incorporate the fullness of living intentionally for Jesus, it will anoint us. If we stray from the “moment”, that won’t surprise us, but rather than beating ourselves up remember that the more crucial thing is that we not focus on the straying but rather on the return.

Win/Win

 

So do you feel your sense of worth comes from comparing yourself to someone’s success? This could relate to smoking, weight loss, drinking or the business world. Our lives can easily be scripted by our thought process. Sometimes we can see ourselves as having only just so much by the way we are treated. I’m focusing right now with the business world with my next few statements. It’s raw.

I’m going to refer back to the win/win situation I wrote about yesterday. Some Company leaders often think in either/or terms and they think that if you’re nice then you’re not tough or if your voice is tender you can’t handle the pressure of the job. Little do they know though is that in order to be a part of the win/win team, you have to be nice, empathetic, confident, considerate, and sensitive and brave to be a successful leader. Stephen Covey says to find the balance between courage and consideration, you need to possess maturity. That word, maturity, completely lacked in the leadership in a recent employment opportunity. I say opportunity because there was opportunity, it was just unseen.

Bosses or managers, who want their staff to be the way THEY desire for them to be, create an atmosphere of “yes” employees. I recently became a “yes” employee and was quickly stripped of my values and was afraid to say “no.” I challenged a statement only to feel disloyal or insubordinate when I was not.stressed-at-work-200x194

We are not victorious when we belittle other people. In the business world, what does victory mean to you? Do you need to step back from your pile of paperwork and reevaluate your staff? Are you a win/win person by allowing each individual to be inventive and interactive or are you just pulling on the puppet strings? Are you saying “thank you, please and great job?” Just like junk food and never getting exercise can ruin an athlete’s condition; rudeness, hurtful micromanaging bosses who are never positive can breed a sense of dark self-worth in her employees.

I mistakenly went into a business where I was scripted by people; not principles. I allowed a company to rob me of my own circle of influence (God) to shape me into something I am not. I have however gained tremendous insight now into what I let go of; a dysfunctional behavior. Whew! Thank you God that you are bringing me back to a place of balance; reminding me of my sense of genuine compassion for the underdog; I’ve been there a time or two in life. You remind me that out of worry, out of fear and out of no more obligations to the unkind dysfunctional behavior, your light shines on me bringing me to a place of joy, restoration and healing.

The Discomfort…

Some people start new directions in life uncertain of what steps to take. I took a leap of faith only to walk into something that was not mine to begin with; God made that very evident, it just took me a bit to catch on.
According to the many of Stephen Covey books, and by the way, that’s with a “ph” not a “v”, you work as a team with respect in each other. I’ve always admired his business tactics. I was raised to be honest and kind no matter what. You don’t get even and you don’t do unto others what they have done unto you. You rise above it.
My behavior is governed by principles in my life. I do not cuss just because others might be letting the “F” bomb fly. I do not do “dishonesty” and I’ve always considered myself to be cooperative and a very dedicated kind of person to the task at hand. Stephen Covey says that, “The proactive approach to a mistake is to acknowledge it and instantly learn from it.” Boy have I had a four week learning experience and now I get it. I am gentle and kind, not cut-throat. Covey also says that “win/win can only survive in an organization when systems support it.” That’s the key-support when you feel like you are not part of a team, isolated and belittled every day. The only way to be part of the win/win team is early in the beginning stage of the learning process. You need to feel like part of the team and part of the bigger picture. Honesty, sincerity, correct principles and integrity are the way to organization and it’s the way God desires me to be.
Today a door was shut, but you know what? That’s okay; I could not withstand the rudeness, the ambiguity, confusion and pain. My diagnosis, if I were any form of doctor would be that I would never have made the right decision because I’m not a quitter. God, I thank the person who did that for me. For you who sit behind your desk that doesn’t follow Stephen Covey’s principles at all, I thank you for giving me the time now to find the correct path. I will not shrink to your words anymore because I am on God’s path, not yours and He has told me over and over again, contrary to what you might think and say, I am not dumb and I am valued. Thanks again.
For anyone who feels this way in their lives, I’m sorry. Don’t be walked on and don’t allow others to be-little you. You can rise above it and find the correct decision. Anxiety is the dizziness of newness…KIERKEGAARD