The walk of life

For the past few years, when the weather is nice my husband and I walk at our community walking trails. We have a few favorite trails, especially since we moved back home last year. We have three trails that we frequent whenever the weather is nice. We had gotten out of the habit for a while, and this week decided to get back to the trails.

However, he bought a new bicycle and really wanted to start working on building up his endurance. I am not a bicycle rider. I never learned as a child, and while a close friend taught me how; it is not something I feel I have mastered enough to want to do in public. I encouraged him to ride and I would walk the trail, it would give him more time to build up endurance.

The first night, I forgot my headset, so it was just me and my thoughts except when he would loop around me on his bicycle. I would pass other walkers with a friendly “hello” or nod of acknowledgement if they were with others. The rest of the time, it was just me, the sidewalk and nature around me.

I started thinking about the walk of life and how my walk that day mirrored it. At first, I was a little upset that my husband was able to go faster than I was. His mode of transportation was meant to take him farther faster. Sometimes in life, we start looking at where we think we should be.  Usually farther along in a particular journey than we are, maybe in a spiritual sense or in our careers or a specific relationship. People often start looking at where others are and let envy set in.  Or start to make excuses as to why the other person is farther along.  Or excuses as to why they are in the spot they are and not where the other person is.

walkoflifeI remember when a close friend was walking a similar journey as me. She was a newer believer and her husband was not attending church with her. Our back stories were also similar, especially in regards to our husbands. Shortly after our journeys together started, her husband started attending church.  He was really getting plugged in and serving God. I admit that really caused me pause because I had been walking the journey for about twelve years at that time. It was easy for me to start looking at how quickly things were happening for her, and compare it to the stalled progress I felt in my own life. It took a lot of soul searching and prayer to get me past that state of envy. During that time, I also realized that having my husband by my side at church was not an end all that I had built it up to be. Continue reading

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Wavering or “Wisdoming”

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. James 1:5‭-‬8 NLT

I sometimes ask God for something, and then when He delivers I find myself questioning “Is this really you?” Wisdom is one of those things. We all need it. God has it. And He wants to give it to us. James makes it clear in the passage above “He will give it to you.”. God not only wants to give wisdom; He gives it “generously and without reproach” another version says.

Our part is to ask and then trust. God is not going to disapprove of our request. He wants us to receive His wisdom and use it. Why then do we doubt?  Maybe it is just me. When I receive a word of wisdom or knowledge, that is in line with a request from my heart and in line with His Word, I still find myself wavering “Is it really from Him?”

When I ask for something tangible and God delivers, I have no problem accepting it and giving Him glory. If I ask for healing and receive it, I know it is from Him. When I ask for provision and it comes, I know it is from Him, regardless of the source that hands the provision to me. When I ask for anything I can see with my eyes or touch with my hands, I don’t doubt. When I have tangible proof that what I asked for is received, I believe.  I don’t ever remember not believing those tangible answers were from God.

wisdomYet Hebrews says: Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1 NLT  It is not faith when I am receiving what I can see.  Yes, there are things that I stand on in faith, that I have not seen yet – my whole family loving the Lord with their whole hearts using their gifts and talents to further His Kingdom or seeing the tangible needs of my community met through the Church servings as God’s hands and feet.  I long for a day when the spirits of perversion, greed, poverty, pride and the anti-Christian spirit is no longer prevalent in this nation.  These are things I can not see yet, and until then I will continue to stand in faith for.

Wisdom however, can only be received in faith.  I can not see it.  Sometimes I may see the result of worldly wisdom in the solving of a larger problem, or the facial expression on one receiving it, but I can not actually see wisdom.  So if I ask for wisdom, I have to have faith that God will be true to His word and provide it.  I can not then sit on that wisdom, I must begin to act on it.  God will back it up wisdom with the Word.  He would never give knowledge that is contrary to His Word.

Even when He gives worldly wisdom to His children, it will still line up with the Word.  An example immediately comes to mind, I was helping to raise money for a non-profit once.  It was an annual fundraiser and we seemed to be capped on the amount that we could raise.  We talked about switching venues, raising ticket prices, or sponsor amounts.  We just kept hitting the same amount when we discussed the barriers to each idea.  Budgets were already created for the sponsors they would choose to go down a tier or pick another non-profit.  Venues were already booked up for the year.  Charging more when we were not really changing anything really seemed unfair to the faithful supporters.

I prayed about it for a while, knowing the goal we wanted to hit.  In the midst of brainstorming with the team, I threw out a change to what we provided the sponsors, not changing the dollar amount, but just the seats that we provided which often times would go empty.  When we worked it up, that small change actually got us over the goal.  Needless to say, we raised more money that year, even though there was a slip at the end and there was not a direct ask for additional donations.  It was definitely wisdom given by God for the moment.

For me, I find I waver more when the wisdom that is given is a spiritual wisdom.  Spiritual “wisdoming” is outside my comfort zone (I know God is suppose to be my Comforter, not a zone where I need to stay for my own security), especially in my spiritual circle.  In my sphere of influence, outward, I usually have no problem “wisdoming”. I don’t even mind sharing one on one when I am with others.  When I get in a group, like at church, I really have to push myself to share anything that is placed on my heart by God.  He literally has to confirm, and reconfirm, and still at times I have quenched the Holy Spirit instead of sharing the wisdom He has placed, even though I asked for Him to give it to me.

As I read this passage in James, I realize the risk I have run by quenching His Spirit. I repent of not receiving and releasing His wisdom when He shares it with me.  I understand why James uses the picture of  an unsettled wave, but when I have resisted it, I feel so unsettled, blown and tossed – not just in the moment but for days after.  It literally divides me because I get to the point that I stop wavering and realize I should have just done a little “wisdoming.”  God convicts me of it in love, but it becomes an open door for the enemy to walk through with his condemnation.

When we ask God for wisdom, we have be believe that He will give it to us.  We have to receive it in faith and act on it with obedience.  We can look for confirmation in the Word of God when we feel we have received wisdom in a matter because whether it is worldly knowledge or spiritual wisdom, it will never be contrary to His written Word.  Wavering not only causes internal conflict, but opens the door for the enemy to bring in condemnation.  Instead of wavering in our faith, we need to be “wisdoming” in faith!

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Butterflies of Change

The other day while I was on an evening walk with my husband on one of  our local community trails, we came across a bridge flowing over a creek. Down on the bank of the creek was a mother and her toddler daughter, there was  another woman at the top of the bank by the bridge. The little girl was crying hysterically trying to climb up the bank to the bridge to the other lady.  The mother was trying to let the child know butterflies don’t bite. The little one wanted nothing to do with the butterfly.  I smiled at the scene and we kept walking.

As we walked that same spot again tonight, my mind went back to the little girl’s drastic fear. Butterflies to me they are a symbol of change.   I thought there are times in my life, that just like the little girl I have an adverse reaction to what I fear might happen if I change.

There are times that change does not bother me in the least, I have a motto “The only thing constant is change.” However, that mostly applies to my work life.  When I worked for the state, one thing I could always count on was change.  Change to the work flow, the policies, and leadership.  Every job after, I kept the same mantra.  I don’t get worked up over change that impacts me but that I have little control over.  I realized a long time ago it does not help at all.  I generally will just go with the flow, although I may grumble a little if it doesn’t make sense.  I can move on rather quickly.

butterflyofchangeThere are also times when I do have some control over change, even in my personal life.  There are times that I can press in to the change.  I can prepare myself for it and move successfully through it without problem.  I think of my children growing up and moving out and away.  Or my mother passing away, job changes, and moves these were changes that I navigated.  Although there were hiccups along the way, I have never found myself fighting those changes.  They are changes that are part of the circle of life, they still happen to me.  With the exception of moves and job changes, I have little control over the change they would inevitably happen

Yet with the butterfly, there are changes that happen to and around it – the cocoon that it spins, the time inside, the struggle to get out, but the changes are also personal.  They transform from a simple caterpillar into a magnificent butterfly. They go from crawling to flying.  The personal process can not be short changed.

To often I am terrified of the change that lies before me personally.  When I feel called to step out of my comfort zone in a particular area, I would say especially spiritually, that irrational fear creeps up.  Every ounce of my being can fight that change.  Unfortunately, God will not go against my will.  So while He like the mother is trying to convince me that the butterfly of change is good, I am scurrying away from the change trying to get to the bank of comfort zone.  I am working against His efforts.  I don’t want that cocoon around me.

Even though eventually I will step out in that change, I often make it much harder on myself than He ever designed it to be.   It is not that changes that God asks me to make are completely pain free, there are times that there is a struggle and it is God ordained.  However, His change and process is always for growth and always for good.  He is looking for me to trust Him, to not scream hysterically or run irrationally away, but to press in and let Him bring me to the place of safety even as I walk though the change.  He will walk with me as I learn to adjust to the new circumstances He is calling me to.  I have to be willing to let Him help me be where He is calling me and stop resisting the change or even the notion of change.

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I Could Never Do What You Do!!!

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves[d] or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts,[e] yet one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.

27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. 28 And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts.  And I will show you a still more excellent way.  I Corinthians 12:1-31

God apportions different spiritual gifts to each person, but all the gifts come from God. We are one body, not each individual church, but The Church as a whole, we work together as a whole to function completely as God designed. We need each other, individually and collectively. We should care for each other in sadness, joy, and honor.

dowhatyoudoAs I read this passage, I immediately thought of work. I would guess that most places, regardless of the skill-set often have similar conversations, but as a Social Worker at least once a month or so, I have someone say to me “I could never do what you do.” Or something along the lines to imply that they could not or would not want to have my job duties and responsibilities. I have had nurses, patient techs, and even doctors make those comments.

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Transference

There is a process in therapy called transference. Basically the person needing counseling transfers feelings they have for someone in thier life towards the therapist. In a positive role, the therapist will have clear boundaries and will be able to help the counselee learn a different coping mechanism for handling the person they really have the feelings towards so the counselee can move forward. In a negative role, the counselee will self destruct and try to get the therapist to fulfill the role in the same manner that the person they have the feelings toward does. In a more determental role, there is a countertransferance where the therapist tries to work out thier own personal issues in the therapy session putting thier feelings on the client.

I am not sure what brought this to my mind, as I am not currently providing counseling, nor am I in counseling. However, I was thinking this is what we do with God, I realize my thoughts oversimplify the matter, but the revelation was good for me. In transference with God, Daddy issues become God issues. Spouse issues become God issues. Trust issues become God issues. Anything that works itself out in relationships becomes a God issue.

I have seen this play out in my own relationships. There have been times where I have felt rejected by God. Yet the root of that rejection is feelings of rejection from childhood. I have felt unloved by God because I allowed how I was feeling towards my spouse to influence how I felt God was responding to me. When I have felt left behind by friends, I have at times put that on God also feeling as if He was leaving me behind. A deeper look is that how I relate to others is often a reflection of how I am relating to God. I transfer my feelings towards others to God.

I am grateful that my great Counselor has perfect boundaries. He knows how to work on my heart and mind to help me work through my issues in other relationships. I remember when God showed me how I was relating to my husband in an unhealthy manner. He taught me to talk to Him before I started complaining to or about my husband. Once I was able to work through my own emotions I was able to go back to my husband and have a good conversation about the underlying issue instead of reacting to the immediate circumstances which were just symptoms to which we were responding.

And when that feeling of rejection comes up, I traced it all the way back to childhood. I had a limited understanding of things from childhood. My childhood self took on rejection, and then my adult self just ran with it. Until I went back and processed some of the things that lead me to feel rejected with a God-sized lens. It changed my thinking, but there is a lot of junk that God is still having to strip away from all those years of distorted thinking.

The really cool thing I was thinking about with transference, is that when I transfer my feelings on to God, He knows what to do with them. If I let Him, He will help me work them out. He is not gonna get frustrated and fire me. He will really set those boundaries, and even when I push them He doesn’t give up on me. He knows that I am a work in progress and He won’t quit on me. He is the best Counselor.

The other thing is, with God countertransference is a good thing! When I can let Him work things out through me, that is what the Kingdom of God is about. When I let Him love through me, others get real love. When I let His fruit grow in my life, it impacts the world around me in ways that I can not even begin to explain. When I really let His light shine in me, others are able to encounter Him.

I know that teansference happens. I realize that my view is over simplified. I can let God help me work out negative emotions, and let Him guide my healing process. He can teach me to let His healing power work through me and flow into the lives of those around me. He is an amazing God and counselor.

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Can I maybe call you Daddy?

“Can I maybe call you dad?” Those simple words on the screen from a little girl to her daddy brought tears to my eyes. There is a difference between a father and a dad. All daddies are fathers in my book, but not all fathers are daddies.  I see a father as a figure, there but not available.  I see a father as talking but not listening or engaged.  Authoritarian in style, controlling not nurturing.   He is a man to be obeyed and feared.

In contrast, a daddy is someone that you can always talk to and know he is listening. He is a place of safety, a lap you can climb up in and rest close enough to sink your heartbeats. He makes you know and feel his love, even when you know you have screwed up royally. He is able to bring peace in the storm, to right a wrong even when the situation can’t be changed.  He is available and uses nurturing correction.  He is a man with whom you have a true relationship.

I didn’t realize how much my heart missed having a daddy in my life. It has been over twenty-two years since my dad passed away. He was far from perfect, but I knew he always had my back.  There is just something special about the relationship between a girl and her daddy. No matter what the problems are in a family, there is a bond that runs deep.  And his passing left a void in my life, that still exists to this day.

However, my response to that question stirred a deeper ache because it wasn’t my dad that came to mind as I heard myself pondering that question.  I realized the deeper cry in my heart was for my Heavenly Father, “Can I maybe call you Daddy?”

abbaI have a relationship with God, but I long to trust Him as a Daddy, or Abba.  For some that may seem too personal for the God of the universe, or too casual name “dad”. 

I want to fully believe that regardless of my problems I have, my Father in Heaven longs for that deep bond with me just the same.  I have a knowledge in my head of God the Father.  My head knows He is an Abba, but there is a wall I have built around me that keeps me from really allowing myself to call Him “Daddy.”

I realize I need God as my daddy, I need His presence to feel that void.  I want to feel my Heavenly Daddy’s arms around me, to sink my heart to His and rest in His presence.  I need to feel Him listen to the cries of my heart, and believe that He cares enough to help me in my mess.  I need His correction, but I long for His nurturing.  I long to really make the connection that there is nothing I can do or have done that can keep His love from me, because He is love.

I love this quote from Larry Crabb, author “I assume the Spirit is always whispering, “Abba”, to God’s children, assuring them that they are safe in His care. And He is continually calling them to become what God saved them to be, solid people, indestructibly alive, hurting perhaps, but consumed with pleasing the Father.”

Tonight my heart cries out in response to the Spirit’s whisper, “God, can I maybe call you Daddy?”

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Searching

I love when I get revelation in an unconventional message, especially when I am searching for it somewhere else. I was laying in my hammock after work, listening to the birds sing God’s praises that never ceased. I was enjoying the light glistening in the leaves contemplating how those little flickers of light represent the light of God’s people in the world; we are in the world but not of it. Praying, seeking, and yet not hearing; that is when I heard my husband pull up.

He was on his motorcycle and generally I will open the garage so he can just ride it straight in to park. This day I hadn’t opened the garage. As I heard the bike idling, I was sure he had paused waiting for me to open the door. I didn’t move from my hammock.  Eventually his motorcycle turned off.  I waited for him to come out to greet me.  He didn’t.

As I lay in the hammock waiting, I pictured my husband walking into the house.  He might call out my name, walk to our bedroom and bathroom where he will usually find me if I don’t greet him from the kitchen or living room.  I figured that when he did not find me there, he would come outside.  He didn’t.  I admit I was a little disappointed.  Eventually I got up from the hammock and went searching for him.  I found him standing in the kitchen.

In that fifteen minutes of waiting and picturing what I wanted, I saw how God is also wanting us to search for Him.  There are things that are straight up available to us from Him. Yet, there are deeper treasures that He wants us to seek after Him for, a searching on our part. It is not that He is hiding, just that He wants us to make the effort to move closer to Him.

searchA wave of conviction hit me, that sometimes I am content at just waiting for Him to come to me.  As I felt my own disappointment towards my husband not really searching for me, I imagined how I have disappointed God.  I have too often been content to walk through the door, read a scripture, and just stop there.  As if reading the words is all that is necessary.  I stop and don’t let His Word penetrate my heart and change my action or my perceptions.

Other times, I may look a little deeper, I might walk into another room searching, but I stop before I find the fullness of the treasure He has for me.   I might journal and skim the surface of how a Word applies to my life.  I might even dig a little deeper, but I stop short of allowing the Word to transform my life.  I stop searching and just move on to other things.  I know the seed is planted, but what if it could have been something that God would have done “suddenly” in my life if I just pressed in.

Just as I wanted my husband to keep searching, God wants me to keep searching until I have all that He has for me.  Lately there have been some scriptures that when I really searched my heart, gave me a revelation, that I could ponder and meditate on for days.  My heart would leap as I really thought about the passage.  Most were passages I have skimmed over before, but for whatever reason now they are screaming “Jackie, Here I Am, this one if for you.”

Like Luke 6:19

and the whole crowd was trying to touch Him, because power kept going out from Him, healing everyone.

Those simple words I have meditated on for three days.  Maybe in part because of where I am right now.  No, I don’t need a physical healing, but I want to see His power in a real and tangible way.  I am not just searching for something for myself, I want it for everyone.

We had a special speaker, and I had so much anticipation leading up to the man’s messages.  Although it was inspiring, it did not end up looking like I thought it would. I think I had expected this person to come, and there to just be an undeniable move of God that would radiate out through the community.  When I started talking to God about why it had not been more, I got only one word back.  “Preparation.”    What I saw, was that I wanted that manifestation without the preparation.  I want a microwaved move of God, when He is more of a slow-simmer cooking method.  I heard through the messages of the searching for God, individually and corporately.  If I want what the man spoke of, I have to be willing to do what was done before, search God with my whole heart.

This scripture spoke to me because Jesus was not walking around touching a select few.  The people were searching out Him to touch Him.  He wasn’t trying to heal them, the power was flowing out of Him because He was prepared.  He had already been with God in prayer, He was full to overflowing and from that place the power flowed.  Everyone was healed.  It wasn’t a select few, but everyone who reached out to Him.

The Bible says:

John 14:12-14“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!

Those scriptures together is what I was expecting when the man came to speak.  It is still what I am anticipating.  That we will do what Jesus did.  That Christ’s power in us will flow out.  That people will be healed and lives will be transformed.  That is what I am searching for.  I pray that I will keep searching until it is found.

We all have a decision to make, will we be content with just what God places in our hands outright, or will we search for Him with our whole hearts.  Will be keep searching for the deeper truths or will be satisfied with secondhand passages.  Will we stop our search before it becomes transformative action in our lives or continue searching until His power flows through us to reach the world around us?

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Love without compromise

As an impressionable young teenager, I remember filling notebooks with I ❤ and some random boy’s name. I remember one sheet that is still probably somewhere in my memoriabilia that was filled with different boys names all the way across and down. There was at least fifteen names on the paper, and that might be an underestimate. I admit, I had no clue what love really was but my infatuation with any of those boys at the time could have easily led me to compromise my character under the right circumstances.

I am not sure why my mind was drawn to the memory of that sheet as I listened to a song about the vastness of God’s love. A song of how God’s love should turn our hearts towards a love for others. Maybe it is the fact that I am often irritated when the love that is required by Christ costs me something I am not in the mood to give. When people move into the draining phase of care and I am in a mood to just skim the surface.

It had been that kind of day. One where more than one person was needing something that I didn’t feel like I wanted to give. My cup was nearing empty and I was not relying on God to fill it to overflowing so I could minister to those around me. I admit, I have found myself here a little to often for my liking lately.

Regardless of why it came to mind, my mind was drawn to the idea that I might have compromised myself at that young age had the circumstances been right. God doesn’t ask me to compromise, He just asks for obedience with only my best in mind. Yet too often, I am still unwilling to give what little I have in my hand to Him. The only thing that is compromised in my relationship with Him is my flesh. He asks me to give up things that distract me from Him. In the moment it may be painful pruning, but I have never had a regret when I have obeyed His request. My only regrets tend to be when I don’t listen to His still small voice.

I am not the same young girl, that thought I loved every cute boy that crossed my path. At that time in my life, I allowed God to keep me from compromising who I was. In my relationship with God, why do I allow my flesh to compromise who God says I am? I want to get to the point with Him that I will love without compromise. I want to get to a place where My relationship with Him means that whatever He asks, I am willing to give generously and without question.

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Led or Dragged

My grandchildren are one, four, six and twelve.  They are little sponges, soaking in everything from the world around them.  I learn so much about the world and often my own self, when I see things through their eyes.  My favorite thing though, is when God speaks to me through them.  Sunday, He definitely caught my attention through them.

My two middle grandchildren attend church with me when they are in town.  This is something they have done since the older of the two was about a month old, and so it is just part of our time together.  On Sunday mornings we go in early to pray before the praise and worship team practice and before people really start arriving.  Usually we walk around the chairs and pray over those who will soon fill them, in addition to the service in general.  Then the children will typically sit on either side of me until those people there early come together for a corporate prayer.  It might be about 30 to 40 minutes, and generally they do pretty good.

Sunday they were a little wired, because it had been cold and they had been inside most of the weekend.  Mimi was a little tired from staying up late, so it was not a good combination.  Little things they were doing which typically I would not have taken notice of were getting on my nerves, which was distracting me from what I was there to do – pray.  Yet even in the midst, God was speaking to my heart.

My grandson gently took my hand, wanting me to walk with him.  I took his hand, initially not knowing where we were going, and willingly followed.  He led me to the chairs, he wanted to walk through them again.  While I know they do not fully comprehend why I walk around and touch every chair while I pray, he wanted to do it a second time.    I heard that still, small voice, whisper, “You can follow me the same way.  Take my hand and trust I will not lead you anywhere that is not good for you.”

childledOn the surface, I know God won’t take me anywhere I shouldn’t be.  Yet so often I resist.  I want to be in control.  I want to know the plan; preferably the whole plan, not just one step ahead of me planning.  God is looking for someone who will obediently follow.  He is looking for that child-like faith that just says “okay.”  He is looking for a trust that will go even when it doesn’t understand.  He is looking for that from me.

As corporate prayer ended, my granddaughter took my hands and started pulling me out of the sanctuary.  Following prayer, they go have a donut.  She wants the one with the sprinkles and most of the donuts are just the glazed yeast donuts, so she was a girl on a mission.  I was not in any hurry.  She was literally dragging me out.

That is unfortunately how God often has to lead me, I felt that  thought quicken in my spirit.  I am not resisting completely, but I am not cooperating.  I am not throwing a tantrum, but He has to drag me around to where He wants me to be willing to go.  He is a God on a mission, and I am hem-hawing around taking my sweet time.   I don’t often think about the fact that time is short, and people are perishing.  I fail to consider how my delay can impact someone else’s journey.

At the end of the day, we all have a piece to play in God’s Kingdom.  A role that was designed for us to carry out.  The question is, will we all God to lead us?  Or will He have to drag us?

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Donor’s gift

April was organ donation awareness month. There were education flyers around my workplace to build awareness and to dispel myths. Flyers encouraging people to give the gift of life. There were a lot of misconceptions that I had about organ donation, I did not realize that I had. As I journaled this past week about the characteristics of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, I couldn’t help but think of the coorelation with organ donation; some of the characteristics included gift, giver of life, life sustainer, etc.

DonationAs I laid down to sleep, I thought about the gift that God offers. He doesn’t put us on a list where we have to dot all our “i’s” and cross all our “t’s” to qualify. It is not a list where we wait for months or years hoping for our name to come up. He is there with the gift, ready as soon as we call on His name asking for Life. Yet so often, we treat God’s gift as if we are on a donor list. We think we have to get our life in order on our own before we can even come to Him. Yes, there may be things that need to change in our life, but change will come through Him once we accept His gift.

The other thing I thought about, which applies greatly to my own walk with God is how we use the gift He has given us. When a donor receives an organ, the have no choice about using it. Thier body may reject it, just as our flesh tries to reject what God has given us. However, if the gift is received it will serve the purpose it was intended by the giver.  They may have a part to play with certain medications or diet and exercise, but if a heart is transplanted it will beat and pump blood through the body without any effort from the recipient.

God offers each of us the gift of salvation. Jesus was the donor of that gift. We choose to receive His donation or not. It has already been donated, and the only expiration is our physical death. But each person has also been given gifts, through our talents and abilities. Just as an eye can not perform the function of a lung, or a liver perform the function of a heart, we each have a function to perform that is God given. Each person has a different expression of their gift of talents and abilities. This gift is ultimately given to benefit others and serve a kingdom purpose.

Just as organ donation is needed when one part fails or another overworks, when one Christian fails or another over performs, it impacts every other part of the body of Christ. Every time I fail to use my gifts for His plans and purposes, I reject Christ’s donation. When I reason with what I feel He has asked me to do, I reject His donation. When I excuse away my under or over performance, I reject His donation. My actions say “His gift is not enough to empower me to do what He asks of me.” Or worse my actions say, “His gift is not enough and I have to fill in the gap because otherwise everything will fail.”

The gift of life is a precious thing. Our Heavenly Father was the first donor for life; He donated His Son to give us an eternal life with Him.  God has blessed this world with the knowledge of ability to continue life through organ donation. Christ donated His entire life so that we could have life in Him. It is important that we not only accept His donor gift, but that we also use every gift He has given us to its fullest potential. We shouldn’t reject any part of the donor’s gift through our words and actions, but should use it to bring glory to the One who gave it all.

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