Monday, February 27, 2012

Living Out Your Purpose

'White' photo (c) 2011, Quinn Dombrowski - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

You may not know this, but I have super powers.

I’m the only one in the house who knows how to replace the empty tissue paper roll in the bathroom AND put the toilet seat down all in the same visit.

I know how to replace the kitchen paper towel roll, too and even wipe jelly off the counter…. but my super powers don’t stop there! No ma’am! I and only I can see the little wads of dog fur that accumulate beneath the couch and with my super-mom strength, I even manage to single-handedly lift the empty milk container from the fridge and stuff it into the garbage can.

With my special super-mom x-ray vision, I see beyond the backpacks and shoes all the way through to the dirty sock in the middle of the living room floor…the one that everyone else steps over for 3 days.

It’s really not their fault…poor things – they obviously don’t see all the things I see or possess the same powers as I do.

Obviously, the little jobs mentioned above are meant to be shared, but I have to believe that there are certain tasks meant for only you and for only me.

Have you thought about that lately?

About the task set aside with YOUR name on it? As the days stretch out into months and years, have you considered what it is you are meant to do? Do you believe that you’ve been designed to fulfill a particular need in this world – a purpose YOU and only YOU were created for and that it began all the way back when Jesus spoke your name for the very first time?

I want to remind you that it’s never too late to seek that purpose and live it out fully. If you’re still here, there’s still work to be done!

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

(1 Peter 2:9) NIV



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Find Your Center


'Thumbprint cookies - Old Xmas Collections' photo (c) 2007, zoyachubby - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
I remember her tiny fingers swirling through flour releasing frail wisps in afternoon sunlight. And the kitchen all aglow like honey dripping down in late summer with windows open and the fragrant butterfly bush wafting in. Through our giggles and anticipation, together we formed little dough balls on the pan... formed little memories for the heart.

We pressed the centers of each and filled each little well with jellies and preserves. Our eyes grew big knowing the delicious center held the sweetest part.

Makes me think about what’s really at the center…the center of me?

What’s at the center of you?

I’ve thought about it a lot lately…considering my “center” in conversations. Do my words and my actions really reflect what’s within me? Do they reflect who’s within me?

Am I always mindful of the One I serve? The One who brings me through? The One who hears my thoughts and knows my heart?

Do I remember Who’s at the center when I’m discouraged and sad? I rush to speak His name when my soul rejoices, but do I remember my center when the storm rages?

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

(Romans 15:13) NIV

Lord Jesus,

Help me to always feel your presence and hear your voice. May you always be at the center of me, the center of my strength and my courage just as I pray you are with the reader of these words. I thank you and praise you whether in my rejoicing or in the heart of the storm. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

When I Need a Safe Place to Land

'Pillows detail (application)' photo (c) 2010, Suzette Pauwels - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

It’s that perfect scripture shared by a friend just when I need it most.

It’s the song or hymn felt and heard from somewhere down deep inside.

It’s that sigh when I’m found nestled among pillows on my favorite seat in the house.

It’s that great cup of coffee that soothes away the tension and strife of the day.

When it’s fear and uncertainty that have me alert and jumping, it’s only the Lord who, with one steady wave of His hand, sweeps away all that has me on edge….all that rattles me. He speaks peace to my weary self and breathes comfort and security that claims me as His own.

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8) NIV ~~~ I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
(Psalm 16:8) NIV

Friday, February 3, 2012

Broken or Breaking Free?

'window' photo (c) 2005, Shirl - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I stood staring out the window and let my first cup of morning coffee work its magic. I watched as the trees swayed with a warm breeze releasing their leaves to flutter like a mass of butterflies to the lawn below, and I smiled.

‘If only we could break free from sin and negative thoughts so easily."

In that moment, I thought of those held captive by jealousy, insecurity and hopelessness…and I prayed.

The leaves make it look so simple, but it’s not easy to release ourselves from what we’ve clung to for so long.

Criticism, jealousy, low self esteem, low self worth, unforgiveness, anger and past hurts are not of the Lord…yet we attach ourselves to them.

'Coffee at my secret morning coffee place' photo (c) 2006, Pete Barr-Watson - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

To live a life overwhelmed and consumed with thoughts of what YOU want to be, and how YOU want things to change can drive you crazy. Maybe, it’s time to stop letting them “drive” you…period.

Embrace who you are in Jesus and shake loose from the shackles, the desires of the flesh. Instead of focusing on what is just out of reach, consider that it may remain beyond your grasp for a reason.

Don’t accept the grip of insecurity. Instead, let the security of His faithfulness “grip” you. You were created for SO much more!

I kind of think we’re intended to be beautiful from the inside out; not the outside in. It has to start from the heart or it’s contrived, and becomes what we make of it instead of us exuding what He planted within each of us.

When the beauty of the Lord lives within you, you are beautiful.

When the strength of the Lord lives within you, you are strong.

When the power of the Lord lives within you, you possess all the necessary power against evil.

When you accept the Lord’s forgiveness, you have the ability to forgive others.

When you accept His love, you have the ability to love others…AND love yourself.

Break free, my friend, and let the beauty of the Lord shine through you!

“Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.”

(Isaiah 53:4-5) NIV

“Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them;
he rescued them from the grave.

Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind”

(Psalm 107:19-21) NIV

'Devoted to Praise' photo (c) 2011, kelsey_lovefusionphoto - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

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