Encouragement, Spiritual Growth

A rising tide lifts all ships

tsunamiI wrote not long ago about a Tsunami and how it rolls in off shore and as it’s rolls towards shore, things are changing profoundly. Lately, I just keep thinking over and over a rising tide lifts all ships.  The past couple of weeks, God has used Exodus 14 and Psalms 22 to show me things about deliverance, victory and true humility.  Tonight, I went to sleep and this statement woke me up and began to bring these things together:  God can’t/ won’t change our circumstances until we see them through eyes of faith. So here’s what I believe God is saying to His people right now.
I can’t and won’t change your circumstances until you begin to see them through eyes of faith.
Something has you in it’s grip because of circumstances I’ve permitted and you are allowing “it” to keep it’s grip on you.You are actually perpetuating it’s grip on you through one of two ways:
Pride which is independence or Doubt which is lack of trust in me.
I am encouraging you strongly that as you follow the pattern in Psalms 22 and enthrone me in praises and bow before me you will begin to work with me as I am working for you.  Until you place yourself in TRUE HUMILITY through enthroning me in praise and bowing before me you will remain gripped by these circumstances.
The danger is that right now, in the spiritual realm you don’t have time to hang on.  There is an unusual sense of urgency right now that I can’t fully share with you.   So please let go of the pride, let go of the doubt and work with me as I work for you!!
There is a choice you need to make regarding something very specific – say NO to your will and YIELD to my will.  This will begin to place you in TRUE HUMILITY before me.  Be brave and just decide to do this.  I John 2:15-17 reminds you of the importance of  saying NO and letting  go!
When you do, I can release my Royal Power on your behalf.
A Tsunami is rumbling off shore in the distance and continues to roll in.  The tide will rise.  You really don’t want to miss this opportunity, this timing.  Destiny can be slippery and sometimes the cost of not dropping something, of not getting in TRUE HUMILITY  will be FAR GREATER than you know.  Yield to me NOW and ask to see with your eyes of Faith.
Need me because this is your greatest asset and I long to HELP you.
Trust me because this is your greatest strength and I am fighting  FOR you.
Stay close to me because I am constantly WITH you.
Please take these circumstances that you are focused on and put them in your peripheral view.  Focus on where I am taking you.  These circumstances will be used to transform you and you will be given victory when you choose TRUE HUMILITY.  The transformation and deliverance and victory get delayed as does your destiny when you keep the circumstances in your focus and not your periphery.  Put these problems in your peripheral view and focus on what I’ve already shown you and told you – focus on your destiny not your circumstances.
You have in your hand what I want to use to bring you in to your destiny.  You have in your hand your victory.  Use it.  You’ve got it!
Stop wrestling with your circumstances.
Ignore these silly speed bumps you get focused on that are irrelevant.
Focus on what I’ve told you and focus on your destiny.
Get serious because the time is NOW.
prayer-on-my-knees4
I’m not parting the sea this time.  The Tsunami is rolling in and the waters will rise.  Enthrone me in your praise, bow before me and yield your will to mine and I will release Royal Power on your behalf and you will safely ride this rising tide in a ship and I will bring you to your destiny and you will be safe from the impending destruction this Tsunami will bring when it hits shore.
Don’t delay ok?  I want you to fulfill your destiny.  I designed it especially for you! Your destiny embodies my eternal purposes and dreams that I have anointed and appointed and planned to fulfill through you.  I am with you. Are you with me? Don’t miss your destiny by continuing to wrestle with your circumstances – release that pride, kill that doubt and work with me as I work for you!!  Then you will be on MY rising tide that lifts all ships!!
Hebrews 12:1,2
Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  We do this my keeping our eyes on Jesus, the CHAMPION who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the JOY awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding it’s shame.  Now, he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
2 Corinthians 12:9
Each time he said, my GRACE is ALL you need.  My POWER works best in weakness.  So, no I am GLAD to boast about my weaknesses so that the POWER of Christ can work through me.
Spiritual Growth, Uncategorized

Who ya gonna call? Who ya gonna trust?

During our stay in Houston as we began to live in and use the Tsunami, we experienced a hot water problem – there wasn’t any!  Now, the Tsunami has a super cool and spiffy instant hot water system, so we were looking forward to experiencing it. But it wasn’t working like it should.

So, we went to tell the boss lady, Marilyn and Al, the guy in charge of getting the Tsunami ready to go about this problem. They called a certified service tech to come out and take a look.

About an hour later, Rudy the certified service guy arrives and begins doing the appropriate testing and diagnostic work to figure out what is wrong.  He can’t quite nail it and there are two steps that must be taken to eliminate possibilities and hopefully resolves the issue.  These two steps involve the purchase of parts.  Expensive parts.  Parts that need to get replaced anyway but may not solve the problem.

Visualize, in a small office Robert and I, Marilyn and Al and the service guy, Rudy.  As Rudy explains the situation and his analysis and as Marilyn and Al realize there are expenses involved and then possibly more expenses involved, a little tempest begins to brew.  Rudy wants to sell the parts he has in his truck. Marilyn and Al know they need to get this fixed for us and yet they know that they are also spending other money on our Tsunami.  Robert and I are thinking, “Hey, we should be able to buy the Tsunami with full working hot water” so we don’t really want to pay either.  The room is full of talking and discussing and a few sparks begin to fly because this involves money!  Robert and I are quiet as the other three keep going round and round.  Finally, Robert and I look at each other with the look no longer requires words.  The “look” means, “time to pray.  Much prayer. Much power.”

So, with our eyes open and continuing to listen to the brewing conversation, we separately and silently begin to pray for God to move in this situation.  I’m not sure Robert’s specific prayer, but God led me to pray in a particular way.  My prayer went something like this, “Jesus, I don’t want us to pay.  I think Marilyn and Al need to fix it, but I know they are already doing so much for us, so I don’t want them to get gouged.  Jesus, I also want to go home tomorrow and not have to stay any longer trying to solve this.  Rudy, help him to fix it if we can get him parts that aren’t a fortune.  Lord, please move.”

Al and Rudy leave to go out to look at the hot water thing again.  Marilyn gets online to find the parts while muttering, “I can find these parts cheaper.  I’m not paying that much.  I’m already putting so much into this motor home…blah, blah, blah…”.

Robert and I are silent.  Not saying a word.  Not really moving.  Eyes wide open and praying.

In just a few minutes and a few clicks on her keyboard, Marilyn begins to say, “No way.  Uh-uh. I’ve never seen this website before.  I’ve never heard of this company.  Look at that, this part is only $xxx instead of $yyyy.”  She dials the phone, talks to them, confirms the $xxx price and it’s so much lower than the $yyyy price.  She orders the part and then tells the company, “I don’t know where ya’ll have been or why I haven’t heard of you before today, but I’ll be using you a lot.”

Robert and I look at each other and laugh.  God moved. Marilyn got the part inexpensively, Rudy will come out tomorrow morning and do his best to fix it.  God has resolved today’s issue.

The part comes the next morning.  Rudy comes out to fix it; it doesn’t fix it.  Robert and I decide to go run a couple of errands while Rudy does more diagnostic work.  We get in the borrowed car, give each other the “look” and we begin to pray, “Lord, we really want to go home.  Please help Rudy to find and resolve the problem so we don’t have to stay.  Please may no more parts need to be ordered and no more expenses incurred.”

We receive a call while we are out running errands and guess what?  Rudy fixed the problem and the Tsunami is now ready for our first road trip!

Lesson:  We are often in situations where there are problems, confrontations and even conondrums. We feel we are not in control. We have fear, doubt and stress. We want to protect ourselves.  So, we try to get our way, even if it’s “fair”.  We try to bring resolution, or get the situation turned in our favor or we sometimes even just decide to take the hit and walk away.  The truth is that, we are using our human mind and human possibilities and we aren’t thinking of God.  We are trusting in ourselves or trusting in others.  But, we need to be trusting in and calling on God! God can do anything!  God can make a way where there is NO way! As His child, I know He has promised to take care of me.  So, I am learning to call on Him and trust in Him; He has never, ever let me down!!

So, who ya gonna call?  Call on God – He can do anything.  Who ya gonna trust?  God because He is always working everything out for our good! Sometimes I forget and it takes me awhile to call on God.  But, as I grow to know Him more, as I remember and record all He has done for me, I am able to more quickly,  more often and more confidently call on my God for help!

Next week: I will introduce you to the concept of the J-Wave and how we are learning to ride it! Our motor home being a Tsunami is not a coincidence!  Have a wonderful upcoming weekend!!

Psalm 27:7

Hear me as I pray, O Lord.
    Be merciful and answer me!

Hebrews 4:16

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Spiritual Growth, Uncategorized

The whisper came clear as could be

Sometime in Jul004y, I started hearing a whisper from God, “Prepare your home as if you were going to sell it.” I listened and my interpretation was as follows, “This home is my gift to you. Honor Me by keeping it in tip top shape all the time.”

Meanwhile, in my devotions two themes were developing.  Little did I know how important those themes would be in the month of August and into early September!

The one theme was to stay behind God.  Follow Him.  See, as many of you know, I am enthusiastic and historically more of a ready, fire and then aim kind of person.  So, I just assumed and interpreted the scriptures as God holding me back and teaching me a new pace.  Cool.  I know I need that lesson.  I was reading in the book of Ezekiel at the time and in one of Ezekiel’s visions there are these heavenly beings.  This particular heavenly being’s spirit is in a wheel underneath their body and where ever the spirit leads they go.  They are neither ahead nor are they behind.  Additionally, the Israelites followed the Ark of the Covenant.  So, I was taking in that lesson and checking myself and slowing down and not getting ahead.

The second theme was that of a tree planted by a river.  Specifically, Jeremiah 17:7,8 which says, “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.  They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water.  Such trees are not bothered by heat or worried by long months of drought.  Their leaves stay green and they never stop producing fruit.

To summarize these themes I was learning to follow God to stick with Him and not get ahead of Him.  I was also learning that as I grow in Godly knowledge and He transforms me I will be able to withstand life’s situations, challenges and circumstances because I trust in Him.  God wants me to believe Him, take Him at His Word and trust Him and know that He is working ALL things out for my good (Romans 8:28).

So, back to this whisper, “Prepare your house as if you were going to sell it”.  We were in the midst of doing just that one day in mid-August.  We decided that we needed some storage solutions for one of our bedrooms.  So, we went out to invest in storage solutions.  Low and behold, we pull up to one store and parked in front is a huge motorhome.  We got out of the car and Robert and I looked at each other and just started laughing.  We were reminded of the seed God planted in 2011 when He asked us to downsize to get free and mobile and He gave us the vision of a motorhome. We had kind of, mostly forgotten that. (remember from yesterday God is sequential..) So, here we are preparing our house “as if” to sell and then God plants an enormous motorhome in our path as we are about to spend more money on this little house He put us in only temporarily!  It was evident and clear to both of us and that’s why we busted out laughing.  I’m not even sure we had to say out loud that we were not going to invest in storage solutions for a home we were clearly not going to be in long!

We continued to pray and felt complete and total peace that preparation was leading to sale.  On August 14th, I put in a call to our realtor, Betty Jett to let her know we would have our house ready to put on the market in early September.  Betty Jett responded, ” No way.  I just got a call on your house last week.  This person saw it when you had it up for sale last fall and was unable to purchase at the time.”  Really?  Seriously?  Nah, that won’t happen.

Well, it did.  This lovely lady and her husband put a contract on our home before it even made it to the MLS!  That happened on a Saturday.

That Sunday, I was in church and just thanking God for how He works.  I was so appreciative of having the house sold because the stress of showing a house, wondering when it will sell and how much it will sell for is not a lot of fun.  But, God in His mercy and grace knew that other challenges would come and He could take this one off our plate.  I was praising Him and thanking Him.  During this time of praise in church, God had a few words for me.  Let me share.

He, in His wonderful humor said to me, ” All this time, you thought I was holding you back.  Go reread those verses.  They don’t say stay behind, they say stay with me!  See, you aren’t getting ahead of me, I was preparing you to keep up with me.  Put on your spiritual running shoes, we are moving forward!” I laughed and I cried.

The second thing He said to me was, “You will be mobile, but don’t worry about where you are going just yet.  I’m getting you and Robert in position.  Remember Noah?  He built that Ark, but it sat on dry ground for a bit.”

Lesson:  Keep listening. Pay attention. String the dots together.  God will tell you,  then His word and circumstances will bring you clarity and confirmation. Pray with your spouse and read God’s word together.  Share what He is saying to each of you.  Robert and I experienced incredible unity on this.

Hint:  We will be living in our new Tsunami motorhome beginning on September 27th!

Next:  Kissing a lot of frogs to find our motorhome and making decisions in a new and powerful way.

Spiritual Growth, Triathlon Training

Let go! Walk into a new thing!

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In October of 2011, I was sitting at the kitchen table doing my devotions and God told me to let go of triathlon. I asked Him to repeat that and of course He did. He wasn’t speaking out loud, but He was telling me,” Daughter, in your workout room, there are pictures, medals and trophies from triathlon and athletes you admire hanging on the walls – this sport I gave you to learn about me through is becoming an idol (replacement god, something I am loving just a bit too much) and I need you to go back and take all that stuff down for awhile and put it away. I know you are injured right now and I can’t tell you whether you will return or not to this sport. But, remember what I did for you through this sport- I helped you learn to swim, brought you a coach ( who turned out to be like the brother you never had), I helped you understand that if you swam in cooperation with the water it would be much easier.  I showed you that in life, when you cooperate with me it will be much easier. I gave you a great job as a triathlon coach and blessed you with many wonderful athletes. I gave you the discipline and talent to go from never being an athlete to competing rather competently in your age group. I provided you the funds and blessings to have all the first rate equipment you needed and to travel to great places to race. I placed in your heart the audacious goal to qualify for the World Championship race in Florida.  You believed in Me enough to go for it and I brought you there didn’t I? That dear daughter, was the last race I brought you to. I brought you to the top race in your sport. That is how I roll dear daughter! Only the best for you. So, now, I’m doing a new thing. I’m taking you new places and I need you to let go of triathlon to go with me on this new journey. I need to be number 1 in your life. Remember this triathlon journey we have been on? I promise you, the next one will be just as exciting and challenging as everything I blessed and challenged you with in your triathlon life.”

I cried. Both in sadness and in joy. I looked back at all God had done and wondered how could I not  let go of triathlon to go into this “new thing”? I decided God was making me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I got up in that moment of commitment and packed up everything as He had told me to and determined to go forward into this “new thing”.

Yes, I drift back into desiring to train and compete. But as time passes, I drift back less and less and less. And as time has passed He is showing me, leading me, preparing me for the “new thing”.

Over the years, I can tell you God has asked me to let go of many things that were hard to let go of, but each time I have let go, I have never ever regretted it. In fact, a few times I have wondered why I hung on so long!

About a year after I put all my triathlon stuff away, God permitted me to put it back up.  Why?  It serves as a visual reminder of all that He has done so I can remain hopeful, patient and confident in Him as He leads me into the new thing! Now, instead of an idol it is an altar that confirms who He is and how He rolls!

I  believe that whatever it is we are hanging on to isn’t nearly as good as what He wants to give us!

Let’s make a commitment today to release what we are hanging on to. He is a loving and trustworthy God. Let’s agree  to take a step forward with Him into the “new thing”!

 

Ephesians 2:10

10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Philippians 3:12-14

12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Spiritual Growth, Uncategorized

What Gumby the deaf and blind Great Dane taught me

20130621-204741.jpgYesterday, I had a couple of meetings scheduled at a local Starbucks. As I selected an outdoor seat, there was a woman sitting with this gorgeous 125 pound Great Dane, Gumby. He had a harness on that told me his name and also informed me that he was both deaf and blind.

As I watched them, I could see her immense love for him and her dedication to him. I could also see his trust in her. He had to. He was somewhere he couldn’t see, surrounded my a world he couldn’t hear. Reliant on her to guide him and keep him safe. Gumby was lucky to have her. His fate could have been death or ending up with a caregiver that didn’t care. She talked about how he had recently gone from seeing some shadows with one eye, to now not being able to see anything and how hard that was for him. She said that today he would be a little bored because he wasn’t going to doggie day care and would be spending the day with her! Wow, she loves him, cares for him and is clearly trying to provide him with the best possible life.

She has a big responsibility. Gumby has to have “big” faith and trust the she will do what is best for him!

Gumby is lucky, his caretaker is a good woman with his best interests at heart! He doesn’t have a choice of who to trust, he has to trust the person who adopted him. We however, do have a choice. Who are you trusting in? And to quote Dr. Phil, how is that working out for you?

For most of my life I placed my trust in myself. I realized at 39 that I wasn’t doing the best job of this. When I looked around, I saw that many people weren’t really doing any better than I was. I am not talking about the outward stuff of jobs, career, vacation, cars and money. I am talking about that veneer that I had to create to cover up my lack of peace and self-esteem to show myself and others that I was “ok”, “happy” and worth something. I wanted deep security, deep satisfaction, peace, contentment and happiness. That’s what I wanted and what I was absolutely missing.

I realized there had to be a better way! So as if on auto-pilot, like somewhere deep inside knew where to go, I went back to church. I pronounced that Jesus was my savior and I would trust Him to guide me and take care of me. Over the last 12 years, I have, step by step, learned to trust in, follow and obey Jesus. It would be a ridiculous understatement to tell you that Jesus is doing a much better job of guiding my life than I was!

As I get to know Jesus more I am gaining, bit by bit, a deep security, a deep satisfaction, peace, contentment,  tremendous joy, lots of hope for the future and confidence in His plan for me. Whatever I have had to let go of, whatever ways and behaviors and choices I’ve had to change to line up with what the Bible instructs, have been worth it.  He has never asked me to let go of anything that I have missed!  Jesus knows what is best for me and I trust in Him…more completely each day.

Gumby really touched me yesterday as I watched him calmly trust her. I realized that I want to more calmly and even more fully trust Jesus. He has proven himself trustworthy time after time after time!