Walking trails

As I sit in the cool fall morning, I am reminded that this journey through life is not haphazard. God, who created all things, has sovereignly orchestrated each and every step.

That truth brings me such encouragement as I often I do not understand His path when it takes the turns it does but it is not for me to understand. My role is to trust and obey His leading.

As I’ve gotten older, I find I endeavor to understand less and focus more on trusting His leading. Not always easy to do, but perhaps I’ve learned all my previous striving to figure things out was in the end useless and meaningless as I’m not the one in control of my life—God is.

So as I reflect this morning, three attributes of God come to mind:

God is faithful! Even in the barren land times of our life, God meets us there. There is no problem too big for God and not a moment that God is not right beside us—His presence is continual. Do we seek Him?

God’s timing is perfect! Often viewed as late by our standards, but God’s timing take into account all aspects of the big picture He’s weaving together. It’s perfectly orchestrated like a beautiful symphony. Do we wait on Him?

God is creative! He can take a life, an event, or an experience, and transform it into something beautiful and useful. Do we allow Him to transform us?

God is continually undergoing preparation and construction in our lives to open up a pathway to beautiful scenery ahead. Be encouraged today knowing the One True God is in control. Our job–look to Him, trust, and obey!

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talk-on-beac

This morning I served with our church in their Easter Block party for the community doing face painting. Before the kids arrived, we discussed moments we could take to share Jesus and biblical truth with the kids. The kids lined up and off we went.

Painting animals gave opportunity to share God and His creation. Painting a shield gave opportunity share about God’s protection over us. Painting a symbol of Easter gave opportunity to share the real meaning of Easter. Once the block party finished, I continued to think about those brief opportunities and how I don’t know what seeds I planted.

As parents, the same applies. Every moment gives opportunity to speak into our children’s lives. Words of affirmation, instruction, encouragement, teaching, correction, and love. All are chances to plant seeds, nurture growth, or challenge for future change.

Each and every day opportunities abound. Take time to seize each moment and speak truth into their lives.

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cloud-sun

Life is not without problems. Trials come. Difficulties rear. Frustrations boil. Yet when they come, we find ourselves just trying to keep our head above water.

Everything within us wants to run and escape the trials of this life. Where do we turn? Self-help books? Quick fixes? Avoidance? Anger? Our human nature seeks any tangible solution for a way out. The problem is those are seldom God’s solutions.

It is at times like these for me that I’m reminded of an old hymn …

Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Look full in His wonderful face

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.

Turning our eyes on Jesus instead of our problems is soothing, just like a warm fire on a cold winter morning. When we put our focus on Him, His peace fills our hearts. Then our perspective has the opportunity to be revamped, tweaked, and adjusted to God’s bird’s eye view. We may not come away with answers, but we will receive something better–God’s peace to enable us to persevere in the path He has set before us.

Trials in life are inevitable, but our responses to them is up to us.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27

Click to listen to Hillsong’s “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”

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Walking trails

What a year it has been – I can barely take it all in. It started with a complete upheaval of our lives from top to bottom, leaving all we knew to venture to the unknown 2,000 miles away. Such is how God’s ways are – so we can have the wonderful opportunity to lean on Him and trust Him fully.

After having lived on the East coast for 9 months now, I can say it truly feels like home on every level and we are blown away by God’s orchestration of the details in our lives. Yet this move of God that started nearly three years ago isn’t over but only continuing.

Life with God calling the shots isn’t a destination but a life-long journey. Along the way He calls us to make difficult decisions, take large leaps, step out in faith, let go, and receive – all in confidence knowing our trust is in Him not our human efforts.

The stripping away process is always difficult, but God designs such a route so He can lay a foundation founded in Him alone. It is only for a season as then comes the time of harvest of what we’ve sowed.

The adding to our lives we have see God do this year is monumental and makes it all worthwhile! This spurs me on to continue the race God has set before me and finish well. Whether that’s in my role as a parent, a wife, or as a woman striving to live out God’s purposes ordained for me—I’m excited to continue on God’s path and see what He further adds to our lives in 2013.

May today be a day of reflection of what unfolded this year as well as an excitement and anticipation of living out God’s plan in the year to come!

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Stars

How easy it is to go on auto pilot during the Christmas season.

*Decorate tree and house – Check

*Play Christmas CDs – Check

*Sing Christmas carols in church – Check

*Participate or attend Christmas programs – Check

*Plan Christmas festivities – Check

*Attend Christmas parties – Check

*Buy and wrap presents not leaving anyone out – Check

*Try to tame concerns about how much money is being spent – Check

*Attend Christmas Eve Service – Check

*Read Christmas story – Check

*Open presents – Check

*Get together for big meals – Check

*Take everything down and put away – Check

Routine. Habits. Traditions. But is that what this season is about? No.

We participate in all these great things during Christmas, many of which may even be very spiritual, but still often miss the opportunity to truly let the real meaning of this season penetrate our hearts.

We can recite the Christmas story like we retell a grocery shopping happening last week. We know all the words to traditional Christmas carols like we know the national anthem. We know Jesus was born to a virgin like we know an acquaintance that had an unexpected baby.

It too often is just rote.

Our Lord Jesus was rich – the eternal Son of God in heaven!! Yet He set aside His glory and became poor. He accepted the restrictions of a baby and was born as an infant in a filthy stable in the lowliest of circumstances. Why? To identify with us, and to be able to truly represent humanity so He could later take the enormous weight of our multitude of sins upon himself, die a gruesome death and rise again—just so we could spend eternity with Him.

He became poor so we could become eternally rich! What sacrifice! What unfathomable love!!

When you sing Christmas carols or attend a Christmas program this year, ponder the lyrics to the familiar carols and let their meaning penetrate your heart. When you read the Christmas story, meditate on the FULL story – the redeeming grace of God, the perfect and everlasting love of Christ, the sacrifice and substitution of Jesus for our sins, the hope we have because of our rich eternal inheritance forevermore as a result of this one Holy Night.

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