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Finding Your Center – Part II

Pittch confronting Jack Frost with his identity_reducedPitch: Don’t be afraid, Jack. I’m not going to hurt you.

Jack: Afraid? I’m not afraid of you.

Pitch: Maybe not. But you are afraid of something.

Jack: You think so, huh?

Pitch: I know so. It’s the one thing I always know. People’s greatest fears. Yours is that no one will ever believe in you. And worst of all, you’re afraid you’ll never know why. Why you, why were you chosen to be like this? Well, fear not, for the answer to that is right here. [Pitch shows Jack the container that houses Jack’s memories] Do you want them, Jack? Your memories? Everything you wanted to know in this little box. Why did you end up like this–unseen, unable to reach out to anyone? You want the answer so badly. You want to grab them and fly off with them. But you are afraid of what the Guardians will think. You’re afraid of disappointing them. Well, let me ease your mind about one thing–they’ll never accept you. Not really.

Jack: Stop it! Stop it!

Pitch: After all, you’re not one of them.

Jack: You don’t know what I am.

Pitch: Of course I do. You’re Jack Frost. You make a mess wherever you go.

(from Rise of the Guardians, Dreamworks, 2012)

 

The lie. It accuses and bears false witness, it murders, and is the catalyst that caused man’s fall in the beginning.

While working on my last blog, Finding Your Center – Part I, I mentioned how the LORD showed me the importance of our “center.” It is the “who” in who we are. It is what God sees in us that calls us forth. It’s the deep hidden part of our soul that the LORD meant when He said, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;” (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV).

Your center, or core, is like the nucleus of a cell—a place that houses the DNA which makes you who you are. Except this center is your spiritual DNA and is the one thing the enemy cannot take from you. Therefore, he lies–telling you you’re something you’re not. It’s the only weapon the he has in his arsenal that can destroy you.

When Jesus faced Satan in the desert, the first thing the enemy did was try to get Jesus to question His center, His identity. And he did this by lying.

And when [Jesus] had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”… Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down.” ~Matthew 4:2-3,5-6 NKJV (emphasis mine)

However, notice how Jesus responded. He didn’t argue with Satan about the identity issue because Christ knew His center. And He knew the lie. Instead, He used the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, the Truth. (Ephesians 6:17)

But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”…Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”…Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
~Matt 4:4, 7, 10-1 NKJV

The lie. So little yet so powerful. All Pitch Black had to do was plant one little seed of falsehood in Jack Frost’s mind to get Jack to question his center.  And that’s all he needs to do to us today.

Thanks be to God, who sent us the Truth in the form of His only son, Christ Jesus, so we could battle the enemy’s lies and be reunited to a place of grace! It is through God’s Truth—and God’s Truth alone—that we are reminded of the fact: there is no lie the enemy can throw at us which can take away our spiritual DNA!

LORD, thank you for my “center.” Thank you for you giving me a spiritual DNA—the true nucleus of who I am. Help me remember to not believe the enemy’s lies about my makeup. Remind me I’m to fight him with the sword of Your word and not give in to arguments and lies. For You, O LORD, are the only Way, Truth, and Life, and no one has the right to the blueprint of my soul except You. I lift this up to You in Jesus’ name. Amen.

___________________________

[1] ~ From NLM, .Cells and dNA. Web. 13 May 2013. <http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/handbook/basics?show=all>.

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Craft Cinema: What Would Happen If…

 

Wouldn’t it be fun to take your favorite story and write about what happens next?

Cinderella’s daughter would become a spoiled brat, and treat her step-daughter as her mother had been treated. A prince from a neighboring country would fall in love with Cindy Jr., show her the error of her ways, and the two would live happily ever after.

What about To Kill A Mockingbird? Scout would grow up to become a political activist, and work at developing half-way houses for the mentally handicapped in honor of her friend, Boo.

Several classics have gone on in sequels. Little Women and Gone With the Wind just to name two.

Hook, a sequel to Peter Pan, asks the question, “What would happen if Peter grew up?” Which is, according to IMDb, the exact question that Jake, son of the writer, James V. Hart, asked his dad. And we’re glad he did. What would happen? He’d become a modern-day pirate as a cutthroat merger and acquisitions lawyer and develop a fear of flying, of course. Genius!…

 

To read this article by Kathleen E. Kovach in its entirety, go to http://craftcinema.blogspot.com/2008/11/hook.html.

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The “Hallow” in Halloween

20141019_123545_2hal·low. ˈhalō/ verb: honor as holy

As a child, Halloween was a holiday I loved to celebrate. I got to carve pumpkins, hang fake spiders and cob webs from our front door, dress up, go trick or treating, and pig out on candy. But then, at the age of 25, I became and Christian and all that came to screeching halt. My past immersement in the occult as a teen/early young adult had soured me. You see, during that dark time I literally met demons, and discovered way too much about Satan and his power of darkness to want to reintroduce evil into my life. So I shut out all references of Halloween from my life.

As time went on I had children. Four, to be exact, and I wasn’t about to allow them any part of the darkness I had grown to fear, so I hid Halloween behind the cloak of fall festivals at church.  But that didn’t stop their questions. As my children grew, each eventually asked why they couldn’t celebrate Halloween in the traditional way. I told them it was a holiday that belonged to Satan with witches and pagans and sometimes sacrifices, on All Hallow’s Eve. It was also the only holiday that did not include Christ.

My husband wasn’t a Christian at the time so I was pushing back against what he wanted to do as well. He thought my reasoning silly and superstitious and a bit on the extreme religious side. But I held firm from 1981 when my first was born until 2011 when my youngest turned 18. Not saying my adult children viewed Halloween the same as I. They didn’t—mainly because they had grown up in a Christian home, protected as much as possible from the darkness I had allowed to envelop me as an older teen and young adult.

Then, a few years ago at a family Christmas celebration, with my adult children and their children sitting around a beautifully set Christmas dinner table overflowing with yummy food, my son, out of the blue, started talking about how I ruined Halloween for them. I was shocked! Not only was I shocked that he felt that way, but hurt that he didn’t understand why I felt Halloween was off limits—especially after explaining it to him so well. The evening turned into a disaster as, one by one, by other children joined ranks with their brother and before I knew it, accusations of my over-zealous religious believes in regard to Halloween and Christmas (namely, Santa), were thrown back in my face. Before long I couldn’t take it anymore and I lost it. I stood up, slammed my chair against the wall, screamed at my kids, then ran upstairs in tears. I flung myself on my bed and started asking God if I had made a mistake, then quickly decided it wasn’t me who was wrong, it was the kids.

After a short amount of time my children came up to my bedroom and apologized. Apparently much of what my son said had been bottled up inside them for quite some time. My son and his one sister said that the anger only mounted after they had kids of their own and realized what they missed out on. I tried to explain they still got to dress up and get candy, just not in a traditional Halloween manner; but that’s not how they remember it. Their memory is that of being left out of the fun.

Still standing by my decision to keep Halloween out of my family, I accepted their apology; however, still wouldn’t budge on how I felt about the holiday so we’d just have to agree to disagree on this. They nodded, we hugged, and all was well.

Sort of.

After that night the Holy Spirit started nudging me in regard to Halloween. At first I was resistant. I didn’t want to hear anything about being “in the world but not of it.” I had spent my whole Christian life being “in, but not of.” Then the LORD challenged me with something interesting. He asked who made the day and night. I replied He did. He asked what days the world and enemy had tried to rob from him. I answered all of them. Even Christmas and Easter? He asked. Yes, I said, even those two. Then, He continued, why single out Halloween? Why give the enemy his due desire to rule a day? Why not learn how to celebrate the hallowed day (and night) that the LORD had made, which Satan tried to take from Him?

Honestly, I was stumped. I had never thought of it that way before—mainly because I was so wrapped up in my own past pain, hurt, and fears that I couldn’t break free long enough to see beyond the fact that, “This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24 TLB)

Jesus said, “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” (John 10:10 AMP) Running from Halloween just because the enemy “decided” to claim it for himself does not lend to an abundant, enjoyable, overflowing life. It lends to fear, and fear is NOT a product of God: “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV).

Accepting Christ makes you a new creation; you are no longer of this world, but you are sent into it. “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4 ESV) Running from those things that threaten or frighten us only gives the enemy more power. We’re not the ones who are supposed to flee, he is. (“Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7b ESV) Instead, we are to put on the armor of God and stand (Ephesians 6:10-18). We are to fight the good fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12).

Is giving in to Halloween the same as giving in to temptation? Not if you declare that day to belong to the LORD. For when you do you are able to experience the complete freedom Jesus planned for you to experience, even if you dress up in costume and go trick or treating with your grandchildren.

* * * * * * *

Dear LORD, I declare every day to be holy—an honor, homage, to You and Your great glory. Help me to never run from my fears again. Teach me how to face them, knowing you have my front and my back at all times, and that You prevail over all things. Teach me how (in the words of Captain James T. Kirk) to “…to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before,” even when those strange, new places cause me discomfort. Help me run the race in the complete freedom you desire for me. In Jesus’ holy name I pray. Amen.

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The Three-Legged Stool

stoolWhen you sit on a three-legged stool, seldom do you think about the fact there are only three legs holding you up. You simply sit and trust. Yet for a three-legged stool to balance properly, all three legs must be equal in size and function. If any of the three is compromised, the stool is compromised.

The same with our relationship with God. If we don’t have a relationship equal in size and function with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, then our relationship with the LORD is unbalanced. When that happens we try to use our own leg(s) to make it work. That produces burden, frustration, and exhaustion. How glorious it would be if we could learn to trust in and lean on ALL three aspects of God in equal measure! Then all that would be required is simply sit and trust.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. -Matthew 11:28-30

(Thank you, Deb Besaw, for being my inspiration for the above when you share the vision God gave you regarding the three-legged stool).

Moving Forward

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
    
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

~Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Saying Good-Bye
As I look back on my eight years with the ACFW North Denver board, I am reminded how far the LORD has brought me on my writing journey and how many wonderful people He placed in my life. With that in mind, I would like to share with you my Facebook post from November 10th. It pretty much sums up everything I feel:

Today is my birthday. I turn 59. It is a sad day for me as well as a joyous one because God has asked me to step into something new and trust Him with the next season of my life by letting go of what I have come to know and love for the past eight years–being part of God’s movement in American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and its North Denver chapter.

I didn’t start with ACFW. God surprised me 12 years ago by giving me a “by the way…” speech that ended with Him saying He had a project for me: write a book series. Being the obedience person I am, I told Him no, I wasn’t a writer, never wanted to be, thank you very much, now go find someone who is qualified and wants to do this project. Needless to say it didn’t go very well after that.

For a year God and I had the same argument until finally I “gave in” and began His instruction to apprentice. This wasn’t easy. I knew nothing about writing, knew nothing about how to go about finding a support group, and since the Internet wasn’t the way it is today, I felt pretty much on my own. Plus, I still wasn’t all that happy about being called to write. But God promised me He would be with me and lead me to people He wanted me to get in touch with.

    Things were okay at first, but by 2006 I was tired of trying to learn how to do this writing thing on my own so I went before the LORD and said sorry, but I’m quitting. It was then He told me He would give me new wine skins that would never run dry. Not understanding what He meant I shrugged it off until one day I stumbled across a meeting run by Sharen Watson in south Denver. At that meeting she introduced me to one of the most wonderful persons I have ever know, Kathy Kovach, who just “by chance” was starting a writing group up north with an organization called ACFW. Kathy invited me to join them for their first meeting where I met the equally amazing Paula Moldenhauer and Margie Vawter.

Needless to say, Kathy, Paula, and Margie became my life blood and dearest friends, being there for me through thick and thin, 24/7, during my very weird writing journey. Through them I became involved in ACFW and its North Denver Chapter (called HIS Writers at the time), serving on the board in the capacity of secretary for 4 years, vice president for 1-1/2 years, and president for 3. From these ladies and this wonderful organization I learned how to write, how to network, and how to trust others with what God had entrusted me with.

I never wanted my involvement to end, but this past summer God told me it’s time to let go and step into what He wanted me to do in the first place, and that is finish the writing project He gave me back in 2002. So in June I talked to Kathy and Paula, told them what the LORD told me, and put in my resignation as chapter president and ACFW Colorado “woman of all trades.”

Even though I knew I had six more months of meetings to organize and a new board to get ready for next year, my eyes were focused on what would be my last, big, hands-on project: our 2014 Novel Crafters Seminar of the Rockies on November 8th.

The seminar was wonderful! But after it was over, once I got in my car and drove away from the Ramada, I was overcome with deep sadness knowing the part of my life–that season I had finally come to know and love–was over and it was time to move on.

When I walked in the door that night my husband, Kevin, asked how it went. I told him great, then noticed a Happy Birthday balloon floating in the family room above a lamp. When I saw the balloon I smiled and asked him if he got that for me, fully expecting him to say yes. But Kevin didn’t say yes. Instead he told me this: while working in the yard that day he noticed that a Happy Birthday balloon had gotten stuck in our grapevines. The balloon was limp and pretty much deflated. But Kevin felt the LORD was telling him to take it inside and give it to me when I got home, that it was a gift from Him. Then a strange thing happened. Kevin took it inside and the balloon inflated and rose ’til it touched the ceiling.

This is my birthday balloon. It is from the LORD. It is His way of saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” It is His way of reminding me how much He loves me and how His promises are always true. It is His way of thanking me for trusting Him even when I found trust a million miles away. It is His way of reassuring me my life is fully in His hands, and regardless of which way the path turns, He will always be there fore me.

So, LORD, I want to publicly say “thank you” for this beautiful and precious gift. This Happy Birthday balloon that was found entangled in your grapevine. I want to say “thank you” for believing in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. I want to say “thank you” for not giving up on me, for refusing to take “no” for an answer, and for walking with me not only during my writing journey, but during my entire life–even when I didn’t know or care who you were. For all this and more, thank you, LORD!

Like I said, today is my birthday. I turn 59. Can’t wait to see what the next decade has in store, and as long as my God is with me, I will be alright.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. [And] I will be found by you…”

~Jeremiah 29:11-14a

The Long and Winding Road

The light of morning on the forest paths - Olympic Nat'l Park

The long and winding road that leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before, it always leads me here
Leads me to your door

The wild and windy night that the rain washed away
Has left a pool of tears crying for the day
Why leave me standing here, let me know the way

Many times I’ve been alone and many times I’ve cried
Anyway you’ll never know the many ways I’ve tried
And still they lead me back to the long, winding road
You left me standing here a long, long time ago
Don’t leave me waiting here, lead me to you door

But still they lead me back to the long and winding road
You left me standing here a long, long time ago
Don’t keep me waiting here, lead me to you door
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

(McCartney, Paul. The Beatles. “The Long and Winding Road.” Let It Be. Apple Records. 1970.)

Everyone has a long and winding road. My most recent one began in the fall of 2012, when I started planning two weddings: the first for my only son, who was married September 22, 2013, the second for my middle daughter, who was married May 31, 2014. Although delighted with my growing family, I’m glad the stress is over.

But there’s more to that road than just the weddings. You see, somewhere along the way I lost my writing and I can’t quite remember where. It could have been that first meandering curve where I found myself gazing into the anticipated beauty of my children getting married, or that last sharp turn where all I cared about was putting my feet up and sleeping in the day after it was over. All I know is, scattered here and there along that path are bits and pieces of a story God called me to write over 11 years ago.

The Beatles song, “The Long and Winding Road,” is my cry to my LORD, begging Him to return me to that place which was lost before “the wild and windy night that the rain washed away.” It was a time when I felt joy in the project He gave me, joy in my writing, joy in His promise of my book. Then the wind and rains of life came, and the road became long and winding. It was not till afterwards—when I tried to regain the momentum I had prior to the fall of 2012—did I realize what I had lost.

I know I’m not alone in this discovery. Almost every writer walks down a long and winding road at least once in their life. They feel the rain splash like tears against their face and wonder why they were left standing alone. The funny thing is, they really weren’t. For all they really had to do was continue down the road because, as the song tells us, it always leads us to His door.

My prayer is you, like me, can rediscover that which was lost, that God gives you grace and stamina to continue onward to His door, and that the joy He gave you when you were first called to write is rejuvenated.

Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you. ~Psalm 143:8 NLT

Blood Moon and Prophecy

blood_red-moonAs I re-read the Scripture in Joel that everyone keeps quoting as the doomsday prophecy: “The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.” (Joel 2:31), the one thing that stood out to me was “the sun will be turned to darkness AND the moon to blood.” So I asked the LORD what that meant. He said the sun turning to darkness AND the moon to blood means a total eclipse of the sun AND moon. I checked into all the solar and lunar eclipses that will happen over the next ten years (http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/list.html) and none happen on the same day. In fact, I found out it is impossible for that to happen, which means some kind of supernatural phenomenon needs to occur. 

God’s purpose all along has been to redeem the Jewish nation before His return so the enemy does not consume them. Joel was prophesying to Israel. Peter was quoting Joel as he addressed a Jewish crowd in Jerusalem during the Passover (“Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd…” Acts 2:14). He was not talking to the Gentiles.

We are to search Scripture for prophecies that have already come to pass, and be watchful AND wise for prophecies that have not yet been fulfilled. The four blood moons of 2014/2015 are “heads up” signs. They should be heeded as warnings, not doomsday predictions. Right now this blood moon scare has Christians looking ridiculous (again)–somewhat like they did during the millennium change in 2000. Our responsibility as believers is to be a light to the world–a light that will lead to Christ, not to panic.

Giving Thanks

man-praying-on-one-knee2

Always be full of joy in the Lord…don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:4,6-7 TLB


Throughout Scripture you find verse after verse about giving thanks to God, both in times of blessing and adversity. But how do you give thanks when your world is falling apart? And how can you thank Him, I mean truly thank Him, if the answers are not what you want to hear?

Everyone knows someone who is going through adversity. That “someone” might even be you. So how can God expect us to rejoice, let alone give thanks, when our life is unraveling?

Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians while in prison. As you read his account, you can feel the tug of war between pain and victory. Part of him wants to go home to be with the LORD, the other part wants to continue his work so that Christ may be glorified. Did Paul enjoy imprisonment? No. But if going through adversity meant he could “shine like stars in the universe as [he held] out the word of life” (Philippians 2:15-16 NIV), then knowing he had not run or labored in vain was worth the sacrifice.

Rejoicing in adversity does not mean we rejoice because of hardship. It means we rejoice in the knowledge that God is walking with us the entire way, that He does not and will not leave us alone. Giving thanks in adversity means we put our trust in God to know the big picture, and that we have complete faith His will for our life is grander than our own. It does not mean we have to be thankful for the problems, only that we are thankful to have a God big enough to hold us up and walk with us as we face the impossible.

God wants to hear our prayers. His desire is to have the same relationship with us any loving parent would want to have with their child. Life issues? Talk to Him! Heartbreak? Talk to Him! Bad day? Talk to Him! Don’t try to take on burdens, don’t try to solve all of life’s dilemmas because if you do, you’ll be crushed under their weight. Instead, rejoice and give thanks that you have a God whose shoulders are strong and broad enough to carry your burdens, and whose love for you is so great that His desire is to do so. Then, as Paul concluded in Philippians 4:7, “If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.”

LORD, November is traditionally a month of giving thanks. But sometimes giving thanks is hard. Life throws us curve balls, some of which hit us smack dab in our middle, knocking the air out of us. We fall to the ground and don’t want to get up. During these times, hear our cries, O LORD. Lift us up. Carry us. Show us that in times like these we not need rejoice because of the hardship, but because we have a God who can and will carry us through it. Give us peace, O LORD, when there is no peace to humanly be found. And help us to rest in You. In Jesus’ beautiful name we rejoice and give thanks. Amen.

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Practically Perfect in Every Way

Mary Poppins

As I expected: ‘Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way.’ ~Mary Poppins
(from the movie “Mary Poppins,” Walt Disney Studios, 1964)


As a child, Mary Poppins was one of my favorite movies. I remember my parents taking me to see it at the Cooper Theater on South Colorado Blvd., in Denver, when the movie came out in 1964. The theater had 814 seats and a 146-degree panoramic screen known as Cinerama, measuring a massive 105 feet by 35 feet.

When the movie’s introductory music began and the curtain parted (yes, this theater actually had a curtain in front of the screen), a sensation of excitement passed over me equaled only to the anticipation I used to have on Christmas morning. I squirmed waiting for the story to build, then squealed in delight (along with hundreds of other children) as I watched Mary Poppins float down from the sky in her wonderful, perfect glory.

When the show was over, I left the theater determined to be like Mary Poppins: practically perfect in every way.

As time went on I grew up. Mary Poppins became Julie Andrews, and practically perfect in every way was a balloon that exploded in my face. It didn’t take long for me to realize life wasn’t perfect. Thus, I laid aside perfectionism for practicality.

Or so I thought.

Enter the me of today. Here I am at 3:00 a.m. working on the HIS Writers newsletter, proofing it over and over to make sure it’s “perfect.” Sleep, what’s that? As long as whatever I’m working on is not done to the standards I’ve set for myself, the standards of “perfectionism,” I will work on them again and again and again until those standards are met.

So what’s wrong with perfectionism? Isn’t it a quality we should strive for? Especially as writers, we want our work to be the best it can be. We dot our i‘s, cross our t‘s, draft and redraft, then double check every rule we’ve learned from every seminar we’ve attended to make sure our work is as perfect as possible. But what happens when it’s not? If you’re a perfectionist like me, you pull yourself back together and do what you can do to make it as perfect as possible. Or you quit.

Sometimes I shake my head in wonder at God’s sense of humor. Why in the world would He even consider asking a perfectionist to become a writer? But the Bible says in our weakness Christ is made strong. How well I know this verse! It is etched into my mind like writing on a stone tablet. But knowing and KNOWING are two different things. Yes, I know I’m not perfect nor ever will be. And yes, I know there is only ONE who is perfect, and He is my LORD. Yet I so easily fall into the enemy’s trap and listen to his lies that perfectionism, not failure, is what really makes God happy. And so, like a hamster knowing nothing different, I climb back onto my wheel and run till I’m exhausted.

If not perfectionism, what do you struggle with? What lies do you allow the enemy to whisper in your ear? What untruths of his, stop or slow you down from becoming the man or woman of God you’ve been called to be?

Praise be to God, our heavenly Father, who stands in the gap for us and gives us grace! Who brings us out of the wilderness of our own failings and into a land flowing with milk and honey. Who places a robe on our back and puts His ring on our finger, calling us into an inheritance greater than we will (or can) ever know or understand.

My prayer for you is that God brings you out of whatever wilderness you are in. That He refreshes you with the water of His Holy Spirit and gives you strength to move forward. That He lifts you up on the wings of eagles and, once again, gives you faith, hope, and vision. For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6 NASB)

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