Psalm 119_105

Who turned out the lights?

While I was making dinner the other night, my husband was installing new overhead lights in the garage. He had to turn off the power in there, but in doing so, it turned off the lights in the kitchen. He very kindly brought me a small, bright lantern light so that I could see to finish dinner. As I was cooking the chicken, I realized that I couldn’t tell if it was done or not so I had to bring the light closer.
Not being able to see the chicken was just the first of many problems that I had since I wasn’t able to see well.
The next problem that presented itself was the need for a glass bowl in the bottom cabinet, which looks invisible in the dark. Once the light was close enough, I found my bowl and continued. Here is something that I found interesting. Even though the light did not shine well enough to see the entire object across the room, it did show the itty bitty spaghetti bits that were on the counter top and the areas on the stove that had splashes of boiling water.

It reminds me of our lives sometimes. We go through life not using the Light, Jesus, to our best advantage or we only use the Light when we need it to make something brighter.

What if we went through our lives and used the Light of Jesus to guide our path as a light in the darkness every single day, not just when we need to use it. Psalm 119:105 tells us just that, that the Word is a lamp unto my feet and a Light unto my path.

When we allow the Light to shine into our dark places, we are inviting the Holy Spirit to come in and show us places in our day to day lives that need help but the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
When we use Jesus as our light, it shows all of the little imperfections in our lives as well as the big ones. That in and of itself can be scary. But once you have illuminated the sins in the darkness you can begin to fix those and let God take them away!
Pray that He will illuminate the sins in your heart so that you can ask and be forgiven. This is not a one and done type of request; this is a daily assignment.

I challenge you to let Christ be your Light, refuge, and strength in very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1) Let Him shine on your yuck so that you can work together to clean it up!

Psalm 119_105

Name that flower!

My Mom loves flowers and birds.  Two of her, many, favorite things in life!  She can tell you the name of (in my mind) any flower or bird.  She has a large flower bed and loves buying new species of plants and watching them grow to see what they will become, how they will weather their new home as a transplant from another place.
Sometimes they die and wither away with just twigs left.  But most times they live and thrive and bring her so much joy each day that she gets the opportunity to watch them grow and bloom and transform.

Just like my Mom loves to watch her flowers grow, so does our Papa God.

When we are small He watches us grow and learn about Him.  As we get older we also increase in wisdom as we learn from the Word.  Growing in strength as you trust Him to strengthen you through every trial and test we go through in life.  And as you grow your Papa God says, “You are my child, whom I love; with you I am well pleased!”

You are a beautiful blossoming flower to God, bringing joy to Him daily.  Life isn’t always rosy (see what I did there) but with God all things are possible.  (Matt. 19:26)

I challenge you to set aside time each day to get into the Word.  You cannot grow if you are not being fed daily.  The world is a crazy place so we must be equipped to fight against the snares of the enemy by putting on the WHOLE armor of God just like it says in Ephesians 6:10-18.

 

Psalm 119_105

How do you climb?

We celebrated my son’s birthday at an indoor rock wall climbing place.  As I climbed, I had to use my brain a lot!  I had to think about each move before I made it.  I had to plan out my steps and grabs so that I could continue to go further up and not slip.

One wrong step and I could slip and smack my face on the wall or worse, fall and bust it on the ground!  It is so exhilarating, but I have to trust the auto belay to catch me as I fall back.  But each time you fall, whether on purpose or not,  you have to believe that belay system to let you down slowly, keep your feet out, so you don’t hit the wall and hope to land gracefully on the ground.  There is a split second of time where the belay hasn’t caught you.  A split second of complete terror as to whether or not it will grip and keep me from getting hurt.  A moment of my life flashing before my eyes and then…it tugs a bit to let me know it has me and lets me down gently.

This is such an excellent representation of our Heavenly Father.  We go through life planning each step of the way and hoping that God will catch us when we fall.  And we will fall.  But in that moment of fear or lack of faith, we wonder, will God catch me this time?  Will He help me out of this mess that I am in?  And yet He does.  He lets you down and puts you back on solid ground.  And then we do it all over again, climb, plan, worry, and fall.  What if the next time we climb, we ask God where we should take our next steps.
What if we ask God where we should go next and then we can let go into His loving arms and know that He will carry us down. Isaiah 46:4 says just that, “Even when you’re old, I’ll take care of you.  Even when your hair turns gray, I’ll support you.  I made you and will continue to care for you.  I’ll support you and save you”.

I challenge you that the next time you make a plan that you ask God first.  Ask Him to plan your steps and guide the way.  You might be amazed at how much simpler your life can be if only we ask God to make plans instead of us.

Psalm 119_105

Did you laugh?

Yesterday morning I was reading in Genesis, and in chapter 17and 18 it talks about God’s covenant with Abraham and Sarah getting pregnant…at 90!
In Gen. 18:12 Sarah laughs to herself and says, Can an old shriveled up old woman have a baby with this old man?.  And then in 18:13 God asks her why she laughed, and she denied it, but then a few verses down God says, “No.  You did laugh.”
He called her out.  She lied because she was afraid.
How many times have we laughed at God and then denied it when someone calls us out on it?
God asks us questions already knowing the answer.  My favorite verse in this is the last one.  Gen 18:15 “Is there anything impossible with God?”
If God can make a 90-year-old woman pregnant, raise people from the dead, and move mountains, then why do we laugh when He tries to give us something big?  Is it a faith problem or a trust issue?
Faith can be the opposite of fear.  So if you allow fear of the unknown to take over, you can not have confidence that it will come to fruition.
Trust is a belief in the reliability, truth, or strength of something or someone.
Has God not shown us that He can be trusted?  So I ask you again,  why do we dismiss Him or laugh when He is giving us something?  I don’t have an answer for that because that question is for YOU to answer.  

What is keeping your hands closed instead of opening up and grasping what is YOURS to take?
I challenge you to think about the gifts that the Lord is trying to give you, but because of either your lack of faith or trust, you won’t move forward.
Moving into the unknown can be scary, but if it is from God, you best believe that He will be there with you and go before you.
Will you trust Him?

Psalm 119_105

Have you ever seen an olive tree?

You probably wouldn’t even recognize it in a lineup.  

They are short and stout, the leaves are silvery green and oblong, the trunk is typically gnarled and twisted, and its flowers are small and white.  You can technically eat an olive straight off the tree, but they are very bitter and not palatable.  There are, however many different things that can be made from the fruit of an olive after they are harvested, but probably the most common way it is made is oil.  There are artisan olive oil companies that are generations old. I got to visit one on a trip to Italy several years back.  The gentleman was very proud of his olive oil.

I had to look up the process of making olive oil.  First, the olives are harvested and separated by plumpness, ripeness, and overall quality.  Then the olives are rinsed in cold water.  They are then mashed into a pulp, and finally, the mash is placed on a press to separate the oil from the water in the olive.  It can be enjoyed and used with no other processing.  

The Holy Spirit reminded me of the process that we go through in life for those who are in Christ. Acts 14:22 tells us that it is necessary to pass through many troubles on our way into the kingdom of God.  The word ‘trouble’ means to disturb, agitate, or stir up.  Is God stirring in your heart right now?  Is there something in your life that you feel is being disturbed?  Are you agitated about a situation?

Those olives have a purpose to be a sweet oil for us to eat.  It was necessary for it to go through many processes to get to the best it can be to become.  When we go through troubled times, we are getting processed into what Christ wants us to be.

Do you want to go through life like a bitter, ripe olive that people dislike; or would you instead like to become a fragrant, desired oil that people enjoy having in their lives?   Will you let Jesus turn your “oLIVE”  into the best it can be?

I challenge you to open yourself up and let God do His processing of you.  This may be painful, but it is necessary.  I pray that you let Christ pick, mash, and squeeze you so that you look more like Him!