Month: January 2013

Strength To Endure

*Previously Posted*

Recently, I signed up for a kayaking adventure on the Chicago River. For three hours a tour guide presented us with information concerning the architecture along the river bank. I was excited, yet nervous and anxious. Being the “semi-adventurous” person that I am, I looked forward to trying something out of my norm. Assuming I was fit to handle the rigors of kayaking, I received a rude awakening within ten minutes of my trip. I had not anticipated such strenuous work: dodging various large boats, and crashing into concrete walls just to name a few. What was I thinking? On our way back to dock, the infamous question of “Are we there yet” was asked by yours truly. To my dismay, our guide answered with, “only 1 more mile to go.” By this time I was tired and ready to go home. However, I had to muster up the strength to continue until I reached my destination.

Arriving home that afternoon, I thought of all that had occurred. If I knew what I was truly getting into, I’m not so sure I would sign up. Muscles I’d forgotten about and never knew existed were used. In fact, evening plans with a friend was cancelled because I was so worn out. As God would have it, in spite of my current condition, He awakened my senses to the spiritual lessons I learned on the water.

1) If you find yourself off the path God has intended, He can and will get you back on track. As a novice, I found myself bumping into various things along the river: river wall, trees, small boats, etc. And more than once I might add.   As a result, my kayak would often turn away from my group, causing me to go the opposite way from our intended path. One of the guides responsible for those in the back came to my rescue on several occasions. As he turned me around, I found myself more at ease. I no longer had to fear heading in the wrong direction, because he was there and he was the expert. God has already laid out His plan for our lives. Distractions or stumbling blocks may cause us to venture off course. However, as we partner with Him, His loving hand will lead us back where we belong.

Psalm 37:23- The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in His way. (NKJ)

2) Don’t fight the winds in your life. Let them carry you to your rightful place. There were several moments on my way back where the winds were so forceful. Although I’m from “The Windy City”, I had not anticipated high winds that day. Instead, I prepared for the sweltering heat experienced by all. I found myself having a more difficult time steering my kayak. My arms were working overtime and finally, I made the decision to stop paddling. The Holy Spirit reminded me to stop going against the wind, and allow it to propel me down the river. As I sat in my kayak, I was surprised just how far along I had gotten. My silent prayers for God’s help had not gone unheard! He certainly has a sense of humor. In that instant, I learned a valuable lesson: Whatever circumstance you find yourself in, never underestimate that He will use what may appear as discomforting (or nuisance) to help guide you to your destination!

 Isaiah 55:8-“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. (NKJ)

 3) He will carry you when life appears to be too much to handle. As I got close to the end of my tour, the wind picked up stronger than before. My tour guide took one look at me, and saw my distress. I had done all that I could, yet to no avail relief was not in sight. To my surprise he paddled toward my kayak, hooking mine with his. Guiding us along the river until the winds died down. I then relaxed and took in all the scenery as much needed rest came my way. He knew that my inexperience would be too much and without hesitation, decided to carry me. How many times have we looked back over moments in our life, wondering how we managed to keep our head above water? The concern Jesus has for us is endless. When our load is too much to bear, He’s there willing and ready to carry His children to higher ground!

 Psalm 46:1- God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (NKJ)

 Finally reaching my destination, I reflected on the 4 mile journey that was embarked upon. Times where I wanted to give up was not an option. I had to keep going. It was only because of His strength was I able to endure my adventure and all that awaited thereafter.

 

 

 

God Will Never Change!

 

Another credit card solicitation!  That’s what I silently thought while opening yet another piece of mail.  Lately, I’ve been getting more requests to apply for lines of credit than ever before.  Sure, the economy is currently taking a hard hit.  However, I viewed my numerous requests positively as though being on the honor roll.  The “economy’s honor roll” that is.  Being the inquisitive person that I am, I proceeded to review just what was being offered.  You see, I was in search of a great APR.  Something stable in our times of uncertainty.  Being taught to read the fine print, I overlooked their exciting news that I had been pre-selected and an introductory of zero percentage in the first twelve months.  Instead, I wanted to see the meat of what was truly being offered.    To my dismay, my hopes were dashed as I continued reading.  This company was no different from the others.  After twelve months are over, a higher percentage would be applied.  In addition, APRs would vary based on the market prime rate.  This meant that fees were subject to change at any given moment!  Talk about stability.  My search for a company offering a low fixed rate would just have to continue.  As I started to tear up my mail, I began to contrast what I just read and that of my relationship with Christ.  I just have to add that He can teach us anything from anything!  He reminded me that in the midst of uncertainty, He is the only constant-Ever!  Just as credit card companies are fickle in their policies, we too, are prone to change our minds and allegiance at a moments notice.

However, our God is just and reliable.  Here are a couple of things to consider:

1)     When it comes to our relationship with Christ, there is NO FINE PRINT. His Word makes it plain and simple what He’s offering us (Everlasting life, Spending Eternity with Him) vs. the world’s offer to us.

2)   His love, His will, and His commands are not based on our feelings or the current state of society.

3)   If He said it, Believe it!

Numbers 23:19-God is not a man, that he should lie.  Nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.  Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? (NKJ)

No matter what the variable barometer is reading in your life, ALWAYS know that Jesus is the same, yesterday, today, and forevermore! Now that’s a contract I would gladly sign on the dotted line.  🙂

How has God shown his faithfulness toward you?

 

Attention SINGLES…. Are. You. Ready?

As I congratulated a coworker on pending nuptials, I also re-iterated her last week being a single woman. Therefore, enjoy to the fullest! Another coworker who has been married for 2.5 years chimed in and said, “Yes, enjoy it; because after you get married, the real work begins!”  That statement alone caused me to silently fire off a list of questions. The real work begins, I thought? You mean after the “lovey-dovey” blissful stage, there’s work? How much and am I ready to give singlehood away? So many times, I’ve longed for companionship and beautiful wedding with all the trimmings. Finally, (I’d say to myself) I get to enjoy the marriage bed without apologizing to God because I would be in the midst of His will. Furthermore, I would have someone to cuddle with, talk to all the time, and one whose love would abound.  So, what do you mean WORK?

Are you saying this feeling of newness won’t last forever, and my God ordained husband will get on my nerves at times? That my time of being solely focused on myself will end? Is it true that my un-refined character will be worked on throughout my marriage? In addition, the challenge of being tried, tempted, and tossed by the calamities of life presented to us as a couple? ABSOLUTELY! So, I ask you- Singles are we truly ready for what we think we want….now? This is why I believe God has not answered that specific prayer. He knows that we may not be ready as much as we would like to be. So, He allows us to sit on the sidelines a bit longer. Like a coach who knows the A team from the B team. He wants us to gain more life experience. And through various trials as a single, refine those traits He is longing to get His Hands on. Grow much needed fruit to endure, so that we can enjoy the blessings of marriage and weather the storms of life. Ultimately, He desires for us to sit at His feet and listen like Mary. Then and only then, we can be ready to navigate the unpredicted waters of marriage.  Not to mention, dreams and goals He’s placed on the inside of everyone. There’s a world out there waiting to be blessed by our gifts!

Slow down singles, as the Word says- Be anxious for nothing! He has it all under control. He knows our longings and desires. He’s heard your cry (and rant) :-).  You’re not missing out on anything. Why? Because you’re waiting on Him to bring it.  Allow me to rephrase the question above: Singles……ARE YOU READY to LIVE? The time is now. Enjoy it, because one day your season will change. However, you will already be complete in Christ and everything else, will be the cherry on top!

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) “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.”

What can you do right now, to add to your life and those around you?

 

IT’S FRIDAY!!!!!

Happy FREEDOM FRIDAY Everyone! I love calling it freedom Friday, because my weekend is free from the good ole’ 9 to 5!  Just wanted to leave you a couple of things to ponder this weekend…

-Be FEARLESS: God has given you the ability to boldly move into all that He’s called you to.

-Be FAITHFUL: It’s all for Him and all about Him. The job He’s given you, do it with all diligence…your Boss is watching you! 🙂

-Be FORGIVEN: He loves you, absolutely! So much so, He sent His son Jesus to prove it. His death and resurrection had to happen in order for you to be forgiven. Don’t hold yourself hostage. Let go and live.

I love you all to pieces, thanks for hanging out with me this week!

Until Monday……

Happy New Year!

Hey everyone, just wanted to send a great heartfelt thanks and’ Happy New Year To ya’ Stevie Wonder Style! So much in store this year, such as more great posts and opportunities for speaking engagements. In addition, I’m so excited to finish and deliver my first book to you all! My “baby” is almost ready!  Instead of posting once a week, look forward to three posts weekly (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday).

I’ve already kept one resolution on today. My car is cleaned, vaccuumed, and smells delicious! I am purposefully setting fear aside and taking hold of Faith! My theme this new year? I Belong to You….a song that sums up my feelings and love for Christ. I’m learning to rest in Him (instead of worry) and it feels great!  Please enjoy as I have and may you forever belong to Him who loves you most!

Blessings and Peace for the new year! 🙂

Click on the link below and enjoy the song….

I Belong To You by Willliam McDowell