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Obstacles to Joy...

Happy Tuesday, Friends! 

Okay, so I mentioned my goal to blog most days if not every day. So far, not doable. We’ve been on the road a lot in October. We’re looking forward to being off the road from November through January. I’m hoping to be able to post more often during those months.

I have two more Blessings books to give away this week for a couple of you who post on my blog!

Here’s today blessing from Facebook:

Start a Day Blessing: May you begin to see your disappointments as divine appointments. May your spirit-eyes open up to God's invitation to something better, something deeper, something profoundly fitted for you. May you lift your eyes and see how your whole story fits in the bigger story God is writing for His Namesake. When you're tempted to look down in angst, may you instead look up and pray, not only for yourself, but for the many who struggle in ways similar to you, but who don't know how to pray like you do! God intends to solve some of the world's problems through you. Trust Him and let Him use you in ways that are beyond you! Have a great day. 

When we walk through seasons of loss and disappointment, it’s far too easy to get stuck in the muck there. When we bump up against the obstacles that threaten our joy, our tendency is to back off and look down when God invites us to press forward and look up.

Here are a three common obstacles to joy – obstacles that we can move past to find our footing and our perspective again:

The Fear of Man: Proverbs 29:25 says ~ The fear of man is a snare, but the fear of the Lord is safety (and freedom).

When disappointment or angst is rooted in what people think about you (or what you imagine they’re thinking about you), the tendency is to get small and cower. But the invitation here is to send your roots down deeper into God’s marvelous love and to find your depth, your strength, and your identity more firmly rooted in Him.

Instead of becoming negatively self aware, look up, reach up, and find your Father cheering you on, loving you every step of the way, and securing your life story for His Namesake. He’s all you need. His opinion matters most and HE loves you best!

The Sin of Comparison: 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says ~ Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Though it’s easy to fall into the sin of comparison we must remember that it’s a ‘gateway’ sin that leads to jealousy and ingratitude, both of which, open us up to the enemy’s influence in harmful ways.

If you’re in a waiting or a ‘not yet’ season, refuse the temptation to gaze at those who have what you want. Instead, look up to the One who has been so very good to you, knowing He’ll be good again. He loves you. He’s committed to you, and there’s something He has for you in this place. Start thanking Him now. Today. And see if you won’t find your spiritual eyes opened afresh to the ways God is moving in your midst. When it’s best for you, He’ll bring the breakthrough.

Loss of Perspective: Romans 8:25, 28 says this ~ But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently… And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Far too often we keep ourselves in the small story when God has a far greater story on His heart for us. We tend to focus on temporary setbacks and disappointments and we forget that our Sovereign Lord knows every detail and works every speck of our story for a grander purpose.

Step back today and consider how your temporary loss or setback may serve a greater purpose for a greater glory. What might God be up to in and through you? Instead of handing your heart over to despair or disappointment, determine to step back and remember God today. He loves you. He’s for you. And He’s up to something good.

It takes some spiritual tenacity to press past your obstacles and to find faith amidst your circumstances. But it’s worth it. This is the stuff of spiritual maturity and empowering grace.

Keep walking. Keep believing. Look up and find your strength in Him.

Blessings on your day today! 


Fan the Flame!

Happy Tuesday, Friends!

Each day, as often as posssible, I'll share a few additional thoughts on the blessing I share on Facebook. Here's today's blessing:

Start a Day Prayer: Father in Heaven, I pause this morning and I look to You. Fan the flame within me, Lord! Bring life to the gifts You've imparted to me! Open my eyes to see evidences of Your glory everywhere I turn. Put faith in my heart to step out, to be a necessary miracle in somebody's life today. And as I wait for my own personal breakthroughs, work through me to help someone else break through to their next place of promise. I love You, Lord. I need You every hour. And I have You every moment of every hour. I'm abundantly blessed. Amen.

A while back I received

I received an email from a precious woman who wondered why I’ve not posted for a while.

I asked her what she’d like me to write about and she replied, “How do you get the fire/zeal back in to your prayer time?  Why do we go through these dry places where our prayers seem blah (and very "me" centered). Why is reading the Word sometimes a chore instead of a delight?  

Great questions, no? 

So here’s my best answer: TRUST…

A while back I had author Emily Freeman on my show and she said the best thing: Is it more important to please God or to trust Him? She went on to say, “If we focus on pleasing God, we’ll quickly get into striving; but if we entrust ourselves to Him, and trust Him for all He is, we’ll stay in that place of grace, and we’ll please Him in the process (my paraphrase).”


Using ‘TRUST’ as an acronym, here are few things I learned about reigniting my prayer life:


T- Thanksgiving: Almost always, when I sense that the fire has gone out and my passion has waned, it’s because I stopped being grateful, stopped thanking God for all of the blessings I enjoy. When we focus too much on what we don’t have and on what God is not giving us as the moment, we lose sight of the fact that God is always wonderfully good, is beautifully for us, and will never forsake us. Start today by thanking Him for everything you’d miss tomorrow if you woke up and it wasn’t there.


Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18). 


R – Repentance: Another fire-quencher is sin and selfish attitudes. Scripture says that His kindness leads us to repentance. When you’ve spent some time thanking God, conviction returns to your soul. Take the next step is to dare to say, ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts; see if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in your everlasting way.’ (See Psalm 139). Confession is a cleansing, beautiful thing. God draws especially near to the humble, repentant heart.


Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results (James 5:16).


U – Understand: Oftentimes when we feel our flame flickering and not burning brightly, it’s because we’ve approached God only for what He can do for us and not for who He is. A sure way to fan our spiritual flame is to seek Him for all He is worth! Still bring your requests before Him, but then lay them down at His feet, and seek to know His heart. He is the star-breathing God, the Lord of Lords, the King of kings, and the God of angel armies! He is high and lifted up and yet intimately right here. He loves you. Get to know Him more and you’ll have a better understanding of how He is working in your current circumstances. To better know Him is to love Him more; and to know Him is to be filled to the fullness with Him (see Ephesians).


Knowing the Holy One results in understanding (Proverbs 9:10).


S – Stand: When we don’t feel God’s presence and His promises don’t exactly feel true, it’s time to stand on the Word of God because it is true. When I find myself feeling more earthbound than heaven-bound, I rise up, walk around my house, and proclaim the promises of God written over my life. I will not die but live, and declare the works of the Lord! (because I struggle with health issues) God’s grace abounds in my life so I can abound in every good work! (because I’m constantly in over my head). When I stand on God’s promises, and my ears hear my mouth say what’s true, in due time, my heart believes again that His Word is true. I challenge you, walk around, stomp your feet if you have to, and proclaim the promises of God. Take your stand right where you stand!


For your promises are backed by all the honor of your name (Psalm 138:2).


S – Surrender: Another thing I’ve noticed is that surrender and spiritual passion are closely linked. When I find myself hanging on to my own understanding, or when I rely more heavily on my fears than I do on God’s faithfulness, it’s like a throwing a wet blanket on my spiritual flame. What’s my answer? I get on my knees, open my hands, and I surrender my everything to the Lord once again. I give Him my worries, my ‘what if’s’ and the deep desires of my heart. I’m only dealing with partial information. He knows what’s best for me (and for you). Try actually getting on your knees, opening your hands, and releasing the things you’ve been white-knuckling up to this point. Say to the Lord, 'Father, what does obedience look like here? And who do You want to be to me here? My Deliverer? Defender? Strong Tower? I surrender to You. Show me Your greatness in this place.'


So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).


T – Trust: Here we are, back at trust. When I lose perspective on life, I’ve somewhere along the line stopped trusting God. Here are a few things that are important to remember:      

*He has a plan for your life that is your best case scenario     

*He is faithful, true, and made Himself available to you   

*He is good and kind and true; you can trust Him to get you safely home


You can trust Him. You can trust Him. If your passion has waned it's time to re-engage your heart, to renew your mind, to humble yourself in His presence, and then to rise up knowing that you are His, and He is yours. You are blessed, indeed.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).

I hope this helps you to fan the flame within you! You are so very precious to God!

~Until next time I post. J

Thanks for the nudge, Roberta. 


God Moments and the Patient Process...

Happy Friday, Friends!

Here's today's blessing from my Facebook page:

Start a Day Blessing: May your persistent prayers pay off and may your 'suddenly-breakthrough' come quickly! May the burdens that have plagued you suddenly feel like a light and easy yoke. May God grant you a fresh revelation of His love and a fresh outpouring of grace to not only face the day but to conquer it valiantly! And may you experience increasing joy because you believe-beyond a shadow of a doubt-that God has some amazing things planned for you! Have a GREAT day! 

This morning during my prayer time, this little passage jumped out at me: When they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped (Exodus 4:31).

Guess who that verse is talking about? I'm sure the reference from Exodus gives it away. In Exodus four we read about the time when God called the self-aware and unqualified Moses to do a mighty impossible task: to appear before the Pharaoh and lead the Israelites to freedom. And when the Israelites heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.

The bummer part of that story is that it didn't take long for the Israelites to accuse, take up an offense, stomp their feet, shake their fists, and betray the one who stuck his neck out for them.

Truly though, when they heard of God's concern for them, it was a God-moment, sacred enough to bring them to their knees.

We must never discount those God moments when He speaks to us, makes promises to us, and gives us His divine assurance that He'll be with us no matter what. Because the thing is, those God moments often precede a battle where everything God has promised is threatened or seems up for grabs.

Every time God makes a promise, the devil makes a plan. And when the enemy presses in, we can be tempted to grab for ourselves, gripe at God, and grind our gears in our own strength.

As I've said many times before, Lord, help us to remember in the darkness what You told us in the light!  

It takes time to lay hold of the things God has promised us, not because God needs time, but because we do. He is fully committed to the idea of giving us a free will to make our own choices. He moves at our pace because He loves us and wants to keep us moving True North - in the direction of His ultimate plan for our lives. 

We must be patient in the process. Far too often, it's God who is waiting on us! The Israelites took 40 years to complete a trek that should have only taken a couple of weeks or so. Even so, God makes all things beautiful in their time. 

On the other hand, we can be completely submitted to His purposes in our lives and still feel like we are in the 'waiting season' forever and a day. God, at times, seems completely content to leave us in a desert season for far too long. Especially in the desert places, we must remember those God-moments when He showed up, spoke to us, and promised us His provision.

Don't let the enemy sidetrack you with questions like, 'Did God really say...?" or "Do you really think He cares about this puny desire in your heart?" 

God loves us deeply. He puts dreams in our hearts. He speaks to His people. And the Bible says that His promises are backed by all of the honor of His name.

Read this beautiful verse: Psalm 138:2 ~ I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.

Trust in the Name of the Lord. He will not fail you! Cherish those God-moments, they are loving gifts from an intimate Father. Hang on in faith; don't let go. In due time, the season will change and you will lay hold of what God's best will for you.



Look Up & Be Nourished! 

Happy Thursday, Friends!

Here's today's blessing from my Facebook page:

Start a Day Blessing: May you learn to rest in the goodness of God. May your capacity to know His love grow increasingly in the days to come. When you're tempted to worry about your loved ones may you instead rejoice that your Savior runs after them with an earnest love, deep compassion, and profound wisdom. He longs to be gracious to them and show them His lovingkindness. May you feel free to exhale your worries and breathe in His promises because they are true and they're for you. It's time to cease striving and KNOW that He is God, He is good, and He cares about every detail of your life. Walk blessed today because you are!

The other day I read a passage of scripture that stood out to me. Here it is:

Hell and destruction ARE before the Lord; so how much more the hearts of the sons of men (Proverbs 15:11). 

Now at first glance you may wonder what that passage has to do with resting in the goodness of God but let's pause and take a deeper look here. The Day of the Lord is coming; it's nearer today than it's been before. God sees the day fast approaching. And what's on His mind? We are! And at the deepest level, what does He care about? Our hearts. Scripture says that He delights in every detail of our hearts and He cares about what concerns us. He cares so much about our hearts that His Spirit within us convicts us when we're about to go on a path that might derail our faith or distract us from Him. Wisdom's path is always peace. Guarding our hearts and fixing our eyes are essential if we hope to rest in the goodness of God.

It's so easy to fix our eyes on our problems. And when one of our problems is loved ones who've wandered away from the faith, it's easy to fix our eyes on them and worry about what is going on in their hearts. But if you look again at this passage, God is deeply aware of their hearts.

When we focus on our worries, it drains the life right out of us. When we focus on the Lord and all that we possess in Him, we're strengthened, nourished, and revived.

Remember the beautiful passage? Those who fix their eyes on HIM are radiant, and their faces are never covered with shame (Psalm 34:5).

Your heart is what matters most to God. 

Want to experience a personal revival that forever marks the way you walk with God? Worship Him, right here, right now, in this place. Build an altar and declare that no matter what your eyes see, your heart knows that God is for you and is working even now on your behalf. May you live ready for His soon return. And when He comes, may He find faith and expectancy in you! 

And your loved ones? Entrust them to God. Fix your eyes on Him and know today that His heart is already set on them.

Have a blessed day today!


Walk in His Presence...

Happy Wednesday, Friends!

So, I've taken up blogging again. :) Each day I'll write a few additional thoughts to add to the blessing I post on Facebook that day. Today I'll give away 2 copies of my new book, 'Blessings for the Evening' to someone who posts on my blog.

Here's today's blessing:

Start a Day Blessing: May the Kingdom, Power, and Presence of the Living God seem nearer to you now than ever before. May your understanding of what you possess in Him grow exponentially today. May you see glimpses of glory everywhere you turn so you're reminded that God is very much at work behind the scenes, answering your prayers, opening doors, and moving mountains. Jesus lives to pray for you and when He prays heaven moves. Walk full of faith today simply because heaven sings a song over you. God is at work on your behalf, and any day now, you will see Him breakthrough. Bless you, friend!

One of my life verses is Psalm 116:9 ~ And so I walk in His presence as I live here on earth.

I love the idea of walking in constant and continual awareness of the Living God in my midst. He is for us, with us, and making a way for us in ways that we cannot fathom or comprehend. 

Maybe you've read the famous quote by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, but it bears repeating here:

Earth is crammed with heaven. And every common bush afire with God; but only he who sees takes off his shoes. The rest just sit around and pick blackberries.

Jesus is continually speaking to a waiting and watching world. The problem is, so few of us are waiting or watching. But what if we had the presence of mind to acknowledge and honor Him in our midst? What if we had the wisdom to take off our shoes and acknowledge those sacred moments that take place amidst our ordinary days? I'll tell you what would happen: we'd be changed; transformed; and, we'd gain a deeper understanding of the Kingdom people we were always intended to be.

Scripture tells us that it's in His presence, the fullness of joy is found. We find our deepest joy in Him and with Him. So of course the enemy wants us racing through life, totally missing the treasured access we've been offered through Christ Jesus.

May we pause today and remember afresh that we are the object of God's affection. He loves us deeply, profoundly, and truly. And no one can gossip enough to Him about us to make Him change His mind about us. 

Jesus Himself--right at this moment--is praying for you, pulling for you, and interceding for you in ways you wouldn't even know how to pray for yourself. Isn't that just an amazing thought? 

Walk in His presence today. Delight in Him. In due time, He will satisfiy the deepest desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).

Blessings on your day today!