Give it up…

white flag_ give it up

We are in a series called Give It Up!  Rick Warren and his church have pointed us toward some truth and Hope and we want to pass it on to you.

Sunday we said everyone suffers from life. We have all been hurt and we have hurt others. We all have hurts, habits and hang ups.  Because of that, we try to control things.  We try to control them.  We try to control and manage our environments, people around us and ourselves.  But we find out something important.  We can’t control and manage these things.  We are powerless.  If we could have made things better, we already would have.  

That desire to control and manage everything is our desire to play God.  And we fail every time.  So… we must stop denying we have a problem and admit it to God.  Yes, I have this (be specific) problem and I’m powerless to change.  It has power over me.  

Today… Start there.  Step out of denial and admit you can’t do this on your own.   This is the reality.  Admit it today.

God, I admit I’m powerless to change my past.

God, I admit I’m powerless to control others.

God, I admit I’m powerless to cope with my harmful habits, behaviors and actions.

Check back tomorrow.

 


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Good Morning Jesus

good morning

 

Good morning Jesus.

Wow,  have I been busy.  It feels like I have run a triathlon without preparing and without pausing along the way to feed and fuel my body.  I’m a bit worn out.  I think some of my friends are too.  This morning I am pausing in the midst of craziness to say, “Good morning Jesus.”

So, good morning.  It seems so silly as I look at my life.  The value I place on things like my phone, internet connections and how I look as I leave the house is all so short sighted and temporary.  I often talk about these things more than I talk to you.  You are forever Jesus.  Me and you… we are forever.  I know you want me to know you more and more every day so that when you return for me, we are the best of friends and not strangers.  So, good morning Jesus.  I feel like asking you to spend the day with me.

I want to talk with you throughout the day.  There will be so much going on today and I will often have to speak to you quietly, from inside my mind.. so please stay close Jesus.

I’m a horrible listener Jesus but today I want to practice listening.  I have a bad habit of just talking and talking and telling you what I want and what I think I need.  Today I am going to try to listen more than I talk.  So please stay close Jesus.  I’m doing my best to not miss anything.  I’m listening for… waiting for that gentle nudge, You directing me.  Stay close Jesus because I don’t want to miss a thing.

Jesus, thank you for suffering horrible pain and death for me.   And thank you for defeating that very death.  Your love compelled you to do it.  Now your love compels me too.  It compels me to listen for you, to wait for you and it compels me to run to you.  Jesus, you made me friends with God.  Oh how I have wanted that.  Thank you Jesus.

The truth is this: You have always been close to me, I don’t have to ask that of you.  It is I who have emotionally and spiritually walked away from you by ignoring you.  Forgive me Jesus.  I don’t want to ignore you.  I want to recognize, moment by moment, that you are near.

So… Good morning Jesus.  What a beautiful day you have created.  Thanks for sharing it with me.

I’m grateful,

your friend


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A Morning Prayer for Today

a prayer

 

Heavenly Father,

I adore you. I don’t deserve your love.
I adore you. I don’t deserve your attention.
I adore you. I don’t deserve your notice.
I adore you. I don’t deserve any good… any ease… anything of value.
I adore you.

Forgive me Father… I am depraved. My nature is to rebel. My nature is to self serve. My nature is to please me.

Thank you for loving me… forgiving me… not leaving me alone.

Thank you for your sacrifice… my sin… actually paid for… not figuratively… not as a model… my sin actually paid for. Thank you Jesus.

Lead me today.  Today I am submitting to your leading.

Give me love and the opportunity to show it to… share it with others today.

Teach me today.  I am looking for your wisdom.  I will pause and think about your Word.  I will compare my life not to others about me but to your Word alone.  I will evaluate my thoughts and consider my ways.  I will then choose to seek you first in all things.

Spirit, give me the wisdom to know what to do and the courage to do it.

This is humbly pray… so be it.

 


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Not just for the world… for YOU.

Jesus and the Father have made His choice… not simply the world… it is you.

The terms were presented in the contract and sealed with a cup of wine.

The price was paid.  It was a dear price.  It was a price I could never pay nor repay.

He then departed but not before reminding me He is preparing a place for me… a place at His Father’s.

He will come back… not just for the church… He is coming back for me.

It was written before it happened.  Much of it has happened.  Now, we wait for His promised return when the rest of what was written will happen.

It was written.

Acts 3:17-21 (NLT)
17  “Friends, I realize that what you and your leaders did to Jesus was done in ignorance.
18  But God was fulfilling what all the prophets had foretold about the Messiah—that he must suffer these things.
19  Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away.
20  Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah.
21  For he must remain in heaven until the time for the final restoration of all things, as God promised long ago through his holy prophets.


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Where is the Light?

where is the Light

Yesterday, the sunrise was perhaps the most beautiful Vanessa and I have seen in six months.  I wish my picture could represent it well; however, this picture does not come close to the light I saw.  The bright yellow… somehow it was a fire red… spectacular!  My camera could not capture the amazing brilliance accurately.  Some days the light is obvious, bold, amazing, impossible to miss (unless you are sleeping).  I love days like yesterday.

Today, where is the light?  I know it is there somewhere but it is tucked deep behind the clouds and rain this morning.  The extreme beauty is not revealed but the light still comes through.  I can still easily see outside today.  Today does not carry the same emotional feeling which yesterday held.

Can it be that most of our lives are not lived within the emotionally high experiences?  If you are like me, those days happen but not often.  Most of my days are like today with the light visible but tucked behind some kind of emotional weather.  I can see to take my steps but they don’t feel the same and I don’t feel the same about them.

It is easy for us to follow Jesus closely on our emotionally bright days.  It is easy for us to feel His presence and bask in His light and stay on track with each step of our lives through the decisions we make on emotionally light days. But that is no easy task on emotionally dim days.  We have what we need to see as we take steps and make decisions.  We should be able to stay close to Jesus because we can still see with plenty of available light even though the brilliance is hidden behind the emotional clouds.  Sadly we often use the available light to find something else to do, to focus on, to give ourselves to in hopes that we will feel better.  Instead of following Jesus with the available, adequate (even though not amazingly brilliant) light… we follow anything else looking to feel better…  anything… anyone… any substance… any chemical… any mood changer… any mood enhancer will do and none of those things will take us closer to His light.

Make a decision everyday to stay close to Jesus, walking with Him using whatever amount of light is available on any given day.  If we follow the Light, stay close to the light, the brilliance will come.  But if we simply use the light to look around and find something, anything offering temporary relief… we will forever be lost in the dim light with content always being out of reach.

Where is the light?  It is there… keep following Him closely today.

Stay close.

 


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It was me…

File1671

It was me…
Oh that I might hold on to that which brings life… hold on like a beggar clinging to, running to goodness.
Eventually, all men will see… all men will be astonished… all men will come running.
Why am I surprised when God moves?  Why do I look at others as if it is their power, their talent, their goodness, their godliness when all power and glory belong to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, the God of me.
It was me… I handed him over to be killed, I disowned him. I disowned the Holy and Righteous One and instead chose to follow a murderous, sin hungry man called me.
My choices, my habits, my selfishness, my sin killed the author of life.
BUT
God raised him from the dead.
HE is bringing new life to all who will submit to Him. I am proof of that.

An now my story has changed… it is Him in me.

 

Acts 3:11-15 (NIV)
11 While the beggar held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade.
12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?
13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go.
14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you.
15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.

 

 


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