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peace

1, 2, 3…

“You shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may be well with you and that you may go in and possess the good land which the LORD swore to give your fathers,” Deuteronomy 6:18 NASB

I like to read the Bible before bed. It’s like a spiritual palate cleanser for me after a long day. After reading this verse two days ago (and later the chapter), I turned over in the bed and contemplated the directive and the promise. The instructions seemed so simple, yet intimidating. So, I jotted notes to digest. Hope it helps you too!

Step 1: Because God sees everything, do what is right. I know you may not get “credit” for it, but your character counts in the eyes of the Father. You don’t have to wonder if He’s keeping tabs or forgetting to write something down. He is omnipresent and omniscient.

(I truly try to live this out everyday. Challenges come, but this part doesn’t trip me up.)

Step 2: When you do what is right, your actions and the outcome will be well with you… you will be at peace with what was in your control and what was out of your control.

(I believe that peace makes a mighty fine pillow and I enjoy sleeping on it every night. Knowing that you did everything you could to be in right-standing makes you accept the serenity of not being in control of everything. So, this part doesn’t get me either… but let’s look to the last one…)

Step 3: Then, because you have Peace, you can go possess the land… the good land… the promise.

(OK, so this where we need to talk. Why do I have problems possessing the land, or in today’s case, the dreams and promises God gave me? If I’ve done the steps to get to this point, why am I apprehensive about #3? Is it a fear of not being able to live up to the dream? Am I afraid that the promises are ethereal and not obtainable? What causes me to pause when it’s time to take a step into new territory? Apparently, the land is not new to God because He promised it before I was born. So, why can’t I rest in His confidence in me? Honestly, I’m still chewing on this one. I want to get to the bottom of it. Yes, I know bible verses and songs that say otherwise, but there is still trepidation before I put my weight on the leg that extends into unknown territory.)

Is there anyone else out there that is shaky on the 3rd step? It’s OK to be human enough to answer YES! 

So, I have to remind myself that the promises of God are secure and that even Jesus had to take a step back to get ready for the cross. It was His mission and He knew it was coming, but it didn’t make the step easier to take. So, He prayed… more than once (Matthew 26). I have to believe that His multiple prayers validate my questions and fears just as much as his humanity colliding with his Deity.

Follow the steps according to HIS plan, put your foot down, and walk across the bridge into the unknown. I’m stretching to do the same.

Peace & Thanks for listening!

Photo courtesy of www.earnthis.net

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Water Proof

Caution: Let’s go swimming in our thoughts for a bit…. 622 words deep to be exact.

I don’t know how to swim (effectively), but I love the beach. I see a swimming pool and I want to jump in like an Olympic diver and scuba diving is on my LTD (life-to-do) List. With all of this enchantment over water, such a simple necessity, it would make sense as to why God would use it to get His points across.

THE LATSOL MOMENT

One morning while I was walking my dog Sammy, I noticed the dew on the grass. My dog loves to slurp it off the grass in order to prolong his morning ritual. It was nothing new, but the temperature had been consistently 90 degrees or more in Alabama for a week and even the evenings felt like a cough of heat from the daytime. On this particular morning, the dew arrested my attention. How was there dew on the grass in the midst of heat? I know the scientific answer, but that wasn’t satisfying at that moment. Then I heard God say gently…

“No matter how hot it gets, there’s always dew on the grass in the morning.
That alone should be proof that I will take care of you.”

Wow. That was my water proof.  Finally. See a few years ago, I asked for God to help me understand him more… to make himself tangible to my curiosity and satisfy my itch to learn Him in a deeper way. So in order to understand my excitement about this “theorem,” you must hear my “proof.” (Hey, math teachers… two points?) 

Although there are contrary beliefs, these is mine.

HERE WE GO…

Proof:
God is like water.
It is a representation of His deity and awesomeness and is not bound by circumstances. 

Lastly and personally…

To say that water fascinates me would be an understatement. The shower is my thinking place and a warm bath is a cozy envelope for my questions and feelings of frustration. I leave them there, in the envelope, to go down the drain forevermore. When I step out of the shower, I am new. I’m ready for the day or evening and mentally prepared for what’s ahead.

So, when I saw the blades of grass with dew and Sammy was enjoying the natural refreshment in spite of the heat, I felt like God gave my proof some recognition. More like I finally listened to what He had been saying all along. I am God. I will provide. I am not affected by your changes. I am always here. 

I took a deep breath that morning and my soul agreed… and I felt amazing.

Peace & Thanks for listening.

Treasured & Protected

PhotoGrid_1461550413068Anything that is treasured must be protected.

Think about it.

The White House. Diamonds. Museum artifacts. It doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy them. They are protected to prevent abuse and to preserve their value. Their boundaries reduce the risk of them being abused and destroyed.

The wooden heart pictured here is just as fragile as we are. We appear fortified and impenetrable on the outside, but the reality is all it takes is a little fire and water to warp our behavior toward a situation.

God’s Love protects us. We are His treasured beings. His Son’s blood was used to redeem us, and it is also designed to protect us. It shields us from all hurt, harm, and danger that we cannot see. Does that mean we will not hurt? No.

Even museum artifacts must be taken from their protective cases to be cleaned and preserved so they can last longer.

So it is with us. Our hedge of protection is made pliable for a moment to strengthen us through an experience. That seems unfair, but consider the following: God knows that if we are to truly learn, we must experience. If all it took was our Father to tell us everything, there would be less hardship and hardheadedness. We can’t be trusted to simply take heed because we usually don’t do so. The lasting impression needed for growth is experience. God knows that. Your parents and teachers knew that. Even your manager knows that; otherwise, why ask for a resume and references? Experience matters… and there’s no way around it.

Secondly, one could say that the heart is the most fragile thing. Why would we hide the Word there and not in our minds? Because we protect our hearts more than our minds. Just think of all the things you saw or heard that were impure today or this week. Our eyes and ears are inlets to the heart, but the heart is the inner sanctuary of the soul. It has its own guard… Peace.

Peace protects us from the contamination of life. It causes us to remain fortified when the world is crumbling.

Thirdly, there is peace in saying “yes” and “no.” There is peace in stillness and in a joyous moment with others. Peace is not easily broken, but it can be relieved of its duties if you give the orders. Where the mind rationalizes, the heart leads. If it doesn’t “feel” right in the heart, we move forward in the mind. Decisions are rescinded often because the heart doors not agree. God knows the heart is where it’s at! David screwed up so many times, but God cherished his repentance and praise because of his heart.

What does your heart treasure? What’s in it and why is it there?
Is it worth protecting? Is your Peace on duty?

Peace & Thanks for listening!

Know The One You’re Walking With

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Walking tall

For my Grammatical Family Members – “Know The One With Whom You Are Walking” 😉

My dog taught me a lesson again. It’s such a simple one.

Let’s start with his swag. His confidence is pretty up there, especially when he’s with me. If he senses the need to bark, he does. It is only when he deems it necessary and it has kept us safe a few times already.

When we walk together, he watches out for us… All 8 pounds of him looks out for all of me. Sammy is never intimidated by larger dogs or people for that matter. You would think he was 10-feet tall. He’s not rude, but he’s secure in his walk with me because he knows I’m his owner and I will protect and sustain him.

How often do we discredit God’s ability by walking without the confidence in which we should have? Every step is made with faith in lip service, but not necessarily in the fortitude of God’s ability and good pleasure.

God wants you to know Him well enough to trust him.

Just like He has your back, do you stand up for Him when it is necessary? Not that God needs your bark or bite, but do you live life with the peace of knowing that He is always in control, no matter what happens on the journey? Do you walk tall because you know who’s walking with you into work, school, or at home? I will admit that sometimes I don’t. I have to be reminded. When we know the one we’re walking with, we give in to the exchange of trust with no room for doubt and fear.

Sammy walks taller than me every day without thinking about it. You can best believe that is changing in me with every step I take from this point forward. My God is worth that level of trust. So is yours, so get to high steppin’.

Peace & Thanks for listening.

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