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Sunday, November 24, 2019

Inspired by . . .  the coming

The deeper the darkness, the smaller the light that will penetrate it.

Light conquers darkness.

Every. Time.

The prophecy uttered by Zechariah in the first chapter of Luke is just that; a small light in a very dark place.
"to shine on those who live in darkness, under the shadow of death"
The Israelites had been waiting a very long time for a Savior. God had just revealed through Zechariah that his son, John, was to be the forerunner of the Messiah.

Finally, a glimmer of hope!

That Hope came, as we know. Not as the conquering king they expected but the True Savior of the world.

Dying to life, He set us free from sin and death and returned to the right hand of the Father.

So, once again we wait. No longer under the shadow of death, yet still in darkness. We await His return in full. In Glory, to finally enter in to the victory He has already won. For us.

And although in reality our lives are suspended in this time of waiting, each year at this time we focus our spirit in on what it really means to wait for Him.

For waiting is faith. And faith is found in the waiting.

So the point of the Advent season is to re-focus our heart and mind to why and to Whom we wait. To allow the dark, cold, barrenness of winter, that is all too often alive within our souls, to drive us to the only One who can transform us unto eternal life.

So Advent prepares us to accept the gift of Jesus now: salvation, and reminds us to continue in the hope set before us: eternal life, for the Author of our faith is coming soon.

Marana tha! Come, Lord!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Inspired by . . . God's closet

The battle is the Lord's, friend, but the battle is real.

Almost before I hit publish on my last blog post I began seeing affirmation of His word popping up in my IG and FB feeds.

Many of you let me know that you were getting His message, too.

Be still


Stop striving.

Depending upon our individual personality, these commands are either a sweet relief or a very real struggle. 

Either way, even in the waiting, scripture teaches us to be prepared. To "position" ourselves, as it says in Chronicles 20. There are so many scriptures, beloved, that tell us to be watchful, and ready. Many of these are in the context of Christ's return. However, I believe they also can refer to being ready for Him to reveal Himself in our daily struggles.

When we stop trying to control every minute of our days, we open the door for God to show up in miraculous ways. I know you've experienced this truth.

Almost the first thing we do every morning to prepare for our day is to clothe ourselves. For those of you in the corporate world, you're looking to make a statement. Red tie, black suit, red scarf, chic, sleek. In control. Mom's are pulling on sneakers and comfortable clothes. Active, ready to wrangle the kids and clean up messes. You get the idea; you dress for what you expect to encounter on any given day.

In the same way we prepare our physical bodies for the daily fray, scripture teaches us how to clothe our spiritual selves for battle.

Ephesians 6 teaches us defense: how to protect ourselves against the wiles of the enemy. The belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, and shoes of peace all give us the power to stand firm. The shield of faith protects us from the enemy's fiery arrows.

Then there are the garments described in Colossians 3. These garments prepare us for action or interaction with others. Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, and love. Just as that red tie or scarf may project power and control, these attributes set us apart as children of God.

When we respond to situations with kindness and humility, people take notice. Sadly, these are rare traits in today's world. But we can be a powerful witness for Christ, simply by "wearing" these "garments."

There may not be many things about the Proverbs 31 woman we can emulate, but we can achieve this:
"She is clothed with strength and dignity and can afford to laugh at tomorrow."
By constantly asking for God's help through prayer, we can be prepared to do what the Lord has called us to do, even as we wait patiently while the battle rages around us.

We can rest in this truth:
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."  (Joh 16:33)


Saturday, November 2, 2019

Inspired by . . . this battle

You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. 2 Chron 20:17

What battle are you fighting today?

Are you fighting your husband, your kids, yourself? Battles in the public arena, your school, your church?


Be still.

The battle is the Lord's.

He may be speaking to the kingdom of Judah in this OT passage but He is just as clearly speaking to each one of us who consistently fight, battle, and strive in our own strength.

The battle is the Lord's. Our job is to take up the position He has given us and wait and see what the Lord will accomplish.

So what is our position? What has God given us to do?

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Mic 6:8
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1Th 5:16-18
Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.  Ecc 12:13

Easy words to read, hard words to follow. Keep them before your eyes. Meditate (think) on them. Practice them. They will become part of your life.

Then, you will cease striving and know ... the peace of God.

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. Joh 14:27