CELEBRATE THE DIFFERENCES

Have you ever learned a Life Lesson that has stuck with you? I mean the kind of lesson that you knew was directly from God and He wanted you to pay very close attention to it!

I learned this kind of a Life Lesson when I was a missionary in Chile. I was thrust in a country where EVERYTHING was different! The language they spoke was not my native language.The food they ate was not what my palate was accustomed to. The grocery stores did not contain the foods on my “normal” shopping list. In fact, it took half a day to make the rounds to each individual store that held the items to complete my list! They shook hands differently than I did. They greeted each other differently than I did. They raised their children differently than I did…

I think you are getting the picture!

They did everything differently than I did!

On top of all of that, they did not look like me! 

My first natural, human response was to put the entire country into a box that fit my understanding. In my mind, they were WRONG and I was RIGHT!

That was when God spoke His undeniable Truth into my life and taught me a Life Lesson I have never forgot…

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DIFFERENCES ARE NOT RIGHTS AND WRONGS, THEY ARE SIMPLY DIFFERENCES!

 “Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.”  

Romans 14:1   

 “Disputable matters” are non essential values that Christ followers may have. In and of themselves, they are not right, or wrong. “Good” Christians may differ, without being right or wrong. In movie terms, some people like romantic comedies, and some people like westerns or spy thrillers. 

Differences are not rights and wrongs, and they are to be celebrated!  

When we celebrate the differences that God has given to each of us, it creates a beautiful mosaic and begins to mimic the way God intended us to be.

As we approach each other with acceptance in who God created us to be, we begin to listen, learn and grow from one another. We begin to love each other the way God wants us to. And we can watch the fear, the anger and hatred melt away and be replaced by love and acceptance. 

I’m different from you, and you’re different from me. Let’s celebrate that, for it’s the way God intended us to be!

Speak Truth Love

IT’S FALL Y’ALL!

Pumpkin Spice EVERYTHING is Back!

Driving through Starbucks and ordering that delectable pumpkin beverage with it’s spicy cinnamon appeal brings warm feelings that Fall is in the air!

Maybe some of you like summer and hate when it comes to an end. That definitely isn’t me! Not by a long shot! Once the fireworks of the Fourth of July have flamed out, and the last piece of corn on the cob has been eaten, I AM SO READY FOR FALL!

Bring on those cozy sweaters! Light those fireplaces and curl up with a warm blanket! Cook, eat and bake everything pumpkin! I even bought a magazine full of new fall pumpkin recipes! My heart and my spirit were ready to drive-through Starbucks, order that pumpkin spice latte and a pumpkin scone, put on a cozy sweater or sweatshirt, light the fire and watch college football! Oh Yes, and begin school! And now, Labor Day is in the rearview mirror, and none of this has happened.

Neither Mother Nature nor COVID-19 is cooperating! Smoke in the air, heat waves are abounding, no indoor dining is open, we can’t use the restroom at Starbucks, kids are still at home, no Friday night lights high school football, and my favorite college team isn’t even playing! This doesn’t feel like Fall. And it certainly doesn’t feel like “normal!“

Nothing right now feels normal! But the truth is, transitions happen all the time! In fact the change that I was just talking about from summer to fall is in fact a transition. The problem is it is not transitioning the way I want it to transition! It is in fact, it is not meeting my expectations!

Let me introduce the definition of transition. 

‘Transition is: ‘movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change is constant!’

The truth is most of the cells in your body are different than they were six months ago. Transitions happen regularly in our lives. And it is a good thing that they do. Without change and without transition we become stagnant! Stagnant in my definition from above, would mean that it stays summer all year long. That is not good news for someone like me! And truly it’s not good news for you either! My family and I always hate it when Christmas comes to an end. We love Christmas so much! As I am tucking my grand children into bed on Christmas night, they often say, I wish it was Christmas every day! Can you imagine? At first it would be wonderful! But eventually it would lead to monotony at best and gluttony at worst! Change is necessary and good. One of the things I love most about God is that He knows this, but He also knows us! God knows that change is difficult. So, He has allowed transitions! Transitions can take us smoothly from one change to the next if we allow them to.

Can you imagine if we went from the dead of summer to the middle of December overnight? It would be such a shock to our systems!

Just as the physical shock of sudden change without transition can bring shock to our physical bodies, the shock of the “normal“ to something different without smooth transitions can bring shock to our spiritual self as well!

So the big question is, “how do we transition through these unknown, ab normal, uncertain times?“

We trust in the ONE who it doesn’t surprise at all! He is our constant! He never changes and nothing takes Him by surprise! Clinging to this Truth keeps us constant through the change and transitions!

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

God’s awesome, unchanging nature is our anchor point! It is our solid rock! It is the sure and true foundation that we can stand on regardless of the change and the transitions all around us!

I LOVE YOU LORD; YOU ARE MY STRENGTH! THE LORD IS MY ROCK, MY FORTRESS, AND MY SAVIOR; MY GOD IS MY ROCK, IN WHOM I FIND PROTECTION!  HE IS MY SHIELD, THE POWER THAT SAVES ME AND MY PLACE OF SAFETY!” Psalm 118:1-2

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WHEN LIFE GET’S OUT OF HAND, ON CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK I STAND!

As much as I’d love to throw a pity party for myself, and pout and act like a child who doesn’t get her fall sweater, her warm fuzzy blanket and her college football game while sipping her pumpkin spice latte, I know God wants more of me!

He wants me to remember His faithfulness to me in the past as I go through the change and transitions of the present!

So I want to close today with what I cling to when transition and change is happening all around me. I remember the songs of my youth and hold to their eternal Truth!

“On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand! ALL OTHER GROUND IS SINKING SAND!”

Cling to the TRUTH my friends as our heads feel like they’re about to sink and go under, Christ is the solid rock on which we stand!

Speak Truth Love

The Power of Words

Today I just want you to know that you are loved! You are worthy, and you matter! You were created on purpose and with a purpose! You are unique and perfect just the way you are! You have significance and you make a difference. You were created on purpose by the Creator Himself! You truly are complex and wonderfully made!

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is MARVELOUS- how well I know it.” Psalm 139:14

Words are encouraging and build us up. They can turn the bluest of days rosey!

They can take a downcast spirit and perk it up! They can remove a discouraged attitude and replace it with hope! Words can even improve our physical well-being!

WORDS ARE POWERFUL!

Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing! Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed!”  Proverbs 12:18-19

As we begin a new month and end our series on ‘focusing on the “small” things in life to find joy’, I believe the smallest and most powerful way to find joy and bring it to others is through our WORDS!

It costs us absolutely nothing to pay someone a compliment!

How great does it make you feel when someone calls you by name? Then adds a compliment to it?

“Lisa, what you shared today really spoke to my heart.”

“Lisa, I love you in that color! It looks so good on you.”

“Lisa, You are doing an excellent job, we appreciate you.”

Insert your name into any of the above comments and imagine someone saying them to you. Feel the encouragement and uplifting of your spirit. Then, imagine yourself filling in the blank with someone else’s name that you know. Feel the love and encouragement you are bringing to them!

This is our calling friends! To bring the love and encouragement of Jesus into each other’s lives. All it takes is a few “small” words! When we do this we are following the words of scripture when they say,

Encourage one another daily as long as it is called today.” Hebrews 3:13

Remember, their is no spiritual gift of DISCOURAGEMENT. Let’s encourage one another daily because all we really have is TODAY!

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THE ENCOURAGING WORDS WE SAY BUILD EACH OTHER UP AND BRING HEALING!

Speak Truth Love

THE SMALLEST OF THINGS

Sometimes the smallest and most simplest of things, produce the biggest outcome!

Last Tuesday was my Anniversary! I wrote about the smallness of being quiet. That night I was driving home from visiting my grandchildren. I was alone in the car when I began to smell a distinct and painfully familiar smell. Smoke was filling the air and the closer I got to home the stronger the smell got! Storms had raged the weekend prior sending thousands of bolts of lightning striking the ground! Fires had sprung up everywhere and we were facing evacuation for the fourth year in a row!

The joy found in the smallness of the quiet had left my life and in its place was the loud roar of fire storms.

As the week progressed my phone was blowing up with evacuation notices! That sound which sent chills running up and down my spine, was going off every couple of minutes! One zone to the north of us was being evacuated! Another zone to the west of us was being evacuated! Then another, and another, and another!

Saturday morning arrived and we found ourselves still in our home, not yet evacuated.

We got up early and ventured outside to get some exercise hopeful that the smoky air would continue to clear.

We had made it! All of our friends and church family were safe and tomorrow we could continue live streaming our service from church!

Then, the worst news of the week hit us like a ton of bricks.  Beginning at 5 AM on Sunday morning strong winds and lightning strikes we’re hitting again! There was a red flag warning for our county! With it came warnings of dangerous high winds and lightning strikes.

Panic set in! We began to scramble! Would we have electricity to live stream the services? Would we be able to have our celebration drive-through and collect backpacks for our community school? How would we get the word out to people with such short notice? Our brains felt like they were on overload in a matter of minutes.

Then when all hope felt lost, when everything felt completely out of control, the smallest of Truths brought The greatest of Joys!

WE PRAYED!

The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”   James 5:16

We sent out an email for an all church community prayer time at 4 o’clock that afternoon!

We may have been separated by distance, but we have never felt more togetherness!

Through the smallest of obedience’s to pray, we experienced the awesome power of God!We received a MIRACLE!

No windstorm came that next day!

Not at 5:00 a.m. or 5:00 p.m.! There was not even the soft rustle of leaves blowing on the trees. No lightening in the sky, no bolts hitting the ground! It was calm and clear. The predicted storm never came! God took it away!

As my series through the month of August draws to a close, God taught me the greatest lesson of all at the end.

The smallest and simplest act we can do is pray! The power it holds is like no other!

We may not receive exactly what we ask for every time. But every single time we perform the small simple act of praying, our great God Hears, Listens and Answers!

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THE SMALL ACT OF PRAYER PRODUCES THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT!

Prayer may be a “small” thing to do, but it ignites the power of God’s Holy Spirit every single time!

Speak Truth Love

Celebrating the Quiet

Today is a very special day! Today marks 36 years of God giving me a miracle!

I prayed to God to heal my broken heart from my parents divorce, and He did. I prayed that He would be my Heavenly Father and help me break my deep rooted feeling of being unwanted, and He did. I prayed He would lead me and guide me even though I felt so alone, to pursue a college degree so that I could serve Him and commit my life to Him fully, and He did! Finally, I prayed that He would give me someone I could do you that alongside with all my life, and He did!    

I first saw Jim Swaney as he leaned up against the outside wall of the campus Commons meeting room at our college. His 6’ 2” frame, dark curly hair and piercing blue eyes caught my attention immediately! But there was something small among the obvious big traits that stood out about this man. He said nothing! He was completely silent! He did not even reach out his hand to say hello as my friend and I walked up to join the Bible study that he was about to teach. His friend who was with him did all the talking and all the greeting! Yet as he stood there silently, So much was being communicated through his silence. I sensed a confidence mixed with a sincere humility that literally melted my heart! Here was this guy who had every reason to exude arrogance, I mean he was drop dead gorgeous! Yet he stood there and said absolutely nothing. I was drawn to the quietness. There was a strength in it that over took me. When we walked through the doors into the campus commons room that tall dark handsome quiet man started to teach the word of God! The most beautiful thing that happened was as he taught, I fell in love with his heart for God! It was not his good looks that drew me to him, although they were icing on the cake! It was his quiet, humble spirit! My miracle came when after two years of serving God in the college group together, dating and learning more and more about each other, God gave me this man as my husband!

As God continues to challenge me to lean in to Him, and see the small things in life, and find joy in them, this week He clearly has shown me the joy of being quiet!

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Big lessons are learned through the small practice of being quiet.

To celebrate our 36th anniversary we went to Pismo beach. We woke up early in the morning and stepped outside of our room to sit together in perfect quiet and stillness and read God‘s word. We said absolutely nothing to each other! We just read and then sat still and listened. In that quietness I heard some thing that pierced my mind with this truth…

In the quiet we are able to hear strength!

As I sat still and silent I began to hear the soft roll of the waves of the ocean. They were rolling in so quietly until they reached the cliff. Then they crashed onto the cliff and rolled back out into the still quietness!

The fruit of that righteousness will be peace;

    its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.

My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,

    in secure homes,

    in undisturbed places of rest.

Isaiah 32:17-18

God was showing me that in the small quietness of the role of the tide, strength is built! The same quiet strength that my husband has is built when he is quiet. Then when he speaks God‘s strength pours out!

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So today on my 36th wedding anniversary, as I celebrate the miracle God gave me in my husband, I celebrate the strength in the smallness of being quiet!

Speak Truth Love

BIG OR SMALL?

Are you a big picture kind of person or a small picture kind of person?

Do you order a tall, a grande, or a venti drink at Starbucks?

Do you “supersize” your menu item (dietary issues aside, go with your gut here), or do you order the small coke and fries?

Do you relish a one on one coffee date, or a “pull out all the stops” invite every friend I know kind of party bash?

Do you love receiving that single long stemmed rose or prefer the whole dozen?

Does your heart skip a beat when it’s your birthday and a single cupcake is set in front of you with one candle glowing in it? Or are you waiting for the whole birthday cake set ablaze by however many candles it takes to represent your age?

I think my cake would cause the fire department to be called!

If you’ve taken this short survey with me, you have probably realized that you fall on one side or the other. You are a big picture person or a small picture person! There is no right or wrong here! It is simply our make up. It is the character that we were born with. It takes both sides to bring balance.

As God has called me to “lean into the small things and find joy“, I have just realized that I am a “big picture person!“

And this is a challenge for me!

My entire family would call me into accountability for lying if I told you that I ever order anything smaller than a Venti at Starbucks!

While I can appreciate the simplicity of a single flower…bring on the entire bouquet please!

And that birthday cake…that cupcake would just be an appetizer!

So being the “big picture” person that I am, I will accept the challenge!

For the month of August, I will dedicate my Blog to finding one small thing to find joy in and posting it!

Here’s why…

BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.” PSALM 46:10

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TO KNOW GOD IS TO BE STILL AND SPEND TIME WITH HIM!

So, if you are a small picture person this will be easy for you! You naturally have already learned to lean into God and find him in the small things!

If you are a big picture person, it will be more of a challenge for you like it has been for me! But let’s do this!

Let’s allow God to refocus us from what our natural bend may be, and see Him in the smallest and the simplest of things! I believe this is exactly where we will find Him waiting, and HE IS OUR JOY!

WEEK 1 OF THE CHALLENGE ACCEPTED:

I combined the joy of frothy foam on the top of my morning coffee cup with the reading of the first verse of the day from God’s Word!
The challenge was to do NOTHING ELSE AND TALK TO NO ONE ELSE before I covered that steaming cup of coffee with foam, sat down and opened up God’s Word, read one verse and then just SAT! That’s right, I just SAT! I was still and listened for God to speak to me!
JOY CAME FRIENDS!
 My spirit was calm, my mind was quiet and my heart was filled with JOY! God met me there in that joy-filled moment of simplicity!
My “BIG-PICTURE” character would have brushed my teeth, made the bed, put a load of laundry in the wash machine, turned my phone on and listened to my Bible app, etc…etc…etc…All before filling my cup with coffee, covering it in luscious foam and sitting with God and His Word!
What JOY I found in LETTING GO OF THE BIG, and GRABBING HOLD OF THE SMALL!
Praying Joy for you this week and you do the same!

Speak Truth Love

NEW MONTH, SAME STORY

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Seems so trivial these days doesn’t it, to find joy in something as small as the foam on the top of your coffee cup?  

But I have started wondering, no, actually searching my heart and asking God if it is in the small things that He wants me to find joy?

The small things that I can still find in the midst of chaos and crisis. And as I lean into these seemingly small, insignificant things, God reminds me, “Isn’t it in expecting or looking for the “BIG” things that you get discouraged, depressed, and defeated?  

I have to ask myself, Do I spend too much of my time looking at the “BIG” thing? The fact that I don’t have it, or that I desire it, and then get discouraged because it isn’t here yet, or I can’t have it, or it’s too expensive, or I can’t attain it, or the world is fighting against me to get it…you fill in the blank!

So, I’m beginning to ask God if indeed it is in the small things that He gives me each day that I am to find Him in!

Like the laughter of my grandchildren as they climb high up on the “spider web” climber at the park and reach greater heights than they did the year before! Like the exhilaration you feel when you reach the top! The joy of hearing the squeals of laughter that come from my grandchildren as they spin around and around on the super spinner at the playground! The joy of sticking your fingers into fresh dough and kneading it and watching it rise. The joy of squeezing four of you into one big bed and snuggling close and saying goodnight prayers together. The joy of knowing this may be the worst night of sleep, but the most joyful! Finding joy in singing the ‘Chick-a-boom’ song with my precious granddaughter over a FaceTime call. The joy of seeing her little head rest on her shoulders as she hears the words,’Chick-a-boom, Chick-a-boom don’t you just love it…’ 

The joy of a phone call with a friend knowing you heard her heart and she heard yours! The joy of listening to a song, seeing a beautiful flower or smelling fresh cookies bake!

I believe that it is in the seemingly “small” things that we find God’s joy. And it is in the letting go of the striving for the “BIG” things that brings contentment and focus!

You will fill me with joy in your presence.” Psalm 16:11

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TIME SPENT WITH GOD AND SEEING HIM IN THE LITTLE THINGS, BRINGS TRUE JOY!

Speak Truth Love

Travel Journal To Contentment, Week 10

We are content when we walk in the light of God!

Question: What are you afraid of? Most of us are afraid of something!

Are You afraid of snakes? Are you afraid of spiders? Are you afraid of all things reptile or creepy crawly? Maybe you are afraid of those eerie clowns that seem to have a freakish, perma smile on their faces?  Actually, I think everyone may be afraid of those!

Maybe your fear is a bit more serious. Maybe you are afraid of being alone. Maybe you are afraid of heights.

Fears and phobias are real and they can be debilitating!  

A fear turns into a phobia when it becomes a fear that is a persistent, irrational, fear of a specific object, activity or situation.  Fear sends our nervous system into overload!

I have a fear that sends my nervous system into overload. I am afraid of the dark!

As far back as I can remember, from the time I was a tiny girl, I have been afraid of the dark!

The minute the light goes out, I feel that funny feeling in the pit of my stomach.

If there is a stream of light coming from a window or a cracked door, or better yet, a night light in the room, I feel better. I feel a peace knowing I can see what is around me!

Funny thing is, the minute the light is turned back on, or a flashlight illuminates the area around me, I see that everything is the same as it was before the light went out.

In I John 1:5 the words that Jesus speaks about LIGHT brings comfort to all of us regardless of what fear we struggle with…

God is LIGHT, and there is no darkness in Him at all.”  I John 1:5

GOD IS LIGHT, His Love and Presence shine on us no matter what circumstance we find ourselves in, no matter what situation we are faced with and no matter what state our government is in!  

God’s Light shines through our distress and brings peace in difficult times!

God’s Light shines through our hopelessness and brings Hope where there was none!

God’s Light shines in the darkness and illuminates the path so that we can walk with confidence and direction!

The best part of all is that if God is living in us then His Light is shining through us! We are able to walk in the Light as He is in the Light!  We do not have to give into fear, we can allow His Light to shine and His path to be made clear!

I admit that I still love waking up in the morning and seeing the light of the sun streaming in through my windows much more that the darkness of night. But I sleep safe and sound knowing The God of Light is present with me always!

God’s Bright Light breaks through any “darkness” we are going through! It breaks through worry, anxiety, sickness, job-loss, relationship breakdown, self-doubt, and yes, even the coronavirus and if the candidate of your choice is not winning!

God’s Light is brighter than anything we face!

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THE LIGHT OF GOD SHINES BRIGHTER THAN ANYTHING WE FACE!

Walk in His Light my friends! Your steps will feel lighter and easier as you keep in step with Him!

Speak Truth Love

TRAVEL JOURNAL, Week 9

On our Road to CONTENTMENT, does anything throw us off course like something that is NEW?

New can bring excitement, anticipation and even freedom from boredom, but it does not typically bring CONTENTMENT!

I recall two specific events in my life that were NEW each year and each brought excitement, anticipation and freedom from the boredom of a long, hot Summer.  One was in my childhood and one in my adulthood.  They were both the NEW start to a NEW school year!

As a child I could not wait for the NEW school year to begin! I would dream about the new classroom I would enter, the new desk I would sit at, and the new subjects I would learn.

The excitement and anticipation gave me butterflies in my stomach as I thought about it throughout the long, hot days of Summer.  But as the day drew near, my butterflies turned to a down right stomach ache at the thought of everything being NEW!

The “NEWNESS” of the school year was both thrilling and terrifying! What would my NEW  teacher be like? Would I be able to do well with my NEW subjects? Would the NEW students in my class like me?  Would I find my NEW desk in my NEW classroom? Would my NEW teacher even remember to put a NEW nametag on a NEW desk for me?

The “NEWNESS” of a NEW school year was producing some anxiety and fear over the UNKNOWN of the NEW!

That was when I was a child. As an adult I experienced similar emotions to the NEW when I became a teacher.

I dreamt of the NEW school year all Summer long! I imagined my NEW classroom decorated perfectly with wonderful learning tools for my students. I pictured my NEW students sitting in their desks and eagerly learning all that the academic year held for them!

I grew excited as I studied the NEW curriculum for that year and planned creative ways to instruct the children. The night before school was to begin, the “NEWNESS” became a nightmare instead of a dream and kept me up all night long!

Once again, the “NEWNESS” of a NEW school year was both thrilling and terrifying as I was faced with the unknown!

The NEW that I experienced in both my childhood and adulthood of going to school on the first day was and still is one of my very favorite of days! I loved everything about it!

All of the NEW that it held, even the unknown and the anticipated!

There is a reality that brings CONTENTMENT when we push through the unknown of the NEW, to reach the known of the NEW.

It is the moment when we take the steps down the NEW hallway, through the NEW door, that leads to our NEW desk, and we sit down realizing tomorrow that path will be known!

It is the moment we raise our hand and ask a question and realize our NEW subject is becoming known to us!

It is the moment we find a seat in the cafeteria and a NEW friend sits down beside us and we realize they are now known to us!

These and many more NEW moments like them bring CONTENTMENT as we realize the NEW that was unknown, has now become known. We are content and confident to walk in this NEW and make something good of it! 

Jesus intends for us to embrace the NEW, walk in it with His strength and confidence and gain CONTENTMENT through it.

In the book of Revelation Jesus tells us that He is making everything NEW.  We do not need to worry about or fear the NEW because He is Trustworthy and True!

And The One sitting on the throne said, ‘Look, I am making everything NEW!’ And then He said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is Trustworthy and True.”  Revelation 21:5

Today in our world it feels like everything is NEW! NEW rules for going to school, NEW rules for going to work, NEW rules for going out to eat, NEW rules for going to the store, NEW rules for getting your hair cut or your nails done!  EVERYTHING IS NEW, NEW, NEW!

We may feel overwhelmed, anxious, nervous and scared. But with Jesus, we can feel confident and secure because He is Trustworthy and True!  He makes all things NEW!

He takes our hand and walks us through the unknown, and helps make it known!

His promises are NEW every morning and He tells us in the verse right before this…

I will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death, or sorrow, or crying, or pain. All these things are gone forever.”  Revelation 21:4

JESUS IS MAKING ALL THINGS NEW!

This is a PROMISE My Friends! 

We can face any unknown when we face it with Jesus!

We can trust in Him that He is making all things NEW and will make them known because He is Trustworthy.

We can walk in the unknown because He has told us He is with us and He is True!

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God makes the unknown known when we are willing to step into His NEW!

Speak Truth Love

TRAVEL JOURNAL, Week 8

How many times as a child did I hear the story of Jesus calming the storm?

Too many to keep count! I loved all of the Bible stories that my grandma would tell us.

I loved curling up with a warm, fuzzy blanket at the foot of the bed and listening to my mom read us Bible stories out of the ‘Big Book of Bible Stories!’

I felt stronger as a young girl as I listened as David, a small shepherd boy and the youngest of his brothers, picked up 5 small stones and killed the GIANT!

I felt adventurous as I listened as Jonah sat in the belly of the whale and then spoke God’s truth to the people of Nineveh!

I felt royal as I listened as Esther became the Queen and spoke boldly for her people!

I felt loved as I listened to Jesus call the children to Himself and sit and spend time with them!

But there was always one story that made me feel CONTENT!

I felt CONTENT as I listened to the story of Jesus calming the waves and the storm!

Each time I would listen closely as the disciples were on the boat with Jesus, the storm struck suddenly, and they were afraid! They ran to wake Jesus up and He calmed the storm!

Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with His disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke Him up, shouting, “Lord, SAVE US!” We’re going to drown!”  Matthew 8:23-25

They were with Jesus, yet they were frightened and scared!

Have you ever been in a physical storm on the sea or by the sea?

I found myself in one at the beginning of this month!  We were visiting friends in Newport Beach for the first week of July. They have a home only a block away from the sands leading to the sea. We had taken a sunset walk on July 3rd, and witnessed the waves crashing hard on the shore and the spray from the waves rising tens of feet into the sky!  As we continued walking down the boardwalk we heard screams and saw people running with their cameras in hand to snap photos of the water rushing up hundreds of yards and covering the sand! It was quite a sight to see, but nothing we were afraid of.

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We got home just before dark and had dinner on the outdoor patio. We lit the fire in the fire pit to roast s’mores and noticed the line of cars forming on the street in front of the house. The cars were not moving! They had no where to go! The water of the sea had not stopped rising and the waves had not stopped crashing!  Before we knew it much of Balboa and Newport were flooded!

It was an erie feeling as we sat and watched streets flooded, shops full of water and sand covering miles of property. That night as we went to bed we saw reports of boats smashed, people rescued out of the rising water and cars stuck in parking lots and filling up with water.

I lived in Southern California for 30 years and never saw this type of a storm!

I did sleep that night as I realized that God was in control and I was not. There was nothing I could do to calm the storm, only He could!  I prayed for the safety of everyone and found CONTENTMENT in knowing Jesus was with me and He was no stranger to storms!

Jesus responded, ‘WHY ARE YOU AFRAID? YOU HAVE SO LITTLE FAITH!’ Then He got up and rebuked the wind and the waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.
Matthew 8:26

As I layed my head down that night in Newport with the waves crashing around outside, I remembered those words of CONTENTMENT just as I had as a small child listening to them…

Jesus got up and rebuked the wind and the waves and there was GREAT CALM!

I needed GREAT CALM that night and I need it now! As we face yet another “Shut down,” and our efforts to re-open are slowed, I need a “GREAT CALM” that only Jesus can give!

CONTENTMENT in the midst of this COVID Storm we are in, may seem near impossible!

But Friends, JESUS WANTS TO BE IN OUR BOAT! When He is, HE WILL CALM THE STORM! The circumstances around us may swirl and cause quite a mess, but Jesus will bring CALM and CONTENTMENT in our souls!

I realized laying there that night that the words of God’s Truth shared with me as a young child had brought CONTENTMENT, and those same words of TRUTH brought CONTENTMENT that night and each night and day that Jesus is in my boat!

He takes my life’s circumstances and “SUDDENLY THERE IS A GREAT CALM!”

He will do the same for you! Let Him climb in the boat of your life and He will calm every storm and bring CONTENTMENT!

TRUTH BOMB

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WHEN JESUS IS IN THE BOAT OF OUR LIVES HE WILL CALM EVERY STORM!

Speak Truth Love