How do we go through seasons?

Last week on the blog we talked about seasons of faith in our lives. Specifically, WINTER! Seasons are defined as;

“A period of the year marked by certain conditions.”

As we talk about spiritual seasons of faith in our lives, this definition fits perfectly!

We go through different periods, a.k.a. seasons, in our lives that are marked by certain conditions. Some of those conditions are brought on by ourselves and some conditions are brought on by circumstances out of our control. But nevertheless, they are seasons in our lives that we go through.

My focus today is the question,

HOW do we go through them?

When we are in those “winter“ seasons as we talked about last week, and we feel no release and we see no end in sight, do we plunge into a dark place that feels even colder than the season itself? Or do we get angry, and become negative and bitter?

Our world and culture around us would tell us to look inward. It would shout everything from “self care,” to demanding our rights. While taking care of ourselves is important and should not be neglected, and our self worth and value mean everything to God, after all He died for it, true peace inside of the winter season only comes from giving thanks to the Lord!

This seems like an oxymoron, and to the world around us, IT IS! However, God’s Word screams this Truth from the highest of mountains to the lowest of the pits we find ourselves in! And regardless of the season we are in, His Truth never fails!

Psalm 118:1

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good! His faithful love endures forever!

This incredible Psalm begins with this proclamation and repeats it again and again five times over!

Throughout each declaration of who God is…

Our strength,

Our song,

Our destroyer,

Our goodness,

Our strong right arm…

The proclamation “His faithful love endures forever,” stands as a declaration of Truth to whatever season we are going through!

What is the answer to how we go through any and every season?

PRAISE THE LORD!

Why?

HIS FAITHFUL LOVE ENDURES FOREVER!

TRUTH BOMB

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WE FIND STRENGTH IN EVERY SEASON WHEN WE PRAISE THE LORD!

Speak Truth Love

A Season of Winter, In Your Heart

Winter by definition is a season; a time frame set apart by a cold season.  In the Northern Hemisphere, Winter runs from the winter solstice to the vernal equinox.  Encompassing the month of December, January and February in the U.S., and November, December and January in Great Britain.

I woke up this morning and stepped out of my bedroom and out onto the landing at the top of our staircase. I love this spot in our home! It is one of my favorites!

God has blessed us with this house and from the top of our staircase I can stand and look out at God’s glorious creation as I greet each day!

To say our living room is “vaulted” is an understatement! Our living room has two complete sets of high rectangular windows!  One set is across the bottom of the room at eye level. The second set is high above the ground at over ten feet high!  There are five windows at this height that go around the room. I have chosen not to cover these windows since they are open to the back and side only of the house. Outside of them I see treetops, hills and even at times birds flying in and out of the trees!  

I love to stand at the top of the staircase each morning, look out at God’s beauty and proclaim, (as my grandma taught me to,) “THIS IS THE DAY THE LORD HAS MADE!  I WILL REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT!”

This morning as I looked out of my favorite windows, in the very same spot I stand each and every morning, something was different.

The trees looked so bare. The sky around them looked so bleak. The green leaves that hang on these particular trees, given that they are year round Oak trees and do not drop all of their leaves at once, but continuously throughout the entire year, (this is truly a pain when you are cleaning the mess all year long! I do not think my husband shares the same love for these trees as I do!) seemed to be more grey in color this day and much fewer in number than the day before. I stood at the top of the stairs and stared at what was normally my favorite scene each day, and felt a bleakness in my soul.

It was Winter outside, but I was experiencing Winter inside!

Another definition of the word ‘WINTER’ is:

“a period like winter, as in the last or final period of life; a period of decline, decay, inertia, dreariness, or adversity.”

While I was not, and am not feeling like this is my final chapter of life on this earth or that I am in decay or decline, I was feeling “lack of inertia(AKA energy) dreariness and adversity!”

Life goes through seasons. The Bible is very clear on this!

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”   Ecclesiastes 3:1

There are so many more verses and stories of God’s people living there lives through “seasons!”
Good ones and bad ones! 

Hard ones and easy ones! 

Ones full of confusion and full of disappointment!

And also ones full of Joy and thanksgiving!

Seasons come into our lives and it is what we do with them and through them that matters.

Are you dealing with a season that is unsettling, you need answers or peace and it seems like that both are evasive?

Are you needing healing physically or spiritually and the pain is feeling like more than you can endure?

Are you needing an answer to a decision that has gone on for too long and regardless of the choice you make you will let someone down?

Are you struggling in your job, your marriage, your finances, your relationship or in your own personal eating and exercise?

Any or all of these can produce in us a season of WINTER!

Kind David is one of the greatest examples of going in and out of seasons, Spring and Winter.  He reached the highest of highs, and wound then plunge to the lowest of lows.

Beth Moore puts David’s life in a concise nutshell when she writes;

“He, David, rose from a common shepherd boy to become the leader of two nations. He slew a giant and saved a kingdom.  He was an adulterer and a murderer, yet a man after God’s own heart. King David was a great noble man of ancient times, but has much to say to men and women today!”

Truly, he does!

I believe that the only way to combat the “winter seasons” that come into our lives is through the Holy Spirit in God’s Word and Prayer to Him!

In the twenty-third Psalm David cries out to God and declares His great attributes.

The attributes of shepherding, caring for and providing for His flock, us, God’s children! Read through the twenty-third Psalm and allow it to pour it’s TRUTH over your spirit today! Whatever season you are in read these powerful words of TRUTH and let them fill you to overflowing!

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,

He leads me beside quiet waters,

He restores my soul.

He guides me in paths of righteousness

for His name’s sake.

Even though I walk

through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of The LORD

FOREVER!

If your spirit is in a winter season like mine was, then let it renew and strengthen you with it’s words of Truth and restoration.

If your spirit is in a season of fear and is gripped by doubt and lack of control, then let the Truth that God walks us through each and every valley and in Him we can fear no evil!

Is your spirit in a season of feeling like the enemy has gained too much ground in your life and you are feeling defeated? Then lean into the words of Truth that God prepares a table for you in the presence of your enemies and He is the Winner!

This is just a season, and this season will pass. Take heart my friends, He is always with us!

TRUTH BOMB

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NO MATTER WHAT SEASONS IN LIFE WE GO THROUGH, GOD WINS!

Speak Truth Love

LET’S GO FISHING

Fishing is known as a sport that can produce great peace. Now certainly you can go deep sea fishing and take on tackling huge fish with great strength, but the majority of fisherman take a somewhat small boat out onto a calm body of water and set themselves up alone, surrounded by God’s natural beauty, throw a line into that calm body of water and sit and wait. They wait for a tiny tug on their baited line. They ponder the still, quiet beauty that surrounds them, and they wait.

Peace is also known to be produced by this sport because the routine of “doing it” is consistent and known. There is no “blind side” hit from the outside, there is no curve ball thrown 90 miles an hour, and there is no left foot hook coming from the outside and scoring a goal.

It is fairly predictable. If you keep your eye on the weather, you are fairly sure to have success.

The problem with fishing is the very reasons it is pleasing can become the same reasons it is monotonous!

Do you find yourself doing the same old thing over and over again?

Do you feel like you are stuck in a rut, one that you cannot seem to get out of?

Do you sense the need for change, but it is so easy to just keep going back to what is known?

As you face this new year of 2020, are you ready for something new?

Have you already attempted a “New Year’s Resolution” and failed like the majority of the population?

Are you continuing to settle for “JUST GOING FISHING,” because it is comfortable, because you know it so well, because you are in control?

Two of Jesus disciples found themselves in this situation, they were “JUST GOING FISHING.”  

They were not doing it simply for sport, yet there is no indication that they did not enjoy it, they fished also for their livelihood!  

Jesus noticed two fishing boats at the water’s edge, for the fisherman had left them and were washing their nets.”                    Luke 5:2

Simon Peter and Andrew had “JUST GONE FISHING” and were now washing their fishing nets, when they encountered JESUS!

Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, it’s owner, to push it out into the water.”    Luke 5:3

Jesus had stepped into Peter’s “normal,” and was about to “rock his boat!”

Because Peter had obeyed what Jesus asked of him, he was poised to receive what The Lord had for him!

Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.”  Luke 5:4

Peter responds as most of us do when we have our boats rocked, “I have already tried that, but if you say so, I will.”

Is that not how most of us respond?  We have prayed long and hard for something and nothing is changing so we just “keep on praying” out of practice or habit, but where has our FAITH gone?  Or we have tried that new exercise plan, that new healthy eating plan, or that new Bible study group and it has not brought the change we had desired because we were doing it in our own strength!

Master, Simon Pater replied, we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.”   Luke 5:5

When Peter lets the nets down this time they are so full of fish that the nets begin to tear!

And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear!”       Luke 5:6

Do you need a new net, a clean net, or a net full of fish? I know I do!

The start of a New Year offers us a fresh perspective on what has become just routine,  and what needs to be replaced, (AKA made new), what needs cleaned, and what needs completely made full!

In this beautiful picture of acknowledgement, self worth and redemption, Jesus offer just that to Peter and Andrew.

I believe He wants to offer that to us today!

We may be doing “the same old thing,” but we can go deeper with God and “let our nets down!”  

Read His word with purpose and intent! Sit still and listen for Him to speak after you read it! Ask Him to speak to you and fulfill His purposes in you and through your life!

We may also feel like we have been trying for so long and with so much effort that it is no good, our situation will never change. Don’t lose hope! Keep following and praying for the FAITH to believe and see His path clearly, and then obey! Take the necessary steps He is asking you to take so that you will receive His blessing!

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I was so amazingly blessed to be able to be on the Sea of Galilee just a few short months ago!  It was one of my favorite places in all of Israel!  It was so peaceful, so calm and so beautiful. As I sat on the boat and imagined Jesus sitting there next to me, I had to ask myself, what would He ask me to do?

The answer came loud and clear to me as if Jesus Himself was standing on the shore and speaking it directly to me…

“Continue to throw your nets into my water. If you do, they will never return empty!”

He was asking me to continue to trust Him for all of the plans for my life!

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Friends, I believe He is asking the same of you!

If we are His disciples, called by His name to shine His light in a dark world, then He will fill our nets to overflowing when we trust in Him and throw our nets into His living water!

Speak Truth Love

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU ARE DEVASTATED?

Devastation is a BIG word!

When I first hear it, my mind conjures up pictures of vast wastelands laid flat and bare by fire, wind or drought.  I think of farmers fields where countless days of toil and labor have been spent on excavating, planting and preparing, only to be DEVASTATED and laid bare before harvest by a swarm of locust!  I picture a large, flat plane in the desert full of palm trees laden with delicious figs and surrounded by an oasis, green and fertile amid the surrounding dryness. There a spring of water exists in the midst of it all, bringing life where there was no life! Slowly its’ source is lost by a drought! What used to be lush and vibrant, is now dried up and scorched by the suns relentless heat. 

While these may be “physical” pictures of  devastation, I feel that they clearly represent ‘SOUL DEVASTATION.’ The devastation that happens to us when we fail, feel let down by those we trusted most, when we lose a job or position that we valued or even when we cry out to God to restore and rescue us and we hear only silence.

This kind of devastation takes place on the inside of a person in the deepest places, unseen by the human eye. On the outside we may appear cool, calm and collected, but make no mistake, on the inside we are withering away as the locusts eat and the drought ensues.

What do we do to bring back the rain? How do we plant new, healthy plants that will thrive once again in good soil?

It may feel impossible to do, but the remedy is simple…WE CRY OUT TO OUR GOD AND WE TRUST IN HIS WORD OF TRUTH!

Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck. Deeper and deeper I sink in the mire; I can’t find a foothold. I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm me. I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me.”        Psalms 69

These words of desperation in devastation come from the mouth of one of God’s greatest warriors. A strong and courageous man who led one of the fiercest armies in history into battle after battle in the name of the Lord God! He is called by God, “A MAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART.”  

Yet time and time again we see him crying out to God as he faces devastation. Should we do no less?

David spares no words or emotions in His desperate cries to God!  He lays bare his fear, exhaustion, disappointment, anxiety and frustration. He lets go of all pride and screams out with everything he has the truth of his devastation and the truth of God’s Word!

In your unfailing love, O God, answer my prayer with your sure salvation. Rescue me from the mud; don’t let me sink any deeper!”                          Psalms 69:13-14

Answer my prayers, O Lord, for your unfailing love is wonderful. Take care of me, for your mercy is so plentiful.”                                                       Psalms 69:16

As David cries out to God he begins to feel the cool refreshment of God’s love rain down on him and begin to fill his empty soul spring with water anew!

As David claims the Truth of God’s Word he senses the soil of his spirit being replanted with new growth!

Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged. For The Lord hears the cries of the needy; He does not despise His imprisoned people.
Psalms 69:32-33

Friend, we can all find ourselves in season of devastation. Sometimes for reasons we are guilty of, and sometimes at no fault of our own. Either way, God is waiting for us to cry out to Him, claim His words of Truth and allow His healing rain to fall on us and restore our devastated souls with His love and power!

 When I am in my greatest times of devastation, the simplest of childhood songs come to my mind…

Only a boy named David, only a little sling, only a boy name David, but he could pray and sing. Only a boy named David, only a babbling brook. Only a boy named David, and five little stones he took.

A boy named David, cried out in the name of His mighty God, trusted in His power, picked up five little stones and slayed the giant!

We too can walk through our devastation, cry out to God, trust in the power of His Word, pick up our stones and slay our giants!

ONLY A BOY NAMED DAVID!  ONLY A GAL NAMED _______________!

ONLY A GUY NAMED __________________!

TRUTH BOMB

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OUR DEVESTATION CAN LEAD US TO OUR GREATEST VICTORY WHEN WE CRY OUT TO OUR GREAT GOD!

Speak Truth Love

NEW YEAR, NEW YOU!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Are you still in the state of excitement and optimism as you enter this new year of 2020?

Are you encouraged by the posts and ads you see every ten seconds or so to be a better version of you?

Are you inspired to lose weight with that new diet? Are you jazzed about jumping into that new exercise routine? Have you bought that new make-up line that is sure to improve your complexion and get rid of those wrinkles? Have you been convinced to change your hairstyle or hair color and become the “New You” you were meant to be?”

If you fall into the camp of excited and optimistic about the New You and the changes you can make to make you better, than you stay encouraged and “GO GIRL!”

But if you, like me, fall into the category of overwhelmed, discouraged and possibly even defeated before you begin, there are some words I would love to share with you!

“I fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are your works, and my soul knows it very well.”                               Psalm 139:14

I am by nature a “GO GETTER!” I love a challenge. I have competition in my blood line, and I love the phrase “NEVER SAY DIE!”  I have approached each and every New Year with zeal and positivity in committing to “make myself better!” 

But this year I heard God’s still small voice saying to me, “YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH!”

Friends, honestly, I NEVER feel good enough! I try. I know in my head I am good enough, but somehow that feeling never sinks deep down into my heart!

I’m always trying to be better. I’m always working at working harder! And somehow in the middle of all of the hard work, I seem to convince myself that I CAN DO IT!

For example, a few years back I decided to run the LA half Marathon. Now this may sound like no big deal to you as you are probably assuming I was a runner. I wasn’t!

Oh, I would like to have put myself in the “RUNNERISH” category, if that is a category, but truth is, I had only run a 5k, and not with flying colors. I have always been “athletic” and kept myself moving, but a runner, only in my dreams!  However, when the idea was posed to me to run this half marathon, I did not hesitate! About a month before the race I started to imagine myself making it one mile, two miles and then fading off into the sunset as all of the other runners passed me by!  I decided this could not happen and so I asked my husband to run in the evenings with me!

Mind you, He is a runner! He graciously said he would, and for the next several weeks I built myself up to 6 miles. I did not run fast, but I kept moving! Now in case you are not familiar with half marathons, they are 13.1 miles long. This means that one week out before the race, I was running less than half of the half marathon I was about to run. Did I let that stop me?  NO WAY! I determined I would run this race if it killed me, and it very well might!

My son called the day before the race and said “Mom I’m praying for you, I know you will do great!”  I thanked him and said, “I hope I’m ready.” His comment back to me, stuck in my mind like glue, and made me think!  He replied; “I have no doubt you will do well, your strong will and determination would allow for nothing less.”

I ran the race and I finished in really good time. I was not sore, nor did I pull any muscles. I actually showered and made it to church later that morning.

But, I did not and have not run a full marathon, which was my next goal. I realized that I was not a runner even though I was in decent shape. I did accomplish a goal and that was good, but I was accomplishing it for selfish reasons. I wanted to look good, I wanted to paste that sticker on the back of my SUV, “13.1,” I wanted others to notice my looks and achievements. Achievements I had accomplished on my own stubborn will and desire. I realized then that I was still not believing the words of my Heavenly Father, “Lisa, YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH!”

Several years have passed and I’m still struggling to achieve enough, look good enough, and just plain “Be Enough.” While God is still trying to get my attention and whisper the words I long to hear,…

“YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH!”

“I made you!”

“You are PERFECT!”

“I formed you in your mother’s womb!”

“I know you inside and out!”

“You are fearfully and wonderfully made, and you are GOOD ENOUGH!”

So, please do not let me discourage you from all of the good and healthy new habits you are encouraged to take on!  Taking good care of the temples God gave us is important! But I propose a NEW, New Year’s Resolution!

Instead of a “NEW YOU,” realize you are “GOOD ENOUGH” and live another Sensational Year of You!

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You are Sensational because you are fearfully and wonderfully made!

So, here’s to A SENSATIONAL YEAR OF YOU!

You are perfect just the way you are!

HAPPY NEW SENSATIONAL NEW YEAR!

Speak Truth Love

I Get Up With A Little Help From My Friends!

Catching your breath…

The Christmas crazy is over. Somehow we managed to get everything done and celebrate the birth of Jesus even if by the hair of our chinny chin Chin‘s!

The new year is right around the corner and with it looms the desire to do better this year than we did in the past. While the sugarplums that danced in our heads are now a distant memory, the New Year’s resolutions are heavy on our minds.

What will we do?

What will we change?

What will we commit to be better at than we were before?

Hopefully, we will we will attack and accomplish all He gives us to do in the year ahead.

But wait a minute! Before we jump right in, let’s push the pause button and be willing to take a much needed break to restore, replenish and refresh our depleted spirits.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

Our souls and our spirits need time to rest so we can renew our spirits. Our physical bodies need rest from the strenuous activities that come from a lot of celebrating.

We can fool ourselves into thinking “I can do it in my own strength, or “I’ve got this by myself.“

But the truth is, we all need times of refreshment, and time spent alone with God and with others He has put in our lives to encourage, support and lift our spirits.

All of us have different ways of doing this. Maybe your spirit needs time to be alone with a good book, and the word of God. Maybe God speaks to you and restores you through the beauty of His creation. And if you are blessed like I am to have special people in your life who know you and love you for who you truly are, then the combination of these things can be a literal gift from God to restore, renew and replenish you.

I must admit that for most of my life I have been really bad at realizing this need in my life. I love to serve, I love others, and I love giving. And I would always jump into The new year ready to charge forward and conquer the world for Christ. But in the past several years God has spoken to my heart and let me know that He has given me the blessing of precious time away between Christmas and New Year’s with a special friend who loves me for who I am, encourages me to use the gifts God has given me, holds me accountable when I need it, and shares her home by the beautiful ocean God made with me and my family. Sometimes all you need is the word of God in your mind and heart, God‘s beautiful creation around you and some faithful “F.R.I.E.N.D.S.”

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Sometimes all it really does take is a little help from our friends. If you are blessed to have people in your life – one, two or more who love you enough to help you take a break, then you are blessed! Listen to them and how God can speak through them to restore, replenish, and revive your spirit, soul, mind, and strength. Let’s take a break together at the end of this season and get ready to jump into the new year, 2020 and all that God has for us!

Rest well my friend.

Meet you back here in the New Year!

TRUTH BOMB
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TAKING A break with God restores, replenishes, and renews our spirits!

Speak Truth Love

IT’S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS! IT’S A PARTY!

It is not just “Looking a Lot Like Christmas,” It Is Christmas!

Happy Christmas Eve Everyone!

Christmas Crazy has come to an end! The month long anticipation(who am I kidding!)…or the year long anticipation if you are truly Crazy for Christmas, has come to an end! The tree is trimmed, the cookies are baked, the presents are wrapped(hopefully!😁), and the song running through your heads is ‘Silent Night.’ We did it! We made it through another year of Christmas Crazy!

So, I have a question for you.

Are you ready to party?

You heard me, I said P A R T Y!

Jesus is having a birthday and He deserves a party!

At the end of the Christmas Crazy, we too often find ourselves overwhelmed, overtired, overspent and truthfully, just over it!

We sing ‘Silent Night’ because we just want to lay down and take a nap! However, the Truth is, it’s time to PARTY! It’s time to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and put Him first in all of our celebrations!

Do we?

Do we honor Him, celebrate Him and put Him first?

Or, does He simply get our Left Overs?

Isaiah tells us how worthy He is of all our time, not just our left overs!

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When we celebrate Jesus and “throw Him a party,” we are setting an example for others to follow!

This week I received a text from my daughter. She was at my granddaughter’s Christmas party at her school. The teacher had asked the students to write down their favorite Christmas tradition. My daughter sent me a picture of my granddaughter’s writing.

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This Christmas tradition was passed down from my grandma to my mom, to me, and now to my children and grandchildren!

We throw a birthday party for Jesus! We go to church together for Christmas Eve Service, then we come home and open up our Christmas jammies. We then light the candles on Jesus’ birthday cake, sing happy birthday to Him, read His story from the book of Luke, say prayers and fall asleep prepared to celebrate Him the next day!

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JESUS DESERVES A PARTY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!

Afterall, CHRISTmas is all about Him!

Merry CHRISTmas everyone!

Happy partying!

See you in the (almost) New Year!

XOXO

Speak Truth Love