Friday, September 23, 2011

At a loss for words

Sometimes it's more about listening and less about blog posting.  Psalm 46:10 - "Cease striving and know that I am God;  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."  (NASB)

:)  I hope you enjoy this video - an oldie but a goodie. 


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Feeling Paralyzed

Have you ever felt paralyzed?  To be honest, this is a feeling that I fight often. I feel paralyzed when my task list swells and I don’t know where to begin. It hits me when I’m afraid of the future… or the past, or when I have a decision to make. It overtakes me when I feel I can’t discern the Lord’s leading over my own emotions. Sometimes my insecurities paralyze me from obeying the Lord’s will in my life, when someone I love needs to hear about Jesus, when ministry needs become overwhelming, or when I anticipate an unfavorable reaction from someone. My list is long, and believe me, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Even when I know that the sensation is all in my head, the paralysis begins to feel physical and impossible to reason away. When I feel paralyzed, it’s as if my feet are stuck in deep mud and I no matter how much strength I muster, I can’t make them budge to take a step in faith. Sadly, this feeling is so common to me that it becomes comfortable and makes me want to stay stuck.

In spite of this, I cannot allow myself to wallow in the mud, because the Lord whispers through His Word that He has plans for me. He reminds me that He created me for a specific purpose, one that no one else on earth can accomplish in exactly the same way. (He has that same sort of purpose for you too, my friend!) The Lord bestowed a unique combination upon each of us: spiritual gifts, talents, personality traits, and individual life experiences, all woven together into the beautiful tapestry of our lives. When I look at my life from an eternal perspective, I see that every prior moment has led me exactly to this point. Sensing the Lord’s hand on my back and moving forward in His strength, I can begin to lift my feet from the miry clay. My desire to move forward for Him and for His glory alone equips me to take a step in the direction of His calling.

In her book Becoming a Woman of Simplicity, Cynthia Heald offers the following quote by Bruce Bugbee:

“Why are you doing what others can do,
when you are leaving undone what only you can do?”

I encourage you today to step out in faith. Move toward serving Him in a new or deeper way. Simply say, “Yes, Lord!”

I can’t wait to hear your story!

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10 NIV

Monday, September 5, 2011

Finding the Joy!

Happy Labor Day, everyone! I hope you are enjoying some rest and family time today!

I have “holed up” this long weekend to focus on writing. Focused writing is hard for me to do at home with so many distractions (dust, laundry, animals, etc.), but at 4:30 on Monday afternoon, I finally feel a measure of productivity. I appreciate your prayers in this project (Finding Joy in the Journey). The outline is complete; in fact, I presented the class at our women’s Sunday school group earlier this year. I am now trying to make it ready for publication and that, truly, will take an act of God to accomplish. I believe that this is His will; otherwise, I would just put this topic away and begin drafting something new for our Sunday school women.

Today I wrote on finding joy in our trials, which led to Chapter 21 of John. Peter and several of the disciples spent all night fishing and came back to the shore with empty nets. Matthew Henry comments, “The hand of the diligent often returns empty. Even good men may come short of desired success in their honest undertakings.” Not very encouraging words for a wanna-be writer. I could put a tremendous amount of work into this project and end up with an empty net.

However, here is the joy: Jesus stood on the shore and instructed the disciples to throw their net again, on the right side of the boat where the fish were. Behold, the fishermen were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish! As the boat reached the shore, the disciples saw a fire burning with breakfast ready. Jesus invited them to enjoy the breakfast that He had prepared for them.

If Jesus desires that I have filled nets, filled they will be, and in His perfect timing, not my own. Even if my nets stay empty, He loves me just the same and prepares a feast for me that we will someday enjoy together. Jesus ministers to our hearts and it is He who provides. There is great joy in that!

“When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.” John 21:9