This Mountain Stinks

“But I don’t want to go anymore!”  Ever feel that way?  You get up in the morning and you are faced with the same landscape, the same drab colors, the same feeling of, “here we go again.”

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So it’s December 24th,  The day before we celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  You may feel like your year is ending on a not so spectacular note and you wish you didn’t have to face the same view.  Nope, not even for one – more – day!

I want to give you a Christmas present.  “The Lord our God spoke to us in Horeb, saying: ‘You have dwelt long enough at this mountain.” Deut. 1:6.

You’ve been here much too long, my friend.  You were brought to this place for a time, not the rest of your life.  Unfortunately, we can end up staying longer than we were meant to and the once beautiful surrounding becomes a too familiar desert.

No, it’s time for a change.  “How,” you might ask?

That reminds me of a saying  I heard a long time ago: How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time!

Leaving this familiar place may not be easy but it’s certainly possible.  “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”” Matt. 19:26.  You see, you’re looking at this with your own eyes.  Go to Papa and ask Him to give you His eyes, His vision for your future.

As short-sighted humans, we often end up living far longer than God ever intended in places that were only meant as a stopover.  Then, enters the enemy who will jump at any opportunity to steal your vision for the future, by enticing you to agree with faulty thinking.  The result? You end up believing a lie meant to steal your vision of your own exciting future with God.

God has been thinking about you for eons, long before you were conceived.  If He loves you that much, that He would consider you and only you, do you really think His visions for your potential might be so benign, so lifeless?  I don’t think so.

No, Papa God has something wonderful and full of life waiting for each and every one of us.  It begins with a vision He is quite eager to share with you but you must do a little work to get hold of it.  Enter the elephant!  One…step…at…a…time.

How do you get there, how do you find the vision for your future?  Here’s a few ideas.

  1.  Pray.  Ask Papa.  Simple, but effective first step.
  2. Seek, and ask for, prophetic words.  Write them down once obtained and keep them in your vision (I keep mine on 3×5 cards and carry in my wallet.  How can a prophetic word become part of your soul unless you ponder it often?).  Go to your pastor, trusted friends and mentors, conference speakers.
  3. Begin declaring out loud that which you know to be true, statements that line up with God’s Word.
  4. Consider traits you know about yourself.  Most likely your giftings and talents have something to do with your future.  God gave those gifts to you for reasons; explore them more fully.

Change.  Not a user-friendly word.  It often brings up thoughts we don’t like to think about.  But, I promise you that if you’ll embrace change and begin – one step at a time – God will meet you there with His promises to give you a future and a hope.

Our God is a God of hope, of promises, of possibilities!  The only restriction, after you invite Him into your life, is you!  Go ahead, think BIG!  I dare you.  This mountain will never look the same again.

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Turns out, there’s a rainbow on that mountain.  God’s promises.  His promises are full of life – for living!  Off you go now.  Don’t look back.  The best is yet to come.  Merry Christmas!

 

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I Can’t Change, Can I?

imagePhoto by Pixaby.com

I’ve written before about my attitudes in the past about change.  I didn’t like it.  There was nothing about change I liked.  It was disruptive, it usually wasn’t friendly, and I spent a lot of my time avoiding it.  Funny thing was that no matter what I thought about change, it still happened.

I wonder what would happen if us humans were to embrace change completely.  I believe the Lord wants us to change our minds about change because, well, things are changing all the time.

Take my parents for instance.  They were born in the 1920’s.  My goodness, think about all the change that has taken place in our world since then.   Airplanes and flying were still in their infancy.  Television hadn’t come onto the scene yet.  Movies were still black and white.  Computers hadn’t been thought of (well, perhaps someone was thinking about it, but they didn’t make it onto the scene until much later).  Folks were still dying of measles and smallpox, routinely.  Food was all prepared in the home because there were no prepared foods.  I could go on and on.

When we come face-to-face with change we often balk.  I can’t quite figure out why this seems to be the go to attitude for so many of us but I see it over and over. We just don’t seem to be very friendly with change and yet change is all around us, day after day, as a regular part of our lives.

Today I had occasion to talk to a banker about the ways we can get our money to another person.  I wanted to know if there was any way I might not be aware of that we could receive cash without actually going anywhere, as in without leaving our home (it’s a long story!).

We are indeed quickly becoming a cashless society.  We can have our checks direct-deposited into our checking or savings accounts.  We can, if computer/Internet savy, pay our bills via billpay.  We can wire money to others.  We are now able to text money to others – I didn’t know about that one.  We can also email money, another version I’ve done only once.  It seems we can get money to people fairly easily but you must still be able to get to a bank or at the very least to a cashier at a store to be able to receive cash for yourself.

The point is, the world is an ever-changing place.  We see it all around us, we live with it everywhere, and yet we fight it’s existence and get downright testy sometimes if we perceive we are expected to change in some way!

In my last post I wrote about my choices.  If change is inevitable, and everything about life seems to indicate that is true, then I have a choice to make.  I can either go with the things that are changing around me and learn from them or, I can hang onto my old ways.  In my past, I hung onto my old ways.  Sometimes I hung onto them until it hurt.  Sad but true.  I spent a lot of time hurting back then.

Once again I come to the fact that when I’m facing a change, I get stuck in my ways because somehow I don’t believe God can help me.  “This thing is way too big for you God!  I certainly don’t know know what to do with it, so how could You?”  When I state it in this way it sounds just ludicrous!  As I wrestle and fight over this thing that I don’t know the answer to, I find I’m actually holding the problem hard to my chest and I seldom allow anyone into the problem.  Even as I write this, I’m realizing just how stupid this attitude is!  And yet I’m guilty of this thinking.

These days I’m attempting to have a looser grip on change.  I don’t want to hold onto my ways so tightly that I’m stupid about the changes coming.  God is so much bigger than me and He knows the end from the beginning.  If that is true, and I believe it is, then He knows the best route out of this dilemma.

Just like that, what pops into my mind but the children of Israel wandering around in the desert.  They didn’t like the changes going on in their world either.  They started grumbling to Moses almost from the outset.  Here was God providing for them in new ways (manna, water from rocks, the promise of a new land) and they were holding hard to their chests the old ways.  “We want to go back to Egypt.  We may have been slaves but at least we had garlic and onions to eat!”  They were an ungrateful bunch.  Funny, it’s so easy to see it in them, so hard to see it in myself.

Now let’s look at the truth of the matter.  God had a place for them.  It was a fertile land and they would be free from captivity.  They would be able to thrive in this place.  All they had to do was trust God.  The problem was they couldn’t see His provision any more than we can when faced with change in our lives.  But God hasn’t, nor will He ever, change!  What we so easily see as His provision for our ancestors, He certainly has the same in store for us.  The provision is there, waiting for us, we just have to go with the change and trust Him!

God wants to show us marvelous things!  Did you hear me?  He has absolutely wonderful things in store for us – because He loves us!  But the catch is we have to go through the changes in order to realize them.  Just as the children of Israel had to get to the promised land before they could realize the wonderful place it was, so do we have to get through the change before we’ll see His provision in our lives.image

 

If we’re ever going to become a butterfly, we must stop crawling around, go into the pupa stage and allow the wondrous change to occur!  It will be a marvelous change.  It will be a brand new day.  Help me Lord, I wanna fly!

Let the Past be the Past!

New things are coming.  I’m getting really excited about 2015.  If you follow the many prophetic voices around the world, the word is that 2015 will be a year of battles won, restoration from battles lost, and that signs and wonders will reappear.  These are no small matters to consider.  Personally I’m looking forward to a year of realizing all three areas.

We all have pasts.  Buried in our pasts are dreams that have died and the disillusions that came about as a result of those losses.  There is one particular dream of mine that almost died completely this past spring.  After most of my lifetime spent on pursuing (albeit slowly, ever so slowly) one particular dream, I came very close to laying it down completely this year.  My logic was simple; after all these years the dream was nothing more than an illusion.  If it were going to happen, surely it would have after 60-odd years.  I was perfectly willing to let it go.  There just comes the day when you’re tired of nursing the dream along and nothing much was happening.  “Maybe I’ve just been fooling myself,” “what is wrong with my will power Lord?”, and other such thoughts brought me to the edge of the decision.  And, just as I was ready to thrust the dream into oblivion, God intervened.  He showed me that my dream was truly part of who He made me to be and that He had others waiting in the wings, needing to receive the gifting He implanted in me.  He let me know He would end up using someone else if I really didn’t want to go forward, but if I still wanted to pursue the dream, He was behind me.  Humbling that one was!

So I’ve committed to long term classes in 2015 as a student in two arenas.  Part of me is terrified but the other part is ecstatic.  Being a student again requires time, discipline, and effort.  I tend to try to fool myself into believing I don’t have time.  That’s a lie.  The discipline and effort parts?  Well, those scare me the most.  As I look back, the effort kicks in and discipline follows – for a short time.  Then when the unplanned distraction or unavoidable pop up in my life, the discipline crumbles and the effort just can’t muster picking it up again.  That’s been the pattern.  I’m pressing into the Lord in earnest this time around.  He’s helped me in the past accomplish things I didn’t think I could and felt I had no “willpower” to pull off.  It’s time to go there again, realizing that my strengths lie in Him and, just as I posted the other day about stepping over the fence, it’s time I get on with this.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

Is this stirring something in you?  I don’t particularly like New Years resolutions and I’m not considering my plans as such.  This is something else.  This is a stirring in my spirit to follow Him.  To cry out to Him when I feel weak and to give Him praise when I go forward in a straight line.  I will press in to the One who has been molding me all these years, whose plans are for me not against me, and who amazingly still believes in me after all these years.

Anyone up for the adventure?

 

 

Healing in Community

One of the major things I learned about at the conference I went to in April, 2010 (see my Home page for details), was that there’s healing in community. This is something that God provided for and the reason He created Eve.

…Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Gen 2:18 (NASB).

Some powerful things happen in the Body of Christ when people share transparently. I don’t mean sharing with just anybody. This process is meant to happen with people you trust.  When we understand this sharing concept, things can start happening in your life. You start feeling better. You can let go of past hurts. You can forgive…and forget and more. I came home from that conference and invited three friends to join me in watching “Changes that Heal,” a DVD series by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. As we’ve continued to meet, stuff has started coming out (see! there’s that stuff again!), things that had been buried so deep yet kept a grip on each of us negatively. We’re beginning to see signs of healing and we’ve decided we’ll continue meeting. It’s exciting when you begin to see change or the hint of it. It’s like walking outdoors right after a rain and the air smells so fresh, right down to your toes.  The hues of life take on new, interesting shades of color as you spend more time and energy bending to the process of change and healing.  Suddenly, change doesn’t seem so frightening anymore.

I’d like to encourage you to, in the words of Cloud and Townsend, get some traveling companions together and get on with healing!