Thursday, December 31, 2015

Looking back BUT looking ahead

Today is always a day to reflect and dream.  The reflection can often bring regret but the dream pushes us to hope! Today I think back over the year 2015...the things we saw (the good, the bad, and the ugly), the things we did, the things we accomplished and the things that we will continue to dream about.  Did I follow hard after Christ? Did I stumble all over myself? Did I stand firm when it was required? Did I see and seize moments that the Lord laid in front of me?  Did I walk well?  As we stand on the edge of a new year what's in the past is in the past (praise the Lord for fresh starts).  Will you leap with me into this new year?  Dream big.  I listened to a message not to long ago that asked this question, "What are you doing that's so BIG only God could accomplish?"  I didn't have an you?  We serve a BIG God with BIG Him and then let's take a leap!

Leaping requires trust, belief, and faith!  This year I am choosing ONE word to help me continue to leap and to leap well into something BIG!  That word is going to be INTENTIONAL!  I want to be intentional in my relationship with the Lord and in my relationships with others, I want to be intentional with my money (where it goes and when), I want to be intentional in my work and ministries, I want to be intentional in my health and workouts, and I want to be intentional in life!

Tomorrow I will leap INTENTIONALLY into 2016!  Here's to the best year yet!

Ready, Set, LEAP---wheeeeeeeeee!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Lessons from Spring Break 2015 - WEEDS

Isn't it amazing what you can learn when you SLOW DOWN and BREATHE and LISTEN?  Breathing comes pretty naturally, slowing down and listening not so much!  But today (Spring Break day 3) I took some time to pull some WEEDS!  Lots of weeds, way too many weeds, but weeds nonetheless.  As I was pulling weed, after weed, after weed a few things came to mind.  It would have been easy to dismiss them but I chose to SLOW DOWN and LISTEN.

  1. Neglect allows weeds to take root and take over (often we are surprised by the vastness of the weeds when we finally choose to deal with them!)
  2. If you handle weeds when they 1st pop up...the task isn't near as daunting
  3. The longer they remain close to the earth the more roots they put down and the more difficult they are to get rid of
  4. In order to really get rid of them you have to get your hands dirty
  5. Stick to it and finish the drill - it will be worth the back pain in the long run once they are gone
  6. Don't neglect them again
Here's the deal...this isn't the 1st time I've taken several hours to pull LOTS of weeds and it isn't the 1st time that these thoughts have crossed my mind but today I chose to BREATHE, SLOW DOWN, LISTEN, and attempt to APPLY the lesson that I felt like the Lord was sharing with me.  Scripture talks about weeds in several places...but specifically Jonah talks about feeling trapped by weeds and later in Matthew Jesus tells us the parable of the sower.  In this parable the weeds choked out the seed that was planted.   As I was elbow deep in weeds today I thought about how sin comes in like weeds and chokes us and traps us!  And it's sneaky...often it's starts small and then takes root.  When we ignore it, neglect it, or just decide it's part of everyday life it takes consumes chokes us and traps us.

So...what do we do?  How do we learn from the weeds?  First, I think we understand how they work!  We open our eyes to the weeds (sins) that we've neglected that are beginning to take root and we deal with them radically and quickly!  We get our hands dirty and we take whatever measures necessary to pull the matter how many roots they have put down or how bad our backs hurt while working to get rid of them...we get them all!  Then we stand guard.  Proverbs 4:23 says, "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life."  At the first sight of a new weed (which there will be new weeds) we pull it...from the root, when it's easy, when it's not attached deeply, when it doesn't take handfuls of soil to eradicate, we get rid of it and then we stand guard again! Guarding our hearts from the weeds that creep in while we aren't paying attention.  

My hope as I look at my dirty hands, dispose of the weeds, and rest my aching back that I will remember the lessons I am learning from the weeds!