Worship, Create, Dream

Be free to Worship God. Create with abandonement because He is the Creator. Let's discover our Dreams together.


TAKE A SLOW WALK THROUGH THE SCRIPTURES

If you have been reading my posts or following my other social media, I have suggested you slow down and live reflectively. Take deep breaths in the present time God is gifting you. Contemplate as you create to take in what God is sharing with you.   Do not dwell in the past because that has past. Do not fret  the future because you are not walking that path right now. Take God’s hand as He walks you through the joys (or tears) of the now.

Easier said than done. The past affects the present  and the future is our tomorrow’s present.

How we allow God to walk  us through the present and help deal with the past will affect how the future is handled.

Do these books look familiar? If not,  that is OK. They are my current GO TO  books for encouragement, inspiration and challenge.Jpeg

Margaret Feinberg’s book seems to speaks to points of my need at the right time.

Proverbs ground us in the life God intends”.1

If I want to be grounded in the life God intends for me, I need to do more with Proverbs than slide over the words as a mere check off  to-do box. This is a relationship.

The second book, The Reflective Life has tools to help implement a reflective life into our everyday life. The Growth Of The Reflective Life (Part VI)  includes help with the scriptures.

Do you think it is possible to have a fresh breath of the Words of Solomon?

Can these word have the same affect on a modern 21st century reader as they did when Solomon first heard them?

In the section entitled “ Reflecting on the Scriptures”  Ken takes the passage  Luke 10:38-42. and shows how he uses the  following items  to help  obtain the fresh wind for himself.

  • READING THE MOMENT
  • REFLECTING THE MOMENT
  • RESPONDING TO THE MOMENT
  • PRAY THROUGH THE PASSAGE
  • GIVE THE PASSAGE A PLACE TO LIVE IN YOUR HEART2
    These contemplative actions are slow and  deliberate engagements to connect with our Creator. They can be worked through all the scriptures.   The last  two sit at the Master’s feet and listen. The last two take the Master’s hand and go where He leads.

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The following is an example of the gift I received as I took deep steps to respond to a reading in Proverbs  using Ken’s reflections guide  As you allow yourself to go deeper, be open to life changing possibilities.

Proverbs 15:31-32 New Living Translation (NLT)

31 If you listen to constructive criticism,
    you will be at home among the wise.

32 If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself;
    but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.

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What do you have for me God?

As a creative person, criticism is one of the last things I may  initially want  to  hear. I know I work hard to make physical, the beauty my mind and soul is enjoying, whether it is through writing, photography or fiber arts (knitting /crocheting).

The truth is, what does God want? “ If I listen to constructive criticism, I will be at home among the wise .”

“If I reject criticism, I only harm myself, but if I listen to correction I will grow in understanding.” (The One Year Bible NLT. I changed the nouns to make it personal as you read it.)

Verse 32 is a bit sharper in the results of one who does not take criticism

Those who disregard discipline despise themselves,

but the one who heeds correction gains understanding.NIV

What do you hear?

Is there a past pain causing rejection from any critique?  If you do not discipline yourself in the creativity God is calling you, are you being true to yourself and what He wants to share.  Does perfection and comparison from the past or fear of the future keep you from living in the present?  Allow Him to come inside. He is gentle.

 

 

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Taking a slower walk through the scriptures will allow you to hear God’s voice, HIS JOY, HIS TRUTH.  As you walk deeper in His Kingdom,  the passage will have a place in your heart. It cannot help but flow out. Join me as we walk deeper. Your creativity will reflect that walk.

Wild flowers are beautiful

Be

Free

To

Worship

As

You

Were

Created!




1 Margaret Feinberg FLOURISH  Live Loved Live Fearless Live Free. ⓒ2016 p52
2 Ken Gire THE REFLECTIVE LIFE ©1998 pp 107-120


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Nurture a Reflective Life —Slow Down

Contemplative Photography is taking me into a deeper adventure.   All new adventures bring with it something a  bit daunting. I open the door asking God, what is ahead of  me. As I gaze upon a blooming flower, or see dark clouds cover the sky, is the message being shared reflecting  the beauty of God’s creation alone , or is He motioning me to — Come further up, come further in!” ― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle.

Put the words “Nurture a reflective life” and ” Be contemplative in my photography” together.  But how?

SLOW DOWN IN WHAT! SLOW DOWN TO WHAT?

  • Activities?
  • My mind?
  • Walking?

Will this “slowing down” automatically happen if my body stops doing?  Probably not. The mind can frantically race with yesterday’s events and tomorrow’s needs while the body is lying in bed.

Being  reflective  is making an active decision to engage in the surroundings. Going deeper than the top layer.

WHAT IS GOD SAYING?

CAN I FEEL HIS TOUCH, HIS LOVE IN THE GENTLE BREEZE AS IT PASSES BY MY FACE ?

HOW CAN I REFLECT THIS TOUCH IN A PHOTO AND SHARE HIS HEART?

Slow Down and reflect Tammy Morton Photo They teach us to dream

                                                                                      Tammy Morton’s photo entitled:

                                                                                                         ” THEY TEACH US TO DREAM”1

Is it possible to slow down and reflect in the rush  of daily activities?  In the course of routine housework, am I willing to mentally or emotionally slow down, take God’s  hand and reflect on His Words to me?  The beauty of nature, color all around,  waves of the lake lapping against the rocks, a walk through the woods,

 

have a greater  intensity for intimate interaction with my Creator than cleaning the kitchen. I can imaging slowing down and reflecting in a sunrise.

How can I slow down and reflect, let alone create with a photo through daily chores?  Mindless, thoughtless, repetitive cleaning do not compose a creative story.

 

The first question might be: 1.Do I want to take the mental energy  to engage to create space for God to enter into the chores? —-  2. Does God really care to enter into my time of cleaning? I know He is with me always, but really, intimate chats  while doing housework?

  • Slow Down
  • Be Present in the Moment
  • Take a Long Loving Look at the Real.
  • What is God Saying Now?

Reflection Through a Veggie Drawer.

 I needed to put the groceries away. The veggie drawer was covered with yellow onion skins so I decided to dump these out. Then I would give the drawer a quick swipe.   😝 Thinking about my photography assignment, I ask  God, “Is there something You want to show me?

I used these  tools from  The Reflective Life by Ken Gire.2

  • Read the moment—Using my  eyes to see what’s on the surface.
  • Reflecting on the moment -Engaging my  mind to see what’s beneath the surface.
  • Responding to the moment –  Giving what I saw and received  a place to live in my heart, allowing it to grow there, upward to God and outward to other people.

An interesting cleaning experience took place.

I needed to scrub extra hard in cleaning the icky sticky goo I found close to the ridges. These ridges  took longer to clean than I wanted to give my attention to the whole drawer cleaning business.  In fact, the cleaning  was getting  boring. Thoughts began to race “Did I really want to make sure the drawer was thoroughly clean? All sticky goo gone? (Remember, at first, I was only going to dump the loose skins into the garbage . 😄 )

What was  God’s response to the sticky goo hiding next to the ridges no one sees inside of me, the gunk hard to get at?  The outside is nice and clean, but there are areas where some stuff  needs more time to (re)move.

God will never leave a job half done.

 God started with the outer layer and cleaned away the onion skins.  God then looks deeper and says “I will stay with you and clean the icky sticky goo hidden inside. I will gently clean til  the job is completed.

WHY?

Years ago I said YES to Him  and I desire His beauty to reflect through me.

(6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Phil. 1:6 NIV)

Who knew the simple non creative job of cleaning a veggie drawer could bring me into the throne room to  interact with my Savior and Friend?

As a result the connection of slowing down I created two photos from my cleaning.

 

Be willing to enter into the moment. Slow your brain down. All you have is the reality right in front of you. The Creator of the Universe is at hand at all times to engage in the moment with you.

Slowing  down is not easy in the fast paced world. Feel free to share your victories and your battles. We are on this road together.

 Be

free

To

Worship

As

You

Were

Created!


1Thank you Tammy Morton for saying Yes and allowing me to us this picture.

2THE REFLECTIVE LIFE (Becoming More Spiritually Sensitive to the Everyday Moments of Life) by Ken Gire © 1998 p.88.


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I AM LOVED

  “But the man who is not afraid to admit everything that he sees to be wrong with himself, and yet recognizes that he may be the object of God’s love precisely because of his shortcomings, can begin to be sincere. His sincerity is based on confidence, not in his own illusions about himself, but in the endless, unfailing mercy of God.1

  • Comparison
  • Pride
  • Perfectionism
  • Fear of being overlooked.

WHAT A CONUNDRUM!

Is  this is the same intense roller coaster emotional ride everyone experiences? YIKES! Or is it just certain types?   Probably every  number  to some degree.   (Blame that bit of information on reading my son’s book,

The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective by Richard Rohr)

Creative people are very passionate.   God  sets our heart and soul free to feel  intense wonder when creating. This intensity  deals with  bitter devastation when the creation  fails or is rejected.

The creative personality runs the gamut in joy and pain. Am I right?

If one is Unwilling to allow God to bring peace and a sense of His centered ness,  the gate will continue to swing back and forth without end.

What is it like to be creative?

Creative Definition (adjective)

  1. resulting from originality of thought, expression, etc.; imaginative:

The story is fiction. The stories from our past can start our future stories.

Imagine yourself as a young child,  working on a family drawing all afternoon. The excitement inside can hardly be contained. You finish the yellow in the sun. The last smile on the youngest child is drawn.  The gift is spontaneous with no special reason for the labor. Just imaginative expression.

A bounce in your step takes you and your art work to the room where your parents are sitting. You wonder, which parent will raise their eyes first. As you stand for what seems an eternity, neither adult leaves their reading material. Your excitement wanes.

Suddenly, a sibling flies in the back door, BANG, shouting, ” We Won.”

Paper and book drop. Parents simultaneously  rise to check  what the commotion is about.

You droop back to your room. The art work goes in the waste basket.

Whether a creative in a sports family or an athletic in a family that values education. The label taken on is the same:

What I do is not important. I am not important.

Can you identify with this little girl? At that point, a strong STORY may be  constructed  not only in the creative realm but for life. “I am not seen for what I  enjoy.”

Will that be the basis of your life’s decisions?

Either :

  •  I will do what I want and I don’t care because no one else does or
  • I will BE what others want to see. I do not count.

Neither of these choices allow you to flow as the unique person God created you. You are not free to Worship Him or BE  yourself  within community.

How does this get resolved?

JESUS!

“This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now…Come further up, come further in!” ― C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle”

As I spend time with Jesus, I find the centered ness of His creativity in me. The gift of my connection in Him is intimate, special and deep. That is the joy I want to share. Merton’s quote challenges me, to not be afraid, to be real and face the the pains from my past. I have to boldly realize the inner fear of rejection as a reality inside. It attacks  now sometimes, when expressing an  inner excitement.  In God’s grace and acceptance of me,  how will it  be handled? Will I know WHOSE  I am if the gift offered, is not received the same way it is given out?

The discovery of His center ness  may come as a powerful waterfall.

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Jesus through the Holy Spirit  brings peace and calm.  One comes to the other.  He controls the flow.

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The healing of  past hurts, brings freedom to present the flow. Less and less of my pain is  keeping the true reality of how He loves me from showing  through. Jesus tells me to Hang On. The truth in what He is declaring to  me is more beautiful than I can ever imagine.

Hang on 2

I AM A DAUGHTER OF THE KING!

I HAVE BEEN CALLED TO SHARE GOD’S HEART!

I AM LOVED!

How are you called to be released from past lies placed upon you? God loves you. He calls you His beloved. Receive and be released.

Be

Free

To

Worship

As

You

Were

Created!

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I am here to read thoughts you want to share.  We are on this creative journey together. I would like to encourage you in anyway I can. Leave a comment here or  join my Writer’s Facebook page.  You do not need to walk this path alone. ♥
1― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/god-s-love


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The Alabaster Jar

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A warm evening with a gentle breeze blowing bits of sand.  The streets are  empty. Lit candles glow  through  open windows show families enjoying their meals.   Laughter carries up and down the vacant cobblestones. Simon the Pharisee  is very delighted. Tonight he is hosting Jesus, the PROPHET whom  everyone is talking about. Almost giddily he thinks,  “Maybe I can find something out about this Man  that makes Him so special.”

Is the Pharisee, really showing an act of hospitality or are there ulterior motives?

 

Another part of town, a colder, darker part of town  contains less laughter. The meals are not filled with gaiety. Joy does not filter through these streets. The normal sound  is chaos from, wailing, unattended babies and  coughing,  sick children. If laughter is heard, it is anything but joyful.

 

The Woman’s small living quarters are in this part of town. While she lived with her mother, her house was decent. Her mother made a decent living. Now the Woman is alone. She makes her living in a sad fashion non decent manner.  Her heart is empty.

 

The Woman heard rumors. ” Could this be the Prophet.The Teacher everyone is talking about.?” she pondered. Gazing at the beautiful alabaster jar, her mind swirls..

  • “ I have no right to even think about going to that house.
  •   I caught a quick glance of Him in the market. His gentle eyes gave me hope.
  •  There will be other men in that house  who will know me possible who have known me. (she shutters).
  •   He looked into the eyes of that sick girl with such love and tenderness. With one touch a soft word,  He healed her.

 

Of course He healed her. She is holy. I AM NOT!

Could she deny the deep yearning and passion  drawing her to go to the house.and give?

 

The Woman looked again at the jar containing the costly oils for her livelihood. The jar was priceless. It belonged to her mother.

The Woman could not dwell on the matter any longer. Fear would consume her thoughts  making the decision for her if she did not move.

Quickly she wrapped a simple  shawl around her head and face  Grabbing the alabaster jar, she left her home. She could not be  bothered as she moved  to the other side of town. The fear of failure and  rejection ran rampant through her body. Beads of sweat from the brisk walk and the heat did not stop her body from shaking. She had no idea what to expect once she reached her destination.

The Woman did not consider how food would be purchased or bills paid after the oil was gone. It was not a consequence to consider now.

As unrealistic as it seemed, the intense draw to give everything to this Man was the only reality that mattered. The Woman would break her beloved jar, if she must.  She would pour out her oil, her love, her all.

 

Everyone was enjoying the well prepared meal. Food was perfect for the special guest.  Jesus was a perfect guest. Too perfect for Simon’s  taste. Nothing was happening. The evening was coming to a close with not even a tiny miracle or odd word.

 

The conversations continued. Without notice, as though covered by a shadowy protection, the Woman was on her knees in front of Jesus. Upon noticing the crumpled figured at His feet, the other men, close to Jesus gasped and moved away. They knew who she was. They knew her reputation.  Simon sneered to himself , “He can’t be as good as they say He is.  He should know what kind of a woman she is.”

Jesus looked sternly toward  Simon and said,  “Silence”.

Simon blinked being caught off guard.

 

Jesus eyes returned to the Woman. Softly and gently His gaze took in her actions, he took in her heart.  Her tears ran down her face. She could not stop crying. Raising to her feet, she broke the seal of the jar and stood over Jesus head. She tipped the jar.   The thick contents poured slowly  onto the head  beneath her.  With eyes  closed and head slightly lifted, Jesus received the entire offering, down His head, His beard, His shoulders. . This fragrant perfume flowed to his feet. The pungent aroma filled the dining area and beyond.

Moments went by. Not a sound.

No words passed between Jesus and the Woman. He looked into her eyes, into her soul as if to say.:  “Your sins are forgiven. Go and sin no more.”

 

The Woman unbound her hair to dry  tears and oil from Jesus.  Such deep love she had never known. It protected her from the judgemental statements against her actions.

 

” Wasteful!  If you really wanted to repent, the oil should have been sold to meet the needs of the poor,”  came  the verbal accusation on her pure act of love .  The Woman was not enslaved  by these attacks.  His love without rejection freed her.

 

Simon got what he wanted.  A card to use against this Prophet. He smiled to himself, “Either this Man  does not know the sinners, which means He isn’t a real prophet, or He does not keep the law by allowing a woman of this sort to touch Him. This Jesus cannot be the Messiah.”

 

The Woman rebound her hair as the men resumed their meal.  She gathered her shawl. With one last glance to Jesus, she turned and left the house without the alabaster jar.

 

As she walked down the street, the Woman’s  steps were light, relaxed, peaceful.  She had  no need to protect her face. Everything was  bright.  She looked to the sky. “Do stars always twinkle so beautifully?” She smiled.  Her breathing was deep and full. The Woman felt Joy. The Woman was Free..

glory of the Lord

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In this Lenten season, dare to go deep and experience the intimacy of real people referred to in the Passion stories. My story is a fictional  adaptation of Matthew 26:6-10 Mark 14:3-9,  and Luke 7:37-39. God is releasing people from fears through honest deep, intimate interaction with Him. Take His hand and walk through whatever it is He wants to show you.


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Delight in The Lord

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Psalm 37:4

4 Delight yourself in the Lord,

   and he will give you the desires of your heart.

                                                                                     ESV

Why would I experience

FEAR

                                                                         if I am receiving the desires of my heart?

That sounds absurd. Or does it?

As I was reading the devotional A STORY OF GOD AND ALL OF US  REFLECTIONS,  I came across this statement. It  seemed rather comical.:

“If a Mercedes Benz is the desire of your heart, your heart probably needs a change..”1

Seriously, though, when was the last time you asked the question:

“What is the desire of my heart?”

God saw the true desire of my heart when I looked to Him and said YES  44 years ago. With tear filled eyes and a heart filled with more love than I had ever known, I took His Hand.

The desire of my heart was to love Him and allow Him to love me.

WORSHIP!

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When I opened my hands, my life, my heart to God and said YES  that also declared,” I trust  you. I trust You to know the desires of my heart deeper than I know them.”

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.      What was the true desires of my heart?

For me, freedom was vocal worship and music.  I could not see deep reality or intimacy in connecting with God  any way  other than participating on worship teams.  It was not for the sake of being up front. It was connecting in the beauty of worship. It was a gift to God and others.

Suddenly  a radical change took place many years ago. I was no longer  asked or needed to participate on the vocal worship teams.  Devastation hit. My heart’s desire came crashing down around me. How could I show my  extravagant, intimate love if not through music?

He is the Creator.  I am not.

God is my  creator. He put my parts together. He  knows me (Psalm 139). If God knows me that well, He also knows the needed steps to reach the core .   I thought music was  the reflection of my heart’s desire to intimately worship God and reflect that love forever. It was holy. It was good.

 What is my heart’s desire?

WORSHIP

God gave me a heart of worship not satisfied with anything less than ultimate intimacy and true freedom.   God deserves the best.

God asked : “Will you Worship Me the way I call you to Worship Me?”

My response is: “That is the desire of my heart!”

I have been answering this question in ways  I never would have imagined. It has not stopped either. My heart’s desire is to  worship  with God calling the shots. The deeper He calls me into intimacy with Him, I am free to share what I receive.

Have you lost a job? Been asked to step down from calling you felt was from God? Felt as though something has been taken away and you just do not know why?  You may feel :

  •  Pain
  •  Fear
  • Rejection toward your writing, your gift
  • Should I even try again?
  • Has God pulled the rug from under your feet. .

These questions and more are not doubting your delight in God. It is being honest. You need to run to the only One who will free you in finding your true heart’s desire. Do not run from  community either.  Run to the people in the community you can trust. Delighting in God is going to Him.  Be honest with Him in your pain and doubts so He can free you to discover the true desires of your heart.
Discovering your heart’s desire, is not a one time activity. It is a wonderful exciting journey through your entire life. God created you. He will go to those places where only He can free you. There may be fear along the ride in the uncertainties, but you are never alone.

Be

Free

To

Worship

As

You

Were

Created!

where-does-my-help-come-from


Psalm 121 MSG

1-2 I look up to the mountains;

does my strength come from mountains?

No, my strength comes from God,

who made heaven, and earth, and mountains.

3-4He won’t let you stumble,

your Guardian God won’t fall asleep.

Not on your life! Israel’s

Guardian will never doze or sleep


1A STORY OF GOD AND ALL OF US  REFLECTIONS.  by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett ©2013 day 32

Thank you Anna for allowing me to use your photo overlooking the mountains. Taken by her friend Nicholas.


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Don’t Panic!

 

How can I raise my hands with complete abandonment, absolute passionate creativity if I am afraid?

How can I totally lose myself in the artistic swirl surrounding me to express deep love for My Savior when doubt  crosses my path?

No bands around me. No ropes to strangle me. No inside critical words to distract me. That is my desire.
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As much as I would love to express to each and everyone the deepest beauty of God’s love, it does not flow sweetly all the time.  I am loved in the Psalms. I am challenged by the words “COME AND FOLLOW ME”. The Creator of the Universe calls me to  Dance in His Kingdom.   This gives me a very deep jump-start at the beginning of the day.  God is GOOD. God is  LOVE!  My heart burns with a fire so deep,  I seriously believe will go on forever.

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As the day goes on something happens. I think you  know what I am talking about. I can’t  quite put my finger on it  but slowly uninvited, unwelcome guests start  making themselves far too comfortable in my space.

Not bad things, really. Just normal everyday activities. Life.

 

  • What do I have  for supper?
  • Peter’s friends are coming over, is the house clean?
  • Why doesn’t my wonderful sweet dog take a rest so I can write?
  • Bills, Clothes. Vacuum, shovel the walk.
  • Why can’t I create and say what I want to say in this blog?
  • Start a newsletter? What is that?
  • Does anyone really want to read what I write anyway?

This is just the beginning.

Left unchecked, chaos, fear or even the humdrum of life become reality instead of the Who I engaged with this morning. If I allow my mind to be encased in trivial or gigantic affairs, the lens of seeing myself as a Daughter of the King changes into being a slave to the cares of the world.

What happened? I was walking hand in hand with Jesus and suddenly,  did  I put on different glasses?                                                                                                                                                                                 When I closed my devotional, shut my bible, hit the button on my computer,  did  I end my worship walk with God saying, ” See Ya tomorrow?”

NO!

The physical worship needs to continue throughout the day. In my quiet time  I need quality time. This demands more than reading mere words on a page to fulfill my daily quotient. I need to engage in deep, extravagant relational time with the One who loves me. In that moment, seeds are sown into my heart, but it is only the beginning. When uninvited or unwelcome  guests start tapping on the door or sliding in sideways, I’m not meeting them alone. I’m still on my worship walk. The lens is far  different.

 

BUT!!!   you say….

 “I am not a super saint.” “I am not called to be Mother Teresa.”

“I am not going to be a pastor or a missionary.”

 

Are you afraid to go on this deep walk with God?  What is the alternative?  It is easy to slip into the lens of the world. But Jesus did not separate those He called to show His love.  If you said YES to Jesus, then  you are called to intimacy. To Know Him and to Show Him.

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  16 “You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.

17 “But remember the root command: Love one another.

                                                                                                            John 15:16 MSG

 

Are you  sitting with the Lover of your soul , allowing Him to gently have His way in all your walk, even after your devotional is closed? Do the cares of this world seem to loom larger than the  A.M. Bible  reading?  God extends His hand for a deeper, intimate continuous worship walk throughout the day. The deeper the walk  with God, the less the panic. He created the universe. He created you. He created me. He knows our needs.

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I look up to the mountains; does my strength come from mountains? No, my strength comes from GOD, who made heaven, and earth, and mountains. He won’t let you stumble, your Guardian God won’t fall asleep. Not on your life! Israel’s Guardian will never doze or sleep. GOD’s your Guardian, right at your side to protect you— Shielding you from sunstroke, sheltering you from moonstroke. GOD guards you from every evil, he guards your very life. He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always.

                                                                                          Psalm 121:1-8 MSGi-look-to-the-mountains

 

Be

Free

To Worship

As You Were

Created!


Thank you Anna and Nicolas for the mountain photo. Location- Guanajuato, Mexico.


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Can Fear Be A Tool?

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We say Yes to following God. That is the total desire of our heart. We want to worship Him with our whole being. What gets in the way? What fear jumps in the road and blocks our  total abandonment?

Reading  scriptures over and over. Is that the trick? Receiving all stars for knowing the  memory verses we studied in Sunday School should count for something —Right?  Going to Church Services every Sunday. Why doesn’t that make fears big and small  flee?

I prayed while sitting in between my son and daughter while riding to the MSP airport. We were on our way  to visit our relatives in Orlando this last December.  Before  we turned into the lanes where friends were to drop us off, my heart started racing:

  • Would I be able to walk through the upcoming challenge knowing exactly what I am to do?
  • Where is my passport?
  •  If I am asked a question,  will  my mind go completely blank and I just stand there?
  •  Will I be able to walk straight over the metal detector or will the beeper go off letting everyone know someone (me) is holding up the long line?

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Don’t beat yourself over the head when experiencing fear of any kind.  Instead, ask why is the emotion coming over you? Is a message, big or little, being shared through this circumstance?                                     .

Throughout the scriptures, God declares and reveals His authority. Events began in tremendous fear, but it was in walking through His lead where peace flowed.

 

Joshua knew it was his responsibility  to lead the Israelites. Moses died.  Joshua had become the new leader. Joshua was fearful. Joshua questioned would these people give  him the same trust as they gave to Moses? Many reasons for a panic attack.

The relationship God and Joshua already had caused this man to go to God and seek guidance. Here are the words of encouragement Joshua received:

Don’t get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you’re going. And don’t for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you’ll get where you’re going; then you’ll succeed. Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.”

                                                                                                         Joshua 1:8  MSG.

 

The beauty of Joshua’s Yes  was exposed in his fear. He cried out to God. God gave Joshua exactly the words he needed. The encouragement called out the courage God put  inside  Joshua allowing him to do the YES.

In the empty slots not covered in scriptures when Joshua walked by himself, did fear try to grip his thoughts? Possibly, but Joshua was true in keeping his eyes and heart set to the direction pointed toward God. Knowing God surrounded him, Joshua was able to lay the fear where it needed to go and receive strength.

God gives strong words to Joshua ( Don’t be timid) and to Isaiah ( So  Fear Not)  in real times of real need. God promises ” God is with you every step” , and “I will strengthen you and help you.” These are not just words of a command to do something.  It is through the relationship of love already flowing between God and these men where this truth is shared and received.

In hands of a loving God, fear can be a tool showing me something,  or exposing something.  In the airport, I was completely surrounded in myself.  I got antsy. I got nervous about my passport.  I made the beeper go off and needed to be checked.  (I was wearing a metal belt. Not the smartest thing.)  I was anxious and fearful of looking stupid.

It is a small fear, but still a tool to which  God graciously used.

Fear can stop me from being the person God created me to be. It can loom large, but is it really more than silly threads I can cut with the Sword of the Spirit?

In this fear, my head had no room to hear God’s still quiet voice telling me “I love you My precious Daughter, do not be afraid”. I was protecting  myself in my fear where I would usually be open to hear His voice to see if anyone might be in need of prayer because of their anxiety.

The beauty of saying YES to our Father doesn’t matter whether the situation is as grand as leading the Israelites to the Promise Land or going through all the airport ins and outs. God is taking the hand of the one who is listening. It is an adventure to the one He is guiding, to the one obeying.

It is far more than repeating verses. It is having a conversation with the One who loves me and the One I love.img_0897img_0899 It is recognizing my weakness and my need. I empty myself and receive His strength.img_0902IMG_0169

As you release fears to the One who created the Universe, look to see if God is teaching you something in and through the process. Be free to worship as you were created.