Weekend Weave: Christian principles to meditate on while your body, mind, and soul rest

October 3, 2015

Proverbs 14 30

A calm and undisturbed mind and heart are the life and health of the body (Proverbs 14:30). How can we stay calm and undisturbed in the midst of a turbulent storm? By having faith, and stepping out of the boat.

When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!”Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:39)

“Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. (Matthew 14:29)

This weekend celebrate your faith, and step out of the boat. Meditate in prayer and share your anxieties with God and allow Him to infuse you with His peace. Walk on the water toward Jesus, and welcome His energy to calm the storms in your life.

And now our Advent note: This year Advent begins on Sunday, November 29 (countdown: 57 days). I promised to share some preparation ideas each week in the Weekend Weave so we are ready to celebrate! If you’re new to the weekend weave and want to read the past Advent notes click here. To read the Advent 2015 series click here.

If you are planning to use narcissus (also know as paper whites) in your advent display, now is the time to buy the bulbs and start growing those gorgeous, fragrant flowers. The bulbs are easy to grow in a shallow dish and add a fragrant beauty to the advent display.

September 26, 2015

Matthew 6 34

Yesterday my grandmother celebrated her 101st birthday. I had a chance to chat with her one on one and she shared a story with me that I had heard over the years but this time as I listened I gleaned a new perspective.

My grandmother tells a story that as a young girl she remembers her grandmother sitting in an oak rocking chair reading the Bible and telling her not to worry about tomorrow because today has enough trouble of its own. She says that she remembers her grandmother saying that many times during her lifetime. It is a story that my grandmother has repeated over the years, and, I would say, a mantra of sorts for her. Those words, from Matthew 6:34, are a family heirloom of sorts, with at least 5 generations of my family being guided by them.

But here’s the thing…my grandmother has had 101 years of practicing this conscious decision not to worry. She has had more days to practice not worrying about tomorrow, and more tomorrow’s to decide whether to worry about or not, than most. With roughly 36,890 days under her belt, my grandmother has the expertise to say that there is no value in worrying about tomorrow, and there is plenty of value of choosing not to worry!

My grandmother has certainly had the opportunity to put feet to her faith and to put this mantra to the test. She is a child of the great depression, she has lived through wars, family challenges, and been a widower for the past 47 years. And she still takes every chance to remind all of us not to worry about tomorrow.

Worrying about tomorrow robs today of its joy. We can’t worry and have faith at the same time- worry zaps faith, but faith triumphs over worry and stomps it out every time! So declare victory over worry and focus on faith instead.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (Philippians 4:6)

And now our Advent note: This year Advent begins on Sunday, November 29 (countdown: 64 days). I promised to share some preparation ideas each week in the Weekend Weave so we are ready to celebrate! If you’re new to the weekend weave and want to read the past Advent notes click here. To read the Advent 2015 series click here.

I remember digging through the hall closet searching for the Advent wreath during the second week of Advent. When I finally found the box that the wreath was tucked in, I only had 3 of the 4 candles- and never did find the 4th. It wasn’t a great feeling and I promised myself that next year it would be different.

This week I encourage you to find the items that you will include in your Advent display (Advent wreath, Nativity scene etc…). If you need new candles for your Advent wreath use this time to source them. Perhaps you’ll choose gorgeous beeswax tapers, or you might decide to use flameless candles, or float votives in a water display- whatever you choose will be a beautiful Advent celebration, and you’ll be ready to welcome the Advent season!

September 19, 2015

cast your burden

We were never meant to shoulder these burdens. We were not meant to carry them, to worry about them, or to figure them out. Yet we persist in trying to do just that and we get weary, frustrated, and anxious. We give in to worldly pressures that were never supposed to effect us. This weekend, stop. Stop for a few moments and just catch your breath. Sit outside, feel your feet connect to the earth, breathe in the fresh air, feel the sunshine, and just take a moment.

Now, about these burdens. They are not ours to shoulder, or to figure out. They are also a great way for Satan to gain a foothold, though, because if our perspective isn’t spot on we start to give in to those burdens and feel overwhelmed. This weekend practice casting your burdens on God. Give those burdens right over to Him and deny the enemy the chance to use those burdens to get between you and God.

I implore you to not give in to despair. It is a dangerous temptation, because our adversary has refined it to the point that is quite subtle. Hopelessness constricts and withers the heart, rendering it unable to sense God’s blessings and grace. It also causes you to exaggerate the adversities of life and makes your burdens seem too heavy for you to bear. Yet God’s plans for you, and his ways of bringing about his plans, are infinitely wise. -Madame Guyon

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

And now a note about Advent:

This year Advent begins on Sunday, November 29 (countdown:71 days). I promised to share some preparation ideas each Saturday between now and then so that we have time to prepare.

Advent sometimes seems to sneak up on us and while we’re putting away the Thanksgiving dinner we’re hunting around for our Advent wreath or display. Last year Advent had already started and I sort of jumped in at some point during the second week. I wondered how I had missed the start, so this year I was committed to preparing for Advent so we were ready to celebrate! Here we go…

In the past two weeks I shared ideas about advent wreaths and displays, and how toincorporate the Nativity into the Advent celebration.

This week you might consider identifying a few people on your Christmas card list that you send an Advent calendar to. There are many on line companies to order the calendars from, but the lead time on the order can be up to a few weeks so this would be the time to choose  the calendars that you want to send and order them so that you have them to mail out in early November.

If you are interested in making your own Advent calendar Pinterest has dozens of great ideas. You can make the traditional calendar with windows that open each day to reveal  a Christmas image, candy, or Bible verse. You might consider having the members of your family make an Advent calendar for one another, or work together on one for the whole family to enjoy. This is another great craft idea to do during Thanksgiving, before or after the turkey.

The Advent 2015 series is up on the blog if you want to read through it and think about some ways you will celebrate this Advent season.

September 12, 2015

Forgiveness

We carry burdens that God didn’t ask us to carry, get weighed down by grief that isn’t ours to bear, and get distracted from our purpose when we don’t forgive. What are waiting for? Are we waiting for the person who hurt us to apologize, or to ask for our forgiveness? What if they aren’t sorry? What then? Do we keep lugging around this vault of hurt feelings until they suddenly have a change of heart?

Forgive them even if they’re not sorry, even if they never apologize. Forgive them because God tells you to. Forgiveness is your choice, your action, and your responsibility. Who do you need to forgive? What hurt feelings do you need to release? Maybe you need to forgive yourself…

This weekend write a note of forgiveness. Write out the feelings, the situation, the effects, the aftermath. Pray over your words, and then when you’re done forgiving decide what to do with that note. Maybe you want to burn it in a bonfire (or with a match over the kitchen sink), maybe you’ll decide to rip it to shreds and throw it into the ocean, or maybe you’ll tuck it inside your Bible.

There is freedom in forgiveness, both when God forgives us and when we forgive others.

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” (Matthew 11:25)

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)

And now a note about Advent:

This year Advent begins on Sunday, November 29 (countdown: 78 days). I promised to share some preparation ideas each Saturday between now and then so that we have time to prepare.

In last Saturday’s Weekend Weave I shared some ideas about making your own Advent display. This week I wanted to give you some ideas about making your own nativity displays and incorporating them into your Advent celebration.

There are several on-line resources with creative ideas of how to make your own nativity using everything from toilet paper rolls to Lego’s. Spend a few minutes on Pinterest and find a design that works for your family.

Once you decide on a Nativity scene that you want to build, plan how best to incorporate the craft into your celebration. consider making a piece of the nativity each evening during Advent, and enjoy watching the scene come together during the season of Advent. You might consider starting now and making one piece of the nativity each week between now and Advent and having it all together when Advent begins.

This is a fun way to involve the whole family in the design of the nativity. If you do not have children in your household don’t let that stop you! There are plenty of nativity crafts for all ages (quilting, pottery, sketching, even sock puppets!). Get creative!

September 5, 2015

Ephesians 3 18

I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. (Ephesians 3:16)

Ephesians 3:16-18 proclaims God’s love for us. The verses reassure us that as we trust in Him our faith will grow, it will take root in God’s love, and keep us strong. Faith that has strong roots stands the tests and the storms in life, and remains resilient. When Christ is in you His strength keeps you rooted and strong. The same power that raised Jesus from the grave lives in you!

If you are feeling weak or uncertain remember Paul’s words “from His glorious, unlimited resources, He will empower you with inner strength from His Spirit“. Meditate on the promise of inner strength from His Spirit, and the promise that your faith will grow deep roots and keep you strong.

And now a note about Advent:

This year Advent begins on Sunday, November 29 (countdown:85 days). I promised to share some preparation ideas each Saturday between now and then so that we have time to prepare.

Advent sometimes seems to sneak up on us and while we’re putting away the Thanksgiving dinner we’re hunting around for our Advent wreath or display. Last year Advent had already started and I sort of jumped in at some point during the second week. I wondered how I had missed the start, so this year I was committed to preparing for Advent so we were ready to celebrate! Here we go…

Advent note 1: incorporate Advent preparation into your Thanksgiving celebration.

If you have little ones joining you for Thanksgiving invite them make their own Advent display (wreath) using flameless (battery operated) candles.This is a great way to involve young ones in the Advent celebration as they “light” the candles in their own Advent display each week.  Some items that you might consider sourcing for this project:

  • unbreakable cake plate, platter, pie tin
  • pink and purple flameless candles (traditional colors of the Advent candles, but you can use silver, gold, or any color you want to)
  • unbreakable votive holders for the flameless candles
  • evergreen garland, pine cones etc…
  • Craft glue/tack- I suggest using some glue or craft tack to hold the candles/items in place on the cake plate/platter once the little hands have put everything where they want it to be; that way it won’t all slide off when the cake plate is moved.

Coming up in next week’s Advent note I will give you the craft ideas for a “make your own nativity”. Each week during Advent you and/or your child make certain parts of the nativity and at the conclusion of Advent you will lay Jesus in the manger.

The Advent 2015 series is posted on the blog. I may add to it over the next few weeks but the basic presentation will remain the same. If you want to read ahead, it is ready for you.

August 29, 2015

Phil 4 6a

His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

His peace guards our hearts from anxiety, worry, and fretting (if you don’t know the difference between worry and fretting click here!) He guards our hearts from attack by the evil one. We rest safely in His hands.

Saying “don’t worry” and actually doing it are two different things, and it’s easier said than done. Worry is sort of our default position- it happens without us consciously doing a thing. Not worrying requires us to take some conscious steps and this verse lays those 4 steps out.

Step 1: Pray about everything

Step 2: Tell God what you need

Step 3: Thank Him for all he has done

Step 4: Experience His peace

When anxiety or worry creep in, and they will, repeat those 4 steps.

The time of testing that distinguishes and greatly enriches a person’s spiritual career is not an ordinary one but a period when it seems as if all hell were set loose. It is a time when we realize our soul is caught in a net, and we know God is allowing us to be gripped by the devil’s hand. Yet it is a period that always ends in certain triumph for those who have committed the keeping of their souls to God. -Aphra White

August 22, 2015

Acts 27 44

Only God  can change the winds, calm the seas, and move the mountains. He is all you need. Put your faith in Him and He will bring you safely to land.

What is causing you to worry, to take your eyes and mind off of Him? Recognize whatever it is and then ask God to lift the burden from you so that your eyes can fix on Him. Remember that nothing surprises God- it might knock the wind out of us, but He is at the beginning, the end, and every step in between.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. (Isaiah 43:2)

Wait for me for a while, I have much to tell you. You are walking along the path I have chosen for you. Do not worry about what other people think of you. The work I am doing is hidden at first, but eventually blossoms and produces abundant fruit. Stay on the path of life with Me. Trust Me wholeheartedly, letting My Spirit fill you with love and peace. -From Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young

This weekend let God restore you and fill you with His peace. Make a commitment not to worry and every time that worry starts to creep back in pray that God would relieve you. As you take deep relaxing breaths focus on His peace and blessing as you inhale and release the stress and worry as you exhale; feel His restoration washing over you.

August 14, 2015

Romans 8-28

We have all experienced events in life that we recognize as evil, hurdles sent from Satan. But we know that by the time those events reach us they are washed by God’s will and that He will use those very events for good.

That isn’t to say that these hurdles from the evil one won’t cause hurt, destruction, and scars. However, we are promised that devastating losses and unspeakable hurts can become works of art by the Healer who weaves all things together for our good.

From Streams in the Desert, “One who was passing through deep waters of affliction wrote to a friend: “Is it not a glorious thing to know that, no difference how unjust a thing may be, or how absolutely it may seem to be from Satan, by the time it reaches us it is God’s will for us, and will work for good to us who love God.” And even of the betrayal, Christ said, “The cup which my Father gave me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:10-11)”

We live charmed lives if we are living in the center of God’s will. All the attacks that Satan, through other’s sin, can hurl against us are not only powerless to harm us, but are turned into blessings on the way.

God never intended that we bear these burdens, the attacks from the evil one, alone or try to navigate our way through them. To the contrary, God promises that He will always be with us, that He will lead us, and we do not ever need to fear anything. Meditate on the three verses below and claim God’s promises to you.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

August 8, 2015

isaiah-30-15

So do not fear for I am with you” (Isaiah 41:10)

Fear, doubt, anxiety, apprehension are all killers- they kill our mood, relationships, and our purpose. They cause physical reactions and damage our health. They stifle our existence. So how can we conquer these villains?

Dr. Charles Stanley writes “Each of us will experience moments of apprehension. Denial or trying to hide from it will do no good. When you feel fear begin to rise in you, ask yourself the following questions: Where does it come from? (You know it is not from God.) Has God ever failed me in the past? Does He promise to meet all my needs? Does He keep His promises?

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lordyour God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

When we read the Bible, we find countless stories of God’s faithfulness. For example, the apostle Paul lived through hardship, persecution, pain, and all kinds of terrible circumstances, yet he was able to make the bold declaration that God weaves it all together for the good of His followers. This testifies to the fact that for those who trust in Him, God turns every difficulty, loss, and separation into something good.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

The Bible offers the best direction we will ever find. When we meditate upon it, pray over it, grapple with it, and incorporate it into our life, His light chases away the darkness. The Psalms, in particular, are helpful in dealing with fear.

put your hope in the LORD both now and forevermore” (Psalm 131:1)

God, the sovereign ruler of this universe, is in control of your life. Don’t make the mistake of thinking He isn’t, simply because He does not operate according to your will and schedule. When you read your Bible and meditate on it, you will find genuine strength in His promises.

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” (Proverbs 19:31)

“Understanding will never bring you peace. I instruct you to trust in Me and not to lean on your own understanding. Solomon, the wisest of all men, could never think his way through to peace. My Peace is not elusive, it always envelopes you.” -Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

August 1, 2015

BeautifulFeetdesing.jpg.w180h219

Dear soul, God has been gardening you.

This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: He was preparing swarms of locusts after the king’s share had been harvested and just as the late crops were coming up. (Amos 7:1)

Amos tells of “the king’s” harvest (Amos 7:1). Our King also has may scythes and is constantly using them for harvest. We try to take a brave stand before the scythe of pain, the shears of disappointment, or the sickle of death. And just as there is no way to cultivate a lawn like velvet without repeated mowing, there is no way to develop a life of balance, tenderness, and sympathy for others without enduring the work of God’s scythes.

Think of how often the Word of God compares people to grass, and God’s glory to its flower. But when the grass is cut, and desolation seems to reign where flowers once were blooming, the perfect time has come for God’s rain to fall as delicate showers.

Dear soul, God has been gardening you. Time and again the King has come to you with the sharp scythe. Do not fear this cycle- for it is sure to be followed by a refreshing, warm, beautiful shower.  -Adapted from F.B. Meyer

From Jesus Calling: Relax and let Me lead you through this day. I already have everything under control, My control. Attentiveness to Me is not only for your quiet time, but for all time. As you look to Me, I will show you what to do now and what to do next.

Click below to read more about God’s redemption and restoration:

Lessons from Lamentation (redeemed and restored!)

June with Jeremiah: restoring fallen tents

Restored, Renewed, Relying on Him!

July 25, 2015

Joel 2 32

When challenges present themselves do you try to solve the problem yourself, or find someone to help you? Do you know what the Bible says we should do? Immediately call on the God who promises to save us.

Charles Spurgeon writes:

“So why don’t I call on His name? Why do I run to this person or that person, when God is so near and will hear my faintest call? Why do I sit down to plot my own course and make my own plans? Why don’t I immediately place myself and my burden on the Lord?

Straight ahead is the best way to run, so why don’t I run directly to the living God? Instead, I look in vain for deliverance everywhere else, but with God I will find it. With Him I have his royal promise “I will be saved” (Joel 2:32). And with Him I never need to ask if I may call on Him or not, for the word “everyone” is all encompassing. It includes me and means anybody and everybody who calls upon His name. Therefore I will trust in this verse and will immediately call upon the glorious Lord who has made such a great promise.

My situation is urgent, and I cannot see how I will ever be delivered. Yet, this is not my concern, for He who made the promise will find a way to keep it. My part is simply to obey His commands, not to direct His ways. I am His servant, not His advisor. I will call upon Him and He will deliver me.”

What problems are invading your life, robbing you of rest and joy? Turn those over to Jesus, drop them at the foot of the cross, and mediate on Joel 2:32 as you lean heavily on Him.

Our capacity for knowing God is enlarged when we are brought by Him into circumstances that cause us to exercise our faith. So when difficulties block our path, may we thank God that he is taking time to deal with us, and then may we lean heavily on Him. -Streams in the Desert

July 18, 2015

Phil 4 6

The Bible tells us that nothing can separate us from God’s love, that His plans for us are for good, and that we should not worry because there is nothing to fear. Why then is it still so easy to find ourselves discouraged and feeling sorry for ourselves? Because we’re human and to do anything to the contrary takes commitment, focus, and perseverance (read all about that in the posts from last week and coming up this week!)

Self pity is a slimy bottomless pit. Once you fall in you tend to go deeper and deeper into the mire. As you slide down those slippery walls, you are well on your way to profound darkness.

Your only hope is to look up and see the Light of My Presence shining down on you. Though the light looks dim, from your perspective, deep in the pit, those rays of sun and hope can reach you at any depth. -From Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young

Make a commitment to identify anytime that you find yourself worrying or feeling sorry for yourself. When it happens write it down in your prayer journal, turn that item over to God in prayer, and meditate on this verse:

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

In the days ahead go back and read those journal entries and celebrate how God is moving in these areas, already working for you.

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this. (Psalm 37:5)

July 11, 2015

psalms37_7b

If it seems like I write about the concept of rest a lot, I do. As a society we are exhausted. We are plugged in all the time. 15% of people surveyed for a Huffington Post article about rest reported reading and sending emails while in church! We can’t escape the demands of the electronic leash. And that blue screen and blinking light become an idol that gets between us and God, both hearing from Him and receiving the rest that He promises.

We exchange actual physical interactions with people around us for electronic communication with people who aren’t here. We let ourselves subscribe to an invisible pressure to respond to the blinking light immediately. We keep the Bible on a shelf and the blinking light in our pocket. Each of us could probably cite off the make and model of the device that houses the blinking light- but we may not have any idea what version of the Bible sits on the shelf.

I’ve fallen prey to the same pressures. I’ve tried to carry on a conversation with someone who is sitting in front of me while simultaneously tending to the blinking light- and I recognize the chaos it brings to the balance and harmony of my physical life. What may be even less obvious is how great the upset is to the balance and harmony of our spiritual lives.

God isn’t going to send us an email. He isn’t going to tweet, or post a sweet message on our Facebook wall. Our phone isn’t going to make a beep or buzz to signal to us that He is sending a message. God speaks to us in a whisper and it’s up to us to put ourselves in the distraction-free position to hear a whisper. Right now, if someone whispered to you could you hear it? Is you mind and physical space open to hearing Him?

If we put ourselves in a space to hear Him, to be replenished, and to “soak” in His Presence we will be restored. Anxiety will drift away, our shoulders will relax, the tension in our neck and lower back will relax, and we will physically rest.

Challenge yourself this weekend to unplug and get away from the blue screen. Go to a quiet place. Feel the breeze. Feel the sunshine. Listen for His small, still voice. See how many times this weekend you can exchange quiet time with God for electronic time. If you can make it a practice during the week too imagine the improvement that intentional act will have on your health (lower blood pressure, less anxiety, improved sleep), your family, your job…

“I am Life and Light in abundance. As you spend time “soaking” in My Presence, you are energized and lightened. Through communing with Me, you transfer your heavy burdens to My Strong Shoulders. By gazing at Me you gain My perspective on your life. This time alone with Me is essential for unscrambling your thoughts and smoothing out the day, and the path, before you. Be willing to fight for this precious time with Me. Opposition comes in many forms. As you grow in your desire to please Me above all else, you gain the strength to resist these opponents. Delight yourself in Me, for I am the deepest Desire of your heart.” (Adapted from Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young)

So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah? (1 Kings 19:12)

July 4, 2015

galatians-5_1

All across the United States today people are celebrating the 4th of July. Today we celebrate our freedom as a nation and we honor those brave men and women who fight to protect our freedom. As Christians we also celebrate our freedom that Christ provided through His Sacrifice at the Cross. The Son has set us free!

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. (Romans 8:1-2)

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)

Celebrate your true freedom at the Cross, “where Your love ran wed, and my sin washed white” [Lyrics from Chris Tomlin, At the Cross]

June 27, 2015

Psalm 68 19

Rest. It sounds good, we know our bodies and our souls need it to survive, but when we’re tossing and turning overwhelmed with the busyness of life and our burdens, rest can seem worlds away.

There should be an app for rest; so at the click of a button your cares drift away and you can close your eyes and rest.  Good news! There is: prayer. Prayerfully turn your burdens over, thank Him for always being present to equip us with what we need, and thank Him for the rest that He has promised. Then DO IT, get out of your own way, and claim the rest that He provides.

If you find yourself on the roller coaster of worry, stop and pray and repeat the process. If you find yourself distracted by the pettiness, stop and pray and repeat the process. If you become weak, short tempered, anxious, stop and pray and repeat the process. Find a quiet place, light a candle, get alone with God and turn it all over to Him and receive rest.

Come to Me all who labor and are heavy laden AND I WILL GIVE YOU REST. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. For I’m gently and lowly in heart, AND YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Rest with me a while. You have journeyed up a steep, rugged path in recent days. The way ahead seems shrouded with uncertainty. Look neither behind you nor before you. Instead focus your attention on Me, your constant companion. Trust that I will equip you fully for whatever awaits you on your journey. I designed time to be a protection for you. You couldn’t bear to see all your life at once. Thought I am unlimited by time, it is in the present moment that I meet you. Refresh yourself in My company, inhale My Presence deeply. The highest level of trust is to enjoy Me moment by moment. I am with you, watching over you wherever you go. -Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

daylily-psalm-27-14

June 20, 2015

Waiting. It can be maddening at times, it’s certainly counter-intuitive, it make us tap our foot, drum our fingers, and find something to do to fill the time (cue the “phone-scroll”). We want to DO something, and waiting seems to be to total opposite of DOING something.                                                                                                                                                             Actually waiting IS doing something. It’s doing the very something that the Bible tells us to do. Waiting is mentioned no less than 110 times in the Bible. It is reassuring to know that since the beginning of time people have had a hard time waiting! Making the conscious decision to wait on the Lord is exactly what the Bible tells us to do.

From Jesus Calling: “Wait patiently with me while I bless you. Don’t rush My Presence with time-consciousness gnawing at your mind. I dwell in timelessness: I am, I was, I always will be. For you time is a protection; you’re a frail creature who can handle only 24 hour segments of life. Time can also be a tyrant, ticking away relentlessly in your mind. Learn to master it or it will become your master.”

Stop interfering with God’s plans or with His will. Touching anything of His mars the work. Moving the hands of a clock to suit you does not change the time. You may be able to rush the unfolding of some aspects of God’s will, but you harm His work in the long run. You can force a rosebud open, but you spoil the flower. Leave everything to him without exception. -Stephen Merritt

Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:36)

June 13, 2015

Romans-1513

When we trust God he will fill us completely with joy and peace (Romans 15:13). When we are filled completely that means there is no room for anxiety, worry, or frustration. But sometimes they creep back in, don’t they? It’s important to recognize when we lose our balance and know what steps to take to get back on the ancient path.

Romans 3:23 reassures us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God“. Whew. Ok, so we’re all in this together. When worry, anxiety of frustration creep back in to your life, where they do not belong, acknowledge it and turn it over to God.

Philippians 4:13 reassures us that “we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.” All things. Even this. Pray for Him to strengthen you and turn your back on that idol of anxiety, worry, or frustration. Feel Him restore you, replenish you, and as a result you will be “overflowing with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

From Jesus Calling (Sarah Young)

“I am creating something new in you; a bubbling spring of Joy that spills over into the lives of others. Do not mistake this Joy for your own, or try to take credit for it in any way. Indeed, watch in delight as My Spirit flows through you to bless others. Let yourself become a resource of the Spirit’s fruit. Your part is to live close to Me, open to all that I am doing in you. Don’t try to contrast the streaming of My Spirit through you. Just keep focusing on Me as we walk through the day together. Enjoy My Presence which permeates you with Love, Joy, and Peace.”

June 6, 2015

James 1 2

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Do the problems seem bigger than anything you could possibly climb or endure? Are you constantly working to find a way around, through, or over the hurdles? Stop. Did you know that you don’t have to figure this out? You don’t have to carry the burden. Lay it down for a minute, stretch, roll your shoulders and feel the tension release.

James 1:2 tells us to consider the trials and challenges in our lives pure joy. You are probably thinking to yourself “Pure joy?! Are they crazy? They wouldn’t say that if they knew about x, y, and z that’s happening in my life.” Well, actually I would (and believe me, if you knew about x, y, and z that’s happening in my life you’d be surprised).

I think the first thing that we have to do is change our perspective (I say that a lot in this blog! I think our default setting is off…but we’ll get there, He promises!). Instead of looking at the trials and challenges as burdens, and they do feel like that, we should be looking at them as opportunities. Opportunities to get closer to God, to deepen our faith, and purpose filled intentional marks along our path. Instead of saying “why me?”, maybe we ask “What can I learn from this?”.

Now that we aren’t looking at the challenge as a burden that we somehow have to navigate and conquer alone, but an opportunity from God we can stop feeling overwhelmed by it and instead rest in knowing that He will provide strength and equip us for whatever He has put in our path.

Don’t feel like you’re buried, believe that you’ve been planted- for such a time as this. You can’t look up to the heavens, from where your help comes, if you’re bent over under the burden. Give that burden over- it isn’t yours to carry around. Stand up, reach your hands in the air, breath in deeply, exhale, and ask Him to lead you down the ancient path.

From Jesus Calling: “Welcome challenging times as opportunities to trust Me. You have Me beside you and My Spirit within you so no set of circumstances is too much for you to handle. When the path before you is dotted with difficulties, beware of measuring your strength against these challenges. That calculation is certain to riddle you with anxiety. Without Me you wouldn’t make it past the first hurdle. The way to walk through demanding days is to grip my hand tightly and stay in close communication with Me. Let your thoughts and chosen words be richly flavored with trust and thoughtfulness.”

May 30, 2015

Psalm 139

Darlow Sargeant wrote: “Quite a few Christians live in a terrible state of anxiety, constantly fretting over the concerns of life. The secret of living in perfect peace amid the hectic pace of daily life is one well worth knowing. What good has worrying ever accomplished? It has never made anyone stronger, helped anyone do God’s will or provided for anyone a way of escape out of their anxiety or confusion.

Worry only destroys the effectiveness of lives that would otherwise be useful and beautiful. Being restless and having worries and cares are absolutely forbidden by our Lord, who said, “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’, or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ ” (Matthew 6:31). He does not mean that we are not to think ahead or that our life should never have a plan or pattern to it. He simply means that we are not to worry about these things.

People will know that you live in a constant state of anxiety by the lines on your face, the tone of your voice, your negative attitude, and the lack of joy in your spirit. So scale the heights of life abandoned to God, and your perspective will change to the point that you will look down on the clouds beneath your feet.”

This weekend refuse to worry and let your soul rest knowing that He will provide, He has a plan and a purpose, He will fight for you, and He will restore. You can trust Him. Reminders of His love for us are painted across the skies. It’s good to be alive!

May 23, 2015

psalm138_78

In the past I didn’t blog on the weekends, but I feel led to start a new weekend series. I’ll be sharing a thought or two to weave into your restful weekend. Ponder this thought, let your soul rest while you remember: He tells us “Do not worry“.

There is a divine mystery in suffering, one that has a strange and supernatural power and has never been completely understood by human reason. No one has ever developed a spirituality or holiness without experiencing a great deal of suffering. When a person who suffers reaches a point where he can be calm and carefree, inwardly smiling at his own suffering, and is no longer asking God to be delivered from it, then the suffering has accomplished its blessed ministry, perseverance has “finished its work” (James 1:4) and the path of the crucifixion has begun to weave itself into a crown. [Adapted from Soul Food]

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