Neighborhood Missions

17807432_1009268309206146_6567089830508089411_oYears ago, I was part of a mission team that went to serve orphans in Tijuana. It was my first experience with sharing the love of Jesus in an evangelistic way. There are months of planning that go into organizing a trip like that, so naturally it was saturated in prayer. Our goal for the mission to Mexico was to determine a need, meet the need in a tangible way and pray for the presence of Jesus to show up. Jesus did not disappoint and we saw Him do super amazing things.  Last Saturday, I got to do it again; in Federal Way.

Our church has the privilege of serving alongside a tremendous leader, our Outreach Pastor, Michelle.  She and I have served in ministry together for many years so I have seen firsthand that she is a woman with a heart to do missional things. She was with me in Mexico.  She saw God move in mighty ways and wanted to see the people in our own neighborhoods experience the same thing.

So, she planned an Easter Egg hunt for a community in Federal way that most people probably just overlook. I signed up to help but I did little compared to Michelle. She prayed, planned, prepped and pulled off a beautiful Easter celebration for a community that needed to know the love of Jesus. I simply put my name on a piece of paper and showed up at the correct time and place (which for me is slightly miraculous in itself.)

The story I want to tell is how I saw Jesus move.  I want to include enough detail so you can catch the gravity of the miracle but not bore you death either. Hopefully, I can nail it.

A few weeks ago, the hubby and I got to share about the miraculous things we see Jesus doing in our lives. It was crazy and awesome all at the same time. I started a blog post about it but then I hit a road block and never finished it – probably because my road block turned into a five-car pileup in a matter of moments. I will admit that I wasn’t praying about what Jesus was going to do at the Easter Egg hunt because I was too focused on personal stuff.  My conversations with God all last week were not very friendly. I was angry, fed up and convinced I had no ability to keep going.

Have you ever found yourself there?  This whole following Jesus things is great until you hit a wall. For me, it is a place where I wonder if it is all worth it.  It’s a place where I’ve prayed every prayer I can imagine. I’ve begged, pleaded and bargained with God. But still I’m stuck.  I’ve been in this place so many times.  Each time, I’m convinced Jesus isn’t going to come after me because my pride is too strong or my indignation will prevent it. Each time I am wrong. My Savior has never failed me. He’s always present, always working. And when I thought I just couldn’t keep going, he told me to be still, to remember what He has told me in the past, and to listen to only His voice.

It wasn’t really a choice. I know the outcome of my circumstances when I choose to go my own way. It’s ugly. Thankfully, I have also experienced the outcome when I choose to go God’s way. It is always a beautiful, life-giving, joy-filled experience.  Always! On Friday, with my emotions warring within me, I made space for Jesus to do His thing. As always, he showed up in a powerful way.  Jesus spoke truth into my situation and confirmed it with His Word.  He identified the source of my brokenness and by His Presence made me whole.  He enabled me to once again see who I am in Him. Without knowing it at the time, Jesus called in me into my destiny.  Just in time too, because he had a mission for me.

The mission was to show the love of Jesus to the Westway community of Federal Way. After my powerful encounter with my Risen King, I was super pumped to get to it.  My job for the day was to go door-to-door passing out donated bread and praying as we had the opportunity. This is a perfect job for me because it combines two of my favorite things, walking and praying! I set out with our Senior Pastor with a cart full of bread and a heart full of anticipation.

The first house we came to we prayed for a family who had a close family member that was in a serious accident. This family was not English speaking so an older sibling translated a little but mostly the two older ladies were unaware what we were saying. That didn’t stop the presence of Jesus from touching them.  We prayed for another young boy who had a growth on his chest. I’m not sure how much his mother understood but the presence of Jesus touched her too.  Another young man, that happened to go out for a smoke as we were walking by, spent several minutes talking with us.  He shared details about his life and his family.  Although, he did not let us specifically pray for him I know that Jesus was at work in our conversation.

When we were down to our last loaf of bread, we found ourselves at the home of a mentally disabled man and his caregiver.  We had a delightful encounter.  The caregiver was a believer from Kenya and she was so excited to talk to people who loved Jesus.  The man kept asking over and over if she would take him to church.  We extended an invitation, prayed with them, and then went back to see how the egg hunt had gone.

Upon returning, most of the festivities had wrapped up.  There were still people milling about but mostly the crowd had moved on. I noticed three people sitting at a table in the back by themselves and I felt a promting to go sit with them. This mom and her foster kids had thought they were coming to an egg hunt put on by people they  knew.  That had not been the case but Jesus wanted them in that room.  Again, simply by introducing myself and being open, this woman shared details of her life.  When I asked if I could pray with her she gave honest answers to very real needs she has.  As I prayed for her, I saw Jesus touch her.  It was precious. I probably will never find out the outcome of this encounter but I’m praying it is the beginning of her beautiful journey with Jesus.

Following Jesus on hard days is tough stuff.  But when we decide to do it in spite of how we feel the blessing that comes in simply incredible.  I didn’t spend months praying and preparing myself specifically to go on a mission trip to Federal Way.  What I did was say yes to what Jesus was asking me to do; to be still, remember His promises to me and listen for His voice.  In doing so, I got to be a part of God’s mission to spread the love of Jesus.  That IS totally worth it and I want more.

Oh and Sunday, guess who came to church? The caregiver and the disabled man.  Praise!

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That moment when you receive a precious gift.

Receiving gifts has always been an emotional experience for me. It doesn’t matter if I am completely in love with the gift or I can’t stand the sight of it everyone is going to know how I feel about it a fraction of a second after I receive it.  It can be a curse at times.  This weekend I received a precious gift from my Savior.  The story I want to tell is only partially my own.  The bulk of it belongs to a young man I’ve known for nearly 15 years.  This past Sunday he shared his testimony at his childhood church. The same church my family attended up until a few years ago. In his usual fashion, God used this young man’s words to reveal something  powerful and truly amazing in my own life.

Last Sunday, the hubby and I choose Not go to church.  Gasp! I know, can you believe it?  Instead, we followed the leading of the Holy Spirit and ministered to our own family. It started with a trip to Costco for what I believed to be essentials the boy HAD to have. Why I think he needs a giant box of hot pockets that will likely last him six months is completely beyond me. But when my husband suggested we spend the day with our son  in Ellensburg that is the first thing that popped into my head.  Feed the boy!

We had a harrowing trip over the pass due to treacherous snow and ice.  My husband’s sense of humor kept us company for the arduous trip. So thankful! Without it we might not have survived the adventure.

Once arriving at our destination our adventure took a hazardous turn as we entered the realm of a real life bachelor pad. It was a life-threatening experience for sure. Here’s the thing, I don’t have a lot of experience with guy only residences. I grew up with three sisters and I’m raising two girls myself,  so most of my knowledge of what happens when there isn’t a girl around to say “that is gross” is really limited to what I’ve seen on Friends and let’s be real. There are NO similarities.  I did my best to hide the craziness happening in my head and unloaded the groceries I’d brought as quickly as possible so we could be on our way to a much safer environment; lunch.  And again we’re back to me feeding the boy.

My son has lived in the small town of Ellensburg for five months now and still when asked where should we eat, he’s got nothing.  We managed to find a place containing the word Palace so I was certain that I could be assured of a clean place to sit, eat and catch up with my kid.  The Holy Spirit ministered to my soul as I sat and listened to my boys reconnect. I’m so thankful for these two men. How I got the privilege of spending the bulk of my life with these two is beyond my comprehension.  Thankful doesn’t come close to adequately describing how full my heart is because of them.

At my hubby’s request we made a stop at the Goodwill before braving the pass again to get home. Again his sense of humor left me in stitches. I wish I could show you the Snapchat of the two of them goofing off. It was hysterical!

As we were pulling up to our son’s house I saw the previously mentioned young man’s testimony posted on Facebook. Our son is the same age as him.  My husband and I were youth leaders when these boys were in junior high and high school. Since we all did youth group together so many years ago, we had to watch it. The three of us sat in the car and listened to this powerful confession of what Jesus had done.  It was so incredible!  I vividly remember the years we spent serving in youth group. They seemed like fruitless years.  We did the best we could to create opportunities for the kids to experience Jesus but no matter how powerful the moments were they never seemed to last past the end of the trip.  I remember feeling like this young man only came because someone forced him to or he figured it was a good opportunity to get away with something.  When we could get him engaged we could see God’s hand all over him but mostly he was just distant and uninterested.

To hear his story of what Jesus did for him is so freaking incredible. What a gift!  The sense of joy that swells within me is uncontainable.  Our God does amazing things with the mess we make of our lives.  He did it in this man’s heart.  He did it in my heart.  I see him doing it in the hearts and lives of so many around me as well. Don’t be fooled in to thinking it isn’t happening for you just because you don’t see it.  God is ALWAYS at work!  I’m praying for it to happen to you! 

I see this weekend as a gift from my Heavenly Father.  He knows me and He takes delight in giving me the desires of my heart. Psalm 37:4 My only response is Joy.  Thank you Jesus!

If you are interested in hearing Taylor’s testimony you can find it here.

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Jesus Encounters

My prayer group met this past Saturday morning. I was beyond tired all week long, so it was no surprise that I woke up that day with a migraine.  Several women had to cancel so I wasn’t sure if anyone was going to show up at all.  Honestly, that was perfectly ok with me since I wasn’t feeling great.  I was praying God’s will for the morning so I was prepared for a group or a few hours of downtime. Either was fine with me.

What I got was some one-on-one time with an amazing woman of God!  It was faith-building, life-inspiring, tremendously encouraging time!  If that isn’t a Jesus encounter, I don’t know what is.

For those of you that didn’t make it, let me share what God put on my heart:

If you have been reading my blog, you know I recently visited Bethel Church in Redding, California.  You can read more about it hear Finding Joy.What I shared Saturday morning with my friend was another way I saw the Holy Spirit move in my life over that weekend.

My trip started at the airport at 7am with no wallet, meaning no ID to board my plane.  An amazing act of God preformed by my two of my favorite girls ensured I made my 9am flight but it was not without an intense amount of stress.  After the flight we had a nice drive from Sacramento to Redding. To most people that sounds delightful. For me, riding passenger in a car after flying on a plane messed me up. Sadly, all of that added up to a really bad attitude at church that night when the guest speaker brought a message on intimacy in marriage. I don’t recall much but a few points from the sermon that night but the points that stuck with me got me all riled.You see I’ve been married for 19 years.  That’s a long time for someone (me) with a colossol amount of unresolved past hurts to share the same room with someone with equally as much junk. We love each other.  We’re committed to each other and we are putting in the effort to make our relationship everything God intended it to be but it’s hard. Wouldn’t you know it, God choose this weekend to deal with something I’m a little hung up the moment; intimacy.

I had so much anticipation for what God was going to say to me that weekend and I ‘m rather embarrassed to say I got pissed when He said he wanted to talk about my struggle with intimacy. Here’s where I had a very Lyndsay moment.  I pitched a fit.  For the love of all that is decent in the world, when am I going to stop doing this? Hallelujah, I serve a God who doesn’t get fed up with me but instead lovingly draws me back to him every time.

Saturday morning we went to the healing rooms.  This place is so incredible. If you are ever in the area you should check it out. http://bethelredding.com/content/healing-rooms-0 I can recommend a great place to stay too!

It was a life-changing experience.  To be so immersed in the presence of Jesus does I something radical! If you get a chance to visit this place I promise you will not be disappointed at all.

I want to point out here that I am saying this several weeks later.  At the time, I wasn’t seeing or feeling it. Instead I felt anxious. I was annoyed by something I thought I heard.  Something about not being able to move forward in ministry because I struggling with intimacy in my marriage.  This is a lie the enemy has recently been trying very hard to pin on me. It seems so easy to see it now but not so much when I thought I was hearing this Pastor tell me something I knew was a lie. This is where indignation typically rears its ugly head for me. And I’m not talking the righteous kind.

But God knows me and He was quick to do something awesome.  While I was receiving prayer in the healing rooms the Lord told me he loves the relationship we share; that I make him smile and he takes delight in my quirky (or shall we say whiny) personality. I’m in the middle of throwing a fit and Jesus is reminding me how much he loves me even in my current state. Thank you Jesus!

Oh how I wish hearing that from Jesus would be enough to calm me down but no, not me. When I’m worked up the only remedy is to physically exert my emotions out. I may or may not have taken my life into my own hands by walking along the main road in front of my dad’s house but it had to be done.  God kept me safe and my mom patiently listened as I unloaded exactly how I was feeling. Her words to me cut through all the bull.  She knew my heart and she gently reminded me that what I desire most is a clean heart before the Lord. Above everything else; above my own indignation, stubbornness and self-centeredness, I desperately want that. A clean heart before the Lord.

In the wee hours of Saturday night, after an eventful joy-filled game of Mexican Train and witnessing someone else’s powerful encounter with Jesus I sat on the couch with Pastor Cindy and I unpacked my anxious, irritated feelings for the second time that day. This time I gave them to Jesus. Freedom came flooding back in His Presence. I had clarity again and could see Heaven invading my world. Another powerful Jesus encounter.

While my anxious thoughts had been replaced with peace, I still wasn’t really feelin it even the next day. Our 5 hour delay coming home didn’t aid my emotional situation in anyway. Monday morning life went back to normal as it always does.  At first, I didn’t really notice anything.  Life was its usual demanding self.

Then one day, very unexpectedly Jesus spoke through the words of Overflow.  The section was on the story of Joshua and Caleb and the incredible faith they had to believe that even in the midst of adversity that everything is possible because the Lord  told them to take the land and not to be afraid. The author goes on to pose this question, “How much stronger would we be if we used our adversity as food to strengthen our faith and walk with God?”

After reading that I remembered another word I got from a beautiful young lady at Bethel ironically named Lindsay too. She said that God waste’s nothing.  This girl made a point to tell me this and in the moment of contemplating how my own adversity has strengthened my walk, Jesus was reminding me of it again. My usual feeling is that I have had more than my fair share of adversity in my life. While that might be true,  I have also seen, over and over, God use that it to produces beautiful characteristics in me. Ones that weren’t there before. Ones that reflect the image of Christ. Adversity is always going to be a part of this fallen world.  My desire is to be someone who’s adversity is a means through which the Kingdom of Heaven is brought to earth. The way to make that a reality is to stay focused on my source of life; Jesus. I must choose to put my adversity in its rightful place at the foot of the cross.

When I look at what Jesus has done in my life I see amazing things. In realizing all of this, I saw the bondage I was carrying because of my struggle with intimacy. I believe Jesus broke it off that weekend at Bethel.  But I’m nothing if not stubborn so I held on to it believing it was somehow protecting me. Finally Jesus said enough.  Let me take it from you so you can be free. Free to love everyone unconditionally, to be a minister of Jesus in EVERY relationship God brings into my life. Especially my relationship with my husband.

How are you feeling about your current adversity?  Is it overwhelming you?  Is it causing you to be anxious or irritated?  Or maybe fearful or hopeless.  If so, please know this IS NOT God’s intention for you.  This week I will be praying that God will give you the same revelation He gave me. That you will begin to see that in the Presence of Jesus our adversity becomes power that transforms us more and more into the likeness of our King.

My challenge to you is to read “Allow Adversity to Fuel Your Fire” on page 55 of Overflow and see what Jesus has to say to you.

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Proclaim

The sun was out Sunday!  The tremendous beauty of God’s creation is found on a sunny PNW day. I spent my afternoon cleaning out my closet which apparently is my last vestige of my teen years.  Why I let is get so messy is beyond me but it happens, every time!

I attempted to go out and play but since my sister was too busy for a walk, I concluded I was supposed to focus on my to-do list, mainly said closet.  So I opened the windows as wide as I could and I enjoyed the sunshine from the whole that is my closet.

I have never kept a house plant alive but I have a Wandering Jew my step-mom gave me back in 2015 that seems almost impossible to kill. It is on the brink of death at the moment so I positioned it to enjoy the sunshine too and made sure it would soak it up all day.  Staring the the sad little dying branches I pondered Pastor Cindy’s message.  I am in awe of the way the Lord speaks the same message to our team in complete different ways.  For me, proclaiming the goodness of Jesus in my life began to take shape a few months ago.  I started blogging again after a very long hiatus because I couldn’t contain my excitement about what God is doing.  I recognize that my close friends and family may be the only ones reading it but  who cares. To me it is Acts 14:2, reporting ALL that God has done. I’m giving God what I have and we’ll see what he does with it. I think it is pretty cool that God put it on my heart to start doing it long before He put that same message on Pastor Cindy’s heart.

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Now back to my sad little Wandering Jew. Much like Paul who was stoned and dragged out of the city, I’ve been dealt a few blows that have left my life resembling this plant. Dried out, shriveled up and on the brink of complete annihilation. But if I make a perspective shift I can see that even branches that seems completely dead often have a little green leaf at the end. I see a parallel here between my life and this plant. How weird is that? What I see is this; when I am primarily focused on my circumstance, no matter how much I cling to Jesus and stand on his promises, I have very little capability of being close to my source of life: Jesus. He’s still there but I can’t access His life-given power when my problems are bigger than He is. Focused on my stuff, I can never reach the full potential of who God created me to be. Thankfully, I also know what is it to walk hand in hand with Jesus through really tough stuff.  It is place of fullness, abundance and joy. As you can see from the picture below, my Wandering Jew is a beautiful plant. So is the life that Jesus has given me when I’m focus completely focus on Him. That’s my report or proclamation, if you will.

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One more quick story; Sunday while dropping off my youngest at youth group I ran into one of my youth kids from years back.  He was playing basketball with some of the youth boys when I pulled in and as soon as he recognized me came over and gave me a huge hug.  This is a young man who struggled with drug addiction in high school, always looked like somebody forced him to be there and it was really questionable whether he liked any of us (or maybe just me). He told me that he was helping out at youth group because it was what saved him.  Somewhere along the line he found Jesus and it changed his whole life so much that now he’s spending his time helping other youth experience the presence of Jesus.  Let’s not miss the miraculous here folks.  This is it.

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Finding Joy

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  James 1:2-4 

Last weekend I had the privilege of spending the weekend in Redding with my dad.  He moved there a few years ago because he found his home at Bethel.  Admittedly, my trip to Redding was primarily for the purpose of going to Bethel and spending the weekend with my dad was an added bonus.  For a while, my dad had been sharing incredible stories of friends that came to visit and left completely changed by the presence of Jesus. I am all about experiencing Jesus so I had to check it out for myself.  I was not disappointed at all.

We met a handful of new friends during our short trip but one really stood out to me.  She was a young lady from another country who was attending Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry.  In the short time we were able to spend with her she shared her story of tremendous faith.  It was Sunday morning and in two days she was being evicted from her apartment because she couldn’t afford to pay her rent.  She told us that she was thankful because the Lord had used this to show her that she was spending too much on housing.  She went on to say she was excited about her circumstances because it gave her the opportunity to see God come through for her in miraculous ways.  She quoted James 1:2 with complete confidence, adding that even if she ended up on the street she would continue to choose joy.

I was in awe of her faith.  The last  few years have been fraught with intense trials for my family and while I am clinging to Jesus like never before my attitude has never resembled anything close to hers.

I find myself seeking to discover how to go from desperately trying to convince myself that no matter what my circumstances I can stand on the promises of the Word of God to actually finding joy in said circumstances.  When I pick up my bible I can read story after story of people who found joy in the presence of Jesus no matter what the reality of their circumstances.

This young lady was a present day example of those stories.  She didn’t let her circumstances become bigger than her God.  Her story strengthens my faith!  As I see others experience Jesus and walk through really tough stuff I am deeply encouraged.  I see Jesus using it to pull me a little closer to himself.

In his book Overflow, Chris Gore poses the question, “What would it look like if we discovered that joy is simply an inside job?”  Lasting joy can not be found in anything but Jesus.  The more we focus on Him, the more we begin to see a heaven perspective and we are not as easily destroyed by reality.  It is an amazing place to live!  I am only just beginning to experience it myself but I can tell you so far is it is soooooo incredible.

So here’s my question to you, what will it take for you to respond to Jesus?  He is drawing all of you in the same way He is pursuing me.  My circumstances got me to the end of myself and my only choice was to respond to Jesus. Sadly, it has actually happened twice in my life.  Oh how I wish I could have respond to Him long before my breaking point but I’m a stubborn girl. You don’t have to be. Jesus is calling you today.  How will you respond?

 

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Triggered

Until very recently, I have only used or heard the word triggered used a handful of times in my life. My middle daughter has a knack for finding a word she likes and using it FOR everything.  Triggered is one such word. This word comes out of her mouth numerous times a day in all kinds of different situations.

In my walk with Jesus I have found that the Lord often uses crazy things like a simple word to teach me something.  Does this happen to anyone else?

So this word; triggered.  In this context, I’m referring to anything that serves as a stimulus and initiates or precipitates a reaction.  By that definition, I was triggered this week.

I have been studying the struggle between the flesh and the Spirit.  My heart’s desire is to function more in the Spirit than in the flesh so I was soaking it all up. I took copious notes so I could spend more time pondering the fact that the flesh is my default mode of operation but I can daily choose to allow the Holy Spirit to change that default setting and empower me to live in victory.  I get excited thinking about the fact that I was created by God to operate under the power of the Holy Spirit. But I’m also painfully aware that my fallen flesh is always present.

Galatians 5 gives a solemn look at what operating in the flesh looks like and I want NOTHING to do with it.

“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures,  idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,  envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.”  Galatians 5:19-21 

Doesn’t the world and particularly our society have enough of this? Aren’t we called as followers of Jesus to be a light in this very dark world?  How can I be a light if I choose to function in the same way?

Praise Jesus, then God!  While that may be my default mode of operation it doesn’t have to be WHO I am.  When I make that daily choice allow the Holy Spirit to be my helper, He “produces this kind of fruit in (my life): love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5:22-23

I know I often get overly excited…but, I LOVE THIS!  Not only is that exactly who I want to be, but the amazing thing about walking with Jesus is the heavy lifting falls on him, not me.

In Romans, Paul talks about not understanding why he does the things he does.  He has a desire to do one thing (Spirit things) but he ends up doing what he hates (flesh things.) He’s triggered. Man, I can relate to this!  I do not have the power to make my flesh get in line, but I know who does: Jesus. It’s not a matter of willpower but His power in me.  Thank you Jesus!

I love what Jimmy Evans says here in the 21 day Inner Healing Journey,

“To be emotionally healed and healthy we must understand the nature of our flesh and it’s negative potential in our lives everyday. Every morning when we wake up we must reject the default settings of living by our fallen nature and decide to walk by the Spirit. This occurs as we acknowledge the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives, acknowledge our sin nature and ask for help both generally and specifically for each challenge we face.”

Are you wondering what all this has to do with being triggered?  Well, almost as soon as I was done studying this flesh vs. Spirit thing I was challenged to put it into practice.  Sadly, I failed because I was triggered. I desperately want to be a person who can respond in the Spirit all the time but my wounds got in the way and  in that moment they fueled my flesh in the wrong way. It’s happens to the best of us.

Thankfully, it doesn’t happen nearly as often as it used to and I’m much more quick to recognize my failures.  I have learned to acknowledge it, ask for help and move on.  Seems simple enough, right?  This time, yes! But that hasn’t always been the case. For me, it’s been a lengthy process of allowing the Lord to deal with my wounds so I don’t live in a constant state of being triggered.  I believe it is a process that will continue until I get to heaven. The beauty here is that each time I fail, own it, ask for help and move on I inch a little closer to being like Jesus.  And that is my ultimate goal!

Can you relate to Paul and myself?  Do you find yourself doing the things you don’t want to do? Do you find yourself asking over and over for God to fix same things in you?  Are you able to recognize your triggers?  If so, you’re not alone!

I found this verse to be encouraging today.  My prayer is that you will as well. The answer is the Power of Jesus in us!

You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.”                             2 Chronicles 20:17

 

 

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Working through Setbacks

I’d like to say “Thank you” to Dr. King.  I believe Jesus was about equality for all people and in that way you did Kingdom work.  Thank you for all you contributed to our country as well as the extra day to take a break from school.

I love homeschooling so much and one of the things I love the most is being able to let my kids dictate, somewhat, when to take a day off.  My youngest decided today would be a good day since everyone else is off too.  So that means mom get a day off too.  Woohoo!

Truthfully, I have a limited understanding of the life of MLK.  I know the basics and those facts confirm that he had many setbacks in life.  He wouldn’t have made the kind of impact he did if he’d let those setbacks cause him to give up.  I believe there is something here that we can apply to our spiritual lives.

The message I hear the Lord speaking to me today is: Don’t give up!

I have had a setback.  They happen.  Even when we seek Jesus with everything we have. Even when feel like we’re cruising along just peachy.  They can come out of nowhere and knock us down.  But no matter how surprised we are by the setback, Jesus is NEVER surprised.  He’s always present with us and He has a Sovereign understanding of the every situation.

Saturday night I went to church with my parents.  The message was on the rebuilding of the wall in Nehemiah 4.  In the points I took from the message, I hear Jesus whispering, “I’m here, I’m working even in the setback.  Don’t give up just because your perception is clouding the progress you are making.  Don’t devalue what I’m doing just because you haven’t reached the place I am taking you. Sit in this moment with me. I can use this for your benefit.  Don’t quit.”

Then in His word he says this; “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:4

My heart so desires to bear lots fruit.  I have a solid understanding that apart from Him I really can do nothing.  But it’s just so hard sometimes and I’m often inpatient.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go: I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Psalm 32:8  Thank you Father that all of your instruction comes with your loving eye on me.

Much like Pastor Gary mentioned yesterday, the Spirit is always working on our behalf.  I can see Him at work here.  In the midst of my setback, He is lovingly reassuring me He is present, guiding me in the way He wants me to go.

It’s pretty black and white. I don’t have a choice.  I can’t give up. Instead I have to find Him in the waiting. I have to trust that He IS working through the setbacks.

 

 

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