Saturday, March 5, 2016

What's blocking your hope?

So my friend Dee messaged me right as I was about to write this.  She sent me a little video and said it reminded her of how I use my writing to spread hope. So of course I was desperate for any idea (since my muse wasn't showing up) and my mind went right to my little yorkie Hope (shocking, I know!)

I was trying to feed her the other day, and she walked around the bowl and began wandering around staring up at the sky.  I slowly escorted her back to her food.  She normally inhales it, barely bothering to chew (with the few teeth she has left ;)  But she wandered off aimlessly yet again.  I literally began to hand feed her since she is very frail lately.  The Vet said to try and feed her more often since I was concerned with her weight loss.

So I slowly slipped away to see if she would continue to eat on her own, but low and behold she started to look confused, staggering as if she was blind.  I really started to worry, considering she is 77 yrs. old in doggie years (and not a spring yorkie anymore!)  Age will inevitably start to take its toll.  Sigh.

But when I took a closer look, I soon realized her 'lack of sight' was fixable!  The poor thing had her hair matted down 'blocking her vision'.

I wonder how many things we have 'blocking our vision' of God that is fixable? Within our control?  Things that are crowding in on us, getting between ourselves and a 'clear view' of the destiny God has set before us.  

Now little Hopey clearly needs a simple bath to improve her sight...we may need a little spa treatment too, or a little R & R to clear our head.  Life tends to go at lightning speed where we can barely catch our breath.  Sometimes we know to be intentional and take the time, and sometimes God has a way of intervening to give us some forced rest.  Like my hubby who is down for the count with the Flu and has no alternative.  (poor thing)

So whether we simply have to clear the hair out of our eyes like my yorkie, or clear our schedule and some of the excess things that make it harder to focus on the Bigger Picture, we all need to be careful of what 'blocks our view' of Him.

Starting the day in the Word can frame your day and get your sights on Him and His direction for you rather than the world's direction.  Social media can 'block your view' as you see what other people may value and are driven by.  Billboards on the side of the road can broadcast a different message of what you need.  We are bombarded with false advertising, filled with messages of what will satisfy.  But if you read the Owner's Manual, His design for you is the only sure thing that will ultimately fulfill you. He made you, He should know.

Just as I have to regularly bathe sweet Hope and clean her eyes, we need to consistently stay on top of keeping our vision clear.  The enemy loves to catch us napping and if we're not alert he can lure us away, aimlessly wandering around like a yorkie in desperate need of a shampoo!

And how many times are we missing out on a blessing right in front of us like Hope's big bowl of Pedigree...because something is blocking our view of God's provision inches away?

Psalm 119:18

"Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things."

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Don't sacrifice God's best for the enemy's 'immediate'!

I posted in Facebook today, and quoted Steven Furtick...

"Beware of giving up what you want most for what you want 'now'."

I was listening to the story of Esau, and to think he traded his Inheritance for a bowl of stew!  We do the same thing.  Like my wise mom says, we try to get our legitimate needs met in illegitimate ways.  We settle for counterfeits because we let our self get too hungry...not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually.

Have you ever gone grocery shopping when you are hungry? 


We end up buying things on the shelf that we don't even need. Things that aren't even good for us. Why??  Because we are starving and everything looks good.

Esau gave up his very own birthright because he let himself get so hungry that he was willing to forfeit it all for a quick fix!  An immediate satisfaction.  He sacrificed his Inheritance for a stinkin' bowl of stew!  Is that crazy or whaaaat?!?  
We sit with our arms crossed shaking our head in glaring judgment, neglecting to see that we do the very same thing.

We compromise our integrity for a shortcut.

We sacrifice true love for a quick thrill.

We covet affection from outsiders rather than enjoying the blessing of what God     has given us.

We seek approval from man rather than an audience of One.

As we fix our eyes back on the One who gives us our very breath, we realign with the Author and Finisher of our faith.  We seem to get so sidetracked because of our pride.  We crave to have our ego stroked, being built up.  Yet God says to die to self.  Yet we keep feeding our flesh.  And each time we feed it, we keep it alive a little longer.  And then we become a slave to it.

The bible says we are called to be slaves to Christ, not to our flesh.

I believe the enemy studies us, and knows what our weak spots are.  He then targets that area and sends us plenty of temptation to get us to compromise in that area. The question is, are we onto him or not?  Is he too crafty for you that you fall for his same old schemes...again and again?  His bag of tricks really isn't that creative.  He resorts to a lot of the same 'ol, same 'ol.  But if you let yourself get so depleted, you are setting yourself up to fail!  You are not a helpless victim, God has given you every chance to put on your full armor.  Don't leave it hanging in your spiritual closet...put it on!  We are in a war people!!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Do you have a reliable spotter?

Happy New Year!

We didn't send out Christmas Cards this year and I don't recall ever skipping a year.  But with flying back to New York the week before Christmas for my niece's Wedding, I wrestled with...lose my sanity or lose the card?!  (Probably lost a little bit of both! ;)

I came across this picture and it got me thinking...

Do you have people in your life to spot you?  Are you carrying weight that sometimes seems too hard to bear?  Having friends in your life to stand beside you during those rough seasons can literally make or break you.  

I laugh when I'm at the gym trying to spot one of these above beasts.  I stand in the position of the spotter, but God forbid I have to try and step in and sustain the weight!  I pretty much tell them they're on their own.

I want to be a friend that doesn't just 'look the part', but one who can actually step in and help ease other people's loads.  To hold the bar while they catch their breath.  That challenges others to attempt to lift more since I'm right there to catch the bar if it's too heavy.  I know I can't carry the whole load for them, I'm not strong enough.  But what I can do is give them the assurance that I'm not going anywhere.  I'm here.  If you feel weak, I can remind you you're not alone.  You are stronger than you think.

Life in isolation is painful.  Going through struggles alone can be filled with despair.  God didn't create us not to need each other.  Independence is overrated.  

I'm grateful for those who have been there in my darkest hours.  I hope to do the same for those who enter one of their trials.  Whether it's a tragedy or a mess of their own making because they are human and will fail.  Regardless, Jesus was the perfect example of someone who loved the unlovely.  The broken. He didn't require us to clean up our act completely before He engaged with us. He told the woman at the well to go and sin no more.  He said you who are without sin, cast the first stone.  He knew we were all guilty.

Let us be a people that display love in such a way that it is compelling for them to change.  As opposed to the scolding parent who just wants behavior modification but with no heart change.  We can have behavior that is in line but hearts far from Him.

Here's to 2016 and looking more like Him this year.