Get Out of Your Boat

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Come walk with Me.

Um… You’re walking on water.

Yup, and you can, too. Come on out here.

I will sink. Those waves are bigger than I am, never mind the deep water underneath. And who knows what’s down there?

I will keep you above the water. Come on, it’s okay.

I appreciate Your invitation, but I really should stay in my boat. It’s keeping me safe from the storm.

I will keep you safe. Come out of your boat, and take a walk with Me.

Well, that sounds nice and all, but I have to think about my health. If I don’t worry about doing everything right, I might get sick.

Focus on Me, and let Me keep you well. Come on, we’ll exercise together.

If I’m out there with You, who’s going to worry about making sure there’s enough money in the bank to pay my bills. What if something big happens and I don’t have enough money?

I will supply your needs. Leave your boat, and let’s go on an adventure.

That sounds great, but who will take care of my family and dogs? I have to stay here to make sure their needs are met, too.

I will meet their needs. Come on, you can do it. Come to Me.

But I made this boat super strong. It can protect me from the rough waves.

I’m stronger. Come out here, and be with Me. You will see how strong I am.

I know people can’t really walk on water. Besides, You’re more like a ghost. My hand will go right through Your hand, and I’ll drown.

I will hold you up. You will not drown. Come out of your boat, and dance with Me.

But it doesn’t make sense to trust something I can’t understand instead of trusting something I can see and touch.

You’re thinking is backwards. Trusting the boat doesn’t make sense. It’s just boards nailed together. It can break. It can sink. It’s Me you need to trust. I will never break or sink. Trust Me. Come out here, and stay with Me.

I’m scared.

I know. I am trustworthy. Come out here, and find out.

I’m coming.

Here’s My hand. This is going to be amazing!

Chain Breaker

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Chains of my old life are connected to my head, heart, and feet.

It’s about how I think.

It’s about how I feel.

And it’s about what I do, the steps I take.

 I need a chain breaker.

Oh, wait! I have one!

His name is Jesus!

Amazing!

 

Ephesians 4:22-24  to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

2 Cor 5:7  for we walk by faith, not by sight.

 

Fear Buster

Remember Ghost Busters? “I ain’t afraid of no ghost!”

Well, I am. If a ghost appeared to me, I would most definitely be afraid. And that’s not the only thing I’m afraid of.

I’m afraid of being criticized.

I’m afraid of small talk.

I’m afraid of extensive dental work.

I’m afraid of hearing God wrong.

I’m afraid of my house never getting fixed.

I’m afraid of running out of money.

I’m afraid of taking chances.

I’m afraid of making wrong decisions.

I’m afraid of growing really old.

I’m afraid of making phone calls.

I’m afraid of alligators.

I’m afraid of disappointing God.

I’m afraid of confrontation.

I’m afraid of letting go of my fears.

I could go on – the list is endless.

But God’s list for overcoming fear is short. Very short. There’s only two things on His list.

Fear is not of God.

Perfect love casts out fear.

 

I didn’t used to understand that, because I didn’t understand love. Or God. But I’m learning.

He taught me how to use His list as a Fear Buster whenever a fear appeared.

This is how it works:

(name your fear) I’m afraid of making wrong decisions.

(remind yourself) Fear is not of God.

(personalize applicable scriptures) Romans 8:28  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good. Psalm 48:14 That this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever. God promises to guide me and to make all things work in my favor. I do not have to worry about which decision I make. Even if I make the wrong one, God will take care of me. He loves me, and is bigger than any mistake I make. He has promised to make everything, even my mistakes, work out in my favor.

(replace the fear with His love) Perfect love casts out fear.

Good-bye fear! I am no longer afraid because I’m trusting God’s Word, and not what I can see, reason, or imagine.

 

Now THAT’S the real, and amazing, Ghost Buster FEAR BUSTER!

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Dear Little Generous One (From Someone Who Loves You series)

 

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Dear Little Generous One,

You make me so proud when I see you trying to share your things with others. You have such a kind heart. There will be people who will look at you with distrust. They might even reject you. But it’s not important how they react to your offer. What’s important is what I think of your offer. And I think it’s awesome! Keep on giving, my small one! You delight me each time!

Proudly,

Someone Who Loves You

 

Hebrews 13:16  Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

 

Do you hear God speaking to you in these letters? If so, it’s no coincidence.  As I write to my new granddaughter, I can hear God speaking to me. And my prayer is that you can also hear Him speaking to you for He loves us even more than I love my granddaughter.

Bear Attack (short story based on a dream I had)

“There’s a bear coming!”

I barely looked up from my sketch pad to the man that was careening towards us.

“Yeah, right,” I muttered. “Like there’re any bears around here.”

“A bear?” came high squeaky voice.

“Shh.” I shook my head at the small girl next to me. “It’s okay. Which color should we paint the flowers?”

The man was almost on us. “Run! Hide!”

“Aw, quit trying to scare us. We know there are no bears anywhere around here.”

“It’s a bear, I tell you!”

“I doubt it. Maybe you saw a bush. It is a bit windy today.” I studied my drawing.

“Believe what you want. I know what I saw.” He reached out and grabbed me.

“Ow, let go! You’re going to pull my arm right off!”

“Better your arm than your head if you’re still here when the bear gets here. And think of your little girl!”

The man’s eyes were wide open with eyebrows almost reaching his hairline, and his face was as white as the pages in my sketch pad.  Um… even if he didn’t see a bear, he definitely saw something. But grabbing me?

“Let go!”

“Suit yourself! Hide or don’t hide. Your choice,” he called over his shoulder as he ran towards the trees on the opposite side of the clearing from where he entered.

I looked around the campsite. A few tents scattered here and there, hiking gear set out on picnic tables, and a gazebo. If I wanted to hide from a bear, where would I go? I couldn’t just run into the woods after that man. My daughter wouldn’t be able to keep up, and I couldn’t carry her very far. The trees wouldn’t be any better. Even if I could get my daughter up one, bears can climb, too. The tents offered no protection should the bear follow its nose instead of its eyes. The only thing left was the gazebo – a wooden structure with three steps leading up…wait!

“Come on! I know where we can hide!”

I grabbed my daughter and ran to the gazebo. Yes, just what I hoped for!

“Quick, in there.” I pushed my daughter into the opening of the crawl space under the gazebo. Trying to hurry her, I backed in so I could watch for whatever the man had seen. And then I saw it.

Not only was it a bear, it was a very large grizzly bear. It was carrying a rifle and coming straight towards me. Dang, that bear moved fast! I grabbed a long branch that was lying nearby and held it out as if it were a spear. It wasn’t much, but it was better than nothing.

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As I waited, I had time for two thoughts. Would the gazebo have really offered safety? Couldn’t the bear just reach right through the holes in the boards? And where did it get the rifle? Maybe from a ranger?

Just as the bear reached me, it slowly toppled until it lay still on the ground. Dead.

What? How?

Then the pieces came together – that bear must have taken the rifle from the ranger it attacked, but not before the ranger got a few rounds into the bear. The bear was so big; it took a while for the rest of the body to know it was dead.

Isn’t that just like our problems? We see disaster coming. Fear rises up in us and we run or hide without realizing that our Father has already shot the beast. Even if that beast continues towards us, it will topple over before it reaches us. We are safe.

Dear Little Oops, (from Someone Who Loves You series)

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Dear Little Oops,

I see you trying so hard. You worked at getting the oatmeal on the spoon, and then to get it to your mouth – just to have it fall off at the last minute. You look at where it landed and wonder if you will ever get it right. And you may even feel bad about yourself. But don’t you see? You already have mastered it in my eyes! You may not be able to see it, but I can. I KNOW you will get this, in time. Look how far you have progressed! Look at all that you CAN do! Don’t compare yourself to those you see around you. Enjoy where you are and don’t worry about the messes. Sometimes the oatmeal just fall offs of the spoon. And it’s okay. I can and will clean you up every time.

Love,

Someone Who Loves You

 

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

 

Do you hear God speaking to you in these letters? If so, it’s no coincidence.  As I write to my new granddaughter, I can hear God speaking to me. And my prayer is that you can also hear Him speaking to you for He loves us even more than I love my granddaughter.

When You Think You Know Better

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OK, Lord. You said to go this way to find the green paradise You have for me, and You know best. It doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere good though. I mean I don’t even see any green leaves or tall grass or anything. But I’ll trust You.
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Wait! Are You sure this is the way? There’s something dark and scary up ahead – definitely not the bright green You promised. Isn’t there another way?
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I think I’ll go this way.  I see something green up ahead. That seems so much more logical. Maybe I just heard God wrong. 
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It even looks smoother going this way. Surely God meant for me to go this way.
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See? Green leaves. That’s more than I saw the other way. But they’re so little. I know there’s more ahead. I’m going to keep going.
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Hmmm… maybe not so easy after all. But I KNOW there’s something up there that will be worth this climb. Nothing worthwhile is easy, right?
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Arrr… this is harder than I thought. God, where are You? Why aren’t you helping me?
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Whew, made it!  Now to see what I’ve worked so hard for.
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That’s it?? That’s all there is? 
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Maybe I should have gone God’s way, after all.

Dear Two-Fist Grabber (from Someone Who Loves You series)

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Dear Two-Fist Grabber,

Your pleasure of what I have delights me. Go ahead, reach for as much as you can. I have more than you can imagine. Many people see what I offer yet not all reach out. And many of those who do feel they should only take a few. But not you, my love. You grab with both hands! And that brings me great pleasure!

Always and Forever,

Someone who loves you

 

1 Cor 2:9  (NET)  But just as it is written, “Things that no eye has seen, or ear heard, or mind imagined, are the things God has prepared for those who love him.”

Eph 1:18 (NCV)  I pray also that you will have greater understanding in your heart so you will know the hope to which he has called us and that you will know how rich and glorious are the blessings God has promised his holy people.

 

Do you hear God speaking to you in these letters? If so, it’s no coincidence.  As I write to my new granddaughter, I can hear God speaking to me. And my prayer is that you can also hear Him speaking to you for He loves us even more than I love my granddaughter.

When You Think You Are in Control

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AJ thinks she is controlling the video showing on the iPad. Notice the cord for the keyboard is not only not plugged in, but the keyboard is incompatible with the iPad she is watching. Yet she is perfectly content living with her illusion and doesn’t even think about the unseen force that is actually controlling that video. Even if she did, she wouldn’t be able to comprehend it.

We often live with the same illusion. As we work away at our keyboards, we may think we are controlling our lives. After all, when we hit certain keys, things in our lives change. So we think the changes were caused by what we did.  And in some ways, they were.

We can hit the eating healthy key to have less illness to deal with.

We can hit the reliable honest worker key to keep our jobs.

We can hit the education key to earn higher incomes for a comfortable lifestyle.

We can hit the keys for keeping our minds sharp.

But the control is an illusion.

People with healthy diets can still end up with cancer and other life threatening diseases.

Reliable honest workers can still be fired or laid off.

Highly educated people can still be unemployed or employed below their education level.

Even sharp minds can be destroyed by disease, accidents, or old age.

We think the noises we make with our keyboards mean we have control.

But…

We don’t control our bodies. Breathing, digesting, sleeping will eventually happen regardless our efforts to stop it. We can’t stop our hearts from beating whenever we desire or make it start beating again when it stops.  We can’t control a baby growing within us or when that baby will be born. We can’t control getting older. We can’t stop it, change the speed at which we age, or control our signs of aging.

We don’t control our minds. We can’t make our brains work faster or smarter. Those with slow processing skills can’t suddenly start thinking as fast as a computer. Those with low IQ’s can’t decide to be a genius. We can’t control whether or not we will develop a mental disease. No one chooses to struggle with a mental illness, yet many people do.

We don’t control others. We can’t control who will love us and who will not. We can’t control who will hire us, or an employer’s decision to fire us. We can’t control rumors or whether friends will be trustworthy or not. We can’t control how strangers treat us in public places, or the crimes evil people commit.

We don’t control our life circumstances. We can’t control accidents. That’s why we call them accidents. And they happen to everyone regardless of how careful they may be. We can’t control the damage storms can bring into our lives. We can’t control how much our employer will pay us or what budget we have to live within.

What many of us don’t realize is that all our efforts are actually incompatible with the reality of what does control our lives, especially if we’re not plugged into the spiritual world. If we ever manage to think about the unseen forces, both good and evil, that surround us, we don’t understand them so we go back to using what we do understand. We continue plucking away at our powerless keyboards.

Yet there is power available. There is One who has complete control over all forces. There is One who desires to reveal the truth to our illusion. There is One who longs for us to plug into Him and is eager to teach us how to use our keyboards. In our natural state our keyboards are incompatible with Him, but because of what Jesus did, He can transform them so that they are God-compliant. We don’t have to understand all the spiritual forces acting on our lives; we just have to understand how to plug our power cord into Him so that His power can flow into our lives. Then when we hit those keys, something real will happen.

Caught in the Act

Life is full of temptations. All kinds of temptations. And temptations can be quite messy.

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Have you even given in to temptation – then got caught in the middle of it?  How do you get rid of the mess?

Ignoring it doesn’t make it to go away.  “What cake?”

Apologizing doesn’t make it go away. “I’m sorry.”

Denying it doesn’t make it go away. “I didn’t do it.”

Blaming others doesn’t make it go away.  “You gave me this cake! What did you expect?”

Rubbing at it doesn’t make it go away. “I’m trying but it just won’t come off.”

Walking away from it doesn’t make it go away.  “I’m done with it.”

There’s only one way to get completely cleansed from the mess. Calling for help. “Daddy, help me!”

God will scoop you up and bathe you. And then clean up your life. Depending on how bad the mess is and how long you waited before calling for His help, the scrubbing may take a while, and be uncomfortable, even painful.  But if you allow Him to finish, you will be squeaky clean once again, without a speck of the mess on you. However, there may be parts of your life that will always be a bit stained. I know God is capable of removing all stains, but I think He lets some stains stay to help us remember what happens when we give into temptation.

With our short memories, we need the reminders. And I’m thankful for them.

 

For those who have been following my life, that is not a picture of my granddaughter. That is a picture of her mother, my daughter, that I ran into recently.

Here’s a picture of my granddaughter on her first birthday a few months ago. 🙂0613191901b