Saturday, December 31, 2011

Be Bold

Will 2012 be a year defined by
fear or faith in your life?

We've all seen the signs on the side of the road that say PROCEED WITH CAUTION. Many times this is how we live our lives. We move forward with a bit of trepidation because we have forgotten who we are.

While it is true that many of life's situations require discernment, this need for wisdom and direction is different than fear or hesitation. I really believe that every situation in life allows us the opportunity to either respond in fear or faith.

How are you dealing with what life has handed you today? Maybe you have spent months looking for a job or are facing a daily struggle to make ends meet in your business. Perhaps you are allowing past hurts to shade the present and the way that you perceive the future. Possibly you have found yourself in a situation where you feel unworthy to ask for help in your time of need. Many times we find ourselves in these types of moments. Our confidence is lacking because we have forgotten who we are and that we can approach the throne of grace with confidence.

You can stop living in fear and start holding onto faith. Hebrews 11 defines faith as being SURE of what we hope for and CERTAIN of what we do not see. It is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen. If you've been living in fear, it's time to change the sign to APPROACH WITH CONFIDENCE. Be bold and live in expectation of what will happen this year.

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." --Hebrews 4:16

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I hope and pray that your family is blessed as you celebrate the birth of our Savior.

You can see my digital Christmas card by clicking here.

Here are some of the Christmas features you may have heard this past week on "A Positive Start to Your Day." Feel free to share them with your family and friends.
The Real Story of St. Nick by radiomelody

Silly Song - My-In-Laws-are-Coming-to-Town by radiomelody

Author Unknown

"Ready for Christmas," she said with a sigh,
As she gave a last touch to the gifts piled high.
Then wearily sat for a moment and read
Till soon, very soon, she was nodding her head.

Then quietly spoke a voice in her dream!
"Ready for Christmas! What do you Mean?
When only last week
You wouldn't acknowledge your friend on the street."

"Ready for Christmas, while holding a grudge!
Perhaps you better let God be the judge.
Why, how can the Christ child come and abide
In a heart that is selfish and filled with pride?"

"Ready for Christmas, when only today
A beggar lad came and you turned him away
Without even a smile to show that you cared!
So little he asked, he could have been spared."

"Ready for Christmas! You've worked, it is true,
But just doing the things that you wanted to do."
"Ready for Christmas, your circle's to small.
Why, you are not ready for Christmas at all."

She awoke with a start, and a cry of despair.
"There's so little time, and I've still to prepare!
Oh, Father, forgive me, I see what you mean;
To be ready means more than a house swept clean."

"Yes, more that the giving of gifts and a tree,
It's the heart swept clean that he wants to see,
A heart that is free from bitterness, sin,
Ready for Christmas means ready for Him!"

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Pray Until Something Happens

This morning, I posted something on my Facebook that I've heard many times before but I occasionally need to be reminded of, especially when the difficult season seems long or when it seems as though I have been praying the same prayer for so long. It's a simple acronym - PUSH -

I wanted to share a song with you from Selah today. The first time I ever heard this song I was standing at the back of a room full of people at an industry breakfast in Nashville and I remember standing there awed by the beauty and pain of this song, astonished by the power and passion in Amy's voice, and overwhelmed by tears....tears not just because the song was so beautiful, tears not just because I connected so deeply with the lyrics, but tears because (at that moment) I had no idea how God was going to begin to redeem parts of my story.

I was desperately trusting God in the midst of a difficult time in my life, hoping that He had a plan that I couldn't see, wanting it to all make sense right now. I was struggling to forgive, trying to heal from past hurts and move forward. I was questioning whether God still wanted me in ministry and what that might look like. And, I was praising God for how faithful He was and is and would be even when I would have moments where it didn't make sense.

What I didn't know in that moment was that parts of God's plan wouldn't really make sense to me for more than a year but that God had a plan and purpose for every step of the way, He had a work He was doing in my heart to bring healing and restoration.

As I was sitting here to write about this today, I kept thinking about the stories of so many people that I've prayed with and for over the past few weeks - people needing restoration in their relationships, people struggling with depression, people dealing with sadness and loss, people overwhelmed and at the end of their rope because of financial difficulties. I can see some of their faces and I can hear some of their voices and all I know to do is pray. You see I don't know how these stories are going to turn out but I know one thing - I know WHO does and I know it will not be Unredeemed. If you're at that place this morning where it doesn't make sense right now, the moment seems dark and if your only response is to try to hold it together as you wipe tears from your face.....I want to encourage you to WATCH AND SEE.....God has a plan.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Plight Before Christmas

If you're having trouble staying on budget this Christmas season, you may be able to relate to this poem that a friend sent me.

It's called “The Plight Before Christmas.”

'Tis the month before Christmas and all through the house,
Our two teens leave gift lists for me and my spouse.

They scribble and write, compose and compare,
In hopes that St. Nick has some big bucks to spare!

But Dad with his wallet and I with my purse,
Realize things have taken a turn for the worse.

Gone are the days of toy cars and doll beds,
When visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.

It's CDs, and sweaters, and watches and rings,
Computers and Play Station Games of all things.

More rapid than reindeer the items ring up,
We'll have to get second and third jobs to keep up!

So I think for a minute, and then start to smile--
The answer's been with me, there all the while.

Then I gather my children and with hugs and a kiss,
I remind them it's not about presents and lists.

It's about friends and family, and laughter and love,
And the blessings we're given from God up above.

In the midst of the frenzy and the lure of the mall,
We shouldn't forget..the greatest Gift of all.

And then I'll exclaim 'ere I turn in for the night,
"Happy Christmas to all, and... may we all get it right!"

(author unknown)