Grateful or Disobedient?

A man with leprosy came to Him (Jesus) and begged Him on his knees, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.”

Jesus was indignant. He reached out His hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” He said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.

Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”

Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.
Mark 1:40‭-‬45 NIV

I’m curious. How do you read this true scenario? Was the man’s behavior disobedient or grateful?

Was the healed man dismissive of Jesus’ authority?

Or was he simply so overwhelmed with gratitude that he couldn’t help but tell everyone of his miraculous healing?

And was this glorifying to God? The healed leper was testifying to the kindness and power of Jesus.

But, didn’t Jesus, Messiah, command the healed man to go directly to the priests with his testimony? Wasn’t he strongly warned by Jesus not to tell anyone? The man was supposed to follow the law of Moses. (See Leviticus 13-14)

Did the healed man’s actions affect the movement of Jesus in that community? Was the work of God hampered by the man’s exercise of his free will? If so, how?

Worth pondering, this scenario is a much deeper well than it might appear on a cursory review.

I’m curious. Holy Spirit, what insight and revelation of truth would you like to reveal through this scripture? How does this real life scenario apply to my life in 2021?

Please come Holy Spirit and bring wisdom. Please reveal to me what You want me to know. Come and teach me how to honor Jesus and submit to His authority in my life. For my own good and for His glory…

I’m curious. What do you think?

Eyes on Jesus and Shine,

~Lisa

Get Excited For A New Thing.

God says He’s doing a new thing. He’s asking us, “Do you not perceive it?” Then even before we know how to answer, God simply begins to explain what He’s already causing to happen in the EARTH.

You might feel like resisting this message. I know we’re all still sore from 2020, and 2021 hasn’t exactly felt like the antedote for which we were hoping. So may I challenge your vision just a bit?

Look deeper. Look closer.

Ask Holy Spirit to help you see beyond the obvious.

Maybe just stop. Sit still.

Look again.

Can you see it?

The sprouts are beginning to pop up out of the ground. The seeds planted long ago, lovingly watered, prayed over and believed for…


These sprouts, they all have names. They are our children – sons and daughters. They are our grandchildren. Do you see it?

Do you see that these are they? These are the ones with whom God is doing a new thing in the Earth.

Will you trust God for the new thing He is doing? Will you ask Him to fill you with faith? Love? Courage? Belief?

We older ones who have walked this journey a bit longer; we are the ones who need to look and look again. We are the ones who need to catch a vision of what God is doing in our sons and daughters. Because we are the ones who will contend for them.

Unfortunately, our young ones have not learned to contend in prayer for themselves. Sadly, we’ve not diligently taught our sons and daughters how to encourage themselves in the Lord. The depths of God’s word have not yet been stirred by the youngest among us.

Do you remember Elijah praying with his head between his knees? Interesting reading in 1 Kings 18. {Go. Read it for yourself.}

Elijah was travailing in prayer to our Lord God Almighty to bring rain in a drought. In the middle of crying out to God, Elijah sent his servant to go look for any sign of a cloud.

The servant went and looked. He brought back a negative report. Undeterred, Elijah continued to send his servant back with the admonition to look again.

Finally, on the 7th trip out, he saw a small cloud like a fist coming up from the sea. Don’t you know how ecstatic he was to bring a good report to Elijah?

I beseech you. Look again.

Look with faith eyes. Ask God to remind you of all the dreams you’ve had for your children. Remember God’s promises to you as you cradled that babe in your arms. Recall in faith the hope of life and believe that God is Redeemer.

Restorer. Resurrector. Healer. Deliverer. Mighty to save!

Thus, it is up to us to look up and scan the heavens for the tiniest semblance of a cloud, and declare out loud that we will trust God for the new thing He is doing in our sons and daughters.

God’s doing a new thing in the generations… Do you perceive it?

Eyes on Jesus and Shine,

~Lisa

Who wants to get clean?

Many are fasting at the beginning of the year. I’m one of those who doesn’t love to fast, but loves the cleansed, purified feeling after the fast.

I’m choosing to consecrate myself through a 21 day fast because it’s the best way for me to stay focused on Jesus right now. Intentional fasting is the best way for me to focus on what He is asking me to do this year. {Watch. Weep. Whisper.}

The process of consecration is hard, not pleasant and generally not my idea of a fun time to schedule on my calendar. However, I have submitted to the process enough to now realize the amazingly, glorious benefits.

Kind of like scheduling a teeth cleaning with my dentist. I can’t say that I love the teeth cleansing process. I do love my dentist and I do love his wonderful staff. Yet, they are not motivation enough for me to submit to the process.

What is motivation enough is the end result. You see, I have submitted to the process enough that I fully understand what I will receive at the end. And I absolutely love the fresh results of having my mouth thoroughly cleansed.

Furthermore, because I am of a mature age and experience, I’ve learned that when I take better care of my mouth in between cleanings, the process is not nearly so difficult.

So, I choose to fast from certain foods during these 21 days. More importantly, I am choosing to look at Jesus during these days. I am choosing to watch for Him. Weep with Him. And whisper my gratitude for His goodness.

I trust that this consecration time will remind me of His purity and how good it is to stay right up close to Jesus. In a dark and scary world, He’s my nightlight. He keeps me at peace, settles my nerves, and helps me sleep through the night.

How are you doing? I know it’s a scary time for so many. Exciting too, which comes with it’s own feelings and pitfalls. Would you like to have peace? Do you need a nightlight? How about drawing near to Jesus who never sleeps and never abandons His own?

Would you like to spend 21 days of focus on Jesus? I hope so. Let me know you are joining in and I will pray for you in the process. I know you will be ecstatic over the results.💖

Eyes on Jesus and Shine,

~Lisa

Could I have Tears for Christmas?

Advent. Anticipation. Christmas Eve. Nothing’s normal. Traditions are breaking in the harsh winds of 2020.

It’s a challenge to remember joy this year in the disappointment. To remember peace in all the confrontations. To remember  hope in all the broken traditions. To remember love when so many voices are spewing something other.

It’s a challenge. I am – moment by moment – challenged to remember Christ in me the hope of glory. Every little stop  – even Starbucks for a Christmas warm red cup treat – is ruined by a chastisement followed by “We’re out of peppermint”. 

My feelings are hurt by all the    confrontations, cancellations and general lack of kindness.  I want to cry because I’m so sad, but my defense mechanism kicks in and I respond with anger instead. By the time I arrive home, remove the mask, and finish berating myself for responding immaturely, I’m exhausted and don’t want to see another human for a significant amount of time.

The general bad mood of the world we’re living in at the present has a couple of positives though.

1. It’s causing me to recognize my own weaknesses. I am today able to recognize my desire for tears rather than angry responses. I hold out my imperfections to Jesus and ask Him to help me.

Somewhere along the path of life I allowed my tear reservoir to dry up. One too many times in my young life I was told that my tears were an unwelcome nuisance – a bother and inappropriate for an adult.

I can’t imagine now as a mature woman how I ever agreed that an angry response is more appropriate than tears. Anger is certainly a nuisance and unattractive, but righteous anger is far more acceptable in our world than honest, raw tears.

Honestly, this trade has to be in the top 5 worst agreements I’ve made throughout my nearly 6 decades of living on planet Earth. Tears are better.

Could I have tears for Christmas?

2. I am better able to reflect on the atmosphere of the culture into which our Savior was born. It is much easier today to feel the raw emotional state of a young woman possibly experiencing contractions while riding on a donkey and continually turned away from shelter.  She just wanted to obey God and fulfill her part of His plan.

I feel a connection with Mary today that I have never felt before. Maybe it was difficult for her too to remember that Jesus, her Savior, was filled up in her. Maybe it was hard for her to remember the correct Godly response in the face of her own disappointment, despair, and hurt feelings.

Maybe – though Christ filled her tangibly with His presence – she still struggled with raw emotional & appropriate responses. Perhaps there’s more to learn in 2020.

Jesus, help me! You fill me in much the same way You filled Mary. My true heart’s desire is to carry You well in a broken, sharp and cutting world. Help me to receive Your tears. Help me to weep over all that causes You to weep. Come forth in me and make Your presence known.

This is the gift I long for this Christmas. Please restore the reservoir of honest tears – the flow of Your living water in me and through me.

Merry Christmas, Jesus. Happy birthday. And merry (2020 style) Christmas to you readers. May you be filled with the tangible presence of Jesus and tears of abundant joy in the broken.

Kindly Correction

I love this verse so much. What if the people who speak to you honestly actually help you the most? Even better, a true friend loves you best by speaking the truth. What do you think about that?

One of the things I appreciate most in life is an honest conversation. Unfortunately, these are rare in today’s world. Rare things only increase in value, so there’s the silver lining, I guess.

Truth speakers help me grow in Christ, in love, in wisdom and in humility.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Taking a stroll down memory lane this morning. I’ve had many supervisors in my life. Many of these leaders had my best interest at heart, and some clearly did not. Yet, I learned valuable life lessons from each one.

One woman stands out particularly as I think back. She heard me (on the job) bragging to coworkers about my exceptional spelling skills.

{By the way, this was 1986 and well before spell check technology. We had no laptops or smartphones. Dictionaries, in hard copy, were part of our workplace resources. And our work was documented in pencil on paper. The large eraser was also our ever present help.}

Perhaps my supervisor had not heard the entire conversation. Several of us 20-somethings were enthusiastically discussing our strengths, but mostly weaknesses regarding the written English language.

Apparently, our supervisor agreed with my self-assessment regarding my lack of grammatical expertise, and so, she let that go. However, she did not hold back as I touted my spelling skills.

From the far end of the conference table her voice arose. I froze hearing my name like a child unaware of a parent’s listening ears. Charlotte corrected me in front of all my colleagues. She listed 2 or 3 words for which I was habitually guilty of misspelling.

My coworkers chuckled. My cheeks became hot and I am sure my entire face was as red as ripe cherry tomatoes. I was dumbfounded. And I was truly frustrated with my supervisor, but not for the reason you might be thinking.

When I was able to speak without tears choking my throat and stinging my eyes, I addressed Charlotte, “Why haven’t you told me this before now?” I sincerely wanted to know why she would know for a fact I was doing something consistently wrong, but had not enough care for me to correct me. Now she, Charlotte, sat dumbfounded.

I asked her to circle the misspellings on my workpapers. Once she returned the papers containing her red marks circling my errors, I grabbed my dictionary to find the correct spelling for each misspelled word. She was correct, and now I had the opportunity to make my own correction. I re-wrote my workpapers ( yes, pencil and paper) and submitted them back to Charlotte.

Since we were working out of town, Charlotte asked if I could visit in her hotel room after dinner. I went and we had a longer than expected conversation about the events of the day. Charlotte was still intrigued by my desire for truth and correction. Perhaps, she had counted on me being offended rather than grateful.

I explained to Charlotte that I had lived deceived regarding truth for the most of my life. However, in those 20-something years, I met a young man who was willing to be a true friend by telling me that my life was on the wrong path. He honestly and painfully addressed some of the reasons for my obvious sadness and frustrations with life. He was willing to challenge me to read the Bible.

Before I left, I thanked Charlotte for speaking up, and I asked her to address anything she saw in me that might need correction. I hoped she would do it from a sincere heart. And I challenged Charlotte to read the Bible for herself.

I’m not sure I ever worked under Charlotte’s supervision after that week. Honestly, I don’t know what ever became of Charlotte. However, I promise you, every time I begin to spell those certain words I think of Charlotte with a smile, and gratitude.

Thank You, Jesus, for the many people You allow to intersect my life’s path. Help me today to be a friend seeking truth, and sharing truth in love. I thank You, Jesus, for Charlotte, and pray she is now adopted into Your heavenly family. I thank You for every Charlotte I am yet to meet. Continue to grow me up in wisdom, truth, grace and humility for Your glory, and to exalt Your name in my corner of the world.

Eyes in Jesus and Shine,

~Lisa

God Breathed

There’s not one current human issue that has not been covered in the Bible. Not one! God is not shy about discussing every topic under the sun.

RELEVANT:

Upon invitation from a dear neighbor couple, I linked my desire for God’s word with a local Healing Strong group, and we corporately began our journey from Genesis to Revelation on August 1, 2020. We have just finished reading through the book of Jonah.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

Reading straight through the Bible in 75 days is exactly what I’ve needed during this strange year. It’s not too late to join in by Zoom.

There’s much discussion on all forms of media regarding the chaotic and divisive landscape of our American society. Each point of view seems to point the blame finger at someone else for causing such hostility, bloodshed and corruption. All the angst threatens to make us silent rather than enter into lively conversations with even our dearest and most loved ones.

Yet, for those of us who are reading together the God breathed scriptures it has become apparent that the current destructive chaos rearing it’s ugly head is not a new phenomenon in our world.  The same evil events are catalogued in the Bible from Genesis all the way through Jonah, to this point. The cause in history, as is now the case, resides with us – faulty and lustful human beings.

Only God is innocent. The rest of us are guilty. Every single one of us.

CONVICTION:

These words we read together in community are the words of the Lord God Almighty. These are the powerful life-giving words of a good Father who has seen and heard it all, and yet loves His children. He is ‘Father Knows Best’ and He is looking for each one of His children to turn toward home.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Romans 3:23

Joshua Tree National Park, California

As I have been chewing on the inspired words of God’s chronicles unbound by time and space, I am freshly convicted. I recognize through the mirror of His perfecting word the compromises I have made because of the culture (even church culture) in which I have dwelt. The light of God’s magnificent glory is getting brighter as the scales of flesh are falling from my eyes.

The simple and yet disciplined act of reading God’s Word aloud in community has begun it’s work of exposing lies I have allowed to become subtly incorporated into my thinking. Unfortunately, I have simply, slowly over time, allowed the voices of the world to resonate louder than the voice of God in several areas of my life.

God’s word brings conviction because the Word of God is Jesus. When we, who were created in the image of God, stand in the mirror of His perfection we catch a glimpse of how muddied and tattered we’ve become. When God in His Triune nature created us in our mother’s womb we looked much more like Him. However, we were born in the flesh into a corrupt world, which scrapes, cuts, lies and injures the purity of His image in us until we can barely recognize that we were made for Him. And it’s not just corruption from the outside. Our flesh craves sin and we gulp it down of our own free will.

“Then they will know that I Am the LORD.”

God

Over and over, again and again, the Lord inspired Ezekiel to write example after example of God’s created people falling into the deepest pits of the flesh. It’s hard to read because it sounds just like the daily news feeds of our current American society. Yet at the end of each example, God declared that then they would know that He is God. It’s a hard truth, but for most of us it takes coming to the end of our self-sufficiency to bend our will to God’s all sufficiency and saving grace.

Comfort, comfort My People, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.

COMFORT

The living and active word empowered by the Holy Spirit of God washes over my open wounds. The word reveals my broken flesh, and points to my inability to save myself. Holy Spirit reaches in with cleansing and restoration as I submit to correction. Gloriously, the scriptures also expose God’s kindness and love. His grace is on display, and His goodness to create a rescue plan leads me and many others to repentance.

Dana Point, California

If you need encouragement today, open the God breathed scriptures, and read. Let the breath of the Lion of Judah warm your face as you take in His nourishing truth.  Taste and see that the Lord is good. Give thanks to our Father for He is good and His steadfast love endures forever.

You will find in His word the answers you are seeking in these frustrating and fretful days of 2020. You will, if you seek in God’s word, and you ask for wisdom. Jesus wants to uncover His mysteries of love and life to you. If it was true of His encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well, it will be true for us who are willing to meet with Jesus, The Word.

But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8

Understandably skeptical, the woman who met Jesus at the well in the middle of the day heard these words from the mouth of Jesus, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.” (John 4:10)

Today, I want to offer you water. I know you’re thirsty. I know you are feeling parched. It’s just an offer. It’s an offer because I care. The cup of cool water is held out simply because I have experienced for myself the relief, the healing and the life received when I turned to the Lord’s glorious solutions for everything I feel and need.

I bless you to take a chance with Jesus today. Take just a sip. Like the woman at the well who sipped and then drank deeply from the cup that is life. Don’t let your doubt, fear or stubborn will keep you from fullness of life and joy. I could be wrong, and I don’t have the answers you so desperately need.

But I know the One who does. Let me have the joy and honor of introducing you through the God breathed, living and active Word. Jesus is The Word, which has endured throughout all of history, and has covered every topic currently discussed in our society. He is not wrong or without victory.

Eyes on Him… You’ll shine!

~Lisa

“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst again.” ~Jesus

Ponders:

1. Be honest with yourself for a moment. What is it that keeps you from receiving a cup of living water? Is your solution to your thirst satisfying and providing fullness of life and joy?

2. Read John 4 and put yourself in the place of the skeptical woman. What’s your response to Jesus?

3. Join HealingStrong.org and finish reading the God breathed, living and active word of the Lord in community with us. You’re welcome!

4. Take time to read the Psalms daily or one of the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah or Ezekiel alongside the book of Romans. What do you read of history that looks, sounds, and feels like it is written from today’s news?

5. I’m praying for you from Psalm 37:1-8. May you meet with Jesus with all your questions and concerns today and find His peace. May you be comforted like never before. May you find yourself feasting at the LORD’s banquet table and experience complete healing and restoration for His glory and the fame of His Name. Amen.

The Power of Words

Picture credit: @YouVersion Bible App

One of the first scripture verses I memorized in my toddling steps following after Jesus in my early twenties was 1 John 4:18.

I was tired of being fearful. A good friend and co-worker recommended that I memorize this scripture. This friend encouraged me to turn God’s word into a prayer – into a conversation with God.

I was desperate for relief from overwhelming fear and anxiety so I was willing to take his challenge.

In the darkest of storm clouds, God shines through. Picture credit: Lisa Brittain

I wrote this verse on an index card, and found myself saying this verse every few minutes the first few days. I carried my index card to work, kept it in my car, and memorized it in my heart.

Over the length of a month I recognized the power of God’s Word to transform my thoughts. Fear was taking a backseat to God’s love for me.

I still felt fearful and anxious many times. Don’t imagine I’m speaking of a magical incantation. The accuser did not immediately run away never to return.

A rainbow after the fiercest storm clouds. Picture credit: Lisa Brittain

However, the more I used the word of God as a sword in prayer, the more my thoughts were transformed. As my thoughts became transformed toward the mind of Christ, the more freedom I experienced.

All these years later, in world and personal circumstances I could have never forseen, this all time favorite scripture truth wields power and clarity in my prayers.

If you have a friend who sends you to the Word of God and challenges you to memorize, pray and study for life transformation, thank God for that friend right now. Thank You Father for giving us brothers and sisters who remind us to go back to Your Fatherly wisdom.

Picture credit: @YouVersion Bible App

If you don’t have such a friend, let’s ask Holy Spirit and Jesus to connect you with a Bible friend today. I know Father has a son or daughter near you and wants to introduce you. So be on the lookout for a new friend who loves God’s word and wants to help you  gain strength, courage and wisdom.

Lord Jesus, Father God, Holy Spirit, thank You for giving us Your word and for connecting us with brothers and sisters in Christ who challenge, love and sharpen us for Victory in living a life that brings honor to Your name!

Standing on tiptoes to see how You are going to answer our requests…

Eyes on Jesus and Shine,

~Lisa

#eyesonjesusandshine #wordofGod #swordofthespirit
#nofear #love #transformation

Refreshment

Are you needing some refreshment? It’s only the middle of the week, but it feels like a full week of stuff.

Although I have no idea what stuff has overwhelmed you lately, I imagine you could use some refreshment. I need some too. This word of God from Jeremiah 31 has been the best bread to chew on while I drink my coffee this morning.

Refreshment brings to my mind thoughts of peace. Symbolic of peace, doves are one of my favorite visual reminders. So it didn’t escape my notice when doves began to appear on the power lines in front of our home. I recognized them as significant and a refreshing assurance of Father’s peaceful presence.

He is with me. His Holy Spirit dwells in me. And the Prince of Peace rules and reigns right where I live.

As the virus became a threat and our world shutdown, I began to pray for peace on our street, especially for our elderly neighbors. Daily as I walked and prayed for those behind the windows and those behind the masks, doves began to show up on the power lines. Doves seemed to follow me; one on this street. Two waiting around the corner, and then down into another cul de sac, I spied three more.

So obvious and significant has been their daily presence that I intentionally turn my eyes to acknowledge their presence. I say right out loud to them, “I see you doves of peace!”

Occasionally they are absent, and I am prompted to prayer. I want to know why they’ve left. I have wondered with God, “Did something happen here to break the peace.” Wondering why the doves are hidden can lead me to ask Jesus to search my own heart and bring to mind any offense needing forgiveness. I end my ponderings by asking Father to call the doves back and restore to me the tangible presence of His peace.

You might think all of this odd. It’s not strange to me at all. This communication style exemplifies the relationship I have had with my heavenly Father since I was a little girl.

Even before I surrendered my whole heart and life to Jesus, I experienced a unique way of seeing God’s interaction in my life, and subsequently developed my own way of communicating with Him. He spoke my child-heart language then and still grabs my attention decades later.

God doesn’t find His unique communication styles odd. But then again the very essence of God is wholly other. He is holy. There’s none like Him.

If you read through the Bible, you will find some amazing and rather interesting encounters God has with His creation. Check it out for yourself. God spoke out of a burning bush, in dreams and visions, through a donkey and by way of angelic messengers – just to get you started. He’s creative. He’s God!

My Creator knows me personally, and I have come to trust that He is highly personal. He designed me to understand Him in a way that is as individual as my fingerprints. My relationship with the Holy Trinity is not odd. It’s simply unique, personal and consistent.

Peace, unfortunately, has not been consistent over the many months of this strange year. Just in our tiny corner of the world we’ve experienced some of the most bizarre situations, which have threatened to pit neighbor against neighbor. However, the doves keep showing up to remind me to pray, and to remind me that my Prince of Peace is here.

Peace, I’m learning is not the absence of conflict; it’s a determined resolve to be controlled by it. Trouble is guaranteed this side of heaven. Jesus said so.

Jesus also said He would be with us always. He stands holding a firm grip on me when the storm winds howl. He’s never leaving. Jesus is never turning away. Even when chaos threatens our community, Jesus speaks, “I am here. Do not be afraid.”

I’m receiving His refreshment today. I’m watching for doves in my neighborhood. I’m thanking Him for being here.

You’re invited to receive His refreshment. Join me below for some of your own ponderings.

Eyes on Jesus and Shine,
Lisa

Ponders:

1. From what do you need refreshment? Are you willing to tell Jesus how undone you feel and why?

2. What visual or what other of your five senses helps you recognize God’s presence? What symbolizes the peace of God for you?

3. If this very personal form of communication with God is a new concept, are you interested in experiencing more intimate interaction with your heavenly Father? Why not ask Him today to speak your heart language?

4. Schedule time for your favorite form of refreshment. Invite Jesus to come along. Expect to experience His presence.

Receive or Reject

From YouVersion Bible App. Daily devotional story – 8/13/20.`

This is a gift! Freely offered. The best gift. God loves us and cares about us. He LOVES you! He LOVES me!

Yet if we don’t stop. Settle our thoughts. Take a minute. Calm our emotions. If we don’t press pause in His presence while His hand is extended, we won’t truly receive His love.

Have you ever wanted to give something to someone that you just knew would bless their socks off? Have you experienced that feeling that you might just burst before you could extend your gift to the one you love?

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.” John 4:10

But what happens to your heart when your gift is taken by an unknown person at the door and left in a pile of other gifts. What happens when you hand your gift to your person and they set it aside for later?

What happens when your person is in a hurry to get to the next gift? What happens to your heart when the one you so wanted to bless is distracted, unaware, and unable to receive your blessing?

A dear friend, the kind that’s willing to look into my dark hiding place, asked me possibly the best question I have ever received. “What will it take for you to believe that I love you?”

Her question stopped my swirling-twirling emotional tornado. Like Jesus commanding the wind and waves. Suddenly everything got quiet. I had no answer for her question.

Intellectually, intuitively I knew she loved me. She was my friend. What other reason would she have for weathering my personal storm?

I mean really who does that?

But I could not answer her question. She spoke again her love and concern for me. She asked me to seek out a counselor who could help me sort, identify, clean out the clutter and become emotionally restored.

I didn’t know how to receive her love at a heart level. However I did receive the gift of her hand and chose to step toward the entrance of my pit. It wasn’t an easy journey. In fact I would say that year of Restoring Your Heart counseling was one of the top five most painful experiences of my life journey.

Good news though. The journey through the weeds was well worth it. The gifts extended toward me by God through loving people became tangible to me. I could see. I could hear. I could think the best of others. I could receive.

Like stepping out of darkness into sunlight.

God is Bigger than emotion. He’s mightier than mushy feelings. God is Almighty and powerful. Jesus is expert at pulling people up out of a pit. He can start or stop anything with a word. And God is especially great at raising dead situations, relationships, and people to life.

Yet, God is also Creator and Father. He loves His creation. He loves you. He desires for you to stop for a moment. Sit. Take a deep breath. And another.

Calm and quiet. Look into His eyes. Hands out.

Now with a little more clarity of mind. With a peaceful heart melted in His presence receive His gift. He loves you. He loves you and gifts you through people with skin on.

You are loved!

Ponders:

First, if you are hurting, but can’t identify the source, please reach out. Call/text someone to come sit with you. Ask for help.

If someone close to you is just not functioning as the person you know them to be, stick your nose in their emotional business. An inkling that “something’s not right” is enough to start a conversation or take action.

1. Of what are you afraid to see if you should you give yourself permission to stop, breathe for 5 minutes, and look at Jesus in His face? Read John 4:39 {the woman’s testimony} slowly. Think about her words as your words. What emotions well up? “He (Jesus) told me everything I ever did.”

2. What has happened to your heart when a sincere gift seemed to be set aside or rejected? Tattle to Jesus. He doesn’t take sides. Ask Him to help you see the full picture.

3. Do you think God feels His love for you is being rejected? Do you know why you can’t believe you are loved? Take a deeper look at John 4:10. Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.” John 4:10 Is it okay to ask Jesus if He feels His gift is being rejected by you?

4. Will you take all your ponderings to Jesus? Will you ask Him to untangle your emotional snares? Will you let Him receive your brokenness so He can give you wholeness?

Take a walk outside. Breathe. Look at creation. Talk out loud. Sit and journal. Do something as a first step to healing. Write your decision down somewhere and date it as a memorial stone of remembrance and a reminder to keep going.

I’m praying for you now.

Father, please help this dear one who is reading this message. Take this broken heart in Your Creator hands and breathe a new heart. Take this dear one’s hands and lead them out of darkness. Bring counselors, a grief community, alongside this precious child of God, an image bearer of Christ so that restoration can begin. Jesus, Light of the world, shine into the pit and carry this dear one to safety. I trust You Lord to rescue, restore and redeem all the pain on behalf of the one reading and for Your Glory.

I give thanks to You Father for You are good and Your steadfast love for Your children endures forever. So be it. Amen.

Eyes on Jesus and Shine,

~Lisa

#eyesonjesusandshine
#psalm131
#daysofpsalms #gethelp #askquestions
#calmandquiet
#receive #giftgiver #youareloved

Tattling.

Day 142. Psalm 142.
Eyes on Jesus.
Tattling to Jesus. Sage advice I received from a beautiful, mature daughter of God so many years ago…

Not happy?
Feeling offended?
Not fair?

Me too. I totally get these feelings and thoughts which accompany them.

Tattle to Jesus. He sees the bigger picture. He understands all the sides. He knows all the filters by which each party is relating to the situations. He’s not taking sides. He’s asking me to assess whether or not I will be on His side.

“Where are you?”  It seems to be one of God’s favorite questions. “From what are you fleeing and where are you going?”

{Genesis 16:8 Hagar and El Roi}

He wants me to assess my current location along with the direction of my heart and my feet.

El Roi, The God who sees me, interrupts my tantrum to ask me, “Where are you?” Am I getting closer to Him or further away? Are my eyes looking to Him or away to the situation? Am I seeking the world’s answers or His wisdom?

Back it up, girlfriend! Eyes on Jesus. Tattling to Him. Spilling it raw to the Only One capable of sorting it all out.

Eyes on Jesus. Feet toward Jesus. Staying near. Listening for His loving voice of direction and guidance.

I sense that you are hesitant.  I’ve sought my own solutions too.  I’ve given into my flesh time and time again seeking solace in the advice of people. I am tempted to take my complaint to a friend; thinking surely someone with skin on is able to fix my problem.

Faulty has been my thinking that those to whom I would most likely tattle actually want to hear my passionate spew of words at a high pitch frequency.  Faulty has been my assumption that a person is able to bring wholeness to my broken heart.  Faulty has been my thinking that I NEED someone to take up ‘my side’.

People with skin on have all their own issues, burdens, cares, and reasons to rant, spew and carry on with complaints of not fair.

The bottom line is that you and I often think God doesn’t care to hear.  Or we have been taught to think He doesn’t concern His Majesty with such trivial things.  Or we just don’t think He’s BIG enough or POWERFUL enough to straighten out that person or that situation looming over our heads.

The bottom line is that we don’t think we’ll get the answer for which we’re longing. We want to be right. We want people to tell us we’re right. We want immediate gratification of our flesh.

The bottom line is that we don’t know our Father. His love for us is boundless, yet we’re not trusting of His goodness. We don’t think His answer for us will be fair or pleasing or soothing.

Have you ever asked yourself, “Why don’t I take my concerns, my rants, my feelings raw and passionate straight to the Throne of Grace?”

It’s a good question to ponder with Father in His word, and with our Counselor, Holy Spirit.

Come join me.  Let’s sit at His feet.  There’s plenty of room for both of us. Our Father delights in sorting out the tangles if we’ll simply tattle to Jesus.

Eyes on Jesus and Shine,

~Lisa