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

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.

Tethered

Day 130. Focus – Jesus. Eyes on Him.  How else can I live in peace?

Unless my heart be tethered to my Lord, I will lose heart. Unless my feet remain within my Good Shepherd’s pasture, I will lose my way. Unless my eyes remain trained on His eyes of love, I will stray for the acceptance of another.

Dear Jesus, thank You for Your unending love and for Your long-suffering devotion to me. You are faithful and good. Your character exemplifies all that I want to become as an image bearer of my Creator Father God.

Yet, You are Higher than my ways. Your perfection and holiness is beyond my comprehension. Your thoughts are greater than my thoughts.

Jesus, passionate Pioneer. Author and Perfector of souls. Teacher. Warrior. Intercessor. Savior. You are my King. My love. My hope. My way. And my peace.

May the fire in Your holy eyes draw me closer and closer. May my devotion to You increase moment by moment. May I not divert my eyes or catch my feet wandering. May my life remain steadfastly anchored in Your love and may I remember that Your name has sealed my heart for eternity.

I’m grateful that I am Yours and You are mine. For Your glory… I pledge my love and allegiance to You. Amen.

Eyes on Jesus and Shine,

~Lisa

Being Prepared for Harvest

Day 129. Psalm 129.
Though the enemy of God means destruction for God’s people, God is Sovereign over His enemy.

God is powerful. Almighty. Greater. Already victorious. God has already won our victory. Join Him in it!

The enemy of God still attempts to overcome the Kingdom knowing full well he’s defeated. His design is to deceive as many souls as possible while he still has time. He is successful at taking people and regions captive to his schemes. People, even those belonging to God, find themselves in bondage to lies and defilement.

Just take a look around you…

However, God, Who is only Righteous and Mighty to save, is jealous for His own. Ultimately every knee will bend in the presence of King Jesus and every tongue will confess His Majesty. All people alive and dead. All people on earth, above and below. All souls will bow and confess the name of Jesus Christ as King and sovereign victor over all of creation.

Maybe we should all sit with that realization for awhile.

Reading this psalm reminds me of Jesus’ parables regarding farming and sowing seed. {Matthew 13 & Mark 4 are good places to begin reading}

The earth must be turned, shredded, and purified from rocks, weeds and other contaminants. The soil is made ready, defiled soil made clean, to receive the seed and bring a hearty harvest in due time.

It is the diligent, caring and responsible farmer who allows the tearing up of the soil. He desires the best production from his seed and works tirelessly to make sure that the good harvest will come to fruition. He tends, he waits and waters and watches over the miracle of death becoming life!

God will allow the tearing up of our soil – even at times by the hand of His enemy – and God uses it for His good purposes in our lives.

So if you’re feeling scourged and raw, take heart. God will use this soil purification process for your good. If you, and I, will yield to the process of preparation, allowing God’s good seed of His Word to be sown in our newly opened hearts; we will experience a great harvest.

Christ, Living Water, will nourish the seed sown if we’ll let Him. He is Light and protection for our growth. Let us yield and turn our faces to His attention. May we surrender to His care for our good and His glory.

Let us not forget Jesus, most of all, gave His back for us. He knows. He’s received the worst on our behalf. He’s been where you are, and He endured it all for God’s glory. With the Joy of the harvest ahead, seeing you and me as His victorious inheritance, Jesus endured the ripping and tearing. Jesus trusted His physical body, and His spirit to His Father knowing the temporary scourging and humiliation of obedience would produce a glorious harvest for The Kingdom of God.

Thank You, Father, for turning our eyes to Your dear Son. Thank You, Jesus, for setting the example of endurance and victory. Thank You, Holy Spirit, for coming to invade our vessels and empower our obedience to God.

Eyes on Jesus and Shine,

~Lisa

Eyes on Jesus. Focus – Jesus. Following Jesus.
#eyesonjesusandshine
#day129 #harvest #joy #endured

2. A boat divided will sink

2020, I believe will go down in history as one of the most difficult years of a lifetime. Hopefully, in the future, many people will also remember that 2020 was the year of their greatest growth. Much good can arise out of painful and unwelcome circumstances. I know because I’ve witnessed this truth in my personal life.

And I believe I’ve earned the right to state matter-of-factly, MUCH GOOD can come from great pain.

For some the slow down has been a needed time out, which admittedly most of us would not have taken voluntarily. Truly, we are quite unaware of how fast we’re spinning because everyone around our orbit is spinning as fast or faster.

For others, wounds yet to be dealt with have surfaced and have become unmanageable. The stress and fear of uncertain times have caused the unhealthy coping mechanisms to spin completely out of control. The festering infection must be dealt with before it becomes fatal. That’s not drama. It’s just TRUE!

Hopefully, down the road, individuals, couples and yes, even whole families will be able to mark this time as one of healing, repentance and reconciliation.

What is becoming blatantly obvious, as many of us venture out into the public square, is that people are divided. The new normal doesn’t feel normal or good. On every side of every issue we’re wondering who is right and who is wrong. Who’s to blame and who will fix this mess. Everyone is feeling the raw hurt and loss of most everything normal and secure – even if it was false security.

When my dear man and I first stepped into our boat with Jesus, it felt much more like an exciting adventure ahead. Admittedly, we had some trepidation, and some honest questions. Yet, we were willing to step into another unknown, and in the end we would be glad. We knew that times on the boat {learning to sail} might prove challenging, but adventure with Jesus has always brought us growth, strength and deeper intimacy.

Because we had previously lived through some deeply trying times in career, church and family life we stepped into our training boat with confidence in our Teacher. He’s been our Teacher for a long, long time, and He’s never steered us wrong. Never! Still, it didn’t take long for us to realize that Jesus had determined we were now ready for the advanced training course.

May I state for the record, once again, our trust in Him as Teacher and our confidence in ourselves and each other has been severely tested.

The wounds in our very human hearts have again been laid bare as we began to spend many more hours in a day together. I had grown accustomed to my cherished quiet hours in the house alone before my dear man walked through the door from work. That was my time to putter, relax, listen to music, pray, read and process my day. Okay, let me just be honest, I simply liked being able to do whatever I wanted to do – alone. I cherished ‘me time’.

Suddenly, we were both home. Together. Alot. No more quiet alone time. I bristled at the loss of ‘me’ time and the invasion of ‘my’ space.

He didn’t want to be home either. My dear man had never planned to retire. Work was his passion and pastime. He was resentful of his lack of work, and was frustrated with the huge gap of time needing to be filled with productivity from morning to evening.

Realization set in as we tried to balance ourselves in the boat of our new normal. Neither of us were happy. None satisfied. I was working outside our home, which was all he longed for. And he was doing what my heart desired; staying home. Like seasick sailors we were topsy turvy and nothing seemed to settle the rocking. We struggled desperately to find the calm.

We were in the boat together. For better. For worse. For richer. For poorer. In health. In distress. With Parkinson’s. Without career. Missing the main income. We had stepped into the boat together and neither of us knew how to sail.

Our differences seemed exaggerated as time in the boat droned on day after training day without so much as a breeze to lift our sails. Too many times I allowed my insecurities to control my emotions. I pointed a finger in his direction and demanded to know when he was going to learn to sail so that we could get moving again.

I knew I was wrong. The hurt in my dear man’s eyes pierced my conscience, but the empathy in Jesus’ eyes over our broken humanity pierced my heart. I confessed my wrong. I was forgiven. Yet, I didn’t know how to resolve the helpless feelings of being adrift on the open ocean with a person who didn’t know how to sail.

Many times on certain days I completely lost sight of the fact that our Teacher was in the boat with us. He wasn’t going to let us sink. Or would He?

I cried out to God for help. We had already overcome some major marital hurdles and I didn’t want to fail this current test of oneness. Our boat was divided. And this lack of unity, we knew all too well, had the power to destroy even the most committed souls.

Jesus. Help!

He did. He reminded me to seek His face. He gave me a hunger for His word in which He reminded me to confess what is true, forgive what hurts, and love like He loves me.

We weren’t getting out of this boat any time soon it appeared quite obvious. So we needed to find ways to communicate, design rules of fair play and negotiate together the rhythm that would keep us afloat.

Now as I look at the condition of our western society trying to crawl out of a pandemic and all but total economic shutdown, I remember our personal learning curve. The ways our country has fractured and split in this year of 2020 are too numerous now to even count. We’ve fallen off the cliff of simply being divided down the middle of red or blue. We’ve splintered as a society into innumerable beliefs, thoughts, values and judgments.

What will keep us from self destruction as a society? A boat divided will sink.

All I know to do for our country, our state, and our local community in the turbulence is to cry out…

Jesus. Help!

You might think me a simpleton. A Pollyanna. You might think me ridiculous and you might not come back to read my words. That’s okay.

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of the elders.
Psalms 107:31‭-‬32 NIV

I know what I’ve experienced is true. Jesus has always been faithful when I’ve been eager to give up. He’s always had answers to my questions and He’s always had solutions to my problems.

I’m asking for Jesus to help us, as people He created, to be patient with one another, to forgive readily and to be kind. I’m asking Him to have mercy on us and to teach us to be merciful toward others. I’m asking Him to open our eyes to His goodness and generosity, which will surely cause us to reflect His goodness and generosity to others.

Jesus. Teacher in the boat. He’s been teaching us to sail together, my dear man and myself. He’s teaching us how to sail and not sink. Guess what? Five years into training, we’re really getting the hang of it.

Yes, five years. Training takes time, especially for us slow learners.

I know our Teacher will do it for you too. I believe Jesus will show Himself faithful to you and your household. I feel sure He will step into your boat. He’ll stay with you even when you’re not sure whether He will let you sink.

So, what will you do? How about crying out?

Jesus. Help!

~Lisa