Going Forward

We are living in an exciting time to be a Christian! We are also living in a terrifying time to be a Christian. One of my favorite authors and teachers has written a timely and pointed blog post that I think is a must-read for anyone who calls themselves Christian. Please read Going Forward by author and teacher Beth Moore. And then go forward to church. Forward to scripture, forward to prayer, forward to loving the way Jesus loved and still does.

 

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It’s Not About Me

Satan wants you to quit praying. He wants you to believe God isn’t paying one whit of attention to you. That He’s moved on without you. That you don’t matter. There’s only one thing to do with that. Pray twice as much. With twice the faith. And a thousand times the thanks. -Beth Moore

This is one of those mornings that my mind is all over the map, but everything in it is screaming at me to pray. Focus on others. What is God calling me to? The song in my head is Start A Fire by Unspoken.

This world can be cold and bitter
Feels like we’re in the dead of winter
Waiting on something better
But am I really gonna hide forever?

Over and over again
I hear Your voice in my head
Let Your light shine, let Your light shine for all to see

Start a fire in my soul
Fan the flame and make it grow
So there’s no doubt or denying
Let it burn so brightly
That everyone around can see
That it’s You, that it’s You that we need
Start a fire in me

At the same time, I had words in my head that prompted me to write this verse…

It’s not about me
It’s not about me
It’s not about my fears and failures
It’s not about my hopes and plans
It’s not about what I want or need
It’s not about my desires or dreams
It’s not about who I want to be
It’s not about me

Cause if I know you, Lord
You know my every thought
And if I love you, Lord
Your love fills up my heart
If I remember You
You will remember me
And fill my every need

The above quote from Beth Moore came from an email I received this morning, after being awakened by Start A Fire and writing the verse. In that blog post, she also said, “Intercession for others becomes a guard against the narcissism of this present culture.” If I pray for others, it keeps me from thinking too much of myself, because it’s NOT about me.

It’s so incredible to me how God has thrown all this at me at the same time this morning!!! I can’t ignore it. Pray! Pray now. Keep praying. Pray for others. Pray for myself. Pray continually. Pray with thanksgiving.

Start a fire in me, Lord, because it’s not about me. Don’t let my prayers or my love for others grow cold, dull or boring. Light me up!!! Set my heart on fire for others who need You so desperately. Though it’s nearly overwhelming, thank You for throwing it all at me this morning. Help me not to let You down. Amen.

Click here to listen to Start A Fire by Unspoken.

Click here to read the full blog post on Prayer from Living Proof Ministries.

I chose the featured image because it reminds me of Matthew 6:26… “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” It is oil on 140 lb paper, 2.5″ by 3.5″, artist trading card.

THRIVE!

Great things about vacation… No schedule, no makeup, good food, dress down comfy clothes, sleep late. I’m pretty sure that list could be endless, but I’m still up early! Though I did sleep a little later, I’m the only one awake at the B&B in these beautiful surroundings. I can’t help it. I can’t miss my morning appointment with God… He waits for me.

I love these quiet hours in the morning before anybody else is stirring. I get to have time alone with God and His Word… Time to dig deep into the scripture… Time to listen to what He has to say to me. And time for God to mold me and make me into someone useful for the work He has planned for me to do. It’s refreshing to me… Like a little mini vacation! I leave my studio ready to face whatever comes today.

As I write this, Casting Crowns is singing through my head…

Just to know You and to make You known
We lift Your name on high
Shine like the sun, make darkness run and hide
We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives
It’s time for us to more than just survive
We were made to Thrive

“To know You and to make You known.” How can I know God if I don’t spend time with Him? And how can I make Him known to others if I don’t know Him myself? For me, that means keeping these early morning appointments with God. It means digging into the Word with Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer, and so many others with my precious friends in Bible study.

For me, it means doing more than just surviving each day. Casting Crowns has it right when they sing that we were made to THRIVE! Because others are watching, do we want to show them that we are merely surviving? Or that we are thriving??

Free Samples

Sometimes life knocks us down. Correction… Most of the time life knocks us down. Some of us spend more time on the ground or the floor than we do standing upright, and we have no explanation for it. So why do some of us keep getting up again? Why do some of us just stay down so we don’t have so far to fall?

There’s a little line in my head from Only Grace by Matthew West

Get back up
Get back up
Get back up again

I know I keep getting back up again because I have Hope. Capital “H” Hope… I have put my trust in the One who can carry me through until He returns. And I’ll be honest with you, sometimes I don’t want to get back up. Sometimes it’s just too hard!! I can’t do it alone, but I have the Holy Spirit with me and the promise of Christ’s return to help me stand up one more time. And I have others in the body of Christ to help me.

There’s only grace
There’s only love
There’s only mercy
And believe me it’s enough
Your sins are gone
Without a trace
There’s nothing left now
There’s only grace

I heard Beth Moore say this morning that “Until Jesus comes back, we keep coming back.” Defy Satan and keep coming back again. Keep doing what I’m called to do until The Lord chooses to call me home or He returns. Otherwise, how will others be able to “taste and see that The Lord is good?” How can they sample God’s goodness without our example? That’s our calling, in whatever giftedness God blesses us with… Teaching, music, food, children, computers… Show others the goodness of God in the everyday lives we lead.

Everybody loves free samples. Let’s start giving them away!!!!