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How to Wield Power

For He is the living God and He endures forever; His kingdom will not be destroyed, His dominion will never end. He rescues and He saves; He performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth.” Daniel 6:26-27 NIV

God is the ultimate power, and yet He choses not to dominate, micromanage, nor enslave. Instead He rescues, sets people free, and partners with us. His Son left paradise to give life, to serve, and to love. That is leadership and how power should be weilded.

Point to ponder while you wander…Are you a leader? Do you want to be one?

Grow people. Entrust people. Serve people. Because leadership is not about you, it’s about the people you lead.

Crocus of Joy

As I was walking in the warm sunshine (woohoo) on my way home from work, I came across these beauties.

And my first thought after….Ahhh! YAY! Crocuses!….was crocus of joy. I always associate crocuses with rejoicing because of the beginning of Isaiah 35…

The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.

The crocuses reminded me to choose joy today. So I’m spreading their message.

Point to ponder while you wander…

Joy is a choice.

“I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” Martha Washington

Sinking into a Garment?

Heyo. It’s Monday night and I’ve started a new study on Ephesians 6:10-18 on the whole armor of God. I’ve been feeling like I needed a study every single word kind of study. Then I watched an encouraging video that said something about the armor of God…and Voila! I was inspired to study said passage.

On my first read through of this section of Ephesians “put on the full armor” jumped out at me.

I instantly thought of Colossians 3:14.

So I looked it up.

Turns out the Greek work enduo is the same word in both verses.

Enduo: (en-doo’-o) Verb. G1746 in the Strong’s. It comes from “en” and “duno” (1416) to sink into a garment. To invest with clothing. To array. To clothe (with). To put on.

Thought 1. Sinking into a garment sounds like putting on something soft & luxurious. Something that fits well and allows you to move easily. Like when I come home and put on leggings and a t-shirt to go for a walk, clean, or even to relax and study the Word after work.

This is the exact opposite of I Samuel 17:38-39 when David tries to wear Saul’s armor and he cannot function in it.

Thought 2. Enduo is a verb. Enduo requires action on our part. To put one leg in and then the other and then pull it up. Not hard or complicated but effort required nonetheless.

Thought 3. Other uses of this word are related to choosing to put on Christ, and not to be concerned with what you will clothe your actual body in. Interesting. Ponder that for a moment.

Thought 4. There are some automatic things that happen when you declare Jesus Lord of your life, like… Forgiveness. Holy Spirit. Access to God through Jesus. And so many wonderful things under grace.

BUT there are other things you have to walk out and actually put effort into as we mature in Christ. Things we grow into. Like choosing to put on Christ. Choosing to put on love. Choosing to put on the full armor of God.

Point to ponder while you wander…I felt like I needed to put the verses here that relate to my thoughts today. Read through them. Ponder them.

Then….I encourage you to read the context of the verse that registers with you the strongest and ask God to reveal something new to you about the passage.

I’ll be praying for a new revelation for you. One that encourages you. One that inspires you to grow in faith.

If you do, and want to share, please comment below or shoot me a private message if you’d rather. 😀

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” Colossians 3:12-14 NLT

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith,for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” Galatians 3:26-27 NIV

Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11 NLT

Then Saul gave David his own armor—a bronze helmet and a coat of mail. David put it on, strapped the sword over it, and took a step or two to see what it was like, for he had never worn such things before. “I can’t go in these,” he protested to Saul. “I’m not used to them.” So David took them off again.” 1 Samuel 17:38-39 NLT

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.” Luke 12:22-23 NKJV

Musical Monday: Get Off My Cloud

Today I’m sharing my fave Rolling Stones song… Get Off Of My Cloud

When I hear the chorus I envision myself as child laying in soft green grass in our yard watching the parade of clouds roll by. I’d call out the shapes…elephant, duck, tree, turtle, ship… or I’d imagine myself floating in the blue sky on my very own cloud. It was quiet & peaceful on my joyfilled cloud. Nothing bad happened there, nothing sad either.

It was dreamy…the thought of alone time. I now know it’s because I’m introverted and I need alone time to recharge. Actually the thought of my own cloud was perfection. Soft fluffy perfection on my cloud.

I didn’t want messy drama brought into my cloud. I didn’t want someone to “wreck” my day.

But the truth is that no one can wreck your day without you conceding the right to them. No one can “make” you angry. They may hurt you, frustrate you, scare you, but you choose how you react. Anger is a secondary emotion, it’s choice.

Only you can determine what your attitude and frame of mind will be. Only you can choose to maintain peace in a storm. Only you can decide to choose joy in the face of a day that is full of problems.

Peace and joy are choices you make every day. Strength comes from joy. Rest comes from peace.

Point to ponder while you wander…Many things will happen in your life that you have zero control over. That is just life. But you have control over how you choose to react. You determine your attitude.

PS Continuing with the theme….here’s Barbra singing Don’t Rain on My Parade in Funny Girl for your auditory and visual pleasure.

Deep Thought Thursday: What Job is Really About

I’m currently studying the book of Job. Truthfully…it’s not my favorite.

What do you think the book of Job is about?

Most people, at least by the studies, commentaries, and posts I’ve found, believe Job is about why the righteous suffer.

I disagree. Wholeheartedly.

The book of Job is about relationship.

In the beginning, Job 1-3, Job knew of God. In the end, Job 38-42, Job KNEW God. That my friends is the point of Job’s story.

Are you going through hard times right now? Please save yourself the agony of the why that may never be answered (Job never found out why).

Instead focus on the who. Who is Jesus to you? Who do you want to be?

Use these hard times to grow and be a better person that you were before they happened.

I know it sucks. I’ve been there.

I’ve spent months battling a disease, having surgeries, and lying in a hospital bed. #notontodeath

I’ve lost a house, two cars, and had to depend on other people to help me financially. Literally living on less than $200 a month for over a year. Read more about how I felt going through it here. #pridekiller

I lost 3 of the most important people in the world to me in a 6 month time span. #deepdeepgrief

Sometimes seasons in your life just suck. Sometimes we lose. Sometimes we get sick. Sometimes we suffer.

If you read Hebrews 11, the Hall of Faith, many of them went through rough stuff too! BUT…just like with the 3 boys in the fiery furnace, they were not in it alone! And neither are you!

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel…” Isaiah 43:2-3 NIV

Point to ponder while you wander…

Life is not always easy, even if you are a believer!

BUT every season you go through can help you grow wiser, stronger, more compassionate, and closer to God.

Or you can choose to shrink into resentment, bitterness, and blame God.

The choice is yours.

His Way

God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to Him for protection.” Psalm 18:30 NLT

Thankful today for His enduring patience and unconditional love for all the times I doubted the truth of this verse and wouldn’t trust Him.

It has taken me a long time to understand the truth of Psalm 1, that delight comes when we follow God’s way. It’s not about rules and regulations and being perfect. 

It’s about understanding that His way always includes our best interest. His best for us, as He is for us. He loves us.

God doesn’t want robots or slaves. If He did we wouldn’t have free will or the ability to make choices.

God respects those choices even if He doesn’t agree with them and knows it will end badly. He respects our choices.

But! Remember He can only bless us within the confines of our choices.

So when we freely choose His way…then He has free reign to pour abundant blessing on us. More than we can ask or think.

What delight comes to those who follow God’s ways! They won’t walk in step with the wicked, nor share the sinner’s way, or be found sitting in the scorner’s seat. Their pleasure and passion is remaining true to the Word of “I Am,” meditating each and every moment in the revelation of light. They will be standing firm like a flourishing tree planted by God’s designs deeply rooted by the brooks of bliss; bearing fruit in every season of their lives. They are never dry, never fainting, ever blessed, ever plentiful.” Psalm 1:1-3

Point to ponder while you wander…His way doesn’t always make sense to us, but He knows the beginning, middle and end of your story. Doesn’t it make sense to trust His opinion over our own shortsighted opinion? 

All In

Perception is everything.  What you believe matters.  What you believe about yourself determines how you allow others to treat you and how you behave.  What you believe about yourself and God will determine your relationship with Him.  What you believe about God determines whether or not you are willing to have faith in, commit to, and trust Him.  If you don’t believe God is good and that God loves you, you will be unable to trust that He works all things out for your good.  If you are unable to fully trust Him, you’ll never commit to go all in.

It can be scary to go all in.  You may have doubts.  You may not fully understand.  Think about Mary when she was visited by the angel Gabriel.  She was confused and did not fully understand what he was telling her.  But she did believe that God was good and she trusted Him. So despite her doubt, Mary went all in.

In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”

Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.  “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God!  You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.  He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David.  And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”

Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”

The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month.  For the word of God will never fail.”” Luke 1:26-37 NLT

Mary could have heard what the angel had to say, and dismissed him.  She could looked at teenage self and said, “Yeah right.”  She could have listened to her doubts and refused to believe that this was possible.  She could have missed being the mother of the Savior, the Messiah, if she chose not to believe.

But Mary did not miss what God had for her, because she chose to go all in.  No back up plan.  No rationalizations.  No strategies.  Just belief.  “Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.””  Luke 1:38

You alone choose what you believe.  No one, not even God Himself, can make that choice for you.  Mary chose to believe, and she gave birth to the Savior.  What will you be capable of if you choose to believe God and go all in?

You are blessed because you believed that the Lord would do what He said.”  Luke 1:45 NLT

That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”” II Corinthians 2:9 NLT

“So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.” Hebrews 6:18 NLT

Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”  Matthew 19:26 NLT (Verse also found in Mark 10:27 and Luke 18:27).