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What do you think of when you see this picture?
Do you think of home? Family? Protection? Style? Curb appeal?
I took photo this yesterday because it reminded me of wisdom passed on to me…
Don’t build walls. Build a fence.
If you’ve ever read Ezra and Nehemiah you might remember that the bulk of it is about rebuilding the defensive walls. Defensive walls for a city are a good thing. Defensive walls around a person, not so much.
If you build walls and isolate yourself, you may be protected from hurt, but you’re also not living an abundant life nor are you growing.
Tear down the walls, and build a fence instead. A fence is like a healthy boundary.
The gate in your fence allows you to participate. It allows you to communicate. And it allows you to let people in, some will be in the yard, some in the house, and some won’t be allowed past the gate. That’s why the gate opens, closes, and locks.
Only Jesus should be allowed access to every part of you. He has top secret clearance and need to know.
Everyone else has a varying degree of clearance and need to know. You need boundaries in every relationship.
Healthy boundaries foster your growth.
But walls so high they block out the sun, stunt your growth.
There have been times in my life that my walls were so high and so thick that I missed opportunities that God Himself provided for me. I simply was not open to anyone or anything.
I trusted no one. Not even God.
Truth is I was alive but not living. And I was miserable. But I stayed there far too long because I felt safe in the little world I made for myself.
It took time. It took effort. It took counseling. But I slowly began opening up to trusting others.
It isn’t always easy. You will make mistakes. I did! You’ll probably fall and fail a time or two. I do! Sometimes you will trust the wrong person. But you’ll learn and grow, just like I am.
Point to ponder while you wander…
Life is both miraculous and brief. So…
Maybe replace you walls with a fence and open the gate a bit.
Come out to play.
Be open to new adventures.
John 10:10… “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” NKJV
Isaiah 53:18-19… “Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” NKJV
Psalm 91:2… “I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.‘” NKJV
”Jesus replied to him, ‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but you will (fully) understand it later.‘” John 13:7 AMP
Often we are asked to obey, trust, or act in faith without having a clue as to why we are being asked to do or not to do something. But we need to remember that Jesus was there in the beginning and He’ll be there at the end, and all that knowledge and wisdom is being used to encourage us to live abundant and full lives.
I know it’s difficult to step out. It was for the disciples too. They spent a lot of their time asking what? and why? questions of Jesus.
It’s not easy for me either. But I don’t want to get to the end of my life and wish I’d been brave enough to step out.
Point to ponder while you wander…Joshua walked around Jericho every day for 7 days…and it probably didn’t make a whole lot of sense to him. He was a military commander not a band leader. But he obeyed….and the walls came down. He fully understood as he watched the walls crumble. God did something amazing for him and his people. But he would have missed it if He hadn’t obeyed.
So let’s do it! Let’s be bold and courageous!
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.
“As soon as I pray, You answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.” Psalm 138:3 NLT
We may not SEE immediate results from our prayers, but that doesn’t mean God is ignoring you. He is listening. He heard you. Trust His timing.
His initial response is to encourage and strengthen you. To remind you He loves you, especially in those times when strengthening you is all God can do in the situation.
Sometimes God cannot do what you’ve asked. He has the ability, of course, but God respects our free will. He will only work within the confines of our choices.
When people make choices, God respects those choices even if He doesn’t agree with them. Sometimes other people’s choices negatively impact us.
When this happens pray the Word over the situation! Keep declaring His promises to turn it around for your good!
God will not intervene without invitation. This means your prayer is vital. Essential. Key. VITAL. Keep praying. Keep speaking the Word over every person in the situation. It matters.
Point to ponder while you wander… Prayer invites God to do whatever He can to turn the situation around for the good of those who love Him.
Keep praying. Trust Him. He is faithful. Even when those around us are not.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 NLT
More on this Subject: https://jillbeingstill.com/2016/06/30/god-is-listening/
Today is a random pondering day for me. I’m thinking about the change and why I love to hate it. I’m sure you’ve heard the quote by Heraclitus of Ephesus,”The only thing that is constant is change.”
He also said, “Everything changes and nothing stands still. You could not step twice in the same river; for other waters are ever flowing onto you.”
It’s why I love photography so much. Capturing a moment in time and preserving it forever. A baby’s first smile or steps. Your childhood best friends who you swear will always be there. A flower in full bloom or that ever flowing river that will never be the same again.
The danger is holding so tight to those moments that we get stuck and refuse to move forward. I can’t ever get yesterday back. I can’t stop my nieces and nephews from getting taller than me or my grandparents from aging. There are times I want to go back and relive moments and times when I want to go back with a giant eraser. But I can’t. None of us can.
All we can do is find a balance of taking the memories with us but not letting them paralyze us from embracing the new day we are in right now.
I like the quote by W.Somerset Maugham, “Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.”
Embrace every day and every new season. Be all in. That’s my goal right now. To really live, not to just exist. Jesus came to give us life and life more abundantly. He didn’t come so we could just survive.
I know I’m all over the place but it’s where I am right now. I’m in a time of serious transition. I don’t have any idea what will happen tomorrow. Hence my quoting of quotes and rambling. I feel like I’ve been in a season of constant motion. I feel like I’ve got motion sickness and the speed of which the days and weeks are rolling by are making me dizzy with a tinge of nausea. I feel like I spend so much time trying not to fall down and figure everything out that I’m wasting these precious days I should be living to their fullest. I feel like a fan, vacillating back and forth between fear of failure and fear of missing out on what my life could have been.
That being said, here’s a change quote from me…”There are two constants in this life;one is change and the other is a God who doesn’t.” -Jill Nicholson
I have to keep reminding myself that I can rely on God to constantly love me every day. He loves me whether I’m embracing life that day or I spent it sitting on the couch with my knees pulled up sobbing. I can trust that He is the same every day. He is forever faithful and keeps His word. I need those reminders daily lately, because all my safety nets are gone now. I have the words God gave me and the promises. That’s it. And it’s scarier than vampire clowns to someone who has grown accustomed to schedules and routines.
I have always trusted God in theory. I mean He’s done some spectacular things through random and ordinary people. I know he can do anything. But I also know me. I tend to be like that ever changing river that flows down the easiest path. I’m not a fan of mountains or climbing. I like the view but the risk of the fall vs the spectacular view…well I choose to purchase the photo of the view from someone who was crazy enough to climb said mountain.
Do you know what happens when you trust God only in theory? He tests your theory. When God tests your theory, He proves it beyond any doubt. I’m witnessing with my own eyes how faithful He is. I am experiencing what peace in chaos actually feels like. (FYI it’s awesome) So while I still have no idea what will happen tomorrow or how all the chaos in my life will be worked out. I know that it will be worked out for my good, because that is the God I serve and love. He does not change. He is always faithful. He is always trustworthy. He always loves and reacts in love.
This is what I am telling myself today. Change is constant. But so is God.
“God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” Numbers 23:19 NLT
“I am the Lord,and I do not change.” Malachi 3:6 NLT
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 NLT
“My peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 NKJV
Jesus’s peace does not mean having zero issues! His peace is a trust that allows you to rest, knowing God is for you even when there are issues. This peace is a gift. Like all other gifts, it only needs to be received and used.
Peace is a gift. Trust is a choice.
“With Your very own hands You formed me; now breathe Your wisdom on me so I can understand You. When they see me waiting, expecting Your Word, those who fear you will take heart and be glad. I can see now, God, that Your decisions are right;” Psalm 119:73-75 MSG
You may not know exactly what the Lord is doing in your life right now because you do not see everything He sees. But you can get to know Him better. You can personally experience and know that He is trustworthy & faithful.
My prayer for you is that you receive His grace to trust Him more than you ever have, in areas you’ve never been able to trust Him before. Ths t you reach s new level of trust within your relationship. I also pray that you have a personal revelation of the width, height & depth of His love for you.
Today’s Deep Thought: When your hope is based on God’s promises, you can be assured that you will not be disappointed because not a single one of God’s promises will fail!
The last thing Joshua said to the Israelites was, “Deep in your hearts you know that every promise of the LORD your God has come true. Not a single one has failed!” Joshua 23:14 NLT
Hebrews tells us: “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1 NLT
Paul said: “And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” Romans 5:5
Hope=A joyful and confident expectation of good.
Faith=Being convinced (absolutely persuaded) that God is who He says He is and, therefore, will do what He says He will do. Also known as trust, belief.
Even if you don’t see how God is going to do it, God sees the beginning and the end.
Even if you can’t wrap your mind around it or begin to understand it, God knows all things.
Even if you have no money, God is your provision.
Even if you’ve been waiting sooooo long, don’t give up. Those who persevere receive what they were promised.
Even if it looks impossible, God still does miracles every day. He has limitless resources. LIMITLESS! And He’s got more planned for you than you can possibly imagine. Imagine that!
Even if you are the least likely, ESPECIALLY if you are the least likely candidate, God loves using those people! (David for instance. Or Mary. Or Galilean fishermen and tax collectors working for the Romans. The list goes on and on).
When God promises something, He delivers. So, stand on His word! Speak the scripture out loud! Remind God of His promises.
Faith praises God NOW for things that have been promised but have not yet arrived. We praise NOW because we know that God ALWAYS keeps His Word. Always.
I’m having a week where my thoughts are bouncing all over the place. SO I’m going to share some random. If you need fun….there’s some fun in here. If you need a deep word or something to study, I’ve got some links in here to the Living Word. If you need visual inspiration, gaze into the above photo of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. For more you can search Sleeping Bear Dunes images. You won’t be sorry.
**Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore is a beautiful place. I am quite sure it looks like this in Heaven. Who needs gold streets when you have beauty like this? Not me.
**My friend’s husband, who is also my friend too, posted this on FB this morning: “All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.” So true. Just look at the above photo.
**”It seems like yesterday, but it was long ago….” Random Bob Segar lyrics that are stuck in my head. Any Michigander who cannot immediately identify that these are Bob Segar lyrics from Against the Wind…I say tsk tsk.
**I enjoy the French Peas from Veggie Tales…so I’m sharing this from Josh and the Big Wall. If you need some fun today, or haven’t ever watched the Veggies, check this out: Keep Walking
**If you want to read about Jericho minus the slushies, it’s in Joshua Chapter 6. You can find that here: Jericho Story on Bible Gateway
**Thinking about Joshua makes me think of the sun standing still in Joshua Chapter 10. Want to read about someone praying powerfully, that one will knock your whole self for a loop. Moving mountains and the sun standing still. God’s just cool. Oh…you can find that sun standing still chapter here: Sun Stand Still on Bible Gateway
**We have a lot of people with J names in my family, but not as many as the Duggars. In my immediate family there are 4 J’s out of 16. Okay it seemed like a lot more before I counted.
**God’s love is a consuming fire that ignites and inspires but never burns up. Let that one soak in. I’ve been soaking in that for 2 weeks and it still blows my mind. Need an example from the Bible of God’s consuming fire check out Moses and the Burning Bush on Bible Gateway.
**Okay this is bugging me. I need to count. There’s one A name, one B, one C, one E, one H, one K, one O, two P’s, one R & two T’s. So the percentage of 4 out of 16 is 25%…which is a higher percentage than the others, so yes there are a lot of J names. Phew. I feel better now.
**Remember in Bambi when Thumper says, “Mama says, if you can’t say something nice don’t say nothing at all.”? Well, Thumper’s Mama must read the Bible. God actually shut Zachariah’s mouth so he couldn’t wreck the blessing, He’d just given him. Zachariah was literally muted from the time God spoke about them having a son until Elizabeth gave birth to John. God did this to prevent Zachariah from speaking doubt and negative. Our words have creative power. So we need to stop speaking the problem and start speaking God’s word over our problem.
This has been random thoughts with Jill. Have a fabulous day!
Today’s Deep Thought: If you really want to do big things, you must learn to abide in God
Jesus, Himself, said, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 4:6-11
This speaks to me of becoming one with God, entering a true partnership. We do our part, God does His.
Our part is to obey what God has told us to do even if it doesn’t make sense. Even if we don’t understand why. Then we rest, knowing God is faithful. Then, we wait. We trust. Be believe. We speak His word. We stand on His promises. We praise Him for what He’s doing and going to do. We thank Him for what He’s done. We seek His presence. And then we receive from Him. This is our part.
God’s part is everything else. Yes. You heard me. Everything else is God’s part. He’s a big God so it’s easy for Him. But He needs you to partner with Him. He needs you to trust Him. He needs you to abide.
You will have amazing adventures with Him. You will do things that you never dreamt or imagined were possible. But you won’t be doing them alone. You’ll be doing them with Him and in His power. That’s why being connected to the vine is so essential! We need His power to do those amazing things.
Abiding in God is remaining steadfast. Believing that no matter the way we feel or what the situation looks like God is who He says He is and will do what He said He will do.
God abiding in us means that He strengthens us every day. Fresh anointing. Fresh grace. More love. He never leaves or forsakes us.
Abide: To remain; continue; stay. To endure, sustain. To wait for; await. To accept without opposition or question. To act in accord with; to submit to; agree to. To remain steadfast or faithful to; keep. Synonyms: 1. wait. 2. live. 3. persevere, endure.