ABC’s of 2020: Dawn

When you think of dawn…. what do you see? I typically see beautiful colors, hear birds chirping, taste coffee, and feel energized. ….. that is all in my mind. I am a horrible morning person. However in recent years, I have come to depend on it. On work days, I drive to work pre-dawn/dawn- depending on the season. I am not at all a morning person… but this easily has become my favorite time of day. It is a time with God, time to reflect, think, without any distractions. It is the sight of new beginnings. I day filled with tons of potential – and I can’t imagine not starting it out in some way (prayer, song, meditation, sermon listening, reading).

BUT I promise you, as much as I want to embrace each new dawn, new potential just waiting- I can easily be like a little kid scared of the dark. Where I am so distracted, giving way more time and energy than I should, on what is lurking? On what could happen? and all the ways I would react to what could happen? I get so side tracked. I miss the opportunity to tune into the Lord and see what he wants me to see today.

Lord, Help us to see the potential of the new day. Help us to see your path in the dawns light. Amen

So friends… please share with me… what is your dawn routine to focus for the day? Share. I am begging you. How do you stay focused for the day?

No Words…. Well maybe a few

So as I traveled through the day today, it was on my heart to cancel my regularly scheduled post in the ABCs of 2020 series. I have been wrestling with the courage to write this and actually post it. I have been so distracted today knowing I needed to leap and share what is weighing on my heart.

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Tragedies happen everywhere, everyday. The news of small or large tragedies hurt my heart. Causes me to dig deep to trust the Lord. Lean on him not my understanding (or lack there of). Yesterday, we here in the US had a very public tragedy.  This particular helicopter carried a very famous basketball player, Kobe Bryant. As the news traveled (quickly), social media went crazy. In the last 24 hours I have seen two camps – those that loved Kobe and those who didn’t. Some loved his 5 times as a NBA Champion, 18 times NBA All Start, 4 time NBA All Start MVP- the list could go on. Some didn’t like him due an alleged sexual assault case. Some simply didn’t like basketball.

But NONE, I mean N. O. N. E. of this matters. We have been called to be Christians. To behave more Christ like. Let’s go back to the nineties…. WWJD (What would Jesus Do)? Jesus would LOVE. YES, it is that simple. Jesus loved all the people.

A helicopter crashed. 9 (NINE) souls. Nine God created human beings. Husbands. Wives. Fathers. Mothers. Brothers. Sisters. Friends. Died. Families and friends are grieving.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 (NIV)

God loved us (you, me, your neighbor, your heckler, your cheerleader…) ALL of us, so much he sent his son, he sacrificed his son. We simply owe him at least the effort to prioritize this….

Judgement Never.

Love First.

Kindness Always.

Grace Forever.

ABC’s of 2020: Calling

First of all the topic for this week changed last minute… we are going to look at the word “calling”…. well because I felt that tug.

I have had several lengthy conversations in the past few weeks about callings. Somewhere in this complicated life filled with technology, many Christians around me attach your calling to these big, HUGE, plans. They put an incredible amount of expectations on their life. And in my recent observations, these expectations have caused a crippling effect caused from fear. At the same time, the concentration on this “big” calling becomes blinders.

Now, I am not saying that your calling isn’t huge, big. What I am saying is that in this Pinterest, instagram comparison, everyone is watching world – you may be so distracted in measuring up to others- that you are missing the many other callings.  I wish someone had sat me down at a younger age and studied callings with me. I look back at different seasons, times, experiences, where I KNOW I missed a calling. I ignored the tug. It was too small. God is so big. He has BIG plans for me- so this isn’t for me moments.

Now I find callings can be found in jobs, relationships, random street passings. My callings have changed many times and I may have multiple going on at one time. It may be something God has me start or stop. He may call me to go or stay.  I still struggle with being able to discern is it his tug or my own desires causing the tug.  Slow down. Cut out distractions. Listen. Pay attention to the tugs. His tugs (AKA Callings) will always cause  once you surrender. His callings will always be coincide by anything needed. Pay attention because I also find God sneaks in confirmations all the time if you are listening.  DOn’t focus on the Facebook, instagram, Pinterest callings – what may be small to you maybe HUGE to someone in your callings path- don’t ever underestimate that.8

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28 (NIV)

PS- In 2020 to help hear better, be less distracted- I am focusing one day a month of no screen time. To be sure that this wasn’t “scheduled” around by wants- my husband randomly picked numbers to create the schedule. First one is later this week.

ABCs of 2020: Bitterness

So I have been hurt, you have been hurt, everyone has been hurt. I find my most hurtful memories (for the most part) were not done deliberately. Bitterness is grown when that hurt festers. And as I reflected on this topic, I realized my bitterness (or hurt) stems from the difference between what I thought I “received” and what I expected…. So another words- bitterness is all on me and only me. Ouch!

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.
Hebrews 12:14-15 (NIV)
Over the last couple of years, I have really worked on dropping unspoken expectations and have worked even harder to realize expectations I was holding unconsciously.
Don’t underestimate the power of bitterness- it will impact your mind, body, and spirit. When I notice my bitterness I have to pray. I have to pray for God’s help to disclose the real who, what, and why. I have to pray for God’s forgiveness of my bitter heart.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10 (NIV)
I have to pray for grace and healing. I have to realign my focus to joy and love- and I have to do this purposefully.
Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.
Proverbs 14:10 (NIV)
Typically, refocusing on the joy and love, will slowly kill the roots of my bitterness.

Next week: ABCs of 2020: Challenges.

ABCs of 2020: Action

This new series is going to dig a little deeper in the Word about one word. And what a better way to start the year and alphabet but with the word action.

Leaping into 2020 – I started to think about how I wanted this to be different from 2019- the year of courage. I realized the underlying theme- was to take good ideas, good plans, good intentions placed on my heart and put into action. 

I feel God used last year to build my trust. To feel excitement about the thoughts and ideas he placed on my heart. I let fear freeze my ideas. And in the last few months God has really been pointing out my lack of action. I keep hearing “actions speak louder than words.” That was an ouch moment…. Rather moments. 

I am a master at planning- but not so good about action in areas I feel inadequate. I am really good at putting things into action when I understand the big picture. But God doesn’t always reveal the big picture and is looking for you to just take the next turn. 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

The Word has so so so much to say about taking action. So let’s dig a little deeper…

Action could be to start something, taking action to stop something, or taking action to rest in something. 

Geez. So many options. 

Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

John 13:17 (NIV)

So as I start 2020 off….  I am tackling all three in small steps.

I am taking action to start the weekly ABCs series and diving deeper into the word- one word at a time.

I am taking action to stop Turing to sugar to comfort and energize. Today will be the first day of 40 for a faith based sugar fast. (Want more info go check it out- Wendy Speake’s 40 Day Sugar Fast)

I am taking action in resting (and praying) in his desire for this blog / community and the speed I take my ideas, so that they remain manageable and in His glory. 

At the end of the day, action is all about obedience to God. Take action even if that means action in being still when he calls you to. How do you take action in His glory?

Next week: ABCs of 2020: Bitterness.