In Every Season – All The Time

The book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible reminds us our God is the Author of all time and seasons. We learn that, What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9 Now we can perceive this verse from down in “Eeyore’s Pit” or from the top of “Tiggers Triumph”. 

We can rationalize that if nothing’s new or going to be new under the sun and really, if you look at it, socially, politically, emotionally… we humans tend to cycle on the hamster wheel! (Case in point: Back then decrees were made to social distance from the lepers, now decrees are made to social distance for other diseases…nothing new really.) 

OR we can rationalize that if nothing is new under the sun, and the Son of God still reigns the same yesterday, today and forever, then our good God remains the Author of all time and seasons, all His promises are steadfast and nothing reigns over our conquering King! No oppression, depression, tragedy, failure, sickness or setback can set His child back in Him!! He still fights for family, still shelters the weak, still revives the weary, provides for the poor! He still breaks the chains of strongholds and pierces darkness with Light, He is still leading His own in triumphant victory because He is the Victorious One!! 

Ears to hear and eyes to see – both are gifts from the LORD. Proverbs 20:12 (NLT) Unwrap the gift of His Almighty perspective for His filter is always Living Hope dear one! 

Today my children left for school (for the first time this season) in fall attire, for change is in the air! There is a crispness to the morning now that revives the senses as you step outside. It’s as if God is grabbing our attention to remind us in all your “seasons” and at all times, He is moving, working for our good and His glory! Will we take time to notice?! 

As we observe the changing of the seasons in the air from summer to fall we take note that this change only leads to the deadness of winter. Again another opportunity to sit in “Eeyore’s Pit” or jump on “Tiggers Triumphant” perspective! What we may perceive as “dead” is really only a season of REST while God continues to work the miraculous!!! 

The LORD directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way? Proverbs 20:24 (NLT) As my mom reminded me this morning, it’s not joy that makes us grateful; it’s gratitude that makes us joyful and when we rest in the powerful Truth of His unfailing Word in every season, we can rise triumphantly unshaken, all the time.

God bless you muchly~ Janette

Sweat Spot or Sweet Spot

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It was the perfect, on-the-verge-of-fall day! The wind was blustery and the air was crisp and cool. Twirl winds of leaves, just beginning to hint at changing colors from green to all sorts of fiery yellow, orange and red were cascading down the street that the wild whisps had managed to shake loose. This day I was able to work from home, so after dropping the herd off at the bus stop and blowing kisses to fly in the wind alongside the leaves, I headed home for the most important item on my to-do list: Bake homemade chocolate chip cookies for after school (of course). (How effective is working from home REALLY?? Especially when it’s the PERFECT day for baking!)

Once home I got right to it. I practically know this recipe by heart, as I bake it ALL the time. It’s my mom’s recipe that she always used to bake for me growing up. Literally I’ve found none to compare in all my multiple decades of living. So in an effort to truly be productive and work efficiently I decided to skip reading the recipe… after all I KNEW what to do, I could lean on my own understanding (or so I thought… famous last words right!?!). 

Upon opening the oven I realized that in my perfect (not so perfect) memory of the recipe, I had mistaken the oven temperature setting to be 350 instead of 375! Really though, what does 25 degrees matter in the realm of 300-some anyway?!! I’ll tell you what, those few degrees make the difference between a hot gooy gross total mess and a golden crisp outside with a soft center bit of perfection to die for! Again God sent His Scripture connection…

When I lean on my own understanding I often find myself a hot mess, in a sweat spot rather than in my sweet spot! 

  • Think of Johnathan, a good, kind, upstanding man and the next in line rightfully for the throne after his father Saul. YET God chose David to succeed Saul. Jonathan’s response is to submit to God’s choosing and encourage, support and fight FOR David!
  • Think of David after becoming king, he has all the power, the resources and leadership skill to build the Temple for God, it’s even his idea. YET God chose Solomon to build it. David responds with “Who am I, Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? (2 Samuel 7:18) Total humility and submission to the Father’s will and way.
  • Think of Barnabas, a great man of encouragement and YET God chooses Paul to lead. When no one would give Saul (turned Paul) a chance, Barnabas didn’t seize the moment to get ahead but rather to build a bridge for Paul to step into what Barnabas had seen God doing in his life.
  • Think of Naomi, a woman of God and YET God chooses Ruth, her daughter in law from a pagan land to be the mother of king David’s grandfather. Naomi takes Ruth under her wing and celebrates what God is doing in her DIL’s life. 

It’s easy to get strung up on what we THINK we understand even though God’s Word clearly advises otherwise (Isaiah 55:8-9)! I mean… where would David have been if Johnathan had not fought for him? Where would Solomon have been if David had not supported him? Where would Paul have been if Barnabas had not forged the bridge of acceptance? Where would Ruth have been if Naomi had not brought her into the family of God?

Regardless of what you THINK your life should look like right now, if you are abiding in Him don’t sweat it! You have been given the leading role in your own life, step into it as God designed! Your script is God’s bright idea! Whether you are called to submit like Johnathan, support like David, encourage like Barnabas, shepherd like Naomi… do it all to the glory of God! There are no small roles in HisStory, the Author of time and space does not waste it dear one!

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) This, dear one, will always be your sweet spot.                                                                                                                       

The “New Moon” Phase

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Recently I visited the dentist. To my shame, I was found with cavity. To my credit, I somehow made it through 3 decades of life cavity free AND the dentist did say I’m an excellent brusher. However, the dentist also said, I have really great grooves in my back molars to which the “sugar bugs” find exceptional places to hide! I must say, all was lost on me after the dentist said I had great grooves! All I could think was, “Hallelujah! This mom of six has good curves SOMEWHERE!!” You may not be able to actually SEE them since those curves reside in my back molars, but hey, we are all called to walk by faith and not sight anyway right?!! Of course this got me thinking on Scripture…

In Ezra 3:3-6 God’s people have just returned to their homeland from the cavity of captivity after 70 years! Despite their fear of the foreign people around them, they begin to build again to honor God. Every morning and every evening they faithfully brought the required sacrifices. It seems they began in wholehearted devotion to prioritize their God above all. Above all fear, and uncertainty and self doubt and their questions… 

What are you building, or allowing God to build through you, despite your fear of what people will think, or in spite of your fear of all you lack in your own abilities? What if, in wholehearted devotion to God you committed to step forward in faith rather than go in reverse toward regret of never having tried at all? What if you trusted God to be your Ability in your offer of availAbility to Him for such a time as this?

Reading again from Ezra 3:3-6 we can gather God’s people celebrated!! Yes, in their fear and uncertainty they celebrated! Our God is our warrior through worship and they celebrated His faithfulness to provide in their wilderness seasons of the past (also known as the Feast of Tabernacles) which emboldened their faith to trust Him in their present! 

How are you offering a sacrifice of praise in your current season of life? What can you recall of His faithfulness to you in your past that will help you find your faith in your present?

This Ezra passage also mentions the new moon celebrations. This was a time that God’s people dedicated the new month to their God! The thing is that other pagan nations worshiped the moon. God’s people held their celebrations during what is called the “New Moon” phase. Did you know that at the “New Moon” phase of the lunar cycle the moon can not be seen at all?!! God’s people can worship the Creator even when the creatED cannot be seen. 

Dear one our faithful God is moving for our good and His glory even when the numbers don’t add up, even if the results are negative, even though things seem to have gone left rather than right – our God is still on a right for you! If you feel you are in a “New Moon” phase and having to trust beyond what your finite senses can make sense of. So were the people in Ezra 3 and yet in faith they moved forward though the foundations of the LORD’s temple had NOT YET been laid. There is living hope in “not YET”. … “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” – the things God has prepared for those who love him- 1 Cor. 2:9 (NIV) 

Don’t give up because you can’t see the “moon”, lift your eyes, for the SON is always there.

Are You Ready?

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Then God said to Noah, “Leave the boat, all of you – … Genesis 8:15-16 (NLT) 

How many out there can relate to at some point or another in life, having longed for something different? (“Something” could encompass anything in life.) Yet often when change actually occurs we hesitate, we question, we step back instead of up. Why?!

First we need to ask The Gardener to reveal the root of our discontent because maybe it’s not from Him. If not, will we allow Him who knows best how to till the soil of our soul, to do so? Allowing the joy of His salvation to be our sustaining strength through (what feels like ashes (Is. 61:3)) to the beauty He is creating from this time we wouldn’t have chosen (Luke 22:42). He is able dear one.

On the other hand, maybe the urge for something new, something different IS from Him. In Genesis 8 the flood is receding and I’m sure Noah wanted nothing more than for something different than the ark!! We thought the quarantine of 2020 was a stressor… Noah probably rolled his ever lovin’ eyes from heaven as he thought, “Good grief people, at least you still get to do “poop duty” for your furry pets OUTDOORS!!” 

Even still I wonder, as Noah gazed out the window of the ark longing for something different, to be free of the confines of the stinky ark… I wonder if part of him was scared stiff if that door in the ark ever actually opened (Colossians 4:3-4)! 

Here Noah is facing his whole world (literally and figuratively) having changed. He had never known rain before and yet he just endured a flood caused by a torrential downpour! His world as he knew it, had changed. (Maybe you can relate on some level.) Noah would have to learn how to grow things in a rainy season or a not so rainy season! He had no neighbors to ask for advice or barrow potatoes from when his crop didn’t go so well… Not to mention he is SIX HUNDRED AND ONE YEARS OLD!!! 

At 601 God chose Noah to restart the world! (Check 1 Samuel 16:7 and Isaiah 55:8-9. God wasn’t kidding!) Can you picture it?! Noah’s about to retire… you know, find a new hobby and rather finds God’s sense of humor!! Your prime time is God’s time, don’t doubt that for one moment! Don’t let what you feel is your shortcoming keep you from climbing up to encounter God like you never have before (Zaccheaus didn’t, check Luke 19.)! We all got one lap in life. Let’s swim in such a way that when our time runs out, we cross that finish line with not one bit of anything left over. Don’t be afraid to step out of the boat and USE IT ALL (we sure won’t need leftovers in Heaven)! Like the fathers prayer in Mark 9:24, maybe the biggest faith is under the biggest stone of doubt… Our God specializes in rolling stones away dear one, will you let Him do the heavy lifting/rolling (Ez. 36:26, Mark 16:4)?! 

God opens the ark door and commands Noah to leave. As much as Noah had longed for this day, this “something different” he needed to hear God say, “step out of what “feels” safe, don’t let your fear of what you are walking into, distract you from WHO you are walking into it with (1 John 4:4).

Don’t ask yourself, “Am I ready?” because if you are anything like me your answer will always be, “Nope, I certainly do not feel ready!” Ask yourself, “Am I willing (Isaiah 6:8, 2 Cor. 4:6-7)?” Noah was willing to leave the boat as God had commanded but not only that, Noah stayed long enough to hear the whole word from God (Jer. 17:7-8). Noah wasn’t to leave alone, he was to lead his family out too. After a stinky quarantine he may have wanted space to go it alone and yet God said leave the boat and bring the bride and brood of kids with!  Family is our forever mission no matter the conditions (Neh. 4:14). 

Sometimes all we need to leave in order to embrace the “something different” is our old stinky attitude! Allowing God to elevate us to His perspective makes all the difference in the world! I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16 (NLT) *I like to personalize the above verse by inserting my name for “Israel”, allowing my heart to marinate to trusting perfection (by God’s grace) in that Truth… maybe you try it too. Are you willing, dear one? (Heb. 10:23)

Go Play!

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…(Our God, however, turned the curse into a blessing.) Nehemiah 13:2 (NIV) 

As summer trickles to an end with back to school signs looming overhead, quite literally everywhere; I find myself doing a little end-of-summer cleaning. It seems in life, we are always editing, revising, scrubbing, repainting, remodeling, reloading, refreshing… If it were only just so easy to use that little magic eraser on real life mistakes and blunders, right?! 

Our God came to earth to do more than a little cleaning; He came to set in motion a plan to make all things new… NEW! He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Revelation 21:5 (NIV) Dear one, we have WAY more than just a fresh coat of paint to look forward to in Jesus!! 

Nehemiah 13:2 depicts a mighty blunder and yet ends with a treasure tucked inside a parentheses; like the author knew a special secret! Maybe you’ve been there too… yes, the mistake was massive, the failure fracturing, the catastrophe colossal… maybe you just feel like you have hit a pause in life; quite literally a pothole?! Could it be the Author of your life inserting parentheses; a moment to look up and breathe; to receive Truth?!!

You might want to take notes because this one is trustworthy and true! (*Our God turns curses into blessings, *valleys of trouble into doors of hope, **harm, into good that saves many lives!) Let’s rest in that whisper of Truth. Living Hope exists on every page of life. Now maybe put down the scrub brush, that magic eraser, and go play in these last sprinkles of summer! 

Here is the sea, great and wide, which teems with creatures innumerable, living things both small and great. There go the ships, and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it. Psalm 104:25-26 (ESV)

Dear one, have fun, let His Truth wash over you and go play! 

See: *Hosea 2:15, **Genesis 50:20 and Revelation 22:3

What are you, mighty mountain?!

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So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. “What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbable you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’” Zechariah 4:6-7 (NIV) 

I live near a mighty mountain called Horsetooth. It appears to have a giant rock shaped tooth at the very top that is visible for miles! I have yet to climb it. I may or may not be afraid it will quite literally bite me! This might be because the majority of my climbing exercises are done on the stairs of my own home (and usually only when I need to go to bed at night)! 

Over time I’ve learned that trying to contain the extent of our life experience to the flat land (where we can frame quite nicely the illusion of control) only makes the uncontrollable mountains seem mighty daunting overhead with pretty convincing threats to devour us alive! 

Recalling the story of Peter walking on water amidst the wind and the waves with Jesus, found in Matthew 14, I’m reminded of who initiated the event. Jesus does call Peter out of the boat however it is Peter who asks Him to. Peter had the desire and drive in his heart to experience life in God to the full! He did not want to miss even one adventure God might be willing to take him on. So Peter in a sense flat out asks, “Take me out of this flat boat! Take me up on the mountainous waves with You Lord!” So Jesus calls Peter out on a word!!! “Come!” Jesus wants us all to embrace wave walking faith! He died to give us abundant life (that doesn’t mean easy) just full of Who really matters.

How often do we let the big adventure float right by us just waiting for God to call us out when we haven’t even asked Him to?! It’s one thing to ask and have Him say “no”. If He closes the door we better not knock it down, BUT maybe He’ll say, “yes!” Like Peter, let’s base our interpretation of what we hear on the firm foundation of God’s Word. 

What do you want bad enough to ask for it, unhindered by the fear of what He may answer? Peter could have wanted to walk on water but even still held back in asking because he was unable to rationalize past if Jesus said, “yes”! What if God says, “Come.”? What then? I’ve never walked on water before, I’m so unqualified, so inexperienced… We can talk ourselves right out of conquering the mighty mountain before we even ask to get out of the boat to try! I wonder if there is a “what if…” you need to cast overboard so that you can float forward in faith and flourish like you were meant to in God?!

In Zechariah 4:6 Zerubbabel was reminded by God that his looming challenge would not be mastered by strength or power. See, this was important for Zerubbabel to be schooled in because he, in fact, did not have the royal power and might that both Solomon and David had. This feeling of inadequacy has kept how many of us from lending ourselves available to allow God to be our Ability in our avail-Ability?! 

God reminds Zerubbable his mastery would come by way of His Holy Spirit! This Truth is followed by verse 7 in which God makes clear the “mighty mountain” will be leveled!

The size of your mountain, your impossibility, can be leveled by the size of your God, but will you ask? And if you ask, will you listen and respond in surrendered obedience, trusting He holds your best adventure? Dear one, take time with God, that you might confidently declare that whatever your mighty mountain is looming overhead, it certainly is no match for His mighty Holy Spirit within you! 

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11 (NIV) 

The Lord Is There

“THE LORD IS THERE” (Eze. 48:35)

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…Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them…. Ezekiel 47:12 (NIV) 

Wise advice my dad always gave me in times I struggled with anything from math homework to real life dilemmas was, “Go back to what you know and work forward from there.”  As we navigate this broken world where things are often unexplainable and the loud cry of “WHY?!” within our hearts seems to go unanswered, I find my dad’s advice to ring true even still today. 

And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. 2 Peter 1:4 (NLT) For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV) Is your life speaking a confident “Yes!” in the promises of God or a shaky “I’m not so sure?!” 

Go back to the Truth you know in God’s Word. Instead of worrying about what or how He WILL do things for you, stand firm on what Jesus has ALREADY done for you! His display of love on the cross and His power at the resurrection has won you victory over all the unknowns of this present life (John 16:33, 1 Cor. 2:9)! 

The promise written above from Ezekiel 47:12 reveals an Almighty reversal. A quick comparison of Amos 4:6-11 to Amos 9:13-15 paints a vivid picture of this reversal for us. Not because any of us deserves anything good (Romans 3:10,23) but because our God IS good! God chose to become the sacrifice for our sin, rising again victorious over all that would threaten to entangle us from becoming the vessel of His victory He intended us to be! All the “why’s?!” that threaten to tailspin us into darkness have been overcome by the Champion of heaven (John 1:5)! 

We serve an infinite God that won us eternal life in paradise. We can in no way comprehend that with our finite minds anymore than we can comprehend the answer to many of our “why’s?!” this side of heaven even if He were to answer them plainly for us! The answer to receiving His gift of peace that passes understanding (Eph. 2:14, John 14:27) which will take a transformation, a renewing of our minds (Rom. 12:2) comes as you go back to the Truth you know. Go back to what you know to find your faith in all that you do not. 

The promise spoken in Ezekiel of the Old Testament is repeated in Revelation 22:2 (NIV) of the New Testament, for God’s Word never fails (Luke 1:37). The promise speaks of healing and continuous prosperity, and WHY?! Verse 3, …The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city… His living water flows as it flows by His Spirit to our hearts (John 4:14) to rebuild, replant, restore and make new, even now, so we can take up hope and trust in all our “even if’s…” this side of heaven, for God is with you… even there, dear one (1 Cor. 13:12).

Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace. Luke 1:78-79 (NLT) See also Isaiah 61.

Rollin’ In Rumors Or Trekkin’ In Truth

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Rumors are dainty morsels that sink deep into one’s heart. Proverbs 26:22 (NLT)

Ever experienced a wrecking due to rumors? Contrary to the popular saying that “sticks and stones will break your bones but words will never hurt” I’ve found that words very much DO hurt! Oftentimes the damage done to one’s heart by words can far out last that of any broken bone! Rumors are gonna roll so how do we avoid being rolled over by them?

Riotous rumors don’t roll down the road of Truth. We avoid being rolled over by rumors trekking on the trail of Truth. We find nasty rumors swirling around Nehemiah as the enemy tries to persuade him off the trail of Truth. Nehemiah 6:2 finds the enemy inviting him to meet in the valley of Ono to have a “discussion”.

Nehemiah was a wise one and knew that if your enemy invites you down to a valley you don’t go… especially if it’s called Ono (Oh-no)! The enemy is always only trying to pull us down, to which our response should be a loud, “Oh-no you don’t!!” 

Everlasting joy is found walking in the resurrection power of the Champion of heaven. 

Walking in relationship with his God, Nehemiah goes from knowing he is on a GOOD work (Neh. 2:18), to declaring to his enemies he has no time for them because he is engaged in a GREAT work (Neh. 6:3)! His vision of himself and his purpose grew in Truth as Nehemiah walked with God through chapters 2,3,4,5 and 6! Trekking on the trail of Truth will always lead to a greater sense of purpose.

The enemy was relentless in pursuing Nehemiah and after 4 failed attempts to distract him they sent a letter filled with accusatory lies (New. 6:4-7). Yet Nehemiah is rock solidly rooted in God’s validation of himself and his purpose. Nehemiah 6:8-9 (NLT) I replied, “There is no truth in any part of your story. You are making up the whole thing.” They are just trying to intimidate us, imagining they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination. 

WOW! Nehemiah heard the rumors rolling all around him and yet he was able to respond with “even greater determination”! You won’t have to cope through the lies when you float your hope on the One who rose from death to life. You have been given great and precious promises that enable you to escape the corruption of this world (2 Peter 1:4) but we must choose, like Nehemiah, to walk in them! We must allow them to frame our purpose, our validation, our worth and just who our Victorious God is! He is the Lamb that was slain and the Lion that has overcome!! 

Nehemiah persevered and finished the work God had given him to accomplish just 52 days after beginning! When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it they were frightened and humiliated. They realized this work had been done with the help of our God. Nehemiah 6:16 (NLT) In our weakness God’s strength is overcoming. Often what feels like weakness within us, appears as strength to others when we step out, faithfully trusting our God. 

The people of Nehemiah’s day recognized that God’s mighty hand had been at work fighting for Nehemiah! Who might catch a glimpse of His mighty hand because you choose to continue with greater determination through a rumor filled wreckage (or any other trial)?

When fiery trials hit the faithful they refine them, they do not define them, nor destroy them.You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20 (NIV) 

Trek on dear one, you were made to triumph in Truth not wreck in the rumors. 

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 (NIV) 

A Honey Heart

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The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6 (NIV) 

One summer afternoon I brought my work and a cool diet Mountain Dew out to the front porch. (Nothing like a cool diet Mountain Dew on a hot day right!) Maybe I should have left the work load inside as the gift of the moment (sunshine and sweet Dew) were threatened with thoughts that circle the drain of the unknown. However it was in this pondering over purpose that God brought the sweetest of messages that dripped like sweet honey on my heart!

Right behind me on the windowsill was a very small hole in the screen frame. I noticed a bee entering the hole multiple times and since I am allergic to bee stings my attention was enraptured by this little stinger. As I watched him, he flew down to the wood chips at the bottom of the porch steps and all the way back up to the small hole in the screen. He did this for maybe an hour straight! Each time he went down to the wood chips he picked up a sliver of a chip (the sliver being bigger than his whole body) and flew it up to the screen hole! Sometimes he could fit with the wood chip he had carried up but most of the time he could not. So just below his endeavors on my porch, was beginning to form a large pile of small wood chip slivers that could not fit! The persistence and perseverance of this little bee was remarkable! 

Regardless of the number of failed attempts (of which there was an ever increasing pile of evidence beneath him) this bee was not distracted from his purpose! See, his failed attempts were just that, beneath him and in the past. His focus was forward, he would not let the pile below discourage him from pressing on and rising above!! 

“According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way that a bee should be able to fly. Its wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground. The bee, of course, flies anyway. Because bees don’t care what humans think is impossible.” -Bee Movie

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 (NLT) Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 (NIV) 

God saw my heart that needed a bit of revival and sent sweet words of Truth to drop like honey. Proverbs 16:24 (NIV) reminds us that, Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. And it’s in the wild passage of Ezekiel 3:3-4 (NIV) that we see the Source of honey sweet words is God Almighty Himself! Then he said to me, “Son of man, eat this scroll I am giving you and fill your stomach with it.” So I ate it, and it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth. He then said to me: “Son of man, go now to the people of Israel and speak my words to them.” 

The Word of the Lord is healing honey sweet to our soul, heart and mind. When we ingest His Word, obediently allowing it to saturate every part of our lives, that sweetness may then drip without ceasing into our relationships and workplaces. If we are not to become weary in doing good we must remain connected to the Source of sweet sustaining strength dear one. The peace of mind to persevere in life, is a mind governed by the Truth; by His Spirit. 

What that bee didn’t know was that I was watching and that what may have felt like weakness causing him to sweat (if bees sweat he probably was) appeared as strength to me. Let God give you a honey heart through His sweet Word so that you do not grow weary and give up. Someone needs the “sweet” you have, so don’t give up in the sweat dear one.

Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord. Proverbs 16:20 (NIV) 

Your Uber Might Be Whale Shaped

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Then the LORD ordered the fish to spit Jonah out onto the beach. Jonah 3:10 (NLT) 

We often daydream our way out of the office of regular life onto the beautiful beaches of paradise! No one needs to be reminded we live in a broken world but sometimes we need to remember that God did not break it, we did (See Gen. 3). God issued us all the warning that there would now be severe wear and tear on our hearts and minds as we travel through this world. 

John 16:33 (NIV) “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Take heart is a command so it’s something we can choose to do, not something God has to do for us. Like taking captive our rouge thoughts and making them obedient to Truth is also a command we can choose to obey (See  2 Cor. 10:5). God has made us capable human beings and commissioned us each, with great purpose as we journey Home. However He never expected us to do it alone! 

The story of Jonah is one of second chances… disobedience, discipline and deliverance; and aren’t we glad it is!! Desperation often leads to determination which can lead to faithfulness and thus fruitfulness, by God’s amazing grace!! 

Jonah’s name means “dove”. A dove is a bird and birds have a “bird’s eye view” literally on approaching storms. They can see what’s coming and quickly take cover to ride it out. What we call “safe” might just be an escape from really living the adventure God originally planned for us. Jonah is found hunkered down in the bottom of a boat during a wild storm (See Jonah 1)! 

A dove is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to help us navigate and successfully weather the storms of life, not numbly sleep through them! 1 These. 5:19 advises us not to quench the Holy Spirit! Don’t numb out of the true and abundant life God meant for us! 

Jonah was found in a storm created by his own missteps and sometimes we do too.  We can also end up in a storm due to someone else’s missteps.  However the Holy Spirit’s life saving power works the same either way! 

Jonah soon finds out that numbing out of a storm only leads to a greater storm within and without. He eventually finds himself engulfed by the mighty waters, buried beneath the wild and stormy waves! Jonah 2:6-7 (NLT) “I sank down to the very roots of the mountains. I was imprisioned in the earth, whose gates lock shut forever. But you, O LORD my God, snatched me from the jaws of death! As my life was slipping away, I remembered the LORD. And my earnest prayer went out to you in your holy Temple. 

Jonah may have seen himself as a helpless dove bird but God saw His child empowered by The Dove or rather The Holy Spirit who breathes new life into anyone that will cry out to Him!! The Holy Spirit who empowers anyone to not only survive, but thrive through any storm this broken world would whirl at them!! When fire hits the faithful the enemy can’t believe his eyes!! Genesis 50:20 (NIV) You intended to harm me, by God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

God had given Jonah an assignment that Jonah paid to get out of. The enemy is always ready to take our fare we too often are so willing to pay! God also gave Jonah an opportunity to get back on assignment… that opportunity was an Uber of sorts. A literal whale sized Uber Jonah probably never would have expected or even could have imagined (See Eph. 3:20)!! 

Don’t miss your ride to begin life anew, to try again, to ask forgiveness, to say “I’m sorry”, to believe for the miracle or to reframe your unmet expectation with open ended God sized expectancy… don’t miss your opportunity to get back to your God given abundant life (even amidst the wreckage of this broken world). Opportunity has a way of presenting itself in ways and times we might least expect… like an Uber that happens to be whale shaped! 

Jonah prayed and praised God even from the belly of a whale and wouldn’t you know… worship wins the battle over worry every time and Jonah arrived safely through the storm on the wings of The Dove because even at his worst, he was still, very much, loved. 

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:26-27 (NIV) 

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. Romans 3:23-24 (NLT) 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)