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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Whom Shall I Fear...

Let's face it. Life is just tough some times. Between jobs and family drama, financial issues and health crisis... Sometimes it just seems overwhelming.  Even the little things all gang up against us and can seem insurmountable at times.

You hear people tell you that God won't give you more than you can handle. Well, in many cases that is just plain false. (Not to mention it is not Biblical) We have stuff thrown at us in all the time in life that we can't handle.


and a host of other negative things threaten to take over our lives as we try to "handle" these things. They grip us tight and don't want to let go.

Can you identify?

So, a bit of a true confession here. Hang tight. It will all come together in a moment...

When I first heard the Chris Tomlin song Whom Shall I Fear, I didn't like. Then in a worship session one night, I really really listened to the words. They ministered to me deeply and it has now become one of my favorite songs to bathe myself in when the negative starts to creep in and take over.

"Whom Shall I Fear (God Of Angel Armies)"

You hear me when I call
You are my morning song
Though darkness fills the night
It cannot hide the light

Whom shall I fear

You crush the enemy
Underneath my feet
You are my sword and shield
Though troubles linger still

Whom shall I fear

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

My strength is in Your name
For You alone can save
You will deliver me
Yours is the victory

Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear

I know who goes before me
I know who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

The one who reigns forever
He is a friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side

And nothing formed against me shall stand
You hold the whole world in Your hands
I'm holding on to Your promises

You are faithful
You are faithful

It reminded me of several times in the Bible where children of the Lord were facing insurmountable odds and the god of Angel Armies came through and delivered them.

In 2 Kings 6, Elisha and his servant were facing and angry king who wanted to kill them and God revealed an army of horses and flaming chariots surrounding them for protection. 

In Joshua 5, Joshua and the children of Israel faced a mighty fortified city and God revealed to him who was fighting for them and indeed they did not raise a sword and were victorious. 

Can you imagine?

The very same God that commands the armies of innumerable Angels says I am his friend. And He is faithful to fulfill ALL He promises to us. He will "never leave us or forsake us." 
(Deuteronomy 31:6)

Our God is big enough to handle anything we come up against in this world. He will be faithful to deliver us, either in this world or by taking us to our eternal home. But we can be assured we do not have to fight the battles alone. We are never alone. He is always with us!! 

If you believe that - whom do you have to fear?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Safety or Risk: The Scary Truth about Living a Faith without Borders

This is my dog Sydney. She LOVES to be outside. 

She explores our backyard like it is her vast wonderland, which it probably seems like for a 12 pound puppy dog. 

The fence in our yard is in need of just enough repair that she has some small windows in to what lies beyond her safe haven. She barks at the other dogs like she is much bigger than she is. She defends her turf when the neighbor is tending her garden. She owns her space and is bold. 

Enter the open door...

Sometimes when I go out front to take out trash or get the mail, I will invite her to go with me. She hesitantly stands at the front door, wanting so badly to go out with me and explore this strange new world - full of possibilities and new adventure. 

And yet she hesitates. No amount of coaxing will get her to budge.

Even though I will be right by her side and will not let anything happen to her, the great unknown is just a little to much for her. She is happy with her walls and fence and the safety and comfort they bring. 

And so, she stays. Safe in what she knows and missing out on all that she might discover if she just ventured out.

Today I feel a bit like Sydney. 

A few weeks ago I was comfortable with my life and my ministry. Great house. Wonderful family. All was well.  And then God saw fit to rock that boat a bit. 

He has seen fit to begin to break down my safe walls and opened the door to possibilities for my future that I did not know were there or would not have even considered just weeks ago. I hear Him asking me, nudging me, to follow Him and just trust. I know in my heart that He will never let me down and will always be by my side, and yet - I hesitate. Comfortable in the walls I have made for myself.

As He so often does, He spoke to me loudly through music this week. 

I have had this song, Oceans by Hillsong, on repeat for most of the last 2 days. The chorus is shouting at me and yet gently soothing my soul at the same time. It says this:

"Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters wherever You would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander. And my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior."

And so the decision is mine. I can stay where I am and wonder what greatness God has for me beyond the borders I have built for myself, or I can venture out to the unknown - firm in the knowledge that my faith WILL be made stronger in the presence of my Savior. 

I don't know about you - but I choose to walk forward in faith. Trusting God will lead and guide. That what He has for me through that open door is more than I could ever ask for or imagine. 

So what about you? Are you being called beyond your trust borders? Are you ready to go? What is holding you back?

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

I would love to hear from you. Shoot me your comments and let me know what you think. Share it with others as well and follow this blog for future thoughts and reflections. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Times They are a Changin'

How do you feel about change?

Love it?
Hate it?
Somewhere in the middle?

I am one that, for the most part, likes it. I have a tendency to get bored when things stay the same for too long. I can usually navigate change well and enjoy the process. 


What happens when God asks you to change and it involves something that you love and hold very dear to you heart? That's the world I am living in right now. 

For the last 7 years I have had the privilege of serving the Lord through my music. It is my love and passion, but God asked me to lay it down. He has asked me to give up something that I hold very very dear and instead, move in to a place of uncertainty. 

I am not a fan of uncertainty. I like to be able to see the picture even when the pieces are not all together yet. I actually usually do that fairly easily. But not this time. It is just blurry. I can't see how things are going to all work out and it makes me uneasy. 

The real "ah-ha" moment came when I heard God say "Do you love your job and your ministry more than you love Me?" "Will you lay it down for Me?"

I was faced with the ugly question of whether or not I had made my worship an idol that was more important that the One who was the object of that worship.

In the Bible, Genesis 22, Abraham was faced with the same situation. He longed for a son and when Isaac was born, he thanked God for the gift of his son. He loved Isaac more than his own life. 

Then God asked Abraham to make the most difficult decision of his life. God asked him to lay Isaac on an alter and sacrifice him like an animal to honor the Lord. 

And Abraham did what the Lord asked.

Only at the very last moment, God stopped Abraham from killing his son and provided a ram to sacrifice in his place. 

God saw that Abraham was willing to lay down his most precious thing, a supreme sacrifice for sure. And so God blessed Abraham and all his descendants.

I am not comparing my situation in any way to the magnificent sacrifice Abraham was willing to make for the Lord, but I do feel like God was asking the same question of me. 

"Are you willing to give up what you hold dear because I ask it of you. Are you willing to move to a place of uncertainty that may cost you something because you love me and you trust that I have something better for you?"

And so, with tears and mixed emotions, I said "Yes, Lord. I will lay it down for you. I will lay it down because I love you and I trust you."

As I navigate this change, I don't do it right every day - but I try my best to give it over to the Lord because He asked it of me. I strive to navigate these days with grace and trust that His plan for my life is far better than anything I could ever ask or imagine.

What may He be asking you to give up? Is there anything that you may are putting above Him in your life? Will you lay it down if and when he asks?