Category Archives: Challenge

Looking Beyond

meerkat-onlineI had a dream last night in which I was telling a neighbors daughter, who was helping her mom clear the abandoned garden, that I liked dead veggies. After a while of laboring she asked if I really liked dead veggies, she was thinking it would reduce her work if able to give me the seemingly worthless vegetables.

   Some toss aside a cabbage or head of lettuce when they see wilted leaves, yet when the outer layers are removed exposing the inner leaves there is good to be found, there is still value in what outwardly seemed worthless.

   Isn’t that what the Lord does with us? He looks beyond the outside appearance to what is inside. Consider the sons of Jesse, one would be anointed king. Samuel kept looking at the outside, but God looking inside rejected each until the one son, who was not even considered by his family, or even called in from the field, was brought before him, that was the one God chose. Inside the boy was a man of strength and courage who killed a lion and a bear, who would one day kill a giant who dared to defy the God of Israel; a shepherd boy who would be a man after God’s own heart.

   When we see others are we looking at the outward person measuring them to our expected norms, acceptable appearance, mannerisms, and contribution to society? What about the person on the street corner holding a sign asking for money? Do we see a panhandler, a lazy person, an irresponsible deadbeat, or perhaps an unkempt drug addict? Do we take the time to stop and hear their story or just brush them off, or look away not even acknowledging their presence?

   A few years back I was in Sacramento for meetings rushing from the parking garage to my location several blocks away. There was a man who looked like he had not bathed or washed his clothes in some time and appeared to be sleeping on the sidewalk next to the building. I gave a weak smile, a little nod and faint hello never slowing my pace, but his words “thank you for acknowledging me”, nearly stopped me in my tracks, they struck a nerve; is that not what we all at the core want, to be recognized? Our existence acknowledged in some small way; a kind word or look that says we matter. I think of the lepers, tax collectors, harlots, and other non-acceptable people in society, that Jesus had no qualms speaking with or even touching. He took the time to look beyond the exterior that caused others to pass by on the other side of the road, and underneath He found there was something of value; He found you and me.

   Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10, He ends it saying “Go and do likewise”.

   Let’s peal some leaves and look beyond for the good…

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What’s On My Mind

Bengal Cat in the SunYou ask Me “What is on Your mind?” There is lots on My mind, everything in the universe and beyond; each one of my children, and all of creation. For you, however, it’s to say I love you, glad you have come to spend this time with me. Today is going to be a special day, I have plans for you in it, plans your eyes, spiritual eyes that is, need to be open to see. So many times what I have for my children is missed as they only see with natural eyes and not their spiritual ones.

Hold Tight

hands heldReach out and take My hand, hold it tight; you will need Me and My strength in the way you are going – for you have not been there before. Some aspects may seem familiar but do not be complacent, changes are taking place for you have been seeking me, avenues are opening before you, a stretching opportunity is at hand. No need to fear, be excited – your prayers are coming to pass. It may not look like you expected, just trust me in this, it will be good; but you won’t be able to do it without me, so hold my hand and listen with understanding to what I say.

Press Forward

Sherry Flower - yellow.As you press forward you are not alone, others like you are pressing in to know me better, and the way they should go. Band together and journey forward encouraging one another, challenging each other to deeper levels, together you will go farther than one can alone. This is what family is, they hope for the best, they help each other through the desert experiences, they pray for and lift each other up. As my family I watch over you and I am there for you each step; you can turn to me in any situation, trust me to lead you. Dine together on my word, gathering together to talk about me, pursuing wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

What Will We Hear

Sherry - purple online   “I am looking for those with open ears and hearts willing to hear what I have to say, to take my words to heart and run with them as their own; for those who are yielded in spirit and truth, desiring clean hands and hearts and to live a life of holiness [not perfection]; for one who is surrendered and dedicated to me. Are you one? Do you know where others are? Take My message to like minded ones, stoke the fires of passion burning for righteousness, fan the flames, open the doors of the heart that a fresh breath of heaven can enter unhindered. Today is the day of revival in individual lives for those that welcome Me with sincerity. I have longed for this day of open invitation, I will dine with those who invite me in and make My ways known to them, to give them greater insight of what has been considered the mysteries of heaven. Those who have eyes to see – let them see, those with ears hungering to hear – let them hear, those with a mind set on understanding – let them understand. Those who desire the way, truth, and life – let them come to Me – they will find it.”

Give It A Try

Time with Me is well spent. When you rush around doing all sorts of things, without any focus on Me, it wears you down. When you spend time with Me you rejuvenate, gain focus, and can handle the stressors in life easier. I’m a joy giver – not a joy robber, I give peace to the weary, I am like a cool drink on a hot day; try spending more time with Me and see if life doesn’t go better for you, not that the things to do will change but how you feel in and after them will. Come with an open mind and give it a try.

Love Them

Heart sculpture - onlineLove…wear it on your sleeve, don’t worry about your heart – I will protect it. The world is looking for love, many in the wrong places as they do not find it in the right ones. Love…love them with My love, love as I love, there is nothing greater or more powerful than love, it breaks down walls and melts hardened stony hearts; Love…it’s what My kingdom is made of. Don’t just say you love…show it; express it with your face, actions, and thoughts. Love…it’s what the world needs and desires, love is who I am, what I am…let it be the same with you.

Let’s Talk

What are you contemplating, what things are on your mind? Bring them to Me, let us reason together, I will share My thoughts with you, reveal some things you are unaware of so you can make the best informed decisions. I will share My plans and desires for you but ultimately the decision is yours with the free will to choose; choose wisely, I desire the best for you, the path of blessings not curses, I desire for you to prosper even as your soul prospers. I love you, my child; as a good Father I watch over you, with open arms I welcome you into where I am. Come, come let us sit together for a while and talk heart to heart.

Spiritual Fitbit

 worshi - online I see people get so excited about their Fitbit or other activity tracker, proudly showing off all it will do and how it encourages them to be physically active. A Fitbit can notify us each hour to take a stroll if we haven’t taken 250 steps in that hour; it can track physical activity, the calories from food we ate, how many calories we’ve burned, and how we slept. Now, before anyone thinks this is an endorsement for Fitbit – it is not; I have a mixed relationship with electronic gadgets; I think I’ll leave it at that and get back to the subject.
   Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Spiritual Fitbit? One that notifies us hourly if we have not yet offered up 250 words of prayer, praise, thanksgiving, and adoration; or tracks our spiritual life so we know when we are right on track or starting drift so we can correct course before we stray far. What about tracking our daily intake of the Bread of Life and Living Water to see if we’ve had sufficient quantity to avoid becoming spiritually anemic?
   A Fitbit will also notify us of an incoming call and can even display a text message. How nice that would be so we don’t miss the Lord wanting to speak to us. And, then there is the alarm, no more missing church because we overslept or sleeping through the sermon when it vibrates to say we haven’t moved in the last hour.
   With knowing our physical activity the Fitbit can track our progress and send us cheers for milestones along the way. What if our spiritual tracker told us how many we have witnessed to in the day or the week; would we be motivated to talk more about the Lord, and be about His business, if we were to see our progress in black and white throughout the day on a monitor?
   Then there is the heart rate monitor. What if our monitor displayed our temperament status, how our spiritual fruit is doing; would that be a good thing?
   I’m fairly confident technology will not develop a Spiritual Fitbit, but actually we don’t need it, we have something far better – He’s called Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit knows more about us than a tracker ever could and we don’t have to program Him or charge His batteries. We do need to understand how He operates, how to hear his voice, and to recognize His promptings. Thankfully we have been given a Manual, the Bible, and a private line to the Author to talk to Him free of charge. We should be aware of all the advantages there is to having Holy Spirit in our life; He will be our guide, teacher, comforter, encourager, counselor and more. Want to know how fit you are spiritually, talk to Him. Want reminders to pray, promptings and boldness to share Jesus, just ask Him for it.
   Let’s all strive be spiritually fit?

In The Storms

 Storms come in many forms; what is a storm for one may be a rainy day for another and vice versa. But storms…they do come.
   When it’s dark with the winds of adversities howling and beating against us – fear nips at our heals trying to shake our foundation. When we feel we can barely stand another moment there seems to be a still small voice saying “My little one, listen to the sound of My voice, I will safely guide you through”. In that moment a glimmer of hope begins to dawn, casting a glance heavenward in surrender we tune our ears to hear more; tenderly He says “Come, My child, come closer, let Me hold you and comfort your distressed heart. My peace I give to you, don’t let circumstances rattle you; I have promised to always be with you in the good and difficult times. There is nothing you can’t handle when you are holding My hand”. Though storms continue to rage around a peace warms us, starting from within, as we hold onto His words.
   When we gain our bearing one might ask, Lord, why did you not speak sooner when I was trying so hard to hear you? He gently replies “Why do you strive so hard in your mind – by your will, to hear Me, listen and hear with your heart. A cluttered mind has difficulty hearing, as does a spirit in unrest. Let My peace fill you, in the quiet place you can hear Me better”.   When we try to make the Lord speak by an act of our will we become anxious and at unrest.   
   When we consider King David, a mighty warrior, he never said he was unafraid but that “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), In God I have put my trust; I will not fear…” Ps 56:3-4. We need to consider what we are thinking about, are we thinking and speaking in fear or faith. Is our words lining up with His words. Is our mind dwelling on all the past victories and times the Lord has seen us through hard situations or, are we listening to peoples horror stories and dwelling on worst case scenarios instead of praying in faith, and for grace to see us through. Many burdens are too heavy to carry alone, we are invited to “give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall” Ps 55:22.
   I pray that when the storms rage that, like Jesus, we will be filled with peace and can rest in the tossing boat, secure and confident in our heavenly Father to see us through; that our ears will be open to hear His still small voice; his words of comfort, encouragement, hope, and promises. And, in faith, say to the storm – peace be still.