Monthly Archives: January 2015
Filters change our views.
We use filters to keep the grounds out of our coffee. We select the filter we want to use for the photo on Instagram. Screen doors are filters to keep the bugs out. Sunglasses filter out the sunlight.
We use our thoughts as filters to determine who we let in. We use past hurts as filters to determine who we can trust, in the here and now.
Filters are used to keep lots of things out, but they also are used to allow the really good to seep through.
I want to be someone who sees the part that has been filtered through. Not the yuck stuck in the filter.
Here’s the deal… filters don’t just keep the yuck out, they let the really great stuff in.
But what we usually choose to focus on is the big YUCK! We see the pile of grounds, the guts of dead bugs, and the harmful rays of the sun.
The filters let in light, air, great coffee, and tweaks the view of the picture.
This word jumped off the page at me the other day, and I wrote it on my desk calendar at work. Filter. Filter.
Then I had this thought, one we all probably know: but for the past few years, God has been filtering me. My brain has somehow decided not to think about the filtering.
I’ve focused on all the wrong things. It has perpetuated my thoughts to overwhelming proportions. I’d neglected the good stuff.
VERY hard to see the good stuff.
The question screams loudly at me: Don’t you see the small important things, that I’ve filtered just for you? It took time and great effort to make sure the things I filtered for you were the most perfect and best for YOU!
Honestly, No. I’ve been too consumed by the majesty of the awful.
Everything and I do mean everything that has wreaked havoc in my life, has been lovingly and gently filtered through God’s fingers. I needed it. I’m still standing. I’m still breathing. I’m still clinging to the knot at the end of my rope.
He’s made me stronger. I’m inching my way up that dang ladder. He’s helped me grieve(still am) a lot of loss. He’s pushed me to be accountable and do the right things.
When you are faced with the heaviness of trials, it’s hard to see if God can and will still use you.
I’ve struggled with this.
What He is showing me, because of my failures, doesn’t disqualify me. It doesn’t negate the purpose or call on me. The enemy would like to think that.
I must re-engage and be intentional with you. With Him.
The one thing He doesn’t filter is His undying affection and love for me. I have to pour the same amount of love and affection to those around me. It will look different. It always does to those filtering it.
Today, I want you to know He sees you. He loves you. You are the apple of His eye! You are the cream that rises to the top. You are worthy!
Remember, He filters us to make us more like Him. He has BIG plans for you. He’s setting it into motion. Don’t miss it!
So today, I’ve had a ton on my mind. I’ve had my topics for the next 2 days in my head.
But you see, I’m undone.
I read in my devotional this week about getting my feet wet.
You see, there was this drought and the farmers called a prayer meeting. They all showed up to pray, except one farmer showed up in waders. He expected God to answer with rain. God didn’t disappoint!
Let’s jump to the Old Testament.
So as the Israelites are getting ready to cross the Jordan River, God tells them to send the priests into the river. As they actually step into the river, the river parts(By GOD’S great answer) and they cross over on dry ground. Most of the time we expect God to part before we get our feet wet. We must be willing to get our feet wet and then see what God is going to do.
I have been called a writer. Know it’s what God’s is calling me to. Well, one of the things actually. I agreed to this #yourturnchallenge. I said yes. It was my moment of getting my feet wet. Honestly, I’m amazed.
I have been at Catalyst Dallas. I’ve been mentoring a great group of young adult leaders in our church. God just blew the door down!!! It was a theme for the conference. (Maybe not, but it was all I heard) and God confirmed it, oh, lets’s say about 5 times in the course of a day.
I was getting my feet wet before I even knew the river needed to be parted.
It has been a very rewarding day, as I remember the great thoughts and ideas and how literally excited to realize I was doing the next thing He needed me to do.
I must say, I felt alive yesterday. Where I fit. Where my heart is.
Moving toward something bigger than I can handle or do alone. Must be God.
Let’s not just stand on the bank and watch. Let’s journey in a few steps and see what river God parts just so we can fulfill where we know He is leading.
I’m sure you have felt:
the sting of being last or
the joy of being first.
Or not being at all.
There is triumph and pain.
Secure and Insecure.
Among the thoughts this morning concerning this one word was the song playing on the radio when my alarm went off.
Come as You Are….Dave Crowder… I’ve listened to this song on repeat for a week now. (Listen to this song. It’s ok if it’s your anthem for a week)
The other thing that really got me was a text I had waiting on me. It was from my oldest son…”Just read all your blog entries, really incredible. Very proud of you mom, keep it up! I love you and I miss you.”
I’m just going to lay it all out there. Between the word, the song and the text, I can barely see to type.
I’m not sure who didn’t pick you.
I’m don’t know who let you go.
I don’t know who didn’t treat you right.
But I do know this:
JESUS picked you. You are His first choice. There is no doubt He wants you on His team.
He adores you. He loves you. He has a place for you. Right beside Him.
What I do know is, in an unexpected moment, an unforeseeable encounter, you find yourself Chosen. You’ve been searching and searching. Wondering.
It’s just like God to drop people right in your path, who say, “Hey, You belong to us!”
Consider yourself chosen.
It will be hard to keep the tears from flowing. It’s ok. Let them go.
Don’t fight it anymore.
Someone today needs to hear the words, “ I choose you!”
LOUDLY, I MIGHT ADD.
Usually when I see a quote, one that really gets me, I jot it down. No, I don’t have a book of quotes, because that would be too easy for me to find.
I came across this one on Facebook not long ago and well, it fit. Like a glove.
International House of Prayer issued this FB status:
When the Love of God touches you, it satisfies you but leaves you longing and aching for more because your capacity to experience increases.
I’m up past my bedtime trying to get this done because frankly God won’t let it go. I’ve been writing this for 2 days. Don’t know it will make much sense. But when He doesn’t let something go, I have to figure out what I am supposed to learn in the middle of the thing.
I’ve realized I’m rattled.
Lots of life changes, home changes, emotions. I mean friction just simply because my spirit is ready for different. Challenging. Asking for more than I can possibly handle right now, but its clear. Let me say it’s clear in my spirit. Not so clear in the direction.
I was reading the other day and the word rattle stuck out to me. When we are depleted we get rattled.
Life rattles us.
We get caught up in so many things. We get unfocused and think these things are what drives us. In reality, they just deplete us., suck us dry.
But somewhere in the midst, quiet must find it”s way to our door and slip in at times unnoticed.
In Ezekiel 37.7 “Suddenly as I spoke there was a great rattling noise all across the valley. The bones of EACH body came together and attached themselves as complete skeletons.”
So I see rattling in 2 different ways:
- We are rattled when life gets hard.We are overwhelmed! Our bones become dry and brittle. Our soul and spirit lose hope. These are some things that can cause us to be brittle and rattle: anxiety, stress, discouragement, and a host of other things that you can fill in that blank. Our time is limited…
- We get rattled when God chooses to breathe life into us.
Rattled because it was unexpected, this new feeling of being alive again.
Ezekiel 37.8 His Word breathes life into us. Our dry bones stop rattling and we live. Our souls rattle because there is hope. Here’s the thing: Coming to life doesn’t mean we do less, it’s just being who God called us to be. It’s realizing that just tonight, I don’t work at home. I leave it at the office.
God’s one breath restores us.
I was trying to figure out the commonalities between the words restore and restorer.
Psalm 16.9 (Loved this verse) “No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety.”
Psalm 166.7 “Let my soul be at rest again for the Lord has been good to me.”
“Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear and the burden I give you is light.”
Do you see rest in restore? Breath restores us; leads us to rest. God’s breath is the only satisfying breath we can inhale.
Rest comes in many forms, use your imagination. I think what resonates with me the most is communing together. Fellowship, Prayer. This is rejuvenating in a physical way, emotional and spiritual.
So take a moment. Inhale the sweet aroma of Jesus. Let Him saturate you before you exhale. Be raw before Him. Let it all go.(In Jesus’ Name) Hang on to what breathes life into you.
Let the rattling begin, not of dry bones, but of the very breath of God bringing you to a place of life.
SHORT TERM MEMORY LOSS
As a leader or coach it’s usually the little things that get us. Repeated little mistakes.
You: Work on them
But, they still creep in and panic sets in, and before you know it, you have quickly gone backwards, and the same bad habits come back.
To be a great leader/athlete you need to have short term memory loss.
In other words, whatever has happened to you during a game/dance/speaking engagement, party you have planned, whatever, if it was a mistake, quickly let it go. Forget about it. You usually don’t have time for a pity party right then anyway and if you do, then everyone sees it, and it really turns into another mistake.
For an example: if I make a bad pass in a game and stop and hang my head about it and don’t get my tail down the floor, then the other team makes a layup. I don’t have time to hang my head and cry “WOE IS ME!” I’ve got to immediately let it go and continue with my head in the game. Or it leads me into a downward spiral and I’m no longer effective. It isn’t all about you, it’s about your team. Hanging your head and not focusing causes a breakdown of epic proportions.
I see it: Over and Over. Over and Over.
Short term memory loss. I assure you if it was a repeated mistake, I as your coach/friend will point it out while we are watching game film or walking through life together. Learn from them and move on.
Jesus has short term memory loss. That is dependent on how long it takes to confess our sin to Him. But the moment we do, it’s gone and He remembers no more.
Just for the record, this is being brought to you by a coach whose teams have lost all games this week by an average of 30 points. I really am trying to let it go…….
I am a coach.I was sweeping the gym floor before our basketball game started. It was very early in the morning. As is my custom this early, I had my earphones on listening to Hillsong. I was praying about our team and our struggles.It was frustrating to say the least. Not to just me, because you could see it in the players eyes. I had been praying about this for several weeks. Knowing there was a key in there somewhere.So this is what The Lord gave me;Ideal.How would your life be ideal? Will it ever be ideal?Do we come to Jesus Ideal? Even after we accept Him are we Ideal?Why???To me Ideal is without pressure, anxiety, stress, or mistakes or sin.Life just isn’t like that. Neither is basketball.Ideally we run our offense without hindrance. When there is no defense it runs smoothly, efficiently, and without stress.Here’s the thing: it only works that way in practice. Period.Life does not run that way. EVER. Period.This is life and bb:..People blocking our way..putting their body on us..getting a hand in our face..relentless in pursuit to shut us down..pressuring us to take away what is oursFrom the Friday Night Lights Tv series:CLEAR EYES. FULL HEART. CAN’T LOSE!We have to:
- Look up and see ahead.Let go of all that is clouding our vision. God will take care of it.2. Have to have heart full of passionPassion leads to desire to protect what’s ours and take away what they want. It simply means..”I want it more than you do!”3. Can’t loseObviously we can still lose via the scoreboard, but it will not be because we didn’t see and fight for what we want, believe in, and spent hours upon hours building.Paul was like this. He was relentless no matter the cost to Him.Look in Acts chapter 9. Saul as he was known then, was the MAJOR persecutor of the church. There was a defining moment that changed his life forever. He was blinded by a great light.That was the moment he went from passionate about persecuting the church and killing Christians to preaching the gospel and opening the way for the gentiles. He went from Saul to Paul. Saul the persecutor to Paul the evangelist. Regardless of the cost, His world changed, and He changed the world.Today is the start of your life, season, whatever it looks like. You have been blinded by the GREAT LIGHT.WHO ARE YOU? Paul asked this question.Are you going to play and live without passion and desire? Or with an “I don’t care attitude”? Will you be different and change your season, each other, and eventually the world?Your choice. What will it be?So this is what happens when you sweep a gym floor….