In April 2013, after chasing more hours in my day, I decided to “maximize my morning” and focus on “God. Plan. Move.” with the international, online community called HelloMornings where like minded women gather to encourage each other as they pursue these goals. In one of my first blog posts I shared my reasons for joining this organization: New Challenge, New Rainbow.
Four years later, I am a Facebook Group Leader (GL), Group leader Encourager and Mentor (GEM), and now, also, a writer. My life is changed, prayers have been answered, and God has used me to minister to others, all because I said “yes” to HelloMornings.
A six week “God. Plan. Move.” focused challenge begins Monday, May 15. We will be studying the parables of Jesus through a study called: At My Savior’s Feet: Life Changing Lessons from the Master Storyteller.
Blessed to have been asked to author lessons for week 4, I am humbled to have the opportunity to share what God taught and challenged me with through His Word. To be honest, I am continuing to develop my writing. Thankful and humbled by the opportunity, I am prayerful that God will use my words and thoughts to call hearts and minds to deeper discipleship.
I am giving away a copy of the e-book version of this study to readers of this blog. Which of Jesus’ parables is most meaningful to you? Leave your answer in the comments; one winner will be drawn from the responses on Sunday, May 14 at 4 p.m. Interested in joining my Facebook group for the challenge? Let me know, and give you additional information. You do not have to be a participant in HelloMornings to win the study.
We the people find ourselves in a presidential election where the two major candidates are seriously flawed. We the people are angry and frustrated with the choice to be made.
Our government and politics are merely a reflection of us. These two candidates are our creation; they reflect who we are. Our response? We point our fingers and hold our nose.
This our problem. What are we going to do about it? What are you going to do about it? What am I going to do about it?
I don’t want to rely on my own feeble ways. God, be my strength! In my heart may there be open pathways always connecting me to God.
How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, In whose heart are the highways to Zion!
Psalms 84 NASB
The following links have been meaningful to me this past week. I would love to know what you think.
It is important to walk through the darkness of Passion Week so we can enjoy the light of Easter. Dr. David Swanson’s Palm Sunday sermon: The Darkness and the Light.
Short on time? Here’s the crescendo ending of Dr. Swanson’s sermon: Sunday is Coming!
I just love Ann Voskamp, and this post about an unjust world moved me:
You can either ruminate like a beast over the injustice of it all, till you feel some literal heartburn and the scorch of the whole thing searing off real layers of your soul — or you can plow the pain into purpose.
Read the whole post here. While you are there check out her posts from this week- they’re all good.
In Orlando and need a place to go to celebrate Jesus’ triumph over sin and death? Join me and the congregation of First Presbyterian Church of Orlando at the Dr. Philip’s Center of the Performing Arts at 9 and 11 a.m. Get all of the details at Easter in the City.
I “liked” this quote, and at the time nine other people did too. I’m curious as to why. How do these nine people understand orthodoxy and rebellion? Having given their assent to this thought, are they compelled to do something about it?
Is this a quote you agree with, if so, I’d love to know what it means to you and what you’re willing to do about it.
What is meant by a “future and a hope” in Jeremiah 29:11, and what does that entail?
1. To completely understand this verse we need to look at the context. Consider reading chapters 28 and 29. God told the people of Judah that they will wait in exile for 70 years before He brings them back to Jerusalem; then He says “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer. 29:11)
2. I read Romans 8:22-39. Here are some highlights (NASB):
- v 22-23—“For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. And not only this,…….even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.”
- b 28—“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
- v 31—“If God is for us, who is against us?”
- v 37—“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.”
3. I read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. Here are highlights (NASB):
- v 7—“there was given me [Paul] a thorn in the flesh”
- v 8—“Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me.”
- v 9—“…My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
- v 10—“Therefore I am well content with weaknesses,…..for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”
4. I read Hebrews 6:13-20. (MSG because it’s much easier to understand):
13-18 When God made his promise to Abraham, he backed it to the hilt, putting his own reputation on the line. He said, “I promise that I’ll bless you with everything I have—bless and bless and bless!” Abraham stuck it out and got everything that had been promised to him. When people make promises, they guarantee them by appeal to some authority above them so that if there is any question that they’ll make good on the promise, the authority will back them up. When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee—God can’t break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable.
18-20 We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.
5. What I think I learned.
- God has a plan and a future for us, in His time, and according to His way. I don’t know if we can know what the future is because it’s something that gets revealed to us as we live our lives.
- We can’t escape hardships: material, emotional, spiritual.
- God wants what is best for us; He is for us.
- We have hope not because of what is promised but because of who God is (down to his core). This hope anchors us, keeps us steady, through life’s storms. Because He is with me in the storm, I have hope.
- Holding onto hope is a spiritual discipline, part of the sanctification process. We have to keep trusting, surrendering every day. (“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Phil. 12:12-13)