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ATTENTION! ATTENTION!

Transformed

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18

Immediate attention required! Urgent! Emergency! Danger! 100% attentiveness! 9-1-1! STOP!

P__ A__U__S__E__

Why is this happening? Am I dreaming? Please someone tell me this is just my imagination. What good could ever come from this? No Lord, say it isn’t so.

Does this quickly take you back to a life event? Is the tragedy forever etched in your mind? Did it completely “knock you off your feet”? At the time, it had your full attention.

In the summer of 2013, my brother was found dead six days after he had expired. Nothing will ever erase the horrid screams of my mother when I answered the phone at work that day. It was devastating. As I began running wildly around the building, my first thought was to get someone to my mother’s house immediately. She was 7+ hrs. away. Next was to call my husband because I needed to cancel an appointment. You see my recent mammogram landed me under the care of two cancer doctors. I had a high-risk appointment scheduled for more extensive tests. Life went on hold. Death was front and center…GO PILOT 24/7 became the norm for days.

This is just the outside coating to an unbelievable situation.  All of the other circumstances surrounding this were a direct act of the enemy. God had my full attention yet little did I know my personal deep, dark valley had just begun . . .   

In 2 Corinthians 3:18 we discover the word transform. It means to make a thorough or dramatic change. Shattering events leave us broken on many levels. For most, we will never be the same. Tragedy definitely pushes our “high alert” button.

God’s refining includes transformation. Most of us can testify that this is very evident when we try to adjust to the “new norm” after a major life changing event. Life is never the same as it once was. However, when we rely on God’s power through His word and the Holy Spirit, the worldly pain and suffering is transformed as well.

God’s divine plan includes your journey and spiritual growth. Every struggle and experience aligns with His purpose. There are times where life stretches us far beyond our range of comfort. Be encouraged my friend–you are not alone! The Father is on His throne and your transformation under His authority will produce supernatural results! ATTENTION! ATTENTION! –He loves you immensely.

Refining defined

You are a beautiful creation of God!

For in him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. Colossians 1:16

Have you ever freely created something without instructions or training? I remember watching my Granny in the kitchen whipping up delicious meals without a recipe and utilizing her garden produce. Of course, she had years of experience. Although I have gained some kitchen knowledge from her wisdom, I have attempted to make several innovative things using whatever I could scrounge up. (truth factor–I probably didn’t want to go to the grocery store) However, it has awarded me the title of “Cracker Soup” but needless to say, not everything has always been edible.

Look around you. See all those material objects? They were created for a purpose. Most have had to endure a process to become a final product. How about that cozy, leather recliner you might be enjoying currently? The majority of leathers are a by-product and would be considered waste if it wasn’t for a vision someone had for the raw product. However, the hide has to go through a process before anyone can use it for the purpose intended.

What do you think about when reflecting on the word Refining? When I think about refining, salsa comes to mind. My favorite way to prepare it is to initially roast everything. I will spare you the scientific undertaking and transformation that takes place under the pressure of the heat. However, my salsa seems to standout when I take the time to roast the tomatoes, garlic, onions, and peppers. The ingredients are cut, roasted, crushed, and blended to perfection as they are gently seasoned with salt and cilantro. One can hardly recognize the shape and form of the initial items. Yum!

Now, let’s focus on the Lord’s refinement. God created all things in His perfect design plan with eternity in mind. You and I are part of His agenda. Psalm 139:14 states that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We can easily pause and demonstrate gratitude to our Lord for creating us much like David eloquently portrays in the book of Psalm. That is the easy part.

However. . .just like our physical body matures (whether we like it or not), God expects us to develop in our walk with Him. He is a loving Father and gives us the freedom to surrender to obedience and spiritual growth under His authority. We are ALL a work in progress but God will work in and through us if we are willing.

Salvation is only the beginning to expressing a “YES” posture for God. John 15:20 gently reminds us “A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” A life following Jesus does involve hardship. Amen, those trials and life circumstances are a struggle. They cut us, scar us, roast us, crush us, and transform us for better or worse. God uses these difficult encounters to refine our lives much like the refinement of silver…

When the chemical element “Ag” advances within the fiery furnace, the silversmith knows exactly when the refinement is accomplished. He/she simply waits until they observe their own reflection in the silver. Can God completely see His reflection in you?

May we each embrace our spiritual growth through a refinement journey so one day our sweet Lord identifies us through His likeness.

If you desire to dig deeper in your relationship with the Lord and learn to embrace the spiritual maturity, I would encourage you to experience Refining. Let it be the springboard to living as a devoted follower of God.

Refining has a BLOG!

1st group for Refining

Experience is not what happens to you. It is what you do with what happens to you. Don’t waste your pain; use it to help others.

— Rick Warren.

Welcome to the first Refining post. After composing the Refining study, it launched immediately and was formatted into various modes of delivery. Honestly, my head is still spinning. Another face-to-face group is on the horizon as I write!

Since takeoff and completion for several groups, I found participants wanting more to support their individual spiritual growth and to deeply embrace their journey of refinement. This blog is designed to continue nurturing spiritual maturity for individuals in order to progress in their own personal relationship with God.

SO…once again I am saying, “Yes, Lord”. I’m just getting this new blog going, so stay tuned for more. Subscribe below to get notified when I post new updates.

Jeremiah 24:7 

 I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. (NIV)

HELLO!

I am a native Texan transplanted from the central region to the panhandle. I grew up in Waco, TX but have had the privilege to live in Germany, South Carolina, and various Texas locations.

I think you would agree…blogging has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. New context seems to be just a click away. Enthusiastically accepting this fact, I have embraced the method as a mode to carry out God’s purpose in my life through a calling I would have never imagined.

This blog is designed to be an extension of the Refining study I wrote in 2019. Since the study evolved, I felt the desire to reach individuals on a larger scale. The primary goal is to deliver scripture-based context to readers in order for them to infuse God into every aspect of their daily lives. Come join the Refinement Journey and embrace life under God’s authority!

Genna Stotts, M.S.

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