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Do you see GOD in the DiaGnOsis?

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Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Philippians 4:4 ESV

Thank you, sweet friends, for allowing me the time to take care of family matters. Death is never easy-sudden or expected. This journey has been complicated and layered yet simple and straight forward. The bottom line is God has been, is, and will be glorified through each aspect. I want each of you to know your prayers and extension of love is greatly appreciated. There is a lengthy list of people who have gone above and beyond which I will forever be grateful.

Life lessons come in unusual ways. The Lord has been conveying lots of wisdom this past month-some of it I have been willing to receive and some-well let’s just say I am processing it. 😊

Lately, the word DiaGnOsis has been very present. You know that term easily defined as, “the identification of the nature of an illness or problem by examination of the symptoms” according to Webster. Permit me to share:

  1. It is stage 4 cancer, and we need to do more tests.
  2. Their condition from Covid is now fatal.
  3. Good news-we can treat this ailment and restore your health.
  4. The diagnosis 2 ½ years ago was conveyed: Limited lifespan.
  5. It is not a sprain-it is a spiral fracture.
  6. Hey! This is repairable and not as costly as I once predicted.
  7. You have a condition which doesn’t respond to pain medication.
  8. Super-you can ring the bell-the cancer is no longer present!
  9. On closer examination, we have detected serious issues.
  10. Fill in: _______________________________________________

We are continually given a diagnosis for many things in life. Good, bad, or ugly: the choice is to discover GOD in the midst. It is not always easy to see the Lord when receiving devastating and/or unwanted news. On the flipside, many times we forget to realize the Almighty Father is also in the middle of the good analysis as well.

God has allowed occurrences lately to force me to sit quietly. Being the “why bug” that I am, I have tried to identify the reason for the recent events. It seems the answer is basically to “look for Him”.  Discover Him in my sorrow, physical pain, blessings, overwhelming joy, worship, conversations, family, interactions, work, commute, travel, cleaning, struggles, laughter, marriage, friendships, etc. WHY? Because I need to remember He is my Commander in Chief and Christ Jesus is my Kinsman Redeemer. No matter the situation or circumstance, God has clearly conveyed the true diagnosis: I AM GREATLY LOVED!

How do you face analysis in your life? Do you search for GOD in the DiaGnOsis?

In Philippians, Paul taught us the importance of seeing GOD in all things. He modeled the posture the Lord wants us to embrace in good times and in bad: count it all as joy. While in prison and before his execution, Paul wrote, “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” (Philippians 1:12-14 ESV).

Our obedience and attitude of faith helps us see GOD in everything regardless of the analysis. This is so evident in the life of Paul. He chose to cling to God’s assignment no matter the cost because he embraced the glorious outcome. Beaten, bruised, and knowing execution was around the corner, Paul continued witnessing and professing how the Lord was using every minute of his life as a testimony and encouragement for others. Regardless of the worldly DiaGnOsis, he saw the hand of the Lord in it all. WOW! Just WOW!

Paul’s life is a challenge for us to see GOD in all things and continue the race before us regardless.

I think I need an attitude of faith adjustment.

What about you?

May GOD be glorified in all that we do so others will know the one true Lord.

God-I Have Questions

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Hello! Yes, it has been longer than normal since the last posting. I pray you and your family are doing well and embracing the new summer season. In the words of our sweet little Jude, “It is hot, hot!” So, enjoy, kickback, and take joy in the pool, sprinkler, air conditioner, etc. This too shall pass.

Refining ministries has begun a season of study entitled, “Major Wisdom through Minor Prophets”. This month we are diving deep into Habakkuk. I refer to him as the “why bird”. He was a bold prophet-brave enough to address God with his questions and honest concerns. Although I am not sure he liked the response he received, Habakkuk felt confident enough to layout his true thoughts before God.

While reflecting on our group discussions, I had to question myself about my faith when it comes to asking the Lord hard questions. Oh, I often ask for things-healing, comfort, renewal, restoration, self-discipline, etc. for others as well as myself. Yet, I don’t regularly ask why God is doing what He is. So, I had to ask myself “Why not?” What can I learn from Habakkuk to strengthen my relationship with the Lord?

Let me share my revelations:

1. Habakkuk was very secure in his relationship with God. He brought his concerns directly to the one who is in charge. (Habakkuk 1:2) He didn’t hop on Facebook and ask his social network. Habakkuk wasn’t one to run to the nearest neighbor and complain about God’s delay based on his timetable. This prophet went straight to the best source-the Almighty Father-the maker of heaven and earth.

Lesson one: Go to God first!

2. Habakkuk was raw and open about his deepest thoughts. (Habakkuk 1:2-4) He didn’t beat around the bush or try to sweet talk his way around asking. Straight to the point was his approach. Let’s get down to business and spill out what is troubling the heart.

Lesson two: Don’t waste God’s time-get to the point & share your deepest concerns.

3. Habakkuk wasn’t shy about expressing the fact he could not understand God’s ways. He immediately began asking why. What is taking you so long to end this awful behavior and destruction? He asked GOD boldly-the God of the universe. Wow-the thought of doing this is not as comfortable for me as it seems to be for Habakkuk. But why not? God has our back and loves us so much. God is big enough to handle our questions no matter what they may contain.

Lesson three: If you don’t understand God’s ways, ask why? He is willing to listen.

4. The Lord answered Habakkuk with a reply which was shocking to him. (Habakkuk 1:12-17) God will respond, but we may not like the answer. God knows the future and is working out all things according to His plans. His ways are not ours nor do they often align with our human understanding. However, we must be willing to embrace the Lord’s perspective.   

Lesson four: Be willing to see the situation through the eyes of God.

All this in just Chapter 1! Major wisdom through a minor prophet’s boldness to go to God first, get straight to the point, ask God why when not understanding, and be willing to see the situation through the eyes of the Lord. What knowledge to take to heart when having questions about issues in life. I have many!!!

What about you?

How do these four points assist you in dealing with difficulties you incur?

Times when you just want to know WHY?

Let God be your Rock just like Habakkuk.

Blessings my friends!

Prayer Life, Part 2

Hear this, you elders; listen, all who live in the land. Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your ancestors? Joel 1:2 (NIV)

Happy Sunday friends! How’s your year been so far? Do you set goals and resolutions every January? Are you planning to make some changes in 2021?

This weekend I began studying Joel. As the writer expands upon the locust plague, he speaks of a God of justice as well as a Lord of mercy. Joel clearly denotes the judgment of sin as dreadful and overpowering punishment much like the devastation of wild locust. Yet, the author tells of a mighty God who is willing to forgive and restore anyone who will turn from their disobedience and declare Him as their sovereign Lord.

How often do we catch this vision of God? A father who stands ready to receive us if we will call on Him. The highest of strength and power who is King over all that has, does, and will exist. A Lord who is abounding in grace. A God who is compassionate and relational. Creator of all, who extends salvation through His son in order to call us His sons and daughters.

Since our 2020 experience, how do we see God? If we believe in an omnipotent God, why do we tend to become complacent and take Him for granted? I have asked myself, “Why don’t I pray more than I do?” Have we become blind to the consequences of fleshy living? Are our senses so dull that we have become immune to God’s warnings and pleas? Have we allowed the offerings of this world to dry up our joy as Joel talks about in Joel 1:12?

Joel’s message for me began in Joel 1:2 with the words “Hear this” and “listen”. It captured my attention to exam my reverence to God as my sovereign Lord and to turn away from my self-centeredness and sin. I saw glimpse of my own lukewarm behavior periodically, the kind of thinking and acts far from what God not only requires, but what He truly deserves. And again, I ask “why”?

As my heart cries out to God to restore my emphasis on Him, I feel the Lord asking me, “Who do you say I am?” How well can I accurately describe Him? This indescribable love who has longed for me, shown mercy in so many ways, sanitized my mistakes, transformed my sins for His good, and showered me with blessings beyond my understanding. He has created turning points in my spiritual journey to increase my faith and knowledge of Him and yet again is tugging on my heartstrings to draw closer to Him through a sincere focus on my prayer life.

What about you? Who do you say God is? How is your prayer life?

Please leave your comments, suggestions, and thoughts below. We are all in this together. Lets reach out and help each other in our journey. I look forward to hearing your insight.

To you, Lord, I call, for fire has devoured the pastures in the wilderness and flames have burned up all the trees of the field. Even the wild animals pant for you; the streams of water have dried up and fire has devoured the pastures in the wilderness. Joel 1:19-20 (NIV)

Happy New Year

Welcome 2021

Happy New Year Friends! We look forward to walking through 2021 with you. As intentional partners, we are here to supply encouragement with your spiritual growth posture. Our main goal is to support your personal relationship with God and strengthen your reliance on Scripture. We are preparing for great times ahead in the upcoming months.

Prayers and best wishes from our ministry team and partners! We love you!!

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. Jeremiah 24:7 (NIV)

Prayer Life, Part 1

Come walk with us as we focus on prayer through infographics.

The Lord has been placing this topic on my heart for quite sometime. I invite you to engage in this adventure as we learn more about strengthening our prayer life together.

May each post allow you time to reflect upon your prayer life and draw you closer to the heart of God.

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