Many of you have been wondering where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to over the last few months. I assure you that I have been entirely present, albeit quietly so. In truth, I have being doing life. I have been living and breathing and moving and pretty much resting in Psalm 46:10. That looks different day by day. It has been the best thing for me, however.
Where I currently stand is in the heart of family/community life. I am a wife, a mom, a teacher, a tutor, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a career woman, an encourager, a student, and so on. I am so many things to so many people. (I’m certain you can relate to what I’m saying.) In all of that – those roles – thankfully, there is grace and love. And yet, in that or rather in this, I confess, that I have lost a bit of my intimacy with the LORD.
The intimacy, the connection, the relationship that I have with the LORD God, that is vital. It is critical to my existence. I cannot breathe without Him. I cannot function properly without Him. I don’t even want to try. Every part of my being, every role that I am called to live in, is utterly and completely dependent on the Most High. When I was led to tabernacle in Psalm 46:10, I didn’t realize that it would bring me to days like this.
These days that I have been given, they are remarkable. They are beautiful and unique opportunities that continue to draw me closer to the heart of God. They allow me to know God and to make Him known in diverse and colorful new ways. They allow me to be reflective and fully transparent. They are challenging. They are uncomfortable. They are unpredictable. They are humorous. They are heartbreaking. They are real.
All of those things – the challenges of each day, the uncomfortable situations, the unpredictable moments, the humorous adventures, the heartbreaking lessons, and the realness of the real – they have revealed a hidden depth, as it relates to my Psalm 46:10 life in the LORD. It has been breath-taking…literally. It all keeps me both humbled and prostrated. That is where I need to be.
Being Fully Transparent…
God is bringing me back to Him. He is revealing that which needs to be seen in me. He is showing Himself to me in the ways that I need. I shall continue my tabernacle with Him, quietly so, until such time that I am led to return here on a more consistent basis.
Before I quiet myself again, I would like to encourage you. I lovingly urge you to draw nearer to God. Be still and see Him. Fully. Clearly. Experience Him anew. Taste and see that the LORD is good. Surrender every part of your life to Him and witness His majesty. Know that I will be praying for you.
May God bless you all in this, that, these, and those days.
A.M. Reflection: In this minute, I celebrate the fact that I have a God who loves me. He loves me with a greater love than any other I have ever known. He loves me when I am down and when I am up. He loves me when I stumble and when I succeed. He loves me when I choose the road less traveled and when I select the road that is well worn. He makes time for me in every moment. He never wavers with His steady presence or with His abundant grace. His heart for me is true, pure, and wholly committed. He sees me. He hears me. He is aware of my every need. He never turns away from me. I am in awe of Him. In all the world, there is nothing that compares to my God.
Encouragement: Go back and read my reflection again. Apply it to your own life. Find yourself in the experience.
Question: What is your In This Minute praise?
Challenge: Over the next seven days, choose seven random moments to stop and write down your #gratefulheart thoughts. Share them with at least one other person via a blog post, an email, a phone call, an Instagram or Facebook post, a tweet, a direct conversation, or a personal letter or note. Watch what happens!
In This Minute is a #gratefulheart campaign meant to encourage others to look very closely at their relationship with God and identify what makes it special. It affords each individual with a moment in time to pause and praise.
Good morning and blessings to all!
By now, you may well have heard the news – CLING by Kim Cash Tate is now available. This is exciting news for many reasons. Not only will you now have access to this amazing Bible study, but you will also get to take part in a Phone Tree featured reflection walk with me.
Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing my heart’s response and my own transparent convictions about how Kim’s words and lessons affected me. In sharing with you, I will hold nothing back. It is my hope that through this exercise of openness and honesty, others seeking a “lifestyle of intimacy with God” will be encouraged to do the same. Just as Kim’s very real truths impacted me and showed me the more of wanting and knowing God, I pray that you also will be impacted and want the more of knowing God.
Phone Tree Book Review:
CLING: Choosing a Lifestyle of Intimacy with God by Kim Cash Tate is a Bible study that will meet you where you are and take you where you want to go. The appeal of this book lies in its invitation to know God; but really, it’s more than that. With Scripture-rich points and narrative vignettes, Tate extends her hand and leads readers toward the One who knows them best. For those ready for and/or needing more, this book will do much to propel you forward, to urge you further, and to ground you deeper.
Status: Non-fiction, Bible study, Christian
Books are available for purchase via Discovery House, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, & Christianbook.com. Get your copy today!
When life interrupts and the noise seems so loud, there is a place where I go. It brings immediate calm to me. It promises peace every time…and delivers.
There, in that place…When I am in need, I am provided for. When I am confused or bewildered, I can find clarity and resolution. When I am worn, I am surrounded with love and grace.
I get to rest, without fail. I get to dwell in what I call holy rejuvenation. This place that is my perfect ah is in the presence of the Almighty, my Good Shepherd. The LORD.
In all that The Good Shepherd is and with all that He does, I am both assured and confident that I can make it through anything.
P.M. Reflections/Questions to Consider:
1) What does it mean to be shepherded by the LORD?
2) What does Psalm 23 mean to you personally? (Challenge: Revisit the psalm and write it out in your own love language. Pray and listen.)
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
A. M. Thoughts: Life brings with it many highs and lows. The highs are those feel good moments that allow for personal victories and triumphs. The lows are those what was that moments that challenge or stretch us beyond our level of comfort. Whether you find yourself on the high end or low end of these moments, it is important to center or rather to ground yourself by staying close to the LORD and in His Word.
If one dwells on or in the high indefinitely, there is a possibility that pride may begin to consume you. How does this happen? It happens slowly. It happens subtly. It begins with a general sense of elation, but it later shifts and becomes an inflated sense of self. (No, not in all cases, of course.) One begins to think, “Look what I have done! Look at what I can do.” I versus God becomes the focus.
There is danger in this thinking. When God is taken out of the equation, it is then easier for Satan to lure and entice. Without an attachment to God or a grounding in Him, more and more selfish liberties can be taken, more and more tainted excuses can be made for why something was accomplished, etc. It is at this point that the evil one has you. He knows that he simply has to attract self to self. In doing so, he understands that it negates your need for God. Be warned! This is dangerous.
In contrast (and yet not), if one dwells on the lows constantly, there is a possibility that hopelessness can suffocate or rather drain the life out of you. How does this happen? It happens slowly. It happens subtly. It begins with a doubt, moves into fear, and germinates and grows into immobility. One begins to think, “Can I do this? Is there anything I can even do to fix this, change that, or make things right?” I versus God becomes the focus.
There is danger in this thinking. When dark, debilitating thoughts become more prominent in one’s mind and heart, there is then no room for God. (No, not in all cases, of course.) If God is pushed out or crowded out, the evil knows that he’s got you. He understands that darkness can be eradicated by light. The Light – the LORD Himself – casts out ALL darkness. He and He alone casts out Satan every time you hope, believe and trust in Him. He doesn’t want you to realize the power you have access to.
Scripture Reflection: Proverbs
Challenge: Make a list of your successes. Give thanks to God for every one of them. Next, write down your challenges. Thank God for them also. Once you have done the aforementioned, prostrate yourself before the LORD and fully surrender your highs and lows. Give yourself into His keeping. Ask the LORD to direct you, to guide you, and to tell you (by way of His Word) what He would have you do from this point forward.
A.M. Thoughts: Can any of us un-see or un-hear what we have been exposed to in life? Sadly, the answer is no. Trust me, I know. Let me tell you about something that recently happened.
The other night, I invited my child to watch a cheesy 80s movie with me. It was a movie that I had loved and remembered so well…or so I thought. Everything was going just great until (insert horror music here) a profane word was uttered. (Yes!) I was so stunned that I sat speechless for a couple of seconds, hoping that my child didn’t hear what was said. Before I could turn the movie off, three more words dropped and a lewd innuendo was made. (Ugh!!!) I was beside myself. The damage was now done, and my child had been exposed to evil on my watch. (Of course, I did damage control promptly, and as a result, we had a well-needed and very thorough conversation on the tricks of Satan.)
There were numerous takeaways for me with this experience, but one of the biggest lessons I learned was SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL…KNOW. In this phrase, I have found a guide on how to parent and how to live a godly life in a morally compromised world. It all boils down to this – we must be vigilant, alert, aware, and mindful of what is around us and what we choose to expose ourselves to, at all times. From music to movies to books to conversations to places we frequent to activities we elect to engage in, we must see it and hear it through the filter of the LORD. We must be willing to ask the simple yet hard questions…
Is it wholesome?
Is it pure?
Is it good?
Is it beneficial?
Is it helpful for knowledge and growth?
Is it something that will add to my spiritual development or take away from it?
When all is said and done, know this – Satan will come at you, he will come at me, and he will come at everyone we care about with anything that can be imagined…even a cheesy 80s movie. Don’t close your eyes, stuff your ears, or stick your head in the sand, and don’t allow that to be the case with your kids either. Know that God will help you.
Challenge: Complete a study on the word evil. Write down what you learn. (Feel free to come back and share it here on this post.)
Scripture Reflection: Philippians 4:8