Sense Of Urgency

Good morning!

I woke up this morning with a sense of urgency, a sense of urgency to make a steaming pot of coffee.  I just got a new french press. I couldn’t wait to taste the difference in my morning brew.
I felt driven to do it.

Drive.
We all have it.
At some time or another.
Generally when we want something.
The more driven you are, the more successful you tend to be towards getting it.

Look at Nike. Just do it.
No high performance athletic mogul would get where they are today with the slogan, Just sit and ponder it.

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Timing.
Being at the right place at the right time with your A game.

That’s how our world operates.
But it’s not how God’s world operates.
It’s totally contrary.

He says be still and know I am God.
You can’t rush God’s timing.  It’s perfect.

I know for myself, I oftentimes see a vision for my life and head full steam ahead down the path. Only to find out it’s the wrong path. No open doors. No pot of gold. I look back and realize it was MY path I was chasing, not God’s for me.

When I start my day by sitting back and enjoying that cup of coffee and being ever so still and meeting God in prayer,  I am so much more blessed by the outcome.

The hardest part is being patient and waiting. I want instant answers. Instant direction. We are a society of instant gratification.  I have a sense of urgency.

God’s timing is often very slow compared to ours. Sometimes no answer IS our answer. He has no need for a sense of urgency.  He’s got it all under control.  He knows the outcome. He teaches us. Our own responsiveness often dictates the rate God moves in our lives. We grow through our successes and our failures.  Probably more through our failures. For then, and only then, do we realize our need for God.  His  everlasting presence. It’s a process.

Look at Moses. Look where his self will got him. 40 years in the desert and no sight of the promised land.

I want the promised land! I want to know how to live in both worlds.
So how do we combine the two worlds?
Jesus came to our world as one of us.  He brought us His divine power through His Holy Spirit in our lives that we are to combine with our own human effort to be all that we can be.

Let’s all slow down a bit, and listen to Him.  In His timing  That’s the only thing we need to be urgent about.

31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40 31

2 Peter 3:8 – But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

Love and laughter,

Sandy

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What Are You Giving Up For Lent?

Good morning!

Fat Tuesday’s over.  The last beads have been thrown.  Bye bye Mardi Gras.
Ash Wednesday ushered in lent.

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The Lenten Season has once again come upon us. The new year’s resolutions have more than likely been forgotten,  the valentine’s candy has been eaten, and now it’s time to give up something you love for 40 days, 46 to be exact. We don’t count Sundays.

What are you going to give up for lent?

Lent is known as a season of repentance, changed thinking.  A time to self reflect and regain self control over those places in your life where you are not in sync with God’s will.  Where maybe your flesh has over indulged,  you’ve allowed your behavior to hurt someone and need to turn away from such direction, or you simply enjoy the discipline of self denial.

This year I’m giving up “giving up” for lent.  What I mean is this. I let life’s bumps emotionally wound me, and I withdraw to the safety of my own solitude.  Often from things that are not necessarily bad for me.  Just hurtful.  Often a word or isolated act, and I’m done. My loss for sure. Once I push past them and usually just communicate more effectively, what lies on the other side is awesome, worth any effort.

I’m going to stop doing that for 40 days. And hopefully that 40 days will turn into a habit.  Then I’ll do it for 40 more days until it becomes my second nature. I’ll no longer run and hide when somebody hurts me.  I’ll put on my big girl panties and face the conflict head on and grow stronger because of it.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

I read that the Pope’s message for everyone for this year’s lent is to fast from indifference rather than chocolate and alcohol. Great idea! Let’s all turn indifference in any area of our lives to love. Let’s not feel indifference towards that person in line behind us at the grocery store because they have on different clothing than we’d wear.  Let’s instead engage in a warm smile and “Hello, have a blessed day!”  Let’s not feel indifference for that person of a different color or language or religion or sexual preference that goes to our school or our workplace.   Instead, let’s love them as Jesus did. Let’s learn to love them for who they are.  You can love a much better behavior out of someone far easier than hate them out of a bad one.

Whatever you choose to give up, remember this: I will never give up on you my faithful readers and friends.  Nor will Jesus!

– And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
Daniel 9:3

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Don’t Think Less Of Yourself. Think Of Yourself Less

Good morning!

Now that I have you thoroughly confused, let me explain.

We are all created by God.  Therefore our worth should be based on who we are in Christ, not in our works, what others think of us, how much we have or haven’t sinned, how much wealth we have accumulated, or any other worldly measurement.

We should never let others allow us to THINK LESS OF OURSELVES and steal our joy.   On the other hand,  if we THINK ABOUT OURSELVES LESS that allows us ample time to think about others more.

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And less is more.

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Less attention to ourselves allows us to give more attention and meaning to others, which in return produces more meaning in our own lives. You gain purpose.  You bring joy to others.  And that joy comes back to you in a greater measure.
Luke 6:38 tells us, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

How do you spell joy?
I couldn’t illustrate it any better than this simple acronym.
1.  J esus
2.  O thers
3.  Y ourself

I intend to instill it as part of my daily routine. I know when I do, I experience more joy by giving than receiving.  I challenge you to do the same.

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
Romans 8:16-17

3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Philippians 2:3-5

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Serendipity

Good morning!

I’ve always loved the word SERENDIPITY.

It’s just fun to let it roll off your tongue!  Try it!  🙂

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I like the way the word sounds, the way it looks, and even the way it is defined.  Horace Walpole coined the word in 1754 as a fortunate happenstance. How fun is that?!   It’s finding something good without looking for it, especially when looking for something entirely unrelated.  A total accident!  An unexpected surprise!  Who doesn’t love a pleasant surprise? ! 🙂

I’ve had the awesome privilege of experiencing what I considered serendipity on a few precious occasions in my life. Now I’ve never hit the motherload and accidently invented penicillin from a contaminated Petri dish growing mold or viagra from a cardiovascular drug to lower blood pressure, but I have struck up a few deeply valued relationships in my day where we found each other by shear serendipity.

Was it serendipity? Or just luck? Or a random  coincidence? Or perhaps a Godincidence?

When it is so right and so supernatural, I choose to believe it’s a Godincidence. Now that’s a word I like even better! An event so totally in the Master’s plan from before we were ever even created. That’s so much more endearing! That my God loves me so much that He planned out little unexpected surprises when I least expected them, where I could see His hand so obviously in it,  I knew without a doubt that it was undeniably Him!  Those Aha moments in life! Faith at its finest!  They are priceless,  and we always carry them with us. They are part of our story.

The next time you accidentally stumble upon something wonderfully unexpected, look for God’s hand in it.  Give Him the praise for such a gift instead of just chalking it up to one for the universe. Then joyfully go enjoy it. 🙂

17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
James 1:17

Love and laughter,

Sandy

What are you made of?

Good morning!

Little girls are made of sugar and spice,
and everything nice, and little boys are made of snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails.

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And what exactly, may I ask, are snips?
I googled the term only to find little pieces of things as the best answer.  Little boys like to stuff their pockets with a variety of little things such as rocks and string and paper clips and rubber bands.

What are you made of?

Do you realize you were created as God’s unique masterpiece?

We were each made with our own one of a kind DNA for a specific purpose.  It is no coincidence how your personality, your interests, your talents, your gifts, and your life experiences all fit together specifically to form you.

I love Jesus and my 3 daughters and my two grandchildren and my Golden Retriever!  And all of you! I love to smile. And laugh. And write. I’m a huge softy.  I love horses and puppies. I’m a cheap date, I’ll pick soup or salad over steak any day. My favorites are mexican food and popcorn and ice cream and coffee and chocolate. I collect crosses.  Black is my favorite color.  I own 9 pairs of black shoes.  I love to be creative. I am an encourager. I’m 85% conservative and 15% all about fun!  You’d never guess it, but I have a tattoo.  (One of those “fun” moments!)  I always root for the underdog.  I’m an ordained minister and a Stephen’s minister.  I’ll take warm weather to cold any day.  The warmth of sunshine and fireplaces makes me happy. I’ve got more crazy stories of life adventures than I care to share, but probably will because I’m so transparent.   I try not to let one single day go by without intentionally doing something to help someone else. I wish happily ever afters for everyone. I  want more than anything to be the woman God has planned for me to be.

I’m a work in progress.   We all are.  I hope and pray that we each turn our trust and our focus to our creator to gently lead us to all we were intended to be.

 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Ephesians 2:10

Love and laughter,

Sandy

We Can’t Stand Still

Good morning!

Yesterday I joined my precious Aunt Barb at her church.   You remember her. You met her on my January 30th blog. 🙂

I visited her church at her request to experience her new pastors. I thought I was doing so more for her benefit, but I must tell you, I just love how God works! The pleasure was all mine!

Her chosen pew is the first row, so there I sat, front and center. The daily scripture was about Jesus taking his disciples to a high mountain for a mountain top experience with God.

As I sat there in that pew, Jesus came down from His high place and stood directly in front of me in all His glory and spoke to me personally through her beloved Pastor José.   What an absolutely precious ambassador of God!  He spoke of changing that know ABOUT God kind of relationship to a know PERSONALLY one. According to Pastor José,  that kind of knowing Jesus will blow your mind!
Can I get an AMEN to that?! 🙂

His most poignant point I want to make sure I bring down to you from Jesus’ s high place is this.

YOU will be the only Jesus that some people will meet.

Now THAT does blow my mind! Puts our words and deeds in a little different perspective,  now doesn’t it? Makes me strive to live more intentional every day. Walk the walk, not just talk it.  I WANT people to see Jesus in me!!!  And it to be in a manner that they want what I’ve got! Mind blowing love and joy and peace!  The gift that the more you share, the more you have.

Preach the gospel all the time.
If you have to, use your mouth.
His message flowed more from his heart than his mouth in his second language, English. His Puerto Rican dialect just added flavor to his carefully chosen words. One of his instructions during his sermon entitled “We can’t stand still” was to be a river,  not a dam.  To constantly be moving.  To share what God has given us with all.  His passion for Christ so moved me, I was a river all right.  Tears just streamed down my cheeks.

My message to you, Pastor José,  and Aunt Barb if you are reading this, is this.  You both are the epitome of living as God’s good and faithful servants.
I sat. I saw. I listened.  I witness your daily life, Aunt Barb. Both of you can’t stand still in your daily walk with the Lord. You are true rivers. You touched me. I take your message and your lives and now hopefully share it with others and touch them.  Let the rivers flow!

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17 Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, 1let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” 6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. 7 But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” 8 When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
9 Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead.”
Matthew 17:1-9

Love and laughter,

Sandy

Who I Am From A To Z

Good morning!

Ever ask yourself, Who Am I?
Ever take an inventory of the YOU you actually are and test it against the YOU you strive to be?

Being a huge logophile, I decided this morning to run through the alphabet and come up with 26 words to best describe ME.  Here’s a pretty good run down from A to Z of who I am.

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Some were a little bit sticky.  I would come up with a really great word, then I had to stop and think a moment and really ponder whether it was who I truly am or who I wanted to be.

Take the letter “V” for example. I wanted to type VALUED.  But I realized that’s what I want to be not what I feel I truly am. So instead I chose VERBOSE since I talk alot. Too much.  A far cry from valued.

I have put my value in man’s opinion of me for far too long, and I am always disappointed.  I fall short every time. Once I’m rejected by man I allow it to crush my spirit.  Then I am right where Satan wants me, downtrodden and defeated.  Paralyzed to be all Christ intended me to be.

Not this time! This girl is fighting back!

This year I am working very diligently to truly accept who I am in Christ. To find my true value and worth and really believe it.  To leave man out of it.  I’m taking part in a ministry called Freedom in Christ.  I highly recommend it. It’s life changing.

You see, I oftentimes feel unworthy. I’ve made so many mistakes along the way.  I don’t truly accept that I’m forgiven. That’s why Christ died.  For my sin. And yours.

I fail to see all the things I’ve done right.

Let’s break free from the bondage that holds us captive, and be all we can be! Let’s base who we are not on our own or anyone else’s expectations, but rather on who we are in Christ.

Who are you?

I challenge you to take a few minutes, and see who you really are. If you, like me, are not content with any of your words, I urge you to pray to God to help you change them.  I  hope to go back through this list at year’s end and see if I can change a few myself.  Oh don’t worry, you’ll still get VERBOSE blogs from me. 🙂 Some things may never change.  But somehow I think this girl that has 3 daughters is going to learn where her VALUE truly comes from and embrace it!

I love and value each of you, my readers! ♡ Thank you!

Authentic
Blessed
Creative
Devoted
Engaged
Faithful
Godly
Hopeful
Inspired
Joyful
Kind hearted
Loyal
Moral
Novel
Outgoing
Passionate
Quirky
Reflective
Smiling
Thankful
Unique
Verbose
Worshipful
Xenial
Youthful
Zealous

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love5 he[a] predestined us for adoption to sonship[b] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us.
Ephesians 1:3-8

Love and laughter,

Sandy