Saturday, May 14, 2016

"It's not always easy to fight the good fight, but it is always good, and it is always right." - Anonymous. 

This quote is one of my favorites. However, on the contrary, sometimes doing what is good and right doesn't necessarily have to be a stand-up, sit down, fight, fight, fight!

If we call ourselves Christians, we do so with the belief that we have received the blood of Christ, freely given as payment for our sinful ways. Christ's blood (love) poured (into our hearts) thereby saving us from eternal doom. If we, then, have been saved by such compassion - a compassion so great that He gave up His life for ours, how then can we "Christians" lack mercy for any one person? 

Our hearts too should bleed for all people, just as Christ's did.  John 12:32 - "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw ALL peoples to myself."  And, Matt. 5:7 - "Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy."

One of my devotionals, "Pathway To Gods Presence", beautifully states, "There were those who loved Him for His uncomplicated love of people, and through that love they got to know God and love Him." 

Simple. Uncomplicated. He loves ALL. Period. 

Proverbs 3:29 urges, "Do not devise evil against your neighbor, for he dwells by you for safety's sake." 

Whether or not we agree with a person's lifestyle; whether or not we're comfortable with the way they look; whether or not we like the way one behaves and talks, or if we disagree with another's political views and even if they, in our opinion, lack morals.  If we are truly Christians, I believe our behavior should emulate that of Jesus Christ. And Jesus made himself available to everyone. He listened, cared, and spoke the truth. 

It was and still is His nature: To get to know us - that we would get to know Him. 

Our knowing right from wrong, light from darkness, and peace from torment should keep us from attacking people and causing strife. Now, this is not to say that we can't speak our minds and share what we believe to be truth, as we know this is a must.  But according to Proverbs 3:29, we should be the "safe place." It is in a safe place that divine healing can manifest itself.  This is the spot for open and honest conversation. Here lies the place where, pain and suffering, betrayal, guilt, insecurities, addiction, and the like, may be dispelled, and at long last hearts set free!  

On the other hand, if we make our views more important than people - I'm inclined to think we've missed the mark, along with the opportunity to embrace life. 

The love, forgiveness, mercy, and patience my spirit has received from Christ compels me to believe with all my heart that people of every kind should feel loved and valued in our presence. 

Peace out, Sister, and share the love!

Jodi ❤

Friday, April 22, 2016

I'm troubled, sometimes, by my lack of motivation, or maybe I'm troubled by the fact that I freeze instead of moving when motivation tugs at my heart.

2Cor 8:12 reads, "For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have." 

A willing mind? Interesting, that it does not read a willing heart. And what is the difference between the two?

When the mind says, yes, why do I not move? 

Perhaps the problem isn't my heart, but my mind. I think, most times, my heart is ready with a yes, but my mind is full of doubt. My heart pumps with desire and passion; energy splashes through my veins longing for a purpose, aspiring to make a difference, yearning to be bold, to step-out, to realize my dreams, and to take hold of everything God has made available to me.

But, my mind. It thinks too much. And it thinks too little. It thinks of all of the things I don't have. Of what I can't do. Of the mistakes, I'll make. Of the rejections to come. Of failing. And, thus, I am unmotivated, or shall I say, motivated by what I don't have. So, I do nothing. But the above scripture says, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have. 

The heart is indeed willing, but our intellect sometimes fastens itself to 'can't'. And we are thereby convinced by what we 'can't do' - which prevent's us from doing what we indeed - 'can do'. 

And, this is where faith comes in.  If God gives it to us, we can do it, through Christ, who strengthens us.  Further, this is the only way God will be able to use us for His purpose. I believe many of us are stuck in limbo with our intellect when we should be chasing our hearts with free abandon.  

Henry Ford said, "Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can't, you're right."

You can do it, girlfriend!



Thursday, February 19, 2015

It Could Happen

"The race is not for the swift,
Nor the battle for the strong,
Nor bread for the wise,
Nor riches for men of understanding,
Nor favor for men of skill,
But time and chance happen to them all."  Ecc. 9:11
(or shall I say is "given" to us all.)

There are things to be done, and battles, to be won. Friend - God not only wants to use us but surely, he needs to use us as well (no matter our capacity). "And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land ..."
Ezekiel 22:30

The Bible also says, "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
John 15:5

So, time and chance are given to us all and God is seeking us for help. And, with the Grace of God, we can produce much fruit.

Do you live like a mule or do you live like a race horse? Sadly, many of us choose to live like, a mule. I know at times, I do.  Kenneth Hagin has compared a mule to a race horse saying "You could file the mules teeth and polish his hooves. You could feed him the finest food; run him around the track every day; and house him in the finest stable.  But on the day of the race when the gun sounds, all he'll do is lope off down the track -- because he is a mule. Yet you can take a racehorse, and not give him the same quality of care, but when you put him on the starting line, and the gun sounds, he's Gone! Because he is a racehorse!"

May I submit to you the need to understand that within you rests the Spirit of God -- a racehorse!
There's a racehorse in you! There are times you feel it, why, I think it's safe to say there are times you know it!

It's time to make it happen, don't you think. All that needs to be done now is simply positioning ones-self at the starting line. Picture yourself in the gate. Your head cocks, hooves kicking and stomping, your nostrils flaring and your rider -Jesus Christ- holding tight and keeping you steady. Pray and clearly see what your gift, calling, desire, is. Once your heart, soul, and mind have come to understand, receive it. (See it as your finish line.)

And then ...

Sound the gun girlfriend!
Take a chance!
Run your race!

"Happy trails to you, until we meet again."


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Unleash Your Gifts

“Being confident in this very thing,
That He who has begun a good work in you, Will complete it until the day of Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

Make no mistake, God is working in you and He is committed to completion.  The question is... are you?

God is willing to move, however, God is not going anywhere without you. Remember, God's promises fulfilled always require action on our part. The Bible reads, “Every place your foot shall trod, I have given thee.” - Joshua 1:3. The verb trod is important here because it is the action word. According to this verse everything is sitting right in front of our face, nevertheless, we must with deliberation forge ahead.

I believe it is God's intent that His purpose and plans for your life should prevail. Your Creator is willing to complete, and willing to continue working in you on your gifting’s till your last day, again the question begs  … are you?

If you're anything like me you can easily be side tracked with everyday tasks, like cleaning floors again and again (I have four dogs), shopping, organizing and reorganizing, over committing, and simply working yourself to exhaustion. 

Perhaps gravity keeps your rear-end to closely knit to the couch while you plug yourself into the silly things of this world, like television, chit-chatting on the phone, and social media to name a few. Such things only leave us feeling tired, sluggish, and unmotivated, but most importantly they leave us lacking.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s good to keep things in order. It’s good to do all things with excellence.  And who can argue with “healthy” down time. The problem is - this stuff can trap us. Dr. Tony Evans wrote, and I paraphrase, "Anything that keeps you from doing what you’re called to do or prevents you from living out your God given gifts could be the devil himself'."

Sooo ...  what's needed? Possibly some confidence; self control; determination. Maybe all three.The Bible encourages us with these words, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phil 4:13. I'd like to suggest a few things.  First, try wrapping yourself up in God's confidence ( Read The Bible daily!). Secondly, take control of your schedule, prioritize and make time to operate in your gifts if only 30 minutes a day to start (it's going to feel good). Lastly, unplug yourself from the unhealthy stuff, and then  ... TROD!

I bid you happy gifting!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Good Mercy Everyone!

The sun shone bright, the morning tasks accomplished without a hitch.  The day held much promise, and the park was calling out my name. It was then, while  trotting around the green with sweet little Chloe Lu that I stepped into a hole and twisted my ankle. I went down in pain and was unable to get up.

Now,  Chloe Lu is two years old, and honestly I had concern that should she take off running I would not be able to catch-up with her (at this point I could hardly move). But Chloe didn’t run - nor did she leave me behind. Instead, this little angel, with whom I get to weekly share my love,  immediately took to my side, cupped her knees with her hands, and stooped to make sure I was okay.

 “You okay?”
"Not really", I said.
“ You okay?”
To which I replied, "I'll be fine, I just need a minute."
And again, “You okay?”
"Not quite yet sweet thing, but I will be."

Waiting patiently, never hurrying me, Chloe squatted by my side and watched until I was able to stand up. When I did finally take to my feet, she took my finger in her hand and together we walked to the play area. Well, she walked. I hobbled.

What a beautiful picture of God’s Love.

You see, God does call us to be strong and of good courage, but He goes before us.

He does ask us to be doers of the Word, and not just hearers, but His still small voice leads us.

We are going to stumble, in word, thought and deed, but be assured of this one thing – Our God of mercy isn’t going anywhere.

In fact - the truth is -  He will immediately take to your side and patiently wait while you muster the strength it might take to get back up.

 Hugs and Blessings,
"They (His mercies) are new every morning!" - Lam 3:23

Friday, April 5, 2013

I'm Still Learning

I’ve made an observation. Those of us who let life steal our peace tend to operate out of fear and anger, neither of which is rational.

I find myself there from time-to-time, and each time the entrance is subtle, quite deceiving. I’m thankful for Grace, as for without it, I might continue to be stuck in that vast space in time which exists without any true joy, only spurts now-and-again.

I believe it’s called depression, that period in time when everything is so difficult. When for no good reason (as far as the eye can see) one has to hold back sorrowful tears. I’ve experienced this most of my life and have done well to pray and shake it off as something else. What? I don’t know, just something else.

I’ve come to terms with it and have found that acknowledging it is probably the healthiest thing I can do. So, again, I am grateful for His Grace. I am able to admit and lift this area of my life into His hands. It sounds simple, because to me, it is.

The difficult part is touching on the reasons why I struggle with this pain. Sin has hurt me. Not my sin alone (and believe me I’ve played my part), but the sins committed against me. These sins have made a lasting impression and have played a significant role in my life, but Gods Grace has shown me that they can only define me, in-so-much-as, I will allow.

I’ll share more on this later. Maybe. Whenever. Or, maybe not.  As the only reason I wrote any of this in the first place was to explain my periodic absences from the things I love.

One of which is writing.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” -  John 14:27

Ahh, still learning this one...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Pedaling With Peace

It was an extremely cold and windy day. The sun shone bright, but it alone was unable to warm my wimpy southern California frame. It had to be 55 degrees out, and with the wind chill it might have been as low as 49.

One of my goals this year is to regularly ride my bike. I want to ride 100 miles a week. I want to do 2-4 events a year. I would love to ride to San Francisco in the next year.

The best days on my bike would include blue skies, winds from the south at about ONE mile per hour and temperatures as low as 65 no higher than 70 - I’m flexible, if nothing else. That was not going to be the case today. I was just finishing tidying up the backyard while trying, with all my might, to mentally prepare for today’s ride. It wasn't going to be easy.

Goal for the day: 26 miles at a rate of 12-13 mph. (I’m fairly new to this and currently have a mountain bike with thicker wheels so this is a fair challenge).

As I pull out of the drive I swing my right leg over the seat, adjust the volume on my iPod and set out for a 26 mile ride. I have already managed to pedal 25, well maybe 10. Okay, here's the thing,  I've pedaled three “feet” when I realize I need another pair of cycling pants because the ones I own hit just below the knees and my calves are freezing!  My face is cold too. It is so windy one could lean into the wind without falling. The fact that I've made it this far is impressive, and were I to turn around right now and call it a day, no one could blame me. Unfortunately – or shall  I say fortunately - I had recently watched The Biggest Loser’s opening show for the 2013 season and all I can hear is a voice in my head that sounds much like the voice of  Jillian Michael's  yelling, “What are you, a wimp?!” and  “I’ll personally kick your bleep if you get off that bike!”   So I pedal up the street to the riverbed opening and assure myself that once I get pumping my legs will warm up. If I can actually pump!  Because it’s SO flipping WINDY!

I’m at my start point. I reset my bike computer, click on my iPod and take off … slowly, and with great effort, and I’m thankful for the voice of determination as-well-as the voice of Peace.   The wind howls. I’m frustrated and I feel burdened because there is no way I am going to be able do 12-13 mph. I’m angry and feel defeated.  Just then, the sweet voice of Peace saves me with the reminder that all I have to do is; pedal. “It may take longer, but you’ll still do your twenty-six. Just pedal and ENJOY this ride." 

Some days, weeks, even months are like that aren't they?  It’s all we can do to put one foot in front of the other.  The beauty is … that’s all He asks.

So, in pursuing our dreams and visions, let’s stay the course. Be it, one lyric; one page; one stroke of the brush; one customer; one call; one close; one class; one pound; one meal; one prayer; one day; one mile; one step;  or, one pedal at a time.  It is, after all, one more than we had before.

I am learning that most of the burdens/obstacles in my life are merely a figment of my imagination.

“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” - Matthew 11:30