Joy in the journey!

Joy in the journey!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Love wins!

A few years ago, I asked the Lord to open doors for me in the area of getting to know my neighbors better.  We have lived in the same home for 10 years, yet hardly knew anyone in our neighborhood.  Isn’t it funny how that happens?   It was through that prayer that I began to meet and hear magnificent stories of those who lived around me.  Beautiful friendships were born.  Then it went further.  I began to meet amazing people wherever I went.  I heard stories that brought tears to my eyes, stories that made my heart leap with joy, stories that helped me pray more diligently for others, stories that made me thankful.  I learned that behind every person is an amazing story.  I learned that the people often judged the most by others, for a variety of reasons, truly have the most wonderful stories of all.  Nobody really stopped to listen to them.  They were too busy judging them, laughing at them, and passing them by.  What beauty I have found, what amazing friendships have been made!  What lessons I have learned!  What miracles I have seen!  What open doors the Lord has opened!
When I thanked the Lord for answering my prayer by opening doors, I heard Him say to my heart, “Lisa, that open door was you looking....they were there all the time, you just didn’t see them.”  Wow.  How many things has God had in my path all along that I have missed because I was so focused on my day, my things, my life.  It’s amazing what happens when we just look for opportunites to be a blessing to others. What blessings await when we choose to love and not judge.  Miracles are waiting at every turn. 

Yesterday my miracle was a precious man in the grocery story, who had a beautiful story.  Others were laughing at his overalls as he sat alone by the window.  I adored those overalls (he called them his bib).  They were chicken overalls, and yes....they had quite a story.   He had such a wonderful sense of humor and was so joyful!  He blessed my heart with the story of his overalls. I told him about my chicken suit and he loved it! We had the best conversation.  He thanked me for talking to him and said he hadn’t laughed that hard since he could remember.   As I left that day I was so thankful for yet another amazing friend and another incredible story.  And I was thankful I didn’t miss the opportunity to hear it.  It truly is life changing.

I want to challenge you to try it!  Just spend a day looking for opportunities to be a blessing.  Spend the day listening.  I promise you, miracles will pop out from every corner.  And what is neat about the journey is the biggest miracles begin within our hearts when we choose to love.   Healing happens!  Transformation begins!  Old negative mindsets dissolve!  Anger begins to fade!  Walls come down!  It’s just so neat!  Love wins every single just does!  Have fun on the journey!  See you there!  

Love on my friends....Love on! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Don't look back!

He was a young man, and I had never seen him running in my neighborhood before.  But on this particular day he was running the same route I was.  I said “hello” to him as he passed, and he responded back with a very focused “hello”.  As he made it several blocks ahead of me I noticed that he kept looking back at something.  I thought there might be a dog loose or something he may have seen that I did not.  As I watched him running, admiring how fast he was going, all of the sudden as he was looking back, he lost his footing.  He went crashing to the ground, hard.  I gasped and took off running quickly to see if he was ok.  As he got up, quite embarrassed, he just said to me, “That will teach me to look back!”  And off he went, brushing himself off.  I never saw this runner again, but I remember this day vividly.  Why?  I don’t know.  But it came back to my mind the other day as I was having my prayer time.  

Have you ever felt like you are stuck in one place, unable to move forward?  Have you cried out to God for an answer feeling like He is not hearing your cry?  I think we have all felt this way at some time in our lives. I sure have.  But what I realized more than ever, just like that runner who fell as he was looking back, is that I will be in the same position if I focus on what is behind me.  I will miss what God has ahead for me if I am constantly reliving my past mistakes and focusing on things that happened years ago.  Have you ever found yourself reliving past mistakes and past hurts like it was only yesterday?  
As I read my devotion this morning I came across this thought, and it reminded me of that runner, and the times I too focused on what was behind me rather than what was in front of me.  
If we choose to remain in a perpetual state of reliving our bad encounters, trials, mishaps, mistakes and tragic events we have experienced we become handicapped by the very thing we are trying to escape.  It distorts our thinking and paralyzes us from breaking free of faulty mindsets and belief systems.  It then becomes the primary source of the current state of problem or setback that we are encountering; further facilitating a continued fracture point in one’s life.”
How true it is!  You see, where we put our thoughts, our energy, will have great impact on our forward movement and how we walk out our lives.  One of my favorite verses is Proverbs 23:7 “As a man thinketh, so is he”.  It always reminds me to search my heart and find out where my focus really is during those difficult times when I feel overwhelmed.  Am I focused on moving forward, or am I stuck? Am I focused on the Lord?  Or am I focused on figuring it out myself?  Am I focused on God’s promises for my life?  Or am I focused on lies and wrong information?
What you focus on, you give life to.  Where your energy is invested, multiplication occurs.  What you behold you become…
It is easy during the trials in life to forget who we are.  We forget how deeply God loves us and is there for us.  He is passionate about us!  I love the passage 1 Peter 2:9-10.  I have it where I read it often to remind myself of who I am!  It declares God’s heart over His people.  It also provides direction in how to walk out that which He proclaims.  
You are Chosen – Walk with the full understanding that you are cherished and loved.
You are a Royal Priesthood – Walk with an absolute knowledge that you are the sons and daughters of the King.
You are a Holy Nation – Walk embracing the gift of complete and full redemption that is yours in Christ.
You are God’s Special Possession – Walk in confidence knowing that God is for you, that He has made you His own.  That you are fully clothed in His mercy and grace and are positioned under the protective arm of the Father.
An important treasure to keep within your heart is this…It is not about what you don’t have or don’t like.  Guard your heart always.  Remember who you are.  Remember “whose” you are!  

One of my favorite songs of all time, and I will show my age on this one, was a song by Wayne Watson called, “Because of Whose I Am.”  I remember when the words to that song really sank in many years ago and I realized God had a plan for my life and it was good. I was His child and He really cared about me!  As I look back on that day years ago, I see how He meshed all the events in my life, good and bad, to bring me to the place I am today.  Even in spite of my mistakes, He worked miracles! He saw the painting as a masterpiece when all I saw were a bunch of colors running everywhere.  He’s the master painter afterall, I just needed to give Him the brushes.  

Let go of the past.  It doesn’t hold your present. In fact it will rob you of your present.  Don’t miss the miracles of today because your head is turned back.  He’s painting a masterpiece and when you get a glimpse of will be blown away!  Yes, you my friend are the son and daughter of a master creator!  That just makes me want to shout a big yeehaw!  Anyone want to join me?  Let's remember "whose" we are today!  Journey on my friends....journey on!  Yeeehaw!