Fasting, Personal Growth, Prayer, Uncategorized

Day 20: “Intentionality”

God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,

    his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.

They’re created new every morning.

    How great your faithfulness!

I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).

    He’s all I’ve got left.

Lamentations 3:22-24 (MSG)

New habits have made you more intentional. You are encouraged to continue the behaviours you have chosen over these last three weeks in order to maintain intimacy with God. Your life looks and feels different. In the space of 3 weeks, you have heard from God more clearly. You know him better. You can sense a fresh direction in areas you need to make decisions.

Now, be brave! Make your choices! Act on what you heard God speak to you! Don’t hesitate! Jump into everything God has for you and continue digging deeper with him!

If you haven’t been consistent over the last 20 days, it’s okay. Make calculated plans for the rest of your year and like the old Anne Murray song, remind yourself that you “gotta get back to where you used to be. Time don’t run out on me.” Start today and move forward with intentionality. Carpe Diem. YOLO. The journey of growing in intimacy with Christ never stops. You never arrive at a place where you are have nothing else to work on. SO, embrace this rather than lamenting it.

Aren’t you thankful God’s mercies are new every morning, never running out? Stick with him and don’t look back. Your considered steps are allowing you to make progress in every area of your spiritual walk.

*Read Proverbs 21:5 and ask God to show you what plans you are meant to move forward with today. You can’t tackle everything on your list, so seek him to determine what’s most important. Then, do it. Don’t overanalyse. Don’t worry about it or try and anticipate all the “what if’s.” Trust God and keep your attention on him.

Contentment, Fasting, God Speaks, Inspiration, Personal Growth, Uncategorized

Day 3: “His Mercies are New.”

mercies-are-newSo often, your personal struggles are what hold you back from pursuing all that God has for you. Guilt over poor choices dismantles your ability to see yourself as God sees you. Bad relationships bring you down and discourage you. Other people’s problems encroach on your peace. Work or financial issues cause you to feel overwhelmed.

Although these are everyday realities for you, you must not let them overshadow your walk with God. Today, reflect upon God’s goodness and mercy towards you even though you live in a fallen world and a sinful body.

The author of Lamentations wrote while mourning the impending exile of the Jews in the midst of great sin and disarray in Jerusalem. The Message version of Lamentations Chapter 3 implores you to “keep a grip on hope” because God’s mercies are new each day; “the worst is never the worst.” If life doesn’t look quite like you wanted as you woke up today, stay the course. Stop beating yourself up because of your failures. Say something nice to yourself. Apologise for hurts you’ve caused and move on.

It’s a new day. God is on your side and “his stockpiles of loyal love are immense.” He is still on the throne and no matter your circumstances, he can be found in the midst. Turn your full attention to him today. Relinquish the desire to be perfect or to wallow in guilt or shame. Embrace God’s mercy in giving you another day, a do-over, if you will.

Love, Pictures, Uncategorized

Betty and Milton White

On Mother’s Day Sunday, the highlight of my day was spending time with Greg’s grandparents, Milton and Betty White.  They are 88 and 92 years old respectively and have been married for sixty-six years.  As they are getting older, they are less and less mobile but they are blessed to be in a care facility where wonderful people tend to them them around the clock.  Grandad suffers from Parkinson’s and mild dementia so he stays in a part of the facility where the residents receive more specific care.  Neither of them are allowed to get up and move about without help.

Each morning, Nanna is wheeled down to Grandad’s area so they can spend time together.  The nurse pushes them right up to each other and it takes every bit of effort their frail bodies can muster to lean forward towards each other.  They stretch out and when they are a few inches from each other’s faces, they reach a little further.  Just when you are worried they aren’t going to be able to this time, they lengthen one last bit so their mouths meet for a brief kiss.  They can finally relax! It is one of the most precious things I have ever witnessed.

They sit and talk in a sunny lounge room, content in each other’s company.  Even though Grandad Milton drifts in and out of the conversation and is sometimes difficult to understand, his company is the one Betty is after.  What do you talk about when your predictable days are spent with the biggest question mark being what’s for lunch?  Bingo is always on Mondays; the same television shows are shown each day. The one person you crave to spend time with is the one you know best.

In seventy years of being together, Nanna nor Grandad wakes up saying, “I don’t need to visit my best friend today.  We know each other well enough.”  Nope.  Even with nothing new to say, the nursing home staff makes every effort to get them together for their kiss and visit.

God yearns for this same daily visit with you and me.  Sometimes we assume God isn’t interested in hearing from us yet again.  I’ve heard people excuse themselves from praying with, “God has bigger things to worry about like world peace and starving children.  He doesn’t care about my back ache or fill-in-the-blank.”  News flash: YOU AND I ARE ALL HE CARES ABOUT.

God knew us before we were even born and yet his love endures forever (Psalm 106:1).  His love never quits- not after 20, 30 or even 70 years.  He desires to spend time with us everyday.  No matter our mishaps. He loves me longer than my lousy choices. Yes, his love endures forever.  We are actually the only place our Lord’s interests lie. Having us show up for a chat; that’s what he looks forward to each day.

Betty and Milton’s love will not end.  It’s new every morning.  Their faithfulness and loyalty never run out; they are what each other has.  How beautiful and similar to our relationship with our creator.  I pray we can embrace him like the author of Lamentations describes in Chapter 3 of the Message version:

God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over). He’s all I’ve got left.