A Word for 2019

If you could pick one word to focus on in 2019, what would it be?

A few years back our Pastor gave a New Year challenge encouraging us to consider one word to focus on for the entire year. I had felt the Lord spurring me to trust Him more in unchartered areas of my life so the word I chose was GO.

I wrote GO on my mirror as a daily reminder. It became the filter I processed thoughts through. Every time I contemplated a matter I remembered my word and choose to “go” forward with my eyes on Jesus. It was tough, but soon I became fascinated with the word. It was such a simple word and yet it stretched me in every area of life. When I faced heavy issues I found GO as an invitation to once again place trust in Christ as I proceeded forward.

What surprised me was using GO in small matters. I found myself trying little things I would have otherwise overlooked. It made a huge impact and my world expanded.

By the end of the year GO wasn’t just written on my mirror, it had become a part of me. GO was on my mind and in my heart. It also happened to be the year the Lord drew my husband and me out from one very long and sweet season to an exciting new one in another state.

The beauty and simplicity of one word can impact your life in powerful and dynamic ways.

Consider what your life would look like if one word changed it this year. What would that defining word be for you?

Pray about it and choose your one word. Root it in your heart and mind. Write it on your mirror (dry erase marker), write it on your calendar. Weave it into your vocabulary. Take an hour to write 12 simple, separate notes using your word. Seal them and open one each month.

Then, allow every area of your life to be filtered through that word. Look for Christ to magnify His will and His very self through the meaning of that word applied in your life.

Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it.” Jeremiah 1:12 (NASB)

Some starters to get you thinking:

Give                            Grow                           Legacy                        Wait

Simplify                      Forgive                        Humility          Fortify

Phonto

A Reason to Sing

A Reason To Sing

I wrote this months ago during an especially tough season.

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I’ve been walking thru a dry and lonely season. Tonight we went to a worship service.

I felt wooden. I sang the words, but it was forced.

I knew the worship song, and I sang despite the empty feeling.

I lifted my hands. They felt like clay.

Not only did my arms feel like clay. I felt like clay.

I closed my eyes, wanting, aching to see Him.

Lord.

Numb. I stood several moments surveying this strange awkwardness.

It had been growing, but now the stark emptiness echoed within me.

I stood there; a deep hollow cavern.

I spoke quietly to Him, “I am thirsty.”

Others around me sang. I didn’t care.

I was strangely aware of my heartbeat.

Lord. What do You want from me? I don’t have anymore to give.

I’m tired. I don’t want anything but you.

What more do You want?

Awareness of others dissipated and suddenly I became profoundly aware of Him.

I stood frozen in my barely 2 foot square spot of “solitude”:  A turbulence rose within me.

I brought my hand to my neck.

Pulse …normal.

What is going on?

Lord!

The turbulence became a hunger; a growing inner tremble;

“Let go.”

Let go? What am I holding on too?

Let    go.

Selah.

For a split moment all thoughts stopped. All senses shift to a serene, sublime neutral. For a simple, splendid moment I stood in exceptional awareness of His Presence.

No words; only concepts run thru my mind:

Life –heart beating strong

Air –breath, sustaining life

Light –capturing evidence of His Creation —everywhere

Movement –life in motion

Color –outlining, underscoring traces of His beauty

Sound -harmonizing an eternal Hallelujah!

The scent of rain –cleansing

Electricity -pulsing in the air

Power -heaven streaming to the natural

Always THERE.  ALWAYS Him.

Our existence within the Creator’s presence.

There’s no existence outside of Him.

Too magnificent to comprehend. A splendid instant; a moment paused in time.

Imprinted and sealed for a lifetime.

Aware only of Him… Him EVERYWHERE. Him in EVERYTHING. Him for all TIME.

The charge of an electric, unseen, I AM HERE, overtakes my cares of everything BUT Him.

My heart quakes within my chest

Hope –like fresh air to lungs; floods my being.

The Creator’s love rooted in me rises to acknowledge Him -the Giver of life.

Love. This formidable force is impossible to resist.

…like a nail drawn to a magnet.

We do not love on our own anymore then a nail draws a magnet.

We are loved; drawn too love.

His love permeates our souls.

He flows TO  IN  THRU us.

His presence IN me -roaring like a burning flame –a fire in my bones, a welcomed brilliance –aching to release the fire of His goodness & mercies onto others.

The moment passes, but His presence remains.

Lord, if this is the desert. Gladly here I’ll stay.

The desert path continued, but hope accompanied me to the place of absolute surrender. This path is good, and on it I’ll stay, wherever it may lead.

Truly, His presence alone is all we need!

Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.”           Hebrews 13:15 NAS

Phonto

How Do You ‘Get a Grip’ in the Face of Tragedy?

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How Do You ‘Get a Grip’ in the Face of Tragedy? You know the term and may have even used it.

Maybe you were about to throw in the towel on a dream and a friend challenged you, “Really Shelly? -Get a grip- Where’s your faith?”

 Sometimes all we need is to just take a deep breath, look up, “get a grip” and move on.

But not always… certainly not in the face of tragedy.

What do you do when you lose a child or a spouse?

-I think of my sister-in-law whose four year old son was suddenly ripped from her life because of a drunken driver.

-Our friend Eric and his 6 children watched as the love of his life slowly died of cancer.

-A close friend Kim’s 19 year old daughter was lulled away by a slave driver named heroine.

We stood in hope and prayer. We walked with them as they fought for her life pressing on in the name of love; tough love, gentle love … all in faith-filled hope for her release from the clutches of darkness.

Sometimes you celebrate 2 steps forward, and then get yanked 3 steps back.

How do you “get a grip” when you get a call that “It’s over –she’s gone”?

I don’t think you know unless you go thru it.

Surely love and support of friends and family help carry these thru those numbing days. But one needs MORE as days as weeks move on.

It’s the place beyond where you just “Get a grip”. You need something some ONE bigger than any man -to hold you together.

I imagine this is the place where time stops, even seems to rewind. You will the clock to stay at pause just moments longer before you pass into another tomorrow –away from their voice, their touch, their breath.

Indeed, this is where your own life depends on getting in His GRIP.

It is only in the hands of the LIVING God; Jesus, can one gain hope and rise above the blow of death.

You can’t even “GET” there; you simply find He IS THERE.  The place where one says, “Oh death where is your sting?” 1 Corinthians 15:55

In His care -where time doesn’t look backward or forward , it simply rests with full gaze on the One Who ties all times, all purpose, all cares to Him.

Where nothing else matters –but Him.

And because you see that it’s all for Him,

Suddenly. Painfully even -yet gloriously so,

you realize;

Everything does matter

–because all are created in hope to be redeemed; each at the proper time.

How do you say goodbye in the face of tragedy? How do you find peace?

Each must answer on their own.

And those of us standing near?

We may not know what to say, and that’s okay. Words may never reach the depths of certain loss, but being there and showing you care will matter more than doing nothing at all. Show you care with gentleness and compassion.

Stand with them, cry with em, sit silently when the crowds are gone and help pick up pieces.

Love them where they’re at. All the while keeping your own gaze on Jesus.

Below is a book my friend Eric Elder, a gifted writer, wrote after his wife Lana went to be with Jesus.

It may be helpful to someone you know whose recently lost a loved one.

Making the Most of Darkness

No matter the circumstances, there is no better place then, in His grip!

Are You Put To the Test?

WarNinG!  Going into business with your spouse may1440543874313 put your marriage to the test.

After 28 years of marriage, Brad and I sold our house, most of our belongings, bought a franchise business and moved from Texas to Colorado.

We made it thru some really tough challenges in early marriage, so 3 kids and 28 years later we considered ourselves perfectly suited to go into business together. After all, we share the same goals and values. We have fun being together and we were mutually excited to make a difference in the lives of others.

We were worn out before we even began.

I really believed that once we got started everything would begin to fall in place.

Hmmm. Months later…

Here we are in Colorado, a full day’s drive from Texas. The mountains are beautiful and the weather is ridiculously aMAZing. We haven’t weathered winter yet, but so far we love it.

Even so, we don’t have those dear old close friends to drop by, have a cry and get a squeeze of the shoulder reminding us, “God’s got your back –and so do I.”

I may have given up entirely at the beginning if I had known it would be so tough.

Our friends, family and church community were a HUGE part of our lives. They helped shape who we’ve become.

I know they’re still there for us, but…. It is different.

Trying to find a new church home is exhausting. It’s just not home. Home is where the people are who you’ve invested your life in.

Did we make a mistake?

I don’t believe so. There were too many doors that opened and others that closed.

This is the hardest thing I’ve had to do. My marriage has been put to the test far more than any time before.

Brad and I get along great, but we are with each other 24/7.

We’re committed to one another with God at the center continuously pulling us upward together.

But we’re back to relearning the basics; communication, forgiveness, sacrifice, flexibility, forbearance.

We have too.

When we “go home” it’s the same person we’ve been with all day. You can’t say, “You’ll never believe what Brad did at the office today.”

At the end of the day, I need to exert energy to clear my head. A vigorous hike renews my mindset.

Brad prefers to chill and enjoy a break from all the “doing”.  Give him time to sit and rest or watch a favorite show and he’s happy.

While I could run him ragged and he could make me stir crazy, we are learning how to meet each other in the middle.

Communication is essential.

We need it as we uncover issues that got swept away in preoccupations of raising children and separate occupations.

Are we there?  No.

Are we working on it? Daily.  Hourly.

Sometimes the hardest things in life prove to be the things that grow us most.

Whether you’re going in to business with your spouse –moving cross country -facing physical hardship –or taking some leap of faith that feels like a dismal fall; circumstances will put you to the test.

Keep in mind; some seasons are just tough. Life gets messy and it’s not always pretty.

I’d like to wrap up this post with a catchy phrase or a nice quote.

I don’t have one today.

The best I have to offer is the best I have to offer: Jesus.

No matter what; -Jesus.

Just look to Jesus.

You can’t go wrong when you turn to Him.

Your situation may not change right away (probably won’t). It could even get tougher!

But your eyes will see the only thing you really need to see to give you the perspective you need –in any season. Jesus.

 

 

Climb On and Finish Strong

Recently, I listened to Michael Hyatt’s webinar, “The Busy Person’s Guide to Writing a Book” (highly informative, and rich with practical tips, and encouragement).

His final point encouraged listeners to, “Recognize that fear, uncertainty, and doubt are just part of the process.”

I thought back to the prior year when I told others I planned on writing a book.imagesLQ1A23IP

As soon as I began, I felt like I’d signed up to climb Mount Everest.

Was I really doing this? Was I capable? What about my weaknesses, inabilities and inexperience?

Who was I kidding?

Living at the front range of the Colorado Rockies, there are ample opportunities to face “mountainous” challenges.

As Michael spoke, I went into a mental rewind replaying scenes of both my recent mountain experiences and writing challenges.

He cautioned to “know your enemy; resistance”; that invisible force that holds you back from pursuing what you are called to. He addressed 3 contributors to resistance as well as their countermeasures.

It seemed as though Michael had been in my backpack days prior;

At the trailhead.

At the trailhead.

Fear.  

“Seriously? That mountain is steep and the path is rocky.  Umm. No way!”

And…

“I have no writing experience or education. People will laugh at my writings. Forget it.”

*Countermeasure: Start

“I know I can make it to the tree line.”

And…

“I can blog. I have a story. The chapters are outlined and started.”

Uncertainty.  (Overthinking)

From a ledge, I look down. “This is not safe. This is difficult and crazy. I could die!

(My head spins, I loose my lunch and pitifully consider crawling back to safer ground.)

And…

“I write sooo slow. Maybe I’m wasting time.

Too often, we get in our head and out of our hearts.

Barely sitting on an overlook. The height just freaks me out.

(Barely) sitting on an overlook. The height just FREAKS me out!

*Countermeasure: Focus

“Okay if I put my foot here, then I can step on that rock, and then…”

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

“So this page pretty much sucked. (DELETE). But, I have 3 more hours experience.”

Doubt

I wrestled with doubt a quarter mile from the summit after a six mile ascent. (?!)

Clouds threatened lightening on the other side of the summit, my legs felt like jello, and my nerves were SHOT.

I whined to my daughter, “I just don’t think I can do this Anna.”

There was no foot path; only giant boulders piled against one another leading to the summit.

Anna –“Come on mom. We’re almost there. We can’t stop now.”

My fearless Anna!

My fearless Anna!

I looked at the steep drop below us. “I just don’t know if I can!”

(And I’m supposed to set an example for my daughter. ?!)

A book? Me?”

*Countermeasure: Finish

“Okay Anna, but I’m going slow.” – “That’s okay mom.”

This writing thing takes time and sacrifice.” But I’ve got another chapter.

Others will be impacted by the things you do or don’t do!

I thought reaching Pike’s Peak was the goal.

Maybe it was more about my daughter seeing that fear can either bind, or be overcome.

Starting, staying focused and finishing will take you where you wouldn’t otherwise go.

I look at the mountain now, knowing our footsteps trailed it.

And, I’m happy to say, “Yes, I’m still working on my book.”summit

You won’t regret finishing, but you may regret giving up.

And always, With God, nothing is impossible.”   Luke 1:37

One thing.

one thing - CopyOne thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord
And to meditate in His temple.
For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.
And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me,
And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.

Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice,
And be gracious to me and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You,
Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.”
Do not hide Your face from me,
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not abandon me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation!….

Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me in a level path

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.

On Our Knees

Tonight I was shutting off the light and drawing the curtain so I could open the window. There was a cool breeze and it felt nice to have fresh air gently filling the room.

As I opened the window I noticed another window across the way from my own. The curtain was drawn back like mine. A faint light revealed that someone was there.

I recognized the older woman who came out in the mornings to tend her flowers. She was a tiny little lady with a meek and generous smile. We’d never talked, but there was a pleasant exchange between us.

Tonight she was on her knees with hands lifted high. I was immediately impressed. She had to be uncomfortable. She was not young.

It was obvious she was unaware that I saw her. I didn’t want to invade her privacy but I was fascinated by what I saw. The sight stirred and humbled me.

I snatched another peek. Her arms gently swayed. She was obviously adoring someone who was fully present to her.

A song of thanksgiving rose to my lips.  I got down on my own knees and began thanking Father. How could I not join the attribution to the One I knew worthy of such adoration?

We are created to worship and adore the One who breathed life into our being.

King David nailed it in Psalm 22:3, “God inhabits the praises of His people.”

It’s true! As we humble ourselves unto Him, we find His presence. Here we experience purpose and satisfaction far beyond earthly concerns.

God is looking for true worshippers who worship in spirit and truth. It is a beautiful sight to see God being adored simply and unashamedly in the quiet of the night.

I thought about my husband and my kids on bended knees. knees4prayinI envisioned my friends and family members bowing low in secret places before the Lord. I considered the persecuted worshipping in chains and dark places.

Whether or not we realize it, we all lift our hands to something or someone. We pray in need, and we pray in adoration.

Tonight I am reminded to pray for all who have yet to seek and find the face of Jesus. I am also thanking Father for all who have found Him -that we would shine like beacons in the night drawing deeper into His presence in such a way that provokes others to seek Him for themselves.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:14-15

Consider that wherever you are, on your knees is the most powerful and fulfilling place to be.

Leap the Wall!

“By my God I can leap over a wall.” Psalm18:29. 20150515_180657-1

That sounds great, but when you’re facing a wall of brick and mortar it’s far more natural to think you should turn and go another way. Leap over a wall? Seriously -who does that?

What walls do you face? Is it a challenging relationship or a physical set back?

Maybe you’re like me taking steps of faith, exploring new territory and finding one obstacle after another.

It’s tempting to interpret challenges as indications that you’re on the wrong path -or maybe you just aren’t cut out for the call you thought you were.

After choosing to walk out a dream I continue to be surprised when everything doesn’t just ‘fall into place’.

We moved from the plains of Texas to the mountains of Colorado, to begin our own business as a Senior Relocation Specialists. There’s licenses and certificates, accounts and systems to engage in before we can even start.

We’ve been living out of a suitcase for the last month, having said goodbye to the comfort of our big beautiful house till our rental is available. We’re no longer surrounded by the community we’ve known as family. And there’s been an endless stream of rain, flooding and the hailstorm of a life time along with threats of tornadoes. Who know there could be tornados in the mountains?

Through my complaining, I occasionally I loose by breath. I have to remember; we’re at a higher elevation.

So it is with dreams. Sometimes you have to stop talking so much, adjust and acclimate. You have to keep your bearings and remember what’s really going on. Transition takes time.

When all you see is the walls that surround you, it’s time to look up to Christ.

When I chose to take my view off of me and back on Jesus, the words of Oswald Chamber on  The Habit of Rising to the Occasion lifted off the pages and spoke to me.

…that you may know what is the hope of His calling… —Ephesians 1:18

Remember that you have been saved so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in your body (see 2 Corinthians 4:10). Direct the total energy of your powers so that you may achieve everything your election as a child of God provides; rise every time to whatever occasion may come your way.

God is the Master Designer, and He allows adversities into your life to see if you can jump over them properly— “By my God I can leap over a wall” Psalm 18:29. God will never shield you from the requirements of being His son or daughter. 

1 Peter 4:12 says, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you….” Rise to the occasion— do what the trial demands of you. It does not matter how much it hurts as long as it gives God the opportunity to manifest the life of Jesus in your body.

May God not find complaints in us anymore, but spiritual vitality— a readiness to face anything He brings our way.

He ends taking our perspective higher:

We are here to submit to His will so that He may work through us what He wants. Once we realize this, He will make us broken bread and poured-out wine with which to feed and nourish others.

This is a daily deal.

What are the walls you face? What does Jesus say about them? What does He say about you? Are you in agreement with Him?

Today is a new day. Take the opportunity for Christ to be apparent in your life as you look to Him and choose to leap the walls!

Good Friday; notes in the journey

It’s Good Friday. God woke me up this morning sometime after 1am.

Yesterday marked month out from when we’d be packing up the furniture and starting our move to Colorado.

We still don’t know exactly where we will live. My stomach knotted at what our realtor conveyed earlier in the day, “Yeh, things are going really fast. You need to move on something now.” But we’re still in Texas and…

I thought about the night some 2,000 plus years ago when Jesus sat at the table enjoying the company of His close friends. He knew what awaited him the next day.

I got together with my friend and spent time realigning my thoughts yet again to line up with the will of God.

Late night I turned the lights out.

It was about the time He would have gone to the beautiful garden across the brook from the temple.easter flowers

Resting my head on the pillow I pictured Jesus in the garden, crying out;

Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Luke 22: 42-43

He knew what God was leading Him to do, but He was asking for another way.

I’m so grateful those utterances of desperation and humanity made it to the Bible. Even Jesus was in turmoil of what lay ahead.

God didn’t say, “Yeh son, you’re right. What was I thinking?”

“This is a little much isn’t it? Let’s try an easier plan.”

God held firm to His plan. His plans are ALWAYS best. No matter how strange and contrary to logic they may appear or feel.

In the hour Jesus cried out, God sent an angel who appeared to Him, strengthening Him as He committed Himself to obedience.

God keeps to His plans. We are part of His plans.

In the same manner, we can expect God will strengthen us at our point of need to accomplish the assignments He calls us to.

And Jesus’ cry was different than when we cry out for “another way”. He didn’t want to be separated from Father.

Because He paid with His blood and final breath, we never have to face that separation.

neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:39

Sometime in the early hours after midnight my phone lit up. It was my son Jake.

Immediately I answer; something had to be up for him to call then.

“Hey mom, sorry to call at this hour but I’ve been up praying for you and really felt like I was supposed to call now and remind you these are God’s plans –that they are good. He orchestrated them and He will fulfill them.”

“You shouldn’t be afraid.”

I had gone to bed fixing my eyes on Jesus, wanting more of Him. I longed to hear from Him deep in the night. I’d come to my lowest point this week, weighed down by the cost of leaving the home and family –everything we’ve known for 22 years.

I’ve been tense with fear exploring new territory in taking on business loans to get our new venture funded. Our bank account has stretched it’s max and we still have a month to go till the house is sold.

We’ve been steadily moving forward in faith, taking action steps while pressing in daily, looking to Christ.

But this week I became undone; famished for substance to carry me thru this narrow passage of night.

I needed heavenly affirmation that we are on track.

Jake’s call was a delivery of encouragement a reminder of faith. I was awakened with a word of hope; a prodding to…

press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:14

Only God knew the depth of my hunger for that midnight message. Like the angel that strengthened Jesus in the dark of night, God delivered strength for the assignment with a reminder of hope.

Jesus received heavenly assurance that He was on track, and then He walked face forward to the arms of centurions who would ultimately take Him to the cross.

You and I will not the cross Jesus did. Still, we are called to carry our own.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 16:24

The cross we carry, we shoulder accompanied by His presence with us –even IN us.

As we face our burdens, will we fix our eyes on the burden and give attention to the hardship thereof?

Or…

Will we bear the burden and move forward eyes fixed on Jesus? Surely as we do so we place attention on Christ.

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin (*FEAR: focus on the burden instead of God = sin!) which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”                                          Hebrews 12:1-2 (*the sin I tripped up on!)

We all face challenges. Remember, you are not alone. Turn your focus to Jesus and,

“consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  Hebrew 12:3

Be encouraged, the trial is for a purpose. It may be a dark day, but Sunday is on it’s way!!

This Is Happening!

This is happening! houseforsale

Our realtors planted the sign in the yard last night. Next week our house goes on the market and we’re one step further in this journey with the Lord, ending one amazing season to enter another.

This morning Brad and I talked about what needs to be done yet.

There’s more then moving furniture and boxing up clutter. We’re moving out of state and starting a new business. That means saying goodbye to our daughter Jessie and my mom… for a time.

We’re leaving the place and people who have been HOME for 22 years.

Really Lord?

This wasn’t what I had in mind when I stepped out of my role on staff at The Harvest last year. Had I known, it would have been too much to process.

It’s almost too much now.

But God.

As Brad and I finished our exhaustive to do list, my thoughts trailed back to Christ and …running.

 When I do long runs I run a series of connected segments. I visually mark a spot to run too; a flag pole or a tree ahead in the direction I’m running. Doing this gives me something to focus on, diminishing the overwhelming stretch I know I’m going to cover.

I recognize Jesus voice in my thinking;

“Focus on Me as your goal. The details of who, when, where, and how are peripheral. They’ll all fall in line.”

Reaching a destination, accomplishing a project, growing and learning new things are good goals. Serving Christ is a righteous goal. But truly –He is the ultimate goal and the prize.

Being aware of His presence; interacting with the His Spirit, and moving in sync with Him in the midst of everything we do is His goal for us. It’s not so much what we do, but that whatever we do -we do interactively with Him.

He wants to be part of everything we do. He want’s to be seen in who we are. It’s oneness. This is where great things happen.

I look at life as a race. The real start began when I synced in with Jesus and chose to journey with Him. He’s my coach; always there, never giving up. He leads me on this crazy path called LIFE, compelling me to press on stretching, growing, transforming more to His likeness. One day I’ll finish the race and then I will rest in Father’s arms.

As Paul says, ” and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…” Hebrew 12:1

Jesus is all about the relationship. In that relationship He helps us to grow and transform into something more than we realize we are capable of.

He is the Champion of champions. He loves to win and see His people win. After all, He created us in His image to accomplish His will.

Even so, He only gives us what we can process at the time.

When I run, I can only focus on one marker. I continually look up at my marker while taking in the terrain I’m passing thru. Sometimes it’s hills and they strengthen me. Sometimes it’s a winding wooded path and I’m blown away by beauty. I can’t see the next marker until I’m near the one I’m focused on.

The point is to keep Christ our constant goal. He doesn’t change, though the journey and terrain do. In the race, we become more than what we were before.

So while My head occasionally swims with countless pressing details, I look up and remember it’s about stretching forward with Him.

 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

Whether we’re making a big move, changing careers or continuing in what seems routine; Jesus and His love remains the goal… and the reward (even before the finish!)

But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” 1 Timothy 1:5

Yeh, I’m excited and I’m a little weak in the knees with all the changes. But honestly, I’m lovin it. Once again, we’re having to absolutely CLEAVE to Christ.

I don’t like goodbyes and this is a big one for us, so instead we’ll just say THANK YOU friends.

Thanks be to God who brought us to and thru a fantastic season; picking Brad and I up out of a dark, dirty pit; cleaning us and calling us His own.

Thanks be to friends and all who’ve become family along the way. You accepted us ‘warts and all’. You’ve made our lives rich with countless blessings and memories we’ll treasure forever.

Thanks especially to those who’ve loved us at thru our worst and spurred us again and again to fix our eyes on Christ.

Our eyes are fixed, and our hearts are hungry to pour out where He plants us.

He wants your attention. When He has it, He does marvelous things thru you.

And truly, the best part will be Him and seeing others as He sees them.

“You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Jeremiah 29:13