People Are Watching

Do you ever get the feeling you’re being watched? Brad and I love to “people watch”. Downtown is a great for this place because there’s always something going on and plenty of people.

This weekend we went to Acacia Park downtown. Immediately, we saw three young men doing flips. “Brad, look!” One would flip. Then the other flipped and then the next. They paused a moment, caught their breath and repositioned. Then bam, bam, bam; they each did it again, and again and again.

Mesmerized, we got out of the truck excited to see more. And we did. All over the little park young men were running, jumping and twisting into the air doing complete arial somersaults. Some were hanging in trees and a few were jumping from the trees to other objects. A young man climbed onto a four foot wall bordering above a playground. He stood like a diver ready to make a complex dive. Suddenly he sprung off the wall tucking, twisting and arching to spin wildly in the air before landing in a soft bed of mulch.

Nearby, a group was gathered by the small amphitheater where a semi-circle obstacle course was arranged. This was the competition ring for the Jump Fest Event Parkour Festival; a ‘Tranquil Movement’ event.

Every couple of minutes a new heat started in which two men laid flat on their backs –the official start position. At start, they sprung from laying on their backs to jumping up, on, over, thru, under and around large crates, parallel bars, over-size tires and monkey bars.

These athletes were strong, elegant, daring, fast and fluid. We watched, in awe.

A few came close to falling. “Oh, no, no!” My mother instincts had me wanting to halt the event with a shout of “Hey! Wait a minute guys. This just isn’t safe.” Somehow I managed clench my teeth and flinch quietly instead. It was fascinating to see the smooth flow of body over fixed objects. These guys moved like liquid.

More gathered and watched. The competitors watched as well. They watched one another and they looked to see who was watching them.

This was a competition; a show of their best. They had come from all over the country so the judges could watch them. It was evident; they’d trained hard honing their skills.

Then something else caught my eye. “Brad look!” Coming up near our heels was a small child, a baby actually. He had just mastered crawling and was proudly conquering the soft green grass on little hands and knees.

Obviously he had been watching as well because he wasn’t just crawling. This baby crawled a bit then tucked and twisted. He’d crawl again and arch and roll. He used his body to imitate the fascinating acrobatic athletes all around. “That’s awesome!” His parents chuckled proudly as they watched on their picnic blanket nearby.

The little guy had watched, studied, internalized and was now duplicating.

That’s what we do isn’t it? We watch. We learn. We do. We teach. It seems we’re either learning, practicing or teaching.

Others are watching. I wonder… What do others see when they see me? What about you? What do people see when they watch you? Are they inspired, encouraged or motivated?

Matthew 5:16 reminds us,

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”(NIV)

When you head out today, consider –people are watching. Who will see you? What will they see? Think about it and have a great week my friends, and SHINE!

Cake in Heaven?

For as much time as we have on earth in comparison to the time we will have in Heaven, isn’t it curious how little time we spend considering Heaven this side of eternity?

I thought about Heaven today at lunch with friends. Elizabeth passed her phone around showing pictures of her grandson’s 1st birthday. The little guy had cake smothered all over his face, chest, and hands; happy as could be. I mean, who wouldn’t want to dive fists into a rich chocolate cake and devour sweet goodness, right?!

Imagine cake in Heaven!

After our meal, the conversation led to talk about Karen’s Dad who passed away a year ago. I wish I’d met the man I’d heard so many great things about. Karen, her mom and sister shared reflections of Gene. Their eyes lit up as they reflected on this godly man they obviously all adored. Suddenly Karen looked at her mom and sister. “Hey. Remember when Lynn called about her crazy dream?”

She shared about a time shortly before Gene passed. “So my friend called and told me she’d dreamt about Dad. In the dream he was at some sort of banquet. There was a lot of food and he was eating, even devouring a big slice of creamy chocolate cake with such delight that he ate with his hands, as if eating cake for the first time. “It was all over his hands and face.”

“Yeh, my Dad loved food, but he wouldn’t eat like that.” The friend called to find out if Gene was okay and was surprised to learn that Gene was in a fierce battle with cancer. As Karen shared the story, Miss Jerri turned to me and whispered, “He really loved food, but at that point he could barely eat a teaspoon of pudding.”

Karen went on, “It makes you wonder what it’s like in Heaven.” She and Deb went on to talk about C.S. Lewis’ book “The Great Divorce” in which those visiting Heaven could hardly stand on the grass because grass in Heaven was so much more… real than any grass on earth. The things of Heaven have substance over things of earth which are only offer a semblance of things in Heaven.

I recalled the week before when I saw Miss Jerri after church and exchanged hugs. “Hi Miss Jerri! How are you today?” Miss Jerri is a beautiful woman, full of grace and class. She smiled sweetly but with effort. “Well, today is Gene’s one year birthday in Heaven. I really miss him but I’m sure he must be celebrating.”

Oh… my heart ached for this dear woman missing her husband. I squeezed her hand and offered another hug. “I’m sure he is celebrating more than we can imagine.”

Sitting together, hearing the dream and considering Gene’s “1st birthday in Heaven” was a treat. Thinking about C.S. Lewis’ suggestion of Heaven being more REAL and substantial then the world as we know it caught all our attention. It was as if a glimpse of Heaven passed through our little group as a sweet reminder.

Heaven; it’s a place; a place more real than things earth side of eternity.

Do you think about Heaven? What are your thoughts? Are you excited, curious, unsure?

Friend, join me in taking a little time to indulge, as we would, a decadent slice of cake and devour the promises of what lays ahead for us whose home is Heaven.

I love to talk about Heaven, and I’d love to hear your thoughts about it too!

Unusual Encounter

This post is in response to a post I read this morning from Joel, a blogger I recently started following. Joel’s post was about an exceptional encounter he had.

He referenced Hebrews 13:2

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. 

The post reminded me of my own unusual encounter.

Over 25 years ago I used to jog the beach path with my son in the baby jogger. Occasionally we’d pass a man who my husband and I privately called the ‘Bum of Huntington Beach’. We weren’t walking with the Lord then, and there were few vagrants roaming HB.

Sometimes Brad and I saw the man walking along Goldenwest Boulevard, but more often Jake and I passed him on our runs at the beach. Every time we saw him, he piqued my curiosity. He was tall -like really tall, and though his clothes were tattered and raggedy, he possessed a strong presence. I found it odd that when we passed him, he never smelled. He walked slow, but his posture was upright. He wasn’t just confident looking. I’d actually say he was… poised, almost elegant -in a manly way. His eyes were piercing in a kind way.
There was something different about this man, and I couldn’t figure it out. I wanted to know more about him.

One Christmas morning I went for a jog before we our traditional big breakfast. There on the lonely beach was our man sitting on the sand before the shore. This was the first time I saw him sitting. He always walked.
The thought came to me, I’ll bring him breakfast!

Excited at the thought of meeting the mysterious man, I quickened my pace and took the shorter route home so I could make up a plate and get it back before he was gone again.

At home, I piled the plate high with egg soufflé, toast, and fruit; and put juice in one of Jake’s sippy cups. My family looked at me like I was nuts. But I had too. “Hurry Shell. We’re hungry.”

It’s Christmas. He needs a gift.

I had some crystals that I kept in my jewelry box (again, not walking with Jesus). I held on to the stones thinking they could somehow guide, enrich, and protect my life.

At the time, I was blind, holding on to worthless objects instead of reaching out to the true source of hope.

Laden with a big plate of Christmas breakfast, and a cup of juice. I tucked the gift in my jacket pocket and hurried back to the spot near the pier. The air was cold and damp that morning. The ‘bum’ was still there, just gazing out to the foggy sea. He had a blanket wrapped around him. It was so strange to see him sitting, but he still looked so…tall.

I crossed the bike path to the sand, awkwardly caring my gifts. As I approached the man I began second guessing my brilliant and ‘extravagant’ gift.

What if he’s crazy -or dangerous?

Maybe I’ll insult him and make him mad… What’ll he do?!

I continued thru the clinging sand, contemplating random thoughts. The beach was vacant except for a family taking a walk and a few die-hard surfers.

Now I was beside “the bum”; past the point of turning back. He looked up slowly, his eyes meeting mine. I saw gentleness and wisdom and suddenly felt incomplete in whatever I thought I had to offer. In that moment I realized this man was more than what I judged him to be by his appearance.

I scrambled for words, “Um… Sir. Uhhh…” He seemed to see right through me.

“It’s Christmas.” I offered the plate, feeling like I’d just barged in someone’s private home. Maybe I had.

He looked down at the plate.

Maybe he’s already eaten.

Maybe he owns one of the beach homes and simply chooses to walk in tattered clothes.

It struck me again; he doesn’t smell. Suddenly I realized I did smell. I still had my sweaty running clothes on.

Oddly, I felt quite safe and welcome in his presence despite my embarrassment.

“Here’s some juice.” I handed him the sippy cup, painfully aware that my gift was not so extravagant after all. “That’s… you know; so it wouldn’t spill.”

Hoping to ease the awkwardness, but failing dismally; I handed him the crystals.

“A Christmas gift. Their supposed to help. Bring you luck.” I didn’t know what else to say, but he set the plate on the sand and accepted the clear stones in his hand. He simply looked at the stones unmoved.

Ahhh -what am I doing?! I’m giving a man stones?

He looked up and I wanted to run, but he met my eyes; smiled and kindly replied, “Thank you.”

He didn’t say another word, though his eyes said much. They were filled with wisdom. I could see that he had answers where I had questions. Somehow, I perceived that he knew what I wanted to know, but wasn’t ready to hear. He had answers to the hard questions of life, and he knew I wouldn’t accept them yet.

How did I know? Some things you just know -you know?

I looked down where the sand met his weathered blanket and managed, “You’re welcome.”

I wanted to stay in that unusual place. I wanted what he had but I didn’t know what it was. Very aware of my iniquity I could stand the awkwardness no longer. I stood up and began walking away, weakly mumbling, “Merry Christmas”.

I went home and ate Christmas breakfast with our little family, but instead of feeling fulfilled, I felt empty. Why? I thought I’d had such a good idea.

I had not brought a man food and gems. Rather, I left a man to sit alone on cold wet sand with useless rocks to weigh his pockets.

I gave him breakfast, stones and a sippy cup, but withheld the warmth of opening our home. And though he gave me nothing, he offered peace and warmth.

Brad and I continued to take Jake for walks and runs on the beach. I looked for the unusual stranger, but never saw him again.

That minute spent with “the bum of Huntington Beach” stirred a hunger in me that eventually led to Jesus. I didn’t recognize it then, but that man gave me a desire for peace, wisdom and kindness that could only be found in Christ.

I still look back and wonder, Who was that man? Do angels walk in tattered clothes?

Whether he was simply a wise and peaceful man or a special messenger of hope, he accomplished much with little. Twenty five years later I still think of him.

In the same way, children of God are to impact others. Some of the surest ways are those most simple;

-living in such a way that others are compelled to Christ; the ‘bum’ drew me first to himself, and ultimately (without a word) to Christ.

-being content with what we have: the ‘bum’ never appeared wanting or forlorn -his peace despite his apparent lack was exceptional, making a profound impression on me.

-showing compassion by meeting others at their point of need: the wise ‘bum’ appeared to see my need and accepted the crystals without mocking my ridiculous gift. Sometimes a person need only be seen, heard and accepted. The Holy Spirit will fill in the blanks in due time.

And you? Are others moved towards God Almighty because of what’s in you?

Do they see evidence that compels them to search that which cannot be bought, sold or contained -only given?

Kindness opens the door for truth.

Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?  Romans 2:4

Lord, stir in us a hunger for Your presence and satisfaction in you alone, that You would be glorified and others be drawn to You.

to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27

 

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!

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

Pause

pause-button-mdPause is defined by Your Dictionary as a temporary stop or rest.

As a verb, pause means to stop, for a brief period of time.

A few years back, my husband Brad and I did a ropes course with a group of friends.  We started with a name game, as several folks didn’t know one another.

Everyone stated their name as we formed a large circle.  A clock started as a ball was tossed in the center.  We had 60 seconds to keep the ball suspended in the air.  The object was to keep the ball moving at all times.  You couldn’t hold it.   Whoever had the ball would toss it to someone else after first calling out their name. No one could be a receiver twice in a row. Each successive round another ball was added.

The object was to keep everyone in the game as possible without losing balls.  If a ball touched the ground it was lost forever.  At the end of the round if anyone was holding a ball they were out.

The first round was easy. By the 3rd round, everyone knew each other’s name, but it was a challenge to keep the balls suspended.

The saving grace was that once in each round anyone could call “PAUSE”.  PAUSE stopped the game for 10 seconds, enabling us to regroup and strategize without losing balls or people.

It was a great illustration showing how complicated life gets the more we add.

The PAUSE factor didn’t buy more time, but it gave us mental pause to gain clarity on how to best utilize the time we did have.

The next event was to climb up a 30 foot post.  There was a 2 foot by 2 foot platform at the top. From there, you were to jump off the post to grab a suspended rod which slowly lowered you back down.  The climber was harnessed to a pulley for safety in case they fell or missed the rod.

I don’t like heights, but I absolutely hate having something that overcomes me. God created us to be overcomers right?

I opted to climb first. I was safe in a harness, but I didn’t trust it.

Visibly shaking, I made it to the top. I felt like throwing up as I crawled on top of the platform.

My friends were shouting cheers and instructions, but all I wanted to do was stop shaking and get my feet back on the earth.

My shakes became trembles.  This STINKS.  Why did I go first?  Stupid pride.

I remember my peers and holler out, “Guys, I might cuss!”

Laughter and more shouts, “You’ve got it Shelly.”  “Put your foot under your knee.”  “Turn to your left and reach.”

I don’t cuss, but a loud “P A U S E !!” defiantly escapes my mouth.

I’m startled to realize it came from me as I look down (yeh -why did I look down?!)

Everyone is stumped at my abruptness; except my husband.  He’s laughing his bu- – off.

He controls his laughter and shouts back, you can’t “PAUSE” in this one Shell. You’re okay.”

Despite my shaking, I attempt to regain a mental grip. I shout again to my friends. “Sorry guys, but… Can ya all not say anymore?  My head is all messed up here.”

(Don’t you wish you could push some magical PAUSE button in life?)

We can’t stop the clock, but we can take a mental pause any time we want. And we should.

Sometimes it only takes seconds to mentally regroup. Other times it requires more.  Occasionally you have to temporarily remove yourself from a situation or circumstance to gain a fresh perspective.

I did leap from the post that day successfully grabbing the rod, and I still don’t like heights.

I do, however, find myself continuing to use a silent PAUSE… a lot. It helps me remember to do a quick check with the Spirit of God.

It works.  My thoughts shift gears. I become aware of God, and His perspective.

He’s really not so hard to hear. Though He’s God, high and lifted up, spiritual and invisible; He’s also a person; concerned with matters big and small.  He’s both practical and spiritual.

In James we’re encouraged,

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5

Next time you are in a bind, perhaps a little overwhelmed or ill-equipped (or precariously perched high up on a 2 x 2 platform) and could use clarity of mind, remember to PAUSE and sync in to the mind of Christ.

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Step into Your Dream

Are you a risk taker?  Do you like to venture out without a plan or agenda?

Not me.  I like security.  I want to know what the plan is.  Even as a runner, I want to know what route to take, how far I will be going and what the conditions are.

I’ve found that where plans are concerned, God has a sense of humor.

A year ago during a time of earnestly seeking Him for direction of my future I had a vivid dream.  It was about my church and my relationship to it.  Our church is a huge part of our family’s life.  It was deeply personal, so I wrote it down.

The dream stirred in me an expectation that something new and fresh was awaiting.  I have revisited the dream many times over the last year.  A year later, almost to the day, I was telling the dream to a friend when it hit me that I had missed one very obvious point.  In fact, I’d missed the main point of the dream.

First, a little about me and my people -our church:

I LOVE our church. It has been our family for the past 18 years.  It’s the people we do life with.    This is our home and our people.  It’s where we have grown as individuals.

It’s also where I happen to “work”.  I love the people I work with.  My role on staff has caused me grow in knowledge, understanding and care for others. I could not have asked for a better opportunity than I have lived the last 2 decades.

So… the dream.

I was in the company of my people.  Many good, Godly things were happening.  For some unexplainable reason I was compelled to leave.  I was perplexed.  Why leave?  These are my people, great things were happening.

I began to suffocate as I delayed.    It didn’t make sense.  I resisted, not knowing why or where I was to go.

Finally, out of desperation, I surrendered and stepped out.  At once, my lungs filled with fresh air.  I looked around me, and my vision sharpened.  I saw things in color. I realized I hadn’t seen color in a while.  Everything around me was fresh and new.  There were things I had lost sight of.   I understood it was not about the place itself, but I myself had come to a state of familiarity and ambiguity.

Then, immediately beside me, I found a carpet like apparatus floating inches about the ground.  Something like an Aladdin carpet (for lack of better wording, I’ll refer to it as the wing of faith).  Curious, I stepped onto the wing. It was a strange sensation, but so exciting!  Right way, I found that anywhere I set my vision, I went. I set out for the ocean, ready to explore the places I longed to go.  com.tinilab.afterphotowatchyourstep - Copy

Freedom.  Mobility.  Adventure.  I was no longer stagnant.

However, I realized that I needed to use caution where I set my sights, for I soon encountered dangerous places and people.  Not acknowledging the inner caution, I stepped off the wing onto the shore to feel the water on the sand.  I didn’t heed the signs.  Darkness came quickly with a stifling stillness.

Without warning, the tide quickly pulled me down and out.  I flung about gasping for air, no match for the great pull of the sea.  I’d lost sight of all but the dark water swallowing me.  In desperation, and on the verge of drowning, I let out a wordless cry.  The silent wing was at once there extracting me out.  I set my feet once again on the safety of faith.

Seeking wisdom, I returned to the point at which I first set out.

Upon returning, I found my husband, who was ready to set out as well.  Momentarily tempted to go back into the comfortable place; we resisted.  We understood we had entered a season of journey.  Direction was revealed outside -in the light of clarity.

We united, committing ourselves to the journey.  We spent a short time becoming familiar with this “faith”.  At this point, faith took on a different form.  We each had a packet.  Later, I recognized it to be the word of God.

Holding on to our packets, we could hold nothing else.

We set out, this time soaring far above the comfort of the land.  No longer could I step off and walk on my own.  As we continued upward it was increasingly more difficult to maintain our vision of where we thought we ought to go.

It was as if the packets were the driving force, directing our course. Despite all our unanswered questions, there was absolute peace and fantastic joy, freedom and mobility.  We knew we were on the correct path.  High above the land we continued, tightly holding on to the Word nestled at our chests.  We were swept into the jet stream.  It was then I understood; this was about the journey far more than the destination.

A loud beeping interrupted this amazing journey.  My alarm.  No! I willed myself back into the dream, to no avail.

I would like to say the dream ended with a disclosure of where we were to go, or even why.  For a whole year, I have done nothing.

I revisited the dream numerous times over the last year. In a year of many changes, reflecting on the dream brought me comfort.

One night I was telling a friend about the dream.  When I finished, my friend Vickie tilted her head, raised her eyebrows pleasantly, and matter-of-factly asked, “Oh.  So you mean you didn’t know what to do or where to go until you stepped out, huh?”.

In that instant, it was as if the entire dream crystalized within me.

Faith invites you to step out from the gray fog of familiarity and ambiguity before you can see clearly and proceed on the journey of faith.  Only after you take that first step do you gain clarity and direction to take further steps.  You must take initial steps to gain vision.  Faith is the vehicle by which you otherwise cannot go.

Even as I write, it sounds risky to step out unto unfamiliar territory.  I want a plan.  A specific place to go to; a role to fulfill, a means to get there.  Or …I can choose to trust in God and recognize that to date; every place He has led me, I would not have gone on my own left to my own logic and reasoning.

Planning and preparation are good, but sometimes we are called to step outside of all that we have known to embrace that which we are called to.  A good season must end before a better one begins.

In due season, you just know that it’s time, and it’s right.  For me, the time is now, and to hesitate is to suffocate and miss the invitation to the journey by faith thru surrender and obedience.

I am being stretched.   It’s one thing to experience this these truths in a dream, but quite another to walk in out.

Abraham was called from a land that he and his family had prospered in to an unknown land by an unnamed God whom he couldn’t see or audibly hear.  On the journey, they settled for a season in Haran, a place of abundance where He prospered greatly.  Surely he was tempted to remain in that good place.

By faith he picked up his family and pursued God’s call to further follow Him to the place he did not know that God would show him.

What about you?  In what ways are you taking steps of faith?  Have you become stagnant like me?  Are you hungry enough to take a bold step?  What does that look like for you?

What was the last thing God put on your heart to do, and have you done it?  Is there a business or ministry you are called to serve in or even start?  Do you have a skill or talent that is not being utilized? Have you withheld forgiveness?  Maybe there’s someone you know, whom you need to reach out too.

Be bold!  The Word says, “and without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”  Hebrews 11:6

Don’t get stuck in safety and comfort. Go explore something new.  Nothing ventured truly is nothing gained.  Do something todayAnything, just do something.

Leave a comment.  I’d love to hear what God is stirring in you!!