Dying Breath

We never realize how good life is until we feel like we’re dying.

Ever walk up the stairs and feel like you’re out of breath?  Ever go for a walk or exercise and feel out of breath?  Honestly that is the worst part about running in life.  I hate it when I run out of breath.  I would rather have a painful run.  I like the feeling of being able to breath.

Anxiety, fear and pain all take our breath away.  It’s something that every person on earth has to learn how to deal with.  I’m not just talking physical pain either, I also mean that emotional pain of our heart being wounded, that hurtful word that sent a knife through your heart, and that feeling of being rejected or betrayed.

When we follow Jesus, we learn that God is the breath of life.  Without breath, we cannot live.

On one of my runs I decided to do what they call a negative split, where each mile is faster than the one before.  The first mile was supposed to be around 11 minutes but turned out to be around 10.  I turned around for the second mile and was hit full force with the wind.  Being as this mile was supposed to faster than the last, I pushed harder, but with little success.  I ended up finishing this one still around 10 minutes.

I was determined that the last mile, whether it rained on me or not, was going to be faster than the last two.  At about six-tenths of a mile I had to stop, I couldn’t breathe.  I cried out to God in desperation, I need strength, I need breath, I can’t breathe.  Give me breath.  All of a sudden an image popped in my head and I started crying.  Lord, forgive me.  I saw Jesus hanging on the cross gasping for breath- pushing against the nail in his feet in order to fill his lungs with air; blood running down his body… for me.

Now there was no way I was going to be able to run hard anymore being all choked up like that.  But I thank God for the lesson he gave me.  He reminded me in a very real way how much He loves me.  I finished the three miles in my average pace and ended up doing a couple tenth mile sprints afterwards.  The sprints were all around 50 seconds proving to me that my body really could have gone on, if I had only remembered to breath.

As humans we are capable of doing so much more than we could ever imagine.  I mean, we have the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, living inside of us!  And Philippians clearly says that we can do all things through Christ because He strengthens us.  And in Matthew it shows us that Jesus’ yoke is easy and light.

But we first have to lose our own life.  We first need to die to ourselves and take Jesus’ yoke.  We need to be like a seed, to die and be placed deep in the earth before we can grow and produce life!  We need to lose our breath so He can breathe His breath into us! 

But then the question, do we want this?  Are we truly willing to lose our breath, our very life, for Him?  I challenge you to ponder this question in prayer and allow Jesus to speak true life into your being.

Happy Running Ya’ll!

Forever Running, But Losing the Race

After four years of running, I wished I had put more miles under my shoes than I have.  I feel like I have been running forever and I’ve gotten nowhere.  Looking back at the miles I have logged, I can’t seem to see any difference in my times or pace.  My legs seem to not be any stronger and my miles have dropped significantly.  Where I was once close to a half marathon I am now barely above a 5k.  But yet I know something’s different.  I can feel it.  The past couple months I can sort of see improvements, but the problem is that they are not in ways I was expecting or hoping. 

Have you ever been so excited about a goal you have set or a plan you have carefully laid out, only to find out the harder you work at it, the farther you seem to get away from what you had envisioned?  It seems most of the time the harder I work at something, the harder it is to move forward, the more difficult it gets and the more I want to give up. 

Did you know the Bible says “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it”? (Matthew 10:39)  The world around us is constantly saying the opposite, “Don’t give up, pursue your dreams, follow your heart.”  They say, “You are capable of so much, keep going.”  In a sense this one is true because we can do all things through Christ because he strengthens  us.  (Philippians 4:13)  But we seem to forget the middle part, “Through Christ”.  We must remember what John 15:5 says, “For without me [Jesus] ye can do nothing.”

During a race, we pour our hearts out during the first however many miles and then comes the last one – that final mile between me and the finish line.  That final stretch where we push our bodies as hard and as fast as we can making sure we use every last bit of strength we have.  The worst feeling after a hard run is when you realize you had more left you could have given.  And that feeling is worsened when you realize you were only seconds away from your goal. 

Many people in life are trying their best to get to heaven.  They make sure their goods outweigh their bad.  They make it a meaningless ritual of going to God in prayer.  There are some others that live a life of lies, thinking they can enjoy life in the now and when they get around to it they might consider following Christ.

You’re trying too hard, He told me

“You’re trying too hard,” I heard God say as I bent over, with a heaving chest and feeling of failure.  He reminded me of the verses I shared above along with this passage,

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but it if die, it bringeth forth much fruit.  He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.  If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” (John 12:24-26)

When are we going to realize that Jesus has a far better plan for our lives than we could ever imagine?  When are we going to see that life is found in Christ?  How long will it take before we acknowledge that we can do nothing in and of ourselves?  Even Jesus said He can’t do anything unless He sees the Father do it.  Why are we to expect that we can? 

There is a better way to live this life.  There is a more rewarding way.  A healthier way.  A stronger way.  But we must choose to die to ourselves and take up Jesus’ yoke.  Almost every morning since I decided to yield to God’s will instead of my own, I surrender everything to Him and ask Him what He wants me to do that day.  Some days the tasks are difficult and some days they are simple and yet some days there is nothing different than the day before; it all depends on what He wants of me that day. 

I’ve lived a life trying to seek my own pleasures and it felt like everything I did came to a dead end – the door was shut.  I tried climbing through windows, beating on closed doors, wedging between cracks in the walls, but nothing ever seemed to work.  God protected me for many years before I finally gave in to His will.  I struggled in the yoke with Jesus for a long time before I finally submitted.   Oh how good and peaceful of a life it is!  I only wished I had seen this pasture beside the still waters as pleasant then as it is to me now!  What a difference in life I could have had!  Were it not for grace I would still be wondering down some pointless road to nowhere!  Jesus went that final mille between me and heaven!  Oh what a glorious day that will be when I finally meet with my Saviour in the clouds!

As a grand finale,  Were it Not for Grace by Larnelle Harris is a song a friend shared with me months ago.  I asked Changing our Hearts over on YouTube to sing it for me; please Enjoy!

Why Do You Love Me?

I felt like I rammed face first into a concrete wall when someone asked me this question.  I had never been asked that before.  Why do you love me?  I had never even thought of it.  I have always said that I loved God because He first loved me, because that’s what the Bible says.  I never even thought about asking this before, I figured if someone said or acted like they loved me, that’s just what they meant.  No need to explain.  I wasn’t even sure I knew what love was after I was asked this. 

The Search

I looked the word up in the dictionary, prayed about it, pondered over the question… It was like a reality check that was written for thousands of dollars.  Was I going to cash this in and learn from this valuable question, or lay it aside and pretend the situation never happened?  I knew I couldn’t let it go.

As I prayed about it things started to click.  My definition of love was all screwed up.  If I asked you why you like dessert, what would you say?  How about your morning coffee?  Or your hobby?   So, why do you love the people in your life that you do?

I grew up thinking love is an action and a choice, and it is, but why do you love?  Most everybody has something or someone that they love.  I started asking myself, why does God love me?  Certainly there is nothing that a holy God could have a reason to love me.  I’ve asked God this question multiple times, but this time, I needed an answer. Did He really just love me because He is love, or does He actually find delight in me? 

I’m not one that gets into Greek and Hebrew words but I’ve read that there are two different types of love, Phileo and Agape.  The love that a mother or father has for their child is different than the love they have for one another.  The love you have towards your friend is different than the love you have towards your fiancé. The love you have for your morning coffee or quiet time after a hard day at work is different than the love you have for a person. 

First the Choice, and then the Reason

First we must make a decision to love someone or something.  Then we can find out what the reason is.  Do you know what the difference is between liking and loving something?  When we are pleased with something at a moderate level you say you like it.  But if that level goes up to a higher position we may begin realizing we love it.  But why did the needle move up a notch?  What caused it to gain elevation?

Photo by jonas mohamadi on Pexels.com

 I used to say I like coffee, but after drinking it for about a year, I realized I loved coffee.  I now jump up from my chair to get it if it is offered to me, whereas before I would only respond with a simple yes. What happened?  I started having reasons behind why I liked coffee.  Its bittersweet taste woke me up in the morning.  Rising hours before daylight it can be quite difficult to stay awake.  I love waking up and heading to the kitchen to hear the sound of the water running through the coffee machine – in clear and out black.  Its warmth creates a cozy feeling inside and being able to hold that mug in my hand brings me a strange comfort.  It keeps me awake at friends’ houses after being up for hours and then gives me that extra boost for my early morning run.  It helps me think clearly during computer hours and keeps me emotionally stable throughout the day.  Before, I could have said nothing much about it; I liked it because it woke me up, plain and simple.

When a baby is born, loving parents decide to love their baby.  Then, and only then, can they say why.  It’s my child.  God gave him to me.  He smiles so warmly at me.  He’s so innocent.  He looks just like his dad.  He makes the cutest faces.  He looks so peaceful when he sleeps.

Because God is love, He chose to love us, by sending His only Son to die for us, so that He could have a relationship with us.  He sacrificed what He loved so dearly so He could love us unconditionally.  Through His Son He sees us as His child.  And because of His Son, He finds delight in us.  He cares for us.  He encourages us in our dreams.  He gives us our desires.  He pursues us and gives us what is best for us.  He wants to know us intimately.

We Have to Accept

When a guy asks a girl to marry him, she has to say yes in order for them to get married.  If he truly loves her, he will not force his love on her.  He may pursue her and try to win her love, but if he truly loves her, he will let go because she does not want him.  He will want her to be happy.  He will want to grant her requests.

Jesus did not force His love on us.  He does not make us love Him.  A child will not truly love his parents if they force him to.  They will only act like they do to keep the peace.  If someone gives someone a gift to show their love, the receiver can either reject the love or accept it.  We can want to accept it, but we have to actually make the choice to do so.   

Sometimes people’s hearts are so locked up from the pain of their past that they cannot give or receive love.  Jesus is the only one who can break that barrier and make them feel loved in ways they never thought possible.  God longs to have his love accepted.  He is not willing that any should perish, He wants all of us to accept His love, to accept His gift.  Because He is a holy God and no sin can be in His presence, He has to see us through His Son.  It’s as if sin is the color blue and Jesus is one of those fancy cameras they use to make movies that cannot see the color blue.  If we have accepted Jesus, when God looks through that camera (Jesus), He sees no sin.  Therefore, because of Jesus, we are perfect in His sight!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Flattery is Not the Answer

The definition of flattery is false praise – praising someone in order to gain something yourself.  Telling someone they are beautiful or handsome is not true praise; they cannot control how they look.  Saying, “Your desserts are amazing,” hoping that maybe they will make you some cookies because of that, is not truly praising them for how good they cook.  Telling them, “I love you,” right before asking a favor, is also not true love. 

Instead of saying you love his smile, maybe consider looking deeper into his heart to thank him for the reason behind his smile.  Instead of saying you love how she keeps house, consider thanking her for her diligence.  Giving examples may help, but try to look for the character quality or virtues behind the actions.  That is what true praise is.

So, Why Do You Love Me?

I believe that when someone is asking this question, what they really want to know is, do you love them for who they are or for what they do?  With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, ponder this question, “Lord, why do you love me?”  As He reveals His answer to you, you will realize why you love others and on what level your love is based.  Because God is love, the more of Him you have, the more love you can give to others. 

As you think about that special someone in your life, or special “someones” (i.e. family and friends), take time to stop and think why you love this person(s).  Ask God why you love them.  Think about what you would want someone else to say if you asked them this question.  We are commanded to love others even if they hate us.  What if your enemy came to you and asked this very question?  Love can always see the good in a person, and true love also overlooks the bad.

Happy Valentine’s Day and May God Bless You!!

Footprints in the Snow

Do you journal about your day?  Do you know what the benefits of journaling are? 

Journaling has become something I really enjoy and am often encouraged with when I go back and read the entries.  Multiple times in the Bible it says to remember all of God’s works, what He has done, and who He is.  I have done bible journaling and prayer journaling, but regularly still struggle with a normal everyday journal.  When I find myself discouraged, sometimes going over those writings, seeing what God has done, where He has brought me or changed me, can be all I need to persevere and continue running the Christian life.

Apparently for runners, journaling and keeping a running tally of how your runs go is also very important.  It helps you to “see” what makes your runs good or bad and enables you to plan ahead for your next outings to make them better.  I asked a running group I am part of if they use journals, and lots of them said that they did.  They explained that it really helps keep track of their training plans, what works well, what doesn’t work well, and also encourages them to push forward.

Have you ever heard of the poem called Footprints in the Sand?  Where the man is looking back over his life and wonders why during some of the hardest times in his life that God’s footprints disappeared.  He was recalling happenings of his past and noticed a pattern.  Though it turns out God was carrying the man during the rough times, which explained one set of footprints missing, lately that is not what stands out to me.

A few weeks ago, I went out for a run planning on just having fun and throwing in a couple training aspects here and there.  On my way out I practiced cadence training, of which I will talk about in an upcoming post.  On my way back, I stopped and looked at my footprints, which were neatly spread apart on the newly fallen snow.  But with closer examination I noticed smudge marks between my left foots landings.  As I stood there, I realized my suspicions over the last couple weeks of having a muscle imbalance, was in fact correct.  I decided to take advantage of the snow.  Running a few paces and then stopping to observe the footprints, I learned the left side of my body was definitely not as strong as my right.   

As I continued my run-stop-observe exercise, I focused on using my left leg muscles more.  Even though it was difficult for the rest of the run, after a mile I got the hang of activating certain muscles in order to gain a higher step, so that there was a smooth surface between each footfall.   Between then and now I have been focusing on strengthening my left side more during strength training workouts.  Next snowfall will show whether I have improved or not.

I have been learning we can apply this to our daily lives by journaling about our days.  Prayer journaling specifically about the day has helped, but the days I do that is far and in between.  My goal is to start journaling about the day, even if it is only a few quick jots, so I can look back and maybe see what went wrong and how I can “fix” it. In my memory I may be able to remember some things but it’s not to the same extent as if it were in writing – you know how much easier it is to remember the bad and not the good?! 

Upon receiving a late Christmas present from a friend yesterday I feel like God answered one of my prayers.  One of the items was a really cool journal of which I have already written in!  I love it!  The hard back cover reminds me of an old-fashioned book, with cream paper, ruffled edges, and a verse printed at the bottom of each page.  For me, paper and gel pens are something I absolutely love.  I could stand in those office supply aisles for hours scanning all the items, until I finally chose just the right one.  I have noticed finding something we enjoy in each new habit we want to form is very helpful in reaching our goal.  So for me, I think God may have given me the perfect journal to help.

If this is something you would like to start doing, I can give you the same advice God has been giving me.  While trying to research how to do things, He is always reminding me, “Just Write, Just Pray, Just Run.”  These three areas are what I have been praying about but feel like we could use it for everything in life.  Just get up and do it! 

Happy Running!

Allison

Who Am I

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. -Ephesians 2:10

This week I am doing a collaboration with Emily over at Emily’s Journey on YouTube. She spends a lot of time making her videos, which have been a big encouragement to me! She loves Jesus and strives to glorify Him! Her boldness in sharing the truth will challenge you to ask yourself many questions about your true motive in every area of life. Go check out this weeks video at Emily’s Journey by clicking on the following link:

Video will be published at 3pm, Eastern Standard Time, January 31, 2020; Enjoy!! And don’t forget to like, subscribe and comment!

Who are you?  What is the first thing that comes to mind when I ask this?  Is it your occupation that labels you?  What happens if you lose your job, what are you then?  After watching Overcomer by the Kendrick Brothers I found myself asking that very question.  If my hands were to go limp, I could not be a writer anymore, it just wouldn’t be the same.  If my legs were to be paralyzed, I would not be a runner any longer.  If I were to never be able to go outside again, I could never consider myself a country girl. 

I have been praying for the past couple months that God would help me see Him as my All.  I knew my identity needed to come from Him.  If anything goes wrong in life, I want my faith and joy to remain stationary – set firmly on Jesus!  I want my peace, trust, faith and joy to be unshakeable and not dependent on outward circumstances.

Lies – Fears – Negativity… Is this what rules our minds?  When someone treats us wrongly and we are hurt, what is the first thing that comes to mind?  When things go not as planned and all life wrecks havoc, what are your thoughts?  I have seen this splayed out in every area of my life.  My most common running thoughts are, “I’ll never get faster” and “I’ll never get past this wall.”  For life I struggle with “I’m slow and get in people’s way,” “I don’t do anything right” and “I’m not good at anything but working.”

But this is not who I am! 

Through Christ –

  • I am blessed  (Ephesians 1:3)
  • I am chosen (Ephesians 1:4)
  • I am holy (Ephesians 1:4)
  • I am blameless (Ephesians 1:4)
  • I am accepted (Ephesians 1:6)
  • I am redeemed (Ephesians 1:7)
  • I am sealed (Ephesians 1:13)
  • I am loved (Ephesians 2:4)
  • I am alive (Ephesians 2:5)
  • I am raised up (Ephesians 2:6)
  • I am ordained, I have a purpose (Ephesians 2:10)
  • I am cared for (1 Peter 5:7)
  • I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10)
  • I am capable (Philippians 4:13)
  • I am not alone (Hebrews 13:5)
  • I am free (John 8:32, 36)
  • I am hopeful (1 Timothy 1:1)
  • I am cherished (Ephesians 5:29)
  • I am satisfied (Psalm 17:15)
  • I am powerful (2 Timothy 1:7)
  • I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  • I am clean (1 John 1:9)
  • I am a child of the living God! (John 1:12)
  • And so much more!

What joy we would have if we believed this!  Friends, I challenge you to stop and ask yourself who you are.  Then stop and ask God who He says you are.  Start with Ephesians 1 and 2.  Do not just go off of my list, let God show you himself.  You will not be disappointed!

The Wind of Adversity

…God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour…
– 1 Peter 5:5-8

Living in the country where there are miles of fields, the wind has nowhere to go but straight – and hard! A lot of times on a windy day I will try and plan it to where I run into the wind on the way out, that way when I’m sweating and tired on the way back the wind is blowing at my back, keeping me from cooling down too fast, but also helping to push me forward.  Sometimes I miss judge the wind direction, but other times I may purposefully choose to run against the wind for some extra “strength training”. 

When the wind is to your back pushing you along the road God has you on, it can be a very encouraging and helpful feeling.  But what happens when that wind changes direction and you feel like everything is against you.  Every hair on your head, every muscle in your body, every sinew, every tendon; they all feel like they are pulling you backwards, like you are suddenly carrying a hundred extra pounds on your back.  Do we still run forward or do we collapse on the ground in frustration and tears? 

Last month I got to test this theory out really well.  Once or twice a year, for the last four years, we have held a widows banquet in our home.  When I woke up the Friday morning before the banquet, I was so looking forward to holding it this year, but we had to cancel.  All the time and energy put into getting this day together felt wasted.  I had a sudden attack from my adversary, Satan.  The first arrow he shot I was not ready for and it hit with force.  I was overcome with emotions. I felt useless, like my life had no point, why was I even here anyway? And they just kept spiraling out of control.

Running forward may not always be easy, it may not always be enjoyable, but no matter what, if you keep going, God will use you in many ways.  He created each of us for a purpose, but we have to choose, even when the adversary comes against us, to cast him away and cry out to God for strength.  Most runners, no matter the circumstance, will push themselves beyond what they think their bodies are capable – this is how we get stronger.  The wind isn’t our only adversary, there are many trials along the way, and many situations that we can either choose to allow ourselves to give up and refuse to move forward, or slow down and persevere through the difficulty.

As I washed dishes for all the food and desserts we had prepared for the banquet I began crying out to God in my heart for help.  I realized I was dwelling on self-pity not even thinking about how others might feel.  I tried to focus my thoughts on God and resist the temptation to dwell on any negative or selfish thoughts.  And I gave thanks!  If you haven’t noticed a pattern yet, my New Year’s Resolution for 2019 was to obtain a grateful heart and I have been weaving that into a lot of my posts.  It really is a life changer, but it is not easy. 

I encourage you all to not resist running into the wind, for it is on those days that God makes you a stronger Christian.  Find someone to run with you during those hard days, (Jesus is an amazing friend!), and persevere till the end.  Let God strengthen you!  Many times I find myself thinking life would be so much easier without the wind, but could you imagine how boring life would be?

Bucket List

Photo taken by Keenan Smith

Have you ever said, “Oh, I have that on my bucket list,” or, “I’m going to try and do that before I die”?

Most everyone has things that they would love to be able to do on this earth before they have to leave it.  For me, I have two “major” ones, visit the Coral Reef in Australia and go out west where there is nothing but flatlands.  And maybe if there is time, I’ll visit some place with valleys, fields, rivers, and snow topped mountains. *Grin*  

I have talked about dreams, hopes, visions, goals and resolutions before, but God has been challenging me lately to look past what I can see and grasp for a higher calling, a higher purpose.   For me, I’m not sure what that is or what that looks like, but today I listened to a sermon called Chasing God.  He was talking about how our life on earth is the only chance we get to live by faith.  Once we die it will be all “seeing”.  In Hebrews it says it is impossible to please God without faith.

What has God called each of us to accomplish on this earth?  Each of us, as Christians, has a common purpose that He created us for – to glorify Him and cultivate a relationship with Him.  Actually, the more I meditate on John 15, the more I realize that maybe chasing after Jesus is all that really matters.  But what does God want to do with you as an individual?  He uses each of us for His purpose.  Each of us has a unique calling. 

Dreams and desires are not a bad thing themselves, for God can direct us through them if we surrender our lives to Him and ask Him to do so.  But the question is, have we done that?  Have we asked Him to change our desires and dreams to live the life he wants us to live?  The hardest part about this though is total surrender.  Have we totally, with no desire of our own, totally surrendered our lives to Him?  He may give back what we give Him and He may not, but what we can take comfort in is that if He does keep what He gives us, we can expect Him to give us something so much bigger and better than we could ever imagine.

So let’s try and look at our bucket lists from a new perspective.  Go to God in prayer and ask Him what He wants to do through us, in us and with us.  I mean, if we were to be totally honest with ourselves, how many of those things on that list are we actually going to accomplish?  So why not replace them with things we can actually do?  

Truthfully, I am still working on this, especially the surrender part.  I have not been able to actually go to God and honestly say, “What do you want to do in my life?  I’m willing to do whatever you ask.” because I am still clinging onto my own dream.  I pray that as this month comes to an end in a couple short weeks, that I will be able to honestly and with an open surrendered heart ask God what His will is for my life.  I pray many others will join me as well.

Thursday’s Promise 001

Is Your Vision 2020?

New Year resolutions, goals, decisions, purposes, hopes, dreams, prayers, intentions…  Everybody talks about it.  Some of the most common have to do with health, weight loss, money, and ending bad habits.  I mean that’s what our life revolves around right?  We need money to live and most everything we do, because we live in our body, depends on our health and well-being; and bad habits?  Well those are just annoying things that we partly want to stop doing but the other half of us enjoys the habit too much for us to really put our heart into quitting.

Even though these may be the first hopes that come to our mind, what about spiritual goals?  Or character development?  Or dreams that could bring God glory?  For 2019 God gave me a verse to live by.  “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:18)  As the year went on – which went by way to fast – Jesus created in me a grateful spirit and it became easier and easier to thank Him for everything.

Because choosing a verse was so beneficial this year, I began praying for 2020’s verse in November.  Amongst all the holiday prep I was overly stressed in a way I can’t remember having ever been before.  I’m not sure what 2020 has in store, but my verse came out to be Philippians 4:6-7.  “Be careful for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of god, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” 

At first I was kind of anxious about the New Year.  I was thinking, Oh No!  What is around the corner?! I began wondering, did I see 2020 the way God saw it?  Perfect eye vision is 20-20 and therefore the New Year has a great fit.  Do I see the year 2020 with perfect vision?  Is my vision 20-20? 

Without a vision the people perish…

Proverbs

Through the month of January I will be praying a lot about what my goals should be for the rest of the year.  The book of Proverbs says, “Without a vision, the people perish…”  My focus should be on Christ, but what does He want to do through me.  What should I pray for?  What should I hope for?  What should I advance in?  I have so many ideas for writing, running, health, relationships, money, and habits, that I’m not sure which ones I should move towards, which ones are just bucket list items and which ones I should toss.  I want to make sure I’m seeing the year 2020 through Gods perfect 20-20 eyes.

Is your vision 20-20?

Happy New Years ya’ll!  May God bless you with hopes and dreams that He plans to fulfill in you!

Coming up next week is Cadence in the Snow, so stay tuned!

Taking the Leap

Christmas is literally right around the corner!  Is everyone done shopping and all ready?  Does anyone have anticipation as the day gets closer?  Do you like giving the gifts or receiving them?  What do you hope you get?  What are you hoping the recipients of your presents reaction is?  Or do you have any hope at all?

The bible is full of encouraging, life giving verses, but do you have hope?  What is a promise of God you are hoping He fulfills one day?  Or do you have any?  Are we supposed to just hope in heavenly things or does God call us to hope in things on this earth too?  What is hope anyway and how do we have it?

All of these questions began filling my mind as I prayed about this week’s post.  A few years back, God shared with me a promise that I have a hard time hoping in, a difficult time believing in, and an extremely hard time trusting Him with.  I know if He said it, it must be true, but that doesn’t change the fact that humans in general have a hard time entrusting the unseen to our Father, especially when it comes to the future.

The real definition of hope is looking forward to something in the future with at least some bit of expectation in receiving whatever it is.  Today’s definition has changed a little in the sense that sometimes we may eat a bunch of sugar and carbs daily, hoping that it doesn’t make us gain weight.  For example, holiday weight gain. *Grin*   There are multiple promises in the bible, but do we hope in them?  Do we hope God fulfills them?  Are we looking forward to the day that He brings them to pass?

The promise God gave me was Psalm 37:4-5, Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.  Commit thy way unto the Lord: trust also in him: and he shall bring it to pass.

As I wait for God to fulfill the biggest dream of my heart, that at this point I feel is completely impossible, God has challenged me to believe what He told me, to have faith He will fulfill it and recently, to hope in that promise.  Our loving Father up in heaven knows what He’s doing and can see the whole picture.  It baffles me, after all God has done for us, how we can one moment trust Him with everything we are, then turn around the next day and run from Him because we are afraid.

The Bible says God cannot lie and so therefore if He says something, it HAS to be true.  My question to you is this:

In light of everything you know, and don’t know, is there a chance that maybe you can lay the promise God has given you at His feet, and let Jesus take care of it?  Are you willing to take a leap of faith and trust Him to catch you, trust Him to take care of it?

I pray you are all able to Hope in Christ as this year comes to an end!  But in the mean time, Merry Christmas and May God bless you!

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