True North

When navigating a ship to a destination, it is critically important to pay attention to the integrity of the vessel, the charts, the weather, and making sure the crew is capable and able to do their job. It’s a huge responsibility. Going off course due to external forces or internal issues is a serious matter. It happens to

  • Businesses
  • Churches
  • Educational institutions
  • Marriages
  • Families
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • You
  • Me

Have you ever woken up on a particular day and wondered how you got where you were? Sometimes it is by not-so-careful planning. Being off course, even just a little, over a long period of time can really put you in a place you were not intending. How does one stay oriented to True North?

There are so many distractions in life that try to sway me off course. Of course, there are the things of this world that are shiny and fun. Then there are the ugly things of this world that cause me to really wonder about humanity. And then there are the things inside of me that I fight to get out of my life. Or the good things I fight to have in my life like:

  • Prayer
  • Bible Study
  • Gathering with other believers
  • Membership in a healthy congregation
  • Service
  • Confession
  • Forgiveness
  • Accountability
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Holy Communion

God has good gifts for us that draw us closer to Him, strengthen us for the journey, and keep us oriented. The tools are there to help us stay the course but we need to use them.

Heavenly Father ~ Grant us the courage and strength to use the tools You have given us! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

On the Road,

Liz

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The Judas Kiss

Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.

 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.”

Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. Matthew 26:48-50

Have you ever been connected with someone who flattered you with kisses (or something similar) only to have them turn on you later?

If you have ever experienced it you know it is quite unpleasant. When I have been in this type of situation I wonder where was my discernment? Why was I vulnerable to fall for something like that?

Who does that to people?

Plenty do.

But knowing that this happened to Jesus helps. Betrayal happens.

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9

Of course, our betrayal experiences do not compare with those of Jesus but it is good to know that pain we feel – He can relate. And God can use it for a greater good.

The sooner you can forgive a betrayer the better off you will be. But just don’t expect that to be something you can do without Jesus. He is the one who makes forgiveness possible.

On the Road,

Liz

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Unforgettable Moments

sunsetwIf you are on Facebook, you might have caught a posting or two of adults in the stands at a ballgame snatching a ball out of the hands of a young child and being very satisfied that they had scored the prize. Caught on video, this “moment in time” of someone being jerky gets replayed and replayed and replayed for the world to see.

Ever been so caught up in the moment you cannot believe how you behaved?

I have.

And while there might not be actual footage of it posted on Facebook to watch over and over and over, rest assured, I often hit the replay button in my own mind.

atonewSometimes it is so hard to remember that I am forgiven!

And if I don’t make a point of surrounding myself with reminders, well, I get caught up in the memories of my sins. These painful reminders can be good because they nudge me to be humble and gracious to others who may be struggling because there are times I have a tendency to forget my own sins and get really frustrated about someone else’s. But, if I get stuck in “replay” mode on my own situation, it can be disastrous.

I have some memories that I won’t soon forget. As long as I don’t get stuck there, it can be a good thing.

On the Road,

Liz

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Where are you going?

WHERE are you going?

Where are YOU going?

Where are you GOING?

 

Emphasis makes a big difference in each of those questions. Sometimes we don’t necessarily have an end goal in mind–we are just out and about. Sometimes it’s ok to not know the destination because, truth be told, we often think we have a place where we will end up and we are really disappointed when we don’t ever get there. Or we don’t get there the way we imagined we would.

Sometimes we strive for a goal and find we never get there because we took the wrong path or we had a misinformed goal. For example, if one grows up in a family with a lot of tension or sadness due to money struggles, one might think that amassing a lot of money will lead us to “happiness”. It rarely works that way.

Where do you hope to be and how do you think you might get there?

It is always good to think about our life’s direction in general, but the Lenten season is a great time to consider if we have strayed off the path of forgiveness, grace, mercy, love, service, prayer, kindness, sacrifice, self-control, or [fill in the blank]. Drifting away a bit may not seem so bad when we can see the road but we can quickly lose sight of the road altogether. Sometimes we need to “reset”, get re-oriented, and start again.

GOD’S WORD informs our LIFE and impacts the decisions we make.

So let’s get informed! What does God have to say? Grab your Bible or download a Bible App on your phone. Look for a verse or two you might want to commit to memory during this Lenten season. Write it out on an index card, in your journal, or make a digital image so you can have it on your phone. I would love to see your verse and if you do anything creative with it. Of course, being creative isn’t the point but pondering it is! When we take the time to read God’s Word, ponder, and pray, He changes us. And, we likely will find a new perspective on our travels–both on  where we are going and where we have been.

So, where ‘ya headed?

~ Liz

Quick note: Don and I will be “on the road” and I will be posting things as we travel. We would appreciate your prayers for a safe journey!

 

 

 

PrayerPoint ~ Letting Go and Living

I don’t know about you, but there are times in my life I have held on to things for far too long…

A pair of pants I wore many moons (and sizes ago).

A momento from an old flame.

A wound from a friend.

Disappointment in myself.

Last year, I had the opportunity to help a family member do some purging. If you know me well, you might be laughing because you know I have some purging of my own to do. And I actually am getting around to doing just that! But the stuff seems to multiply quickly if I am not proactive and intentional.  I often set things aside to deal with later and then, when later finally comes around, the opportunity or need has passed. Well, at least, when I make my next pass, it might be easier to toss!

Sometimes I hold onto things because they are interesting, I need to know more about it so I can make a decision, or it is something that needs to be saved. Sometimes I hold onto an item that is simply too difficult to release for any number of reasons. Trust me, the person who has to sort through all your treasures after you die will be thankful if you don’t have lots of piles to sort through. Start purging!

But those old wounds?

Release them!

I don’t know that this can be done on your own.

I know I can’t do it on my own. 

But these things — they need to go! I am pretty sure they can suck the life right out of a person. You’ve seen people that are drained and depressed by old wounds. Their pain is evident.

Do I want to look like that? 

Do I want to LIVE like that?

I don’t.

I can’t.

I can’t because that isn’t living.

I need to place it all “At the Cross” and work through the process of forgiveness!

Below are the lyrics to a song that I have loved for quite some time. The melody is just as sweet.

I know a place, a wonderful place
Where accused and condemned
Find mercy and grace
Where the wrongs we have done
And the wrongs done to us
Were nailed there with Him
There on the cross

At the cross
He died for our sin
At the cross
You gave us life again

Are you holding onto something that you need to let go?

 

PrayerPoints ~ Saturday, March 5th

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Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 8

“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”  Psalm 8:1

After being grateful yesterday, it seems fitting to look at the majesty of God. When I read Psalm 8, I am overwhelmed by who God is and who I am and that He is mindful of me and shows me His grace, love, and forgiveness. It also reminds me how much more mindful of Him I should be!

And if God, the Creator of the Universe, considers me worthy of His investment, it puts such a different perspective on my life than if I was just here by “accident” or with no purpose. And if He feels this way about me then He feels that way about you and every person on this planet! When I ponder this, I am reminded of not only my value but every person’s value:

  • From those in my zip code to those across the time zones
  • From the weakest to the healthiest
  • From the lovable to the unlovable
  • From the delightful to the frustrating
  • From the sweetest to the angriest
  • From the innocent to the guilty
  • From the very young (pre-born) to the very old
  • From the cleanest to the dirtiest
  • From the kindest to the meanest

“What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” Psalm 8:4

Since God is our Creator, there must be value in each of us…each and every one of us! Sometimes it might take some digging because we are broken people–our limited perspective doesn’t let us see the value in others and, sometimes, we aren’t able to see the value in ourselves.

Psalm 8 is a great place to get a glimpse of the majesty of God and His love for His people!

 

 

 

 

PrayerPoints ~ Saturday, February 27th

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Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 32

“Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’ — and you forgave the guilt of my sin.”    Psalm 32:5

It is so easy to be so shocked and appalled and caught up in everyone else’s sin yet neglect our own important self-reflection and confession. Confession is so important because it is an acknowledgement of sin in our own lives.

Consider those things in your life you would like to confess because they weigh on you. You can certainly just confess those things to God — I find it helpful if I talk out loud since I am a verbal processor. But if you want some feedback in the way of spoken forgiveness, seek out a healthy pastor or priest for absolution.

Confession so often becomes one of those things we look for in others but, maybe, are not so keen on surrendering ourselves. Sometimes our busy and distracted lifestyle interrupts the time we need to contemplate our sin and confess it as such.

And the peace and healing that comes from confession? Unparalleled. That’s why it is said, “Confession is good for the soul!”