This journey of ours–how I would love for it to have a clearer understanding built into it for the spiritual side. Man is so driven by flesh and our thinking is so instantly influenced by our own wants/desires. Then, following this, God reveals His spiritual message/intent. I can go for days thinking what I’m doing is right in line with God’s purposes. Then, in an instant, all of the plan falls apart because one person decides differently, decides the plan isn’t for them, decides they don’t like it after all. If God weren’t already perfect in every way, none of us would exist. He’d just have to give up on us.
So, ok, I have this off of my chest and have surrendered it to God Almighty who is perfect in every way. I am reminded I can only do my part and others need to do theirs. I am not the one who paves the path for others–God does that. My role is to assist others on the path God lays out for them. This includes my own path as well. In my mind I think–“yes, we are finally on the right path”. I totally lose sight that being on the right path is as fragile as flesh is dominant in man.
God is so patient and I know He wants me to be this way too. He certainly has been patient with me and I need to be with so others as I follow the path God gives me.
This journey of life does have its surprises. As I wrote yesterday, my wife and I drove to a middle school where literacy was being promoted with several opportunities for the kids to be story-book characters, go to stations where they had face-painting, and more. There was one area where four authors displayed their work so kids and parents could ask their own questions or pre-written ones to learn about the importance of writing and what goes into it.
The evening was a delight meeting a few kids and also some parents and their kid/s. There were also a few educators I have known from this school district who were present. It was good to see the support they were offering to the kids in this area. As I was reflecting on all of this during my devotional time this morning I realized once again how God uses us in so many different ways. He seemed to say that I was planting seeds yesterday. With that I was to let Him do the rest. My flesh wants to know more about how God would do this or just exactly what does He have in mind? But, His message was simple–plant the seeds and He will do the rest. Now it is time to move into today.
One of my surprising moments yesterday was calling my prayer warrior in the morning. I wanted her to know what was going on so she could be praying about it. I found myself being overly tormented with old thinking. Just talking with her and listening to her helped me get grounded once again in God’s purposes. God opens doors and asks us to step in. My role was to go. All of my “what if’s” were not from Him–they were from my old life which is buried at the Cross of Christ. That’s what I needed to get grounded in and God did just that through this very kind prayer-warrior He has given me.
Well, today is the day I journey to a town 180 miles away to talk to middle school age kids and the parents. All of it is voluntary, after school, 5-7 pm. It is the first time this school has done a literacy night. It’s interesting to me that the federal reviews I do for school districts oversees the use of money supporting this event tonight. I’d sure never thought I’d see myself–my story being part of one of these events. Its almost like God is smiling about this. His Name cannot be used in context to a classroom, but these events are fine for me to come in and use His Name because it is all voluntary and ones can leave if they so choose. He is quite the Amazing God!
My anxiety comes in waves as I’ve been up this morning. It seems that everything in my devotions has been focused around taking steps into God’s Light. I’m into the last few chapters of Isaiah in my Bible reading. God is talking about the Light Jerusalem is to be and will be again. As I was journaling I was expressing to Jesus how much I want to do His bidding, but how insecure I feel in so doing. I was able to see how I use to think I’d do great things for Him to earn my worthiness. Then I came to believe I could only do small things for Him because I wasn’t very worthy. Today, Jesus showed that my thinking is always trying to be in “my control” rather than His. He is the One orchestrating what I do and where I go. He simply wants my obedience. Little by little I see these stumbling blocks more clearly and can let them go as I do. My hope and prayer for today is that whoever comes tonight will find Hope from the One who is the Miracle Worker–Jesus Christ, the One and only Son of God!
Today’s journey is one like most Mondays. I am going to the Jr/Sr High school. However, in my mind I’m battling tomorrow’s visit with the middle school kids and parents who will come. I know I am to be present in today’s assignment of work so this morning, being up early for the drive, I brought it all to Jesus.
This morning Jesus reminded me that I am not to try and take charge. He is in that seat. There really isn’t any preparation for tomorrow night. I just take some books and be ready to answer any questions I’m asked and talk some about what prompted me to become an author. This I can do. In my spirit I am full of anxiety. I don’t want to lead any child astray or give parents false information. This morning Jesus is showing me how these thoughts are planted in my mind by my own fear and by Satan preying on me. Outside of writing about this event in this blog, I’ve only told a couple people I’m doing this. So, this morning I realize I need to contact my prayer warrior and one other friend. I’ll do both of these so they can be praying. The old flesh was speaking in me saying that this trip is just another attempt “to be better than you are”. This morning I see this clearly so I’ll take the steps of telling.
Today is God’s day and I’m in it for today. Tomorrow will come and I’ll be in it for the day. Today, I want to stay focused on Jesus’ assignment for it. To God be the glory–great things He hath done!
Isaiah 54:4 has a message everyone with a troubled past needs to hold close to their heart and trust the TRUTH of God’s message in it. It says: “Fear not, for you shall not be ashamed, neither be confounded and depressed for you shall not be put to shame. For you shall forget the shame of your youth and you shall not remember….”
In a couple of days I am going to a middle school to talk to parents and kids who come for a literacy night. I’m asked to come because they are focusing on Idaho authors. I think I mentioned this a few days ago. The message of this verse above is what I want these kids and any parents to know–“you shall forget the shame of your youth”. I lived with this shame of my own for so long I thought I’d have to die to be free of it. Instead, God wanted me to use this past to help others find the freedom He gave me. The TRUTH of God’s Word is written throughout the Bible. Yet, I so often read it as though it were a story from long ago. The TRUTH is as real today as it was then because God is the same yesterday, today and forever!
I sure don’t want to lose sight of the Power of God and His Word. The freedom God gives us through His Son Jesus and His Gift of The Holy Spirit is AMAZING. It has taken me 50+ years to find today’s freedom. It has been a journey worth taking for the VICTORY sign is always within thanks to Jesus Christ living in me.
It is so nice to have an entire day without obligations except the things I’d like to get done. I always feel grateful and selfish when these come. I’ll let the grateful overpower the selfish and get my garden wrapped up and the lawn mowed for the last time. I even feel excited I get to do this!
As I was having my devotional time this morning I was journaling about an issue I’m facing. All I could see was this issue as I began to address Jesus about it. In asking Him what I should do, He simply reminded me that the issue is just that–an issue. He told me to keep my mind’s eyes on the Victory Sign at the end. This issue will be gone and the Victory Sign will be next. I really was needing to hear this. The great thing which awakened in me is that this is what a new creation does–looks to the Victory Sign–Jesus Christ, rather than to the issues of life which Satan is always throwing into our face. As I see Jesus I also see the problem just as that–a problem, rather than a brick wall. Jesus really is our Savior and Friend as well as Almighty God!
Today ends a very busy week for a retired grandpa. Every day has had a full day of work and nights filled too. I will go back to one of the school districts at noon today and then the rest will begin. I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining however, God has richly been at work. In so many surprising way I’ve watch Him take charge and been a part of His taking charge throughout this past week. Even last night, our little worship band for Celebrate Recovery, has a new spirit of life in it. The ministry also had several newcomers last night which is always a shot in the arm. God is such a marvelous God!
This morning’s devotional time has focused on the way God first of all prepares us to go out into the field to tell others about Him. He does this by building an intimate, loving relationship with Him. It is then that we are ready and able to go. I’ve known this a long time. However, only of late have I realized that when we now go into the field, we are not earning our privileges with God. We are simply sharing The God we love. I’m so grateful to finally be at a place where I know beyond a shadow of doubt–God loves me as I am. There is nothing to earn–it truly is a GIFT. I simply accept it. This is what I want to share more than anything.
Yesterday was such a day! It started with simply spending time with Jesus in my devotions not having big issues to bring to Him–simply being with Him and His Word. Well, as the day went on I was prompted to contact one of my grandsons who is in high school about my taking him to his conferences. I went to their home after my training in Boise had ended. I arrived just as he was walking to his home from the bus. He was reticent to go and I offered my prayer to Jesus to be in charge of this. We ended by agreeing to go and talk with his counselor rather than each of his teachers. This proved to be God’s design. They are meeting this morning to put a long-term plan in place.
Our evening continued with shopping for his basketball shoes and having dinner. During this time we talked deeply about his desires in life and he had surprising interests. As we talked I also brought into the picture his commitment a few years back to walk with God. He said he still wanted to do this and so we talked more about how this happens–what it is like to rely on God’s power by surrendering what we can’t and shouldn’t do to God, and doing the part we are to do.
The day started with my telling Jesus I didn’t have a crisis to bring to Him and He told me to supp with Him. The day ended with us delving into what had been a crisis in my mind for nearly a year now and it was all orchestrated by Him. My grandson even said to me he was surprised by all that had taken place last night but was very appreciative of it. I told him I was equally surprised for I hadn’t any plan at the start of the day to do this. God is so AMAZING!
It seemed today that I had little to bring to Jesus as I started my journaling. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be present with Him, I just didn’t have any screaming issues I needed to hear from Him about. It sort of felt uncomfortable telling Him I didn’t have any big issues for Him for today. It was then I felt Him telling me it was OK to “supp with Him”. The idea of being in Christ’s presence without a problem to bring to Him was a new phenomenon. This got emphasized even more when I began to read my devotion for today. It’s focus was building a strong relationship with God/Christ. In it we learn to enjoy listening to Christ’s message/s to us. To look for His miracles in the day to day activities. Simply enjoy His presence.
I realize this morning how much I’ve relied on crisis to have a relationship with Jesus. He doesn’t depend on me bringing Him a crisis in order to desire being present with me. The simple fact that He enjoys my presence is such a touching/intimate thought. Yes, I desperately need Christ in all the crisis of life, but I also desperately want to know Christ in all aspects of living. Learning to know that Christ enjoys me is so humbling and thoughtful. Our class last night focused on separating what I’d learned from childhood about relationships to see the truth of what God wanted me to know about His original design for them. It is AMAZING–this God of ours!
God never ceases to amaze me. Yesterday I was in a mindset built around a conversation I thought I would be having with one of the administrators for which I work. He had some tough stuff which he’d not addressed well and needed to reflect on it with me. I was gearing myself up for the conversation. As I was headed to the car for the 1.5 hr. drive I got a text saying he’d not be there yesterday. He was going to a training the State Dept. of Ed was offering. My day I thought would just be working the teachers in both of the elementaries. This was my surprise–the superintendent was at the first building when I arrived. He wanted to go with me to each of the classrooms I would be observing and he also wanted to see how I’d write the report I give back to each teacher following the observation. His educational background was in Special Education and he wanted to know more about the regular classroom instruction. He ended up also going with me to the 2nd school where I was assisting with the staff meeting. In the meeting I was presenting to the teachers about a process they seemed to have little information about. On my way home from the day I get an email from the superintendent with a 26 page document attached. I looked quickly at it when I got home. It was an excellent document outlining the process I was talking to the staff about. Here the district had this in place but the staff knew nothing about it.
As I began my Bible reading this morning I was nudged by God’s Spirit to see the connection between yesterday and my Bible reading today. How often the document with all the clarity needed is right in my chair, our chair. If I don’t pick it up and read it or if it isn’t shared with me, it is just a document which has no power. The Power of the Bible is in its Words. I read daily the Bible, but today I was inspired to listen carefully to its message for the relevance God wanted me to glean. He is so AMAZING!