All posts by earnielewis

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JAN. 7, 2022

Last night was Celebrate Recovery and what a blessed night it was. From the start to the finish God was working and His Spirit was well known. A gentleman I’ve known for many years had come. He had talked to me the day before and I had invited him. I wasn’t sure he’d want to be seen by the group thinking some would know him. He said he didn’t care. He needed to come clean and let God do His Work in his life.

The lesson last night was MORAL. Simply stated, MORAL means being honest at all levels. This lesson was a perfect fit for all of us. It prompted wonderful, gut-level honesty in the share group which followed. I couldn’t have been more proud of the men in our group. The honesty which came forth was something only God can prompt a man to confess. One of the biggest concerns is denying self-discipline for the power to change allowing God/Christ to be the power to change. I believe all of us struggle with this. We are so wired to be strong in ourselves that surrendering this pride so God can be our strength is something I have to do many times a day.

Today is a new day and I start it with God in the lead. I want to keep it this way throughout my day. Thank you Father!

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JAN. 6, 2022

This morning as I began to journal I had a number of things I wanted Jesus to “just take care of”. Some of them were about family, some were about the schools, some about the ministry folks, and a couple were personal about myself. I wanted them “done”. As soon as I was writing them down I knew this was total selfishness for God doesn’t work in my timeline and I don’t want Him to either. His timing is always perfect and mine is always selfish–lacking God’s perfection.

After writing these items and then committing/surrendering them to Jesus, I saw my post-it note which has the word PRAISE on it. It was then that I began to Praise God for what He would be doing and is doing that I know nothing about at this point in time.

How quickly I forget this hugely important ingredient in my walking with Jesus and learning to respond to The Holy Spirit’s nudges. I want to Praise Them for what I don’t know–Trusting what I cannot yet see. This is truly a daily lesson for me learning to live as a new creation.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JAN. 5, 2022

Yesterday’s entry ended with the statement that I love how God gives these gentle but clear messages. Well, it happened again this morning. I won’t go into the total story of yesterday, but will summarize enough of it to give meaning to what took place. Every winter following being away from the work of schools (even when I was directly employed by a school district) I’d return after Christmas break feeling/wondering what God was really doing with me. The disconnect the break would provide was an opportunity for those voices of past to question any effectiveness God would intend. My emotions would be questioning what I do/did, etc. This has not changed over the years.

This morning as I journaled I asked God to help me separate my emotions from His purpose so I won’t make any “emotional decisions” which would go against His Leadership in my life. I want His Spirit and mine to grow in our relationship. As I had my devotional reading and Bible reading they were directly addressing this very topic. God wants us to grow in our spirit’s maturity not letting the ups an downs of our emotions to regulate what we do. The message I sought became very clear. I can tell my emotions that voices may come, but my spirit knows the difference between God’s Voice of Leadership from the voice of evil and flesh. I choose to obey what I know is God’s Voice.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JAN. 4, 2022

Last night in our choir practice our director said something which I needed to hear. She was talking about the difficulty of learning some musical pieces or parts to them. Our human nature wants to skip over the most difficult and play/sing the ones which are the most enjoyable. She said she disciplines herself to not give in to this flesh message, but to stay with the most difficult areas until they join the enjoyable areas. Then, and only then, can she feel free.

I recognize this type of discipline she was talking about. I have to use it in my areas of work often so others know that new learning can and is difficult at times, but well worth it if we don’t give up ahead of the victory found in mastering the lesson. It is in the music field that I still hear the voices of defeat however. My dad was vicious with his words when I sang and did well. So, when I struggle with a song’s rhythm, word memorizing, etc., I quickly want to quit because the voices scream in my head reminding me that I deserve this difficulty and will never overcome it. I know beyond a shadow of doubt where these voices originate, but in the midst of them I often walk away from the discipline rather than fight through it. I don’t talk about it either as it seems I am weak if I need to.

Well, hearing this message last night reminded me that even at 71, a new creation is to never stop facing the past when Satan is working. I know to surrender these voices to Christ, my Redeemer, and I will continue to do this. I love how God works giving us these gentle, but clear messages!

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JAN. 3, 2022

Yes, the journey continues, and with it comes the awakening to a self I’ve tried to deny existed. Of late, God has been opening my eyes to His Love and Intimacy. I better see them and accept them for myself like I’ve never been able to do. What has been awakening for me which I didn’t expect is seeing my flesh for what it is.

Being awake to the fact that I’m a new creation is wonderful. The daily significance of this is recognizing God’s Spirit within me and trusting His Spirit’s leading. However, now that I am awakening to this reality, it also places the human perspective of my flesh. With God’s Spirit being alive in me I can’t help but see clearly just how selfish my flesh is. In my past I’ve always aligned my flesh along side of my dad’s or my brother and I’d easily forgive it because it didn’t look anything like theirs. My new creation only sees my flesh/my sin for the ugliness it is. Yes, I still see dad’s and my brother, but they now own their sin and I must own mine. This process of awakening has been coming for many years, but now I am very much awake to it.

The beauty of God’s Love is that even though my flesh is selfish, His Spirit is not flesh. God sees me through His Sacrifice–Jesus Christ. He wants me to see myself this way too. I can seek forgiveness for my sin and move into completing His nudges for the day. I don’t need to linger in my past, God wants me to live in His present/presence. There is so much peace in knowing what surrender of flesh brings. God is Love and I’m learning this more and more as each day comes.

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JAN. 2, 2022

John, writer of the books of John and I, II, & III John as well as Revelation is a writer of scripture like no other. He emphasizes the Love of God and Jesus over and over. He also brings into focus the depth of what God’s Love looks like and then he goes into our response to it. I’ve always known love and intimacy go hand in hand. However, I’ve had a very narrow picture of intimacy in how I’ve lived out life.

Love is fine. I can do it keeping distance in place. Intimacy, however, seems way to close to the body and there I cringe. I know this isn’t what God wants, but it is how my body responds to proximity and I’m working to address this. This morning’s scripture reading brings into focus just how intimate God wants His Love to be known by His creation–you and me. Not only this, but He wants us to be free to give His Love in the same way He offers it to us. I need work in this area and He is pointing this out to me.

God has made us a new creation through the cleansing blood of His Son Jesus. The new creation never becomes old either for Christ’s cleansing blood flows through us continuously. It is hitting this area of love/intimacy for me. My body may be getting old, but God wants my spirit to be free to receive His Love/Intimacy and free to offer it. New assignment!

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: JAN. 1, 2022

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I am happy the year is new. The happiness wants to fade if I reflect for a minute what is coming into 2022 from 2021. However, my scripture reading this morning puts perspective to it. In I John 3, John talks about the world not receiving us believers because they simply don’t know and believe what we do believe. Thus, they deny us as credible and even/often condemn us for our beliefs. Well, my goodness, 2000 years ago this was already happening and it is still happening today. So, I am not going to let all of this destroy my hope and beliefs. Instead, I will continue to live for Jesus and to walk in the Light His Spirit sheds for each and every day.

In my post yesterday I wrote about living with The Spirit’s leading. This morning as I journaled I felt led by Christ’s voice to take a look at yesterday. In so doing I could easily see that as they day went on I shifted from Spirit-leading to self-leading. I’ve often thought that this shift happened without my ability to do anything about it. Yet, as I look at yesterday I can be much more aware of this. It simply means staying connected to God’s Spirit within. I feel like a babe at this, but I want this to grow within me. I take the quote from the Serenity Prayer and repeat it today for it speaks how I create this new way of living each day–“Take one day at a time, one moment at a time, and then, accept any hardship as a pathway to peace.”

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: DEC. 31, 2021

Today ends the journey of 2021, but the journey itself continues. As it does I want to mentally stop and take some time to reflect on this past season. Yesterday was such an up and down day starting at 3:45 am to take our kids to the airport. At 10:15 am we drove through the snow storm so I could officiate the wedding of a dear friend who was marrying again after a long season of singleness. At 3;00 pm our grandson had a basketball tournament and then at 5:00 pm I needed to be at our church for Celebrate Recovery’s worship practice. It all happened and I simply wanted all of it to end so I could get home and sit down to relax.

At CR one of our leaders challenged the group to take time to set the goal/s for this coming year. I use to be very good at doing this and, for the most part, keeping them to some extent. However, as I began my time of devotion/journaling this morning I found myself asking Jesus what goal/s He had for me/us? It was amazing to listen to what I never expected to hear. He first reminded me He is my Redeemer. He has been my Healer as I’ve let go of trying to control what He healed. He reminded me that I am learning to rely more on TRUST and BELIEVING coupled with FAITH rather than relying on self-discipline. Christ’s greatest reminder was to take what the Serenity Prayer instructs: “Take one day at a time, One moment at a time, and then, accept any hardship as a pathway to peace. ”

I’ve never asked Jesus what my goals should be for starting a new year. I’ve always looked at this time for telling Him what I wanted to do and be for Him in the coming year. I’m going to build upon His Wisdom this coming year. What a REDEEMER we have in our Lord Jesus Christ!

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: DEC. 30, 2021

I am very late getting this written today. I was up at 3:45 am to take our kids to the airport and when I returned I hit the bed again. However, after having my devotions and reading the the first chapter of I John I couldn’t help but write a note. I’ve always known John as the author who writes about Jesus as Light and Truth. What stands out this morning is that the Light and Truth of Jesus is so much more than I’ve always thought it to be. Jesus is Light, yes and Jesus is Truth, yes. This applies to our friendship with Him so that we can know, trust and believe Him fully. It also applies to ourselves. His Light shows us where He wants us to go and do as well as when we are to pause and wait. Along with this, He shows us what He wants surrendered within us–those dark places we have never wanted to admit were there. His Light reveals TRUTH and TRUST. We can tell Him the truth and trust His cleansing BLOOD to heal us when we never thought that could happen.

This is so true for me and I never want to do anything but PRAISE HIM for this! How Glorious our God, His Son and His Spirit are!

THE JOURNEY CONTINUES: DEC. 29, 2021

The days have been packed with activity since everyone arrived. Today will be no different. However, tomorrow morning at 4:15 am I’ll head to the airport to take the Oklahoma kids for their flight home. It is always bitter/sweet but reflecting on the enjoyment of everyone’s togetherness makes it all worthwhile.

II Peter only has 3 chapters in it. The second and third ones focus a good deal on appreciating God’s timing. We often want something and ask God for it to take place, develop, stop happening, etc. However, I often forget to ask God to redirect my thinking to His timing if I am out of sync with His Will. Today was a good reminder for me. As much as I may think something is right, I never want to step away from God’s perfect Will.