Plans

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Yep! I planned to start my day with some tea and relaxing on the porch in prayer. Of course, the rest of the day was mapped out as well. The straight line to the end of the day. I love the image above – it’s so reality. Unfortunate but true. Today my day started with a huge poop on the carpet from my dog. He was sleeping on his bed on the hard wood floors, however, felt the best place to make a mess was on the carpet. Ugh. Nothing tastes good after cleaning up poop. For now, tea is on the backburner.

How did your day start? Could you pivot when it started differently than expected? Maybe it started better than expected. Or did it start like me – a huge mess to clean up? Here we are. 7 am and the day before us. The crisis or distraction nipping at our heels. How do we regroup and refocus?

I’m going to go make my tea anyway and sit on my porch with God. I need it even more today. I need it every day whether I think I do or not. Some days, I know I need it. The days I don’t, I still spend that time. It’s a rhythm in my life that brings me peace and focus on God and His plans for my day. If I don’t, it’s a tougher day. If you haven’t yet set up a rhythm in your life to connect with God daily, now is the day.

If your morning was bad, you are all in on what I’m talking about. If your morning was fine, you may just put this off until tomorrow. Don’t. Time with God every morning is critical. It may be midday before plans derail. It may not happen at all. If you don’t connect with our Creator, the One who loves you no matter what, you aren’t living each day to the fullest. Time with Him is time well spent. 5 minutes or 30 minutes. Just do it! Start finding your daily rhythm with God.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Tea on the porch
  • Praying while exercising
  • Listen to a worship song and sing along, end with a time of prayer
  • Read the Bible and ponder what you read
  • Listen to a sermon from another church and apply the teaching in your life
  • Write a verse on a notecard and read it daily for an entire week

Some days you enjoy the straight road to the finish line. Most days have some type of dip in the road. All days are better when started with God.

Come near to God and he will come near to you.  ~ James 4:8a NIV

God is near to you always. When we draw near to Him, we will find Him. Find your rhythm with Him today.

Dream Big! Pray Big!

Father’s Day

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Yesterday was Father’s Day! I am so glad I got to see my dad and spend the morning with him. We watched some soccer, ate lunch on the patio and just chatted. My dad is 89 and is now a widower. We all miss mom but he is missing his wife of nearly 65 years. He is doing fine an adapting. The loss is huge. Some of you are facing your first Father’s Day without your dad. I’m so very sorry. That was my Mother’s Day this year. Others are estranged from their dads for a variety of reasons. That’s a tough one too. So once again, we face a holiday with mixed emotions. Whatever your day held, you have access to the best dad in the world – the universe – anywhere – and that dad is God.

 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”  So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. – Galatians 4:4-7 NIV

You are God’s child. You can call Him Daddy or Abba which means father. What a gift! If your earthly father rocks or not, your heavenly father definitely does! He loves you so much He sent His son to pay the penalty for your sin/disobedience and to restore relationship with Him. God wants you to be His child. He adores you.

Keep me as the apple of your eye;
    hide me in the shadow of your wings – Psalm 17:8 NIV

I love that verse. It says God loves me so much. I’m the apple of His eye. He’s my daddy. My protector. My safe place. Don’t we need that these days. We need a safe place to curl up and be loved. We find that place in the arms of our Father, God. Let’s do that more. Curl up with God. Get in a comfy place and pray. Find a quiet place and read His Word. Close your eyes and reach out to Him and tell Him about your day.

Happy Father’s Day to the best dad ever! Tell Him you love Him today.

Dream Big! Pray Big!

Kindness

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How can you show kindness this week? We all are going to need it. Starting tomorrow, June 15 in California, life will return to “normal.” Masks will be optional in many places and the number of people allowed in a store and social distancing will be removed. I went to the grocery store today and Albertsons already had removed all the signs on the floor marking 6 feet intervals. Guess what? Many people will be ecstatic, BUT others are going to be petrified. We need kindness this summer.

  • Offer space to someone even though you don’t have to
  • Wear a mask if someone asks you to
  • Be patient in line at the store
  • If unmasked – SMILE – it’s been a while since we’ve seen it
  • Don’t judge someone who isn’t vaccinated – you don’t know his/her story

In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets. ~ Matthew 7:12 NASB

Let’s assume you are a shoeless home. When people enter your home, they remove shoes. I live in a community where most homes do this. When I arrive at their home, I remove my shoes before entering. I respect the rules of their home. I even bring slippers sometimes so I can put those on after removing my shoes. Most of you have probably encountered a home with this rule.

Let’s assume you are still a masked home when visitors are present. As you remove your shoes freely, put on your mask freely. It’s a house rule. You need to respect the rules of this friends’ home. It’s no different. You may disagree. You may be vaccinated and want to argue…OR you can show kindness and put on your mask.

Divisions are going to be heightened as people associate as vaccinated vs. non-vaccinated. Mask wearers vs. non-mask wearers. Let it go. Be kind. Honor the wishes of those you are with. When you are with friends who don’t wear masks, do what you want to do. When you are with friends who still wear masks, extend kindness. It’s that simple.

Dream Big! Pray Big!

Graduation

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My daughter just graduated high school. Proud mommy moment. Let me brag for a few minutes about her – she is a salutatorian, in CSF and NHS and won sportswoman of the year for her school. Most of all, she’s a great human being and everyone who knows her, loves her. Many of you may be attending graduations or graduating yourself. It’s the season. Graduation is completion of academic study and the giving of an award to acknowledge that achievement. As Christians, while we are on earth, we never graduate.

We are to continue to learn and study God’s Word for our whole life. We will never fully understand it all until we arrive in heaven and gain full understanding. I want to encourage us to be life long learners of God’s Word. You don’t have to take Hebrew or Greek or study apologetics. Just read a bit every day. Let the truth run around your head a bit. Let it settle into your heart. Yesterday I reread the 23rd Psalm in the Message translation. It spoke to me in a new way. A new translation brought light to a Psalm I know by heart. God’s Word is always dynamic.

For those of you who say, I don’t have time to study His Word. Truth is, you don’t have time not to. You can read a verse when you wake up and ponder it through the day. You can have a verse a day calendar on your desk. You can have a calendar with a verse on it and focus on that through the whole month. You can even memorize it. When you have a day with extra time, dive deeper, journal about it, pray about it, and/or discuss it with a friend.

Christians don’t graduate or retire. We are active learners and servers for our entire lives. We are here to bring glory to God, draw close to Him and help others develop a relationship with Him. You can do that for your entire lifetime. Never stop learning. Never stop growing. Never stop reaching out to Him and others.

Dream Big! Pray Big!