photo (24)We can find in life that we feel empty, so we try to feed our souls with all sorts of things such as romance, status, the accumulation of money or things. The truth is these things are temporal and only last for a while. What we are made for is lasting; we were made for unconditional love.

God made us in His image which makes us intrinsically valuable. He shaped and fashioned us for love, healthy relationships and mission. He plucked us from eternity and placed us on earth to grow, develop, flourish and thrive.

When the world became upside down and we lost our way, God never gave up on us. He sent His precious only son to earth for us. Love Incarnate dwelt amongst us. He embraced us, healed us and set us free. He gave His life for you and me, so we could become children of God.

As we receive Jesus we become children of our Heavenly Father upon whom He lavishes His love. This love is radical, relentless, extravagant and unconditional. Now when we feel empty we can go to  prayer and receive a fresh outpouring of this unfailing love. As we fill ourselves up, we will walk restored and whole and be led into the purpose and plans that God has had for us since the beginning of time.

Genesis 1:26-28, John 3:16, 1 John 4:8, Ephesians 2:10

ViewtyWe can become discouraged in life when our dreams do not come to pass when we think they should. We can want to give up on our destiny. However, the truth is the plans that God has for us will take longer than we expect, be greater than we dreamed and impact more people than we could imagine.

The Bible is full of ordinary people who prayed to an extraordinary God and saw their lives radically changed. Joseph was hated by his brothers and sold into slavery and he became second in command of all of Egypt. Esther was an orphan in a country not her own and she became queen over that country. Ruth was a widow in a strange land and she married the most sought after bachelor, Boaz. David was a shepherd who stood up to a giant and became King over Israel. Saul was the chief persecutor of the Church of Jesus Christ and he became Paul, the chief apostle to the faith.

All of these people had one thing in common: An omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent King of the Universe who was there for them, who never gave up on them and in His perfect timing catapulted them into their destiny.

As we receive Jesus Christ into our hearts, we come into relationship with the God of Hope. We become children of God upon whom the Father lavishes His love. Now when we feel hopeless, we can come boldly to the throne room of grace for help in time of need; and receive peace that transcends understanding, fullness of joy and a confident expectation of good.

As we stay focused on the Altogether Lovely One we will find that we are being transformed from the inside out. As we stay seated and at rest in Jesus, we will find that He orchestrates our circumstances to our advantage. As we trust in Jesus and His perfect timing we will find that we begin to effortlessly step into all that God has for us to do and be.

Ephesians 3:20, Ecclesiastes 3:11, Hebrews 4:16, 1 John 3:1,  Philippians 4:9, Psalm 16:11, 2 Corinthians 3:18, Romans 8:28, Romans 15:13, Romans 12:2 (MSG)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn life we can be bogged down with many problems and issues. We can be so discouraged that we consider giving up. The truth is, the challenges we face don’t have to stop us, they can make us.

God built us to grow, develop, flourish and thrive. He created us for an intimate connection with Him. We are significant because we bear His image and in our DNA are His purpose and plans.

Even when we lost our way and wanted nothing to do with God, He never gave up on us. Love Incarnate came to earth and embraced us, healed us, and set us free. Jesus gave His life in exchange for ours so we can be forever connected to our Heavenly Father.

As we receive Jesus in our heart we have endless life. Now when the obstacles and challenges come, we can go the throne room of grace in time of need. We can know that God is with us, for us and on our side.

As we run head on to whatever obstacles oppose us, we will find the abundant supply of grace that causes us to soar over them. Our challenges will be our food, and we will find as we overcome every one, we will grow into the conqueror we were made to be.

Numbers 14:9, Genesis 1:26-28, John 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:16

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn life we can face insurmountable odds. We can be tempted to give up on our dreams, our purpose and our destiny. The truth is, anything worth having is worth fighting for.

God created us for love, relationship and mission. He shaped and fashioned us uniquely in HIs image and placed us on the earth to steward His purpose. When the world became upside down and we were disconnected from God, He never gave up on us.

God put into place a plan by sending His only son to earth to rescue us. Jesus left Heaven for earth and moved into the neighborhood. Jesus who is full of grace and truth came to save us not condemn us.

Jesus overcame the world by laying down His life for ours in exchange. He gave us the right to become children of God. As we receive Jesus and His finished work on the cross we not only become children of God, we become more than conquerors in Him who loves us.

Now we can ask the question: if God is for us, who can be against us? Whatever odds we face pale in comparison to God’s radical love for us. If God would not spare His own son for us, then what else would He not do for us? As we keep our focus on the Altogether Lovely One, we will find the ease and grace that we need to step into all that God has created for us to do and be.

Genesis 1:26-28, John 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 8:32-8:38,

Romans 12:2 (MSG), Romans 5:17-18

photo (22)In life we can play it safe and never take risks. If we never take risks then we will be sure not to fail, but we also will be sure never to succeed at anything important.

One day while Jesus was ministering to the crowds, He sent the disciples ahead of Him on a boat to the other side of Galilee. Jesus climbed the mountain to spend time in prayer with His Father.

After a while the boat was far from the shore and Jesus walked towards the disciples on the water. When the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water they cried in fear thinking that He was a ghost. He told them not to be afraid and identified Himself.

Peter called out to Jesus and said that if it is you Lord, command me to come out to you. Jesus said “Come.” As Peter kept his eyes on Jesus he walked on the water. However, Peter began to feel the wind and looked at the waves, and then he began to sink.

Peter cried out for help and Jesus pulled him out of the water and saved him. They got back in the boat and Jesus asked Peter why he went back and forth between following Him and fear. The disciples were amazed and worshiped Jesus. They acknowledged that this must be the Son of God.

As long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus he was able to defy gravity. As we daily cultivate our relationship with Jesus in prayer, we will be led by His beautiful Spirit. The purpose and plans that God has for us will always seem bigger than we can imagine.

As we keep our eyes on the Altogether Lovely One we will soar over obstacles and challenges. We will be led into the “super abundantly above, all that we can think, hope, or imagine,” because with our God all things are possible.

Matthew 14:22-34 (The Voice), 2 Corinthians 3:18,

Romans 12:2 (MSG), Ephesians 3:20, Matthew 19:26

photo (26)In the beginning we had a God-kind of life. God shaped us and fashioned us in His image. He placed us on the planet to steward His purpose.

Tragically the world fell and became upside down. We were on our own to find our way in life without a connection to God. God look to us and saw His image. As a loving parent looks upon His child, God loved us. His love could not give up on us so He sent His only son to earth to rescue us.

Love became flesh and moved into the neighborhood. The exact representation of the glory of God revealed His heart for people to us. Jesus loved us, embraced us, healed us and set us free. He laid down His life for you and me, so we could be restored to God’s endless life that we had in the beginning.

As we receive Jesus into our hearts, we are connected to the life source and we receive the Holy Spirit as our seal of guarantee. The beautiful Spirit of God is our guide and He leads us into all truth. God is now in us, with us, for us and on our side. No matter the circumstances we face or the obstacles that come against us, we cannot lose because God plus one is always the majority.

Genesis 1:26-28, John 3:16, John 1:1-18, Hebrews 1:3, 2 Corinthians 1:22, Romans 8:32

Vintage photo of dandelion field in sunsetIn life we can get caught up in climbing the ladder to success. If we do not take a moment to evaluate where we are and where we are heading, we may get to the top of ladder and realize it is on the wrong house.

There were two sisters who were very close to Jesus. Mary and Martha were expecting Jesus to visit their house. When Jesus arrived Martha continued to serve Jesus while Mary sat with the rabbis at His feet.

Martha became indignant. She was frustrated with Mary for not helping her, and frustrated with Jesus for not sending Mary away. Martha rebuked Jesus for not sending Mary to help her. Jesus told Martha that she was worried about many things, but Mary had chosen the one thing, which is the better, and it would not be taken from her.

Later in the Gospels when Jesus was headed to the cross Mary brought a costly anointing oil and poured it over Jesus. Again a disciple became indignant because the oil could have been sold and the money given to the poor. Jesus rebuked him and said that ‘she did this for my burial.’

After Jesus died on the cross many women went to the grave site to anoint the Lord’s body for burial. Their hearts were in the right place, but Mary who sat at the Lord’s feet had already anointed His body; and we know that Jesus’ body wasn’t at the grave site anyway. He had already risen from the dead.

Those who sit and receive of Jesus will be led into His mighty works. As we sit and rest in our Lord Jesus, we will find that the Lord leads us into our calling and destiny. As we look to Jesus, we will be transformed from the inside out by the Spirit of God from glory to glory. As we wait upon the Lord and rest in Him, we gain strength. We will run towards all that God has made us for to do, and not grow weary.

Luke 10:38-42, Ephesians 2:10, 2 Corinthians 3:18, Isaiah 40:28-31

iStock_000027392983SmallIn life when things turn out differently than we expect we can be shaken. We can wrap all of our hope up in our own expectations and it seems to not work out. The truth is, the end of something might just be the beginning of something better.

Two disciples were walking along the road to Emmaus. They were devastated because their hope for their country’s liberation had died. Their leader Jesus of Nazareth had suffered the worse form of capital punishment, crucifixion.

They came upon a man who asked them why they were so downcast. They proceeded to tell him of all the events that led up to this day. They believed their leader Jesus was a prophet who was mighty in word and deed, who came to deliver their nation from an oppressive government. They told him how they went to the tomb and his body was missing. Some of the group said that they saw an angel and that he was alive.

The man they were speaking to was Jesus in His resurrected body, yet they did not recognize Him. He asked them why they were so foolish. He told them that the Messiah had to suffer these things and then enter the glory. Jesus began to show them Himself in the written Word. As He spoke their hearts burned within them as He opened the scriptures to them.

As they approached Emmaus Jesus was going to keep going but the two disciples asked Him to stay. So at the table Jesus broke the bread and blessed them and gave them the bread. As they took the bread their eyes were opened and they saw that it was Jesus.

As we read God’s Word and see Jesus, our hearts will burn within us as the Lord opens the scriptures to us. As we take the communion bread and drink the wine, our eyes will be open even more to who Jesus is and what Jesus has done for us. As we look to Jesus we will be transformed by the Spirit of God into His image from glory to glory.

 Just like the two disciples we can have a narrow perspective of the plan and purpose of God for our life. When something we have been a part of dies, or a season ends, we can think that our purpose ends too.

 However, that is the farthest thing from the truth. The gifts and callings of God are without revoke. As one door closes, we will find another open. God will lead us into the upward spiral towards our destiny and call, and as we take our eyes off of our natural surroundings and back onto our beautiful Lord and Savior, we will effortlessly step into the next season of our life.

Luke 24:13-35, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, Romans 11:29, Ephesians 2:10, 2 Corinthians 3:18

willamette valley closeWe can wonder what our purpose is in life. We try our best  just to make it through but deep down inside we know we are meant for more. The truth is we were made to shine.

God created each of us individually unique. None of us share the same fingerprints or DNA. God fashioned us with our strength, gifts, talents and abilities for the purpose He designed us for. To discover our design we need to know our designer.

God loved us so much that He made a way for us to be connected with Him and restored to our original purpose. Jesus left Heaven for earth and walked amongst us. He embraced us, healed us and set us free. He gave His life for you and me so we could be the righteousness of God in Christ.

As we focus on our glorious Savior we will begin to transform from the inside out into His beautiful image. We will begin to discover what we are on the planet for. As we reflect God’s glorious light, we will shine like the stars. We will become the grand procession of people who proclaim the good things of God.

Daniel 12:3, Psalm 139:13-15, John 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:21,

2 Corinthians 3:18, Romans 10:15

 

IMG_9911 2We can be soaring one moment and crawling the next. Circumstances change on a dime, people are fickle and resources run out. When our security rests in temporal things, we will live a topsy turvy type of existence.

We were made for eternity. God created us to bear His image and placed us in our time and location to flourish. No matter what we believe about ourselves we were made on purpose for a purpose. As we remain connected to God we can fulfill this purpose.

Instead we became lost and disconnected from the source of life. We forgot God and the purpose that He made us for. As the darkness settled in we lost our way. However, this God of love who made us would not leave us this way. His love came to earth to rescue us.

Jesus left Heaven for Earth. He became flesh and moved into the neighborhood. To understand our struggles He felt what we feel daily and was tempted in every way but without sin. He suffered in every way possible. Jesus laid down His life for you and me so we could receive His identity as the “beloved child of God.”

As we receive Jesus into our hearts, we can be fully restored to our original purpose. As we abide in Christ we can soar over challenges and obstacles into our destiny. As we remain in our Father God’s love, we will find our security remains in the eternal not the temporal. No matter the outside conditions of our life, we can live with inner peace, sustainable joy and a confident expectation of good.

Hebrews 12:27, Ecclesiastes 3:11, Psalm 139:13-15, John 3:16, John 1-1:18, Hebrews 4:15, 2 Corinthians 5:21

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