Father’s Day

Father’s Day. This is one of those holidays that holds much joy and sorrow. Joy over getting to honor the dads in our lives. And sorrow for all that is lost. One of our dear friends just buried her dad. It’s going to be a rough day. For a surprising number of us, it’s a tender day with precious memories long gone. For other’s it’s an awkward day spent wondering if anyone will celebrate them as a dad. Imperfection has a way of causing the men in our lives to cringe away from the desire to celebrate.

For some the loss has nothing to do with the death of a father. It’s the death of the dream of Wally and Beaver’s dad or some other television characterized version of the best dads. What do we do with today and it’s large commercial version vs the reality of unmet expectations in life?

Oh beloved, you may have had the worst dad ever. Let’s be truthful. Some of you had alcoholic dads, abusive fathers, elusive emotionally distant men. You wanted so much more. You still do. And this holiday may wreck you as you remember what you didn’t have.

But listen, beloved, God wants you to know that He is the Father to the fatherless, hopeless, angry, unfulfilled people today. He is the one who will meet all your needs. Dads really can’t – not even the best of them. But you beloved, as a child of the Most High God, can rejoice in what you do have instead of raging against what you don’t have. The rage you may be feeling for the long unmet needs or wants cannot compare to the love of God and how He longs to pour His love into your heart and mind. Today is a good day to forgive and forget. Forgive the misdeeds of the man who may be long gone by now. And forget about what isn’t. It’s time for you to live for what is. You can honor your father no matter what – being kind, speaking life, praying God’s word over him and seeking God’s face on your earthly father’s behalf. Imperfect dads are raised by imperfect dads who were raised by imperfect fathers. But as you forgive and break free from the spiritual strongholds of the memories you can’t cherish, you change the atmosphere for your generation and the future generations who come after you. You can give all your anxiety to your heavenly Father, knowing that He cares for you. You can pour out your disappointments to the King of Kings who always leads you in triumph in Christ. And when fitted with the armor of God instead of the past mistakes of fathers in your life, you won’t continue to be shot by the fiery darts of the enemy who only wants you to remember the worst and the most hurtful things in your life, especially today.

God loves you and He’s for you. Celebrate who you are in Christ, honor your living father, pray without ceasing for the one you call dad. Roll your cares and hurts and deepest painful memories onto the God who can handle it all and heal every single spot. And then live free in the Light of the Love of the Savior and the manifestation of Holy Spirit residing in your heart.

Ephesians 6:2-3 “Honor your father and mother.” This is the first commandment with a promise: “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

Psalm 103:13 Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.

I Corinthians 13:1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

Philippians 4:19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

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Who Supplies Your Needs?

I’m getting close to retirement – at least closer than I’ve ever been before. Still it’s nice every once in a while, to be asked if you’d like to work somewhere else. Not planning to go anywhere, but opportunity still knocks occasionally. The idea of being appreciated for my years of service and experience feels good. I just can’t move on feelings nor can I make any decisions based on just the money. I enjoy where I am and I am blessed to work in an excellent atmosphere with good people. And I cannot even leave out that the same God who opened the door to where I am has kept me there for more years than I even imagined.

Oh beloved, you’re wondering this morning if you even matter. Maybe it’s in your field of work or your home. Maybe both. You’ve worked long and hard to achieve and yet you keep wondering if anyone notices. You may feel that, even if you are at home, your work goes unnoticed. Overworked, underpaid, passed over, slighted, uninvited, unimportant, unfulfilled – all these thoughts run through your mind. God wants you to know this morning that regardless of what you do with your life, it’s time to stop and remember who you really work for and who really takes care of all your needs. Your job is not to find yourself, but to lose yourself for the work of the Lord in your office, in the assembly line, in your home or wherever you find yourself. Your job, in all reality, is to abide in Christ – everything else is God’s job. Yes, it’s okay to be promoted, change jobs or careers or even find something worthwhile to do as a stay at home woman of God (or man). But don’t ever forget that abiding in Christ is your super power! Keep that in the forefront of your mind and your heart will follow. You aren’t the sum of your feelings; you are the exact representation of Christ in your sphere of influence in the world today. You are important and valuable to the Lord no matter what.

God loves you and He’s for you. All problems should be directed to Him – He is your spiritual resource person. He is your faithful provider. He is the One who will provide all you ever need. He will even prompt you if there’s a change you need to experience where you are. Remember, He will never lead you into temptation. He will protect, provide and promote you wherever you go. So run to Him this morning, give Him your heart and your feelings and live in the Light of His wonderful, amazing, never failing provision for your life!

Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply your every need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus

Matthew 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him

Psalm 124:8 Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 31:19 How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear you. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world.

John 15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me.

Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen. AMP

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Focus on the Joy

We had a great weekend camping with three of our grands. We fished, swam, watched movies, snacked, laughed, played cards, colored and did a scavenger hunt just to name a few of the things we did. The fishing wasn’t very productive. When we fished it was down to one grandson hanging on for hope. He kept getting a bite and returning fresh bait to the same spot. Finally, he caught something! He knew it was big! He held on for all his might and drug his prize onto the shore. It was a turtle!

We all worked together and got the captive loosed so he could swim away. Now that turtle wasn’t the exciting thing a fish would have been. Caleb persevered and only caught a turtle. But he wasn’t a bit unhappy. He was thrilled! He focused on the excitement rather than the disappointment.

My precious friend Kathy comes to mind this morning. She is returning from a ministry trip to Viet Name. It was glorious. But she would never have made that trip had her husband lived. Prayed for the healing of her husband long and hard. But she didn’t let his death stop her from being blessed to minister across the globe.

Oh beloved, you’ve persevered long and hard. But what you’ve experienced hasn’t always been the prize you hoped for. We all know how that feels. Praying fervently for one thing only to find another – something we aren’t even sure we wanted. It’s true that things don’t always work out as perfectly as you want them to. Along with all the fun we had on our campout, we also had a few mishaps along the way. It was an imperfect event. If I focus on those imperfect moments, I will be just sad and concerned on how I can make it better next time.

But God says to you and me – just enjoy. I AM that I AM. It’s my pleasure to give you keys to kingdom living. It’s my blessing to walk you into every good opportunity. Focus on the gifts not the lacks. Look at the blessings not the disapproval you often put on yourself. Sure, there will be less than stellar moments. But I work all things together for good. I give you the desires of your heart right in the midst of heartbreak. You have nothing to condemn yourself about for there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Just enjoy the gifts of time I give you and make the most of them.

God loves you and He’s for you. Relax. Release. Rejoice. Laugh off the funk of being human. Run to the Father and thank Him for the day where you are – and enjoy it! And live, beloved, in the Light of His overwhelming, amazing love and plans for your life!

I Timothy 6:17 …but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

Romans 8:1 So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

Psalm 47:1 Come, everyone! Clap your hands! Shout to God with joyful praise!

Romans 8:34 Who is there to condemn us? For Christ Jesus, who died, and more than that was raised to life, is at the right hand of God–and He is interceding for us.

Psalm 98:4 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.

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The Rich Life

We’ve taken our maiden voyage in the RV. Camping is more like Glamping now. It reminds me of our first camping trip- in the back of my hubby’s panel wagon. And then there are the years in a dome tent followed by years in a larger family tent. Along the way we upgraded to a fold out motorcycle camper. All that roughing it was fun. This is great! But we know that every stage of our life has been a gift of God , not ours to take lightly. And whatever we’ve had we’ve always enjoyed the blessings.

Oh beloved, you’ve been roughing it a long time. It’s time for an upgrade. It’s time to move off the ground and into the spacious place. There is more to life than this. Your troubles aren’t where you need to camp out. Remembering your past mistakes is a hard way to camp. Wishing for a better whatever won’t move you into better accommodations. The devil wants you to act poorly, walk in a spirit of poverty and never move on.

God says find Me and find true riches, blessing and honor. The riches of God increases your inner peace and rest. The blessing of the Jesus life adds joy and takes away sorrow. The honor of God shows you to live like a true child of the King. You may be called to give it all to your calling but you won’t have to take a spirit of lack with you.

God loves you and He’s for you. His accommodations of the Spirit are yours- freedom to enjoy what He gives you and freedom to give up worry about anything. Run to Him this morning and thank Him for the richest life as you walk in His Spirt through Christ’s provision for you.

Proverbs 10:22 It is the blessing of the LORD that makes rich, And He adds no sorrow to it.

Psalm 144:15 How blessed are the people who are so situated; How blessed are the people whose God is the LORD!

Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:20 “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal

2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.

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You’ve Been Stung But…

When she was about two years old, our oldest daughter picked up a bumblebee that was on her swing set. She held it in the palm of her hand and even kissed it! It all happened so quickly that I knocked the bee out of her hand and grabbed her up. Nobody wants anything like that to happen to their babies! Especially when you know what it feels like to get stung. You avoid that as best you can.

Oh beloved, when it comes to being stung, you know about it. You’ve experienced the sting of rejection, the bite of betrayal and the nip of animosity. You are now trying to avoid these things at all costs.

But God wants you to know this morning that He is watching over you. He wants you to know that Jesus took the sting out of life for you. And even though you may face these things again, you can live without fear of what could happen. Just like my baby girl and her bee encounter, I didn’t just say we’d never go outside again. You too cannot afford to say you will avoid life.

God also wants you to know that He has entrusted you with the ministry of reconciliation. Not to compromise your faith or your safety. Not to give in and give up. But to live in the power of Christ’s reconciliation – no longer counting our sins against us. He forgave the ones who didn’t deserve it – that’s you and me. He stepped into the danger and took the sting for us. He wants you to know that because Christ died, you can live. Because Christ lives you can experience freedom from fear and worry. You aren’t the sum of what’s happened to you. You are the glorious result of all that Christ has already done for you!

God loves you and He’s for you. Run to Him this morning, tell Him your fears if you need to. Give Him your life fresh and new. Then run out and play, work, love and live in the Light of His Glory and Grace!

2 Corinthians 5:18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation

I Corinthians 15:55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?

I John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

I John 2:16 Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did.

Psalm 1:6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous…

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