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Feb 5, 2017

Hope in Christ

Hope. Some describe it as optimistic expectation. Others refer to it as wishing or dreaming. It's been said that hope is not a plan and that it is not something you should base your life on. On the contrary, as followers of Jesus Christ we know that hope is strong and that our hope is in Him.

Hope in Christ allows the heart to move forward and beat another day. Hope is powerful. It motivates, mobilizes and transcends. With hope in Christ you can face the world in confidence knowing that God is in control and all is well.

The world may beat at your soul and cause you to be dishearten, concerned or wondering if you can make it through what is before you. Do not give in to the thought of being less than hopeful. Pause. Take a breath. Focus your mind, heart and soul on Jesus. Tell him what is going on and then listen. Be still. Trust Him. Thank Him. Then get up and go on, one step and then another in full and unshaken confidence that Jesus Christ is leading you and has your best interest in mind. He is the God of hope and in Him you are blessed.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Jan 15, 2017

Jesus Matters

What really matters anyway?  Family, friends, health, travel, work or business, and God could be potential responses to this questions. The real answer lies in the details of your life. Stop and consider how you spend your time. If you count up the hours in a day or week and list how they were spent you will quickly find the answer to what matters in your life. 

In the New Testament we are provided several examples when the answer to, "what really matters anyway?", is clearly not Jesus. Perhaps your life demonstrates otherwise. These examples are provided to point out what could get in the way of Jesus in your life.

- In Matthew 19:20-22, a young rich man asks Jesus what he needs to do to follow him. Jesus instructed the man to sell his possession and give them to the poor and then follow Jesus. The rich man determined he could not do this and let his wealth keep him from following Jesus. Perhaps you too find that your need to provide for your family absorbs you with no time left for God.

 In Luke 10:38-42, we learn that Martha let busyness and distraction keep her from hearing the word of God and being in the presence of Jesus, even as he was right there with her in the flesh! How much more easily is it for you to be distracted from Jesus and the Word with all the distractions in your life?

We learn in all four Gospels about the way Peter denied Jesus, just as Jesus had told him he would. Fear, embarrassment and not wanting to be different and singled out, Peter denied Christ three times. This may be something you have experienced in your own life that keeps you from sharing, acknowledging and fully living in Christ.

Let these examples open your eyes, heart and mind to just a few ways that the enemy may deter you from following Jesus and having Him be what really matters in your life. Stay steady in prayer and guard your time so that Jesus is not an after thought or add on to your life, but rather the essence of all your are.

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me." Matthew 16:24

Dec 31, 2016

New Year in Christ

10, 9, 8, 7 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1....you are off and on the way. It's a New Year's! As is customary there will be resolutions claimed, promises proclaimed and plans laid out for the year. Change, new direction, re-establishing relationships, and the ever popular return to fitness, will lead the list. Humans feel more in control setting a path as the old year fades away to the future. Most best laid plans for the New Year pursued in your human strength quickly fall by the wayside, tattered and disposed in exchange for what real life brings. 

Perhaps this year can be different. Maybe for once you can relinquish "control" to God and follow the path He points you to. His plan are perfect in comparison and hold so much more. If you can, you may be surprised at the blessings awaiting you. So many others before you trusted Him in complete faith and were totally awe struck when they followed Him. Abraham, David, Esther, Ruth, Mary and Paul, to name a few, all found God's path to hold more blessings than any they could have set. Perhaps this year you can too. May this New Year lead you to a closeness in Jesus that brings you peace, health, grace, love and sets you on a journey for the most blessed year ever.

Happy New Year!

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways ny ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9

Dec 25, 2016

Christmas Presence

It's here! Do you sense the excitement in the air? The Lord Jesus is having a birthday and everyone is invited to celebrate. There is no need for a special invitation and you are not required to RSVP. The invitation is open to the entire world. Now that is a huge birthday celebration!

This is the most incredible event of the entire year - it is Christmas present.
Many will celebrate with strings of lights and colorful trees filled up with beautiful ornaments. Others will bring in the day with carols and sharing the wishes of Merry Christmas. The most popular way to celebrate is with gifts. Gifts large and small, handmade and store bought, baked and assembled with love, will be exchanged. 

Presents are wonderful but the very best part of Christmas is being with those you love. There is no better gift than the gift of presence; the shepherds new this timeless secret. Though they were poor they paid tribute to the Christ Child with their presence and praise. This Christmas may your heart be filled with love and may you be blessed to be in the presence of those that matter most to you.

Merry Christmas Present From The Daily Journey

Dec 3, 2016

Waiting on Christmas

This time of year, as we await Christmas, it gives us a chance to reflect on the meaning of Christmas and of waiting. If you are like most people you spend a lot of time waiting. There are red lights, traffic, checkout lines, appointments, and the really long wait for Christmas. Waiting is no fun at all. However, it sometimes is necessary. Waiting can be frustrating and in some cases, make you lose your patience. Waiting also can be necessary. It may be there to benefit you or to benefit someone else. Waiting may be something that is a wise thing to do in certain situations or may be purposeful even when the reason is not evident. 

I recently attended an invitation only celebration and memorial. All the guests were seated and the host began speaking to begin the program and welcome the hundred or more guests. The woman seated in from of me began talking and continued talking to a couple seated next to her. It was very distracting and I thought very rude. I waited for a few minutes wondering if I should say something to the woman to alert her to the fact that the host was speaking and she was causing distraction for those seated around her. Was I ever glad I wait to say anything and gave it some time. It turned out the woman was a translator for two of the guest that did not speak English. She was just doing her job to help them feel honored.

The next day I was driving and stopped to make a turn on a green light when I saw a man in a wheelchair beginning to cross the street with his dog running along side him. Of course I waited and it took them some time to cross the street. I could see in my rear view mirror that the woman behind me was getting frustrated. The man crossing was hidden from her view and she was likely thinking I was just not paying attention and wasting her time. She could not see that we needed to wait so the man and his dog could cross the street safely.The wait was definitely for his benefit and very necessary.

We are all waiting for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to return. Most of us wonder what is taking Him so long. We are ready and are eyes are seeking Him in the clouds. Waiting for Christmas teaches us that just like we wait to celebrate His birth so long ago in a manger, we wait for Him to return. Perhaps the waiting and the time that is passing seems long and unnecessary. In reality, it is part of God's plan so that there is time for many that might come to know Jesus to actually do that and join God's family. See, the wait may not be for you. The wait is to benefit others. Your job is to be patients and spread the gospel while you wait.

2 Peter 3:9  The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but  is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.