Restore

Oh how He will Restore!

#fmf

When I thought of restore, my mind immediately went to my flower garden behind my house and next to my porch.  It has always been full of beautiful things and I was looking forward to the spring when green would start popping up from the earth.  But then………… we were doing some work around the house and had to run a water line from the house to the back of the property.  The plumbers were specifically told NOT to go through the flower bed but when I came home there was a 2ft wide, 2ft deep trench dug all the way through my bed and my fountain was just thrown over on it’s side.  I had to stop and take a deep breath before I reacted.  I knew this was work that had to be done and if anyway possible for it to be done without this painful process and the up rooting of things, I knew it would happen.  But there wasn’t anyway to accomplish what was needed without working through the ugly first.  So I breathed deep and I did the work necessary to restore my flower beds.  Thankfully it wasn’t really that much because most everything in there were perennials and the digging wasn’t as painful for them as it was for me.

Then the thought jumped to myself.  The restoration process of myself hasn’t been that easy.  I had to dig through some pretty tough roots and clean away some pretty thick weeds to find restoration.

Acts 3:19-21

Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.

He did that for me. He gave me the strength to keep digging. Raking away the old and filling in with the new.

Psalm 51:12

Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.

Believing in His restoring power, I trusted, I waited and I believed it would come.

Matthew 6:33

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Hosea 6:1

“Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.

When we set out to restore something, it’s not always to make it like it was before.  I find that comforting.  I’m able to take old, unusable things and make them useful and beautiful again.

Jesus did the same with me.  He restored me to a new me.  A better me.  A happier me.  A more grateful me.  A more confident me.  A more willing me.  He restored me into a me who was more like Him.  I’m not perfect and will not be until the day I sit by His side but until that day He will continue the restoration process in me.

Lord without You my life would not be as beautiful. I am so thankful that You never gave up on me.  I know that you had to take some very deep breaths at times but You waited until that perfect moment, You allowed me to drudge through hard stuff and heal.  You are my strength and my shield forever.  Amen!

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Fly

I not only want to fly away at times, I also want to soar!

#fmf

We find many ways of flying.  Getting that feeling of being higher than others.  The feeling of being free, faster, better and more equipped.  We do that in many fashions.

Excelling in our schooling, careers and positions

Abusing drugs, sex and alcohol

Placing ourselves at a higher status level with bigger homes, expensive cars and elaborate things

We miss use or abuse the things that are here on earth to elevate ourselves to fly high out of our heads or over the heads of others, we are heading for a crash that we may not survive.

If only we would realize that the only way to really fly and soar with great power is to allow God to provide our strength and endurance, our honor and our might.  He will show us if we trust how to fly with integrity and might, being able to bring others to Him and give grace and mercy, preparing others to fly.

but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Then there will be allowed time for rest.
I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.
Lord, let me lean on You and You alone.  Amen!
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Return

#fmf

For anyone that has a prodigal return to them will understand the joy and love that is in abundance within them.  I for one have had that! When you have had a parent, spouse, child or friend so far away from you that your heart hurts and the fear is strong, you get it!

Same goes for the parable in the bible where the son was lost.  Did he say things that were hurtful?  Did he do things that were harmful?  Did he suffer?  Did those he left behind cry out? Yes is the answer to all those questions.

Luke 15:11-32 (Read for yourself)

Yes, he was wrong but the love the father has for him was stronger than any wrong that he could do.

God has that same love for us!

Some may not understand that love, they may question your allegiance to them.  But until they understand that unconditional love, they can never give it.

Luke 15:31-32  “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

God’s love is so great that we can leave Him and do unimaginable things but when we return to Him with a heart of repentance His love is still great!

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom. 5:8

As the water always returns to the shore, may we go through ours days and sleep through our nights, let us wake each morning and return to Him.

Lord, help me remember Your love for me each day.  Never wandering too far!  Help me show others the love You have and if it’s the first time they have met You or a time to return to You, let them know Your love.  Amen!

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Pause

#fmf

When would you like to just pause?

1 John 4:1

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

From the moment our feet hit the floor, most of use have schedules to follow, places to be, people to see and things to do.  Do we ever take the time to just pause?

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Pause to listen to the trees wrestling

Pause to smell the flowers on the side of the road

Pause to skip a rock across the water

Pause to hug a child

Pause to watch the butterfly move gently from flower to flower

Pause to see the bee drink up the sweetness

Pause to breath deeply

Pause to consider the words before the leave the mouth

Pause to give a smile of encourgement

Pause to look at someone in the eyes so they know you truly see them

Pause to make funny faces

Pause to reminder yourself of your blessings

Pause to consider your next step

Pause to be in the moment

Pause to hear the heart of another

Pause to read a poem

Pause to jump in a puddle

Pause to play with a rollie pollie and remember your childhood

Pause to see what He has placed before you and jump at the opportunity

Pause to the voice of God and soak in His guidance

Pause to ask for His forgiveness

Pause to accept His grace

Pause to remember His mercies

Pause to give Him the Glory

pause 2

I do not pause enough. Do you?

Lord help me pause today.  Help me to recognize the pause moments you give me.  Help me disconnect enough from “me” so I can pause and see others. Lord help me pause. Amen!

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Secret

#fmf

Secrets, they can bring extreme joy to your life or extreme pain.  Which one is it for you or have you carried both?

Ecclesiastes 12:14

For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.

Secrets……

I’ve kept many secrets.  Holding on to the secret of an upcoming child, of the celebration of a birthday party, of what Santa brought and many more that brought joy to my life and the lives of others.  But I’ve also had secrets of hiding my sins and of painful memories.  These secrets can eat away at our flesh, our soul and our joy. They will deteriorate the relationships you have with others and with God.

At times we are to keep secrets, things that will slander others and bring great harm.

Proverbs 11:13

Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.

Secrets…….

They are simply part of our day to day life.  But never are we to think that we are keeping secrets from God.  He already knows without us uttering a sound.  We are to rejoice with Him in our joyful secrets and we are to allow Him to heal our painful ones.  For those secrets that could slander the reputation of others, He is also the one to share those with.  He will give you wisdom on how to carry those so that the other will allow Him to heal them.

Secrets……..

They may have a purpose for a while but they are never to be kept hidden forever.

Luke 12:2

Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.

Lord, thank You for being my safe place for all my secrets.  Amen!

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Include

#fmf

I can already tell that this is going to go over my five minutes that the rules say I have to write.  But sometimes God puts more than five minutes on our hearts.  So here we go.

I love flower gardening.  This year I added an additional garden to my yard. In that garden, as in most of my others, there is a focal point and then I will add around it.  It  includes other shapes and sizes and colors to give it character and beauty.  Don’t get me wrong, when I see a field full of tall, strong standing sun flowers, they are beautiful, but after I gaze for a while, I’ve seen all that I can see.  When I saw the word for this morning, I thought of my garden.

I am the focal point of my world.  God has made be strong, standing firm on who he created me to be.  Beautiful in who I am!

Ecclesiastes 3:11

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

But if I were the only thing in my world or even if there were many of “me”, my world would be beautiful for a while but then become dull.  So I choose to include others in my life.  Those others can not be just like “me” if I desire for my world to be beautiful and full of character.  I include many others in my world, different shapes, sizes, colors and textures.  Each bringing it’s own beautiful and each teaching me how to love different. My world is all but dull because I choose to include.

John 6:37

 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.

Look around you, do you see a lot of the same?  Have you forgotten to include a little different into your world?

Lord, I want to Thank You for each and every person that you have brought into my life. All teaching me something about living, loving, facing fear & pain, growing and more about You.  Amen!

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adapt

#fmf

Ephesians 2:2

in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.

Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

How well do you adapt?  We have to adapt to many things in life, if we don’t we’ll be miserable or more miserable.  Adapting from summer to winter is the hardest for me.  I love warm weather and haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate the cold.  Truth is I hate clothes so the fewer I have to wear the better.  Coats are simply uncomfortable.  But I must adapt!

Some can adapt easily to any situations they are put in, small crowds large crowds, picnic in the park to dinner at the Ritz and boss in business to wife and mom.  Adapting is just a way of life.    But we are not to simply adapt to the ways of the world.  We may have to live in it but we don’t have to join in.  We may need to love others but we don’t have to tag along.  We may have be here now but we want to be in eternity forever.

So don’t simply adapt, be the change for the good.

Be with me Lord daily as I adapt.  Amen!

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Stuck

#fmf

I have felt stuck.  Stuck in the muck of life!  It’s not been pretty.  Sometimes I’ve grieved being stuck in my own skin.  That is one thing that you can’t run from.   It’s ugly, it’s painful, it’s untrue and sometimes sinful!

Then I found out………….

Hebrews 12:1-2

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus died to pull us out of that muck, whatever that muck looks like.  But it’s still hard.  Hard to walk out of that abusive marriage, step away from the person that you feel love from because God would not honor that relationship,  leave a job that is over taking your life because your financial decisions have made you depend it on, unhealthy relationships, the shadow of your own past or anything that is weighing you down so that  your head can not see the face of Jesus.

I have felt that “stuck” for many different reasons until I got it!  Until I found the “ONE” that got me unstuck!  I found courage, strength, endurance, comfort, security, forgiveness, faithfulness,  peace, joy and the greatest of these is unconditional love.  Never taking my eyes off His I was able to not live in a world of “stuck” any longer.

Philippians 4:12-13

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

He who gives me strength helped me find that place and it lead me to wanting to honor Him with my life in whatever situation I was in at the time.  Learning to be content or, if needed, finding a Godly way out of that discontent.

He is my way………….. Is HE yours?  Your way out of “stuck”!

Thank you Lord Jesus! Amen!

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Turn

#fmf

Seems my life has been one big revolving door.  It started when I was young.  Experiences I had put me on a path I couldn’t find myself turning away from.  I’ve made decisions, decided which way to turn and always seemed to find my way back to the same point.  Lost!  Confused!  Shamed!  Guilted!  Sinful!  Back to the same place, didn’t matter if I turned left or right, went straight or turned around.  Back to the same place!

Then I was guided by a dear lady that loved me enough to be brave with me. Share with me the turn that I needed to make.

Isaiah 59:2

But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

I know now, the right turn to make but do I always choose it?

Isaiah 53:6

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

I have had to suffer great pain, much heart ache and some personal losses to draw closer to Him.  To understand that when ever I’m at a cross road and don’t know which way to turn, the right decision is to turn to God.  Reminding myself each time when my sin draws me away that Jesus already paid the price for me.

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Now, I come to a place where I know when I turn to Him it’s always going to be right.  I may have to wait on Him to show me my next steps but He will.

Isaiah 40:31

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

So no more revolving door for me!  I absolutely don’t always make the right decisions, don’t always take the right steps but I am aware each day that it’s a new one.  A new day to draw closer.  A new day to turn to Him and allow the Holy Spirit to guide me.  A new day to let His grace and the sacrifice that Jesus made for me renew my soul and turn me in the back to eternity.

Lord, I’m without words. Amen!

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Other

#fmf

This word, we use it all the time and probably don’t even realize it.  In the NIV Bible  version it’s used almost 1000 times.  But do we really understand and do we really want to grasp what it means?  It literally means there is additional, differing in nature or kind and an alternative.  When we are deal with a culture  that is all about “ME” and yes that includes “ME”, having an “other” in the picture may be difficult.

God is the only one that can instruct us to worship no other god, because He is like No other.

Exodus 34:14

Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
The bible is clear about how we should look at the other…….

Luke 6:31

And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

John 15:12

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Romans 12:10

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Romans 15:1-2

We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

Philippians 2:3-4

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Matthew 6:14-15

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

 

So, regardless of age, sex, ethnicity, religion, geographical location, size, shape, personality, upbringing  or any other things that would draw us away from the “other” and it just simply may be because they are NOT LIKE “ME”, the bible tells us different.

Lord, help me be open to the “other”.  Amen

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