Fan the Flame

2 01 2014

Flames

 

This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. II Timothy 1:6-7 NLT

 

We were each born with a God-given purpose. We are equipped with unique abilities that give us all the tools and talents needed to accomplish our assignment. During our life’s journey, we explore and nurture our gifts as we accept the call on our lives for God’s service. We are all called to serve. We may not be called to proclaim God’s Word from a pulpit but in our families, our communities and in our interactions with one another we are to demonstrate God’s love in ways that fulfill our purpose. Our hands, our words, our tasks emanate His love, His compassion, His mercy that exemplify His Son, Jesus Christ. What a tremendous gift to the world to use the gift that is inside of you. You have what it takes to accomplish the task and to carry it through. He made you for this task. He has given you the tools and the talents to make it happen. You are empowered, careful not to embrace fear but to walk in confidence of the God we serve. Our passage today reminds us to keep our gifts active, alive and on fire. We are to fan the flames within us to keep our gifts fueled with the air that it needs to grow and to shine bright. We fan the flames today within us to use our gifts for His Glory.





Turning the Page

31 12 2013

seedlingRemember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19 ESV

In the continuum of life, we are blessed with time increments that allow us to create new starts. The 24 hours in a day, the Mondays that mark a new week, and the turn of the seasons each gives us a chance to turn the page and start anew. Today, we are preparing to turn the page on the 365 days of last year. All the triumphs, challenges and transitions of the year will soon come to a close. Hopefully, last year was a time of walking in faith, steadfast in our purpose and experiences of God’s love, peace and joy were part of our everyday living. It could be that for some of us the blessing of survival and resilience was a recurring theme of the year. As we look to a new day in a new year, we can all share our thanks to God for His goodness in allowing us to cross the finish line of 2013. We may be a little frayed along the edges or a bit weary in our spirits but the hope of tomorrow is upon us. A new year marks the beginning of a new start. We can start 2014 with a renewed mind and spirit knowing that God continues to be faithful to His promises. He is faithful to be with us. We are never alone. He promised to lead and guide us, as we are careful to listen for His direction. He said that He would provide for each of our needs. He is Jehovah, Jireh. The fruit of the Holy Spirit remains available to us love, peace, joy, forbearance, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and discipline. We have such treasured blessings to help us face whatever tomorrow may unfold. We thank God for the blessings of last year as we turn the page and stand in faith for the blessing to come.

Forget what happened in the past, and do not dwell on events from long ago.
I am going to do something new. It is already happening. Don’t you recognize it?
I will clear a way in the desert. I will make rivers on dry land. Isaiah 43:18-19 GWT





Thankful

30 12 2013

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Shout to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with joy;
come before him with singing.
Know that the Lord is God.
He made us, and we belong to him;
we are his people, the sheep he tends.

 Come into his city with songs of thanksgiving
and into his courtyards with songs of praise.
Thank him and praise his name.
The Lord is good. His love is forever,
and his loyalty goes on and on.  Psalm 100

 

I am giving thanks for this time and this place.  I am here because of the blessings of the Lord.  He has provided this journey for me and I am thankful.  I can rejoice with praises in my heart for He is God.  I know that the Lord is God.   He is our creator and knows our purpose.  He knows everything about us including the hair on our heads and even the tears that fall from our eyes.  He is God and we belong to Him.  We are His people.  I am His child.  He is God and in Him there is no lack.  He provides for His sheep, for every need and is able to even provide for the desires of our hearts.  We belong to Him.  He leads and guides us.  We can put our full trust in Him.  We can thank Him for His goodness.  Songs of praise and thanksgiving can fill our hearts and come forth through our lives.  He is good.  He is good and He is great.  His love for us never ends and endures forever.  We are thankful.





Memories of Love

20 12 2013

ipad 04152013 070Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. I Corinthians 13:4-7

 

My fondest memories of Christmas are the times that I have spent with my family. My parents, my sisters and my brother all gathered in various rooms of my parents’ home engaged in conversations and family games. Over time spouses and children and now our children’s children have expanded our family size greatly. With more family has come more love. My husband and my daughter make this season bright and I am thankful. With Christmas upon us, we are anticipating another time of sharing. Our time together is an opportunity for laughter, catching up on the latest family news and to be present in each other’s lives. The expectation of a secular Christmas is a bunch of presents, too much food and other things that are distant from its true meaning. My memories of Christmas are not presents or things but of the people I love. This is a good thing to remember when your budget may fall short of your expectation of Christmas or your gift list. It is a good thing to remember if your memories of Christmas are not filled with peace and joy. Focus on your family and those who you love. Give them the present of your presence. Make new memories for Christmas.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:13





God is With Us

19 12 2013

Newport_Sun_Set3

 

All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’) Isaiah 7:14

One of my favorite Christmas songs is “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”. The words reflect the great anticipation of Jesus’ birth. It expresses a great desire for God’s Son to come and to dwell among His people. I am so thankful that each day we have the opportunity for God to live with us and in us through a relationship with His Son Jesus Christ. We know that the promise in Isaiah was fulfilled and Jesus was born and He died and rose again for our sins. What an awesome gift that God is with Us!





Spread His Joy

18 12 2013

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Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy;
at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psalm 16:11

The Word of God provides such a powerful source of instruction, strength and encouragement to our lives. I am so blessed to be able to read its words and the different translations that illuminate the depths and richness of God’s words to us. The word joy appears in the Bible many times. I love that it appears as both a noun and a verb. It is something that we can both experience and do. “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation” appears in Habakkuk 3:18. It is a conscious word of action to joy or to rejoice in our Heavenly Father who provides us with countless blessings. We can choose to delight ourselves in God’s word, His goodness to us and for who He is in our lives.
We can also experience His joy and spread it others. His joy is a source of strength. It provides healing to our souls and provides renewal when we need it most. It is a blessing that keeps on giving. We can spread His joy with our praises to God, kind words and acts that reflect His love. We want to share with the world even during this Christmas season of the blessing of His Joy.





A Clean Heart

17 12 2013

In the breeze

 

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right, persevering, and steadfast spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10 (Amplified)

Within our hearts we carry our hopes and our dreams for our lives. We keep tucked away the things that we desire for ourselves, our families and our loved ones. They represent both public and private aspirations for the future. In this space, we want our hopes to emanate from a place of peace, contentment and faith. We want our motives to be pure and aligned with God’s hope for us and the world. We want our hopes and dreams to flow from a clean heart. Purged of things that separate us from God’s best. Unforgiveness, harshness, resentment, bitterness, weariness are just some of the things that can muddy what flows from our heart. Our scripture today is reminder that we can indeed ask our Heavenly Father for help. As we open our hearts to Him, He can help us with those hardened spaces that need His handiwork to remove. He can soften our hearts to forgive. He can heal the spaces of hurt and brokenness that have left us wounded. It requires our willingness to step out on faith toward Him. He can create a clean heart within us and give us renewal and perseverance to grow in peace and grace for a new day.