Bible, Christian, Encouragement, Faith, God, sorrow, Spiritual, Uncategorized

times of refreshing

If only it were as easy as one click.

refresh-animated   https://kayslife

…so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, restoring you like a cool wind on a hot day…

But here I am, still processing.

Image result for processing gifI knew that healing and restoration would take time and I began the new year with plans to slow down and let it take place. But I didn’t think it would take this long. I didn’t think it would be this hard. I didn’t know it would bring my soul to a complete stall. I looked up the definition of stall: …stop running, typically because of an overload… Yeah, that just about sums it up.

I’m thinking today of the Israelites of old and how it must have been when the prophets had nothing to prophecy because God was silent. Normally, I don’t mind silence. Perhaps this time is to take me into a deeper level of listening. It is definitely a season where standing in faith has taken me to new depths. What did the Israelites do during those silent years? They kept on doing what they were doing the last time He spoke. Or they didn’t. I can understand how at times they strayed from their faith, feeling God was too distant, uncaring toward their struggles, desperate to hear His words of deliverance. I’m tempted often to throw that pity party.

It’s not that I haven’t heard Him speak. I have. But I am longing to hear something more than “be still” or “not yet”. I want “…and suddenly a sound came from heaven like a rushing violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting…” to shake things up a bit.

Normally, I don’t mind getting permission to take it easy either. For a little while. Being highly achievement motivated, however, makes this longer-than-anticipated season a struggle. I’ve started running again which is good and gives me momentary satisfaction in accomplishments. But I can’t outrun the sorrow that still weighs on my heart. Many days it still clouds my vision and drains my energies and I just want to move on.

There was no rush to the morning so I sat on the balcony in the sultry air to watch the sun rise above the trees and read my devotional. It began “Come to Me, My weary one…” and ended with this –

“I want you to know that I approve of you and I approve of rest. When you relax in My Presence, trusting in my finished work on the cross, both you and I are refreshed.”

And there He was, like a cool wind on a hot day, refreshing me with His Presence and His promise that more times of refreshing are coming. I hope you found refreshment in His Presence today, too.

 

times of refreshing” was written by Kay Stinnett and first appeared on http://www.ourpassionatepurpose.com

Scripture references: Acts 3:20, 2:2, Matt 11:28

Devotional excerpt from Jesus Always by Sarah Young

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bible, Christian, Faith, God, grief, loss, prayer, sorrow, Uncategorized

Entering empty

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It’s New Year’s Eve. It’s not even 7pm and I’m in my pjs, trying to stay awake until a reasonable time to call it quits for the day. I will not see the ball fall in Times Square. I will not watch the clock until it ticks at midnight. I will not participate in any activities involving fireworks other than trying to drown them out in order to rest. I will not welcome the new year in any other way than a good night’s sleep. I hope.

My thoughts about the new year have been somewhat void of excitement. I have plans that are good and goals to be reached, but they remain factual in nature, currently lacking the enthusiasm I’ve had in past years. 2017 has been, quite possibly, the most difficult year of my life and I am spent. David and Paul of the Bible spoke of their lives being poured out in the noble efforts of serving God and teaching others. My actions do not compare to their sacrifices for the cause of Christ, but the words poured out resonate with me in this time of reflection.

This year provoked an onslaught of emotion that I wasn’t expecting and which seems now to have sucked the energy from my soul. I began the year tired and only seemed to grow more so with each month that came and went as the duties of my new job increased, peaking with absolute exhaustion by summer’s end. But my hopes for a restful fall season were washed away by a hurricane. Literally. Experiencing the storm was profound and the recovery was difficult and exhausting, both physically and emotionally.

Then Mama died. The depth of my sorrow knows no end, the vacancy in my life impossible to be filled by anything else, my mourning so heavy it is as if I can’t breathe.

However, if I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s that my feelings do not determine what is or is not real, and certainly do not dictate what lies ahead. The emotions themselves are real and serve a purpose I may or may not understand. I had the energy in my younger years to suppress and ignore them. Besides the completely unhealthy nature of that approach, now I simply am too tired to hold them at bay. They have overtaken me whether I wanted them or not. I trust hindsight will sooner or later bring insight.

I’m not afraid of the future. My faith is intact, my confidence is not shaken, my resolve to move forward is sure. I’m simply entering the new year empty.

I’ve spent the day resting and praying, acknowledging my vast need for my Savior all the more, assured that He will come through at the right time and fill me once again with an enthusiasm for life. But for now, it’s ok to be empty. It’s enough to rest. Enough to be still and know He is God. It’s not a bad way to start a new year.

Psalm 46:10

Goodnight and Happy New Year!

 

Entering emptywas written by Kay Stinnett and first appeared on http://www.ourpassionatepurpose.com

 

 

 

Bible, Christian, church, Encouragement, Faith, God, grace, Jesus, love, prayer, Spiritual, Uncategorized

A good question

3D Character and Question Mark

I noticed the car in the parking lot with the hood up.  I assumed it was some poor soul having to stand out in the noon heat waiting for help to arrive.  I was on my way home for lunch and had slowed in preparation to stop at the red light, giving me time for a second glance his way.  I saw him moving and talking and it took a few seconds before I realized he was holding a microphone.  The light turned green and the few cars ahead of me began to move, but not so quickly that I couldn’t see his set up.  He had an amplifier and the microphone connected to his car battery and was passionately preaching.  Surrounded by cars with other hungry drivers, I had no opportunity to pause and listen and no openings to enter a different lane that would allow me to turn around.  So I drove on.

The first patient to be seen by the doctor after the lunch break was a close friend of mine.  When her appointment concluded she hung around for some conversation.  We moved quickly from talk of the everyday activities into current world events as she is passionate about the prophetic and keenly aware of things connected that escape the notice of many.  We are anxious to resume our weekly bible study which has been suspended during summer break.  Before leaving she began to describe something she had seen on her way in…a car with the hood up and a man preaching.  She was unable to hear what he had to say as well, but we were equally impressed with his courage to act on what he believed to be his purpose on that day.  “What did I do today?”  A rhetorical question she left hanging in the air as she departed.

It’s a good question.  One that in the past would have sent me spiraling into guilt, overwhelmed with the complexities of the problems and needs of our world, sure that I was not doing my part.  My studies into what it really means to be a Jesus-follower, however, have led me to examine my motives in all of my “doing”.  Am I acting out of guilt or pride or peer pressure?  Have my emotions been swayed by a passionate cause that screams “Do something!!”?  Have I moved from living by the leading of the Spirit into reactions lead by the compass of my opinions?

So let’s make the question better:

“What do You want me to do today?”

I’ve struggled with this question a lot lately because His answer seems too simple.  If you’ve followed me very long you already know that resting and waiting are relatively new to me and quite a challenge.  Quite frankly, I’m bored with my level of inactivity.  I am absolutely sure that I am right where God has led me to be and yet I am uncomfortable with my comfort.  It is hard not to feel guilty for the life of ease that I live when so many struggle for even the basic necessities of life.  I fear that I will be lulled into complacency by having an easy life.  Surely God wants more from me!

As I ponder these things, He reminds me “You are right where I have you.”  This does not require my understanding, only my surrender.  He takes me a simple path:  “When you lie in the comfort of your bed, pray for those who sleep on the ground.  When you submerge yourself in the tub for a bath, pray for those who need water.  When you are trying to find enough to do during your workday because your load is light, pray for those who are overwhelmed at work, and those who have no work.  Love those who cross your path today.  When I have more for you to do, I’ll let you know.”

To be a Jesus-follower is to do as He did.  He only said what the Father told Him to say and He only did what the Father told Him to do.

…I have never spoken on My own authority or of My own accord or as self-appointed, but the Father Who sent Me has Himself given Me orders concerning what to say and what to tell.  John 12:49

…for whatever the Father does is what the Son does in the same way, in His turn.  John 5:19

There is only One that I need please with my life today.  And tomorrow I will begin the day asking  “What do You want me to do today?”

 

A good question” was written by Kay Stinnett and first appeared on http://www.ourpassionatepurpose.com