February 18, 2018

Not a Linear Journey


Following God and His plan for your life is not a linear journey. 

There is not a direct path from Point A to Point B. Faith doesn’t take us on a predictable journey but a journey that is so mysterious it cannot be explained.

Sometimes it seems that the deeper our faith grows the more challenges we encounter that leave us with more questions than answers. 

Following God and the life of faith is not a long bullet point list of goals. 

It is a wide-eyed buckle your seat belt and get ready for the ride of your life journey. It is a wondrous adventure filled with awe and wonder that God would choose to work in your life in the most inexplicable manner imaginable.

God appears to derive great delight in working outside the boundaries of conventional methods. He wants His glory to be evident in works that we could never accomplish on our own. He lines up events that defy explanation and leave us exclaiming “Only God could do this!”

While He knows exactly what He is doing, we often find ourselves frustrated with uncertainty for what He hasn’t yet revealed. He asks us to wait and trust and keep doing what we know to do as we continue to follow Him along this path we call our lives.

There will be disappointments we must endure as we know in our finite hearts that we cannot see the big picture that God sees. But when we keep our eyes on Him and strive to move forward in our faith and on our journey, I believe we will see unfolding events that slowly reveal the plans He has for us. 

Are you ready for this unknown non-linear journey God has prepared for you?

Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.


BOOK NEWS UPDATE:
I have now added a detailed book description on the Book News page on my homepage. This will tell you about the themes of the devotions in First Breath of Morning - A 90 Day Devotional.

February 15, 2018

BOOK NEWS!


I have tried to find the words to write a great post announcing my good news, but words have failed me because I am too overwhelmed with joy to think straight. Here is what I can share at this time.

My devotional book has been contracted and will be published! I will tell you much more about this as the process moves forward. I have created a Book News page at the top of my home page for the book and updates.

I do want to say what you already know about how God works.

God has a plan. He directs our paths. He equips us to do what we are called to do. It isn’t easy. It usually isn’t fast. He expects us to work hard. He will open and close doors and He will keep you believing He has a plan! I am so blessed and grateful for all He has done!

I can’t wait to tell you more, but for now just know, my book First Breath of MorningA 90 Day Devotional is contracted to be published by Elk Lake Publishing.

For those of you who have long been following me through all of this over the last few years, you know the journey has had its ups and downs and did not happen easily or quickly…but beautifully—as ordered by the Lord.

First Breath of Morning - Fall 2018

February 14, 2018

A Little Like Love

I grew up in a severely harsh home, with a father who spent much of his time lashing out verbally and physically, promoting a constant environment of anger and fear.

Our family did not go to church, but when I was eleven, my married sister invited me to go to church with her and her husband and one Sunday in December 1969, my dad unexpectedly said yes. The gospel message was given that special Sunday morning and I knew I wanted to accept Jesus Christ as my Savior and accept His gift of everlasting life.

I prayed and asked Jesus to come into my heart and save me. I knew I was His from that day forward. Sadly, I was not allowed to go back to church again until I finished high school and left for college.  
    
After college, I met and married my husband and we moved to Texas and far away from my parents. I rarely saw my parents and when I did see them my dad would always do something ugly and hurtful in a fit of anger to ruin any time together. It seemed he would never change from the angry man I’d always known him to be.
    
When my mother died at the age of 71, I looked across the funeral gathering at my father and thought to myself, Now that Mom is gone, it really wouldn’t bother me if I never saw him again the rest of my life.
    
I felt an instant and strong conviction in my heart that this was not the attitude God wanted me to hold. No, instead, God convicted me to have compassion. My dad was now alone in this world. He didn’t have many people in his life because his anger drove most people away.
    
My dad didn’t own a phone due to his anti-social nature. I began to write him letters, and when he did occasionally write me, it was always about his extreme loneliness. My letters were not very deep as he was someone you had to watch your words with because anything and everything set him off, so I kept them light. I would come to the end of a letter and struggle with how to sign off. Since the relationship was a strained one, it didn’t come naturally for me to sign, Love, Kathy. I would consider it, but my heart just wouldn’t go there. Instead, I would sign off with “Thinking of you.”
    
Until the day God convicted me again and this time, I knew He wanted me to sign Love, Kathy. I struggled with this. Isn’t it enough that I am writing him, Lord? I obeyed, I am writing him!
    
But I knew it wasn’t enough anymore, now God wanted me to take the next step.
    
I wrote the letter and when I was signing off, it was extremely difficult to write those four letters…
L-O-V-E
    
The struggle in my heart to do this made me feel like a horrible Christian. What kind of a Christian can’t sign L-O-V-E at the end of a letter to her father?
    
I made myself do it, because I knew God wanted me to. I did it out of obedience, not out of any feelings. Yes, I cared for my dad, but the four letter word did not easily roll off my heart. But I signed Love, Kathy and slowly but deliberately marched that letter out to the mailbox while admittedly feeling extremely miserable. So miserable that after a few minutes inside the house staring out the window, I quickly walked back to the mailbox and retrieved it and said, Lord, I can’t do this.
    
And then a few minutes later I again marched back to the mailbox and put it back inside, and while standing in the living room planning my next trip to the mailbox to retrieve it again, the mail carrier drove by and the letter was gone.
    
Love, Kathy was gone, on its way to a father who never demonstrated love to me.
    
Love, Kathy was gone, on its way to a man who had never expressed remorse for angry words and angry actions.
    
And then something else was gone….
    
With that single act of obedience on my part, came a new lightness and freedom in my heart from all the pain in the past. It didn’t matter anymore, and it didn’t hurt me anymore because complete healing was taking place. I was finally able to let the past go and let it go for good. A burden I had been carrying for a long time…was finally gone!
    
Letting it go changed me. I was able to live free of the past and no longer carried it’s baggage with me. I learned again that God blesses obedience in ways we cannot fathom.
    
I continued writing to my father, and signing Love, Kathy was no longer a battle for me. Instead, what started as a single step of obedience began to feel a little like love.