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lines and spaces

I was with my hubby and oldest son on vacay in northern Michigan. We were kayaking the Victoria River. It’s such a twisty-turny kind of river, a surprise at every bend (we won’t even mention the horse flies). However, one of the male members of our little crew began complaining about the constant turns and how difficult it makes the navigation.  Imagine how easy our journey would be if this river were a straight line.

easy is just easy

Straight line journeys are easy, but easy is boring. So predictable. So vanilla. You can see ahead forever and ever. No surprises. No thrills. So straight line, flat line. No heart required. Where is the faith?

I will open rivers in desolate heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. Isaiah 41:18

We need a few twists and turns in our God journey. Challenges to keep us pushing and striving for more Jesus. Doesn’t every great adventure contain a few nail-biter moments when we aren’t sure if we’re to make it? I want to travel a few wide open rivers through desolate heights with God before He leads me to some still waters.  The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but I’ll take the wild ride. Yes, please.

wild spaces

View from my cabin on Little Traverse Lake.

Our vacay cottage is on the east end of Little Traverse Lake. Part of the lake is developed, sprinkled with cabins and cottages, but the east side is more remote with many wild spaces. Cedars, birches, and hemlocks line the rugged shoreline. These Eden-like wild spaces are teeming with wildlife. Otters gobbling crayfish and clams, Pileated Woodpeckers chiseling homes and niches, loons diving and calling. Life and growth flourish in the solitude of the wild space.

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. Luke 6:12

we need some wild spaces

In our structured scheduled urban lives, we need some wild spaces. Wild spaces are chunks of time set aside to meet with God in a quiet place. Maybe your wild space is a secluded corner of a city park, a hideaway nook in your favorite cafe, or your porch swing on your backyard patio. The important thing is you meet with God daily. Bring your Bible, pen and journal and forget your phone. Be ready to meet with God and listen as He uses wild spaces to to challenge and deepen your walk with Him.

Where is your favorite wild space?

Leave me a comment below. I’d love to chat with you!

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Short & Sweet: Road Trip

road-tripSo Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was 75 years old when he left Haran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated, and the people he had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the site of Shechem, at the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land.” Genesis 12:4-6

Abram was born in the land of Ur, a city dedicated to the worship of the moon god, Nanna. Because the Amorites invaded Abram’s homeland, Abram’s father moved the family out of Ur to Haran. It was in the city of Haran that Abram (later renamed Abraham) heard the call of God to journey to Canaan, the Promised Land.

Why did God tell Abram to leave the land of Ur?

Because He wanted to bless Abram and all other nations through Abram’s family line. Sometimes in order for God to bless us, we have to leave some things behind; things that stand in the way of God’s best; things that obstruct our relationship with God; things that prevent our progress, keep us shallow and make us small. Things that make us less when God wants to make us more. Things like false gods, bad habits, and generational sin. Sometimes God uses a change of scenery to change a life.

“Then Abram journeyed by stages to the Negev.”

He started in Ur.

Stage 1, Ur (Genesis 15:7) In the original Hebrew, Ur comes from a Hebrew word that means light, revelation. Just as God met Abram in his everyday life, God meets us in the middle of our mess and calls us to walk with Him in the light.

Then Abram live in Haran.

Stage 2, Haran  Haran means, dried, parched, angry, shriveled. Do you have any dried up places in your life? Any relationships or circumstances that drain you of life, joy and energy? Haran also means to be burned, scorched, charred, shriveled up, to be angry, to burn with anger. When we burn with anger, we scorch everything around us, even our own souls.  God never wants us to live a life of anger. Small wonder God called Abram out of the Haran, the “land of anger.” God had a better way of life for Abram. His way. The only Way.

After Haran, Abram had to get out of Shechem.

Stage 3: Shechem  Shechem means back, to turn the back, a place where blows fall. In order to walk with God, Abram had to turn his back on his old way of life. He had to walk away from his idols, wrong relationships and bad habits. To walk with God, we will have to back away from some things.

Then God led Abram to Moreh.

Stage 4: Moreh Moreh means teacher, early rain.  In order to progress in our relationship with God, we need sound biblical teaching. As we let the living water of God’s word rain down on us, we will grow in the wisdom and knowledge of the Lord.

Finally Abram was ready for the Land of Promise.

Stage 5: Cana’an Cana’an literally means lowland. It also means: to humble, to bend the knee, to humble oneself, to bind together. The land of Cana’an is the place where we humble ourselves before God, and on our knees, admit our great need for Him. It is a place where He binds our heart to His. Cana’an is aka the Promised Land. A Land of Promises.

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

“I will be your God and you will be my people.”

“You shall be white as snow, though your sins are as scarlet.”

Those are some good promises.

I need the Land of Promises.

How did Abram get from Haran to Cana’an? He followed God closely down the road of obedience. He depended on God’s instruction for each step of the journey. Abram walked so close to God he could hear Him whisper, This is the way walk in it.

 My own journey with God has been marked by stages. I’ve been to Ur and back. I had an extended stay in Haran. I know every nook and cranny of Shechem. Stages of joy, peace, hardship, struggle, pain, growth and suffering. You name it I’ve been there with God , and He has used it for my good and His glory.

The key to progress?

 Keep walking. Never stop. When you fall, GET UP. With God there is always a next time, always another stage, and always a second chance (and a third, fourth, fifth etc.).

I’m glad God changes us in stages. If He had shown me everything that was wrong with me the first day I started following Him, I would have died of shame. He is good. You can trust Him. Keep following Him.

Action Points:

  1. Where are you? Look at your life. In order to make progress, you have to know where you are. Are you in Ur, at the beginning of your walk with God? Are you on a detour? Lost? Ask God to show you.
  2. Get up. Maybe you have blown it. (I have several times). Or maybe you have been wandering around not really getting anywhere. It’s time. Get up. Get going.
  3. Ask for directions. What do you need to do next to keep walking with God? Add something? Leave something? Wait for something? Pray and ask God to show you.
  4. Help someone find their way. Maybe you’ve been walking with God for a long time and you have a little road-worthy experience to share. Find someone who needs your help and show them the way.

Where are you in your journey with God?

Leave me a message. I’d love to hear from you!

Life is sweet! Road trip!

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Watch, Read, Listen, Study

watchListenReadStudy

We need God and we need His word.

If we want to impact our world for Christ and take His to the lost of the world, we must fill our hearts and mind with God’s truths and precepts. Sometimes we need to mix it up a bit. Something new can breath new life into our relationship with God.

In order to help you to continue to seek God, we have provided a few resources for you—something to watch, something to read, something to listen to and something to study. Get a drink, your Bible and a journal then choose one, two or three resources and dig in!

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

 

  1. Something to Watch: A great video from For the Life of the World about the gift of creation and how to live a thankful life.

“What is the song of all creation? What is our Salvation for? In this scene from Episode 1: Exile, Evan unpacks the essence of God and his mission in the world.” To see more, click on the play button below.

 

2.  Something to Read: An excellent article by Beth Moore, Because Any of Us Can be Had

“I penned the creative writing below a number of years ago as I reflected on my own miserable season of sifting by Satan. I was wrecked almost beyond repair by what I’d experienced because I’d never been taught that a believer could love Jesus deeply with a pure heart and serve Him with sincere devotion and yet be flabbergastingly seduced by the enemy. 2 Corinthians 11:3 had said it all along but I’d missed it.” To read more click on the link below.

BMooreContributor

Because Any of Us Can be Had

 

 

 

3. Something to Listen To: A podcast from Erik Metaxas at Break Point, When the Sky is Really Falling

“When Chicken Little said the sky is falling, we all laughed. Well, maybe it’s time we stopped laughing. It seems Chicken Little may be on to something.”  To hear more click on the link below.

metaxas

When the Sky is Really Falling

 

 

 

4. Something to study: The Outcasts: Giving Your All.

“Rebels…backsliders…children…senior citizens…the handicapped…uneducated…homeless.
Thankfully, God looks upon the heart and sees us for what we can become; beautiful witnesses for the Gospel of Christ. It is my prayer that through these Bibles studies you will be blessed and gain a clear vision for how the God of the Universe sees you; incredibly precious and valuable.” To study more, click on the link below.

Give

  The Outcasts: Giving Your All

 

 

Jane and I pray these resources will encourage you and strengthen your walk with Jesus! Let us know what you think in the comment section below!

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i hear: Ur or Or

Do you have a few minutes for Bible study?

i hear

Abram was living the good life in the land of Ur — never dreaming of doing a re-lo. Ur wasn’t any little old city, it was the largest city of the province of Shinar. But, Ur wasn’t big enough for what God had planned for Abram. Life in Ur was good, but

. God was calling Abram to walk with Him to a better place. God calls us too. He wants us to live fruitful abundant lives. This journey is not for the weak of heart — it will be a walk a faith.

If you’re ready to leave Ur and set out for Or, please click on the play button below.

 

Thank you for joining me today for Bible study. Please let me know what you learned by leaving a comment in the Comment Section below. Scroll way down!

i hear Him!

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Short and Sweet: Cross-walk by Mary Kane

Nourishment and refreshment for your soul.

Nourishment and refreshment for your soul.

When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.

Mark 8:34

Come after Me. Jesus issues a call to all people to come to Him. The word come in the original Greek is erchomai, which means “to come from one place to another.” I have been a few places.

Come …

… walk out of darkness and into light.

…  walk out of sin and into righteousness.

… walk out of condemnation and into grace.

… walk out of death and into everlasting life.

In Mark 8:34, Jesus invites whoever desires to come and follow Him. Desires means to will, to determine, to purpose, to find pleasure. The “cross-walk” (following Jesus) leads to a life of purpose, joy, and fulfillment.

Before we can cross-walk, we must first deny ourselves … self or cross.  Self-walk or cross-walk. We can’t do both. If we decide to cross-walk, we will leave footprints of hope, struggle, peace, pain, joy, and life that will lead others to the foot of the cross.

Action Points:

  1. Which way are you currently walking, self-walk or cross-walk?
  2. Who else desperately needs to know how to cross-walk?
  3. Is there an area of your life you haven’t laid down at the foot of the cross?
  4. What do you need to do to lay it down?

Life is sweet!

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Walking with God: A Study on the Book of Ruth, Day Twelve by Mary Kane

ID-10080988In order to have a meaningful life,  people often seek after purpose, fame, or fortune. What are you seeking? God’s Word teaches us that we need to  seek only one thing: Him. To do today’s study, please click on the link: Walking with God: Day Twelve

 

 

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