It’s a new race today.

 It’s a new race today.
Hebrews 12: 1-2a
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith…”
This morning, I want us to finish strong the race that is set before us. It’s a brand new day, and it may seem like the same old race but I assure you, it is a new race today. Today, feel stronger, more alive, feel like you are a winner and this race is very doable. The route or path has been laid out for us, God has chosen my route and He has chosen your specific route. Now, we must lay aside everything that hinders us from running this race well and finishing this race strong. Endurance only comes to those who have proven themselves in the race by running daily and by focusing on the goal that is set before them. The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong (Ecclesiastes 9:11) but to those who have focus and stamina to run the race skillfully. Today, in whatever you do, do it well and finish strong.

Luck is the religion of the lazy.

  • Luck is the religion of the lazy.
    When the world seems as though it would spin out of control, where can I
    find peace? When I was growing up, impoverished and abused, I thought
    the life I was living was normal. It wasn’t until much later in life that what
    I endured as a child was far from the normal life a child should bear. Now
    that I am older and I have suffered from the abuse of a disease called lupus,
    I look for moments of peace and contentment. Those moments, I once
    thought, was lucky moments but I have grown to realize luck really had nothing
    to do with those peaceful moments. Luck is the religion of the lazy. Sitting
    and waiting for luck is like wishing I might win the lottery without ever
    buying a ticket. Looking back, I see the moments where I found
    peace in my life were actually blessings, moments in time when I felt safe
    and secure. I didn’t recognize those moments as a child, but looking back
    now I see those moments were given to me by grace.
    This week, my primary doctor, who has been a God send, told me he was
    moving away to another city. I was devastated, he had been the only
    doctor who would truly listen to my complaints about the dreaded effects
    of Lupus has had on my body. He not only listened, he felt empathy and
    compassion for me in my suffering. He has truly been a blessing to me and
    my husband. It wasn’t by luck that I met him, it was a blessing, a
    caring person that God had provided that would listen, understand and go
    into action. He had to separate me from a few really bad doctors that were
    not helping me at all and quite frankly some were doing more harm than
    good. God sent me someone that played a vital role in my walk with this
    disease.
    I had a choice this week; I could have had a melt down and started
    worrying about what I would do now since the one doctor that I trusted
    was leaving, but instead, I have had peace that God was going to do something new in my life and I am going to let Him have His way. It’s much easier to trust God for His blessings than wait for luck to appear magically.
    Now I face a new doctor in the next coming weeks, and I have no idea if he is going to be as helpful or if he be just another doctor that does not take my illness seriously. I will not trust luck, I will trust God that He is starting yet another chapter in my life. He has always moved in my life, many times that I did not recognize as a child and a young adult, but now I watch for those moments, believing God has my best interest at heart. I have learned to look beyond the raging storms of my life and see the hand of God calming the wind, the waves and vanquishing the impending doom. I trust God for His blessings, luck has nothing to do with.

Monday morning pick me up. (Proverbs 16:9)

Proverbs 16: 9
 
“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”
 
I’m sure by now you have planned your day out, possibly even your whole week. Allow me to let you in on a little secret; leave enough room in your plans for God’s little adventures. God doesn’t want to mess up your plans, He just wants you to allow Him clear the pathway, open up some new doors, close some doors that should have been closed a long time ago. His way is perfect and He wants to establish your steps but you have to leave Him room to work. In the end, you will not be angry about changes, because He is working for your good and he is working hard to keep you on the right path. Work with Him, will you?

 

God didn’t make me sick!

God didn’t make me sick!
My plans do not always line up with God’s plans. I never pictured my life to be consumed with Lupus at thirty eight. The picture in my mind of how my life would play out didn’t include illness or troubles. We all have visions of our own future and how we expect our life to evolve. The stumbling blocks in our life never seem self-evident.
Right now, I have a stomach that is paralyzed, it’s called gastroparesis. I have Lupus, heart issues and nervous system problems. I don’t know what God’s plan is right now but no matter what God is doing right now, even if, I feel that sometimes I have received the short end of the stick, I can’t be mad. Life isn’t always fair, and it’s not always easy. That’s where people get caught up with blaming God. They blame him for all of the bad stuff. God allows things to happen and sometimes we don’t understand why, but that doesn’t mean He is against me and doesn’t mean He is not concerned. he loves me and I know it. Even now though I may be suffering He is still speaking, still leading me, still using me to help others. .
 Of course, I want healing but even if he doesn’t heal me physically, it’s ok. I am still here, right now. For as long as I am here, all I can do is make the best of it. Even if I wasn’t sick, I should be doing that, being sick has just made me more aware. Maybe my illness is a platform to help somebody else know him. Maybe I don’t have another 50 years, who knows, I may have one year or one day but no matter the time I have left here I have to make the best of what I have.
I believe that God is always moving. I believe that God has a plan just for me, plans for me to prosper, he has my best interest in mind. It is God who gives me hope and a future. He had my life planned out before I was even a thought in my mother’s mind. He has never left me alone, even the times I wasn’t walking with him.

Monday morning pick me up.

James 1: 3-4
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Not exactly what some may want to hear on a Monday morning but it will help if the day produces challenges. We are being perfected, we are being fashioned and formed in his likeness. After all we were created in his likeness, lets keep it going. In order to do that we have to be stripped away of all the things that look like the world. Romans 12: 2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Hope

Even if we don’t see it right away, there is always hope. Imagine all of the people in the world, right this minute, that are looking for a tiny glimmer of hope to get them through the next few minutes, the next hour, or the coming days.

When we lose hope, I have found it’s all too often because we have reached the point of helplessness. When we just don’t know what to do anymore. I have been there many times in my life. I have felt broken, my life has looked like a mess all too often but I have learned a valuable lesson through those times. My life and the situations in my life are never completely hopeless, unless I allow it to be.

Being sick often brings me to the point of helplessness and sometimes I even start to lose hope. However, I have learned that I am in control of how far I go with it because I am in control of my emotions. I may not be able to help my illness, or fix it my situation at times, but I can control my mind. I can control my emotions. I can stop the moment I feel all hope is gone and look again. It’s in these times I will find hope that I missed in the moment.

I have learned that hope doesn’t have to appear huge either.

We all want that big bright shiny light of hope and the answer to fix it all but what if the hope that we are searching for is being overlooked because we aren’t looking hard enough. What if it’s just that tiny speck of hope that gets us through to the next day? Lastly, what if that tiny speck of hope is meant to make us stronger?

A tiny glimmer is enough for me because even if I am feeling helpless, I know where my help comes from and that my friend is Jesus. With him by my side, there is always hope.

Monday morning pick me up…A recipe to get through today.

Psalms 19: 7
“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.

What do you need this morning to get started? I think you need the infallible word of God. It is not only perfect but according to King David, it will revive the soul. Caffeine may wake you up but only God can revive you and sustain you for the entire day. Psalms 34: 8 says, “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!”

Today, get a good taste of the goodness of God, it will change your life.