My Past Gives Me A Future

Death_to_stock_photography_farm_10Do you have an unfulfilled dream? Here’s a plan to reach your goal.

1) Put your past in the past.

2) Create a plan to reach your goal. Is your dream something that is in your heart? Is it a God-given desire? Write it down in attainable steps.

3) Accept Investors – there are people who believe in you. Listen to their advice, accept their money.

4) Recall how you got to where you are now. Find ways to express gratitude for your journey – especially to those who have helped you.

5) Leave your past in the past, but don’t ignore it. You have a past for a reason. Your path led through places that created the person you need to be to fulfill your dream.

6) Hold your head up. People are drawn to confidence. There is no shame in your past, so don’t hesitate to tell your story. It helps people relate to you and helps them hear you.

7) Take a bold, audacious step of faith. Just one step in the direction of your dream is the right start. This isn’t a journey you’ll make in one day. One step at a time will eventually get you there.

Not Going Back

Death_to_stock_Dinner_damo_7Remember how Israel complained to Moses that God had brought them into the desert to kill them? Of course, we would never think such a thing much less verbalize it. Or do we? Here we are in the eighth week of the year. How many resolutions have you broken? We’re in what many Christians observe as the Lent season. I wonder if what they’ve given up is calling them, “Come back, come back…”

I’ve sure heard the call of the wild. Things that I thought were out of my life for good, but there they were, smiling like a long-lost friend. I choose to live in the now rather than the past. I choose to experience the good life of my destiny rather than wallow in the regrets of yesterday.

I wasn’t released from bondage just to keep dragging chains. It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

Deuteronomy 6:23 He brought us out from there in order to bring us in…

No Shame

God’s gave a warning to his people concerning the temptation to become self-focused once they reached the Promised Land.  Deuteronomy 6:12 reads, …watch yourself, that you do not forget the Lord who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. This is also a word for us.

It doesn’t only say not to forget that you didn’t get yourself out of bondage, but it has something to say about our past. We read in verse 20, When your son asks you in time to come, saying, “What do the testimonies and the statutes and the judgments mean which the Lord our God commanded you?”  then you shall say to your son, “We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, and the Lord brought us from Egypt with a mighty hand.”  

What I read here is that we have a story to tell. God’s deliverance has turned our past into a story worth telling. There is no shame attached to having a past or to having a story. Tell you story with your head up.

On of my favorite Bible promises is found in Isaiah 54. Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth.

What’s your story? Are you telling it?

Investment of Grace

Father Preparing Family Breakfast In Kitchen

These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9

The idea of investing into others – including the next generation – is a common theme throughout the Bible. God gave Moses specific instructions for His people that would guarantee that the investment would pay off. We know it worked because today, in 2016, orthodox Jews still do this. They have words from The Law written on strips of paper and tied around their hands or in a small box against their foreheads and stuck into crevices at the front doors of their homes.

How about you? How are you investing God’s word? First of all, is it in your heart? Living in God’s grace is not mysterious – it’s a clear and easy lifestyle. However, there are so many voices, religious and non-religious, that will try to draw us and our children away from God’s grace into sin or religious bondage. That’s why it’s important for us to continually live in grace, speak grace, and show grace to others.

That Person Is Worth It

Black CookingMy theme for 2016 is Invest. I’m choosing to invest my time, my resources, my knowledge – myself – into others in order to see their dreams fulfilled. Nothing thrills me more than seeing someone succeed. I couldn’t name all the people who chose to invest in me, but I would not be where I am if they hadn’t seen potential. I am who I am by the grace of God and by the gentle nudges and swift kicks that came along the way.

Do you see potential in others? It really doesn’t have to be complicated. Give a little time, a little attention. You would be surprised how much a small gesture means to others.

Can you think of one person who invested greatly in you? How about someone who encouraged you, perhaps without even realizing it? It’s worth it. Choose to invest today.

Don’t Ignore Your Body

Sculptor2Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 

These words from Hebrews 10:22 contain a truth that often is overlooked or ignored. Are you ready? Can you handle it? Our bodies are included in our salvation. You know that body that you sometimes hate; the one that gives you fits and bouts of pain; the one you’d like to trade in for a younger version. Yep, that body is known and accepted by God. As much as he cleansed and saved your heart, he also says Yes to your body.

Take a look in the mirror as you’re getting dressed tomorrow morning. Rather than lusting after another body, look at what God sees in you. And remember, Don’t let any man call unclean anthing that God has cleansed. (Acts 10:15)

Get Out of the Shadows

SwingIn Jesus’ day, what we refer to as the Old Testament was commonly called The Law (represented by Moses) and The Prophets (represented by Elijah). Hebrews 10 starts with these words, For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. 

Do you hear that? The Law only shadows a reality. There IS a reality, and the Law is not it. The old covenant pointed to the new. The new is the reality, the good news, the Gospel. In Hebrews 1:9, 10, we are told, He takes away the first in order to establish the second. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Since the Law has been taken away to establish our sanctification through Jesus, it’s time to stop living in the shadows. The shadow of the Law has been removed so that we can live the full, abundant life that Jesus offers.

If you find yourself in bondage follow the shadow to find the reality. The Law leads us to Jesus. Accept his freedom and grace.