So I may not be that old, but I sure am not that young either. And I have never, ever seen what has transpired in our nation in the last two weeks, let alone the world. Ever! And 9/11 was crushing in and of itself.
Getting a Fresh Perspective – HOPE in a Dark World
Ever ended up in place you really needed to be? Like you know that God intervened and put you in just the right place at the right time? That was me two weekends ago. Abbey and I went to Brooke’s to visit and we all went to her church for a women’s conference.
The conference was called FRESH and I remember thinking, “Huh? Fresh? That seems like an odd name for a conference.
Well, little did I know. That word FRESH is exactly what fell on me. A FRESH perspective. A FRESH hope and a FRESH realization that boy am I blessed. I don’t lead a perfect life, friends. I sure don’t. Far from it. But boy I lead a blessed life. Blessed. Thank you, Jesus. Read More
He lived to be 112 years old. Well, in human years. 16 in dog. He was the last remaining part of our girls’ childhood. That sad reality hit us months ago. And it hit us like a ton of bricks. There were tears. Many. There are tears again and there will continue to be, I’m sure. The last part of that chapter in our life went home to Jesus on January 5, 2019.
Jack came to us on December 27, 2002. He was a late Christmas present for Brooke and Abbey. Santa couldn’t really bring a puppy on his sleigh, or so the note to the girls read. So, they were given notice from Santa that mom and dad had agreed to let them go and pick out a new puppy.
Whenever you are a parent, it seems like you are constantly on the battlefield of raising kids.
Setting a bed time and sticking to it. “No, we don’t have dessert every night.”
“You need to put your phone with mine to charge at night.” “I don’t care if so and so is doing it, you aren’t.”
Well, that sure went fast. 18 years of life, learning, and love at Norfolk Christian Schools and now, our youngest daughter has graduated and will be on to a new chapter.
If you have ever met me, you would know that I am a very passionate person. But, I am really only passionate about the things I want to be passionate about. Can I hear an Amen? Yep – that’s how I roll. I love to dig in and be passionate about the things I love. My God! My Family! Healthy Living and much more.
But, what if the enemy knows about the things I love? What if he decides that the things I love is where he will work against me? What if he takes the things I am passionate about and begins to taint them, change them, or even make them difficult to be passionate about anymore?
Well, get ready, friends, He will. He will.
There are many things in life that we are passionate about. Or, well, maybe at least we should be. I have already shared with you that I am passionate about faith, family and healthy living. Large doses of all three are what shape a healthy life to me.
Our culture easily speaks to being passionate about many things. Maybe it’s sports. Maybe it’s food. Maybe it’s decorating your house like the popular blogger. Maybe it’s reading, writing; you name it and fill in the blank.
When we are passionate about something, it is so easy to pursue it. Isn’t it? It’s fun. It brings joy to us. It feels good to chase after it and spend time on it. It makes us smile and the work to be done feels easy, maybe even effortless. Oh – beautiful day! Don’t you wish you could just stay in that euphoric state forever?
Here’s the thing. We are human. We are fickle and often suffer from what I call – “Short Timer” Disease. We love to be all in – all out for a Short Time! Oh, wait. Dig in and focus on the long term? Eeekkk – that feels a bit uncomfortable. It’s much easier to do things for just a short bit. Can anyone relate?
Sometimes it gets hard to be passionate about something, especially about the things that we have known for a while. Loved for a while. Been blessed with or by for a while. Maybe the shiny newness is gone and you are left with the ordinary or the, dare I say, mundane parts to do day in and day out.
And that’s where the battle begins, my friend. The enemy knows this about us. He knows we waver and feel “passion less” often. So, where does be dig in? He digs in right at those places and makes you question your love for God, your love for yourself, your love for others, and so on and so on.
So, what do we do? We fight back!
Fervent – Chapter 1 – Your Passion
“If I were your enemy, I’d seek to dim your passion, dull your interest in spiritual things, dampen your belief in God’s ability and his personal concern for you, and convince you that the hope you’ve lost is never coming back – was probably just a lie to begin with.” (p. 25 – Fervent, Shirer)
Well, that about sums it up for me. Every single point she makes right in the opening passage of Chapter 1 is so on point. Isn’t it so awesome and so easy to believe that God is watching out for you, working for your good when everything is going great?
But, what about when life changes and things change? All of a sudden we find ourselves wondering, “Does God even care about me?” “Is he really working for my good?”
That, my friends, is the enemy. The enemy. He whispers lies to us to make us dampen or completely extinguish our passion for God Or for God’s people. Or for our pursuit of Jesus. Or for our pursuit of the good things that God has already planned for us.
The enemy knows full well that if he can dim our passion for chasing after God, for following God’s plan for us, that he significantly raises his chances of taking us out altogether. And he is a master at the game.
Ever wonder why one week you are so excited about going to church? So excited about Bible Study? You can’t wait to get there and see friends, worship, learn. And then, the very next week, you wake up thinking church or Bible Study is just a waste of time. You just don’t feel like going.
Don’t misinterpret what I am saying here. Going to church or going to a Bible Study is not required by God. Going to church or studying God’s word does not put us in the Christian Hall of Fame.
But, what I am saying is, why do we waver from week to week? We know we completely enjoy going to church. We know we completely love God’s word. We know we completely learn something new that we can take away and really use in our life. Yet, here we are thinking that …aaahhhh…church/Bible study is not what I need. I need sleep or I just need a lazy morning or I just need an evening with nothing else.
DING! DING! DING! Wait!!!! Wait!!! Do we recognize who is doing that to us? We often think it is just us. We blame ourselves for not being “Godly” enough or “God centered” enough to be on fire for God all the time or certainly, at least, on Sunday or for the Bible.
STOP! Hit pause and listen to me here. We must recognize who is doing that to us and believe me; it’s completely, strategically on purpose. The enemy warps our perspective so much so that we don’t even know who is doing what or why, especially when it comes to chasing a life filled with God and his grace.
So, friend, if your passion has faded for a bit or even for a long time,
RUN! Run back to God. Don’t try to rekindle your passion on your own. Trust it to his care and he will fan the flame for you. He will once again light the fire within you so that you are chasing after all that is good and right, not what the enemy has lied to you about.
Listen, sweet, sweet friend. It will take strategic, specific, purpose filled, fervent prayer. So, let’s stop beating ourselves up about it and get down to it.
Let’s fellowship with the greatest Father through Fervent prayer and let his grace fall upon us. Fresh, new, undeserving, but oh so refreshing and kind.
And, knowing our God like I do, he will raise those passions again to a better, even greater level than ever before.
Our God is amazing! He is so loving, so caring, and just so capable like that.
Grab a copy of Fervent and come along on our journey. We’d love to have you!
Don’t miss Chapter 2 – Your Focus!
I guarantee – it will be amazing!
I remember it like it was yesterday. I had this sweet, little, blonde-haired, blue-eyed treasure. I had just put her down to bed and I promptly called my mom.
She turned 74 on April 2. I can actually remember when she turned 40. She has always been beautiful and age is not a thief of that to her. She is the nicest person I have ever known and I know many, many people would agree.
To me, she is Mom. To many she is Mom, Grandma, Aunt Rikki, friend.
Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
Watch me safely through the night.
And wake me with the morning light.
I remember those words so clearly. It was the nighttime prayer that we said with our girls for many, many years. Of course our girls, to this very day, could probably tell you verbatim what they spoke next– “I’m special. I’m a Winner. Jesus loves me.”
Oh he does, he does.
Well, I did it! After a 3 month hiatus because of holidays, travel, and just cold weather, I completed my 3 mile run yesterday and in the time that I was hoping for. Not fast by any means, but at least steady.