Wednesday, November 13, 2019

On Giving Gifts With Eternal Benefits - GIVEAWAY

Hey Friend,

I purposely saved the huge box, wrapped in smiling Santa paper and a big shiny red bow, for last.  

My tender young heart knew deep down inside that Santa would not disappoint me.  As I ripped open the wrapping, as only a child can, I saw the picture and the glorious words...Easy Bake Oven!!

I knew Santa would come through.  It was my long wished for and anticipated Christmas gift.  Nothing could contain my excitement in the moment.  I couldn't wait to get "baking"...

Many years have passed since I received that gift.  It's long since gone the way of the trash heap (even though it's now considered a "vintage" toy and is a collector's item lol). 

What about YOUR gift giving list?  Are most of the gifts you'll be giving bound to wind up on the trash heap some day?  Are you giving any gifts with eternal benefits?  If not, here's your chance...

Nisha came to Redeemer Christian School five years ago.  At the time, she was nine years old, and was cleaning houses in order to get food to survive.  She is just one of many orphans and destitute children that Redeemer Christian Foundation serves.  

Nisha's life has changed dramatically and her spirit has been transformed.  Once unsure that there was a God who really cared about the awful conditions in which she lived, she now leads a children's weekly Bible study.  She has been surrounded with the love of Jesus in Redeemer Christian School, which is nicknamed the "House of Hope".  She knows her identity is found in Christ and she is assured of her salvation.

What an awesome gift to give a child?!  Salvation, and the hope that an education affords.  This is what YOU can give today...

This year, I invite you to join us in the gift of giving back.  Every year, on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, we celebrate Giving Tuesday - a day to extend kindness by sharing with those in need.

Your Giving Tuesday gift of kindness will ensure a future for children like Nisha.  Please join me today in keeping these children in school and off the streets, sparing them from the entrapments of poverty, child labor, human trafficking, extremist recruitment, and more.

Are you ready to literally change the life of an impoverished child?  Your donation will go directly to ensuring these children receive both the Word of God and an education.

As a special incentive, I am providing a FREE GIVEAWAY for those who donate because you read this blog post.  You read that correctly.

TO ENTER: Go to our "Share Your First Fruits" Giving Tuesday donor page.  PLEDGE ANY AMOUNT (all gifts matter) and NOTE IN THE COMMENTS THAT you gave because of "BEV'S BLOG". 

All gifts with this special notation will be entered in a drawing to win a copy of:

DaySpring's latest book:  "Women of Courage: a Forty-Day Devotional."
Lean into the strength of the Lord when your own strength is not enough. MSRP  $16.99. B&H Publishing.

Here's the link to the GIVING PAGE:  

Be sure to mention "Bev's Blog" in the Comment section when asked why you gave.

Prefer to write a check??  Fill out and send to:  RCF, Inc., 103 Silver Lining Lane, Cary, NC  27513.  Write "Bev's Blog" in the Memo line.

You'll automatically be entered to win. US and Canada only. 

Drawing will take place on: December 5th.

Be sure to visit our website:
All gifts are tax deductible.  We are a registered 501c3 with excellent standing.

Be blessed by giving the gift of eternal life this year....don't wait...give today!

Monday, November 4, 2019

Are Self-Care and Soul-Care Mutually Exclusive?

Hey Friend,

There seems to be an ever increasing debate as to whether we need self-care or soul-care?  I thought I'd add my two cents to the discussion.

Our long weekend in Pittsburgh was fun-filled and fast paced.  First stop, my MIL's place.  We combined catching up with her with a wonderful walkabout of the city that we love.  

The next day, we headed up the highway to visit my college alma mater and I gave my hubby a tour of my old stomping grounds.

Day three had us getting ready for a 40th high school reunion.  "Hey, I sat beside you in Algebra...Do you remember the time when?"...conversation...catching up...laughter...condolences...lots of good to see you my good friend.

Next day church and lunch with all the cousins.  

Home. Exhausted. No words left.  Desperately needing God's word.  Earnestly seeking my own comfortable bed.

I hadn't had my daily quiet time with God for five days.  I missed Him.  I needed the refueling from His word.  But first, I needed sleep.  I needed the self-care of sleep before I could even concentrate on the soul-care of His word.  

I believe that God understands that we need basic self-care in order to pursue soul-care.  Sleep, good nutrition, shelter, exercise.  Do we need a massage and a mani-pedi first?  Probably not.  Are massages and manicures evil.  No, I don't think so.

I think the whole debate comes down to:  What or Who are we seeking first?

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.  (Matthew 6:33)

Signs that self-care is all about YOU:  You are the controller of your destiny and your happiness.  The whole "self-care" industry would love to have you buy in to the notion, that it IS all about YOU.  You deserve to be pampered; you deserve to have your needs met. You NEED all this in order to survive.

Is your desire to be healthy and maintain a temple fit for the indwelling of the Spirit, or are you more concerned about your pant size and how you look to others?

Is your pursuit devaluing the image of God within you? Do your pursuits of the "ideal" keep you from being content with who and how God has made you?

Does you pursuit of self-care look more like beauty appointments and vain pursuits that distract you from the work God would have you be doing?  

If your answer, to these questions, is "Yes" then perhaps "self-care" has become an idol in your life.

Soul-care, on the other hand, centers on GOD as the source of your strength and being able to "make it" through life.  The self-care movement centers on YOU being that source.  Big difference.

While self-care and soul-care call us to respect our limits and rest, the motives are very different.

Self-care:  Calls us to respect our limits and rest as a means to replenish and protect OUR reservoir of comfort, happiness, and mental peace.  It's a recognition that the world is not safe and that one must look out for oneself as a means for survival.

Soul-care:  Calls us to respect our limits and rest as a means to worship the One who exists without limits.  It's a recognition that our strength to live in the world, with all it's demands and pain, comes from the Lord. 

I have always struggled with my weight and have tried every "diet" known to man.  The problem was, my motivation was all wrong.  Yes, I wanted to look better and feel better, but the motivation was all about me.  "Me" wanted to fit into a smaller dress size.

It wasn't until I was diagnosed as being pre-diabetic and the Dr. told me, "50% of those who are pre-diabetic will have full blown diabetes within five years."  This jolted me to my senses.  I realized I was not taking good enough care of the temple God had given me and I was not thinking of my husband and family who may want to have a healthy me around for many more years.

Also as one who struggles with anxiety, is a HSP (Highly Sensitive Person), tends toward people-pleasing, and am an introvert at my core, I have had a bad habit of relationally and emotionally overextending myself.  

God calls us to live our lives "sacrificially" - serving others, but, get this, He DOES NOT ask us to do it to the detriment of our spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental well being.  

Self-care is not only okay, but necessary - so long as "Self" does not become your master.

Soul-care is paramount, but cannot be done without taking care of basic needs.  

When in doubt, turn back to the greatest commandment:

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength."  The second is this, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself."  (Mark 12: 30-31)

Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last...J-O-Y...a great prescription for self-care and soul-care.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you that you care about ALL my needs.  You are the ultimate provider of everything that I need.  Help me to check my motives in order to determine priorities in my life.  Give me the desire to seek first YOUR kingdom, knowing that you will take care of the rest.  Let your word and not my own selfishness be master of my life.  Thank you for the Sabbath rest you command me to enjoy - let me take this precept seriously.  Sustain me, Lord, so that I can be about doing Your will.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

What about you?  Do you tend to over-extend yourself?  Is God calling you to self-care, soul-care, or both?  What are your thoughts on self-care vs. soul-care?  Will you share?

Be blessed....

ps.  If you've enjoyed what you've read, here, today, you can SUBSCRIBE to my weekly posts at the SUBSCRIBE tab above.  Enter your contact information and then be sure to look for the confirmation link that will come to you in an email.  Click the link to confirm your SUBSCRIPTION.  Thanks so much for reading!

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Marriage Troubles? Time to Apply & Integrate Your Identity in Christ - Guest Post

Hey Friend,

While I'm off to my 40th high school reunion (am I really THAT old?), my good friend, Beth Steffaniak, is stepping in to guest post.  I never miss a post on her blog "Messy Marriage."  Beth keeps it real and her posts on marriage are firmly based upon scripture.

Beth's story is not what you'd expect from a pastor's wife and life coach.  Beth admits that she came into marriage with emotional wounds and unhealthy patterns.  She admits that her baggage made her marriage messy in no time. 

Beth writes from a position of a life and story redeemed.  I've been blessed to attend She Speaks writers' conference with Beth.  She's the "real deal" and I am grateful to call her friend.  Beth is a new, gushing Grandma to Samson and since she'll be having major surgery on Oct. 24th, I encourage you to leave her some lovin' in the Comments on her blog (but know she may not be able to respond).

Marriage Troubles?  Time to Apply & Integrate Your Identity in Christ...

Staying in an unrelenting and difficult marriage can really take a toll on your sense of identity, making you feel as if you don’t know who you are apart from what you do.

People often try to fix this problem by doing more or different things—like exercising more so that you feel and look better. Though that’s a good thing to do, it should never be what you base your identity on. Those are roles and actions that can temporarily encourage, but do nothing to establish your identity in Christ.  Click HERE to join Beth at her blog, "Messy Marriage" for the rest of this post...
Just an aside...God does not ask you to stay in a verbally, emotionally, or physically abusive marriage.  You are God's precious child and He does not want you to endure such treatment.  Do seek professional help (even if your spouse won't).  God loves you!
I'll be back in my writer's seat in a couple weeks.
Be blessed....
ps.  If you have enjoyed or benefited from what you've read, here, today, might you consider SUBSCRIBING to my weekly posts?  I never share my contact information or bombard your inbox.  Just click on the SUBSCRIBE tab above, enter your email address, and BE SURE to click on the link that will COME TO YOU IN EMAIL FORM to authenticate your subscription.  You can unsubscribe at any time.  Thanks for reading...

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Are You Struggling With Suffering?

Hey Friend,

What is the most asked question on Google?

I stumbled upon an article on this topic and was curious.  What was the burning question on everyone's mind???

If you know me, you'll know why I didn't even understand the is:

What is my ip?

I admit that I didn't know that "ip" stands for "internet protocol".  Over 3 million people ask this question every month.  This question doesn't keep me up at night, but another one used to:

Is there any good purpose to suffering?  or Why do good people suffer?

My life story is marked with joy, but it's also been marked by A LOT of suffering.  I remember people telling me that God comforts us in our suffering, and my response was, "That's nice, but I'd rather be comfortable without the suffering...thank you very much."

I remember thinking that God had truly abandoned me.  There is nothing so awful as thinking that the God of the Universe has given up on you and you are all alone in the mess.  It's agonizing.

I went to get my flu shot and before me was a little girl getting her shot.  Understandably, she was terrified.  She wanted nothing to do with that needle.  The more her mother tried to console her, the more she grew anxious.  Upon injection, she let out an ear-piercing scream.  It hurt!  Why was the nurse hurting her, and why was her mother holding her still and just looking on?

Her mother didn't relish the anguish that her daughter was suffering, but because of her child's health concerns, she KNEW that the painful shot was the BEST thing for her delicate daughter.

Through suffering, I have learned that God is more concerned about my character than He is about my comfort. 

He never wanted me to suffer, most of my life, with mental illness, but I have been plagued with anxiety and depression as far back as I can remember.  I have had several despairing experiences wherein I seriously contemplated taking my own life because ANYTHING would be better than the intense suffering I was experiencing.

So what have I learned from this suffering?

1.  How to pray for strength to endure.  I KNOW what it is to persevere.  A counselor once told me, "If 'Perseverance' was a course in school, you'd get an A+." 

Not only that, but we also rejoice in our suffering, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character hope.  And HOPE does not disappoint us...  (Romans 5:4-5a) 

Hope is a byproduct of suffering, ironic, but true.

2.  I've learned compassion for others and developed an intimate relationship with the Lord.  Having gone through a season of six years marked by six major surgeries back to back, I have a compassion for others, that I know I would never have, had I not gone through such trials.  Suffering has born in me an empathy that allows me to speak the love of Christ into other people's lives when they are suffering.

I also know, that suffering is the necessary crucible that refines me and it has taken me to the deepest levels of my faith.  I know, without a doubt, that God is faithful to His promises.  He is good.  And, He will never leave me nor forsake me.  I can look back and see how His righteous right hand has held me through it all.  I would not have this confidence had it not been for the seasons of suffering.

3.  It has built my hope in the future.  Romans 12:12 foretells a time when "no resident will say, 'I am sick.'"  A day is coming when God will cure chronic illnesses that are beyond the power of modern science to solve.  We will be returned to our "youthful vigor."  

I don't have a "bucket list" because I know that this life is fleeting.  I'm not putting all my stock in the limited years I walk this earth.  I know that the real living will be accomplished in eternity.  This life is practice and a time of learning for what is ultimately to come.  

4.  It has helped me to experience true joy.  God graciously gives me glimpses of the joy to come.  After the suffering that came from being abandoned after 25+ years of marriage, I have joy and gratitude that I never could have experienced in my marriage of 5 years, had I not experienced the dark days of sadness.  I thank God every single day for the blessing of my husband and the second chance at living in a covenant relationship that He's given me.

5.  Struggling/suffering indicates the presence of Christ working in my life.  When Christ is vibrantly at work in and through me, the enemy is furious.  He wants to take me out.  I have never felt so persecuted as when I have been doing the Lord's work.  Working as the Executive Director of a Christian School that is bringing the hope of Jesus to orphans in the Middle better believe I'm constantly under attack, but I'm called to take up my cross and follow Him.  

If we follow Christ we will share in His suffering as well.  

The dark brush strokes of suffering make the bright brush strokes of joy stand out more brilliantly.

God's omniscient and all-knowing mind knows everything.  He is above ALL things, even evil.  Even though some suffering "seems" to have no good purpose, an "all-good" God has a good purpose for everything.  

God never desired suffering for us.  He created a perfect world and man ushered in the presence of evil.  We may suffer because of consequences of our sin or we may suffer for apparently no reason at all.

I DO KNOW that God can and will redeem every moment of suffering we experience and He will catch every tear that falls.  

Dear Heavenly Father,  I praise you and thank you that you are an all-knowing and good, good, Father.  Your plans are plans for me to prosper, not to bring me harm. Help me to know, that even if I suffer, you will bring beauty from the ashes.  Enable me to lean into you and to know, with all confidence, that you will never leave nor forsake me.  Give me the strength and perseverance needed to walk THROUGH these trials with you.  I cling to your righteous right hand.  Thank you for the joy that you want to restore unto me.  Give me faith and trust when I have doubts.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

What about you question why you or others you love suffer?  Do you want God to replace your doubts with belief?  If you are suffering, what might God be at work accomplishing in your life?  Do you trust His goodness?  What lessons have you learned through suffering?  Will you share?

Be blessed...

ps.  If you have appreciated what you've read, here, today, might you want to SUBSCRIBE to my weekly blog posts?  That's what you'll get (and nothing else).  Just click on the SUBSCRIBE tab above, enter your contact information, and BE SURE to click the confirmation link that will come to you in EMAIL FORM.  Thanks for reading...

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Finding the Narrow Road to Life

Hey Friend,

Even our GPS seemed perplexed...

My husband and I had been winding our way down and around country roads for close to a half hour.  We could see our destination marked on the GPS system, but when we got to where we thought we could get to it, there was no road.

We made a right and traveled on what we thought was the correct road, but it didn't lead to our destination.  Frustrated, we turned the car around as a few cows lazily munched on grass and looked at us curiously.

We made another pass by and still we couldn't find the way in.  Finally, creeping along the main road, we saw a narrow gravel road leading off the road we were on, into the tall oaks.  It looked like the proverbial "road to nowhere."  We decided to follow it out of utter curiosity.

We wound around a few curves in the road, going deeper into the mix of pines and oaks, until we finally came upon a narrow gate.  The sign read, "Lavender Oaks Farm."  We'd found it!!  

Five hundred feet on ahead, the gravel road opened up to reveal a gorgeous lavender farm that was beginning it's spring bloom and burst into beauty.  What a gorgeous oasis out in the middle of nowhere.  

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.  (Matthew 7:13-14)

I have had to ask the Lord to open my eyes to the emptiness of this world - the broad road.

One of the allures of the wide road is self focus.

Yes, we need to take good care of God's temple - our body - but there is a shallowness to the whole booming business of self-care and self-pampering.  I love a good massage as much as the next person, but when my spiritual tank is empty, instead of a mani-pedi, I need to get into God's word and hang out with Him for a good stretch of time.

Those that seem to "have it all" often die unhappy, unfulfilled, and separated from God.

Another allure of the wide road is idolatry.

The world idolizes actors, actresses, models, singers, and sports figures.  There is a big difference, however, between fame and success.  I pray that I will not be tempted by the wide road that leads to destruction.

Instead of idolizing the shiny new car in my neighbor's driveway or how perfect her kids appear to be, I need to focus on thanking God for what and who He has put in my life.  Gratitude is a great cure for the green-eyed monster.

In my life, I want to be continually transformed into the likeness of Christ.

The real purpose of life is not to be "entertained," but to walk with the Lord and serve Him and serve others.

In my quiet time, I found this profound and alluring piece of scripture that I don't remember reading before.  It really spoke to me about finding the narrow road to life.  

In it, it refers to a narrow road that is called "The Holy Way".  I invite you to read it slowly and take it in:

A road will be there and a way;
It will be called the Holy Way.
The unclean will not travel on it,
but it will be for the one who walks the path.

Fools will not wander upon it.
There will be no lion there,
and no vicious beast will go up on it;
they will not be found there.

But the redeemed will walk on it,
and the redeemed of the Lord will return
and come to Zion with singing,
crowned with unending joy.

Joy and gladness will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee.

(Isaiah 35: 8-10)

Dear Heavenly Father, enable me to find the small gate and the narrow road that leads to life.  I know only a few will find it.  Help me to not be lured by self focus and idolatry and all the other shiny things the world has to offer.  When my spiritual tank is empty, let me come and drink from your springs of life.  Let me have a thirst for your Holy Word.  What a glorious road it will be into Zion.  No sin, no beasts will walk upon it.  Fools will be turned away and only the redeemed made righteous in Christ's blood will find it.  What joy and gladness will overtake me and my tears will be wiped away forever.  Thank Jesus name I pray, Amen.

What about you?  How does the world lure you away from "The Holy Way"?  How is God calling you to redirect/change your ways in order to find the narrow road to life? How does this scripture speak to you, personally?  Will you share?

Be blessed...

ps.  If you have enjoyed what you've read, here, today, might you consider subscribing to my blog.  You will receive my weekly blog (and nothing else!).  Just go to the SUBSCRIBE tab above and enter your contact information.  THEN BE SURE to check your inbox for an email that will contain a confirmation link that you HAVE TO CLICK.  This is to insure your subscription and confirm you aren't a bot.  Thanks for reading!!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Blessed Are The "Hot Messes" - The Forgotten Beatitude

Hey Friend,

"Blessed are the "hot messes," for they shall be rescued and made clean and new by the Lord."  (The Forgotten Beatitude)

You there, in your yoga pants and spit-up-spattered, over-sized t-shirt, the one with the perpetual pony tail who is writing her grocery list in her Bible margins while cramming in "quiet time" in the carpool line. You there, running late again for work with two shoes that don't match, making a mess of your mascara as you dial in on the conference call. You there, crunching carrots and celery and hyper-hydrating before you jump on the torture-trainer (aka the elliptical machine) so that you don't embarrass yourself at your high school reunion. You there, who thinks anyone could do your life better than you do it...I've got a message for you!

God loves you and He has a HUGE heart for hot messes!

How do I know??  Because I am one!  And this isn't me...I'm not that skinny, but I liked the t-shirt!

I love The Beatitudes because they cheer on and encourage the underdog.  The beatitudes are dogma for the down and out.  They lift up the "less than's".

The beatitudes are part of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.  Jesus provides a discourse on the law of Moses and it was meant to show all people that it was impossible to fulfill all of the law and as such, we could only come to God and ask for mercy and grace that became available through the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross.

Who, more than a "hot mess," needs mercy and grace?

Though there are eight beautiful beatitudes, I'll focus on two of my favorites.

#2: Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted. 
Jesus is talking about mourning the loss of a loved one, but He also expands the definition to mean mourning the loss of any relationship - marriage, family member, friendship.  In the world today, we might even mourn the fact that so many people are not in right relationship with God, or mourn the depravity of our society.

Jesus said that He would send the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, and that the Holy Spirit would comfort us and provide a balm for our hurting hearts.

#3:  Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.
This beatitude is often misinterpreted.  It doesn't refer to meekness as a lack of strength or substance.  The Bible clearly talks about how God resists the proud, but gives strength to the humble.

I remember being called "meek" once and it wasn't a compliment.  It was a put-down because I wasn't a very outspoken person.  The word "meekness" means strength under control. The meek understand and willingly submit to God's authority.

Jesus said that if we wanted to be great in His kingdom, then we would have to be servant leaders.  Servant leadership is the definition of meekness. 

The blessing for the "hot mess"??

God will surely come to the rescue of those of us who think we continually make a mess of our lives.  Truth is, we DO make messes.

For our mess, Jesus offers cleansing that can only come through accepting the gift of grace that makes us PERFECT under the veil of Christ's blood, through which God views us. 

Only Jesus can take us from complete mess to profound perfection.  What an awesome God we have who makes provision for all our weakness.  We can't keep the law, but through the enabling of the Holy Spirit, we can be comforted, find strength, and be made perfect in God's sight.  He will give us strength to obey.

You the yoga pants...have I told you you're amazing?? God says so over and over again in His Word.  In Christ, you are a new creation.  If you're a "hot mess" this is God's message for you today!

Dear Heavenly Father, I praise you that you cheer on the underdog.  You meet us whether it's in mourning, meekness, or any state in which we yearn for You.  Thank you that your values are not what the world values.  Help me to realize that you value humility, right standing, purity, peace-making, and those that would lay down their lives for you.  Help me to be counted among those who are blessed because they rely and depend solely upon you.  Bless me and make my "mess" clean.
In Jesus name I pray,  Amen.

What about you?  Do you feel like a hot mess at times?  What answer do you think God is laying before you?  What steps do you want or need to take?  How do the beatitudes encourage you?  Will you share?

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Be blessed...

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Prescription For the Spiritual "Blahs"

Hey Friend,

It was still well before 6 am.  Eyes still half shut, I pushed open the screen door and ushered our beagle out into the darkness.  I turned on my heels to head toward the coffee maker, but something made me change my mind.  

The weather, for the first time, was refreshingly cool.  I stepped out onto the deck and the moon cast a silvery light-soaked pathway down our back hill.  There was not a cloud in the dark sky and the stars shone brightly.  I simply had to stand there and take it in.  

The longer I stood, transfixed, goosebumps raised on my arms, but in my mind I was transported back to a night sky that looked so similar, so many years ago. On that long-ago night I lay on my back in the cool grass. I was just thirteen. I could hear guitars around the campfire still strumming in the distance, but as I gazed up I knew, without a doubt, that I didn't want to go through life alone.  I wanted Jesus Christ to be the Lord of my life.

I repented of my sins and invited Him in to take the pilot's seat - to be Lord of my life.  I knew He was the One who could fill the gaping hole in my heart. 

That night the love of Christ and the reality of what He'd sacrificed for me set my heart ablaze.  I was on fire for the Lord for the very first time in my life.

That was over 45 years ago.  I wish I could say that my heart has burned brightly for Him ever since, but that would be a lie.  There have been seasons, both long and short, that the embers were fanned and burst into flames once again.  There have also been long and short seasons of apathy, disinterest, laziness, obligation, and general spiritual blahs.

The Problem can be summed up in Revelation 2:4-5:

Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.  Consider how far you have fallen!  Repent and do the things you did at first.  If you do not repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place.

These words were directed to the church in Ephesus.  They were a church that had endured and persevered through suffering, but their love had grown cold. They were simply going through the motions of religion.  Their deeds were good, but there was no love motivating them.  

How often am I like them?  Doing what I do out of obligation vs. a burning love for the Lord and wanting to serve Him?

The Solution can be summed up in 2 Timothy 1: 6-7:

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of hands. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.

Since my life-long MO is continually defaulting to pursuing "self-sufficiency" when I have the spiritual blahs, I think it's up to me to get busy and muster up some fiery faith.

The verse from 2nd Timothy reminds me that the source of my faith is NOT me, it is the Spirit of God moving in me.  

We are to fan into flame the GIFT of God.

So if the Spirit is the source of my faith, HOW do I fan this gift into flame?


I remind myself that apart from the Lord, I can do nothing. 

I don't do something, instead, I ASK the Lord's Spirit to work and move in me.

(Remember Seek, Knock, Ask...and it will be given unto you?) ASK the Spirit of God to move in you and guess what?  He will.

Now the part that's up to me is to obey.  What does obedience look like?

Obedience means I have to be in His Word daily.  I need fuel to start a fire. 

I need to be reading, meditating, dwelling, abiding, and communing with God.  He's the lighter fluid.

Then, ASK for the spark of the Spirit and pretty soon you have a roaring fire!!

I have found that I can't "feel" my way into actions, but I can "act" my way into feelings.  

When I get a case of the spiritual blahs, I seek; I ask; and then as God promises, I find.

Praying for you sweet friend, that the Lord would answer the desire of your heart and through the gift of the Holy Spirit, He would set your heart on fire once more. With God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, ALL things are possible.

Dear Heavenly Father,  I praise you for kindling a fire in my heart so many years ago.  I thank you that when the flames die down and my heart grows cold that I don't have to try, on my own, to muster up faith again.  You have given me the very catalyst I need in the form of the Holy Spirit.  Enable me to humble myself to ASK for a rekindled faith-fire.  Give me strength to do my part in obedience.  Let me abide in your presence Lord and wait with great expectation for what you will perform in my life.  Set my heart ablaze once more. I'm asking. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

What about you?  Has your heart grown cold or apathetic?  Do you have a case of the spiritual blahs?  What steps is God calling you to in order to be set on fire again?  If you've never experienced the life transformation of inviting Jesus to come into your heart, forgive you of your sins, and be Lord of you life, might you want to ask Him now?  Will you share in the Comments?  If you'd like for me to pray for you...feel free to email me.

Be blessed...

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