Miracle Grow

Bigger is better. At least that is what most of us in the Western hemisphere have been taught throughout the years. From the gardener’s perspective, I am always searching for ways to develop bigger blooms that are longer lasting and fruits and veggies that grow bigger and taste better. What we need, just like the plants in my garden, is some “Miracle Grow.”

Now the fertilizer product of a similar name can produce great results by adding to plants, fruits and veggies the nutrients that allow them to not only survive but thrive. We, too, can produce good fruit by adding our own special blend of “miracle grow” which consists of something that you can’t find in a box but instead a book.

God’s Word should be our source for the very things that would allow us to grow stronger, taller and bloom better. The reading and implementation of God’s Word creates an atmosphere for the miraculous. When we seek God first, then does He allow everything else, our dreams, desires, goals and aspirations to be added unto us. Enveloping ourselves in His Word and consistently seeking and applying its mandates allow each of us to do more than we ever could under our own power. God will do what we cannot do for ourselves; we just need to do what we can do.

We grow when we exhibit patience and perseverance. We grow when we pray daily for guidance in decisions great and small. Our miracle growth that stems from a relationship with God allows us to be faith filled and fearless. We can submit and obey. God’s Word provides the foundation required for our “miracle growth.”

We often look for God to save us from a situation when in reality He will instead get us through a situation. Our miracle often comes when we have nothing else to lean on, depend on or turn to. Our miracles come when we are at the very end, oftentimes so there is no doubt as to where our deliverance comes from. He is an “on time” God, not necessarily our time but when we need it most.

Set the stage and prime the atmosphere for miracles by expecting that God can deliver. Magnify your God and minimize your circumstances. Know that God IS able! The gardener puts down miracle grow because he knows it works, his plants will produce more than they could without it. We should have the same mentality and regularly turn to God in prayer, in word and in deed through submission realizing that His “miracle grow” will yield bigger and better results in our lives.

We should pray for God’s best asking that He enlarge our vision to align with His vision. The things we think are so great in our eyes are only specks to God. Jesus wants us to live abundantly but that requires work on our part. We must open ourselves up to expect miracles, recognize miracles and embrace them as God’s goodness. It is important that we do our part through prayer, patience, persistence and self-discipline so that we can grow into what God intended all along.

Bigger Boy. Better Boy. These are not nicknames for pets but instead kinds of tomatoes that have been bred to produce a good fruit. These two examples were developed when one plant was aligned with another to produce a result better than either single plant could alone. Likewise we too have the potential to produce a better yield in our lives when we align ourselves us with the right things and people. What are hooked up with? Are the influences around you for your betterment or to your detriment?

Bind yourself with proper influences and people. If you want to become more positive, speak with positive people. Stay away from people who are always negative or people that leave you feeling worse off than before you spoke to them. Choose the right things to eat, drink, read, watch and speak. See if it makes not only a difference in your life by how you feel but also in what you are able to do. The power of life and death is in your words. What have you been developing, manifesting and promoting? Are you setting a faith filled stage for the impossible to happen or are you hindering your own growth by allowing your own personal space to become hard, dry and barren?

Pray and communicate with God. Lazarus’ friends came to Jesus because they knew He could heal their friend. Peter walked on water because He knew the power Jesus held. You know what God is capable of when you are connected to Him, speak to Him and respond to Him.

Take an example from my plants. They turn toward the sun for life. We must turn toward the Son for life, not to merely live but to live a fulfilling and productive life. Have faith for growth, dreams and miracles. Leave room for the unexpected. Don’t minimizing your belief in what God can do. Don’t rely on your timing, for this will only leave you frustrated. Instead, trust God to do things in His timing which is always the best timing. Have faith for your future. It is impossible to please God without faith.

Faith lays the foundation for favor. Favor produces miracles. Did Moses have any idea God would part the Sea? Did the disciples realize Jesus would resurrect Lazarus? Who could have imagined that two fish and a couple of loaves of bread would feed thousands? Never underestimate the power of God and the part your faith, obedience and diligently seeking Him plays in producing abundance in your own life.

If you want some “miracle grow” then you need to “diligently go” to the source of all true life. Seek the Son. Receive what He has already done for you. Expect a good harvest. Develop a deeper connection with God and grow!

P is for Persistence

 

per sist   per, through +  sistere, cause to stand  1 to refuse to give up, esp. when faced with opposition 2 to continue insistently 3 to endure; remain        

Webster’s New Dictionary

 

Persistence is necessary if we are going to receive the best of what God has for us. Persistence as defined by Webster is a characteristic each of us must take on if we are to finish the race. Each person has his or her own personal journey in life that eventually has a finish line. There will be trials and obstacles to deter you from finishing. There will also be distractions to steer you off course and away from your goal. In order to overcome these pitfalls Persistence is a necessary virtue, one that separates those who could from those who would.

Success, prosperity or being fruitful requires a steadfast determination to refuse to give up. Giving up is quite easy, it’s done by millions each day. When the road is rough and trials are difficult and especially when you can’t even fathom an end to your race it is easy to give up. Your emotions, if not properly focused, will coax you to quit, fooling yourself that your race isn’t that important to finish or suggesting “what difference does it really make?”  Ill influences whether the enemy or even well-intentioned people in your life can convince you that your struggle isn’t worth the frustration or you are wasting your time. It is vital that you stay persistent, defiant that you will not quit until your race is done. This will require shutting some people out of your life if necessary and simply refusing to listen to others who really don’t mean you any harm but can in no way see the vision God has instilled in your heart.

Persistence entails a deep down determination that you will not stop no matter what. Christ said to the disciples in Matthew 18: 3 “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” This verse is usually explained on several levels but one point to explore is that children are persistent. If you are going to complete your race you will need to have a childlike persistence in the approach that you take.

Most children are very persistent! If you promise something to a child, that kid is going to nag you about it until you fulfill the task that you promised to fulfill. Children usually have no shame in asking for what they want.  When kids have questions, they will ask and ask and ask. They don’t tire they just keep on going, talking and doing whatever is fixed on their minds. Like children, we should have our goals fixed in our minds and keep doing, asking and whatever else is necessary to make those things come to pass.

Often we know what we should do but we are not persistent in following through with these things. We should be persistent in praying, not just on Sundays or meal times but throughout the day. Persistence in obedience would make us so much more successful and more readily receive the rewards God would have for each of us. Persistently implementing good habits, discarding bad habits and influences in addition to avoiding those temptations that are pitfalls are often things we know we should do but we fail to do. Instead we often begin with good intentions but soon give up our efforts. Start, stop , start, stop, start, stop until one day we finally “get it” and follow through so we can go on to the next level. If we are persistent in our pursuits of what we should do, this enhances the potential of what we can do.

Finally, persistence denotes a quality of endurance. It is essential that we stay rooted in the Word of God consistently and not just when we are inclined to. We must remain faithful, hope filled and fearless. It is not as hard to get to where you need to be as it is to stay where you need to be to receive God’s best. You must position yourself and stay, remain, endure full of expectation, determined to do your best no matter what. Often we know what we should do but fail to do it more than a couple of days, weeks or even months. Instead, strive to be persistent, like a nagging gnat that refuses to lose its “buzz” for God. Chew on God’s word like a bulldog that refuses to let loose persistent and unfailing in his grip. Persist, or refuse to give up on your goals and God’s purpose for you no matter what it may be and no matter what your current circumstances. Persist in claiming what God has placed in your heart to the point that people just think you are crazy!

P is for persistence. Remain and endure strong in the Lord. Refuse to give up. Continue your race no matter what.

Heavenly father, I pray that I am persistent in my pursuit of your best for my life. I pray for the strength and fortitude to keep going when I don’t feel like it and other people think I am losing my mind. I pray to persist in doing what is right and walking away from those things that would remove your presence from me. Thank you for these things, I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen

Droughts and Downpours

Last year, here in the southeast, we experienced record high temperatures. Native southerners are not often deterred by the heat. We who were raised in the south and are used to extreme temperatures. However, when the thermostat read over 106 degrees, in the shade, what we thought was hot was nothing compared to the sweltering temperatures that made it into the record books. Just as the extremes in temperature caught us off guard, so too can certain situations threaten to leave us scorched and drained when they erupt in our own lives.

Oftentimes we feel that we think can deal with the stress or are so accustomed to being under duress only to find ourselves in a situation that eventually proves too hot to handle. God often allows us to go through trials that may seem hot as hell itself to prove and perfect us. We will never realize what we can handle until we are forced to do so.

During the extreme heat, I didn’t realize my marigolds and lantana were so heat-resistant until they were forced to endure such unimaginable temperatures. Like my plants, we often don’t know what we are capable of enduring until we too are forced to face the heat, and not only face it but keep striving and thriving in spite of it.

When you feel the heat of hell itself stretching its reach toward you, it is vital to remember that Jesus sacrificed Himself to pluck you from the heat and flames that would overcome you. God is the ultimate firefighter. He can quench the flames and heat of any circumstance that threatens you. The important thing to remember is that the heat is only temporary.

The heat or hot circumstances in your life only serve to temper you and purify you so that your patience may perfect you. Often people fail to reach their potential because they fail to remember the heat in their lives won’t last forever.

Hot situations can readily overcome and immobilize those who don’t lean on God and rely on His redemption to turn the situation around. Just like my hydrangeas, the extreme heat burns and crisps their leaves and those that remain fall flat and limp. What is left is not the small pretty plant I placed in the ground months ago but instead something that looks…dead.

Funny thing though, after three days of extreme heat an amazing thing happened. It rained. Not only did it rain, the skies opened up and water fell buckets full at a time from the sky. The roar of the rain was so startling and severe it made people stop and take notice.

Rain drops hit hard like pellets of hail. The ground was dumped on with so much water, so quickly, it couldn’t absorb it all. Puddles and streams stood amazingly on ground that had been baked dry just hours before. What happened wasn’t just rain, but a reflection of God’s abundance.

In Biblical times, rain was analogous to abundance. Rain is commonly associated with God’s pouring out of His blessings. “Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit,” Leviticus 26:4 KJV.  “That I will give the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou may gather in the corn, and thy wine, and thine oil,” Deuteronomy 11:14 KVJ. Get the picture?

Rain is the precursor for and a necessary element for the eventual Harvest. Without rain there is no reaping, the seed will merely wither away.

After such brutal heat, we received a downpour that in minutes negated the heat that hung stagnant in the air for days. In mere minutes, the temperature dropped twenty degrees!

The point is just as God gave us relief from the record-setting temperatures, our God will do the very same for you in whatever drought or “hot” situations that you may be forced to handle.

My “at death’s door” hydrangeas in one day sprouted new leaves! Those leaves that had been wilted before stood out firm and flat. That is what God wants to do for each of us. He wants to refresh and restore each of us, not allowing us to succumb to the pressures and stresses of this life. Sure some experiences may seem overwhelming but they only appear to be deadly.

The hydrangeas only appeared dead when subjected to the extreme heat. Your situation may only appear dead, but God can bring cooling rains to dry situations in your own life when you allow him access to your personal garden. In a moment’s notice God has the power to turn any situation around.  You may come out of a situation a bit charred like the leaves on my plant but the heat doesn’t just test you but it strengthens you.

The extreme heat tried and stressed my plants. During those days what was once lush and lovely looked dead and dismal. However, during the same period of time, the roots on the hydrangea plants were forced to work harder, dig deeper and subsequently made the plant hardier. That hydrangea will now be more able to handle future stresses without dying.

Our hot situations do the same for us. What we don’t allow to kill us, with God, will make us stronger. But we must have faith in God’s restorative power and that He is in control.

The interesting thing about our relieving downpours was that they were rather unexpected. The record heat had been the talk of the news for days but the relief we received from the pouring rain was a welcome surprise. The meteorologists were not anticipating the stormy and violent rains that fell so forcefully and so immediately. The sudden storms blew in and out ever so quickly but were more than effective enough to get the job done. Thankfully, that is exactly how God often works on our behalf.

When we are in a trying time we must have faith that God will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. God has the power to extinguish the fires that threaten to get out of control and overtake us. He will allow enough heat to temper us but not burn us. Just as suddenly and unexpectedly as our downpours, God’s grace, mercy and abundance can overflow over us and totally restore what before looked barren and dead and transform a dead situation instead into something lush and thriving.

Your financial situation can be washed and transformed from indebtedness to prosperity. A body that is ill and ravaged with sickness can become healthy and whole. Depression can give way to joy once again. Quickly and suddenly it only takes one touch from God and the opening up and pouring out of His abundance to completely change a situation.

Expect to get through whatever drought you may be facing. Remember that God will give you relief from the heat. Meditate on God’s promises and move forward, dragging yourself if you must, until you are once again under God’s provision, abundance and “downpour” of His goodness in your life. God knows what you are going through, through being the operative word. The heat doesn’t last forever; God will make the rains come.

The key is to remember and expect that the rain will come. Abundance and prosperity will find you. God’s favor will fall on you. It is impossible to please God without faith for the future; your faith is the difference between going through the heat and remaining in a situation where you become baked and lifeless. You may be alive but not truly living the life God intended for you when you “give up” and don’t allow yourself the opportunity for God’s best.

When you feel as if you can’t take the heat any longer, if you are facing a financial drought or if you simply are at crossroads and are in need of direction, always remember the rain will come. Often suddenly and unexpectedly, it makes the miracle all the more marvelous.

God’s timing doesn’t align itself with our desires but it does promise to allow us to endure our own personal “fires.”

Sudden thunderstorms are on the horizon. You may not hear the thunder or see the lightning. There may not be a cloud in sight but God promises His “rains” will come.

“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain,” James 5:7 NKJV

Thank you, Father for the promise of rain. May I continually remember that You are in control no matter how hot it seems. May patience through the heat perfect Your work in me. May I stand firm on the promise that I can get through, with You, no matter my circumstance. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Peace and Joy!

 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid,” John 14:27 NKJV

Jesus came so that we may have peace here on this earth. It is amazing how quickly we are willing to give it up. Circumstances, people and our day-to-day lives will rob us of both peace and joy if we allow it. Peace and joy are two of the most valuable things any person can posses, yet so carelessly we allow others to rob us of them both.
Christ’s work on this earth is finished, yet we often run around as if all is lost and it is the end of the world if we don’t or can’t accomplish our  “to do” list. We rob ourselves of peace and joy by letting other people, obligations and our own shortcomings overshadow what Christ has already done for us.
The key to keeping peace and joy (longer that the fifteen minutes after church service) lies in the ability to tune out distractions. Our society is so plugged in that there is little quiet time allowed to be still and reflect. You have to fight for the time to spend with yourself and God that will allow you to truly have “a peace that passes understanding.”
We spend so much time working for things in life that don’t really matter that if only we put those efforts into keeping what has already been freely given to us, we could we truly enjoy the fullness of God’s love for us.  Joy is different from happiness. Happiness is based on circumstances and your reaction to your environment. Joy, however, comes from within and allows for true contentment no matter what is going on around you. Joy can only be given from God. Happiness is transient. True joy is long-lasting and not easily shaken. Allow your spirit to rejoice in the Lord, overriding what you see and feel because you are, instead, moved inwardly by what you know…. God is good, He loves you, everything else is secondary!
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning,” Psalm 30:5. No matter what you may be facing, it is possible to receive God’s joy. Christ was able to endure the crucifixion because He was aware of the joy that lay beyond the experience. We were crucified with Christ so God will do no less for us!
Receive the peace and joy God has for you. The price has already been paid. There is nothing you could ever purchase or acquire that will bring you as much satisfaction or contentment. All you have to do is believe and receive and the enduring love, peace, and joy of God is available to you, nonstop and never-ending.
Peace.

P is for Praise!

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoice; and with my song will I praise Him,” Psalms 28:7 KJV 

“Praise” is mentioned roughly 200 times In the KJV Bible. The book of Psalms is full of songs that praise our God. This emphasis on “praise” should show us just how powerful  it is.  David wrote song after song about the greatness of God. His heart was filled with praise for the Father. Even after committing murder God’s love for David did not falter.

Could it be David’s continual praise made all the difference?    1 PRPL BLM

Praise was taken very seriously. There was praise before battle. There was praise after the battle was won. How much more could we find ourselves in God’s presence if we would intentionally praise Him beyond the church walls?

Praise is a mirror image of prayer. Our prayers tend to focus on us and our needs. Our praise glorifies the goodness of God!  

Praise is the “thank you” we give God for each new day. Praise is the song that acknowledges that yes, God, I know it was you that pulled me through difficult times. Praise is worship. Praise is the product of allowing the Holy Spirit to manifest inwardly within us and we in turn manifest outwardly the joy and peace that He brings.

Praise paves the way for progress. Praise is the power that pushes us through situations instead of keeping us stuck in them. Praise speaks to God our Father and reflects our love for Him. Praise speaks to our own spirit and is an outpouring of His love for us.

DSC_0110 (2)

Never minimize the power of Praise. It can open doors that have been shut for years. Praise can produce results you could never make happen!

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue,” Proverbs 18:21. What kind of life do you want to live?    

Don’t blame.  Praise instead!  Blame never produced one good thing. It is a negative reflection on a past you cannot change.  However, praise uses your voice to push you into position to overcome past failures and open up to new opportunities. Praise takes the emphasis off of ourselves and magnifies our Father with Whom all things are possible!

Praise God because of His goodness. Praise Him for who He is. Praise God for what has done for you!

Replace your complaints with praise and see what a difference it makes in your life. Praise is the fuel that allows you to fly high with faith. Allow your praise to take you to levels you would never dared believe you could achieve.

Praise God in all things!

P is for Praise!

BLSD BTFLY 5  “I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness; and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.” Psalms 7:17 KJV

“Let the heaven and earth praise him, the seas, and every thing that moveth therein.” Psalms 69:34 KJV  

Sun or Shade?

Any gardener’s dilemma often includes where to put a favorite plant. You may have a favorite specimen but not necessarily the ideal place within your planting space that is suitable for that species. I have always been fond of caladiums which are pink, green and red elephant ear like plants that I grew up with as a child. These plants traditionally thrive in shady environments.

When I began my gardening endeavors, I planted about thirty or so bulbs so excited when they finally emerged from the ground. However, my yard had full sun exposure for most of the day. What happened to my plants? The sun fried them to a crisp! Not only was the money spent on them gone to no avail but my labor had been in vain. I wasn’t wise enough to make sure I put those plants in an area suitable for their sustained growth.

Like the caladiums, we too, are flowers in God’s great garden. But fortunately for us, we are given everything we need to bloom where we are  no matter where we find ourselves. If Paul can write a major part of the New Testament from prison, can’t we surely magnify God’s love and His characteristics in our daily lives?

Shade plants will fry in the sun. Sun loving plants will turn yellow in the shade. But God has equipped us with everything we need to bloom right where we are. We don’t have to wait until we are re-potted or moved to a more desirable site before we can exhibit the qualities God would have us to.

If you are in a “hot” situation, act like a cactus. Have your own internal supply of sustenance (God’s Word) to carry you through hot and stressful situations. You can’t expect God to trust you with greater responsibilities if you are failing to do an excellent job with what you have already been given. Look for the best in your situation and magnify God’s goodness in that situation.  Don’t complain, change! Changing your mind and attitude where you are surely prepares the way for where you are going.

If you are a “sunny” person forced into a shady situation, ask God to help you get through moment by moment if you have to. Allow God’s light in you to illuminate the dark places and people who may be around you. Allow the Son to shine through you. We shouldn’t be seeking God to remove us from one situation into another if we can’t illuminate His love where we are, be good stewards of what we have, and display an attitude of gratitude for what He has already done.

Back to the caladiums. Last year I was browsing in the local hardware store and what did I come across? A newer hybrid of plant…sun tolerant caladiums! Too good to be true I was sure but I purchased them anyway. I placed my new beauties carefully in pots where they received direct sunlight for most of the day. To my amazement the plants thrived even in record heat upwards of 106 degrees! God can develop us to survive any environment just as someone developed caladiums that can now tolerate the sun.

With God’s hand we aren’t relegated to the sun or shade. He has enabled us to thrive when we are willing to make peace with where we are at present. Speak peace and love. Give generously, laugh loudly and be a good steward of what you have while anticipating God’s goodness for what you want. This is how we bloom.

God has equipped each of us to bloom wherever we are so we can meet those goals and dreams that He has placed deep within us. It is simply up to us to remember that we can be stable and able no matter where we are.

Sun or shade? Thankfully, we don’t have to choose.

Pruning

“I am the true vine and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit,” John 15:1-2 NKJV

Jesus’ teaching about the vine and the branches is one of the most readily quoted. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15: 5 NKJV

Without Him we can do nothing. However, the scripture prior to that, John 15:2 is often skimmed over. It is easy to realize how dependent we are on Christ, yet most of us are remiss and become ill at the notion that to become fruitful we must be pruned.

Without pruning, even the best specimens in any garden will eventually lose the ability to bear fruit. At the very least, the output will greatly diminish. The limbs will become weak and unable to support what little fruit that is produced. Comparatively, the same tree that has been pruned will be shorter but stronger. 

Trees and shrubs that have been freshly pruned usually look awful. Where I live Crepe Myrtles trees are blooming now. However, for them to bloom to the fullest, dead limbs are cut away in winter. The trees look so bad after their winter pruning the process is jokingly called “Crepe Murder.

We often look bad and feel bad when our Father takes to pruning us as well. Sometimes it may be a stray branch here or there that is removed. But then there are times in our lives when we may feel like we’ve been taken all the way down to the roots!

Pruning is painful.

We may even feel like we’re dying all the while God is preparing us to produce more! We don’t often see it at the time or understand. We can feel bad and look worse.  Yet, Jesus promises that every branch that does bear fruit God prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 

Sometimes the removal of things in our lives, though devastating at the moment, eventually make us stronger. Sometimes there is a reason so-called “friends” leave. It may be a job. Or even a relationship.

God cuts off what is not good for us. God often removes those things or people we would in no way leave on our own.

We can have faith knowing that He is our life source and through Him we will be fine no matter how deep the cut. Our progression in life requires some pruning.  Thankfully, the potential fruit is well worth the temporary pain.

The next time you experience a hardship, disappointment or painful experience; don’t assume it is an attack from the enemy. It might be time for God’s hand on you.

It may just be time for you to produce more fruit than you thought possible!

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” John 15:7-8 NKJV

B is for Bent not Broken

 

Everyone in life is guaranteed some form of hardship, storm or distress/duress that is necessary to forge us into the people God would have us to be. Though not pleasurable experiences, our problems are necessary for our promotion from one stage in life to another. The way we deal with these experiences really determines how we will come out of them. Some people seem to make it through, scraped up a bit but they come out in one piece. Others, instead, succumb to situations and trials never to come out and are overcome and swallowed up by their circumstances. So what is the difference between making it through a bad situation and getting stuck in a particular circumstance? The answer is simple.

Bent not broken.

We all at some point have the best laid plans. However, the plans for our life and God’s plans are not necessarily one and the same. Our expectations don’t always transform into our experiences. Delays and disappointments are inevitable. The people who make it through hardships aren’t broken by life’s surprises. Instead, they learn to bend.

Twigs snap. A quick and sudden stress causes them to break in two. People can also snap. It is when experiences become so extreme, circumstances are crazy and expectations unmet that some people “loose it” and do things they normally would not do if they were in their “right mind.”

The propensity to bend means that you can weather the storm. You can change course with whatever life throws your way. It may be uncomfortable, hard and even painful but bending means you won’t instead be broken by whatever circumstances come against you. Your attitude will decide your outcome when you bend. Being inflexible in your relationships with other people and even your own preconceived ideas only limits you and sets you up to “snap.” We should always be changing and bending to some extent. Learning, maturing, and submitting to God requires flexibility on our part.

Hardening your heart against God’s Word and an unwillingness to listen to others can leave you frail, rigid and easily broken. An unwillingness to bend will leave you frustrated and at odds with an ever-changing  world. Flexibility doesn’t dictate that you compromise to conform to the world. Flexibility allows you to move with God in this world.

If you want some peace of mind, be willing to change it when Divinely directed. If you wish to prosper, set goals but be willing to bend when God dictates you change your plans. You can’t truly prosper out of the will of God. What worked yesterday won’t necessarily work today. Someone else’s plan isn’t necessarily the plan for you. Listen when God speaks and then act accordingly.

If you are unwilling to change your plans when God directs something to the contrary, not only will you live a very frustrated and miserable existence, you will only set yourself up for headache, heartache and continual disappointment. You can strive against the world and all of its storms or you can abide in God staying flexible with the prodding of the Holy Spirit.

Snap in the storm or move with God? Bend or Break? The choice is yours to make!

Transitions…

Though much of the country is still enjoying the long lazy days of summer, around here in the metro Atlanta area the sounds of children playing are being replaced with the roar of school buses once again making their rounds. This prompts an accelerated anticipation of Autumn as football schedules, after school practices and all those things academic in nature once again begin in full force. My cat, Lucky, can once more enjoy the solitude of silence as my two teenagers no longer run amuck in the lost freedom of summer vacation.

As one season blends into another, I do ponder where the time went and wonder how much time I have left if I am going to make those distant New Year’s Resolutions bear any fruit. As we head quickly into the last quarter of the year, some things I have managed to fulfill however there are others still awaiting my attention. A few pounds have been shed, though not nearly as many as should be gone by now. I have become more technologically competent as I type this blog, something I never imagined I’d be able to pull off a few years ago, even as I only a few weeks ago solicited my Facebook Family for help in the wee hours of the morning during a technological meltdown! I’ve had some successes and still I await a major shift in my circumstances that I’ve prayed for. I am hopeful that despite my deficiencies, God is more than able and willing to get me where I need to go. Even if I can’t see a who, when, what or how.

Patience is a virtue. This season will come and go once more and it is up to each of us to take what time is left and make 2013 what it should be. If you’ve been beaten up over these last seven months or so, don’t give up and give in. God has repeatedly and faithfully show that He is “on time,” if not on “our time.” Some of us anxiously look forward to cooler temperatures and all the fun-filled festivities of Fall. Others await nervously in circumstances that are dire and leave them to reflect on how this year was supposed to be better than the last even though they have yet to see it.

I can only suggest to anyone at this time of change who needs a Word to hold on to, Romans 12: 10-14 “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.”

I certainly have no idea what your goals are for 2013 but I can confidently declare the above verses will help you get where you want to go! If you are feeling that you haven’t accomplished what you hoped to do, fret not! Spring blooms may have faded and summer fruit wanes, however  another season of harvest is sure to come. Look with anticipation toward the fall. Those things we are not able to see at this time are still growing and maturing all around us. Dare to survive the dog days of summer and look forward to cooling breezes with expectation and promise for the future. For everything there is a season…who says the best in 2013 is not yet to come!

Peace!

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