A little inspiration...please!

Illness has knocked me out for the past week or so, but I am slowly climbing back on the horse and riding my life journey one day at a time in this new year. Rough entry, but I am kicking it as best I can after the respiratory crud beast hit our home. It is a new year, new promises, new adventures, new goals to attain. How will the majority of us approach it and enter it? I am hoping we all take a few steps back and get a nice running start, because the fact is it ain’t gonna be easy. The majority of us are facing what seems to be overwhelming odds and the state of our economy is no help. We aren’t making much more than we were in 2012, and for most of us those raises we got that go into effect this year, are pretty much gone thanks to what’s happening with our government and the decisions they are making supposedly in our best interest. A lot of us are facing unemployment today or with prospects limited in the job market we are facing underemployment in a job we didn’t want to take but had to for the sake of some form of a paycheck. Ryan and I have been so dismayed and disappointed in the turn that our churches have taken in recent years, the approach to such limited vision, staying within safe boundaries for the sake of pleasing the majority, and so few taking a risks for the sake of the Kingdom as God intends and His Son demonstrated in His life on this earth. It is just a whole lot to process, and leaves me feeling helpless and in need of some serious motivation and encouragement. We saw “Les Miserables” a couple weeks ago on a Friday night. Fantine’s song, “I Dreamed A Dream” has always been my favorite of the story. How close to the heart is her story to some of us? How many of us have had a dream or two for our lives, and years later, life has left us battered and so beaten up, that we aren’t sure the dream is still alive in us or quite possibly it has been killed completely and we’ve given up? As I wept and sang the song with her in the film (quietly of course so not to disturb anyone in the theater-not easy!), I realized, I could think of several people who are in some place similar to this heart ache she was experiencing. How to climb out, to go on and not sink into the depths of such helplessness? The way is certainly going to be difficult, and will require a lot from us, so here is the beginning of comfort and when we know we can pull ourselves up to stand….God is here. God is for us, so who on this blasted earth can ever be against us? How can we lay down and die, when we have been reborn, renewed, revitalized by the Holy Spirit, by the decision to be a Christ-follower? 3 of my favorite verses have truly become life verses for me in the last 2 years. Find them, read them, post them, and know that they will bring you written, visual and mental hope as you embrace them and burn them into your heart and soul:

Jeremiah 29:11 I know what I am doing –I have it all planned out—plans to care for you, to not abandon you, to give you the future that you hope for!

Ephesians 3:20-21 God can do anything, you know-far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, His Spirit deeply and gently within us.

2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need.

I stumbled upon a favorite song today that came up in my listening playlist online. Chris Rice, “Come to Jesus”. What a great contrast to the song I mentioned previously. When life is at its darkest, we can be at our finest because of Jesus. When life has beaten us to a pulp, when we are on the ground and hanging on by the very edge of sanity, when we feel we’ve lost all hope of ever being saved….Jesus. We can come to Him, He is there, He is our Way, our Hope, our Eternal Life and Salvation! We have it in us, each one of us to find that strength, that reason, that dream we dreamed, it does not have to end here! I have some dreams, some old and some new, that I have hope to work toward this new year. Because of what Jesus did for me, what He endured, I will choose to press on. Because I know and worship a God who loves me more than can be humanly measured and that I don’t deserve but thankfully can receive freely, I shall move forward. Life, people, our churches, our government, so many things and man-made entities are going to fail us and disappoint us, but God will not. I am thankful for that. I hope you will join me this new year in aspiring to step out of hurt and disappointment, and to live a life that is truly what God intends for us. It can be better, it should be better, it will be better.

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