Archives for October 2014

Are You Blooming Where You Are? Post #54

Bloom where you are, even when you're not planted there.

Bloom where you are, even when you’re not planted there.

My dear friend Mary recently texted me photos of little petunias in her yard that were popping up everywhere, blooming. In the gravel by the sidewalk, in all kinds of nooks and crannies. Bloom where you’re planted, she said. Let’s take the saying one step farther….Are you blooming where you are, even if you weren’t actually planted there?

You may be currently in circumstances you didn’t cause and you didn’t plan. What is your attitude? Are you complaining or content? Are you encouraging others or the ring leader for grumbling?

The story of Moses and the Israelites comes to mind. Just a few weeks after the Lord miraculously parted the Red Sea, allowing the Israelites to walk across on dry land and drowning the Eqyptians, the Israelites began grumbling to Moses.

“In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, ‘If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.’ Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.'” –Exodus 16:2-4 NIV84 

Despite their complaining, God continued to provide for them, as He does for us. Grumbling and complaining sure does slow the journey, as well as zap the energy and fun. The adventure through the wilderness to the Promised Land that should have taken about 11 days took 40 years.

Please be encouraged that our attitude is our choice. Make the choice to bloom large right where you are.  

Reflect:

–How is your attitude? Positive or negative? Complaining or content? Please comment.

–What will you do to change your attitude or sustain it if it’s positive?

Renew:

–“…For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” –Philippians 4:11b-13 NIV84.

Recharge:

–Compliment and encourage three new people today.

–Write a handwritten note and mail it to someone who you used to complain about or to. Let them know how much you appreciate him/her.

 

 

 

 

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Finding Faith in the Fog, Post #53

My fingers white-knuckled the steering wheel as I slowly drove through the North Carolina mountains, cautious. It was nighttime, and the dense, smoky wall of fog enveloped the Blue Ridge Parkway. I had driven this stretch of road a hundred times, but never in this condition. My eyes strained to see past the hood of the car. No white lines could even be seen outlining the two-lane road.

My heart pounded. I prayed.  “Lord, I know You’re here. I know You’re with me. What I know to be true on a clear, sunny day is just as true in this foggy, dark situation.”

As I finally drove into the driveway of my destination about 30 minutes later, my lungs finally exhaled. I felt like I held my breath the whole perilous drive through those mountains. My hands were still trembling as I tried to get the key into the front door.

Once inside, I fell to my knees with a prayer of thanksgiving. It was only then that I realized I had just lived a powerful message, a sermon. The foggier nights result in deeper faith.

Hebrews 11 is often referred to as the Bible’s “Hall of Faith.” I love reading all the different examples of extraordinary faith, from Abel and Abraham to Rahab the prostitute. It’s the last two verses of that Faith chapter, though, that make me ponder the most.

“These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” –Hebrews 11:39-40 NIV84

So many times, we think we are promised the world. Pretty prideful thought, I’m  ashamed to admit. It is only through our desperate dependence on Jesus Christ, that His better plan for us can be revealed. His better plan that can be made perfect ONLY when we work together with God.

Whatever circumstances you find yourself in today, know God is with you. The same God in the sunny, clear day is the same God in the foggy night.  May we be encouraged to find and strengthen our faith in the fog and in the SON.

Reflect:

–What foggy night circumstances have you experienced lately?  Please comment.

–How was your faith strengthened or weakened by it? Please comment.

Renew:

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” –Hebrews 11:1 NIV84

Recharge:

–Name three actions to demonstrate your faith you may live out in October and beyond.

–Please read your Bible daily to hear God’s voice and Truth in your life.

 

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How to Make the Impossible Possible, Post #52

Sir Roger Bannister was the first man in the history of the world (or record keeping) to run a four-minute mile. It was said it couldn’t be done. He made the impossible possible.

On May 6, 1954, at Iffley Road Track in Oxford, Bannister broke the four-minute mile with a time of three minutes, 59.4 seconds. Bannister was 25 years old, and at the time was practicing as a junior doctor. After accomplishing this supposed impossible feat, Bannister’s record only lasted 46 days. Not even two months.Bannister went onto become a notable neurologist. Watch the incredible footage for yourself below in the video link in “Resources.”

What a man. What a dream. What a goal—a Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal (BHAG), as Jim Collins and Jerry Porras call it in their 1994 book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies.

I would rather call it a Big, Holy, Audacious Goal (BHAG). So, dear friend, What is your BHAG, your biggest dream? What are your passions? What is hindering you from achieving your God-sized dreams? I wrestle with these questions.

A few years ago I started my life goal list, some would say a “Bucket List.” Included on my list was/still is to write and publish a book. Most of my life I have enjoyed writing. For 12 years, I have dreamt of writing and publishing a non-fiction book. So what did I do about it? I started a folder and would occasionally add handwritten sticky notes with a chapter outline, idea, or quote. The BHAG of writing a book and even thinking of getting it published became overwhelming. “Perhaps when I retire,” I pondered.

In December 2012, my heart was shattered and blindsided by a serious relationship breakup to a man I thought I’d marry. In the healing process, I cried out to God and asked what life lessons I could learn from this experience. The divine answer I received was: “Write. Write and speak for Me. I am your First Love.” You see, I idolized my future husband. It took a heartbreak to recalibrate my stubborn self and priorities back to putting God first.

In January 2013, Proverbs 31 ministries President Lysa TerKeurst wrote in a daily devotional that a typical non-fiction book contains about 60,000 words. She wrote that she usually makes a 12-chapter outline, and tries to write 5000 words per chapter. Suddenly after reading that practical devotional, the impossibility of my BHAG became possible.

This adventure led me the last two summers to the dynamic Proverbs 31 Ministries “She Speaks” Conference in Charlotte. It was such a delight to meet so many incredible writers and speakers and learn from them. Their passion for Jesus was contagious. Through their influence and the Holy Spirit’s leading, starting this little “Pure Inspiration” blog was also a leap of faith.

Only our precious sovereign Lord could know that attending the Proverbs 31 “She Speaks” Conference in 2013 would divinely lead me to the high calling as Proverbs 31 Ministries Executive Director of Donor Development. Words cannot express what a blessing it is to work for and serve God through such a Spirit-filled, dynamic ministry. It reminds me that there’s just enough Light for the step we’re on. As much as we plan, God’s plans are even bigger and better. He has BHAGs for each of us.

I look forward to learning from so many Godly leaders, especially Lysa TerKeurst,  AND to continue writing and speaking for and about Jesus. Walking by faith in God makes the impossible possible.

Reflect:

  • What is/are your Big, Holy Audacious Goal(s)?
  • What keeps you from dreaming big?

Renew:

•“He replied, ‘Because you have so little faith, I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.’” –Matthew 17:20 NIV84

•“Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!” –Luke 1:45 NIV84

Recharge:

•Add a deadline and a timeline to accomplishing your BHAG.

•List the first steps to accomplish your BHAG. Do your first step this week. You can do it! Please let me know what you decide to do.

Resources:

•http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTp9ZgjZkNA

 www.proverbs31.org

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Hairy_Audacious_Goal

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