Category Archives: Faith & Hope

Little by Little

What are you dreaming about?  I’m not necessarily talking about sleepy-time dreams, but the dreams and aspirations that drive you to keep on pressing, keep on pursuing.

Maybe you’re dreaming of becoming a doctor.

Maybe you’re dreaming of becoming a home owner.

Maybe you’re dreaming about the day you will become debt free.

Or maybe, like me, you’re dreaming of becoming a successful entrepreneur.

Just over two years ago, a dream was birthed in me to leave the comfort and security of regular employment, and launch out on my own.  (you can read more about that here).  Today, I am President of a small manufacturers rep firm, and I’m continually amazed at God’s faithfulness to me as I make this day-by-day walk of faith into the future I believe He has called me to.   But some days … well, some days I just wish things would happen a little faster, success would come a little sooner.

That’s when I like to go back to a few scriptures that “re-center” my perspective.

“I will not drive them out in one year – lest the land become desolate and the beasts too numerous for you.  Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased and you inherit the land.”   Exodus 23:29-30

Here I am reminded of the simple truth that the success I am believing for must first be prepared for. 

When I first started out, quite honestly I barely knew what I was doing.  I’ve never Incorporated before.  I’ve never been President before.  And it took a while to quit viewing myself as an employee under someone else’s management, and grasp the truth that I was now Captain of my own ship.  If it was going to happen, it was going to happen by my actions under the leadership and blessing of my Daddy God.  It was also going to require more of me – more dedication, more humility, more discipline, more gratefulness, more leadership

“Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished, but he who gathers by labor will increase.”  Proverbs 13:11

In my Bible, there is a note that the phrase ‘gathers by labor’ could be translated in Hebrew to ‘little by little’.   Not only does this tie the two scriptures together, but it reminds me that success done right takes time.

There are no short cuts to character building, and if we are dreaming God inspired dreams, we should expect that our character must be developed to increase in relation to the size of the dream we are pursuing.   And that takes effort, energy, and yes … time.

Now one last scripture, and this probably my favorite.

“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin…”  Zechariah 4:10

Little by little.  Success upon success.  Start where you are, and keep pursuing that dream under the leadership the favor of the Lord.  You’re gonna get there!

 

 

 

It’s your inheritance.

It’s been almost two and one-half years since I took that first step of obedience.  If you’ve read Water Walking, you may remember it was April 2014 when I respond to an inner voice that spoke to me in a time of earnest prayer …

“You will never leave the shore if you don’t put weight
on your foot (and take that first step of faith).”  

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone back in my mind to that day, to the invitation to walk out into deep water with Him.

Just as precious to me is the instruction He gave me later that year, the same instruction He gave to Moses and the Israelites.

So And the Lord said to me,  “See, I have begun to give Sihon and his land over to you.  Begin to possess it that you may inherit his land.”  ~Deuteronomy 2:31

God had promised His people a land overflowing with milk and honey, but they still had to ACTIVATE the promise by ‘begin(ning) to possess it’, so that they could (later) inherit it.     In other words,  obedience was required to take hold of their inheritance.

I would like to say that I’ve not only walked on water, but that I’ve reached the other side of the waters and am now living in an ocean front property.   In truth, I’m still in the process of ‘walking it out’ so that I may inherit what was promised.

Are you holding onto a promise of God, but have yet to fully take hold of it?

 

Water Walking
Water Walking [“Once you are walking on the water, the depth of the water beneath your feet is irrelevant.”]

 

The wisdom of a 2-year old: “Put you glasses on.”

Pure Love!Recently, while visiting my oldest daughter and her two little girls, I had taken my glasses off so that I could better rough house with them a little.

One of my favorite things to do with these little munchkins is to swoop them up in my arms, swing them around a bit, and then bury my face in the crook of their neck and kiss them until they squeal with delight.  And as you can imagine, that kind of playing has bent my glasses out of shape on more than one occasion – and so I’m getting a little better at taking them off first.

But this particular Saturday, as I was drawing near to the two-year old (a miniature of her momma at that age) to gobble her up, she gave me a funny look, stuck her arm out pointing her little finger squarely at my face, and slowly issued to me a very specific instruction:   “Put you glasses on.”

 

Now maybe it’s one of those things that you just had to be there to appreciate, but it really was quite hysterical and had me chuckling for many days afterwards.  What a precious little darling she is!

But then as the days went by, her words began to ring in my ear for another reason.  Let me explain.

I have been leading a ‘small group’ through my church for almost 2 years now, the general theme of which is ‘the inherent power of the Word of God (as contained in the Bible) to address/satisfy every need and overcome every circumstance we face here on earth’.   And as one might suspect, we are continually referring to the Word of God (the Bible) for insight as to what God has to say about any particular matter of life.

We have studied ‘prosperity’ and provision.  We have studied ‘health’ and healing.  We have studied ‘wisdom’.  But whatever the subject of study, one thing is required in order to hear and comprehend so that you can experience change … that you ‘change your focus/perspective’ from that of the reader (i.e. the one stuck in the quagmire of a particular circumstance) to that of the Ruler (.e. the one who reigns over all).

 A change of perspective.   A change of vision.

 

And isn’t that what eye-glasses do?  They heighten and improve your focus so that what was once blurry is now easily recognizable and identifiable.  And with that empowerment (to recognize and identify) comes the ability to execute with wisdom and authority (where once was doubt and confusion).

Thankfully, when I take my glasses off to play with my grandchildren, I can still see well enough without do most things with competence.  I can still see and recognize people.  I can still drive.  I can still read … well, sort of.  But all those things require a lot more effort and eye-strain to do them as opposed to when I’m wearing my glasses.

It’s the same when facing the circumstances of life.  Natural reasoning can work, sometimes.  We’ve all experienced a certain level of success grunting through life on our own wisdom and strength.  But how exhausting!

What I really need when facing the circumstances of life – be it sickness, challenges at work,  relationship issues, or whatever – is a higher perspective.

“I don’t think the way you think.
    The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
        God’s Decree.
“For as the sky soars high above earth,
    so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
    and the way I think is beyond the way you think.
Just as rain and snow descend from the skies
    and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth,
Doing their work of making things grow and blossom,
    producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry,
So will the words that come out of my mouth
    not come back empty-handed.
They’ll do the work I sent them to do,
    they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.
So you’ll go out in joy,
    you’ll be led into a whole and complete life.   (Isaiah 55:8-13, The Message)

And in order to obtain that higher perspective described in Isaiah 55, I need to exchange my thinking for His thinking.  For He sees future events as though they already were, and He is always leading and guiding me into His best … if I will just trust Him enough to follow His leading.   And it is far easier to trust and follow the leader (Leader) when you have confidence in their (His) vision, right?  (Especially when where He appears to be leading exactly where you don’t want to go!  Lots of stories to tell there!)

So here’s to putting on my “God glasses” (and keeping them on!) so that I can see things more closely to the way that He sees them.  And from that higher perspective, may I daily be empowered by faith to trust and follow Him into the “whole and complete life” that He has planned for me!!

Blessings,
Jenny

 

 

 

 

Battle weary? ADP!

This has been on my heart for a while now.  Perhaps like me, there are things you have been praying for – but as yet have not received your breakthrough.  Promises you’re standing on, but manifestation hasn’t shown up yet.   Declarations of faith that are beginning to sound a little hollow – even to your own ears.

For those who know me, I am pretty passionate about the Word of God.    Through teachings of trusted Pastors and my own personal studies, I have come to understand the power and authority placed into our hands as joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, Ambassadors of the King of Kings.  Most days, my feet are firmly planted on the Word of God and I am a force to be reckoned with.   My philosophy is simply.  If the devil wants to mess with me on this or that area of life – He’s going to hear what Jesus has to say about it!

But in spite of my knowing that the Word of God is the power of God, there are days when I’m weary.  Or as I’ve shared before, a bit “wobbly“.   The last several weeks have been like that for me.  I’ve been pressing.  I’ve been declaring.  I’ve been believing.  And I’m still waiting.

I’m not discouraged, per se.  Or at least not discouraged in the way that one feels when they decide to ‘give up hoping’ and resign themselves to the situation.  No, I’m a bit too far gone for that.  I’ve walked long enough with God to know that He will always move on my behalf and deliver on His Word – even if it’s not within my desired timeframe.   Abraham waited 25 years for the promised heir.  Noah waited (while building the arc) 120 years before the flood came.  God does always not operate on our time tables.   But He IS faithful to His covenant promise – and I have His Word on what I’m praying/believing for – so I know if I stay in faith I will eventually get my breakthrough.   But the waiting is harder some days than others.  Right?

That’s why I’m so grateful that I’ve the Holy Spirit living inside me to speak to me on wobbly days.  And what I’m hearing loud and clear in my spirit is to “Apply Direct Pressure!”  Now that may not mean much to you – but to me it resonates very deeply and speaks clearly of two critical actions that are required on my part, and yours if you want to get your victory.

“Apply Direct Pressure!”

ACTION #1:  Keep putting pressure on the Word of God:  study the Word of God, read and memorize God’s promises as related to my circumstance or trial, speak them over myself and my situation, make a demand upon the promises of God by calling those things that be not as though they were … until they are!   In other words, don’t get discouraged and worn down by my situation – but instead keep my faith stirred up and keep putting pressure on the Word of God for my deliverance and breakthrough.  God’s Word is sure and my enemy will fall!

Yes, the fight of faith can be wearing at times – but it is a battle that has already been won by Jesus Christ!  You and I have got to remember that, or the devil will dupe us into thinking that the victory belt is still up for grabs.   It is not!

Pressure Gauge

More dangerous still is the temptation to think that the winning or loosing is somehow dependent on us … our fortitude, our strength, our skill.  Again, it is not!  The fight has already been won, and it is our job to put on the full armor of God and enforce the victory won by Jesus Christ!

ACTION #2:  Keep putting pressure on the enemy:  open my mouth and speak the promises of God to my adversary, refuse to sit down and shut up, man the battle stations and be ready morning/noon/night to enforce his defeat.  In other words, don’t be a passive opponent but rise up in the power of the Holy Spirit living within me, and remind the enemy at every turn that He is a defeated foe and is subject to the Name of Jesus – and Jesus left me (and you) His Name!    He is a defeated foe, but his defeat has to be enforced – not in my strength or authority, but by the authority of Jesus Christ!

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his great power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can fight against the devil’s evil tricks.  Our fight is not against people on earth but against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world’s darkness, against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly world.  That is why you need to put on God’s full armor. Then on the day of evil you will be able to stand strong. And when you have finished the whole fight, you will still be standing.   (Ephesians 6:10-13)

Thank you Lord, that’s just what I needed.  I’ve got my “grrr” back, how about you?

Let us not grow weary, but get back at the business of fighting the good fight of faith so that we can lay hold of all that God has provided for us through His Word!

In Him,
Jenny

 

Press on!

For the last several years, it has been my practice that in December I enter into a time of reflection on the closing year, and goal setting for the next.

They say that something like only 8% of New Years Resolutions are kept, and I’ve certainly made regular contributions to the 92% failure rate.  Yet in spite of all those ‘failed’ resolutions, I have made great progress towards the fulfilling of some of my recurring resolutions.  For example, while I still haven’t reached the level of physical and mental fitness that is required for me to run a 5K non-stop, I have discovered that I like to walk/jog – and I’ve completed at least five 5K’s since my first in 2012.     I’m now looking forward to restarting my C25K training this spring, but with a body prepared over the winter with strength and flexibility exercises.  Progress! 

Nor do I weigh what I want (and ought) to weigh.  Yet I have completely changed my eating habits over the last 6-7 years with even more changes being implemented in 2015, and as a result I am better positioned than ever to live strong well into my 90’s.   Progress!

As I vision cast for 2015, an image comes to mind … that of a seedling imprisoned by stone, yet pressing onward into life.  These wonders of nature are even more inspiring when they are seen growing out of the side of a vertical rock cliff.  The SeedlingOne can only imagine their journey from seed to seed-producing and bird-sheltering trees that survive season after season, decade after decade.

In my mind’s eye, I envision a lone seed being dropped by bird or squirrel, later washed by flowing currents of rain deep into the crags between opposing rocks.

In darkness, the seed finds a little pocket of dirt, just enough to enrobe itself with the necessary soil, moisture, and organisms required to initiate the transformation from seed to seedling.

Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to?  It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.”  (Luke 13:18-19, NIV)

Time passes and from the safety of its craggy entombment, tender tendrils of life emerge.  Against all odds, the seedling presses through dirt and rock to receive nourishment of the morning sun. Eventually, the seedling outgrows the confines of its home.  It is root bound and has used up every millimeter of space for its ever increasing trunk.  As a result, access to the root system has been blocked for rainwater and airflow.  What once was shelter has now become a prison, and the young tree is entrapped and compromised.  The situation appears hopeless.

Have you ever felt like that?  I have!

Now about this time I expect you are asking yourself, “What in the world does this have to do with new years resolutions?”

PerseveranceAnd the answer is PERSERVERANCE!

For with perseverance, even a 1-day old seedling can eventually force the rock to move out of its way so that it can grow into full maturity as an adult tree!

This truth gives me great comfort as I make New Years Resolutions for 2015 that are echo’s of 2014 resolutions, and 2013 resolutions and so on.  After so many failed attempts to _______________, the temptation is to either lessen one’s goals to something believed as more readily achievable, or to discard those dreams altogether.  I mean, who needs yet another reminder on 1/1/2016 of ones failure to _________?

But not this year!  I shall not quit pressing on for the dream of what is in my heart to do, for I know that with perseverance of faith and continued obedience to His leading, I will eventually see manifestation of what which I am presently believing God for.   The mountain WILL move!

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.  (Ephesians 3:20, The Message)

So here’s to 2015!  Let us dream big, and press on to take hold of all that God has put in our hearts to become, and to do for the glory of His Name!

In Him,
Jenny