Thursday, September 21, 2017

Overcoming Obstacles Series- FIVE- Perfection

Perfection.
Got to get it right.
The first time.
What about on the tenth time?  
What about Never?
Does it even make sense
 to seek perfection?
How long does it take till "all of our ducks"
 are in a row?
What to do when something derails the plan?
OK, lots of questions.
Somehow we get it into our head
 that we need to know all the answers.
Before we start...
Perfection and the beginning of ANYTHING
 just don't go hand in hand.
New starts simply means a move from inertia.
There is the unexpected, 
the technology or scheduling glitches.
There is the failure of people to meet deadlines,
and they didn't understand your timeline.
Well...
MOVE ON.
Sometimes it is simply the best to extend
 your best effort-
with what you know and understand-
in the beginning.
You've got a starting point...
and the outline begins to form
 for stage 2 and plan B.
Sometimes we can only make improvements 
when we lay it all out on the line.
It also helps to remember that perfection
 is our Heavenly state.
That goal here on earth?
 We are just trying to be God.

Bible verse centering:

Do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
 that by testing you may discern 
what is the will of God, 
what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2


                          Out of Zion, the          
                           perfection of beauty,
                            God shines forth.
                          Psalm 50: 2


                             .



Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Overcoming Obstacles Series- FOUR- Comparison


Yes- The measuring stick.
There will always be those who are faster,
 better skilled,
gifted for crafting framework around ideas, 
more innovative,
widely recognized for their contributions...
the list goes on and on.
So it makes it easy to give up along the way...
even if we did manage to get started.
Sometimes it IS necessary to put 
"blinders on."
Asking questions to check on 
JUST our own growth.
Have we ourselves moved- forward?
Are we following our own calling?
Do we see our work as God-given vocation?
Do we understand that we need to seek
 the approval of ONLY our heavenly Father?

Seeking the approval of only the ONE?
How this is gift!
Especially when we focus on work
 of eternal consequence.

Bible verse meditations:

For what was glorious has no glory now
 in comparison with the surpassing glory. (NIV)
2 Corinthians 3:10

For this light momentary affliction
 is preparing
 for us an eternal weight of glory
 beyond all comparison, 
as we look to the things that are seen
 but to the things that are unseen. 
For the things that are seen are transient, 
but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (ESV)

For am I now seeking the approval
 of man, or of God? 
Or am I trying to please man? 
If I were still trying to please man,
 I would not be a servant of Christ.
Galatians 1:10 (ESV)








Sunday, September 17, 2017

Overcoming Obstacles Series- THREE- Comfort Zone Security


Comfort Zone Security-
yea- where we are known.
Our homes as fortress,
our workplace where we understand our job,
our places of worship 
and the familiar faces and practices.

I look at these leaves and just marvel. 
Our Lord God Creator-
did not move on the timid side.
Always exploring the possibilities for
unique combinations.
When exploring a new adventure-
that is the BIG MOVE.
It will ALL be out of our comfort zone.
And when we step outside that 
safe circle-
the first disappointment or hurdle 
can set us right back to first base.
Safe- before we have a chance to 
make a run.

Comfort is good because we rest in the 
God of Comfort.
But, he has blessed each of us 
with His good gifts 
to be used in the KINGDOM.
And in that- if we feel that the evil one
 lurks in the shadows-
we take a deep breath-
and rest in the security that 
Jesus gives.
For His Spirit does not makes us 
timid.


Bibe verse centering:

For the Spirit God gave us 
does not make us timid, 
but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7




Friday, September 15, 2017

Overcoming Obstacles Series- TWO- Fear


Fear_________________________.
Fill in the blank.
There are multiple answers here.
Obstacles like:
fear of not finishing.
fear of rejection.
fear of doing a poor job.
fear of finding many more folks better qualified.
fear of failure.
fear of "what if I never try."

I think that is what finally got to me.
In the end, would I me more sorry if I failed, 
or sorry that I never tried.
You know when you wait for God 
to confirm the directional path like sky-writing?
And you pray about it.
And talk yourself out of it.
And end up right where you started.
So then what?

There is a helpful piece in a leadership 
mentoring group that I was a part of 
about 10 years ago.

"Choose to do something 
so outrageously challenging
 that you know you can only
 do it with God's help."

And then move aside that fear of failure....
because in the end it is better to 
FAIL BIG
than to 
NEVER TRY.

Some verses that have helped
 in this journey about fear.

Be strong and courageous. 
Do not fear or ben in dread of them,
for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. 
He will not leave you or forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:6

It is the Lord who goes before you.
He will be with you;
he will not leave you or forsake you.
Do not fear or be dismayed.
Deuteronomy 31:8
                                         

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Overcoming Obstacles Series-ONE-Feeling Overwhelmed

Moving through a BIG PROJECT 
in the past few months.
You- know- when you have an idea
 and then you keep shoving it back in the closet-
just hoping it will go away.
AND it just follows you around,
and around, and around.
While helping a daughter and family 
unpack from a move, 
I came across an article 
that has been helpful in the past month.
It was in a FITNESS magazine,
actually one for those IRONMAN athletes.
So I have been thinking about the
 7 suggestions and have found them helpful.
So decided to do this series- 
Overcoming Obstacles.
 Looking at the ideas- one by one.
Because WE ALL HAVE OBSTACLES.
Obstacle One-
Feeling Overwhelmed.

So this is when you don't 
even know where to start.
You take a deep breath,
and then another.
You can't map it all out.
It gets side-railed before you get started.
And that's the key- right?
Getting started.
The one thing to move you forward.
We have heard it multiple times-
"A journey of a thousand miles
 begins with a single step."
Lao Tzu
How to begin........
It is just that one action.
Take a single step.
As I work to build a framework
 for this new endeavor,
it is just that-
one step.

These verses have been part 
of my quiet, reflection time.

Psalm 17:5
My steps have held to your paths; 
my feet have not stumbled.
Psalm 37:23
The Lord makes firm the steps of the 
one who delights in him.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Bible Marginalia- Fix our Eyes on Jesus

Bible Marginalia Series- #264

Hebrews 12:1-2

So much packed in here.

The cloud of witnesses
 that surround us.
The weight of sin that clings so clearly.
Endurance for the race set before us
and seeing the finish line--
fixing our eyes on Jesus.
Looking to Jesus-
who looked at the joy set before him,
as he endured the cross and the shame,
 and sits at the right hand of the Father.
Winner. Finisher.
It is not easy to reach the goal.
There IS effort.
And prayer.
And focus.
Life happens.
 Schedules fluctuate.
 Priorities shift.
The eternal finish line seems out of focus
 when we get are so busy 
with the everyday "stuff."
It takes a community around us-
of encouragers.
It takes teamwork to stay on target.
What a blessing that our houses of faith 
provide that for each of us.
Training to reign.
Finish strong.
 On a day when we REMEMBER 9/11-
the best way to move forward?
Fix our eyes on Jesus.

Supplies:
Interleaved Bible
Napkin
Tri- Art Clear Gesso
Stickers
Washi Tape
Fine-point Sharpie pen
Magazine cut-out





Saturday, September 9, 2017

Bible Marginalia- Thirsty Soul

Bible Marginalia Series- #263

Psalm 63

How much we search 
for all the things to fill us up.
To bring happiness and contentment...
To make life real...
and then we still feel empty.
And then a hurricane looms 
and all the stuff becomes less important.
So we come full circle to give thanks-
in ALL THINGS.
Because YOUR Steadfast Love,
your lovingkindness is better than life.
Thus I will BLESS YOU while I live, 
and lift up my hands in praise.
 No matter what....
No matter what the future...
No matter my immediate present day.
As my soul thirsts for you-
I find refreshment.

Dear Lord, we pray for all in the path
 of Hurricane Irma and where the destruction
 has already been in the past few days.
We remember all those yet who struggle in Texas,
 and the Western fires, 
and the deluge of rain in India
 and surrounding lands.
There is great chaos in our world, Lord.
In the midst of all this- 
may we still see you as 
the protector and provider.
Amen.

Supplies:
Napkin 
Tri- Art Acrylic Medium
Pearlescent watercolors
Micron pen
Bible verse stamp
Alpha letters