Action Plan

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When I feel stuck, confused, hurt, sad, unmotivated….I like to come up with a plan. An action plan. It makes me feel a modicum of control in sometimes uncontrollable situations. It gives me a purpose and a drive to get moving.

What do I do when there is no action plan to be had or found? I have felt that way lately in various situations. Sometimes the problems seem too big or too complicated.

I have been thinking about the verse in Micah 6:8:

“He has showed you, O man, what is good and what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

And what Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-39:

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ “

Love God. Love the people I come in contact with. Be just. Be merciful. Walk humbly with God.

These sound like really good action plans to me. Or action prayers, because I am weak. But He is strong.

Love, Lisa

God Through History

Site of Drumcliffe Monastery, established by St. Colmcille (Columba) . Ben Bulben in background, County Sligo, Ireland

Alone with none but thee, my God,

I journey on my way;

What need I fear, when Thou art near,

O King of night and day?

More safe am I within Thy hand,

Than if a host did ’round me stand

This is a hymn attributed to St. Colmcille, a Christian missionary, monk, saint from the sixth century in Ireland. He produced beautifully illuminated scripture manuscripts, established many monasteries in Ireland, and showed the love of Christ to others through his lifelong service.

After some years however, an event occurred which changed the entire direction of his life. The Battle of the Book, a fight resulting from a legal battle over an illuminated manuscript he was accused of copying from another, took place in the valley near the Drumcliffe Monastery. Many died, and Colmcille felt horrible. The weight of sin, the effects of greed and human pride, weighed heavily upon him. He left Ireland and eventually sailed to establish a very influential monastery, Iona, off the coast of Scotland. He used this heartache and remorse to let God use him in a new and mighty way for the rest of his life. Mistakes didn’t mean the end for him. After repentance and prayer, God redirected him and continued to use him.

History has a way of calming me. Somehow, by reading the lives of others who have gone before me, the struggles and challenges they faced, the faith they showed through difficult times, lets me know that nothing is new under the sun. Hard times come, hard times go, but Jesus Christ remains constant and faithful to be with us through all of these times.

Call upon the Name of the Lord. He is the only answer for what you face, what I face. He will answer.

Love, Lisa

Focus

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“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 3:20

“But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.” – Hebrews 11:16

“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household.” – Ephesians 2:19

“For here we do not have a lasting city, but we are seeking the city which is to come.” – Hebrews 13:14

“In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.” – John 14:2

May these verses bring you certainty, peace, and focus. Turn your eyes towards Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

Love, Lisa

Swimming for the Surface

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The sea was relatively calm. Once she got past the small breaking waves, it was easy to swim. But the thoughts kept coming. She decided to swim down, into the deep of the water for a moment. She saw dark murky sand in the water through her slightly opened eyelids. The pressure of the water pushed hard against her head, her body. She could feel the pulse of the tide also. Random pieces of seaweed and a possible jellyfish brushed against her skin.

Finally, the need for air arose. She stopped the motion of her arms, her legs, and released. Her body rushed towards the air. Simultaneously, a gulp of fresh salty air, sun on her face, seawater on her hair. She felt young again with no responsibilities or expectations. Relief and joy flooded her soul. Simple joys, water and air and sky and sun. Good things. God things.

The thoughts were clearer now, not so murky and cluttered. New her, new dream, new day.

Whatever it is that you are dreaming about, maybe that is God nudging you to go for it. You have permission to dream and to go after your dreams, no matter how old you are, no matter if COVID is in the world, no matter if politics are a mess. God is on His Throne. He made you and gave you this day, today. Since God is in control, there is a bright and glorious future. Grab on to Him and your dreams, let go, and swim for the surface. Love, Lisa

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” -Isaiah 43:18-19a

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” -John 8:36