your.scent

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.”
 2 Corinthians 2:14

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what’s.in.your.diffuser

Is your diffuser on?  Do you own one?  If so, what scent does it spray into the air?  The more I use mine, the more I notice that diffusers are a lot like people.

Have you ever been in a room and someone walked in with a not so great attitude and really stunk up the place?  Have you ever been that stinking person? (Humor me, Because I have).   That’s why the diffuser industry sales are over one billion dollars and expected to double in the next few years.  That tells me there are some Stinkers in this world.  And as it stands … the industry is counting on the number of Stinkers to double!

Maybe I should have invested in two.  

So, the question for today is…if you were a diffuser, what scent do you think you would “put off”?  Would it be bold?  Would it be clean? Would it be pungent?  Would it be light?  Would it be airy?  Would it be lovely?   Would it be pure?    Would it be humorous?   Would it be quite?   Would it be loud?   Would it be obnoxious?   Would it be clamorous?  Would it be rude?  Would it be gentle?  

Would you be cleaning up the air…or stinking up the air?

Just something to think about today.  I’m sure we’ve all given off our share of aromas at different times in our life.   No need to shame you, we’re all human.  So I guess I’ll have to keep my diffuser going, to help me keep calm, cool and collective.

you.can.have.it.all

In this world, can we really have it all?  I think about this as I wonder what should be on my ‘to do’ list today.

So before I jump into my day, I think it is appropriate to pay a little respect to someone’s life … while answering this question.  It’s moments like this one that make me stop and think…

So can we have it all?  As of right now my answer is this ….(but I am accustomed to changing my mind)…but here goes….

Can we have it all?

“Here” … probably not

“There” …. maybe

I hate to disappoint on so many levels, but… Here on Earth life is limited.  There….Heaven, it is not, so we’re told.

I don’t think I’ve ever written about heaven before.  Why?   Because I don’t know much about it.    I know a lot of people who have greatly impacted my life, that spent their last days either, knowing that is where they were headed….or making peace with God, so they were headed in that direction.   I’m also afraid that I may have misjudged some  others who made it in … despite their life here on Earth.

So I guess heaven’s gain….is certainly earth’s loss.   It is a void that is left behind.   But the void “here” may be what makes “there” such a great place.  All those things that we couldn’t have here….well maybe, just maybe, we get to have them there.

And so I pay my respects…

Here’s to Nanny….she wasn’t my nanny, but she loved the people that I loved…our family. She visited me in the hospital and made me take my meds. She sent soup to my home when I was sick, and she let me eat at her table when my life was truly a mess!

And here’s to all the great family she has left behind here on Earth.  You are here for a reason.  You are the happiness in this world, that fills the void.  Carry on – there are things left to be done here on Earth.  Be free to enjoy the life you have been given.

So Sarah (aka Nanny)… I know you, along with my mom, and so many other moms and grannies….are all having a great time too.  Maybe there’s a reason that John in the bible, had a revelation of “suppertime in heaven”  that went like this….

Revelation 19:6-9

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

“Hallelujah!
For the Lord our God
    the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
    and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
    and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
    with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

… there must be a whole lot of cooking going on up there.

PS…. so, while you’re busy doing that …. I guess I better get busy here (on Earth).  I can’t lose sight of the fact that before you decided to go ‘there” … you spent a lifetime “here”, enjoying life with your family and friends!

 

keep.on.digging

I’m jumping on here to quickly give a quick tip that will make you feel good about yourself.   Yes, you heard me…this will make you feel good about who you are.   In light of current health problems I continue to see lots of doctors.  I am under the care of a liver doctor who has been concerned about liver disease.  Yes.  It is something I have to think about every day of my life.   But after losing a very small amount of weight…(God is helping me to think about my weight)…I just received another message from her that my blood work is slowly but steadily improving.

Now here’s the thing ….  I can’t undo the damage that has already been done.  But I can do one thing today, that will help improve tomorrow.

Do something for yourself today….and see if you don’t feel better about yourself tomorrow!

 

Into.the.storm

I’m writing tonight on the heels of a weekend full of hurricane warnings, updates and massive flooding throughout our Carolinas.   Many with trees down and without electricity.   Interesting enough it was just 7 days ago we were in the very same area of the beach for a few days, and the weather was absolutely beautiful.  Calm ocean water, plenty of sunshine and  people relaxing and resting.   And it all changed in a matter of a few days.   

I started to blog on Friday…right before the storm.  But I have learned as it goes with storms … you don’t know exactly what is going to happen. 

But all weekend I was reminded of a little passage in Matthew 14 … Where we see Jesus sending his disciples out into a boat, to go ahead of Him, to the other side.  And I might want to mention that they also went without Him.    A boat, a few men, an ocean, the waves, the wind … and no Jesus.

This actually sounds like they were being set up for failure, if you ask me.

I can’t help but wonder if these men were just as fearful, as some of us were on Friday.  With our tv’s blasting..the storm is coming…the storm is coming…fear sets in.

But what about these men in this boat…and no Jesus.  What happens when the storm is great, and the wind is fierce, and the waves are high … And there is no sign of Jesus.   Fear grips, hearts pound, and tears run.  Yes, life hands us storms.  An open ocean, with big waves, howling high winds, and a little boat.   

What to do?

I think everyone does respond differently. There’s a huge part of me that wants to say … Get out of that boat and walk on the open waters…like Peter.  But today I want to bring light to what happened right before the water walking miracle.   

We see that Peter tested the waters (so to speak) by asking …. “Lord, if this is you”…   Let’s face it … He saw a ghost walking on the water … 

And so he tested the spirit?  

Maybe you’re thinking…who would dare to test Jesus? Peter wasn’t!   

He was making sure it was Jesus!   

And as we see … Jesus did not rebuke him.   I’m not into open rebellion by testing God.   But Jesus allowed Peter the grace needed to ask the question … Lord, is this you?  And Jesus answers.

1 John 4 mentions something similar, but we rarely talk about it.   “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.  By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God…”   Test, so that you can know the Spirit of God.

I need to stop right here for today.   But let me say this.   Jesus allowed Peter to test and see that He was the Lord.  The water walking, storm calming, Jesus Christ, who Peter knew in human flesh.  

But that ocean, with those waves and winds … allowed Peter to meet Jesus Christ in the Spirit.  Remember, they saw a ghost coming toward them.  

And Jesus Christ, in the supernatural  … did something supernatural … He walked on water (and something supernatural happened for Peter).

Today, if you face your own storm … Trust the grace of Jesus to ask all the questions that you need to ask. And when you do … Know that Jesus is more than willing to meet you on your waves.

Walking on water isn’t the goal … Knowing Jesus, the water walker is!

Oh, and by the way, I do believe that on that day, the Lord gave those disciples a glimpse of a ghost….

The Holy Ghost.

walk.it.out

I always hesitate to talk much about the fact that it was just 3 years ago, that I was finishing up chemo and radiation treatments because of a cancer diagnosis. So today I bring it up because there are so many people in our lives with some kind of struggle. My heart goes out to people that suffer.  Suffer from something, maybe it’s a disability, illness, or maybe it’s something we can’t see like emotions, sorrow or grief.   I remember well that during my treatment, that every small obstacle, was a big obstacle. Every small hurdle, was a big hurdle. In retrospect, the opposite was very true as well.  Every small victory, was a big victory. Every small step, was a big step.

My doctors now want me to focus on getting into shape. Weight loss, exercise, eating habits. Now that’s also a big hurdle. Anyway, Every time I go into any one of my doctor’s offices, they say… “are you walking? How many times are you walking a week? How long are your walks? Is it fast or slow?” I realized they were not going to stop until …. I was walking. And we are three years out, and they still ask. On my last visit…I just went in and said to the doctor … “I’m walking 30 minutes, 3 – 5 times weekly, my blood pressure is 120/80 and my resting heart rate is 90-95 beats per minute.” Okay, so I may have exaggerated a little… but lets keep a positive attitude.

Now all of this seems very elementary and I know some of you are wondering – what is the big deal about walking?

Because it’s not just walking. It’s not just physical. It’s something very soulish.  It’s something coming from deep within my spirit.  It’s becoming something spiritual.  It’s becoming sacred.  It represents something of great value.

It’s walking away from the past…and into the future.  It’s walking away from sorrow…and into joy.   It’s walking away from sin…and into salvation.  It’s walking away from poverty…and into abundance.  It’s walking away from bondage…and into freedom.   It’s walking away from brokenness…and into healing.

You may not see the future yet, but it’s there.

You may not feel the joy yet, but it’s there.

You may not feel like you’re saved yet, but it’s there.

You may not see the abundance yet, but it’s there.

You may not feel the freedom yet, but it’s there.

You may not feel whole yet …but it’s there.

Remember …

Small steps are really … big steps

Small victories are really … big victories

Any step closer to where you want to be … Is one step closer.

But you ask…will there be setbacks? Yes.

Will there be steps back? Sure.

Will you fall sometimes? Absolutely.

Just fall forward.

Just Keep Walking. Just think… You may even stumble onto something great in your life.

I am so very grateful today that The Lord who watches over me has good intentions for me (and you). His intentions are to bring us into “a good land, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity” (Deut. 8:7-9) His plans for us are good plans, “plans to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us a hope and future” (Jeremiah 29:11). He came that we might have life, “life more abundantly” (John 10:10) We may have to get there by ‘walking’ or we may just stumble upon it.  But it’s there…right ahead of you.   Keep walking.  He is a faithful companion along this journey. Great is Thy Faithfulness. And don’t worry about tripping up and falling forward…Great is the one who goes before us and makes “the crooked path straight” (Isaiah 45:2).

 

dig.deep

So let jump back in … We were with Isaac, who was digging wells.  By now you know that Isaac finally found a place to settle, and it was a spacious place.  It was at the third well.  The Lord created space for Isaac to be fruitful and prosper.  Ahhhhh, and life is good!

So that concludes the first point on how to deal with circumstances that seem unchangeable in life.  But I haven’t forgotten about point number two.  What happens when … Where you are … Is … Where you are?  There’s no moving around, at least not for now.   What do we do?

We Dig … and

We Dig … Deep

In reality, that was Isaac’s first plan.   He was only going to dig that deep well….one time.  But look what he found.   He found a well of running water.  He found what he was looking for in the very first place that he dug.   Isaac really didn’t need to go any further.   He found what he was looking for in the first well.  But he gave it away and moved on.   I’m not sure, but Isaac had to be a little bit on the generous side to do this. Not just once, but twice, he gave up the well and gave up the water.  I’ve just imagined in my mind Isaac saying … “Let them have it…I will dig again, and dig deeper, there’s more water out there.” And he would have been right.  And he was right.   There was plenty of water to be found.  Although no one bothered to dig it out before Isaac got there.  But I digress…that’s another story.

I can’t think of a better story line … There are so many times when life happens to us, around us, through us, and in us.   And we look for the answers to some of the most complicated situations.   So we dig …. Or we can dig deeper.

But in looking at these two options, I pray that either way….

You find water.

Running water.

And I pray you find so much water…that you keep digging.

And the deeper you dig, the more generous you become.

And the more generous you become, the more people are drawn to your wells.

And your generosity to give away running water … lead you to spacious, fruitful places

Because you have something that they need, and don’t have…

You have water…

Running water…

Living water.

John 7:38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water’.”

Oh, just in case you didn’t pick up on who the main characters were in this story …

The Well …

Is you.

The Water …

Is the Holy Spirit.

He’s alive …

Running deep inside of you.

Grab your shovel.

Start digging.