Thursday, March 28, 2013

How bright is your light?




(Photo courtesy of Trip Advisor)

I just spent several days in a hotel room thousands of miles from home. Every morning I got myself ready in the bathroom, just like at home. The white marble vanity offered plenty of space for everything I needed and the large mirror hanging above it was large enough to see my whole outfit at a glance. I left my room looking and feeling great, ready for the busy day ahead.

Three days later, I was back at home. The tumbled marble vanity was still large enough to hold all my stuff and the mirror was still on the wall, but I looked different. Staring at my own reflection, I noticed how tired I looked. The grit and grime that comes from travel seemed to have settled in the delicate lines of my face. I looked terrible - a run down, worn out version of myself.

After a long shower and a little facial TLC, I began thinking about why I looked so different in the hotel room than I did at home. Then I had a light bulb moment (literally). The difference was the light. The hotel bathroom was an enclosed room drenched in a soft, white light. While my bathroom at home has several light fixtures and two large windows allowing natural light to flow through. 

We get to choose which light we shine onto our lives as well. Do we only allow soft, ambient light that makes the things we do and say look good? Or do we allow God to shine His light into our lives revealing the areas of buildup in desperate need of cleaning? Sure, we may all look better in the softer light, but does that reflect who we really are?

Now that I’m back in my regular routine and have rested, my bathroom mirror is a bit kinder. I’ll admit, I enjoyed leaving my hotel room each day looking a little more finished than I normally do. But the funny thing is, outside of that hotel room, I looked the same way I do every other day – I was the only one who didn’t know it! So, I think I’ll stick with the pure light of Christ. He faithfully shows me a clear picture of who I really am and who He’s making me to be.  In the end, everyone gets to see Jesus through me and I can’t look any better than that!

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A hope for your calling




God has a hope for your calling. Have you ever heard that before?  God has a hope for your calling. I love the saying, but what does it mean?

I few years ago, I bought a product to help with joint pain. I have a gimpy knee from an accident several years ago and was intrigued by the idea of pain free living. The product promised to alleviate pain and improve my range of motion. The catch was you had to allow it to build up in your system before you’d feel any relief.

After taking the pills for several weeks, I didn’t feel any better. Without realizing it, I would forget a dose or two, then a few days in a row until finally I wasn’t taking them at all. I was certain the product had failed.
God’s hope for us is just like that joint pain pill. It has the potential for greatness; we just have to allow it to work in us! I didn’t feel the pill working right away, so I assumed it didn’t work at all. Have you ever done that with God? You don’t see His hand moving, so you assume He’s not doing anything? Or you see just a little improvement, but not what you wanted? Me too! 

God has a hope for your calling. Maybe we should look at the word hope differently. Hope basically means that you feel the thing you want is attainable or possible. But what if we looked at it like this:

H – His
O – Own
P – Power
E – Everyday

God knows what He wants to do in your life is attainable. But like the pain pill, His power can’t do what it is capable of if we won’t let it. The Bible tells us that ALL things are possible in Christ, so why do we start doubting that He’ll do the thing He started in us?

God hopes we accept His gift of salvation. He hopes to have an intimate relationship with us. He hopes to use us to further His kingdom. None of these things are accomplished without HIS power therefore He is our hope!

God has a hope for your calling. Are you allowing Him to be your only HOPE?

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tripped Up




While presenting to a group of ladies the other day, I managed to catch the heel of my boot in the edge of a carpet square. Thankfully, I mustered enough grace to not launch myself head over heels into the display table and continued with my talk.

The raised corner of the carpet square was right where I needed to stand so I realized I had three choices: ignore it, acknowledge it, or repair it.

First I tried to ignore it. Maybe if I just walked away it wouldn’t be a problem. But as my talk went on, I found myself gravitating back to the same area and getting caught up again.

At that point, I decided to acknowledge it. With a joke, I brought the bothersome carpet square to the attention of the ladies in the room. I admitted that I kept getting my foot caught in it but still couldn’t seem to stay away from it. Though I knew full well it was there, I couldn't seem to avoid it.

I would have loved to have stopped everything and fix the offending carpet square. I poked at it with the tip of my boot but the curly edge popped back up in defiance. I knew I didn’t have the necessary tools to repair it permanently.

The carpet square reminds me of the sin in our lives. Being flawed humans, we all struggle with sin patterns. Ironically, we have the same choice to make: ignore it, acknowledge it, or repair it.

We both know ignoring a problem will never make it go away. If anything, it will only grow bigger with time. I can guarantee that the carpet square didn’t just pop up one day. It rose up a little more each day until it wasn’t able to lay flat anymore.

As I found out, simply acknowledging the issue isn’t always effective either. It’s a great first step but just knowing something is a problem won’t keep us from being tripped up by it over and over again.

Repairing the issue often takes more skill than we have on our own. Good thing God came to earth as a carpenter! We can only be repaired when we acknowledge the sin pattern in our lives and take it to the One who is able to make us new. God is the Master Craftsman who can remove the sin and repair the damage it has caused, but only if we let Him.

Do you have a raised carpet square in your life that continues to trip you up? Are you ignoring it, acknowledging it or repairing it? Believer, the problem won’t go away on its own. It needs the hand of the Master Craftsman.

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“…I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble…” Jeremiah 31:9