Chains and Change

Have you ever had an experience where something you heard, watched or experienced had such an impact on you that you knew you couldn’t do anything else but to change some things in your life? I have recently changed churches at God’s leading, and I attended a class on “Belonging” to this particular church and family. However, as I listened to the pastor share his heart about what belonging to this church means, I knew immediately that I would be challenged in a BIG way!  What is it that really reached down into my heart and stirred me up? Let me share some thoughts with you.

We can so easily get seduced into thinking that what we are doing and the way we are living is “ok” with God. God knows my circumstance and He will understand why I do what I do, say what I say, get mad over anything, call someone a name, say words I shouldn’t say or any number of things we justify. The fact IS? He does care. He asks us to follow Him and leave that all behind us when we accept Him as our personal Savior. I can’t look like the world and live my life for Jesus. I have to do life differently.

So as I listened, God began an excavating process and exposed things for me to change. I have lived all my life for God, but there are areas of my life I don’t like much. My challenge? How am I going to change and adjust my life so I live more fully for Him?

You see, we can get caught up on all kinds of moves and activities; so much so, that we get desensitized to our busyness and begin to justify it to ourselves. We ignore that voice that says, “That isn’t going to take you where I want you to go.” And, let’s face it, change is HARD! It’s so much easier to just ignore it. Shoot, we are so busy doing OUR thing, we don’t even hear that voice trying to encourage us to move toward HIS thing.

So what will I be working on? I will be transparent with you for a minute because I know that is the first step to changing what God wants to change in me. Here I go:

▪                I love to serve, help and encourage people. I love being involved in my church. But in my involvement, I have to be under the authority of the pastor who has a God-given vision and leave my agenda behind. I don’t think that my ideas are the only ideas. I just get excited about what could be! It’s hard for me to keep a lid on it because I’m a visionary! I get all excited about what could be done to help others in their walk with the Lord. But I’m going to work on that submission area.

▪                I’m asking God for control over my mouth, where it can be easy for things to come out that aren’t edifying to anyone.

▪                I’m putting my message that God gave me three years ago and is on my wall, back to work in my life. It says, ” To JoAnn…praying without ceasing. ~God”  Oh, I pray all the time. But I have had a season of time where I have not been as consistent as I was.

▪                I’m expecting that because God is asking me to change these areas, that He will give me the grace to do it; expecting answers to prayers and needs.

▪                I am watching my associations and situations which would get me agitated or riled up. I want the things that stir me up to be God’s agenda.

▪                I will learn with God’s help to be consistently content with what He gives me and also the home where I live. Sometimes, I can get off track when I see others who have more or seem to always have “it”, as my pastor shared last Sunday. I want to be consistent in the area of “living satisfied”.

  • I am creating an environment in my home that says, God lives here, and what I have, I owe to Him. So my husband and I are working on areas that will improve our home to make the atmosphere cozy and inviting. We want our life to me just like a door header I saw that said, “We live to make God famous.”

I’m excited! It’s not going to be easy. But I know God spoke, and He asked me to step up to this challenge from Him and see what He will do! I talk about the journey of my heart on this blog; this is my heart. I’m hopeful that my journey will inspire you to take up the mantle and ask God for the changes that YOU may need in your life, SO THAT, you will have both feet on the side of Jesus! Get your expectation motor started! He will take you to places you never dreamed of! I would love to hear from you! Let me know what God is working on in you! Blessings on your journey!


Who Me? An Example?

Did you ever have your parents tell you any of the following?

  • You needed to be an example to your brother or sister.
  • They are watching you.
  • If you don’t do that, neither will he/she.
  • Show them how they are supposed to act by how you act.
  • They are younger than you so you have to show them how to act.
I don’t know about you, but I can remember wanting to ask my parents to look for someone else to show them how to act. It kind of makes me giggle a bit now, but I didn’t think it was funny then!

So what is it about us being an example that our parents hoped would carry over into our adult lives? Do you think they really thought WE were the only ones that would set an example to our siblings? I think it was an early lesson in taking the high road in situations where you wanted to react quite differently. I looked the word “example” up in the Vines Dictionary and it said, “a thing shown, tracing, writing copy, to make a show or expose, to teach, to show by example. Acts 20:35 , Jesus talks about giving us an example to follow and that He showed us what that example looked like. Let’s explore that idea a bit.

We have countless areas where we can be an example. We are always watched by someone. The saying that we might be the only Jesus someone sees? That is so true and so we want to be authentic in how we live. It’s not about the “appearance” of how we live, or what we show people through a Facebook status, or putting on our best face for Sunday mornings. It is about living as Jesus would live everyday. Jesus sees all. That means that when we are trying to put forth something we are not, He knows! We aren’t fooling Him! We can’t be an example without His help and we daily need to ask Him to show us how He wants us to be the example of Him in our daily walk.

So back to our parents…I think they already knew this when they asked us to be an example our brothers and sisters. They knew that one day, that we would have to on purpose live for Jesus with all its hits along the way. And when I share some of those thoughts with my grandson, Ethan, I kind of smile and say to myself, “Thanks Mom and Dad for your Godly guidance of how I should live.” 

You have power and influence and you may never really know how much. But people ARE watching. Bosses are watching, people you live with are watching, and so are you kids or grandkids. They are forming life opinions based on yours. Will you join me in this challenge of being authentic and honest in how we live out our days, whether at home, with friends, church, on the job, or in social media settings?

I hope that as I run this race called life, that I can look over and find you in the next lane running with me toward that ultimate prize!