Taking the Back Roads

Sunday was a travel day as we left Louisiana behind and headed for the mountains of North Carolina.

The first part of that long drive is through the Delta of northeast Louisiana.  If you’ve never driven the Delta, well, you really haven’t missed much.  It’s flat.  I mean it’s really flat.  The only excitement is the rows and rows of cotton or soybean and the bear crossing signs.  Never actually seen a bear.  That would be exciting!

{Sidenote… there are some amazing “ancient” Indian Mounds off of I-20 that would be a great stop on your way.  We have been wanting to take Sarah, but we just haven’t been able to work out the timing.}

Going through Chattanooga we got a taste of the beautiful mountain ranges to come and we decided we wanted to see something more than the interstate.  So we ventured off through the Cherokee & Nantahala National Forests.   It was a beautiful drive! We got to see parts of Tennessee and North Carolina that we had never seen before.

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Sarah was in awe of the white rapids all along the Ocoee River.  We stopped at a dam and heard the great power of all this rushing water.  We also had a mini-history lesson at a rest stop along the Trail of Tears and she even got to run around catching fireflies.

I would have preferred to have gotten out of the forest before dark, but I wouldn’t have wanted to skip all the sites along the way.

I’m realizing life is a lot like a long day of travel.  Sometimes you have to get off and take the back roads.  If not, you just might miss something beautiful.

Living thru faith,

Misty

 

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Refresh Button

Ok, show of hands.  How many of us need a Refresh Button?

Yep, got both of mine raised up high!

One of my desires for all of our traveling is to come back feeling refreshed of mind, body, and soul.  I know I will be tired by the end of it all, but there is a difference between being tired and being plain weary.  Right now I am just plain tired of being weary!

Life has been moving non-stop and, while filled with many good things, priorities have gotten out of whack and over time that has led to a weariness in my spirit.

I need a Refresh Button.

Our pastor preached from Acts 3:11-26 this past Sunday, but my soul hung onto just a part of verse 19.

“…that times of refreshing may come from the Lord…”

True refreshing of the spirit can only come from one place and the way to receive that refreshing comes in only one way.

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord…”

I have allowed the craziness of life to come before my time with the Lord.  I have allowed my priorities to get out of whack.

Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.

Here’s my heart, Lord, take it and seal it.  Seal it for thy throne above.

(from the hymn Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing)

I am now in need of that refreshing of my soul and can only receive that by turning back to the One from whom that refreshing comes.

The Lord is my refresh button.

Living thru faith,

Misty

Who Are You Looking At?

Brian heard a speaker last week who was demonstrating how when we oppose someone we are facing them, but when we are following someone we are looking at their back.

He also introduced us to this song and Sarah fell in love with it.  I think we listened to it 5 times on Tuesday alone!  It’s a catchy tune, but the words are powerful!  The timing of the two events had to be God’s weaving life together as a way of speaking to me, because these were words I needed to hear right now.  Isn’t it amazing how God weaves the threads of life together to create a beautiful tapestry!

Define Me by Johnny Diaz

He doesn’t use a pitchfork
He doesn’t have a tail
He comes disguised as fear and lies
To remind you when you’ve failed
He doesn’t wear a red suit
And he doesn’t smell like smoke
He sneaks around ’til he finds your doubt
And that’s where he makes his home

But when he comes for you
All you gotta do

Is take a look at the devil right square in the eye
And tell him I have believed you for the very last time
Devil, I know you’ve been lying to me
You do not define me
‘Cause all of your power has been swept away
Your threats are as empty as Jesus’ grave
So devil, go get behind me
You do not define me

He knows the ways we’re different
Where we’re tempted to choose a side
Takes the beauty in our diversity
And he’ll use it to divide
And he’ll split us over doctrine
Or the color of our skin
And when we fight with fear and hate
He’s the only one who wins

But when he comes your way
Just put him in his place

Just take a look at the devil right square in the eye
And tell him I have believed you for the very last time
Devil, I know you’ve been lying to me
You do not define me
‘Cause all of your power has been swept away
Your threats are as empty as Jesus’ grave
So devil, go get behind me
You do not define me, no

One Name above all names
Defines who I am, allows me to say that
I’ve got the victory
Over the enemy
One God above all gods
Who knows who I am, and gives what I’ve got and
I’ve got authority
To make the devil flee

So look that devil square in the eye
Saying devil, I’m so tired of your lies
No, you do not define me
‘Cause all of your power has been swept away
Your threats are as empty as Jesus’ grave
So devil, go get behind me
You do not define me
Yeah, devil, go get behind me
You do not define me, no

I know I forget sometimes that the enemy only has the power I give him.  He is powerless without my cooperation.  He has no authority.  However, through Jesus, I have the authority to make him flee.

“Submit yourselves, then, to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”   James 4:7

 I don’t know about you, but I definitely want to be looking straight into the enemy’s eyes while following behind Jesus.

His threats are as empty as Jesus’ grave

So devil, go get behind me

You do not define me.

Living thru faith,

Misty

 

A New Life into a Living Hope

I have been stewing on events and thoughts and words for a few days now and not really knowing how to piece it all together coherently.  Today I felt like the Lord was knitting it together a little more, so I’m going to try to get what is in my heart and head out on virtual “paper”…

A day or two after the horrific school shooting in Florida, I began reading 1 Peter and was struck with the words Peter wrote in verse 3.

“…In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope…” 

Those words have painted such a beautiful picture in my head and has stayed with me over the last few days – new birthLiving hope –

Both sides can argue gun control until everyone is blue in the face and no one is going to walk away satisfied with the outcome of that argument.  But what we cannot argue is the fact a gun is an inanimate object.  There are no living components.  Only metal pieces molded and assembled together, lifeless.  There is nothing a gun can do without a human connection.

It is that humanness that causes us to live in a world with broken people.

It is that humanness that has allowed us to take God out of our schools, out of our jobs, out of our relationships, out of our families, even out of our churches.

When we take God out of our lives, we are left hopeless.

When we take God out of our day to day lives, we allow the enemy a foothold that he will fight to keep.  The enemy has been fighting hard and he has been winning battles.

Are you willing to fight even harder than the enemy?

Are you willing to stand up and say “I’m putting God back where He belongs”?

We, and, yes, I mean each one of us, have allowed the enemy to get hold of our schools, our lives, our churches. We have allowed our humanness to become more important and prevalent than our God.

We have walked away from the Living Hope.

Our living hope comes through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Our living hope will sustain us every day as we as walk through this life filled with brokenness.  Our living hope will take that brokenness and knit it back together, heal it, and make it whole again.

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“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”  1 Peter 1:3-5 (NIV)

God has given us a new birth into a living hope.

Grasp that hope.

Live a new life.

Live a new life filled with living hope.

Live out that living hope in every part of your life so that others will see that hope in your life and want it for themselves.

Living thru faith,

Misty

 

 

 

Simplify 2018

Simplify

[sim-pluh-fahy]

  1. to make less complex or complicated; make plainer or easier

For the last couple of months I have felt the Lord telling me to simplify.  Sounds heavenly, right?!  My life is crazy and it seems to get crazier by the day.  It’s not that the things filling my life are not important.  I can justify everything that is causing the craziness.  So what am I supposed to give up?  What am I supposed to stop doing?

Over these months of asking these questions, I think I finally have an answer.

Nothing.

Say what?!

Yep. Nothing.

But, wait.  There’s more. Not only am I not supposed to give up anything, I am supposed to be adding to it.  You know, sometimes the Lord makes no sense!  How do I simplify my life when I have to keep doing everything I’m doing plus add more to my plate?  Really, Lord?!  Could you give me a little more direction, please?

“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”  Proverbs 16:9 (NLT)

I still don’t know how this is going to work, but I have come to a few realizations…

Time..

I need more time with God. I need more time in prayer, more time in study, more time sitting in His presence.

Priorities…

I have to re-evaluate, re-examine, and re-organize.  My two top priorities (after time with God) are taking care of my family and homeschooling my daughter. Everything else has to revolve around those two.

Focus…

My focus has to change.  Changing my focus will change why I do things.  Changing my focus will change how I do things.  Changing my focus is where I simplify.

By definition, simplify means to make it less complicated; make it less complex, plainer…easier.  But let us not confuse easier with easy.  Making things easier or simpler, can actually be very hard.  Making my life less complicated and less complex, is going to take a lot of work. I may have to do more to make something simpler, because my focus is on the why not the how.  Decisions are going to have to be made.  Some of those decisions are going to be hard.  Some are not going to be popular, even with myself. Some are not going to make sense to anyone else or even to me.

But spending time focusing on the One who determines my priorities and my focus

that makes life less complicated, less complex, plainer, a little easier…

simpler.

Living thru faith,

Misty