Thursday, March 21, 2013


                                                            ‘Tis the Season

Doug Larson, the popular Writer and Editor for the Green Bay Press-Gazette perfectly characterized the most vibrant time of the year.

“Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush.”

This Wisconsin born and bred Columnist appreciated the joy of turning the corner on a harsh winter even while it still clipped at his heels. Larson’s humorous optimism - and a whistle - catapulted his senses into appreciative overdrive. Cold toes? Who cares?

Larson could see the sun climbing higher in the sky, feel the temperature grow warmer on his skin and notice new life burst forth around him. So do I.

“The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.” Song of Solomon 2:12 (NLT)

In the nation’s capital, Spring is the first time of the year when the sight of riotous clusters of pink cherry blossoms, the scent wafting from their newly opened blooms and the tickle of their petals brushing my cheek intersect to make me want to whistle!  The breeze is slightly cool enough to put me in a pale, yellow cardigan but the sun is high enough to promise another 65 degree day on the Potomac.

So it is in your life. Spring sighs that your hibernation in God’s winter of preparation is over.

“They set out from the city of Rameses in early spring - on the fifteenth day of the first month - on the morning after the first Passover celebration. The people of Israel left defiantly, in full view of all the Egyptians.” Numbers 33:3 (NLT)

Spring is your time to launch - prepared and ready to face the world of His promises to you.

“On this day in early spring, in the month of Abib, you have been set free.” Exodus 13:4 (NLT)

Spring is your time to begin the journey of Ruth. That was the tenacious, young widow’s season to sojourn from Moab to Bethlehem; from loss to new life.  It was spring when Ruth entered her Promise Land of barley then Boaz!

“So Naomi returned from Moab, accompanied by her daughter-in-law Ruth, the young Moabite woman. They arrived in Bethlehem in late spring, at the beginning of the barley harvest.“ Ruth 1:22 (NLT)

Your spring 2013 is the fulfillment of God’s silent, deep, hidden and sometimes harsh winter of preparation in your life. It shall hold the beginning of a riotous, colorful burst of His glory overtaking you! He tells you that you are,

“...the spring crocus blooming on the Sharon Plain, the lily of the valley. Like a lily among thistles is my darling among young women.” Song of Solomon 2:1-2 (NLT)

Spring 2013, He exchanges your ashes for beauty. Restoration!

“Ask the Lord for rain in the spring, for he makes the storm clouds. And he will send showers of rain so every field becomes a lush pasture.” Zechariah 10:1 (NLT)

Spring 2013, He moves you from mourning to joy. A lush pasture? Come on!

“The Sovereign Lord will show his justice to the nations of the world. Everyone will praise him! His righteousness will be like a garden in early spring, with plants springing up everywhere.” Isaiah 61:11 (NLT)

Spring 2013, He enrobes you in justice and a garment of praise to replace the despair!

“Look, the winter is past, and the rains are over and gone. The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come, and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air. The fig trees are forming young fruit, and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming. Rise up, my darling! Come away with me, my fair one!” Solomon 2: 11-13 (NLT)

The snow of your winter - the one that blanketed a life He was slowly and steadily nurturing under its bitter chill - has melted. Just a little slush in your shoe - already melting. 

It’s not unusual to see a crocus peek its eager, spring bloom  through a little wintry slush. Spring 2013, thawing with promise, will land you in Doug Larson's shoes - whistling on your way.

- Still Processing

Thursday, March 14, 2013


You’re in the Lead

Here is a handful of definitions we Americans use to explain FOLLOW :

·      To engage in as a calling or way of life: pursue <wheat-growing is generally followed here>

·      To watch steadily <followed the flight of the ball>

And the Brits explain FOLLOW like this:

·      Go or come after (a person or thing proceeding ahead)

·      Move or travel behind

·      Treat as a teacher or guide <those who seek to follow Jesus Christ>

Both definitions support the suggestion that God, in fact, follows us!  Not that we are exemplary leaders whom He imitates or to whom He subjects Himself. He follows us because, in the freedom He has granted us, we stray.  We need Him to follow us with His arm of salvation.

“I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’” Isaiah 65:1 (NIV)

This verse assures us that God follows those who don’t realize it, request it or deserve it. It’s a great Scripture to stand on when you’re praying for someone who has no interest, whatsoever, in the Lord. According to His word, He will follow that one for whom you are laboring in prayer since He desires that no one perish.

Remember John 15:16?

 “You did not choose Me. I chose you, and I orchestrated all of this so that you would be sent out and bear great and perpetual fruit. As you do this, anything you ask the Father in My name will be done.” (Voice)

Our Father is committed to following us, no matter what. And He will be kind as He pursues. It is effective.

“…the goodness of God leads you to repentance."  Romans 2: 4 (NKJV)

This clearly suggests that the person who needs to repent is out of fellowship; out of step; not following Him. Therefore, the Lord will follow to forgive.

“Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover. This will illustrate that the Lord still loves Israel, even though the people have turned to other gods and love to worship them.’
So I bought her back for fifteen pieces of silver and five bushels of barley and a measure of wine.” Hosea 3: 1-3 (NLT)

Hosea 3 is a metaphor for His compassionate pursuit of us even when we are egregiously offensive! Look at how Hosea rewarded his wife, Gomer. He gave her another chance. He made her feel safe and forgiven.

 God is doing the same for you. He doesn't give up.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” Psalm 23 (KJV)

As He follows you, so shall His goodness.

All of the following blessings will be yours—in fact, they’ll chase after you—if you’ll listen to what He tells you.” Deuteronomy 28:2  (Voice)

He's pursuing and watching us steadily. His picture should be next to "FOLLOW" in both Merriam's and the Oxford Dictionary!

-Still Processing

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Father, Can You Move Any Slower?

Part II

Remember in John 11 when Lazarus was on his deathbed and his sisters, Mary and Martha, immediately sent word to Jesus, Lazarus’ BFF?  That was about S P E E D. The ladies were convinced timing was important; their timing. An urgent word to Jesus would surely result in His speedy arrival to heal their brother. His immediate intervention would spare Lazarus the inevitable.

Jesus’ response to their urgent request? Nope.  

He said, ‘This sickness will not end in death. It has happened so that it will bring honor to God. And the Son of God will be honored by it also.’” John 11:4 (NLV)

Then, not only did Jesus skip the ladies’ request, He skipped town!

“Jesus dearly loved Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. However, after receiving this news, He waited two more days where He was. And then he said to his disciples, ‘Let us go back to Judea.’” John 11: 5-7 (VOICE & NIV)

Jesus’ actions shook the ladies’ faith. 

In His absence, Lazarus did die! Their belief that a quick touch from Jesus would bring Lazarus back from the edge was turned on its head.

Are you in a season of your life where a prayer about a critical situation has gone unanswered? Where you’ve slipped past that deadline when God had just enough time to remedy the dilemma? Are you in the place where the whole thing evaporated into nothing - loss or defeat staring back at you now?  God hasn't shown up, has He?

But, think on this. Dial back to the moment before your "Lazarus" passed; when Almighty God assured you that the current frustrating or hopeless situation wasn’t the end of your situation? Stand on His word. 

Look at John 11: 4, again.

Jesus said, ‘This sickness will not end in death.’”

Jesus didn’t say Lazarus wouldn’t die. His subtext was that Lazarus’ death was part of an ongoing process leading to a miraculous, unbelievable, grand answer that would glorify God in an unimaginable way. 

So don’t give up like Lazarus’ sister, Mary, did in light of her devastating outcome.

"On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home."  John 11: 17, 20 (NIV)

This same Mary who was a “Believer;” who had curled up at Jesus’ feet one evening, to the consternation of Martha, her busy sister; who had washed those same feet with her perfumed hair. This same Mary gave up her hope in Jesus after her brother died and had been buried four days. 

But her disappointment makes sense, doesn't it? What was there left to believe for? Why not stay in the house mourning her loss - sad, isolated, disappointed and angry? Jesus had let her down.

“Then Jesus said, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?’

So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.’

When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out.” John 11: 40-44 (NIV)

Thanks to Martha coaxing her sister, Mary, out of the house; out of her depression, Mary got to see Jesus keep His word. A Resurrection!

Your loss is a part of God’s life renewing process. The loss will not end in death. Speed isn’t what you need. Just believe what, 

"Jesus told her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. 

Do you believe this, Martha?'"  John 11:25-26 (NLT)


-Still Processing

Friday, March 1, 2013


Father, Can You Move Any Slower?

Part I

Hate it when I get in God’s way. Don’t mean to. It’s just that when I think He’s moving too slowly in the lane of my life, I change lanes. I’m looking for movement, action, fast action. I want speedy help, speedy answers, speedy change, speedy resolutions. Speed. Just. Give. Me. Speed!

Do you ever find yourself changing lanes on God? Jumping ahead of Him because He’s moseying along like the proverbial “Sunday Driver;” taking His own sweet time to reveal His answer to your prayer. He’s just not moving at that rapid pace you prefer. Speed.

But once you complete that aggressive lane change, do you whisper, “Am I coming up short on patience with God? Or trust in Him? Or do I simply lack both? Is one, perhaps, predicated on the other?”

Let’s see.

When you’re in the “10 or Less” line at Whole Foods, do you suss out the folks ahead to determine if there really are “10 or Less” in their cart? Speed. How about when you arrive at the doctor’s office early enough to sign in, grab a magazine and read it cover to cover with 5 minutes to spare, then start to fidget if you haven’t been called within 3 minutes of your scheduled time? Speed.

I won’t even get into how you begin to feel at your regularly scheduled hair appointment at which the Stylist regularly runs late. Speed. Still, your need for speed at these moments does not require you exercise any measure of trust that your turn will come. You know it will.

But with God, it’s different. Our patience with Him is predicated on our trust in Him. Here’s why:

1) He repeatedly promises to guide us in the lane of our life.

“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:6 (NKJV)

2) He promises He will lead us while instructing us with no mention of any measure of speed while He does.

“This is what the Lord, your Defender, the Holy One of Israel, says: I am the Lord your God. I teach you what is best for you. I lead you where you should go.”  Isaiah 48:17(GW)

In fact, He tells us He is going to deliver us first, and then direct us. This is a slow proposition if you think about from what He is delivering us. So, we are left to trust Him that during this s-L-O-w  time of no visible change, He will show up to show off! Patience = Trust.

“In [His] unfailing love [He] will lead the people [He has] redeemed. In [His] strength [He] will guide them...” Exodus 15:13 (NIV)

God was not only delivering the Jews from the physical shackles of slavery in Egypt but from its emotional, spiritual and economic ravages, as well. He wanted them to be whole; free of the cumulative effects that life had on their group psyche. 

This band of Hebrews was not schooled as military experts trained to strategize and win the battles they would have encountered had the Lord allowed them a direct and speedy trip to their Promise Land. 

Isn’t this the same for us? If He speeds us along, we won't have time to prepare to successfully live in our Promise! 

“Then it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, ‘Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.’

So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt.”  Exodus 13:17-18 (NKJV)

He deliberately slowed their journey. He wanted to train them, equip them and cultivate recovery time from the brokenness of life in Egypt. No changing lanes to hurry it up. No jumping ahead of time. No speed.

He is doing the exact same thing for you, right now, in what seems like the slowest time E-V-E-R. It is. Just stay in your lane!

-Still Processing