“Choices”

I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations.

Psalm 119:30 NLT

What choices and decisions are in front of you today, Sister?

Realizing that this is a loaded question, I only share with you because my spiritual eyes and ears have seen and heard from so many who express a heaviness of heart and a wearisome soul ~~ to you, Girlfriend, wherever you are in your Journey, no matter the intensity of your situation, God knows and sees your pain and anguish. And He is there with you and for you.

Over the years, having experienced the consequences of bad choices on my part I can only say that I wish that I could go back in time to undo those bad choices and decisions ~~ to spare myself from the pain that ensued afterwards.

Don’t we all?

But as time and life experiences reveal, that our Merciful Lord makes all things work together for our good …

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Romans 8:28 NLT.

So even while we consciously make those bad choices, since God has already been down our Journey, knowing that we would do such, He makes a way for us to still “recover” (for lack of a better word). For me, that is beyond comprehension.

I truly believe that in all the life experiences of poor decision-making, God’s Love transcends and permeates where you and I cannot even begin to imagine. Seriously think about this: if left to our own selves, we would have simply met our doom a long time ago.

But God (savour those two words) …

In His Love and Mercy, has a Plan that includes us (yes, ALL of us, Girlfriend). And so while we even “blow it big time,” He sees fit to redeem us from ourselves ~~ and those bad choices.

So what are we to do? What’s the remedy for moving forward to lessen the occurrence of poor choices? (You know you will always need that “eraser,” so perfection and error-free are not part of the vocabulary here.)

Let’s take a look at more of the Scripture passage …

I lie in the dust; revive me by your word. I told you my plans, and you answered. Now teach me your decrees. Help me understand the meaning of your commandments, and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds. I weep with sorrow; encourage me by your word. Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing your instructions. I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations. I cling to your laws. Lord, don’t let me be put to shame! I will pursue your commands, for you expand my understanding. Teach me your decrees, O Lord; I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart. Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found. Give me an eagerness for your laws rather than a love for money! Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word. Reassure me of your promise, made to those who fear you. Help me abandon my shameful ways; for your regulations are good. I long to obey your commandments! Renew my life with your goodness.

Psalm 119:25-40 NLT

Commitment to be Disciplined by His Word.

There’s effort on my part to be taught by The Living God ~~ His Word breathes life into my soul and will keep me safe from myself (and my bad choices in life).

I have to commit to following through on what God’s Word says for me to do ~~ obedience is the key that unlocks the door to understanding His Perfect Will for my life.

Have you had enough ~~ enough pain, sorrow, anguish ~~ from bad choices? The opportunity for decisions will never go away ~~ not while we’re on this side of Paradise. But while we are privileged to see the awesome workings of God in our life, being proactive by deciding to live according to His Precepts will spare us from the fallout of bad choices.

Maybe we need to remember the Goodness of God more often ~~ to trigger how many times He’s (seemingly) fixed our ugly situations. I know that I come up red-faced when I even begin to consider the things I’ve chosen to do in the recent past (starting with yesterday) ~~ much less the far past (like last month); so I won’t even mention year’s ago!

Heaven help me ~~ I only hope that the humans within close proximity of observation have granted me a place in their “memory lapse.” And I won’t even go into the direct impact onto others in my realm ~~ hands over eyes! Can anyone relate?

The Psalmist seems to resonate my groaning ~~ he verbalizes the cry of my heart to do right by God and for God. And that’s where it begins, Girlfriend, in our ♥️.

Are you ready to commit to better choices by committing to the disciplines of God’s Word?

Let’s take up the Blessed opportunity to live life according to His Commands through our choice to being obedient, and I’m persuaded that He will not disappoint.

Allow me to close with a favorite phrase that my dear friend, Jo, always shares with me when I’m down: “Trust God to do ‘it’ (whatever it may be at the time), and He will blow your mind!

And she’s so right!

I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary

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“Thought Process”

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9 – NLT

It seems like I’m always thinking and processing something in my mind. And it’s not necessarily my project, it may be surrounding a friend or loved one’s concerns. Nonetheless, I suppose I make it my business by devoting time and energy to tossing it around in my grey matter.

And isn’t it just like God to nudge me ~~ remind me ~~ that while things don’t seem to make sense to me or agree to popular thinking in today’s culture, He’s ‘got this.’

Seriously Sister, I toss my own thoughts around like a well-crafted salad! And while I know that anything that ‘overly concerns’ me is candidate for The Prayer List, I don’t always openly turn things over to God for His Handling ~~ not at first.

I mean, don’t we tend to “fix it,” or attempt to fix it ~~ before we raise it up to God for His solution?

Millions of times (I say this because there’s no sense in counting) I have said to self: “I’ve got this!” Only to later look at the chards on the floor and to find myself picking out the shrapnel from the aftermath.

Whenever I’ve erroneously rushed into a decision ~~ I usually suffer the consequences; and quite soon after the fallout, I might add.

So as I move forward into my Journey of this second half of life, I (try to) commit to less of me and more of Him ~~ allowing God the true control of my life. Not always successful and certainly not always easily done. Why?

Because His thoughts are nothing like our thoughts. And while I may argue the validity of my decisions and action plans, and even claim that God “impressed upon me” (sound familiar?) to do such and such, it’s terribly difficult for these human hands to let go.

And yet still, I stand before you, Sweet Sister of mine, beckoning you ~~ to release and receive ~~ whatever you have conjured in your mind and embrace God’s Plan.

You will be Blessed.

It may take tiny steps to “practice” prying your hands from things that you continue to white-knuckle grip onto ~~ but continue to “practice” until the “practice” becomes the pathway to provision for your need(s).

I assure you your efforts will be well worth it ~~ no regrets when Trusting a Perfect God.

Commit with me Girlfriend ~~ and we will remind each other ~~ to rest our souls to the Care of The One Who breathes life into them.

I love you to Heaven and Back ~~

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary

“Ambassador”

 

Some time ago (when I make this kind of reference it’s because I have already forgotten how long ago the thought originated), when I was communing with God about ‘what I have been Assigned to do with my time through a career,’ He Whispered into my spirit: Ambassador.

Now mind you, I knew full well that this was by no means a hint to get politically involved or to seek a public office or participate in some societal organization whose mission is to be internationally connected for a worldwide cause.  No, it was not a worldly kind of Ambassador Assignment.. And surprisingly enough, I somehow knew ‘where’ God was going with this.  (I suppose my spiritual ears have been piqued well enough to recognize His Voice better.)

Over the course of several months, I had noticed how my daily activities were intertwined and beginning to show signs of connectivity.  I recognized ‘patterns’ of similarities in what God had been placing in front of me for developmental purposes and the situations within which He was actively causing me to enter into.  It wasn’t always clear-cut and predictable; however, there were commonalities that just seemed to tie things up and make sense.  The particular choices I was ‘forced’ to make, the people with whom I was ‘forced’ to engage, the places I was ‘forced’ to venture into to participate in all of these things ~~ it all just made sense.  For lack of a better word, I use the word ‘forced’ to reflect a persuasion on the part of the Holy Sprit.  

“When you allow God the space to develop your spiritual senses, you are keenly aware of the sound of His Voice.”

Praying for career direction from The Lord requires me to humble myself to receive His Answer ~~ because I must trust that if something does not make perfect sense to my human reasoning, that God’s Will is still at work on my behalf.  

When I ‘heard’ the word Ambassador, I must admit that I thought to myself, ‘Well, of course, all Christ-Followers are commanded to be Ambassadors of the Gospel.  But this was in addition to what He meant in this context.  

Clearly in my heart of hearts, God had placed the desire to become an ‘independent’ worker.  No, not in an entrepreneurial sense, whereby I would develop my own company, but as a Consultant.  I’ve come to identify the skills and talents He has developed in me to accomplish specific tasks, and He continues to develop me for ongoing and future tasks.  But if ever the dots connected in my life, it was definitely now.

What I thought was just a passing ‘dream’ of becoming a Consultant is rolling out in front of my eyes like a movie on the big screen at the theater.  When I initially considered becoming a Consultant, it was with my definition of what that job description was going to be ~~ and that’s precisely why it did not come to fruition.  (An ‘I got it, God!’ moment smacked me square between the eyes.). It was my desire for me, and not His Desire for me.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
6Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take. ~~ Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT

Sometimes Girlfriend, we mistakenly ‘think’ we’ve entrusted The Lord with our concerns and cares ~~ when in actuality we’ve only Team Tagged God (does that make sense?) and still ‘control’ our decisions and actions, with the intent to determine the outcome.  Please tell me I’m not alone in this craziness.

While it has taken me more than half of my earthly life to come to terms with the fact that I actively do this, I do now see that I have been wrongfully wasting precious time.  And I humbly ask for His Forgiveness.  Yet I rejoice in the ability to begin again.

This Assignment as Ambassador has only begun ~~ I am now on to embracing the second of two Assignments where I can be instrumental from both an earthly perspective as well as a Heavenly Purpose.  And for that I give Him Glory and Praise for even considering me to be useful.

Where will this take me in the long run?  I have no idea ~~ but I also consider it a privilege to simply be called to participate.  And quite honestly, I’ve come to accept that it’s not always in my best interest to know the answer to that futuristic query as the Journey is just getting started.  

Trusting God means I don’t need to know everything that’s going to happen before it does ~~ I will simply obey Him as I put one foot in front of the other along the Journey, and when I reach my destination He will be there to welcome me.

The question came up in a recent small group Bible Study: “Are you a Destination or a Journey person?”  And I must admit, I am more inclined to be a Journey Gal ~~ enjoying the ‘scenery’ along the way and the people whom I encounter, I believe, make for a much more interesting experience.  But also along with that comes the responsibility to respond as a true Christ-Follower.  All the activity keeps me on my spiritual toes, ever mindful of to Whom I belong.

How about you, Girlfriend ~~ are you embracing your Journey, and suiting up as an Ambassador of Christ?  

We shall have more discussions about what that means in the weeks to come.  Chime in with your thoughts here ~~ I’d love to hear them and of the “close encounters” that you have with Jesus along your Journey with Him.  

I love you to Heaven and Back, Sweet Sister of mine ~~

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary

“Super Powers”

Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.

Isaiah 40:28-29 NLT

All this talk about super hero strength and super powers beyond Human understanding ~~ children (and many adults) aspire to posses such traits.

But GOD ~~ there are those two sweet words ~~ says He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless ~~ now, that’s what I’m talkin’ about!

The temptation to accept that what the human eye can behold as being the epitome of it all ~~ it’s all a distraction, Sister. Don’t be fooled by the temporal circumstances of the here and now. Our verse declares and reminds us that God is the Everlasting ~~ He is the Alpha and Omega ~~ so what better realization than to receive from the Creator of all the earth and its possessions.

He never grows weak or weary. I like the sound of that! And He is willing to bless ~~ the Word says He gives power and strength to those of us that are weak and powerless.

Incomprehensible? Maybe ~~ from a human understanding ~~ but GOD is willing.

Then follow me to the next verse …

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

Isaiah 40:31NLT

Aaaahhhhh! Sweet Sister of mine ~~ Trust is our key ~~ it unlocks our faith to believe and receive what GOD is willing to give !

My physical running days have long passed ~~ but GOD is willing to give me far beyond running power. He is willing to freely give me power to soar high on wings like eagles. That leaves me awestruck and humble all in one breath. He loves me (and you) that much.

I am fascinated by how society has convinced us of the need to possess far beyond our means ~~ both from a physical standpoint as well as a material possession standpoint. In my view, it’s always going to leave me and you with the same results: empty.

Longing for what we think would satisfy us ~~ based on our temporal situation ~~ honestly, that’s what’s it is, Girlfriend, the circumstances are so temporary. I don’t want something that’s going to leave me still wanting more ~~ I want what is satisfying forever.

That is the awesome and fulfilling love of God ~~ and what He pours out on me and you so freely ~~ is indescribable!

You and I both know how exhausted we feel coming home from a full day of work ~~ however we define it ~~ work is exactly that: energy spent to earn a living. And the feeling of being fully spent is universal. We all look to what can recharge us and revive us.

So how awesome and amazing to know that GOD is more than willing to give us the physical strength, but also the mental and spiritual and emotional strength to go the distance for His Purpose? That is over and above any “superhero or super power strength” imaginable.

I’m in!

How about you, Sister? Are you ready to hang up your “earthly cape” and finally take up the armor of GOD being fully assured that He will ever freely give all the strength that we need to go the entire distance?

Just ask!

I pray you will join me for a transformational experience in allowing GOD to lavishly bless in abundance as He pours out all His Heart desires to give you and me.

I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary

“My Confidence”

Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied to Job: “Will you be patient and let me say a word? For who could keep from speaking out? “In the past you have encouraged many people; you have strengthened those who were weak. Your words have supported those who were falling; you encouraged those with shaky knees. But now when trouble strikes, you lose heart. You are terrified when it touches you. Doesn’t your reverence for God give you confidence? Doesn’t your life of integrity give you hope? “Stop and think! Do the innocent die? When have the upright been destroyed? My experience shows that those who plant trouble and cultivate evil will harvest the same. A breath from God destroys them. They vanish in a blast of his anger. The lion roars and the wildcat snarls, but the teeth of strong lions will be broken. The fierce lion will starve for lack of prey, and the cubs of the lioness will be scattered. “This truth was given to me in secret, as though whispered in my ear. It came to me in a disturbing vision at night, when people are in a deep sleep. Fear gripped me, and my bones trembled. A spirit swept past my face, and my hair stood on end. The spirit stopped, but I couldn’t see its shape. There was a form before my eyes. In the silence I heard a voice say, ‘Can a mortal be innocent before God? Can anyone be pure before the Creator?’ “If God does not trust his own angels and has charged his messengers with foolishness, how much less will he trust people made of clay! They are made of dust, crushed as easily as a moth. They are alive in the morning but dead by evening, gone forever without a trace. Their tent-cords are pulled and the tent collapses, and they die in ignorance. Job 4:1-21 NLT

To say that your thoughts are privately held in a vault that God cannot see is to be sorely disappointed when He sends you these words.

This morning I awoke to haunting reminders of people who I have chosen to ‘not be around.’ In recent days, subtle and not-so-subtle arrows have been soaring overhead ~~ bringing up past incidents that cause my mind to go reeling. The past hurts and anguishing moments that I thought had been dealt with suddenly are playing in my mind in HD.

As I sat down to ‘breakfast with Jesus,’ this verse came into view. It riveted me to my seat in humility ~~ so I prayed.

As I confessed my pain and sorrow, I asked the Lord to help me see these who have offended me as He does. He died for me ~~ and He died for them.

And while I may not extend the invitation to join me for dinner or to go have coffee, I prayed for them and how I should see them. God has them ~~ their situations ~~ even if their lives do not include me, I must continue to pray for how I think of them.

Funny, this verse says anyone who offends you ~~ there isn’t the distinction of saved or unsaved. All the more I am convicted, but now I must respond as one who knows the Lord, The One Who saves.

I’ll be first to say it is not easy, Sister. There is no instantaneous removal of the painful memories ~~ so my mind can wander and erroneously pick those back up, twirl them around in my head and give space to entertaining the what-if’s. But God does not say to justify my feelings; He simply says to forgive.

Because He first forgave you (me).

Allow me to reach out to you this moment, Sweet Sister. In whatever pain or anguish you may presently be experiencing that involves another person. While I cannot tell you how to relate to such a person, I can encourage you to go to The Person Who can transform your heart ❤️ so that you can effectively respond to the tug you now feel. The Lord is always near ~~ and He Whispers love to you this day.

I will join you and keep you in my prayers for peace, assurance, comfort ~~ because that is what God promises you if you’ll let Him lead you through your Journey.

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13 NLT

I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary