“Whispers”

Like most folks, I made a commitment to live life differently this year. In reflection of last year and the years prior, I made the conscious decision to live life with fewer regrets ~~ in other words, make fewer mistakes.

But in order to make good going forward, I felt inclined to come clean with not only myself but with God Almighty. Confession was first on the to-do list. Not just the usual, “forgive me, Lord, for _______ and _____,” but authentic and sincere deep down in the depths of my soul kind of purging.

Here we are midway through the launch month of the new year and I’m still confessing. Seems as though God wants to do a deep cleaning in my house ~~ and the tug on my heart causes it to beat with anticipation of what lies ahead of me.

I must say, Girlfriend, this is not easy. As I continue to pray and ask God to reveal to me those things that are unnecessary, He gently and lovingly whispers hope into my spiritual ears.

Searching His Word, He casts my eyes to behold Scriptures that specifically speak of His unfailing love. This was especially true on numerous occasions when I felt so depressed and lost in my sorrows. Hope ~~ He was whispering messages of hope so that I would remain upright and encouraged despite what my spiritual eyes saw in the mirror.

As I meditate on daily verses that are placed before me during my morning devotionals, The Lord continues to minister to my soul with words of Comfort, to dispel the fear that taunts me ~~ fear of failure. Can I possibly do this and remain faithful from this moment forward?

The enemy of my soul haunts me with a past that thrived on the applause and approval of others. Yes, a real-people pleaser ~~ I was in deep with perfectionism and over-achieving behavior, in pursuit of being rewarded with the accolades and blue-ribbons of exemplary accomplishments. And it was indeed exhausting!

Becoming a Christ-Follower, I had to re-learn what my true purpose in life was/is. The Journey to fulfilling that will continue until my time on earth ceases.

My true purpose in life is to worship the living and true God ~~ by bringing others to Christ and helping them grow. My passion is the unique way in which God Himself empowers me to fulfill that ~~ by developing characteristics that allow me to live each day in the exact manner He would have me do so ~~ touching the lives of others, as no one else could. We all have that ability, if we let God do the transforming work.

We must allow God to place His trademark on our lives so that others will see Him imprinted in the legacy we leave behind.

The whispers of hope, kindness, love, compassion, gentleness, friendship ~~ these things we are called to pass on. Will it be perfect? Maybe not in our Human estimation of things ~~ we could go round and round with all the “should’ve done” and “could’ve been better” criticisms ~~ but I believe that God supernaturally touches every attempt at Good that is done in His Name ~~ and makes it perfectly purposeful.

That stirring in your soul right now, Sister, it’s God whispering to you those sweet somethings ~~ allow Him to come in and have a conversation with you this day.

“But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19 NLT

Maybe you will be instrumental in resuscitating life into a dying soul. The Lord can use you and me to share compassion to encourage someone that is hurting. We are all capable of being used by The God Who Created us to reach out to those around us.

If we would just pause long enough to hear Him whisper.

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” Revelation 3:20 NLT

I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary

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Propel into 2018

I wanted to share this with you from Christine Caine’s Propel Women website.

Hey Linda,

As we step into 2018, we are entering a new season of growth, influence, and impact. I believe God wants to take us further than we ever imagined. That’s why this is not the time to slow down or ease up, but to step up.

No matter what has happened in your past, choose to give it your all:

If you failed, have another go.

If you were hurt, bounce back.

If you were used, serve again.

If you were betrayed, trust again.

If you were disappointed, hope again.

Don’t withhold your hope, prayers, love, faithfulness, or commitment! Let the words of Paul embolden you: “Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Philippians 3:13-14). When your foundation is in Jesus, you don’t have to let your past dictate your future.

Choose to go further in output and effort. The Christian life is an upward journey, not a downward spiral. Yes, it may take you beyond what you know and are familiar with, but you’ll never become who you can be without a stretch!

So press on, mighty woman of God, and propel into your future!

Love you

Christine 💛

And so do I, Girlfriend!< em>Thank you for being with me through 2017 ~~ and I do hope you’ll continue to keep me company throughout 2018; in fact, bring all your Girlfriends alongside of you!< em>I love you to Heaven and Back!< em>LindaRJohnson < em>T2T Visionary

“Hope: One Step In Front Of You.”

The pens and notebooks are out, and as people around the world eloquently carve out their intentions and hopes and goals and dreams for the new year, God has already been there. He is always one step in front of you.

It goes without saying, I’m one of those who will never tire of trying to make things better ~~ even when I really should be letting Someone else take the reigns. I was born a doer, and I’ll likely die in the act of doing. In fact, it’s very hard for me to completely sit still ~~ if I’m not crocheting, I’m writing ~~ if I’m not reading I’m cooking ~~ always attempting to make the most of the time I have been given. In the flip side of that, is the restless part of me that feels guilty in taking a brief nap in the middle of the day.

Napping sounds like the best prescription for the overly worked and severely fatigued individual ~~ I tend to feel that I’m not deserving of that privilege because I haven’t done enough to qualify. Seeing the weary-eyed moms of babies and toddlers under the age of five, or the dads working two jobs to make ends meet ~~ the students burning both ends of the candle to work two jobs while putting themselves through college ~~ those are all the ones to whom I say: “take a breather.”

Nonetheless, I see that in my busyness, I forget ~~ that no matter how much I do (or don’t do), God has perfected His Plan for me and it’s already in place. My job is to obey and trust in the hope that His Will is all I truly need to rely upon.

Girlfriend, will you join me in reconciling yourself to The Lord this New Year’s Eve ~~ in surrendering all that is on that infamous List of yours ~~ and allowing Him (The One for Whom our hope rests) to gently take us by the submissive heart and hand and simply go.

Let’s commit to taking that Journey ~~ one step in front of us ~~ and let us rejoice in Him Who has made it possible to hope in His Perfected Plan for our future.

I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary

“Legacy”

Our children will also serve him. Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord. His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born. They will hear about everything he has done.

Psalm 22:30-31 NLT

For those of you new to this blog site, or if you’re wondering the connection between the passion that drives this bridge builder and its Reader, it’s all about Legacy.

“What do you want your future generations to know?”

And not necessarily about you per se, but what bit of information do you treasure that you want to intentionally leave behind?

I’ve written about this numerous times in the past, but it seems that enough could never be said. Maybe it’s my preoccupation with wanting to right the future, because of the wrongs I’ve experienced in my own past. The wrongs that were committed against me and also the wrongs I’ve committed towards others. Possibly to safeguard ~~ protect ~~ immunize ~~ equip ~~ forewarn … the Ones coming up behind me.

Give.

I want to give.

In my lifetime, I’ve come to the deep appreciation and realization that giving isn’t always about material things. The stuff that clutters our lives also snuffs out life.

Rather, I want to give that which I know will go beyond this planetary life and into eternity.

Hope.

Wherever there is hope there is life ~~ and in that hope is the Spirit of the Living Christ.

No academics needed here. No meditational prescriptions. No formulaic rules for perfect living.

Humility unlocks the possibility for hope to penetrate and permeate the human soul. No matter how we evaluate our seemingly hopeless situations.

Love.

If perfect love casts out all fear, why are we still fearful?

Could it be that we cling so tightly to the familiarity of the comfort zones and daily rituals that we slam shut the door to love? Transparency ~~ Authenticity ~~ Honesty ~~ I have discovered that these qualities are founded in purity. A pure heart and spirit that only God has transformed.

True Friendships are built upon these virtues.

Tenderness.

My deepest desire is that my BabyGirl, Zoë will have these timeless treasures in her tool belt. Of course, alongside the many, many other virtues and characteristics of a Christ-Follower, I pray (as I have been since before she was born) that her heart is tender towards others. In being soft and kind, I pray that her sweet personality is tender and compassionate when she encounters others along her life’s Journey ~~ that she will genuinely embrace and encourage, uplift and support others that may be in pain.

Forgiveness.

As adults, we wrestle long and hard with this ~~ too often we lose the battle. The throat becomes sore from constantly swallowing the pride that prevents forgiveness from being absorbed into our bloodstream. We forget that the blood of Christ has made it possible to forgive, and that His Blood is what flows through the transformed Believer. Transforming blood that makes forgiveness more than just a possibility ~~ but a reality. The bridge-builder to broken connections, it restores and replaces where human efforts have worn thin and disintegrated.

Thankful.

Spending time with this tiny creation of God always brings me to my knees (not just because she’s still toddling around), in gratitude to Him for allowing me to experience my granddaughter. Living three time zones away, my heart pounds with desire to be closer in proximity so I can be there to watch her daily development. Lōlie (her word for me) wants to be there to partake in BabyGirl’s firsts. I want to let her see my thankfulness for having the richness of this Blessing ~~ just basking in playful moments can satisfy a grandmother’s heart beyond description. And to be thankful to God for all Gifts is the heart of worship.

Girlfriend, the generations behind you may not be through biological or DNA connections ~~ the Ones entrusted to you to mentor and nurture, these are the precious Ones to whom we leave our Legacy. For these are those whom God has foreordained to also teach us about Who He is.

As women known to God and who KNOW God as The Father, we have responsibilities to teach the younger Ones (they could be chronologically older) in The Lord of His Grace and Mercy. This equips them to impact the Ones in their immediate sphere of influence. However He has equipped us ~~ specific talents and skills ~~ we are to glorify Him by using them for His Purpose. His Purpose for us to brings others closer to Christ and help them grow.

So I ask you as this year draws to a close …

“What Legacy are you leaving behind for the Ones coming up behind you?”

Let us all carefully examine our motives and call upon The Holy Spirit for Wisdom and Understanding ~~ discernment to speak and respond to His Leading.

So that we might also lead.

For the sake of the Ones coming up behind us.

I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary

“Grateful”

And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 5:20 NLT

Everything means everything.

Not always so easy to do.

The holidays can sometimes stir up difficult times for people — sad remembrances from days gone by, loved ones who are no longer alive, broken relationships, lack of finances, dreams unfulfilled — the list is endless.

And yet, the command is to be ‘thankful.’

I don’t know about you, Girlfriend, but whenever GOD continually puts something in front of my face, I receive it as a Learning Opportunity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not always the sharp and perceptive one — sometimes His Whispers turn into hold-my-face-steady-with-His-Hands-so-I’ll-listen opportunities. Nonetheless, His gentle ‘nudging’ is call for attention.

Lately, The Lord has been ‘impressing’ upon me this thing we call gratitude. So that’s my cue to ‘harken to the sound of His Voice.’ I’m the kind of learner that wants to get it right so I don’t have to repeat the Lesson — get my drift?

Some of us may be sitting in a Season Of Disappointment. I say to you: ‘rise to your knees,’ and get moving. That was not a grammatical test to see if you were awake.

Get up off your self-pity cushion of comfort — and let your spirit be lifted as you position your heart beneath your knees in prayer — time for a moment of humility and thankfulness. Then let GOD take you by the trusting hand and let Him lead you.

Disappointments are ‘windows’ that open up to the Wonderous Works of GOD Almighty.

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NLT

Oh, if we will only take a split second to pause and look UP and away from our tiny world of woe, and focus on the BIGNESS of Our Creator Who holds it all in His Hand!

No, our troubles won’t instantly disappear — but our Faith will begin to grow and cause us to go …

Go forward and honor Him, praise Him, worship Him, and declare Him.

Being grateful extends beyond the mere mannerly ‘thank you’ of our vocabulary. Gratitude is behavior that originates from the heart and soul. So if our heart and soul are ‘right,’ our behaviors should mirror that.

Let’s look honestly into the mirror of life and examine what we see.

Is our life ‘reflective’ of genuine gratitude? Are we investing words of encouragement into the lives of others so that they, too, may be Blessed (even if we feel yucky)? Have we considered the enormous value that others have brought into our own lives and expressed a heartfelt ‘you mean so much to me?’

First to admit I fall short in this area — I stand head lowered and ashamed that I’ve not always done this myself. So for all of you who know me intimately, my deepest apologies; you know I genuinely love you!

This Christmas Season, will you accept the Challenge — to live outwardly — the Love of Christ — in sincere gratitude — to those who have contributed to your life; and then also pray for those who may have somehow landed in the ‘not-so-endearing’ side of your life? Remember our verse above, ‘give thanks for everything.’

I bid you a fabulous day, Girlfriend, and await to hear of how victorious and miraculous your life becomes as you join me in becoming authentically grateful.

I love you to Heaven and Back ~~

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary

“Bridge Builder”

She escapes daily … into her world of isolation to soothe the pain that plagued her soul … that nagging incessant pain of loneliness

Let’s take a time out shall we?

How many times have you heard (Or maybe you’ve said yourself) a woman say that she’s lonely? I tend to dig deeper into the spoken words of people ~~ and so I hear, “I have no friends in whom I can confide,” in those words.

I recently attended an event at our church in which the guest speaker spoke to the matter of women and relationships and loneliness within those relationships.

Yes, it is possible to be lonely inside of a relationship.

Speaking from my little corner of the world, I recognize that pain is expressed (and also concealed) in a myriad of ways. Women have the incredible ability to disguise their pain in ‘busyness’ and other activities that may be totally unrelated to their hidden battles. Maybe because I’ve sustained battle wounds of my own that others trust me with theirs ~~ my scars can be visible at times, but my transparency is only recent, and deemed useful by God.

Coming to terms with who I am in Christ has enlarged my understanding of the powerful joy that is in Christ.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”

Genesis 2:18

Since the beginning of time, God has intended for us to have relationships. The most important one is the relationship with Him.

I can openly confess that if I haven’t spent enough time with my God (in prayer and meditation), I feel ‘incomplete’ and somewhat lacking ~~ that feeling of ‘something’s just not right.’ Can you relate, Girlfriend? And the quirkiness that follows me around that day will testify to my lack of direction.

But too, we are to extend beyond ourselves in an effort to build bridges of human relationships. Bridges that those coming up behind us may need to walk upon in order to receive wholeness and healing for whatever brokenness may be plaguing them.

Transparency ~~ sincerity ~~ authenticity ~~ honesty ~~ genuineness ~~ all traits that are like magnets for a hurting soul. These are bridge building tools to connect others who presently live on an island of aloneness.

Are you willing to build a bridge to close the gap or draw near one who may need your time, ear to hear, shoulder to cry upon? Maybe you can be a bridge for someone who is presently experiencing a level of pain and anxiety that is so overwhelming she has no one to turn to for consolation.

Let’s pray for sensitivity and tenderness of heart ❤️ to bring up our Sisters and Girlfriends ~~ inside or outside of Christ (this may be the moment of salvation).

I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary