“Candidate for Heart Transplant”

 

It’s no secret, that time of year has begun to rear its head and the fact is that the future, the new year, is about to look us straight in the eyes.  For some of us, it’s a welcomed opportunity to begin fresh and anew, embracing the adventure of new endeavors and the unknown.  For many of us, it’s plain scary ~~ knowing that deadlines loom overhead and the fragments of unfinished projects and unfulfilled goals lay at our feet (or in our inbox) and we must address them before the bells toll at midnight.  And yet there are some of us who are in a place of uncertainty of bigger proportion ~~ a place of spiritual incompleteness ~~ a place of longing to be whole.

With no one looking, right where you are, Girlfriend, what is your answer to this?

I’ll be the first to tell you that ‘coming clean,’ is not easy ~~ but transparency before God is what is necessary for us to begin the road to real fulfillment ~~ wholeness.  And I’ll even go so far as to tell you that it took me years before I fully understood this; even as a Believer in Christ.  A true and genuine heart transplant is a spiritual surgery that God performed in me and continues to perform in those who trust in Him ~~ through the workings of The Holy Spirit.  And as we continue our Journey, this non-stop transformation causes us to become authentic Followers of Christ (not just Believers).

But I warn you, Girlfriend, it is not for the faint-hearted ~~ spiritual muscle is necessary for the Journey.  So if you’re up for it, strengthen your faith while you are able.  Eat of the Word, study it, absorb it, drink it ~~ it will give you the life you need to go the distance.

In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and [the Word was God Himself].  He was [continually existing] in the beginning [co-eternally] with God.  All things were made and came into existence through Him not even none thing was made that has come into being.  In Him was life [and the power to bestow life], and the life was the Light of men.  John 1:1-4 AMP

Jesus is the Word ~~ He is the Transforming Word that takes us, makes us, and brings us back in right relationship to the Father.  By the power of the Holy Spirit, unity with Christ (Messiah) starts the Transformation process ~~ tenderizes us, Sister (and sometimes that translates into a bending and molding that we would not have chosen) ~~ prepares us for the heart transplant.

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to go to the doctor (for well or sick visits) and wait for results, you’ll know the experience of your anxious heart wanting to know that all is good and well.  Sometimes the visit requires laboratory tests, X-rays, scans, etc.  However it is conducted, you’ll reckon those times of having to slip into the infamous hospital/examination gowns (those undesirable back-open-won’t-close-freeze-me-til-you-come-see-me things).  And beneath the sheath is, well, nothing ~~ you are barren and fully exposed.  

And that is precisely how God would have it ~~ just you and Him ~~ fully exposed, barren, with nothing between the two of you.  This is exactly what I speak of when it comes to being revealed before your Maker ~~ transparent.  You may think you are covered by the sheath of your garment (your accomplishments, talents, status, titles, position in. life) ~~ but God sees all and knows all.

Moreover, I will give you a new heat and put a new spirit within you, and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statues, and you will keep My ordinances and do them.  Ezekiel 36:26-27 AMP

It’s mind-blowing to think that the God of the universe would take such notice of us in this vast and complex galaxy of His ~~ on an individual level, that’s astounding to even begin to comprehend.  However, within the same context of personal attention, is also the overwhelming and ecstatic delight that just pours over me when I consider that God wantspersonal and intimate relationship with me!  Looking back over the messes I’ve made (and that’s using the word liberally) throughout my lifetime, I don’t know that I could look into the mirror and say that of me.

Here’s the Good News, Sister, no matter how messy your life or my life has been (or presently is), we can still be a candidate for a heart transplant and allow God to create the most unbelievable and amazing beauty from the ashes.  There is absolutely nothing that He cannot transform ~~ but He does ask us to be willing to be revealed ~~ in our nakedness, in His examination room.

If you’re in a place where even looking into a 360-degree mirror is frightening (can I get an ‘amen’ on this?), take heart, Girlfriend ~~ those folks whom you think are ‘looking’ at your imperfections and flaws, God made them, too.  He knows that all are in need of His Perfecting Touch.  

There is no mess that God cannot redeem and bless for His Purpose.

Wherever you are, Girlfriend, God is there. You may think it is a dark and ugly place right now ~~ but God sees all of that.  He knows the agony, anguish, painful feelings and thoughts that you have had to endure in that place.  

You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle.  Are they not recorded in Your book?  Psalm 56:8 AMP

Your tears ~~ my tears ~~ He has saved them, collected them, treasured them.  This is over-the-top for me.  What does this do for you?  Knowing that the God of all creation has taken the time to take notice of your ugliest of times, moments, years, experiences ~~ and collected all of the tears that have flowed from our puffy eyes ~~ and put them in a bottle and recorded them.  

This is love.

It is Love that desires to draw you near to Him ~~spiritual imperfections, flaws, wrinkles ~~ all is sin ~~ and sin is what blocks that nearness.  Is it pride, thinking that we’ve already ‘come clean’ at the time of salvation; said the Sinner’s Prayer, asked Jesus into our hearts ~~ but not given Him true reign of our lives?  Is it fear, afraid that God will require us to ‘do something’ that we would never want to do and certainly don’t want to run the risk of being viewed as ‘overboard Christian?’  Is it arrogance, having mapped out how we want our lives to be, including the lives of those in our immediate circle of influence, and the determination to ‘maintain control’ of all that ‘goal’ entails?

Girlfriend, here is where I want to reach out to you, in these remaining days of this closing year.  

In your ‘place’ of inward reflection. Wherever that ‘place’ is.  However that ‘place’ appears at this very moment.  

You. Are. In. It.

And God is there in it with you.

Are you willing to be a candidate for that much needed heart transplant, knowing full well that if you refuse, you will relive this ‘place’ or worse yet, not leave this ‘place,’ where you are at this very moment ~~ and continue to hide from the Living God Who loves you so much that He felt that you were worth dying for?

Gracious is the Lord, and [consistently] righteous; Yes, our God is compassionate.  The Lord protects the simple (childlike); I was brought low [humbled and discouraged], and He saved me.  Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.  For You have rescued my life from death, My eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling and falling.  I will walk [in submissive wonder] before the Lord In the land of the living.  Psalm 116:5-9 AMP

While the rest of the world ‘resolves’ to ‘turn a new leaf,’ or make promises (that it cannot keep) for a fruitful new year ~~ you have the opportunity and privilege to start with a new heart and allow the God of all Creation to set your feet on solid ground, to cover new ground.  Ground that you would not have ever imagined possible, Sister.

And I speak that from my own heart.

Remember earlier, I said that it took me years to understand and to come to terms with the fact that God requires transparency in a real Relationship with Him.  To simply say that you’re a Believer is not a ‘qualifier.’ Did I step on any toes?  To become a Follower ~~ now, that’s the deciding factor, Sister.  To declare Fellowship with the Holy Spirit is where the surgical process begins ~~ and the effects of the transplantation will reap its workings ~~ but not without the deep dive of the spiritual scalpel (the Sword of Truth).

If this rattles your cage a bit, then I know The Holy Spirit is speaking straight to your core.  If this makes you uneasy, then there’s unfinished business between you and God.  If you feel that God is calling you to a deeper Relationship, then by all means drop whatever you’re doing and go to that prayer closet and deep dive into conversation with your Savior.

But if you’re in a ‘place’ where you have nothing to reveal ~~ I pray most earnestly for you.  Because you’ve taken yourself off the candidacy list and shut yourself off from transplant opportunity ~~ and transformation cannot occur in your life.

We all must daily ~~ not just at the end of the year or at the end of our wits ~~ be transformed.

And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].  Romans 12:2 AMP

Are you willing to go there, Girlfriend?  I ask not in the tone of sorority or social community ~~ but in the Fellowship of Christ, as one who has been gifted with the heartfelt desire to bring out the best in you by imparting the love of God toward you ~~ here, in this safe place.  Come.

I invite you, Sister (and this Invitation is only for the one willing to come up behind me and then alongside of me), to take up the Call that God has placed in front of you. Be bold in your walk, stand firm in your faith, and be strengthened in the Power of The Holy Spirit.  Muscle up, Girlfriend, because the ultimate best is about to happen ~~ if you are willing and able. Cardio like you’ve never experienced before, awaits you, but only if you have spiritually prepared and trained yourself for the Challenge that will result in phenomenal proportions.  Again, this is not for the faint-hearted.  If you accept the Invitation to experience the Change and Challenge(s) of a lifetime, then come and go with me to a place(s) where only God can take you (and me).

He will blow your mind.

And will blow away all the debris from the fallout of your current mess(es).

Are you ready?  Then let go and let’s grow ~~ into the Love of Christ and let the transformation begin.

I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary

 

 

 

 

“Gratitude”

Ever have that deep — really deep — expression of thankfulness that overcomes your entire being, so much so, that you’re left virtually speechless?

Anyone who knows me intimately, knows that I am seldom for a loss of words. (Ok, Girlfriends, I saw you throw your head back and chuckle!). So when I can’t seem to “find the words” to describe my current feelings and emotions, you know it’s special.

That inexpressible sensation of delight and joy — flooding the internal senses to overflowing — that over-the-top “I can’t believe it’s happening to or its for me” feeling. Can anyone relate?

It’s that indescribable internal somersault that I want to deliver to you this morning — on this Thanksgiving Eve.

For all the knowledge and wisdom you have all shared and bestowed upon me over the years — in the countless forms of texts, emails, cards, acts of kindness, prayers — in every moment they were poured out onto me — times of shared joys, sorrows, difficulties, mama-moments, prayer requests, illness and recovery — my heart ♥️ is filled to overflowing with inexpressible gratitude. Because you have allowed the Spirit of God to use you as His Mighty Vessel of Service.

Allow me to encourage you and uplift you to keep on keeping on in rhythm to the heartbeat of the One Who formed and designed your heart, Sister. While in Service to your Savior, you are used mightily; even in ways you are most unaware.

I have come to embrace the beauty of the fact that we were designed to remain in constant communion with God through prayer — we are designed to be just so connected to Him that there is no duality of life. And as His Temple, He dwells within and through us to touch the dying world through the unique qualities of our personality. That, my Sister, is how we can touch the ones coming up behind us; by connecting them with the Savior of their souls. Those original qualities (which we sometimes think are defective or less-than, are actually perfected by The Holy Spirit when we are being transformed into His Image) are intended for good.

So there is no need for comparisons or feelings of inadequacy — we are complete in Christ.

It is my fervent prayer, Girlfriend, that you will continue to pursue God’s Relationship with you by full immersion into His Word and fellowship with The Holy Spirit by inviting Him to breathe wisdom and knowledge and understanding through your life.

In this lifetime, I am privileged to say I have witnessed such from you. And for these things I am genuinely grateful.

Blessings upon you and all with whom celebrate this Thanksgiving!

I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary

“In Her Silence”

I was driving through the parking lot of one of my favorite markets when I caught a glimpse of what disturbed my soul and ached my heart.

The scene was this: a man and a woman standing outside of a local diner. The woman frantically searching through her purse while the man was yelling at her — in her face and obviously in public.

Apparently the man didn’t care that his actions were on public display, much less that the woman with him was also in clear view of passers by.

I was not privy to their conversation, nor did I know the details of what had brought them to the place of their situation. But in a fraction of a moment, what I had witnessed was enough for me to go to The Lord in Prayer for her safety, wisdom and comfort.

Sister, have you ever been in the right place at the right time, to intercede on behalf of a total stranger? Circumstances and safety may not always permit our human touch — nonetheless, we have the privilege to pray in the Spirit for the well-being of another person.

This was just one of two incidences that met up with me in less than a week.

Days ago, I had been en route to my dental office during my lunch break. Along the journey, I encountered a young woman running naked in the middle of the street — one of the most busiest streets in town during the lunch hour. Another woman had been chasing her, attempting to subdue and assist her, but the young woman always managed to break free and continued to run. At one moment, as I called 911, the young woman ran up to my window and pleaded with me to help her. I will forever remember her face. Uncertain of her mental and physical state, I remained locked inside my car to avoid becoming a secondary victim.

As the police appeared on the scene, and traffic was now gridlocked in both directions, I watched as this young woman even outran the authorities. As I drove away from that chaotic scene, again, I went immediately into prayer for this needy woman. She desperately needed God.

In the silence of their days, these precious women may have only been familiar with their pain and anguish — which none of us have ever known. And for the duration of time which may have felt like an eternity — they’ve suffered in silence.

My heart aches for such a one — and I’m certain there are many, many more out there — some of whom are reading this — some of whom are in our midst.

But God … oh, how these two precious words just delight my soul …

Knows your pain, Girlfriend. And as our Scripture verse above reminds us: He saves our tears in a bottle. That is the most amazing and loving thing — God is genuinely concerned about our comings and goings. He knows our wanderings.

I suppose that is why I am deeply committed to the ones entrusted to my care — they say that is the Gift of Shepherding. I get it.

The ones coming up behind me.

I want to reach out to you, Girlfriend, and reassure you that if you are in such a situation — of despair or feeling hopeless — don’t suffer in silence. In your local church, I encourage you to seek out the confidential assistance of a pastor, Women’s Group, Christian counseling services or (if it’s available to you) Stephen’s Ministries.

It is the community of believers that will embrace you and love you through your dilemma.

And this is one of the reasons we love one another just as Jesus loved us — to readily support and encourage one another in our times of need.

Let me encourage you, Girlfriend, to reach deep inside of you — to that place where only God has seen your pain — and to bring forth that same comfort that The Holy Spirit poured out on you in your moment — and allow God to lead you to minister to another woman in need.

You may not always be capable of wrapping your arms around her — you may not even have the privilege to speak to her directly — but you can pray for her. The amazing power of prayer — even from a physical distance — is our opportunity to minister.

Who’s in?

Do we need a “reminder” of the loneliness that besieged our own souls when we’ve traveled down that long and darkened “hallway” of unknown certainty? I’ve been there, Sister, chained by my own thoughts — erroneously thinking that all was lost.

Feeling so alone.

Choosing to remain silent — for fear of rejection and judgement.

The enemy of our souls wants us to be isolated — it is in this cave of demise that ugly lies engulf our minds and twist the truth about God’s unfailing Love.

I invite you to join me in praying intently for the ones whom God places before you — in your “mind’s eye,” on your heart, in your thoughts — in front of your face and under your nose. The Lord has ordained you to minister to her in the manner He has prepared you.

I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary

“In Due Season”

And he will be like a tree firmly planted [and fed] by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season; Its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers [and comes to maturity].

Psalm 1:3 AMP

I’m not ashamed to say I’m a ‘do-er.’ Been this way since the beginning of my time. But it’s what’s fueling that ‘do’ that can be a major roadblock to my spiritual growth.

As a child and as a result of wanting to desperately please others, I perfected my ‘do-ing’ ~~ until it was exhausting. The inner drive to compete (not so much with people, but with their accomplishments) was insatiable. Can anyone relate?

The pursuit to perfection consumed me ~~ everything I attempted had to be just so and nothing less. As an adult, I reasoned that perfection was no worldly good unless it was timely ~~ my time.

This sort of thinking was so wrong in so many ways ~~ but my stinking thinking was justified; so I thought.

Until I came to terms with what God wanted from me wasn’t even my accomplishments, much less the so-called perfection of them.

God wanted (and still wants) only me.

Stripped of my pride, this was the biggest and hardest pill to swallow. So how did I ‘swallow’ this huge pill? Sloooowly and with daily doses of living water.

Surrendering ~~ that’s the yielding part that’s difficult to wrap our minds around. But look at this, Girlfriend ~~ yielding also means to produce. Is it no wonder that God Himself would say this in the Psalms as He did?

As I strolled through our garden, stopping in front of this tangerine tree, I was impressed with the abundance of fruit draped all around her. But most of all, I was inspired by God and His workings in me.

The fruit comes in it’s due season ~~ when it is appointed to bear the fruit she was designed to produce. And when she does, it’s a magnificent sight! But did you know, this tree doesn’t have a bumper crop harvest every year? After the harvesting has been completed, she is pruned back (ouch!) so that she can bear fruit again. But as I said, it won’t occur the same exact time next year ~~ it will happen the following year. And that’s after all the watering and manure that has to be provided; and let’s not forget the obvious: heat of the sun.

Are you still with me, Girlfriend?

Pruning back is when the Lord removes the unnecessary branches ~~ the activities that prevent the growth. They may not necessarily be ‘bad’ in nature ~~ simply not needed. The watering is the daily dose of God’s Word and being in the company of other supportive Believers. The manure (holding nose) are those unpleasant occurrences that we would choose to do without, but God ordains for our growth. And the heat of the sun is the opportunity for us to endure and develop our patience as we wait.

For the right Season. His Season.

Our ‘do’ (due) time ~~ is when God has cultivated us and then anoints us with the ability to produce (whatever He deems for us).

I pray that whatever Season you are in, my Sister, that you will continue to look up and call upon the God Who lovingly designed you for His magnificent Purpose. We are all joining in with you in prayer ~~ for your time will come in due season.

I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary

“Icing On The Cake”

These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

1 Peter 1:7 NLT

I had just shared some prayer time with a sister~in~Christ … we chatted about being excited over the the Bible Study we were about to encounter this season. A study in Prayer … was on my way home driving and praying with thanksgiving to the Lord about my expectant hope … when I made that left~hand turn and … tumbling went my purse across the front passenger seat.

Not giving it much thought beyond the contents I would now have to recover in the dim garage lighting, I simply continued to drive home.

Arriving into the garage I found more than just a cluttered mess ~~ the small bundt cake that was in my purse had somehow popped out and released a smeared mess all over the handles of my leather purse.

I had no sooner said, “thank you, Lord, for the privilege to serve you through others …” then the challenge was put before me to put feet to my faith.

It wasn’t just the obvious mess that was apparent, but Sister, it was the impression that left me: trials on this side of Paradise require a response from me and how I choose to respond will speak to the transformation that Christ has had upon me.

It’s no secret that we will walk through this life being inundated with trials and persecutions of varying degrees. And if you’ve been a Christ-Follower for any period of time beyond 5 minutes you will know this to be quite true. Setting aside any formal opportunity to give our ‘testimony,’ our life is our Testimony.

This simple incident of the tumbling bundtlet and the gooey mess reminded me of how easy these challenges can roll through our lives, but the response that flows from us is what gives life to our faith.

11 It is not what goes into the mouth of a man that defiles and dishonors him, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles and dishonors him.”

Matthew 15:11 AMP

In essence, Girlfriend, our behavior is the icing on the cake.

I could have easily made a ‘huge messy stink’ over the unexpected incident, by ranting over the whole ordeal. But really, what would that have given me other than more heartache and deeper resentment.

As I mopped up the mess, I pondered over what had just happened and actually thanked The Lord that it wasn’t anything truly serious enough to lose myself by drowning in a sea of woe. I was grateful for the blessed privilege to see that He was reminding me of the spiritual battles that lay ahead of me this season as I stepped into this leg of the Journey.

I allowed God to show me the icing on the cake isn’t always what I believe it should or will be, or even that it will look the way I think it will appear.

Thank You, Lord, for the eyesight to see the hidden Blessings in my life.”

I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend,

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary

“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

“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