Welcome to my blog...

Green trees, cool water, a gentle breeze...the perfect place to sit at the feet of the Master and learn. Jesus taught so often on the shoreline, and He's still speaking today.

This is where I share the lessons He teaches me, often during the time I spend on the shores of a local lake. I don't have all the answers...and some days I don't have any. But I go here when I need to draw near to Him in a tangible way. Come with me...

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Turbulent Waters

I stood and watched the waters of the Delaware River move slowly up stream.

Then little white caps in the middle of the flow caught my eye.

Something was causing a disturbance.

There! The water nearest the shore I was standing on was moving in the opposite direction of the water by the far shore.

Surprisingly, the water was moving up stream and down stream.

At the same time!

The result was an area of turbulence.

"It's called an eddy" the property owner explained.

A river eddy is a current of water that moves contrary to the direction of the main current and can, at times, be churning and violent.

As the weekend progressed, I found myself drawn to watching the swirling waters, pondering the co-existence of opposing currents, not sure how it was possible.

A little research shed light on the mystery. Eddy's are generally caused by an obstruction under the surface such as a boulder-sized rock. It can also occur when the floor of the river bed experiences a chasm created by a steep drop.

The obstacle blocks the forward flow of the water and causes it to change its course around the area of  the object. In the same way, the drop in the river bed can cause water to swirl and change direction. The result is obvious turbulence above the surface.

When we move in the direction God's Spirit leads us, the current of our faith runs strong and sure within the banks of His love.

But sometimes, unforeseen things catch us off guard. 

A problem.

    A hardship.

        A loss.

            A life circumstance.

And suddenly we feel as though we've been knocked off our feet and sucked into deep waters.

We feel threatened by the hard, jagged, immovable circumstance just under the surface that we never saw coming.

We are tempted, like the river, to change course. To rush in the opposite direction.

But when we fight God's flow in our lives, the result is an eddy. Swirling waters ultimately going nowhere.

God's Word tells us that He never changes.

Malachi 3:6a says "I the Lord do not change."

Hebrews 13:8 states "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever."

So we know that the banks of love remain steadfast. And we know that the guidance of His Spirit doesn't switch mid-stream.

He. does. not. change.

An eddy is created because we have chosen to go another way.

Here me correctly. Those under the surface obstacles and chasms...those trials in life...they will happen regardless. Jesus warned "In this world you will have trouble". But He also encouraged "Take heart! I have overcome the world."  However, our reaction to those potential flow-changers is totally our choice.

Are you caught in an eddy today?

There is a way out. John 15:4 says "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me."

Let go of the temptation to let circumstances guide where you go. Abide in His will and He will carry you over the rocks, past the chasms, all in the flow of His love.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

It Is Well

Last week we sang It Is Well in church.

As you can tell if you clicked through the link, this is not the famous hymn written by Horatio Spafford, but Kristene DiMarco's modern day version that shares just one of the famous lines and a variation on the accompanying tune "it is well, it is well, with my soul."

Most know the story that led to the original words being penned...

Spafford, a wealthy Chicago lawyer and devout Christian had a wife, four daughters and a son. Tragically, his young son died and not long after, he lost most of the real estate he owned in the Great Chicago Fire.

Two years later, in an effort to give his family a much needed vacation, he booked a boat trip to Europe. When last minute business came up, he sent them on ahead with the promise of catching up in a few days time. The ship collided with another and all four of his daughters drowned.

On board a boat taking him to his grieving wife in England, he wrote the words to It Is Well With My Soul.

The trials and tribulations of my life, difficult as they may have been to this point, pale in comparison to Spafford's. I am amazed at the depth of faith he had to bear so many tragedies and still say "it is well."

Still, as I meditated on the words of the chorus "And through it all, through it all, my eyes are on You. And through it all, through it all it is well. And through it all, through it all, my eyes are on You...and it is well with me" I reflected back over the past year.

It was a year that saw heartache as I shared in Permission to Grieve.

And it was a year that saw triumph even though The Waiting is the Hardest Part.

"So let go my soul and trust in Him. The waves and wind still know His name. It is well with my soul."

These words are so powerful to me. There is incredible freedom in them. Let go. Trust. He is still in control of the waves and wind of life. June 28th will be one year since I began a new journey with a new home, new job, and new church, and I am once again, living proof of His goodness. It really is well with my soul.

Is that easier to say on the other side of the difficulty? Most times, yes.

But saying - and believing - "it is well with my soul" as you're dealing with...

the divorce...

the job loss...

the cancer...

the betrayal of a close friend...

the passing of a loved one...

is where it has real meaning. In the midst of the wind and waves. Facing the mountain in front of us. Feeling the earth quake and pitch beneath our feet. Not knowing exactly what the outcome of the current trial will be. When we can say "it is well with my soul" because "through it all, our eyes are on Him", this is where faith grows.

Take this opportunity to listen to It Is Well if you haven't yet. Close your eyes and ponder..is it well with your soul?  I would love to hear the lessons of faith you have experienced through it all.