His Perfect Wave

His desire is to allow a spectacular ride – one where you wait, you listen, you stand and HE takes it from there.

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The warmth of the sun and the sand, along with the rhythmic movement of the ocean’s waves – just feet away – will easily lull the senses into a peace and calm not found many places. But as you lift your eyes and look out into the ocean you perceive a different story, one of tension and expansive movement.

Previously unnoticed a lone surfer has passed that calm warm sandy beach and persistently slogged through the shallow waves, reaching deeper and deeper. Soon, the only way to go further and deeper was to climb onto his surfboard and push against the pressures of the current. He continued his arduous outward endeavor, going further and further from shore. Seeming to either find the right place or just tiring out; he settles on the board – now sitting and surveying his newly acquired territory. Expecting him to stand and take each incoming wave, it is a wonder that he allows them, one by one to pass by as he waits. What is he waiting for? What is it he sees? How will he know the right one? When will he move forward?

These questions may never get answered for as if on queue, he slowly stands as a single – not so big – swell begins to form. He slowly lifts as the wave takes on a life of its own – growing in height and power. The sound of its approach is exhilarating. The waves upward movement, the slide forward and the beautiful delivery down to the waiting warm sand is exquisite. The surfer, like a dancer on a ballroom floor, sways with each move and sound that this incredible wave produces. This was the wave worth waiting for and this patient surfer reaped the joy found within her – riding this wave upward, forward and through the completion as he is delivered right out onto the warm sand. What a spectacular ride!

This picture of a very experienced surfer is played out differently as new surfers make many unsuccessful attempts to catch the perfect wave – getting dumped before they reach the top, being pulled under, and even eating and drinking both sand and salt water in the process. Learning the part that patience plays in this sport is what makes it worth the ride.

As we walk in our own life journey, it is much the same – learning to hear His voice, stepping out, moving forward and sometimes actually catching the “perfect” wave. His desire is to allow a spectacular ride – one where you wait, you listen, you stand and HE takes it from there. You ride with HIM as the wave moves up, slides forward and beautifully delivers you onto the waiting sand. When we find that rhythm – we can’t wait to slog back out, arduously paddle deeper, push further and further out, for we know as we wait patiently – His perfect wave of HIS plan, HIS direction, HIS purpose – for this ride – will come. And when it comes – WOW – it will be one spectacular ride.

Philippians 3: 13b-14 But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Photography courtesy of J.K.Sanchez Photography

On The Road

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In disappointment, confusion and hopelessness the miles to travel toward Emmaus left room for venting to one another. And then – along came a stranger that drew near and joined their walk. Not knowing whom this stranger was, the story of the origin of their sadness was poured out as they stopped in their tracks on this dusty road.   After much time together that day, they recognized him only as they sat to eat and he broke the bread, but then he was gone.

They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” Luke 24:32 (ESV)

Often clouded by disappointment, confusion and hopelessness – we too, don’t look up, don’t hear, and don’t see our savior right there on the dusty road with us. Today, He still comes along side – draws near – as we walk this difficult journey.  He still opens to us the scriptures and He still speaks words of comfort and encouragement through words that will burn within our hearts; they are found in a living book! There is only one book that can do that! It is alive and new every morning. The word of God – letters on a page – that open up to us the Kingdom of God.

How can that be?

No matter how many days, years or decades you have read this book – today it can burn within your heart a new understanding, a new revelation.   As we lift this book, read and allow the spirit of God to speak, it changes from words on a page (Graphe) to understanding (Logos) to revelation (Rhema) and transformation on that dusty road is eminent.

As you walk this road of life pick up his word! Allow His words to be opened up to you, to burn within your heart, to lift the heaviness that life has thrown at you; for it is here that you will find life, a life abundant.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (ESV)

In The Palm Of His Hand

Get comfortable in the palm of your Father’s hand – He has you and He is faithful to accomplish all that He has started.

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Last fall I planted a plethora of spring bulbs hoping for a beautiful show when the frost, snow and bone-chilling cold had begun to recede. As the ground began to warm, those bulbs began to respond. And much to my delight, the bright colored daffodils and tulips lifted my spirits as they bloomed.

It wasn’t until the tulips burst into fullness that I was overwhelmed by a spiritual similarity. These tulips had been buried 7 months – during the dark, wet, frozen winter they were not resting but being prepared for one single purpose! All that waiting had allowed strength and nourishment to marinate within them. At just the right time they would come forth and bring forth ONE single flower; ONE single flower that had one purpose for just a few precious weeks. That purpose – to shout of His glory – to shout of the coming of spring – to bring extravagant hope!

The size of these tulips amazed me – they were huge – their bowl base could fill the opened palm of my hand. And there you have it – in the palm of my hand.

         Isaiah 49:16a. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands (ESV)

We too, are like that ONE single flower in the palm of our Father’s hand. Our beauty and purpose are single focused for His purpose. We too, go through times where we experience those months or years of dark, wet, frozen winter. However, when we rest in the palm of His hand and allow His preparation; we too, will come forth to that one single purpose. That one single purpose we were designed for – to shout of His glory – to shout of the coming of spring – to bring hope to the hopeless!

So if you are in that time where you feel buried – waiting in the dark, wet, frozen winter – take courage – for you are being prepared for that one singe purpose! The ground will warm and thaw; and you will burst forth into that single purpose for His glory. So rest and allow His strength and nourishment to marinate within you – get comfortable in the palm of your Father’s hand – He has you and He is faithful to accomplish all that He has started.

         Philippians 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (ESV)

Free Access to the Throne

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“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this? ” Esther 4:14 (ESV)

We read this passage and picture a confident bold woman marching into the King, ready to challenge the unjust decree against her nation. This is far from the truth that is found in the full story.

Esther was a young, vulnerable woman – armed with a few attributes that ultimately became weapons through the hand of God and brought deliverance. No foot stomping, no raised voice, no screaming demands or threats were needed. Trust, humility, obedience and the wisdom of God were carried on her head and shoulders as she entered the throne room.

Esther trusted her uncle’s advice and trusted that God was in charge of the situation. Armed with that trust she stepped under a mantle of humility as she accepted the presented task.  With that spirit of humility, she requested help. It was time to pray! She entrusted this time of prayer and fasting to those that she was willingly stepping in the gap to save. It was this designated time in the presence of God that brought his intervention.

I don’t believe that the three days of prayer and fasting were easy for her. Just as Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane asked for a way out “if it be possible let this cup pass from me”; she also, had to come to a place of obedience at all cost. Esther’s obedience- her YES Lord – came during that time of prayer, waiting, listening, and trusting in a God who is good ALL the time – “even if” the answer might be NO.

The wisdom of God began to seep into her quieted mind sometime during those days of waiting in His presence. It was here that she was given very specific plans; and the only agenda she went into the throne room with, was God’s. Following those plans – doing it God’s way, turned the tables of history.  Most of us would NOT have invited the King and our enemy over for dinner.

Esther came before the king – confident – but confident that God was in control.

She glided into that room with humility and the favor of God that stirred the King; not only did he hold the scepter out to her, invite her to him, deliver her from the law of death but he also offered her the ability to ask for whatever she desired. Now that is FAVOR! That favor delivered an entire nation from death.

This is a great inspiring story, but what does it have to do with us – now – today?

This story shows us our place in prayer. Our ability to step into the gap – to go into the throne room – to carry requests for deliverance to Our King, and it is a choice set before each of us. We have been gifted, free of charge, great-unlimited access! When we obediently enter His presence with complete trust and humility, our Father always listens. Wisdom, direction, freedom and deliverance are only a breath away.

Don’t step back, wait or think you will stand in prayer for that person, that situation, that illness, that event – next time or “maybe tomorrow”. Take your place on the wall – stand in the gap between the broken and the needy; be willingly to lay down your agenda and with trust and obedience boldly go to the throne room of our Father – for it is TIME to pray.

“And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Face to Face – Heart to Heart

No hurried “hello, have a great day” quick kiss on your way out the door will work.

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I go to sleep and wake up to a handsome face that has been next to me for over 40 years. I know his eyes, his mouth, his smile, his hands, his voice and even his growing wrinkles; the interesting part is that this man looks the same to me now as he did in his 20’s. I know him face to face; heart to heart, for we have become one.

Jesus knows us the same and he calls us to that type of relationship and communication. He knows every hair, every wrinkle, even every thought – he knows us intimately and asks us -desires for us – to come close and know him face to face, heart to heart.

Intimacy comes from knowing, and knowing takes time; time at His feet, time in quiet stillness, in a face to face; heart to heart connection and we call this prayer. No hurried “hello, have a great day” quick kiss on your way out the door will work.  No relationship is built on fast pace connection, it is all about spending time.

“Be still, and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10 (ESV)

This type of face to face, heart to heart adoration changes you at your very core. All the worries of the day, fears of the night – life’s craziness, falls away and peace rushes in.

As my husband’s presence brings me overwhelming love and joy just because he is who he is; so does a face to face, heart to heart walk with Jesus bring an abundant life filled with joy – deep down joy.

What does it take? How do you get there?

Desire it! Ask for it!

Take TIME! SLOW down!

Wait silently! Sit and LISTEN!

And extravagantly ENJOY it!

The best part of your day will be waking up to HIM; for you will walk face to face, heart to heart, with your savior.

Artwork courtesy of: Dennis L. Sanchez

What a Ride – Let’s Go Again!

Walking in faith is rather like that roller coaster ride.

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The roller coaster looms ahead, growing larger as you move closer to the ticket taker.  Your heart begins to race as your sweaty palms clasp around the cold steel that locks you into place. Is it to late to get off, run the other way? The gears begin to clunk under the car, grinding forward as the ascent begins. “OH NO – here we go”. Your heart seems to stop and your eyes shut tight as you reach the top. Suddenly, the wind whips your hair back, the scream erupts from your throat, and the exhilarating rush of speed courses through every cell as the rattling coaster car descends, only to find it beginning the upward climb of anticipation again and again. The end comes sooner then you desire but the ride was worth every emotion that you experienced. The unexpected joyful cry is “what a ride – let’s go again”.

Walking in faith is rather like that roller coaster ride. We must be willing to accept and pass over our ticket, climb into the seat with shaking clammy hands, trust that the gears, car and steel will hold us and get us to the end safely. The uphill grinding and the downhill exhilarating rush are expected each time we step out and say YES, Lord! But when we take this ride of faith, we get through one ride and our excitement for the next is one of great expectation. Our hearts joyfully cry “what a ride – let’s go again”.

for we walk by faith not by sight. II Cor. 5:7

For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. II Cor. 1:20

“I am a kid – Silly”

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I love watching my grandson and his 6-year-old friends! One day they were all “being dinosaurs” and I asked them “who are you”? I was prepared to hear T-Rex and a list of all the great ones they know by name along with detailed information of each. To my surprise my grandson declared, “I am a kid, silly”.

These words spoken from a child’s perspective are ones we need to chew on and remember. We grow up and “become” whatever we have worked hard to get to – through education, training and practice as well as those passions and gifts that God has endowed us with naturally. BUT those are simply like “playing dinosaurs” – who we really ARE is not connected in any way to what we do.

WE are simply kids!   Children of the Most High God!

As we learn and walk in this understanding, all the striving, performing and need to succeed drops away as freedom to BE who we are, begins to ring true all around us.

We can step in and play dinosaur when needed – doing our jobs and pursuing our passions, but we must understand that we are not a dinosaur! And with freedom we can simply announce, “I am a kid, silly.”

Declare today that you are a child of the Most High God! Enjoy what you do, but don’t allow it to steal your identity.

Just BE a kid, silly!!

John 1:12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

Rom. 8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God