Backroad Seasons of Life

Trust that the single-focused road ahead will open divinely-delegated assignments on backroads where distractions dissolve and commonality with the voice of the Father become your primary GPS.

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Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Driving through backroads can be intimidating; often there are no signs, lines or enough space for two cars. Our life journey is much like driving the backroads. We come into this world on a single-lane road and go out the same way – alone. The forward movement of our lifetime takes us onto freeways, curves, sharp turns, dead-ends, roundabouts, and sometimes into a ditch or two. Each of these become the map of who we are becoming but our choices at each turn are pivotal.

This amazing road of life brings with it relationships that I am greatly thankful for. It includes an ebb and flow of many individuals – those who expand our lives, teach us life lessons, guide and encourage us, as well as those that take us onto the infinite roundabout. We are allowed to share life with them, even if it is only for a brief time. However, people must come and go; it is part of growing into who God has created us to be.

We seldom drive the full course of our road with the same people, for ultimately, they too, have their own road to navigate. Seasons of life change all of us. With those changes you will suddenly find those you have previously driven with, choosing to take a curve or sharp turn that you are not called to take.

If you know God’s plan, His direction and call on your life this presents a decision. Do I go along with them or do I not? Do I go left or do I go right? During these times, this decision is vital – your ear must be tuned not to your emotions but to the clear voice of Holy Spirit – for this decision may lead you into the ditch, or set you on a freeway. Your choice may require a sacrifice as to who continues on your road. This choice is not easy to make, it may require saying goodbye to travelers you love and have called friends, but the ultimate choice is “what does God want for me?” To ignore the “road closed” sign that stands in your path will drive you to stagnation in a ditch, which is not God’s plan.

Allow the process to move you into all that God has called you too, even if that path places you on a single-lane road for a time. Trust that the single-focused road ahead will open divinely-delegated assignments on backroads where distractions dissolve and commonality with the voice of the Father become your primary GPS.

Jeremiah 6:16 Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.: But they said, “We will not walk in it.”

Whose Got Your Back?

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Our lives are filled with battles – from within and without – the physical, emotional and almost always, the spiritual. As independent people we usually choose to handle them alone, “I’ve got this, no need to bother anyone else.” When we live – or try to live – our life in this fashion, we are ultimately giving-in to a life lived in a form of isolation. We are not meant to handle life alone, we need others.

We all need that friend – you know the one – the friend that sticks closer than a brother. Do you have one, maybe two or three? Ones that no matter when, where, how, or what you need them for – they will be there for you. If not, now is the time to look around and begin that scary relationship that just might lead to that friend. If you have been a Christian for long, you will have picked up some hesitancy here! I know, me too. But in faith, step out and spend some time asking God to direct you to those people.

In biblical times, Kings and Princes had armor-bearers and even today, pastors establish those who they trust to stand in prayer, listen and to be that friend. We have inherited a place of prince or princess – a child of the King – in the Kingdom of God. The need for each of us to walk side-by-side with at least one armor-bearer is imperative. For us to walk with a different spirit as Caleb and Joshua did – one who hears, obeys and battles for the promised land – will require us to gird ourselves with the prayers of those walking this same journey.

As the body of Christ – the church – we hold one another up in prayer consistently, and that is necessary for a healthy church. As individuals we need to go one step deeper – one step of vulnerability – one step of trusting another with our “stuff” that we keep hidden. The days of “I’ve got this, no need to bother anyone else,” are gone. Having a trusted armor-bearer for yourself is much safer than doing it on your own. Being one and having one are two different things – you may be one for one individual yet need a different one for yourself.

If we want to see and walk in a new place of awakening in the body of Christ then we MUST lay down our pride, pick up our swords, fight forward and depend on our trusted armor-bearer to stand and fight with us. So, who is yours?

Numbers 14:24 But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me fully, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it.

I Samuel 16:21 When David came to Saul and entered his service, Saul loved him very much, and David became his armor-bearer.

Proverbs 18:24 A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

 

Excerpt from: Oh My God You Are Really Real

Just a little taste of what you will find in this book.
It is full of true stories of when God shows up! Coming this Spring.

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The storm was intensifying and periodically a rogue wave tossed us sideways so far that the starboard cabin windows went into and under the water. The boat would immediately roll upright, which was very reassuring, but the contents of cabinets and drawers were strewn about and collecting in the corners of the cabin.

I could see the fear in my wife’s eyes as she crouched on the floor of the salon, holding on while holding back tears. Nolan sat consoling her, but I could still see excitement and adventure in his face. His joy gave me strength, and as we locked eyes I thanked him with a smile and nod.

I immediately turned to prayer, “Lord, please calm this storm and get us to port safely. Soon, Lord.”

Not a second passed and I again heard, “Trust Me.” But just as before, that was all.

Navigational charts showed a buoy marking some shoal hazards just outside the entrance to Oak Harbor. Visibility was poor and radar wouldn’t pick it up, so all eyes were searching the rolling seas for the buoy. The waves and winds challenged my ability to hold my bearing straight to the harbor, so we slowly zigzagged toward the entrance.

I attempted to reach the harbor by radio for confirmation of the entrance location, but wind, noise and static prevented that call.

 

 

 

Where is Your Trust?

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     Fear has become a constant whispering companion as destructive acceleration surrounds us…global warming, earthquakes, famine, increased hate and violence as well as the rumors of a possible approach of nuclear war. It is so easy to “buy in” to that fear and panic, that “be prepared” mentality that is erupting all around us. Here – in the midst of this chaotic surge – is our place to walk in a different spirit.

     It is now that the LOVE of Christ is needed to dispel that fear. It is now that FAITH in Christ can shine in the darkness – teaching and building hope in the confused. It is now that the HOPE in Christ within us must stand firm, declare and encourage in the midst of what is seen.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.              Psalm 91: 1-6 (ESV)

     Let these words infuse in you today the strength to stand firm. Find rest under His wings – find peace in His refuge as you trust in Him. Remember in HOPE the goodness of your God, remember in FAITH you are called to proclaim that goodness, and remember in LOVE all that Christ did for you and those around you.

     Fear not what you see with your eyes and hear with your ears – look only with your Spirit to the promises of His faithfulness. Breathe easy today as you walk in peace in the midst of this storm, finding refuge in Christ – for there is where your trust dwells.

Your Spring Will Come

Our part is to trust in the spring that is coming

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Walking past barren, deciduous trees in early spring, a reminder of the past harsh winter is visible all around; however, an interesting event occurs as day after day you make the same passing. One day they are barren and suddenly, the next day they have burst forth in color. Hidden for those fleeting months life was sleeping deep inside; it  was producing energy to bring forth buds and conserving power to erupt with new life.

We too, live through times that are harsh, barren, and cold. Life circumstances seem to swirl around us and strip us from all hope, joy and motivation; emptying our leaves and leaving us standing just like those barren deciduous trees.

When our lives are dry, barren and broken we must look to the spring. Our spring waits for the warm touch of our Lord. He knows what is hidden inside of each of us, what is ready to flourish, what is ready to show forth His glory. His timing and our humility will change our mourning into dancing and produce what He has ordained from the beginning of time. Our part is to trust in the spring that is coming, rejoice in the hidden buds being created, and at the right time move in faith into a new flourishing display of His glory.

Psalm 30:11-12. You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

And the Walls Come Down!

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     Walls are meant to protect, to keep out or to keep in.

 But unbeknownst to us we find that outside forces have placed walls around us. Walls that set limitations on who we are – such as physical or mental illnesses, financial barriers, broken toxic relationships, and even environmental constraints; these are walls that must be broken down to allow freedom in our lives.

The story of Joshua and the walls of Jericho is a great example for us to consider. Joshua knew Jericho was promised territory but with thick tightly shut walls there was no way in. They had natural options just like we have – battle through with all the weapons and strength available, negotiate and manipulate to make a deal that allows a win or to listen and obey the voice of the Spirit of the living God.

Here, for Joshua and for us lies the rub! To run ahead and do all that is naturally possible makes the most sense – for isn’t that what makes a strong independent people?

The hardest thing to do is to choose to believe what you cannot do or see! Having faith in God – stopping your own striving, working, and trying – it is not easy but it is the only way that HE can come in and show himself strong on your behalf.

And the Walls Come Down!

 Joshua and all of Israel chose to listen and obey – to do what didn’t make sense. They were to quietly walk around the city once a day for 6 days then on the 7th day walk around it 7 times and at the sound of the trumpet shout and rejoice that GOD was delivering the city into their hands. Now remember, they did these things before they saw those walls start to shack, crumble and fall down – they rejoiced BEFORE – for they knew a God that was faithful to His promises. That sound, the sound of rejoicing erupting from them was the key! We too, can listen and obey – and as we rejoice BEFORE we see results the shaking is occurring in the heavenly’s .

And the Walls Come Down!

Freedom can be found! The walls that have blocked you in – limiting you in that which God has chosen for you to do must come down.

The lies of the enemy of your soul can be set back! As you accept and stand up with the authority that you have been given as a child of the King of Kings, a believer in all that the blood of Christ purchased for you, you too can listen and obey the voice of the Spirit of the living God.

And the Walls Come Down!

Rejoicing BEFORE you see the outcome because HE is faithful, because He is a good father and because He is always for you – that is where freedom begins, that is where the battle is won, that is where peace in all circumstances begins!

     Only then do you look and find that the miraculous has occurred.

And the Walls Come Down!

An Eagle’s Life Lesson

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     The majestic eagle depends on his physical design; strength, speed and and sharp vision, for his survival.  Just as the eagle does, so do we often depend on the “I” of our own abilities.    

     There comes a time to the eagle where a molting process must be faced. This process brings this majestic strong bird to a weakened position. His feathers, strength, vision and ability to fly or hunt are eliminated during this time of preparation for renewal.

     We too, come to this place; where all of what “I” can do and what “I” have done are no longer of value. We then face a choice, a choice of the heart. A choice that requires a willingness to give up all of what “I” can do and trust in what “He” did for us at the cross.

     The eagles too must make a similar choice. Many roll over and die choosing the memory of the “I” of their former majesty. Those who are renewed are those who turn to the sun, rest and wait. They then are restored not to the former majesty but to a stronger and greater one.

     We too can only reach new heights with renewed vision and strength when our eyes are on the “Son” not the “I”. Only then can His plans, purposes and design for our life be renewed.

     Trust that His plans for you are far greater then your “I” plans. So chose today to learn from the renewed eagle. Join me and look to the Son – Rest and Wait! This hard time of “molting” will bring forth the fruit that changes lives; you will come out better then you ever were before.


Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (ESV)

Revised excerpt from Winters Rest – J.K. Sanchez “The Choice – To Mount Up With Wings Like Eagles” 2014