Category Archives: Jesus Calling

One Step At a Time–Jesus Calling

book_JesusCalling_MDThis excerpt from Jesus Calling really spoke to me when I read it while going through my latest set of job interviews…

Follow me one step at a time. That is all I require of you.  In fact, that is the only way to move through this space/time world. You see huge mountains looming, & you start wondering how you’re going to scale those heights. Meanwhile, because you’re not looking where you’re going, you stumble on the easy path where I am leading you now. As I help you get back on your feet, you tell Me how worried you are about the cliffs up ahead.  But you don’t know what will happen today, much less tomorrow. Our path may take an abrupt turn, leading you away from those mountains. There may be an easier way up the mountains than is visible from this distance. If I do lead you up the cliffs, I will equip you thoroughly for that strenuous climb. I will even give My angels charge over you, to preserve you in all your ways.  

Keep your mind on the present journey, enjoying My Presence. Walk by faith, not by sight, trusting Me to open up the way before you.

Psalms 18:29, Psalms 91:11-12, II Corinthians 5:7

Jesus Calling–Absolute Trust

Let Me show you My way for you this day. I guide you continually, so you can relax and enjoy My Presence in the present. Living well is both a discipline and an art. Concentrate on staying close to Me, the divine Artist. Discipline your thoughts to trust Me as I work My ways in your life. Pray about everything; then, leave outcomes up to Me. Do not fear My will, for through it I accomplish what is best for you. Take a deep breath and dive into the depths of absolute trust in Me. Underneath are the everlasting arms!

Psalm 5:2-3, Deuteronomy 33:27

book_JesusCalling_MD

Jesus Today–Hopes and Dreams

One of my incredible friends sent me an excerpt from “Jesus Today,” another book written by Sarah Young. I love what it says about hope and dreams….
Hope for what you do not see, eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Among the five senses , sight is often the one that people value the most. I created the world gloriously beautiful, and I want you to appreciate beauty when you see it. However, even more beneficial than sight is hope, which is itself a kind of vision. It enables you to see- through the eyes of your heart- things that are not yet. The most stunning example of this is the hope of heaven. Your ultimate destiny is to share in My Glory! This is My promise to you, secured through My finished work on the cross and My resurrection.
Practice hoping for things you do not see- both for this life and the next. Ask Me to guide you into hopes and dreams that are in line with My will. Train the eyes of your heart to “see’ these blessings, while praying for My will to be done done fully and only. Discipline yourself to wait eagerly- with your focus on Me and the longed-for outcome. Remain hopeful and expectant as you wait with perseverance.
Romans 8:25 NKJV; John 17:22 NKJV; Hebrews 11:1 AMP
jesus today

Jesus Calling…Learn to Listen…

Learn to listen to me even while you are listening to other people.  As they open their souls to your scrutiny, you are on holy ground.  You need the help of My Spirit to respond appropriately.  Ask Him to think through you, live through you, love through you.  My own Being is alive within you in the Person of the Holy Spirit.  If you respond to others’ needs through your unaided thought processes, you offer them dry crumbs.  When the Spirit empowers your listening and speaking.  My streams of living water flow through you to other people.  Be a channel of My Love, Joy, and Peace by listening to Me as you listen to others.

Exodus 3:5, I Corinthians 6:19, John 7:38-39

book_JesusCalling_MD

My Hanging Lake Hike–The Best Mother’s Day Gift EVER!!!!

Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep.   You, Lord, preserve both people and animals. How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.       –Psalm 36:5-9

104_4126

Know any mothers who chose to celebrate Mother’s Day without their kids?  This girl!  Was there a little bit of guilt about this? Yes, but I’ve made my peace with it since then…

This year when Ryan asked what I wanted to do for Mother’s Day, I told him I wanted to hike Hanging Lake with my Mom sans kids.  And being the awesome husband he is, he was up for it.  This was the most selfless, amazing gift I’ve received.  It meant Ryan would take care of our kids all day on a Saturday because Hanging Lake was about three hours away which meant my mom and I would be gone for at least six hours plus hiking time.  I tried to arrange for a babysitter to give Ryan a break for a few hours but all the sitters I contacted already had plans that Saturday.  Luckily, Ryan’s dad and stepmom offered to take the kids for a few hours so Ryan got a break in his long day of childcare.  To me, Ryan’s gift to me this Mother’s Day was lavish, abundant love.  A gift that spoke right to my heart that he cared enough to give me a gift that he knew I would treasure.

104_4134So why Hanging Lake? Over the years I’ve lived in Colorado, Hanging Lake always comes up as an amazing place to visit.  Its located outside of Glenwood Springs just off the scenic I-70 and is a serene and beautiful lake high up in the mountains.  The main website labeled the hike as “strenuous” and the signs at the trailhead described it as “difficult” (most of the hike is at a decent incline, you climb up a lot of rock “steps”).   Surprisingly, these descriptors did not deter me!  I love to go for walks and hike but couldn’t say that I was in the best shape at this time.  But I was going to hike to Hanging Lake, even if it kicked my butt!  Even if I was red-faced and taking frequent breaks on the side of the trail, I was going to get up to that lake! (for those who are concerned about this hike being difficult, it really wasn’t that bad.  I was definitely not the worst hiker on this trail and when I did need to stop for a break, there were plenty of spots to relax without impeding other hikers and it gave me more time to soak in the beauty all around me!) 

Another challenge, we had also heard that parking at the trailhead was really difficult to get, especially on weekends and during the summer.  There were only so many spots and because it was just off the interstate, you could not “creatively” park just off the lot if it was full.  Websites recommended bringing a bike and biking in from other points near Glenwood Springs.  So my mom and I decided we’d try to get there super early (meaning we’d leave around 5am or 6am from our place) AND we’d bring a bike in case we had to park elsewhere (one of us would drop the other off at the trailhead and wait for the other to bike in).

The morning of our hike, I slept through my alarm but we still made it out the door at a decent time.  The drive towards Glenwood Springs was amazing.  I hadn’t realized how little time my mom and I have had to talk with each other, uninterrupted.  Usually there are two kids bouncing around near us which we love but it means we don’t always get to finish a sentence much less have a coherent conversation!  Having time to talk and just “do life” with my mom was priceless.  It made me feel so blessed all over again that she and my dad had taken the leap and moved out to Colorado.  To me, this time with her was a very tangible picture not just of Ryan’s selfless gift to me but also of God’s abundant goodness and lavish generosity in giving me time in person with my wonderful Mom.

When we exited I-70 and pulled into the parking lot, we were speechless!  The parking lot we expected to be full was 75% empty and even better, when we drove through it, the truck in the parking spot closest to the trailhead, backed out giving us the best possible parking spot ever!  We just wanted a parking spot in the lot, to give us the best one there, icing on the cake!  Someone was looking down and smiling!  Could it get better than this? The fact that it was the day before Mother’s Day and the forecast called for rain could have played into this blessing but we’ll take it!!!

So could it get better than this?  Definitely, and it did.  See for yourself.  A picture can speak a thousand words.

104_4117104_4160104_4119

Beautiful trees, gorgeous rocks, and a bubbling mountain river that meandered alongside the trail the entire way up to Hanging Lake.

104_4112

Inhaling fresh and crisp pine- scented mountain air while listening to rushing water as we ascended.

104_4123

104_4152

Here’s the lake itself and the waterfall that provides mountain water to it…

104_4141

104_4140

104_4151 104_4148

The trail wasn’t busy and when we did encounter other hikers, there was an easy camaraderie. In case you’re curious, it did start to rain as we ventured back down.  But it was a light, misty rain.  Even it was beautiful…

104_4162

 

104_4164As we hiked, my mom and I both pondered how Hanging Lake was just one place on earth that was so unbelievably beautiful that God created and experienced all day, every day…even more, how only He sees breathtakingly beautiful deep sea fish, how He sees every wave, every sunrise and sunset, every beautiful aspect of our planet even if we don’t.  He is lavish about beauty, abundant in goodness.  He does not just create functional or practical things.  He delights in blowing our mind with beauty!  Why do we doubt His heart?

God has been teaching me lately about His generosity, lavish love, and abundance.  I guess I’ve known that He’d provide for our needs, but so many verses speak to Him wanting to not just stop there but going above and beyond.  His heart is good.

And my day at Hanging Lake was a reminder that God delights in blessing us in small and in big ways. Why do I doubt so often?  Why do my expectations of God pale in comparison to what He actually is all about?  Ephesians 3:20 has challenged me lately, “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…”

I’ll close with an excerpt from Jesus Calling.  Sarah Young speaks often about our God being a God of abundance.  Here is one excerpt that spoke straight to my heart and resonates with how I felt about my Hanging Lake day—that God was a God of details throughout it all:

I am a God of both intricate detail and overflowing abundance. When you entrust the details of your life to Me, you are surprised by how thoroughly I answer your petitions. I take pleasure in hearing your prayers, so feel free to bring Me all your requests. The more you pray, the more answers you can receive. Best of all, your faith is strengthened as you see how precisely I respond to your specific prayers.

Because I am infinite in all My ways, you need not fear that I will run out of resources. Abundance is at the very heart of who I AM. Come to Me in joyful expectation of receiving all you need—and sometimes much more! I delight in showering blessings on My beloved children. Come to Me with open hands and heart, ready to receive all I have for you.

Psalm 36:7-9, Psalm 132:15, John 6:12-13, John 10:10

104_4131

Jesus Calling…Moment by Moment…

book_JesusCalling_MDYou are on the path of my choosing.  There is no randomness about your life.  Here and now comprise the coordinate of your daily life.  Most people let their moments slip through their fingers, half-lived.  They avoid the present by worrying about the future or longing for a better time and place.  They forget that they are creatures who are subject to the limitations of time and space.  They forget their Creator, who walks with them only in the present.

Every moment is alive with My glorious Presence, to those whose hearts are intimately connected with Mine.  As you give yourself more and more to a life of constant communion with Me, you will find that you simply have no time for worry.  Thus, you are freed to let My Spirit direct your steps, enabling you to walk along the path of peace.

Luke 12:25-26; Luke 1:79

Jesus Calling: Fearing My Inadequacy?

It’s interesting reflecting on my thoughts and feelings lately.  I don’t know if it’s returning to work  after being gone for several years or what, but lately I’ve second guessed myself a lot more than usual and have over-analyzed encounters with others and spent more time than usual trying to figure out what I’m going to say in certain situations.  It all came back to wanting to say the right thing, do the right thing, and overall control not only the outcome but how I’m perceived by others.  I wanted to do a good job but I also wanted to be seen as a competent and skilled professional too.  God challenged me about this.  How much of it was not wanting to trust Him, that whether I got it “right” or not, He could bring good from it.  And that He will use me screw-ups and all!  He doesn’t want me perfect, He wants me depending on Him.  So imagine how I felt reading the following devotional, it spoke right to my current concerns!  Not easy words to hear from someone who likes to figure everything out in advance, but definitely what I needed to hear today:

book_JesusCalling_MDTrust me enough to let things happen without striving to predict or control them.  Relax, and refresh yourself yourself in the Light of My everlasting Love.  My Love Light never dims, yet you are often unaware of My radiant Presence.  When you project yourself into the future, rehearsing what you will do or say, you are seeking to be self-sufficient: to be adequate without My help.  This is a subtle sin—so common that it usually slips by unnoticed.

The alternative is to live fully in the present, depending on Me each moment.  Rather than fearing your inadequacy, rejoice in My abundant supply.  Train your mind to seek My help continually, even when you feel competent to handle something by yourself.  Don’t divide your life into things you can do by yourself and things that require My help.  Instead, learn to rely on Me in every situation.  This discipline will enable you to enjoy life more and to face each day confidently.

Psalm 37:3-6, Philippians 4:19

Jesus Calling–Planning, the Way to Peace?

You will not find My Peace by engging in excessive planning; attempting to control what will happen to you in the future.  That is a commonly practice form of unbelief.  When your mind spins with multiple plans, Peace may sometimes seem to be within your grasp; yet it always eludes you.  Just when you think you have prepared for all possibilities, something unexpected pops up and throws things into confusion.book_JesusCalling_MD

I did not design the human mind to figure out the future.  That is beyond your capacity.  I crafted your mind for continual communication with Me.  Bring Me all your needs, your hopes and fears.  Commit everything into My care.  Turn from the path of planning to the path of Peace.

I Peter 5:6-7, Proverbs 16:9, Psalm 37:5

 

Understanding, the Way to Peace?

book_JesusCalling_MDHere’s another Jesus Calling devotional that spoke straight to my heart.  I had to learn this truth the hard way when we were going through all of Evan’s medical issues.  Researching things online only heightened my anxiety, it did not bring peace….How about you?

Understanding will never bring you Peace.  That’s why I have instructed you to trust in Me, not in your understanding.  Human beings have a voracious appetite for trying to figure things out, in order to gain a sense of mastery over their lives.  But the world presents you with an endless series of problems.  As soon as you master one set, another pops up to challenge you.  The relief you had anticipated is short-lived.  Soon your mind is gearing again: searching for understanding (mastery), instead of seeking Me (your Master).

The wisest of all men, Solomon, could never think his way through to Peace.  His vast understanding resulted in feelings of futility, rather than in fulfillment.  Finally, he lost his way and succumbed to the will of his wives by worshiping idols.

My Peace is not an elusive goal, hidden at the center of some complicated maze.  Actually, you are always enveloped in Peace, which is inherent in My Presence.  As you look to Me, you gain awareness of this precious Peace.

Proverbs 3:5-6, Romans 5:1, II Thessalonians 3:16

From Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

Jesus Calling: Laugh!

Learn to laugh at yourself more freely.  Don’t take yourself or your circumstances too seriously.  Relax and know that I am God with you.  When you desire My will above all else, life becomes much less threatening.  Stop trying to monitor My responsibilities–things that are beyond your control.  Find freedom by accepting the boundaries of your domain.

Laughter lightens your load and lifts your heart into heavenly places.  Your laughter rises to heaven and blends with angelic melodies of praise.  Just as parents delight in the laughter of their children, so I delight in hearing My children laugh.  I rejoice when you trust Me enough to enjoy your life lightheartedly.

Do not miss the Joy of My Presence by carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders.  Rather, take My yoke upon you and learn from Me.  My yoke is comfortable and pleasant; My burden is light and easily borne. 

Proverbs 17:22, Proverbs 31:25, Matthew 1:23, Matthew 11:28-30