There’s a well nearby. You’ve probably seen it. It’s in a dusty abandoned town. You wonder who used to live here and why they all left.

Many people have traveled by this well on their journeys through life, but either didn’t notice it, decided not to check it out, or tried it but left for some reason. It doesn’t appear that the well has been used in a long time. You are not even sure if the water is good. The top of the water looks unappetizing . . . . disgusting actually – covered in dust, dirt, germs, bugs and grime. Who would even want to use this well or drink its water? You dip your finger in to just taste it anyways as you realize how thirsty you are, but you only taste the stuff on top. Yuck. You’re not drinking that! But your thirst remains.

You decide to move on. . . . to find something more appealing . . . more appetizing . . . more eye-catching and tasty. You heard there was something better down the road. So you turn your back to the well and head off.

I urge you to come back.

Things are not always what they seem.

There is more to this well than the casual observer and wanderer will ever know.

Let me help you draw up the DEEP water from the well. That is where the best water resides – where the cooler, refreshing, life-giving water is. It is not tainted by the dirt, dust, germs or bugs on top of the water. Nothing has touched this deep water except the bucket and cisterns that are allowed to draw deep into it.

Are you that kind of cistern or vessel?

Are you ready to go deep?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

God's Plan for your Life!

While driving in the car recently, Jeremy and I were talking about the future – what God has for us, etc. I don’t really recall all of what we were saying or talking about – but Jeremy must have said something about not knowing what God’s plan was for his life, or if he was doing what he was supposed to be doing.

All of a sudden, our 11 year old son piped up and said “Dad . . . I think God procrastinated on your life plan!” :)

We busted up laughing! :)

Do you ever feel that way? That God may have “procrastinated on your life plan”? Do you feel like you don’t know WHAT God has for you? Or did you have dreams long ago, but now you wonder if they will ever turn into reality? Does God even care? Does He really have a plan for my life?

The answer is . . . Yes!

Jeremiah 29:11“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.

Psalm 139:13-18a - For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand."

God has not procrastinated on your life plan or forgotten about you! He thinks about you all the time! He has more thoughts about you than all the grains of sand on this earth! Can you imagine?! I know that my brain is constantly thinking, analyzing, planning and more . . . but I doubt I have more than 100 thoughts about someone or something in a single day (unless I am really obsessive!). But God does!! He was thinking about you way before you were born! Can you believe it? He planned out all the days of your life before you were even conceived! He does think about you and has GOOD things for you – to prosper you and not to harm you – to give you HOPE and a future! Hey – He’s OBSESSIVE about YOU! :)

If you are feeling like God has forgotten about you . . . that maybe there isn’t a “plan” for your life . . . I would encourage you to do what Jeremiah 29:11-14a says . . .

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity.”

God isn’t too far away. He’s not off on some distant planet. And He has NEVER forgotten about you! He’s always been there . . . even when you didn’t know it! He’s even waiting today – to listen to you – to let you “find” Him as you seek Him “with all your heart”!

Do you want to know what His plan for your life is? I’ll tell you what it is . . .

Matthew 22:36-40 - "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

. . . . it is to Love God!! . . . To walk with Him . . talk with Him . . . live with Him. . . have a personal, intimate relationship with Him. That’s His plan! That’s why He created us! To have a relationship with the King of all Kings, the Creator of the Universe, . . . our Daddy! That’s the basis of everything in our lives! And then – out of that – we will be able to love others!

If we don’t love God – and fully know and understand HIS unconditional love for us – we can’t love ourselves! We don’t know who we really are. We don’t know that we are sons and daughters in His kingdom. We are His children – the love of His life!

If we don’t love ourselves, or know God – who IS LOVE – then how can we love others?

If we can’t love others – then how can we really do anything that is of importance or value – as our lives are so intertwined with everyone around us. We were designed and created to live in communities and in relationship with other people.

So . . . you want to know God’s plan for your life?! It’s to walk and talk and live with Him!! Sounds too simple, hunh? :) Well . . it is! Don’t make it harder than it needs to be! That’s what Satan’s been trying to do since the garden of Eden . . . making it complicated!!

Luke 12:22-31 - Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well."

Dive Deep today!

God's waiting to swim with you! :)


Lori :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

In over your head

God had showed me a vision on Sunday during worship.

We were like the Israelites - we have been set free (from Egypt/bondage/saved from that which enslaved us) - and we are on our way in life. . . but we have come up against the Red Sea - an impossible situation. We feel trapped - our enemies are on our back and it seems that there is no way to go - no way out of this. What use was our salvation/freedom if this is what is going to happen?!!

When this happened to the Israelites- they wanted to just go back to Egypt - where at least they would have food, shelter and wouldn't die like this. Yes, they would be in slavery/bondage - but that would be better than being in this situation - stuck in the dessert with enemies on your back and no where to go!! It would be more comfortable (as it is all they had known for a long time).

But there was a solution. God had a solution - He had a plan! God LOVES to redeem us from impossible situations! It's His specialty! I don't think this impossible situation was an accident! God wanted to show His glory - to show His love to the Israelites - to rescue them and give them a tangible experience (experiential knowledge) of His love for them! So God told Moses to raise his staff (his hand(s)) - and let God do the work!

Exodus 14:13& 14 - "Moses answered the people, 'Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.'"

This Sunday - God was saying just that . . . we need to raise our hands (in praise! . . . and in giving our control - everything - over to Him - AND BE STILL!) - and let God do the work! He WILL provide a way . . . on dry ground. You will still see the water - high on each side - kind of scary - but you do not need to be afraid! You are on dry ground and God is in control! Praise the Lord and let God do the work to rescue you! He is the God of the impossible!!! PTL for that! :) I'm glad he is not just the God of the possible!

I pray you will go deeper with God today . . . in over your head!! :) When you feel out of control in life - that's the BEST time to let God be in control!! THAT's where revival will come! You can trust Him - His character, His plan for your life, and His power!

Please listen to this sermon podcast from my pastor - Dan Backens - at New Life Providence Church. It's all about going/being "In over our heads"!! You will be encouraged - and will want to go deeper! Don't let the enemy stop you in the middle of this journey you are on in life (the middle of the novel as Pastor Dan says . . . ). Keep going - because the best "chapter" is ALWAYS the last chapter!! God has GREAT plans for you!! Keep going!

Dive a little deeper today - and let God be in control!

Lori :)
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