Herein lies the struggle. The methods. The voices. The proven strategies. The trending marketing techniques. Do this to be seen. You've got to make your voice heard. Define your target audience. If you want to be successful in getting your message out, you've got to promote yourself. Sell, sell, sell... Advertise, advertise.... promote, promote... knock on every door, call everyone you know, build your email list and push for new subscribers.Read More
Read Part 1 of I'm thinking about a renovation by clicking here.
The world around me has become suddenly quiet. For those who are involved in school systems and live on the school year calendar, that time of year is upon us locally. Many of my friends have shifted back, but I am staying behind this year. I'm home. And in the quiet of staying back, I'm listening for God's whisper of truth and direction.
I want to live obediently. It is my heart's desire to get it right, live on the correct path, and to be actively and obediently pursuing the mission the Lord has given me to fulfill in my lifetime. I fight against the feelings of urgency which cause me to sometimes jump impulsively toward the things of man's design rather than waiting for Father's ideas and plans. Yet, I am grateful for the urgent push from within, which energizes me to keep sharing God's message and do His will.
Since the beginning of 2018, I've taken purposeful steps of obedience as I've sought the Lord's good pleasure. The first step of the year was to self-publish the book the Lord so graciously gifted me. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, the Lord wrote and downloaded this book so that it could be written by me through the filter of my life experiences. Getting to steward this beautiful gift has been one of the highlights of my life.
Funny thing though, I was the one who asked Father to give me a tool to offer fellow sojourners. Now that He's faithfully delivered this book into my hands, I'm not really sure how to use it. I'm continually asking and seeking my Father's face for His intent. His answers are always surprising and much more fun than any idea I've tried to concoct!
While I was trying to plan and organize a number of small group book studies by way of contacts within several local churches, Holy Spirit was inspiring many of my friends and family members to gift my book forward. Often I've received a picture text or an email detailing the various locations to which my book is traveling by plane, bus, car or train. My heart is stirred to prayer and hopeful anticipation as I await news from returning travelers as to God's choice for receiving the book along with the surrounding circumstances.
Though my travel this year has been much more local, I try to have several books with me any time I leave home. It feels like a majestic treasure hunt in which the book recipient is the treasure for which I am searching. God's gift is her prize, and for what purpose, only God truly knows. However, getting to be His representative is an honor I truly enjoy.
Just as it was originally gifted to me, so shall it be done for others. Holy Spirit's reminder that it is not possible for me to out-give God has been a principle I've held close and tried to live as a sacred tenant.
So, let me stop the struggle bus right here for a moment, and take a rest stop in Scripture.
Suddenly, because of my own inward struggle, I am intrigued by a beautiful passage of scripture found in 1 Chronicles 17, in which King David expresses to the prophet Nathan an amazing idea for a seemingly good and genuinely heartfelt gift of gratitude to the Lord. You see, David was just settling back in at home in his palace after presiding over the great ceremony and celebration of the return of the Ark of the Covenant of God to Jerusalem. It was a grand moment for King David and all the people of Israel. The return of the Ark of God had been long hoped for and was rightly celebrated by the king, the Levites and priests and all the inhabitants of Israel as a promise fulfilled.
I imagine David pondering the events of the previous few days and then making this statement out loud to the prophet Nathan.
“Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of the covenant of the Lord is under a tent.” 1 Chronicles 17:1
Can't you picture it? The King enjoying his luxurious palace suddenly had a lightbulb moment; the dwelling place of Almighty God was in need of a renovation. It sounds right to me. Apparently, Nathan was tracking with the king on where he was going with his thought process. Nathan responded with this,
“Whatever you have in mind, do it, for God is with you.” 1 Chronicles 17:2 NIV
But, of course, God was listening in, and wait, no one asked Him what He thought of this renovation project. So, during the night God spoke a lengthy word to Nathan, which was promptly reported to King David in its entirety.
I hope you will go and read the entire passage for yourself and not just take my word for it. However, in summary, God's response to David's idea was this:
- David would not be the one to build a house for God to dwell in
- God had chosen His own dwelling place as a tent from the time He brought the Israelites out of Egypt
- God had never asked any of His leaders to build Him a house of cedar
- Furthermore, God is the One who chose David out of the shepherd's field to become a ruler over the people of Israel
- God is the One who had been with him wherever David stepped foot
- And God was the One who cut off every one of David's enemies
- Finally, the word of the Lord to David was a declaration that God Himself would build a house for David, establish His Kingdom through the lineage of David, and secure God's Throne and Kingdom forever.
There's so much here to chew on in these days of quiet, and I intend to ponder these thoughts of renovation until God Himself completes His transforming work in me. I have a feeling the struggle bus will be moving forward to meet you down the road with Part 3 of I'm thinking about a renovation.
Until then, I give thanks to You God for You are good and Your steadfast love endures forever for Your children. I thank You too that Your word is living and active and meets me and all who are with me in Your word right where we're living. Transform my mind and renovate my stinkin' thinkin' by the Truth of Your word and the power of Your Holy Spirit. I choose to rest under Your Wing and pray many sisters will hide under Your Wing with me. Speak Lord, for Your servants are listening and wanting to obey, in Jesus' Name.
~ Meet Lisa Brittain ~
Hi. I'm so glad you stopped by. My name is Lisa and I am the founder of this website. My ministry is called Eyes on Jesus and Shine which comes from Psalm 34:5
My desire is to help others run toward Jesus and not away. I want to walk with you and introduce you to Him. I'll leave you two alone so you can find out for yourself; Who He is and who you are as you become adopted into God's family.
I love to walk through life with friends who help me keep my eyes on Jesus, and then I get to help them too when they forget. My hope is to live the overflow of my walk with Jesus so that His love shines bright through me and becomes a contagious joy for everyone I meet for the rest of my days on earth.
I was looking for someone to hold my hand and teach me what I didn't know. Somehow I felt that as a woman I should know how to do these things. And truly, if I had been willing, my mom would have taught me about fabric, how to cut patterns, and sew. I wasn't willing then, but I am now. As I've gotten older and received more healing from perfectionism and fear of failure, I actually enjoy the learning process. And so, I was intrigued. Again, I inquired of the Lord, and felt He was saying, "Yes, ask her to teach you."Read More
I love to watch people, seeing them interacting, having a good time together. However, in my observations, I have also noticed that sometimes little children will look to their parents and their parents don’t notice them. The parent is involved in something else, and the child does not get the eye contact for which he or she is searching. The moment of connection the child is looking for is lost.Read More
As I reflect on this one-word ~way~ I am reminded of a dream I had about 3 years ago. I was in a rainforest leading some of my Bible study friends through branches and vines by chopping a path with a machete. I woke up with the sense God was speaking to me about being a leader, but also that He was asking me to go where there was no path already carved out.Read More
I chose to be obedient to God's repeated nudgings and take steps that plunged me deeply into my fears, but even deeper into the grace of God. I am still experiencing the fruits of this choice, the opening of BelovedProdigal.com being one of many prophetic Words God spoke over me in Switzerland.Read More
I believe it was in the wandering that God disclosed His faithfulness and demonstrated His goodness. And in some miraculous and crazy way, a perfectly holy, beautiful, and righteous God called him friend. Even though Abraham sojourned among people who were not his own, he chose to draw his security from God. He made the presence of God his home and was never aimless because of it. People around him sought to build wealth, but Abraham chose to build a relationship.Read More
From my perspective, as the driver, I had done everything right. We were at a stop light of a major intersection. I stopped. I looked in all directions. I waited and then looked again to the right and left and ahead. Since there were no cars on the road in any direction, I pulled around the corner to the right. And then... blue lights...Read More
To this day, I can’t drive by their old house without my eyes filling up with tears, and it was this very week as I chose to take another route home (just so I could see their old house again) that I received a glimpse of freedom. As I imagined Grandpa Bachtel in heaven, where there’s no more sin, no more pain, and no more suffering, I realized this is what it means to be truly free.Read More
God has a plan for each of us, to accomplish His purpose for our life. That plan reminds me of a recipe for baking a cake. The recipe calls for the right ingredients in the right proportions, the right oven temperature and the right length of time in the oven.Read More
So this week I combined two words for which I had been asking the Lord to show me His insight. These words are Father and Sojourn. What I heard from Him was the reminder that
He, my Father, is with me wherever I go.
So when my sojourn is to a place I don’t understand, a difficult place in life, I just need to be patient and do what He asks me to do, remembering that this is a temporary place, and it too shall pass.
This is just what the Israelites did with Joshua when they came across a block in their path. They were told to circle the huge wall of Jericho for six days, and that He, God, would deliver them from this difficult place. They obeyed God's strange request to circle the wall for six days straight and waited for Him to move. Nothing appeared to happen for six days, but then on the seventh day a miracle happened and the walls came tumbling down. Oh, what a reward they received for their simple obedience and trust in The Father.
I want that too God! Thank You, Father, for reminding me that you are always with me and that sojourns are temporary.
~ Meet Dana Charbonneau ~
Dana Charbonneau has been married for 33 years to Edward. They have three wonderful grown children, and just recently their third grandchild was born. Dana was a special ed teacher for many years and now enjoys substituting in special education classes. Having moved 15 times in her life, she now especially enjoys sharing life with friends and family around the country.
My request was and still is not too hard for Almighty God. What I did not understand as I made this request of God for freedom is how much it would cost me personally. I did not count the cost at that time. I didn't know how. I was immature in my faith and fairly untested in matters of faith. I simply made my request for freedom and trusted God to take care of it.Read More
My sojourn into codependency lasted much longer than Naomi’s stay in Moab. But in similar ways, I heard of God’s work in lives. Although co-dependency offered a “safe place” for me to hide and find value and favor, it wasn’t a place of true freedom.Read More
I would like to extend an invitation for you to join me at Beloved Prodigal for my guest post today. My goal today is to encourage, embolden and help you to feel expectant of experiencing the goodness of God in the middle of your circumstances. Additionally, I want to invite you to join me and the Beloved Prodigal community for a 6 week study through the book of Ruth and my book, 31 Days of Gleaning with Ruth: questioning my way through a famine season which will begin on Facebook live on Thursday, 7/12/18 at 2 PM.Read More
My earthly father was a large man, 6’4” and solid. He made me feel safe and my favorite place to sit was wrapped up on his lap. I felt small and protected, feminine and not too much. I didn’t have to fight anything while I was safely ensconced on his lap. It was a place of peace for me.Read More
It was then I saw a lightbulb come on in my thinking. How many times have I felt the strong desire to flee unpleasant circumstances, but respond with what looks to be a logical, methodical planned out move, temporary relocation or even vacation?Read More
Overall, this was too much change in one week for my poor little brain to process. I may have been smiling on the outside to all my church friends volunteering that week, but on the inside, I was about to have a complete meltdown! I simply did not want to embrace the unexpected changes before me with grace and strength, but instead, I chose to complain and feel sorry for myself.Read More
The arms of this old chair have balanced my coffee cup on one side and held my Bible open on the other side. How many tears have soaked those old cushions? And maybe I shouldn't set your mind to wondering about all the snot from the sneezy seasons and the many sob sessions.Read More
If I am already saturated by my earthly life and the cares of this world, there is no room left for me to be able to soak up more of my Lord.
Why am I afraid to make the choice to be saturated in Him?
Am I afraid of what He might require of me?
Am I afraid of what I might have to give up?
I need to “dry out” from being saturated with the World and self.
The day continued to roll by, still no prospects. I started to wonder if I had missed my opportunity. By the time of intermission at the play, I proceeded to the restroom and surprisingly ran into an old friend whom I hadn’t seen in years. Our children had attended Masters Academy together at Hebron Baptist Church nearly ten years ago. At the time, she was a practicing Buddhist, but I had remembered her as one who was seeking truth and had many questions about Jesus…. read more.Read More