Through much prayer and counsel, my husband and I knew we couldn’t afford to stay there any longer. We had to move. The Lord quickly provided renters who were able to move in and take over the payments, and we were miraculously approved to buy another house that had been in foreclosure for over a year. With only a few cosmetic repairs, we were able to make our “new” home move-in ready for our family of seven.Read More
What are the Seasonings of Christmas?
You know those certain aromas you crave to set the mood and the tone of your home for Christmas. Which scents are your favorites? Is it the cinnamon or pumpkin spice? How about pine and myrhh? Maybe it's the aromas of cooking and baking which set up the memories of Christmas. The scent of celery for the stuffing simmering over heat. Maybe the hints of vanilla?
Twenty-eight years ago, I heard a profound statement that has stayed with me to this day. “Thankfulness is a mighty weapon in the hands of God’s people.” As I have been pondering what it means to “rejoice,” it dawned on me: In order for one to rejoice, one must also be thankful. The two go hand in hand. Joy is an overflow of a grateful heart.
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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 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 am learning to dig deeper when I feel myself avoiding a word or a feeling a word stirs up. This week as I pondered sufficient I began by peeling back the layers. One layer is that somewhere I learned that sufficient meant I would only ever have exactly what was needed. I have never liked that definition, and I had to ask why?Read More
Recently I joined a small group of women for five weeks of pondering sessions through the Biblical book of Ruth and my devotional book 31 Days of Gleaning with Ruth: questioning my way through a famine season was our discussion guide. My devotional book used a list of 31 words and each word was the topic from which each daily devotional was written. At the same time, the book of Ruth was the subject matter for study in God's Word.
It's an interesting concept. I hope you might purchase a copy for your summer reading and ask a couple of friends to join you in a discussion group.
At the end of our five weeks together, we joined in fellowship around a table to share a meal and discuss some of our gleanings from our time together. One woman suggested that we continue together through the summer by writing creatively on one word. She asked if I would be willing to send out 'a word' a week for each of us to ponder and write about.
Obviously, I said, "Of course, I would love to do this summer creative writing with y'all!" And here we are with our first word:
I'm going to set my timer for five minutes and see how far I get with this one word prompt today. Don't be afraid to try. Do it scared, I say! Come on jump in. You'll like it!
He who is full loathes honey, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.
Proverbs 27:7 NIV
It is the maddening month of May as a good friend calls this beautiful spring month in the south. If you have children who are school age or have any association with schools you probably know what she means by the maddening month of May.
Here in my community, we've deemed May far more chaotic for the family life than the month of December!
Anyway, in this month of May, I think of graduations and prom and college visits, and I think of weddings. All of these events have a tendency to cause parents and grandparents to exclaim, "It's all so bittersweet!"
As for children and graduations, proms and the like, this is an exciting time of growing up. All of these activities are mile-markers of maturity, which eventually lead to those precious babies climbing up on the edge of the nest. And you know what's next; with a bit of a nudge, they flap their baby wings and begin to fly!
I constantly reminded our sons that we were in the business of raising them to be responsible and independent men who would long to leave our nest to make their own one day. All that nudging out onto the edge was prompted by some bitter moments. Many of us will face those issues which help us to accept the fact they are not meant to live with us in our home forever. They are the bitter in the bittersweet.
Oh, but the JOY of watching them fly free! Now that is sweet...
(Five minutes are up... I'm going to finish my ponder though. I'm on a roll)
The Proverb above reminded me of the bittersweet of growing young boys into men. Parenting is not for the faint of heart or the impatient or the perfectionist. In fact, I'm pretty sure God gave me children to help scrub all of those things right out of my character.
As parents, at all the various stages, we get hungry. We hunger for some sign of success. In the drought seasons of family life, we wonder if any of those seeds we planted have taken root. We long for evidence.
I'm not even asking for fruit, Lord. Could you just show me a sprout? Something green so I know there's something rooted down there below the surface!"
I've never really thought about this proverb of God in this light, but today I see it. I know God's Word is true. And yes, sometimes in parenting, we grow hungry. Some of the perfection we once longed for fades in light of some bitter circumstances. However, the love of God filled up in a parent will cause even the bitter to taste sweet as the circumstances become an opportunity for discipleship.
Lord, Jesus, may we hunger just enough that we crave You in the bitter knowing you will turn our dining with You to sweetness. Help us to be filled up with Your love for our children and for our neighbors. And may give thanks to You, God, for all the bittersweet moments You allow in our lives because they are evidence of life and growth and maturity.
Eyes on You, Jesus... let us Shine with Your glory!