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Last week, I shared the various encouragements which I had received from our heavenly Father during a season of chastening. I want to expound on one of those here; but before I do, I need to share something about the word “encouragement”.

Words are important and should be carefully chosen. In this case, a more natural word to use would have been “corrections”. So, why did I choose “encouragements”?

Encouragement is something a person does to put courage into someone else, and Christians today need all the encouragement we can get. When we submit to the Father’s chastening, He provides the courage we need to positively respond. Conversely, withdrawing from the Father’s chastening leaves us without the courage we so desperately need in this desperate time. I hope and pray that you will find and receive a large dose of courage as we search deeper into this matter of doing.

Neither restoration nor reformation will come until we stop treating the truths of Scripture like Christian clichés. For me, the challenge of this has come in two well-known passages: “…without Me, you can do nothing (John 15:5)” and “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).” Think about it.

Have you been thinking about it? If so, I am very interested in what the Holy Spirit has brought to your heart and mind. If you have not had the time or inclination, perhaps I can help. This matter of “doing” requires more of our thinking.

Thought #1: Jesus and Paul chose their words wisely. I am referring to the words “nothing” and “all”. They are absolute and extreme opposites. Read the rest of this entry »

christmas-giftsBefore we move on with the sayings of Jesus, I would like to share a few of the revelations I have had over the Christmas holy days. Like many of you, I try to take this time for family, to reflect on the past year, and to plan for the next. This year, there has been more quality time with family and less structure around the review and planning process. [Note to self: There may be a correlation here.]

Beth and I have had much to do together (e.g., family Christmas at our house, final prep for sale of her parent’s house). I have had to take time for reflection when I could get it: Bike rides, early morning prayer, lone rides to Columbus, etc. In this limited moments, God has been faithful to share the following.

  1. A word of encouragement: He has done more with inLight Consulting in 2015 than I realized. It has been a blessing to be used by God as His instrument in very different areas and ways. For example, He is using The Map Maker in geographies as diverse as West Central Georgia and Ecuador; and with groups as different as Workplace Leaders and students at a local mission school. He has positioned us for greater impact in 2016; with some very exciting challenges.
  2. Revelation One: The question “But, what if He doesn’t…?” is an indicator/symptom of unbelief. In most situations, this is the thought that lies between what we say we believe, and the supernatural evidence of that belief. We don’t always say it. We don’t always know we are thinking it. But, we should be suspicious of it lurking around in our subconscious mind – in the self-talk that so often goes unnoticed. LORD God, help our unbelief.
  3. Revelation Two: Our hope in Christ does not exclude our suffering with Him. Likewise, our suffering with Him should not affect our hope in Him. In fact, it will increase that hope; for in it, we lose all hope in ourselves. We must let patience accomplish its work in us: Transformation into the image of the glory of Christ.
  4. Areas for Improvement: First, in the process of my own transformation, I have struggled to give consistent attention to the chaos that God has allowed in other people’s lives; chaos that He is using for their transformation. Consequently, I have not been the disciple maker and transformation agent I desire to be.

    Second, the Lord has suggested that I am waiting on Him to make my assignment safer. If this is so, I am dangerously close to seeking to save my life (Luke 17:33). How ridiculous is that? I don’t want to get into the particulars at this time; but I have to tell you that this is a most aggravating thing to discover.

I hope you will stop now and pray for me, that I might speak the mysteries of God’s kingdom boldly and with power. Pray that I would have the wisdom to invest all my talents for kingdom return, that I would continue to strive to enter that kingdom, and that my house would stand in the coming storm.

While you are at it, pray the same for yourself. Surrender to His reign is the critical first step. Know that I will be praying for you.

Humbly yours and forever His,

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