Let it marinate

Let it marinateLindsay Roberts is an awesome teacher of the Word. She always serves up a thought-provoking message with a side order of pull your head out. I love her. She’s just my style.

Years ago she preached a sermon called, “Go to the throne before you go to the phone.” It’s so simple and yet so profound. We rush off and tell someone our troubles when we’re still all riled up in the heat of the moment and it gets us nowhere… or even makes it worse.

Sometimes you really need to let it marinate for a while before you dive in. Let the Holy Spirit have a chance to soften hearts and bring understanding to an otherwise difficult situation. He is infinitely smarter than us. We may contemplate a thousand scenarios to neutralize the problem, but still He has a better solution. He always does… if we’ll invite Him into the situation and then wait. That’s the hard part.

Marinades take time to do their work, but they can turn the toughest cut of meat into a tender lump of love if we give it time. The Holy Spirit is the most powerful marinade there is.

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27 NIV)

Whatever tough cut has you tied up in knots, I encourage you to let it marinate. See what wonderful things God can do.

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Jesus hacks

Jesus hacksLife hacks seem to be all the rage nowadays… you know, little shortcuts and “aha” tidbits that make life easier. These ingenious things always make me go, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

Someone needs to make a website of Jesus hacks, because sometimes being a believer in this crazy, messed up world is just too dang complicated. And I’m a preacher’s kid… you know we have all the answers… ha ha ha ha ha. (To infinity)

Thankfully, I’ve had some help along the way.

Something Jackie Mize taught me that has really stuck with me over the years is, “God will meet me where my faith level is.” That’s one of the best hacks I’ve ever heard. Faith.

Terry Mize taught me that the Word of God is a book of laws and principles that work when you work them and don’t work when you don’t work them. Word.

Oral Roberts taught me to expect a miracle. Believe.

Richard Roberts taught me the love of a father. And knowing the pure, unchanging love of my earthly father leaves me in awe of the love of my Heavenly Father, which can only be infinitely more. Love.

Faith, Word, Believe, and Love. Those hacks will take you far.

I’ve been very blessed to grow and learn under the wisdom of men and women of God. But before you think I’ve had it so easy, I think you’ll agree that those men and women of God were not always with me in the dark moments. They couldn’t possibly be. We alone have the choice to follow the Spirit of God… that still, small voice on the inside of us. We choose. We are not robots; we are free moral agents with minds, wills, and emotions. And those entities make us or break us.

We all have been given the same stuff. And we have God’s Word… the biggest and most life-changing hack in the universe. It’s up to us to decide if we’re going to let it change our lives or not.

Fruit check

Fruit checkI’ve been thinking a lot about fruit lately. And no, not just because I’m on a diet. I’ve been on a diet since I was 20 so that’s not new. I’m talking about the fruit of my life, the fruit I see in others’ lives. I think for many of us, it’s time for a fruit check.

Do you leave a situation better than you found it? Might be time for a fruit check.

Do you encourage people or dishearten them? Might be time for a fruit check.

Are people glad to see you coming or do they run? Might be time for a fruit check.

If I am known by my fruit, then I want it fresh and lovely. Healthy fruit is a blessing, rotting fruit is a curse. I want to bless people and not hurt them. I want to create a sweet atmosphere wherever I go. I want to attract kindness instead of flies. And I want to spread kindness instead of hurt. There is enough hurt in the world without me adding to it.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

If this is God’s kind of fruit, then that’s what I want to fill my world.

In all your ways?

In all your ways?God got me again. For real. I was struggling with something… imagine that, me struggling. Anyway, my spirit settled on Proverbs 3:6: In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Sounds easy enough, right? But have you ever thought about what it really means to acknowledge Him in all your ways? All my ways? Everything I do? Everything I contemplate? Everything I struggle or succeed with? Everything?

All my ways is a lot. I don’t know how to do that. I acknowledge God a lot, even every day, but I know I’m not doing it in all my ways. Here’s where I have to make an adjustment.

I have to ask the Holy Spirit to remind me to acknowledge God in all my ways. I know I’m not smart enough to remember that on my own. It has to become second nature… something I do in all things and without thinking.

How can He work everything together for my good if He’s not part of everything I do?

In order to walk the path that He’s chosen for me, His perfect path, then He’s got to be part of the equation. I know if I can get that deeply rooted in my heart and my corresponding actions, things will turn out much better. And I will spend much less time struggling.

Sunny days make me feel fine

A re-post to accompany my blog’s fresh, new look. Change is good!

Juli Mize

The warm sun on my shoulders, the feel of new grass beneath my feet… spring is here and boy is it wonderful. Spring always comes after winter, it’s a natural law, and it’s a biblical law. There will always be seed-time and harvest, heat and cold, summer and winter (Genesis 8:22). It’s always been that way and it will stay that way as long as the Earth remains. Isn’t it a comfort that something in our lives won’t change? It sure seems like everything else does.

But change doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It doesn’t have to shake up your world. It doesn’t have to leave you feeling defeated. Change can be felt, realized, embraced, and learned from. Never am I more keenly aware of God’s hand on me than when I look back at how situations have changed and how things work out for the best in…

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Cool your jets

Cool your jetsI am not known for my patience. I am known to get agitated waiting on my Keurig. If someone doesn’t answer my text message immediately, I tend to FREAK OUT. I think I may have a problem.

What’s new? I seem to discover things I need to work on quite often… daily, if I’m really being honest.

Today was no different.

I was praying this morning, actually praying and fretting, and it occurred to me; I cannot do both. Fret is fear. It sounds nicer, but it’s just fear.

It all worked out and I realized my fretting was for naught, but I continued to think about my little conundrum for the rest of the day. I had two forces working against each other, essentially canceling the other out. I’ve heard many sermons and I know it to be truth, that faith and fear are opposites sides of the same force, but sometimes it’s difficult to see when we’re in fear. We say softer words like fret and try to convince ourselves that we’re in faith. And I wanted to be. I tried to be! But I knew in my heart I wasn’t.

Now it’s night-time and I’m still thinking about it.

I don’t have an answer except, “Cool Your Jets.” Yes, that’s what He said to me. That was His response to my fretting. I prayed, I put the Blood of Jesus on the situation, I cast my care on Him, and that’s where it should have ended.

Cool your jets, Juli.

Next time, I’m going to start with that.