You’re a Dead Man

It’s a serious threat heard in action movies and a harmless one occasionally between friends. If you Google it you might get 215 million results with a few video clips that probably wouldn’t be edifying so don’t even go there.

“You’re a dead man!” Have you heard it? Have you said it?,

You are (or were) a dead man or woman.

Great Smokey Mountains 2012

I was a heart pumping. inhaling, good-not-good-enough prisoner.

Good as dead.

Sentenced for my sin.

But God made a Way in Jesus placing upon Him the debt I could not pay.

He took upon himself the punishment I deserve. For the lies. For the pride. Because I hated you as much as I loved me. I was no innocent child. Behind the freckles and pigtails and cute little wire-rim glasses was a girl born hell bent to have her own way. Make her own way if she must. I was four days in the grave stinkin’ up the whole place dead in my sin.

And He was right there in the middle of all my self-sufficient mess, calling me forth from that grave and dressing me new in Him.

I’m alive now.

I. Am. Alive.

I’ve known Him for so long; sometimes I forget what I was without Him.

Hopeless.

Great Smokey Mountains 2012

Lazarus was a dead man. D.E.A.D. Dead. And Jesus was right there to bring him back to life. Death was no match for Jesus; he called him forth from that grave and dressed him new with the testimony of a resurrection.

And then we read this:

On account of Lazarus many believed in Jesus.

John 12:11

I sit in a hospital room and waiting room and doctor’s office and I hear it. The praises of white coats and scrubs; hands that heal with knives and needles and knowledge. Belief rolls off the lips of the ones made well.

What more then for the Resurrector?

The One who makes dead me and dead you alive again with a Word.

We come forth healed whole and belief rolls off our lips.

They will hear it and see it. On account of you and me many will believe.

sky 2

With simple words many will believe.  With a song they will believe. With a smile they will believe.  With kind words they will believe. With love they will believe.

 

No Shave November

Welcome.

I’m really glad you’re here.

A few weeks ago I decided that November is the perfect time to take a much needed break from social media. “No Media November” works for me more than “No Shave November” don’t you think? (FYI: These posts are set to go to Facebook and Twitter automatically in case you clicked there.)

I’ll use the extra time to count my blessings, refresh this space, and focus on a big writing project.

Stacy with camera

God is at work in me and I want my life and this space to reflect what I’m learning in my walk with Him. I know you have the desire to be successful in all that you do and live a life that pleases God so there will be some minor rearranging and editing here that I hope will be helpful to you.

God’s standard of success is obedience to His Word. Every area of life must conform to His standard if we are to be successful. My desire is be obedient to Him in my marriage, parenting, homemaking, homeschooling, health and fitness, finances, and spiritual life. Like Paul, I don’t always do the things I want to do; and the things I don’t want to do are often the very things I do. (Romans 7:19-20) But I press on.

My focused goal here is three-fold:
• to honestly share my struggles as I seek to live life God’s way
• to shine a light on God’s unwavering faithfulness
• to equip you with the tools you need to stay the course and finish well.

PERFECT TIMING
I plan to have those changes ready by December 1. In the meantime, I hope you’ll visit often. I’ve certainly missed connecting with you on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram so today would be the perfect time to leave a comment! Share a struggle, a testimony of God’s faithfulness, or a renewed commitment to walk with God. I’d like to know I’m not alone here.

Speaking of the perfect time…one last thing before I go.

For years I waited for the perfect time to write a book. In my 20’s and 30’s I was busy with school and family and work. The perfect time never came. Or so I thought. Now in my very late 40’s the perfect time has yet to materialize but I’m going for it. All those words scribbled on napkins and receipts and journal pages have been organized and outlined. Chapters are taking shape and the book proposal is being fleshed out. There’s been laughing, crying, binge eating, and lots of praying. Deadlines are looming. Perfectionism is banging on the door, but I’m not letting her in. My heart and mind are set on Him.

What are you waiting for?

The perfect husband or wife? The perfect season of parenting? The perfect job? The perfect church? The perfect house? The perfect time of life?

The perfect time to obey God is now.

Right where you are.

Love and serve the husband or wife and children you’ve been given. Work hard at your job. Get involved in the church where you’re attending. Practice hospitality in the home where you live.

Obey God right where you are right now.

We can be all that God desires for us to be because it is Him doing the work in us. Paul knew the struggle well as we read in Romans 7. But he also knew the goal and kept his eye on the prize.

Focused on the Goal
I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
So let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet! Now that we’re on the right track, let’s stay on it.
Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.
But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him. (Philippians 3:12-21. MSG)

READY, SET, GO
That’s your cue to start. Begin again right where you are and finish this day, this year, this life walking with God. I’ll be right here with you.

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Walk on Water Faith {Day 31}

Thank you for walking with me on this journey. These last 31 days have reminded me that I am surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses committed to walk by faith on blue sky days and stormy ones. As I look around and see you holding fast to Truth and Promise I am encouraged and strengthened.

Today we end these 31 days together with a celebration.

We were in San Diego recently and spent a day on Coronado Island. As we arrived at the beach we saw the beautiful, old Hotel del Coronado. We noticed a marriage celebration taking place and the beautiful bride and groom on the beach.

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We weren’t invited to the celebration that day but there is an invitation with our name on it.

Do have yours?

The Revelation of Jesus Christ is a message of hope for believers in the 1st century and the 21st century. Blessed are those who are invited to the feast.

And from the throne came a voice saying,

“Praise our God,
    all you his servants,
you who fear him,
    small and great.”

Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters

and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

“Hallelujah!
For the Lord our God
    the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
    and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
    and his Bride has made herself ready;
 it was granted her to clothe herself
    with fine linen, bright and pure”—

for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” Revelation 19:5-9

31 - RevelationDon’t you just love happy endings?

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Walk on Water Faith {Day 30}

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Jude 1:24

30 - Jude

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Walk on Water Faith {Day 29}

If you could crawl inside my mind for just a minute you might see thoughts about:

ACT scores—College admissions—Braces—Marriage proposal—Driver’s Licenses—Empty Nest—Puppy Love—Messy rooms—Hormones—Graduation—Loud people—What’s for supper?—Mounds of laundry—Shopping trips—What’s for supper?—Cell phones—Nail polish on carpet—High School Chemistry/Anatomy/Calculus—What’s for supper?—Wedding dates—Gray hair—Lose 10lbs—What’s for supper?

When I became a mother I wasn’t thinking about any of those things. Maybe I was too sleep deprived to have a complete thought.

As kids grow up, each stage of life has the potential to send parents careening into the fear and worry ditch. The Liar loves to see us there.

Walk on Water Faith believes this:

 I have no greater joy than to hear

that my children are walking in the truth.

3 John 1:4

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jon and molly

We are surrounded by storms and rough seas. Life is hard and The Liar won’t let up.

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion,looking for someone to devour. I Peter 5:8

Praise the Lord for Truth. Cling to Truth.

How’s your walk?

How’s your Walk on Water Faith?

I hope you’re holding fast to these Truths. Seems I’ve needed them more than ever the last few weeks.

Great Smokey Mountains 2012

If your children are walking in truth, thank God for that and allow this verse to help you maintain your perspective as a parent when The Liar tries to get you sidetracked. If your children are not walking in truth, pray this verse for them and trust the One who loves them even more than you, to redeem and transform them.

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Walk on Water Faith {Day 28}

My momma used to say I walk like I’m going to a fire. She was right.

I still walk that way. Except when I’m with him.

eric

He walks slow. S—L—O—W—.

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(He swears he walks fast at work. Must be all the coffee.)

e at sbux

Whatever.

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During the three decades we’ve been together I’ve tried to change how he walks. I’ve started out beside him holding his hand, quickening the pace thinking he would speed up. I’ve started out in front, shouting “Come on” over my shoulder. Sometimes I just leave him and go on my way.

Two things I’ve learned:

  1. He ain’t gonna walk fast. Ain’t. Gonna. Happen. Unless there’s a real fire and then he would run to it and into it and through it if need be ’cause that’s how he is.
  2. Walking slow is good. Dare I say sometimes better than walking fast? I’m learning to like it.
  3. You can identify someone a mile away by how they walk.

You can, can’t you? Way before you can see their face, you know their walk. You can identify a child on a playing field, or a uniformed soldier, or a loved one in a crowd just by their walk.

A walk is a funny thing, too. A bench in the mall provides hours of observation and entertainment.  You’ll see gliding, bouncing, shuffling, striding, galloping, tottering, limping—all kinds of walking.

We have a spiritual walk, too. Our spiritual walk refers to our everyday conduct as believers in Jesus Christ.

John commended his readers’ walk (or at least some of them). He rejoiced to find them walking in truth. They were living in a manner, in their everyday ordinary life, pleasing to God.

It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.
 2 John 1:4

I wonder what John would think of my walk? More importantly, what does God think of my walk? Is he rejoicing as He looks on? Am I shuffling along in unbelief? Am I galloping along in my sinful habits? Am I limping along in unforgiveness?

Walk on Water Faith means walking in truth—living in a way that bears witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His redeeming work. This Gospel will transform all who believe and perfect our walk toward Christ-likeness.

28 - 2 John

So how’s your walk?

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Walk on Water Faith {Day 27}

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

I John 1:5

27 - I John

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Walk on Water Faith {Day 25}

He came four weeks early.

We were expecting him or her in March. My busy life with my careful plans were in control—or so I thought. At 11:30 p.m. on February 26, he arrived quickly, with very little warning.

at hospital with Caleb edit

Bags weren’t  packed. Pantry wasn’t stocked. House wasn’t clean.

I hadn’t even bought diapers yet. Just one of the many things on the list. . .undone.

I wasn’t ready.

But the One who numbers our days and hairs on our head had chosen the time.

He was ready. He had prepared the moment (and me) in ways I couldn’t foresee.

There’s another arrival to prepare for and I want to be ready this time.

 Daily expect the Day of God, eager for its arrival. The galaxies will burn up and the elements melt down that day—but we’ll hardly notice. We’ll be looking the other way, ready for the promised new heavens and the promised new earth, all landscaped with righteousness.

2 Peter 3:12

No need to pack bags or stock pantry; but the house is getting cleaned. This earthly temple we’ve been given is being overhauled from top to bottom by Him. He knows the time and day and His plan will be perfectly executed. Until that day we must make good use of our time with holy, godly living.

Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

Jude 1:21

25 - 2 Peter

Are you ready?

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Walk on Water Faith {Day 24}

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

I Peter 2:24

Sometimes all I can see are the wounds. The pain racks my body and heart and days. I re-live the injuries, the altercations, the beatings—words spoken, trust betrayed, heart broken.

All of my sin.

All of my sin.

All of my sin.

And then Walk on Water Faith calls me out. I see Him there saying, “Come.” The closer I get to Him the clearer I see.

There they are.

His scars.

I remember Truth. 24 - i Peter

Christ’s death was designed not only for an example of patience under sufferings,

Christ was bruised and crucified as a sacrifice for our sins, and by his stripes the diseases of our souls are cured. –Henry

Suffer no more from the sickness of sin.

Yours and another’s.

Celebrate in the health of righteousness.

You have been healed.

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Walk on Water Faith {Day 23}

 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.

James 1:5

What is wisdom?

Charles Stanley defines wisdom clearly and precisely:

Godly wisdom can be defined as the capacity to see things the way the Lord sees them and to respond according to His principles.

Wisdom is more than simply acting based on my experience, or cultural tradition, or knowledge based on a set of rules. While wisdom does include knowledge it is also knowing when and how to apply that knowledge. Wisdom requires a proper perspective and I often lose mine. During a recent trip, I stood on this pier and looked out across the bay for over an hour.

pier

When I came home and looked at the photos I saw the view from a completely different perspective.

BW pier

There were mountains on the other side of that bridge! But from where I stood my focus was on what was right in front me. I didn’t have eyes to see all that was there.

Oftentimes we just need a different perspective.

There are at least One Hundred Bible Verses About Wisdom. The Word of Truth urges us to seek wisdom from the Lord. In the difficult circumstances of life we may lose our way and react and respond unwisely. Walk on Water Faith keeps eyes fixed on the Lord so that we can view all of life from His perspectivewe need to see it encompassed by the boundaries of His character and attributes.

23 - James

Here’s A Prayer for Wisdom:

Dear heavenly Father, you number our hairs and determine our days; you hang the stars and feed the sparrows; you open doors no one can shut and shut doors no one can open. Surely, we can trust you when the time comes for making big decisions, or for that matter, any decisions. I’m in just such a season again, Father, and I know I’m not alone. We will trust you for generous wisdom, straight paths and peaceful hearts, all for your glory.
     How we praise you for being the decision-making-God. It’s not our decisions, but yours that make all the difference. We will plan, but we trust you to order our steps. We will pray, but ask you to fix our prayers en route to heaven. We will seek counsel, but count on you to overrule faulty or incomplete input from our most trusted friends and mentors. We will search the Scriptures, but not looking for proof texts but for you, Father. All we want and need is you.
     Free us from the paralysis of analysis—wanting make the right decision, more than we want to be righteous people; wanting to be known as wise people, more than we want to know you. Free us from the idolatry of assuming there’s only one “perfect” choice in any given situation. Free us from making decisions primary for our comfort and other’s approval, or fear their disapproval. Free us to know that good choices don’t always lead to the easiest outcomes, especially at first. Free us from second and twenty-second guessing our decisions.
     Father, no matter if it’s wisdom about buying or selling, vocation or vacation, this place or that place, this person or that person, we know that in ALL things, your will is our sanctification—our becoming more and more like Jesus. Give us this passion; make it our delight.
     So, Father, make us more and more like Jesus, even as we trust you for the opening and closing of doors that are in front of us. All for your glory—in our eating and drinking; and in our whatever’s, whenever’s and wherever’s. So very Amen we pray, in the name of our reigning King, Jesus. —written by Scotty Smith, Founding Pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN.

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