Today’s Bread ~ The Last Day of a Very Bad Month

13 Nov

IMG_2092It was Halloween – the last day of the month, and frankly, I was happy to see it go.

October was one for the record books. Combine a retreat, a book release, two to three speaking engagements a week, an out-of-town wedding, and a three-day conference, and you have one tired chick. Add a week of radio fundraising (which means I’m up at 3am and going to bed at 10:30pm each night) and the nerves start to fray.

Oh, and I was also co-teaching a Bible study. That’s not my typical pace, by the way, but my husband and I decided we could do it for a month.

Then came the family emergency. Then the lymphoma scare with one child and the school issues with the other.

Yes, I was happy to say goodbye to October.

On the morning of the 31st, I poured my coffee and grabbed my breakfast as I always do and started to think about my 45 minute commute to work. I am working on memorizing the book of Ephesians, and that morning I would be practicing some of my favorite verses in all of Scripture.

Ephesians 3:16-19 – “I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

It occurred to me, as I started my car and backed out of my driveway, that God knew I would be working on those verses that day – the very last day of a very bad month.

As I said goodbye to one season and ushered in a new one, God knew that I would be meditating on His love.

November is the season of Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas. As I made my way from Flower Mound to Arlington, I was empty – completely and utterly depleted. And the cry of God’s heart was this: (more…)

Melissa’s Pen ~ From Darkness to Light

11 Nov

meThen Jesus spoke to them again: ‘I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness
but will have the light of life’” (John 8:12).

“I have called you out of the darkness and into the Light.”

These words danced in my spirit as I listened to my new friend Lisa Collins as she spoke at the God Crazy Freedom Conference. She didn’t speak the words, but they were on my heart, nonetheless. As her story played out in my mind, I began writing in my journal about darkness and light. I explored what my “darkness” really looked like and what kinds of things I might allow to be exposed if I let God pour His Light on those places.

Since I’m a wordy-nerdy-girl, I had to re-examine a couple of the verbs and pronouns I used in the last sentence: I allow; I let. If God was swirling these words through my head, I knew He was willing. Was I willing to let His Light in?

“What does my darkness look like?” I wondered, as the conference ended for the evening.

I closed my journal, said my good-nights, and set my GPS for home.

The route my navigation system suggested was one I’d never taken, but it was the fastest, so I followed its automated directions.

“Turn left onto Boat Club Road, then stay on Boat Club Road for 4 miles.”

The road was dark, but street lights helped me maneuver easily enough at first. I saw the lights of a bar and a restaurant and wished I could see the lake that showed up on my GPS to the left. When I turned right at the 4-mile mark, the road went dark. There were no longer any street lights. No neighborhoods. No nothing. I got to the top of a hill and slowed down to 10 mph because I was afraid of what was on the other side. Except for the dim glow of my headlights, I felt utterly lost in the darkness. (more…)

Today’s Bread ~ Birth Announcement

5 Nov

Isaiah 30:8 – Go now, write it on a tablet for them, inscribe it on a scroll, that for the days to come it may be an everlasting witness.

sonoIf you are a parent, you remember well the birth of your child. Especially if you are the mother.

No disrespect, Dads. We salute your valiant efforts to feed us ice-chips as you nervously glance back and forth between the monitor and our swollen, sometimes moving, bellies. As you watched the contraction spike, you clenched your fists and set your jaw, bracing yourself for the imminent verbal lashing.

Or so I’ve heard.

But if you are the mom, the labor and delivery process started well before the water broke. It began the moment you saw the plus sign on the pregnancy test, or the signature on the adoption papers.

From that moment forward you began your new life as mom, planning, preparing, and caring for the little flicker on the sonogram – the most precious flicker you’d ever seen in your life.

And thus began the labor. You labored to take care of yourself, monitoring your caffeine and, if you had gestational diabetes like myself, your sugar intake.  Your body labored to ready itself for baby, widening your hips, expanding your uterus, and increasing your blood supply. (more…)

Today’s Bread ~ NOT Rejected, Selected!

19 Sep

Nothing 720x336_rcarrell02wounds the heart like rejection.

Rejection attacks us at some of our most basic needs: the need for love, validation, and acceptance. All divinely designed needs, perfectly met in our Divine Designer, and yet we are fragile and frail. We don’t want to need acceptance, but we do. We don’t want to need validation, but we do. And when we give our best and our best is not enough, we feel rejected.

The problem with rejection is that, when left untreated, it leads to dejection. And when we live in dejection, we forget our selection.

Friend, no one knows rejection like Jesus.

Luke 4:24-30 – “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27 And there were many in Israel with leprosy[a] in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”

All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way. ~NIV

Jesus wants you to bring your rejection to Him. Why? Because you were not and are not rejected. The LORD of Lords and King of kings has chosen you for Kingdom things. He is the One who hardens and softens hearts. Rejection, when viewed through the lens of eternity, is your friend. It guides you and protects you, keeping you from areas the Lord would not have you go. The Lord has selected you for His glorious purposes, He will purpose good from the “rejection” you have faced, and He will purpose it when necessary.

Why?

Because you are His. He loves you. And His plan for you is so much better than your plan for you. So remember this today – you are not rejected, so stop living dejected, and start living selected!

Ephesians 1:4-6 – For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—  to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

List to Rebecca speak on rejection here:   Part 1    Part 2

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