Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Waste Transfer

                                Photo Credit: Ali Hashisho 

This weekend I went through the overstuffed garage and got rid of a bunch of stuff that I had been hanging onto for years. Most of it was trash - broken things that I had aspirations of fixing one day. In Colorado, it would have been so expensive to get rid of that stuff. We had to pay by the pound for all of the trash we wanted to dump at the waste transfer station. But here in Hawaii, I just bring it all to the transfer station and throw it away.

No questions asked.  

No money needed. 

I suddenly thought of what it means to be a Christian. I don't have to pay anything to get rid of my trash - the broken mistakes and sins of my past. I just bring it to Him, and throw it away. Can you imagine if we had to pay to get rid of our trash from the past? Lord knows I would either be broke or buried in my mistakes.  But I'm a Christian.  This means He has already paid the price for me by sending His only Son to die on the cross. The only thing I have to do is decide- make the choice - to let it all go. I have to choose to give Him the sins and mistakes of my past.  

Discarding old, broken or useless stuff is so essential to moving forward. For me this is the most daunting part of the task- choosing what to let go of, and then, actually making the commitment to let it go. Just like the material things in my garage, I found that sorting through my past was an overwhelmingly, difficult task. Rather then commit to tackling it, I chose for so many years to ignore it- tuck it all away neatly in a garage to deal with another time when I was emotionally and spiritually stronger. But my garage is really full. There's just no more room.

I decided to take an inventory of all the broken things from my past. I took 5 minutes to write down as many as I could think of. I limited myself to 5 minutes because I knew I could easily spend an hour writing this list. Some were significant events, some were seemingly insignificant things that I was still holding on to.  I made a decision to choose two items from my list to lay at the feet of Jesus. I chose to discard these two items to make room in my heart for better things. If you're an emotional hoarder like I am, you can imagine what a chore this was for me.

But I did it -
I wrote it all down.
Then I prayed.
Then I opened my bible and read.
Then I threw my two things away.

I physically crumpled my two thing up and threw them in the trash. Then and there,  I felt lighter. 
 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead
(Philippians 3:12-13 NLT)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Five Minute Friday (on a Monday) - Hold

Joining the Five Minute Friday folks with Kate Motaung for 5 minutes of beautiful, unedited, raw writing. Take some time and come join us. We need your story. You need your story. 
He needs your story. 

Today's Friday's word is was...


What do you hold on to?  Sometimes I find myself holding on to my past.  The ripple effect is that the chains of my past hold me back from what is and what will be.  It’s a conscious choice that I make.  I close my eyes and envision myself placing the key inside the lock on the shackles around my ankles.  I can visualize myself turning the key and watching the shackles fall off my feet as I suddenly rise up in the air filled with the Holy righteousness that He has bestowed upon me.  I have to choose though.  It’s my choice – the free will that the Lord has given to me.  I spend so much time and energy holding onto the past.  I allow those chains to hold me back.  They hold me back from the divine plan that I know He has for me.  God gives us many things to hold on to in life.  However, often times, He also gives us a choice in how long to hold them.  So I sit there, for endless hours sometimes, with the chains on my ankles, crying out for help.  Lord, help me break free from the chains.  Help me break free from my past.  Then, I suddenly look in the palm of my hand and see the key.  He placed it there the day He died on the cross for me.  He place it there to give me my salvation.  I must make a conscious choice to use that key.  I can choose to hold on to my past or I can choose to hold on to Jesus.  

But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good
1 Thessalonians 5:21 (NASB)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Ready

Joining the Five Minute Friday folks with Kate Motaung for 5 minutes of beautiful, unedited, raw writing. Take some time and come join us. We need your story. You need your story. 
He needs your story. 

Today's word is...


     She pulled me aside and said “You are ready.”  I knew what she was talking about and had silently been dreading this day.  She wanted me to do what she had done less than a year ago – to facilitate a group of women from our church in their walk with Christ.  She wanted me to step out of the boat with my eyes focused on Him.  “I’m not ready,” I said to myself. 

     Our pastor had called for us to create 100 more small groups (called Connect Groups) like the one I was part of, to add to the already 190+ groups.  He explained how important it was to develop relationships with others who had a love of Christ – to encourage each other in our journey.  He explained that people were less likely to fall away if they had a connection with someone – or a group of people – who held them accountable and supported them.  He was absolutely right.  I had experienced this first-hand in my own life. 

     “It’s time for you to come out of your comfort zone and start doing what He is calling you to do,” she said.  I hated her words, but deep down I knew this is exactly why I love her so much – she encourages me, she challenges me, she prays for me, and she loves me.  I really didn’t want to accept her words.  I wasn’t ready.  Even though all of the whispers from Him said I was ready, my flesh told me I wasn’t.  So I pulled away – I retracted into my shell. 

      What if I fail?  What if they hate me?  What if they come once and then never come back?  I wasn’t ready for the possible failure, the impending disappointment, and the potential rejection.  I just wasn’t ready.  For almost 6 weeks I hid myself from my sisters in Christ.  I kept silent.  I mulled over it all, spending hundreds of minutes listening to my soul and my mind argue with each other.

      I am ready.  With Him by my side, I am ready.  I just need to focus on Him.  Anything He leads me to I can face.  I can do all things through Christ.  If I fail in the process, He will use my failure as a stepping stone to greater things.  Even though my flesh doesn’t feel ready, He says I am.  So I will be obedient.  I will listen to the Holy Spirit.  I will step out of the boat.  I will focus on Him.  I will come out of my comfort zone in His name and do what He calls me to do.  

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:13 (NLT)