Abiding…Remaining

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As I was reading John chapter 15 this morning, I saw a vision of a massive vineyard. The plants within the vineyard were healthy and mature and laden with massive amounts of fruit.  So much fruit that the branches could not bear it all.  As a result, fruit had begun to drop on the ground.  It was a beautiful sight and as I was marveling at its abundance, I saw Jesus begin to walk up and down the rows of the vineyard.  He was smiling from ear to ear.  In His hand was a large basket, and He was bending down and picking up all the fruit from the ground.  His joy was undeniable and His excitement over His vineyard was evident.  When His basket was full, He walked out of the vineyard, and began to distribute to all the people that were outside.  As the people received the gift of fruit, transformations began to occur.  When people touched the fruit, they were filled with joy, peace and healing.  Instantly, souls were delivered from darkness and pain.

Jesus was laughing and proclaiming, “Yes my loved ones, abide in My love for you. Love one another, as I have loved you so deeply.”  He joined in the dancing and soon a huge celebration began.  Children and adults of all sizes and colors poured into the streets.

Instantly, there was a banner overhead with these words:

“I am the vine, and you are the branches. The one who abides and remains in Me will bear much fruit!”

My friends, as we stay connected to our true source of life, Jesus, we will produce fruit for the entire world. We are called to be a blessing!  My prayer every morning has been:  “Father, I want to love you with all my heart, mind and strength today.  I want to love others and serve others today.  Show me what to do today so that is accomplished.”

It is an incredible adventure to serve the King of the Universe. Each day is new and fresh.  And for those of us who are following Jesus, there are no bad days, only days of MORE grace!

As we grow and mature into beautiful plantings of the Lord, may we be branches that drip with lots and lots of sustaining fruit. This world is starving for a substance that produces satisfaction deep within and yet, many do not know where to find it.  I encourage you to take your fruit out into the streets, as Jesus did, and bless as many people who will receive.  You never know whose life will be impacted and changed forever!

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you and that your joy may be full.”

The greatest antidote to depression, worry and anxiety is the abundant joy of living inside of Christ’s love. May you encounter His peace, love and mercy fresh and new today.  And may you go and serve others so they can know the Father’s heart and nature.

Taste and see that the LORD is good!

Love, Lisa

John 15:1-26

 

 

 

Tell Your Story

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The cries of our soul often reveal deep and hidden mysteries. They expose the sorrows of our own life – things that have happened to us or things we have engaged in either unintentionally or voluntarily.   Deeper still, they reveal how our heart is connecting with God.

There have been times when I find myself frustrated that I still falter and stumble at some of my deep emotions.   It is in those times that I cry out to God in desperation-unashamed. As I allow God to come alongside me, His kindness and mercy begins to shine forth.  His word becomes a soothing haven for my soul and I see myself inside of Him and all of His goodness.

“As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for you, O God”  Psalm 42:1

These concepts began to solidify within me by my fascination in meditating on the Psalms.  I realized David cried out to his God a lot like me.  In fact, some of his prayers are mine!  Through the Psalms, God shows us how to engage with Him in our struggles.  God created our emotions and He wants us to acknowledge and experience them (although not to always allow them to direct our actions or beliefs).  In doing this, we learn what true intimacy is supposed to look like as we partake of God and share our deepest thoughts and emotions with Him.  It is then we can allow Him to untangle everything that is going on within us.

“Search me, O God and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties”  Psalm 139:23

I believe that true healing and restoration occurs when we courageously step into our stories of pain and harm and are empowered to share it with others.  I believe everyone has a story to tell, even our heavenly Father had a story – one He has shared with the whole world.   A story filled with pain, brokenness, and evil. And yet out of that story there is hope, strength and restoration for all!

As we begin to share our pain and emotions with others, something very organic and powerful happens.  We find comfort in knowing that we are not the only one that has been shattered by the evils of this world.   And we begin to begin to find shalom in every dimension of our lives- peace, harmony, wholeness, completeness, prosperity, welfare and tranquility.

“Let my soul live and it shall praise You; may Your judgments help me”  Psalm 119:175

I have learned that in telling “my story”, yes, my emotions rise to the surface, but this needs to happen in order for a loving Father to bring healing. This requires the courage to break through my fears of someone else knowing my weaknesses and failures.  When I am brave enough to share my story with others, it creates a community that is authentic and real.  As I find others who are willing to share their story and hear mine, we actually start building the pure house of God.  A free and open place of refuge and safety where we can be fully known and fully loved.

What is the cost involved to let Jesus into your soul?  Only you can answer that question.  But I can tell you that when you venture out and embrace the fullness of who you are -it will empower you to be an agent of transformation in the lives of others.

Precious one, allow the Holy Spirit to talk with you regarding your emotions.  He will speak and show you things about yourself you did not know.  I must warn you however, this is for the brave at heart.  Some things you may have tried burying in the recesses of the dark because they feel too painful, but God wants all things to come to His marvelous light.

“…..The Lord will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reaveal the counsels of the heart”  I Corinthians 4:5

My own healing journey has moved me from a place of shame and failure to a path of goodness, honor and delight.  I write these truths to encourage and inspire others to courageously reach out and begin to tell their story.

You can start with telling your story to your heavenly Father who loves you like no other.  But press on and share it with trusted others  who are able to name both your deep woundedness AND your deep goodness.   As a result, you will grow a deeper capacity to know and live out your calling and engage in life-giving relationships with God and others.

“Because he has set his love on Me, I will deliver him; I will establish him on high beause he has KNOWN my name. 

You shall call upon Me and I will answer you.” 

Psalm 91:14-15