Jun 212016
 

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:10

“Come,” said Jesus. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water, and came toward Jesus.  Matthew 14:30

His peace in fear is real.  His protection in fear is love.  And His purposed life in spite of fear is radical.

Reality is I am is a city girl.  Who wants to be a country girl.  And this fact is highlighted when visiting my inlaws beautiful country home.  You see me in the country is like a kid in a candy store.  I am in awe of the beauty around me and all thinking goes out the window, only acting upon this passion.  I am pretty much afraid of all animals, and there are pretty much a bounty of “free roaming” animals in the country, but God’s treed countryside beckons me and all I want to do is get in it.  My love for bugs and snakes are also in the same above category and these creepy crawlies will find you at my in laws house, and yet this fact doesn’t stop me nature heart either.  The common occurrences of prickly berry bushes and poison oak are not familiar phrases to my ears, and it’s obvious my city girl radar is nonexistent as I romp through the green.  I am unable to function real well in the country, but I keep comin back.  Because I heart nature.  And I can’t stop myself from gettin me some.

During our last visit to my in law’s,  I “got me some” as I set out on a nature run.  And I had an experience like none other.  I now know what it feels like NOT to be protected.  And it’s not a good place to be.  Let me share with you the 2 moments which made my life flash before my eyes.  It involves 2 dogs and 2 Sarah’s.

I set out on a run at my in law’s house in the country.  And I tried be smarter than before.  Other times I ran into, literally, 2 large dogs at their neighbor’s house down the road and thankfully the attacker’s were called off, but just in the nick of time.  This time my mother in law suggested I drive past the “dog house” and park down the road a ways and then run.  Genious.  I thanked her for her brain and said, “thank goodness it will be a dog free run this time.”  And I spoke too soon as usual.

About halfway beyond the “No dog zone”, a dog approached.  Actually to be specific a German Shepherd came bounding towards me in a full sprint.  In the split second I guarded myself.  With what I was holding in my hand.  My cell phone.  Which amazingly proved to be not a weapon and not helpful.  Pretty sure my heart hasn’t done that kind of rhythm before.  My fear left me at a standstill.  (Which I believe is actually a good thing based on my memory of 3rd grade dog etiquette facts.)  And then I saw people.  Oh the hope which filled my soul.  The owners voiced the command which may as well been directly from heaven, “No boy!  Come!!”  The dog was protecting his peeps instictively.  But thankfully he was obedient to their commands.  Meaning no ER run for me.

But the craziest thing emerged from this fear filled moment.  I found purpose.  God given purpose.  For me to live out the “good works God had ordained for me before I was born”.  A life giving conversation happened.

His peace in fear is real.  His protection in fear is love.  And His purposed life in spite of fear is radical.

Owner Sarah and I talked for about 20 minutes about the rough.  Of being a mom, wife, and worker.  The school which wouldn’t quit.  The mothering of 3 girls (not a coincidence I found myself in that same 3 girl zone.).  The husband working graveyard.  But by the grace of God I got to speak some Father’s love into Sarah this day.  In her busyness and lack of energy her inability to get back to church was real.  I felt a Spirit’s nudge to ask her about the church my in law’s go to.  Come to find out she went there with her girls years ago.  I told her I would be praying for her to go back and I believed God’s love for her and her family meant he wanted to do 3 things for her in her stepping out in this act of faith-1-extend her time to get all her school work done even though they spent time going to church 2-energize her and fill her up instead of drain her by taking all kids without their dad on her own.  3-Find a support network of family to love on her during this challenging season.  It was raw, real, and purposed.

You may feel too sorry for me if I shared I got chased down by another dog only moments later.  So I won’t tell you about that.  And you may get too excited about the “non coincidence purposes of God” if I told you I had another life giving conversation with another Sarah owner of this dog as well.  So I won’t tell you about that.  But I will tell you this.  2 dogs taught me fear happens in our day to day, but it is what we do with it that matters.  2 Sarahs taught me if we fix our eyes on Jesus through the fear (just like Peter could walk on water by fixing His eyes on Jesus) we will have miracle moments.  I wonder what fear may be on your heart today.  What “dog” is chasing you down and you think you can’t escape?  Do one thing.  Fix your eyes on Jesus.  Let Him protect you from the “dog fear” in His amazing love (I can guarantee He has more than a cell phone defense at His arsanal.)  And then do one more thing.  Watch for an opportunity.  To live out your Spirit given gifts of leadership, serving others, encouraging others, giving to others, showing mercy or empathy to others.

Key word here is “Others”.  My “others” were “Sarah’s”.  Your “others” may be your son or daughter or husband or co worker or child care giver.  Jesus has your “Sarah’s” for you to minister to today.  So fix your eyes on Jesus today instead of the waves of fear or “fear dogs” which are chasing you.   Do this, so you can “walk on water”, doing “non coincidance” things today and ultimately fulfill your purpose.  Trust me.  You WILL find true life and your identity as you act upon these “good works” He already thought about before you were born!

His peace in fear is real.  His protection in fear is love.  And His purposed life in spite of fear is radical.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jul 302014
 

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12:2

My oldest daughter has had a “go to” book since she was old enough to sit up and flip pages.  This book is currently, and has for years sat on her nightstand.  We call the book, “The Dog Book”.  (Probably fairly self explanatory.)  You have a dog temperament question, you want to know what breed just walked past you, my daughter most likely will be there for you.

This next statement may sound strange to you so gear up.   I feel like I am a dog-A Bloodhound.  To be exact.  When I run.

As I train for this marathon, I feel compelled to do it without the help of an I-Pod or audio books.  Which makes some serious time left to my own thoughts, along with spending time with God.  In this journey there is one truth I have found:  Because my senses are not tuned in to music, a book, or talking to someone, they are perked up elsewhere; Making me and the Bloodhound more alike than I would like to admit.

For all of you dog lover’s and my daughter Lucy, this may be a recap for you, but for the rest of us, here is a little Bloodhound synopsis from “The Dog Breed Information Center”:

“The Bloodhound thrives on the hunt rather than the kill. It takes great pleasure in tracking and has been used to hunt animals, criminals, runaway slaves and lost children. Today this slow mannered, rich sounding breed is both tracker and companion. Although it has a pleasant temperament, it is not easy to obedience train, most likely largely due to the fact that it gets distracted from human command, more interested in all of the exciting strong smells around him.”

The ways the Bloodhound and I are alike:

  • Heightened senses of smell, sight, and sound.
  • Easily distracted by surroundings.
  • Doesn’t follow human commands.
  • Wired to find lost people.

It is crazy to notice what I am tuning into on my “free of noise” runs instead of tuning out like I normally am in the mode of doing in my day to day routine.

Eyes-I am taken back by a field of brilliant magenta flowers on my left.  A prestine, manicured lawn on my right.  A pop can where it shouldn’t be.

Ears-  The city sounds of cars whizzing by.  The “out of the city” sounds of bird songs.  The “Good job” from another runner not “tuned in”.

Nose-The city smells equalling the gaustly combination of car exhaust, Burger King, garbage and chinese food, with a hint of freshly made donuts.  The “out of the city” smells of lilacs, cow manure, and hay.

Just as the Bloodhound has difficulty following human commands and is honed in to finding the lost, so should we, as Daughter’s of The King, display these personality traits.  We follow Jesus’ commands, and not people’s commands.  Following Jesus means following Jesus.  And not other’s.  Following Jesus means doing life different.  From the typical American woman, mother, wife, employee.  From the way we respond to difficulty and trials.  From the way we interact with others.  From the way we show unconditional love.  Forgiveness.  And Compassion.

When we become too engrossed in distractions around us and forget to use our “Bloodhound” makeup, we can become tuned out to the Kingdom mindset and life.  When we have some time to be without-The noise of music, tv shows, technology, phones, Apps, Ipods/pads, facebook, Pinterest, email, online shopping/games-we remember our true selves within.  Our true identity, our true mission, our true makeup in Christ.  And our “Bloodhound”/Kingdom/Heaven focused heightened senses come out strong.  And we find ourselves in a strange place of rest.  Refreshment.  And Rejoicing.

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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