Christine Duncan

Precepts & Life Preservers

Tag: journey with God

God In The New Journey Series: Being Brave Enough to Step Out

God In The New Journey Series, all month long with special guests!
It’s hard to believe but March has arrived and with it chances to be brave and start new journeys.

Or maybe you get to look back at a journey you’re in the middle of.

Or a journey you can hardly believe you’ve completed.

Are you sensing a theme?

Not that long ago, God was busy orchestrating something completely out of my comfort zone. And I had ample opportunity to chose to turn and run… or to be brave, take a step into the unknown, and invite Him into the middle of it.

Oh the things He revealed, and started, and confirmed, and corrected!

So all that thinking back on it and how it might be shaping even my ‘now’ inspired me to do a whole month-long series on that very theme here on the blog.

And to invite some of my words-friends along to share their personal journey-stories too.

All month! Can you even?

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This Anchor, This Life Preserver

I’m looking back over the last year, in anticipation for the coming one, I guess. I’m preparing the blog for its 1st anniversary and it seems slightly surreal to me.

A whole year? Can it be possible that by next Monday, there begins another new chapter of blogging about life and chronic depression and faith?

With an emphasis on faith.

An emphasis grown over time as a need in myself, as well as in others became more and more apparent. That faith would emerge as the one thing everything else written, and felt, and thought, would hinge on.

You know, that wasn’t always the intent at first. It’s so funny to think it now. This including my faith-journey bundled into my Dysthymia journey was first intentioned as a way to relate to others in the church who still had a hard time accepting depression as a disorder and not a result of a lack of faith. Mainly I thought I’d use each post to promote a healthier view of depression and to educate.

But it became clear very quickly that God wanted faith, indeed that He desired He himself, to be the pivotal point on which all other words and paragraphs, and days and weeks, would converge, each and every time. No matter how practical, or how informative, or how emotional, or revealing, or spiritual a post would be, He would be what anchored it all.

The Rock.

The Anchor.

The Life Preserver.

Everything.

He Is the Anchor!

I could never deny He is what anchors everything throughout the years, and each journey I’ve been on {especially this one} but from my first real foray into the blogosphere, as I asked Him for wisdom and direction concerning this virtual living room I would prepare each day, He began to make it abundantly clear that as He had done in my personal life, He would shape and mould this space, and do far more with it than I had ever expected.

It’s been the most nerve-wracking and the most beautiful unfolding.

As it always will be when the uncompleted imperfect us partner with the Everlasting Perfection that is God.

And the more I think about it, the more I can say without any doubt that this blog is very much His. My words belonging to Him, my agenda belonging to Him, my journey completely belonging to the Almighty Father.

As my friend Jeannie would tell you, this is all a part of being beckoned by the King.

Beckoned By the King by Jeannie Pallet

 

Sometimes to remember this takes my breath away.

And I pray I continue to remember it, and steer clear of trying to wrestle the journey away from His grasp. It’s always much safer to reside in the palm of His hand, isn’t it?

Sometimes it hasn’t been pretty or a walk in the park, but He’s teaching me one day at a time to make this a place of offering.

Where I offer Him control of what goes on the page, and where He offers up so much goodness and faithfulness in response to the offering.

And then the offering becomes something more.

It becomes the declaration of Him.

I think one of the best declarations of God’s power for our comings and goings is found in Psalm 19:7-11

I’m determined to memorize this one, its promises are solid and in your face and standing tall and saying it aloud is an inviting of Him into every facet of your journey and the belief that He’s got this.

“And Lord, You can have all this. Learning to hold nothing back today, I can boldly say;

The law of the Lord is perfect,
converting the soul;
The testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;
The statutes of the Lord are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
The fear of the Lord is cleansing,
enduring forever;
The judgements of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold,
Yea, more desired than much fine gold;
Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them Your servant is warned,
And in keeping them there is great reward.”

Lord, as a new chapter opens, I want to be hungry for Your precepts, Your wisdom, Your Presence, Your statutes, and whatever You judge as necessary for this journey. No looking to the left and to the right.

Oh Heart, cling hard to the Life Preserver.

Something so sweet it keeps me on the only path You’ve planned for this entire quest into a more expansive, less self-filled, faith.

And hey, friends?

Will you think about coming with me?


1st Blogiversary Giveaway!

Hey!

Just Christine here. So did you happen to notice that very hip, very beautiful necklace with the Anchor pendant and Azure Blue Bead in the post earlier?

It was created by my beautifully talented and creative friend, Aimee Eisaman, and the minute I saw it I knew I would want one of my readers to be able to own this lovely reminder that our Anchor of Hope is never far away.

SO I’M ADDING IT TO OUR GIVEAWAY!

Yes. Yes I am.

Add to that the book “Beckoned by the King” that I was honored to feature yesterday on the blog by my generous friend and writer Jeannie Pallet and that means I have one gift left to reveal.

Whoo hoo!

But I’m leaving that till tomorrow. Because I know it’s driving you all crazy. But gosh, the last gift is wonderful too, so I hope you tune in tomorrow and be prepared for the contest TO GO LIVE!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Today’s post is happily hooking up to some great linkups! Come on over and check out all the inspiring things happening on the #RaRaLinkup with Kelly Balarie, and later today with Jennifer Dukes Lee and #TellHisStory!

Take Nothing For The Journey

Yesterday I wrote about what happens after we say yes to God desiring to use our current situations. Saying yes to the first step of His journey for us in whatever we’re going through. And what the next step is once the journey is agreed to in our hearts.

And it’s all well and good to say that the next step we take is the very next yes of obedience, that it’s the choice to do more trusting, more following, more obeying.

But what is it going to look like?

I spent the whole day afterward mulling this over in my spirit.

My chewed up fingernails can attest to this.

We’ve prayed for God to use our broken stories, to restore us, to reach others with it. We’ve said yes to the new plan. There’s going to be a moving forward and an end to the looking back.

But what does this look like for us, about to follow Him into the moving forward part? Lord, I want to get this right. You’re calling us and we want the new direction, the new purpose, to reflect You.

This journey, this turning of the desperate into the fresh purpose, is important. It might be huge. It already feels huge!

I’m laying awake at night. All day, through the posting, the emailing, the dinner-making, the laundry-folding, it’s avoided me. And here it is 1:00 am. Thoughts still rolling in.

Until suddenly I say out loud into the dark, which will never wake the husband anyway, “If you were told you were going on a journey, and it has no definite time frame, no locations revealed, and all activities in between were only known by the One leading the trip, what would you take with you?”

Then I snort and chuckle in the dark. Because it’s impossible.

I think of how hard it is to pack even when one knows the destination and the purpose and the time allotted! I’m your average packer-upper, I tend to worry about how heavy it’ll be to lug around for days at a time, so I never go overboard. But I have friends who are so skilled at packing for every possible event that they can somehow get their entire wardrobe and a whole flock of pink flamingos in one suitcase. Sure they get weird looks from TSA but they’re prepared for anything.

And yet God specializes in the impossible.

Yes. Yes, He does.

I think about my Bible references to the rhythm of Darth Vader snoring beside me.

I think about Jesus.

Calling.

Calling disciples to Himself. Like He calls every disciple to Himself.

Don’t you know it, I have to get up and turn a single light on, burrow into the couch, sling open my Bible and check. Because if I’m remembering correctly, the answer to what to take on the new journey is a little unorthodox.

And not really for the faint of heart.

I backtrack a little so I have the right picture. I’m in the early chapters of Luke, the ‘details’ writer if there ever was one. Jesus connects with 12 men. They start to be taught with words and with actions. Lessons are plied, miracles beheld, attitudes tweaked. And then in chapter 9 Jesus tells them they’re going to go forth.

On a new journey. A journey to expand the kingdom. Great! A journey to see God work in mighty ways. Awesome! Together they’ll go and spread the gospel on one amazing road trip with Christ in the lead. This is huge!

Oh, and by the way, says Jesus in verse 3, “Taking nothing with you for the whole journey.”

If we’re going to gasp in shock, this is a good place to do that.

And I do. I inhale a little too deeply there in my late-night cocoon.

Cause this is hard. This makes our just secured ‘yes’ look like child’s play, and goodness, the yes was hard enough.

Wow, Lord, you went straight from good buddy to Drill Sargent. You went from showing them everything they could have through You, to telling them they get nothing but the clothes on their backs for the remainder of the story. If I didn’t know You any better, I’d say this is harsh. Maybe extreme.

He tells them zero baggage, food, money, possessions, iPods, or pictures of mom. No reservations, no calling ahead, no texting good friends about when they might roll into their hood.

A toothbrush didn’t even make the cut.

And the twelve went. They went!

Lord, this is kinda crazy. It sounds like you want me to journey with You, and let You use my situation, while I’m totally unprepared.

But sitting with my Bible in my lap, I think about the mission He wanted to begin in them. In us. When a ‘yes’ is said anywhere in scripture.

And what I hear God saying, upon closer inspection is this;

“I’ll equip you.”

It’s not that He wants us to have nothing. It’s that He wants us to look to Him for everything. To make Him our everything. For the whole journey, He’s going to supply, and only Him, so that we know we’re still on His holy mission, and His alone.

He wants the whole thing to be a constant reflection of Him.

“No need to bring anything, dear one. I’ll equip you.
I’m everything you need
.”

Don’t believe it? Look back.

At a lone boat that would survive with only two of every creature.

At the Israelites taking only what they could carry for a trip out-of-town that would take them over 40 years to complete.

At an entourage bringing down entire city walls with only trumpets and willing shouting marchers.

At a young boy left in a pit, gaining royal favor and regaining family.

At a young shepherd boy with only a stone and slingshot standing in the middle of armies of armour.

Better yet, at a teenage girl giving birth to a tiny miracle meant to save the whole world, not encased in heaven but in real flesh,  a manger for a home.

God is very much about the equipping.

About the supplying.

About the providing.

So that for every step we take, we know it’s Him, and Him alone.

So we’re not distracted. So we’re not weighed down. So we’re dedicated to His call. So we can know what it is to be cared for by a very personal God. So we fully taste very moment that is granted us. And not take for granted.

So we don’t lose sight of Him for all the flamingos in our way.

I heave a sigh back in my bed.

The King of Kings desires to be my Everything on this journey of yes.

When we think of it that way, how incredible is that?

That’s what this looks like. My eager trading of it all for Him. And God being whatever I need, every hour I need. That’s what the good journey will look like. So that He can accomplish His will.

Are you ready?

He’s calling.

And if He’s calling, He always equips.

So take nothing for the journey.

P.S. Today’s post is  glad to be a part of the #RaRaLinkup over at Kelly Balarie’s inspiring site. Join us for all the Godly insights and new journeys being made over at today’s post.

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