Christine Duncan

Precepts & Life Preservers

Tag: precepts (page 1 of 2)

The Year of the Home

So we’re halfway through January and it feels like God is continually talking to my heart about two homes for 2015.

And I was surprised, that the more I read the Word, and prayed, and chatted with His heart, the more I felt convinced that my 2015 is going to be about Home. And I have two, right now.

My physical home.

And the home He has helped me create here at Precepts and Life Preservers.

And I cannot deny that the thought of dedicating my next year to both really excites me.

But also presents a challenge I’m being asked to rise to.

For the last several years, it’s been go, go, go… and God seems to be telling me it’s a new season. A season of being present. A season of being available. A season of working on the personal.

Of making time for Home. And this realisation brings such a breath of expectation, a good expectation.  When was the last time I had time to try new recipes? Or put a new coat of paint on old, faded walls? To just be. Be available to my family. Be available to my neighbors. Be available without stress and harried rushing. To really work on my health, physically and mentally, and spiritually. The Father urges me to remember that I’ve put off looking after myself.

Hard to admit.

But so true. So very true.

And with that will come the second rejuvenation of Home… the blog.

Pouring my passion and heart into being available, with other business ventures totally done and gone, means I’m ready to tune and tweak and improve and write more content for the blog. For interaction between me and you. And you and the Creator. And the Creator and myself. I can’t wait! There are already good things coming. I can’t wait to share them with you. I can’t wait to grow this little community and dedicating real honest to goodness time to this little on-line home we have here.

In fact, tomorrow I have a fantastic post by a new friend about her thoughts on a new year! And the day after we have a special post about the release of a new book by another new friend!

It’s exciting.

You’re going to want to be here.

But can I be honest, just for a second?

All of these lovely things are nothing if they aren’t centered and grounded and awash in the will of the One who breathes all of this into place.

They’ll mean nothing without first dosing it all in His grace and provision.

And when I think about 2015 being about Home, it’s Him I automatically think about. He is Home for me. Where everything begins, and where everything sees completion. Where it all belongs to Him, where I’m only a vessel being poured out. In my home. In my blog. For His glory.

2015 for His glory, amen?

And this verse comes to mind, and I think I will have to print it out somewhere where I can see it…

Corinthians 9:8
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

He is able. Able to make this year abound in every good work. Good works happen when they’re grounded in the very first and perfect work of Christ, on the cross. He is our everything, and then we’re able to find our great equipping for what we’re called to do, in Him.

It’s exciting. The Year of the Home is something I’m ready to get onboard with.

And what about you?

Have you asked Him yet this month what He has for you? What He longs to establish in you? Is it stepping out in faith more? Or maybe doing something you once feared? The options He has for you are endless.

Let’s rise to the challenge together.

Leave me a comment below?
Tell me what He has for you this year.

Lord Meet Me

It’s a new year and I wasn’t going to post today.

I was going to take the day to slouch around the house, catch up on other people’s blogs, hang with the fam.

But I can’t shake the desire to have something in writing to hang my 2015 on. To dedicate the words and thoughts and experiences that will wander in and out of this blog, and as a result, my life, and possibly yours if you’re reading along.

And what I want to build my 2015 on, daily, is a very simple request. It emerges from my soul, makes my heart skip a little, and might just make the biggest difference to each day of 2015.

These three words will change your new year too.

And they’re quite simply;

Lord, meet me.

Lord, meet me in the stillness of a new morning. For it’s in the morning that I need you as foundation, and Friend. When You meet with me, deep unto deep, I find myself focused on you and not the worries and anxiety. You exude unshakable peace, and faithfulness.

Lord, meet me.

Lord, meet me in the middle of my circumstances. You are my Life Preserver, the Good Shepherd, Creator King. Nothing is bigger than You. So meet me there? So that I can see with my heart’s eyes that everything pales in comparison. So that I can remember how small it looks next to Your immediate and faithful Presence. In the middle of the chaos, You restore holy order. You calm the seas with one word. Meet me in the middle, while it rages, and compel me to step out of the boat and keep my eyes on you.

Lord, meet me.

When the fog rolls over me, when anxiety won’t quit that day, when the depression wants to yank away the sure and the good, Lord, meet me there. When the dysthymia blocks my line of sight, and I can no longer see, hear, or feel You, meet me there. Deep down, meet me where, buried under all the chronic D, there is still a current of belief, that flows and carries the truth that You press the lost and wounded to your Shepherd’s heart, and that my definition of healing and time and joy are different from Yours, and not dependent on how I feel. In the mess of brain chemicals shifting, You are never shifted. Meet me there, and teach me to trust You beneath the surface of whatever comes at me. Meet me in the provision You supply, so I am strengthened by it.

Lord, meet Me.

Meet me in the celebrations, in the adventures, in the declarations.

Meet me when the highs can take one’s breath away and remind me of Your mercies new every morning, and how You dance and sing over Your children, that You are a God of Miracles still.

Meet me when I’m tempted to take the credit, nudge me with Your grace, and teach me to give all Glory to You. For we can do nothing apart from You.

Meet me there in that space where there’s no other option but to worship You in all your good faithfulness and provision.

Lord, meet me.

Before I type the words to the world, before I thread together what I think I know about You, meet me. Meet me before I blog, so that I can be a sure representation of Your promises and precepts. So that what I write is not based on what I’ll get back at all, but based on the principle of the loaves and fishes. Meet me so it’s Your Hand on the page. Your Voice on the computer screen. Your realness made real.

So that the hearts that read decide to pick up the call and say from their same heart’s depths;

“Lord meet me.”

The words encompass everything, invite Him into everything, and are not swayed by anything.

This is the foundation solution for 2015. Him, and only Him.

And so I’ll end my first post of the new year right here because, well….

There’s someone I’ve got to meet.

What’s your ocean today?

You know what I mean. That thing that swamps you. That floods and overwhelms. That rages and storms and turns suddenly, deceptively, calm. That lulls you into thinking you can navigate the waters all on your own, then creates swells so high that your day is capsized and you can’t remember the last time you didn’t have that sinking feeling.

What’s your ocean?

Mine isn’t necessarily one thing, much like many of us, but if you’ve been keeping up with us here at P&LP you know that my major tidal waves come from Dysthymia, more commonly known as chronic Depression. It wreaks havoc without much warning, it affects my moods and senses in a rather large and inclusive way, and it rolls out again before you can say, “Bob’s yer Uncle.”

This leaves me treading water and doggy paddling around in my routines, exhausted and afraid to wander too far from life’s shore, let me tell you. What if a tempest of stress scatters my focus? What if the next billows drown my ability to complete tasks and function normally? What if the tides shift and I spiral into a pool of despair?

You know, a good seaman doesn’t spend all his time counting off “what ifs”. He spends his time understanding the waters and the elements. And knowing that even when prepared to the hilt, if the weather decides to become chaotic,  he needs an anchor that will keep him from drifting into the rocks, and he needs a life-preserver.

The ultimate assurance for something out of his control.

Can I tell you what faith is? Faith is going moment to moment in the middle of the crashing waves of exhaustion, doubt, anxiety, and frustration, and STILL deciding that the Life Preserver and the Steadfast Anchor will hold, and is ENOUGH to hold on to. And deciding to never let go. Even when you can no longer see the shore.

To remain sure. That He alone is anchor enough.

In the middle of your cancer battle.

In the middle of the job loss.

In the middle of that smear campaign they’re throwing at you.

In the middle of that marital dispute and custody battle.

In the middle of dire and threatening events.

In the very middle of betrayal.

In the middle of your dream being shut down, or that door being closed, or that miracle never happening.

In the middle of that wrenching, soul battering, heartbreak.

I’d never pat you on the arm and tell you it’s okay. It’s not. Hurts and pains and disappointments are hard stuff. It’s a flippant kind of faith if words are spoken hastily over your ocean tides that wear you down each day.

But the hard-won faith, the one that’s weathered its fair share of storms, now enables me to tell you that something bigger than the biggest ocean will hold you steady if you’ll just cling to Him. I can sound like a broken record about this, but I choose to keep professing His faithfulness that holds in any torrent.

He alone is anchor enough. The ever-present help in our choppy trials. Ever heard of a sailor deciding the anchor took up too much room and required too much effort and set sail with it sitting behind in a boat shed? Nope. If one such sailor existed, he didn’t exist for very long.

I got a new album a week ago, and I need to share this powerful song with you by the musical legend that is Michael W. Smith, called You Won’t Let Go. And the scriptural truth that “nothing can separate us” from the Rock of our Salvation beats its own truth-filled rhythm that drowns out the crashing of any wave. Every time.

Waves are always gonna crash. There will be no perfect calm until eternity. But the truth of even the smallest faith can overpower the sound of the temporary pounding of the most difficult seas.

Really listen to the words? The promise laying there for you?


If you get this album the whole thing is incredible. But this song? crank the volume and let it WASH over your tempest-tossed soul. And it will.

Grab hold of the Anchor. Let Him take the strain. Let Him prove His promises.

Calmer seas will eventually prevail. And until then….

Don’t let go.

That’s A Lot Of Pressure

A month ago a dear reader told me that the blog is the first thing he looks at every day. That it’s the only thing right now that gets him through.

And all I could think was, “Okay, wow. That’s a lot of pressure.”

Until he informed me he flies planes. In Afghanistan. For the U.S.

And then all I could say was, “Okay. Wow. THAT’S a lot of pressure!”

The pressure he faces, getting supplies in and out for the people restarting their lives, laying his life on the line, honouring the call… totally eclipses my puny desire to encourage the odd reader along with a few words and my personal world view.

And yet, because he reads, and because I write, we’re connected.

And if he’s reading today, I salute you sir, and would tell you not to cave today under your myriad of pressures, but to stand in the midst of them and know you’re part of something amazing, something only you are equipped for, and on the days where it doesn’t feel like it, you have Someone bigger than any war-torn country, at your side.

Pressure. The pressure to perform, the pressure to pretend you’re fine, the pressure to bow to public opinion.

The pressure to look like you’re all together. The pressure to pass judgement on those who don’t. To reach for the top, to hustle others out of the way, and to be the person everyone looks at and says, “Wow. She’s invincible. Be more like her!”

Sometimes pressure is placed on us in the form of responsibility, like my new friend overseas, but more often than not the pressures of life keep running at us, settling over us, and we just allow it. And I get it! When you live with chronic depression for 29 years, you learn to try to avoid life to avoid the pressure life brings. Vicious cycle. And it robs you.

Can I tell you today, that any pressure to live as part of the status quo that stresses you out, brings you down and keeps you there, or reinforces the belief that you’ll never rise above or amount to anything, needs to be eradicated. Before you crumble under the weight of it.

You’re ready to crumble right now, some of you. The pressure from work, from family, from peers, from society, from various religions, it’s becoming too heavy, too much to keep living up to, or living for.

You know by now how I’m going to tell you how to relieve the pressure, right? That you have a God who is waiting for you to not just lean on Him to get you through your difficult moments, but who is waiting for you to lean INTO Him. PRESS yourself into His side, rest there, where His presence can envelope, cover, and protect.

He’s shelter enough. You cry out, you invite, and He rushes in, into every broken, scratched, seared, and bruised space. Press INTO Him where you can stand again, instead of bowing to the pressures that keep you down. He’s the Saviour who has a reputation for building up the good, and tearing down the bad. A reputation for victory.

And that’s a lot of pressure. But He can handle it.

The Psalmist David understood pressure. He had royal connections, he had important family connections, people were always wanting to take his life, and he was about to step into a huge divine plan from a huge divine God. No wonder we hear this prayer, this desperate cry in the middle of all the pressure, and we could pretty much pray it ourselves, word for word, right now. It was a harried cry for the shelter of Almighty. David was running hard, ready to press in. To find his Refuge.
To find release.

Psalm 31:1-5

 A psalm of David.

In you, Lord, I have taken refuge;
    let me never be put to shame;
    deliver me in your righteousness.
Turn your ear to me,
    come quickly to my rescue;
    be my rock of refuge,
    a strong fortress to save me.
Since you are my rock and my fortress,
    for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
Keep me free from the trap that is set for me,
    for you are my refuge.
Into your hands I commit my spirit;
    deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.

Commit yourself to Him. Ask for the guidance He always has ready for you. Make your requests. Pour out your heart. It can be messy and needy and desperate. He inclines His ear, He moves in, He rescues.

The only real pressure on you now, is just to believe it. To trust it. To lean into it and into Him. To wait. To be.

The rest is Him. I’ll say it to myself, I’ll say it to who ever listens.

He’s answer enough. He’s shelter enough. There are good and perfect things waiting on the other side of this.

No more pressure.

Only pressing in.

And for each of you who do, and are reading this today, I say this;

“I salute you. And would tell you not to cave today under your myriad of pressures, but to stand in the midst of them but within the shelter of His wings, and know you’re part of something amazing, something only you are equipped for, and on the days where it doesn’t feel like it, you have Someone bigger than any war-torn country, or any situation you are faced with and carrying the weight of, at your side.”

There’s a lot of pressure. But it no longer has to own you. You know where to take it, and who to take it too.

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