Hold Hope

Are you having a hard time hoping?

Uncertainty can make it tough to see him and disappointment can squash the desire to see him.

Brokenness didn’t originate with God. But God doesn’t disregard a single broken heart. He sees the depressed, disillusioned, disappointed and desperate ones and his compassion carries healing for each.

Hope showed up for the servant boy as he stood frozen by fear beside Elisha. Elisha prayed and instantly he could see monstrous angelic protection all around him.

Hope came in unexpected ways to Naaman who wanted to earn his own healing through money and power. Instead, Elisha gave him outlandish rinsing instructions, and Naaman’s pride almost prevented him from receiving his healing. But he took humble steps of faith and received healing in full.

Hope was there at Bethesda with the man who had been sick for thirty eight years. Jesus asked him, “Do you want to be made well?”

Hope stood beside the woman caught in sin as she trembled on the ground, aware of the rock tossers ready to aim. Jesus disarmed the crowd, the rocks dropped, and before leaving, he reminded her to live free from the power of sin.

Can you hear him? Open your eyes, He says. It’s okay to let yourself believe Me. Will you open your eyes to see me? Do you want to be made well? Will you behold me so you can Hold Hope? 

 

 

 

Multiply

Yesterday, my friend Stephanie Morales Beaulieu spoke at an event called: You Lead. The most poignant moment of her presentation happened as she told about her dad battling ALS during his final months on earth. Stephanie said as her family gathered things to display at his funeral, only a handful of items could be found – nothing of much earthly value. His basketball jersey, and a book about cars.. the items appeared small and some would even say, insignificant.

Stephanie went on to speak about Jesus feeding the 5000 and she noted that all the people had as much as the WANTED, implying they had even more than they needed to get by. Jesus multiplied leftover loaves and fish to make abundance. Similarly, Stephanie’s dad lived a life of multiplication and abundance. People still come up to her and tell her the mass faith-building impact her dad had in their life.

Liz Wiseman writes about this kind of multiplication in her book, Multipliers. She says addition, adding more people to a cause/organization should not be the goal, but instead to multiply. Multiply gifts, aptitudes, talent and intelligence. Build people to enjoy life at full potential and watch any group, class, organization or ministry soar.

In the past year, the church I Pastor at said goodbye to two incredible Pastors. It was odd to watch them go after pouring heart, soul, energy, love and life in the Young Adult community. However, they were never building their own empires, so they could release the ministry and move on to God’s next call in a healthy way.

I am convinced that true life is not found in building empires up, but instead to multiply God’s glory out to the people around us. He will multiply extravagantly what we give Him completely.

A Valuable Lesson

Rebecca’s soulful reflection on expectations breathed life into weary parts of my soul this week, I trust it will do the same for you…

A Valuable Lesson

Expectations… what are they? Are they okay? Should we expect from others? At what point do expectations become unrealistic? I had placed so many expectations on my family, my friends, those people I call my people. You see, the thing was I had the expectations, but I never told anyone about them. I never took each person aside and said, “This is what I expect of you as my friend, my sister, my brother.” The expectations I was placing on them were very unrealistic. I was asking others to meet me only in the way that God could. It was in this that God taught me a valuable lesson. I had drawn a diagram as I pondered the people in my life. It was me in the middle with all the others on the outside, including God. In the end I had taken a pen and scratched out all of the relationships because in some way all had failed me, including my God. In reality, I was the one who had failed. I didn’t know exactly what this meant, but I drew it anyway. You see I’m visual, I have to write it down to get clarity. That evening my friend came over. I showed her the diagram. She said this is what you need. These need to be switched… Instead of Bekah being in the center, God needs to be. Instantly I knew she was right. I knew this was the answer. With God being in the center and Bekah on the outside, I’m able to live free, and content. I’m just another person living amidst the rest, needing, just as they do. But expecting from God alone. I pray this would free you to let go of the weight you put on others to be what you need them to be, and to expect from God alone. Living for Him alone. God bless you all.

“If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” ‭‭II Timothy‬ ‭2:13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Rebecca recently published her beautiful book, Life Abundant & Free: Finding a Rich and Satisfying Life in Christ. Rebecca is generously giving all proceeds from her book to Valley Light Home, an orphanage in Kenya where Rebecca will be the dorm mom to a lively group of girls, eager to have Rebecca join them this June.

Rebecca’s newly released book “is a testimony of a girl who found Christ through the dark struggle of anorexia. She was 98 pounds, at the brink of disaster, literal bones, with no life to give. It was here she recognized her need for a Saviour. She discovered the only place left to run was to the foot of the cross—pleading for mercy.” – Life Abundant & Free

To find a full description or to purchase Rebecca’s soulful book, please click HERE.

Confidence

The most remarkable thing you will ever do with your life is to fully trust God with it.

“Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength.” – Isaiah 30:15

It took confidence this week for students in the math classroom to create their own business plans, innovate new products and collect data. It took confidence for those students to change their plans based on collected data.

It takes confidence for me to ask students for feedback at school regarding my teaching strategies and methods – and to ask the incredible women I partner with through the Sisterhood ministry to give honest feedback around ministry plans. It takes confidence to adjust plans according to their voices.

It takes confidence to have hard conversations and to recognize blind spots. I had a few of these this week… It takes even more confidence to change. It takes confidence to receive God’s love with beautiful openness and to give it freely, especially after feeling hurt or disappointed.

During a Mirror Mirror presentation with high school girls this week, it took confidence for girls to talk about the things they turn to in order feel valuable. It took confidence for me to disclose the things I tend to do in order to feel more valuable, too. I am grateful for the reminder this week that value is stamped on my life by God alone – and that the Gospel frees me to live from a place of worth – consistently. The cross seals it.

Confidence in Christ produces freedom and power.

Confidence means to trust His ability to bring change and power to your life and your world. And He will. And He is. Amen.

Love Your Everyday People

The word “Good” in the English language could be swapped for: nice, regular, okay or ordinary. But the Goodness of today could not be more extraordinary.

Today is Good Friday.

I have always loved German shepherd dogs. I grew up playing with pups and watching powerful demonstrations of agility, tracking, and obedience. My favorite memories with my favorite Shepherd, Liberty, are the hours we spent running together on the Saskatchewan gravel roads. It didn’t matter how far we went, or at what pace, she did not leave my side. She was predictably and absolutely Faithful.

Faithfulness can be underrated. The Goodness of this Friday can be downplayed too.

It’s hard to fathom the greatness of faithfulness because consistency becomes commonplace.

However, when we recognize the immense Goodness of Good Friday, we discover the Liberty to experience and give limitless love that leads to life.

I want to be like that exquisite Shepherd. Strong, determined, dependable. While it is pleasant to meet new people and chase after daring new adventures – there is something so deeply brave about remaining somewhere that isn’t exciting. There is something extraordinary about the footsteps of the Savior travelling resolutely with familiar chums to Jerusalem. When I feel His limitless love lavished on me, I feel deep appreciation for my everyday people, places and tasks.

His faithfulness reached it’s pinnacle on Good Friday.

And Good Friday gives me Liberty to Love.

And love really is everything.

And love really does change everything.

Ann Voskamp writes, “What matters most is not if our love makes other people change, but that in loving, we change … No matter what the outcome looks like, if your love has poured out, your life will be success-full … You aren’t ever missing your best life – when you aren’t missing opportunities to love like Christ.”

Psalm 57:10 NIV “For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.”

Grace

Isaiah 30:18 NIV “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.

For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!”

Hebrews 12:2 NIV “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Father, I believe that your heart yearns to show me grace. Unlike your mercy, which spares me the punishment I fully do deserve, your grace offers me riches I could never merit. I believe your kindness is extended to me in the rising of the sun each morning. By your grace you infuse the globe with shades and tints pleasing to the human eye and heart. By grace you designed tasting buds to detect and bask in bursts of vibrant flavors. Even the storms that rock and quake my path have been intended by your grace. You, the great refiner, the author and perfecter of my faith, let no circumstance in my life go to waste, but use it all for your glory. Your most extraordinary gift expressed by the costly blood of Jesus that envelops and protects me now and will one day deliver me fully to glory. Thank you God for grace.

It Is Settled

“Elijah answered the captain, ‘If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!’ Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men.”

Here, in this place, on this hill, God settled it. In a moment blazing hot flares penetrated the atmosphere and struck the sacrifice with force. There was no question in Elijah’s mind as to whether God actually has the power he claims to have. Elijah knew with assurance that the Most High Provider God was on his throne in that moment, just as He always is. Unmovable. Unchangeable. Love perched, life-giving, God-breathing King. However, Elijah may have wondered how God would choose to show up in this situation before Elijah opened his mouth to ask God to pour fire onto the hill. Although we often know God is King, that He is at work, we don’t always know how He is at work, or what exactly He is up to. This is not our job. Our job is to believe that God is who He says He is and He can do all that He professes. Our job is to rest in the knowledge that He sees the big picture and has scripted the big story and He is trustworthy truth and grace God-Head. You may not see it in your circumstances today, but know that the God you pray to this day is victorious, that it is finished, that the cross is complete and the resurrection means salvation for you, this day, and always. It is settled.

Location: Mount Horeb, Israel

The End of The Day

The end of January can feel celebratory if the year is off to a jump start! But it can also feel deflating if the resolutions, goals and hopes for a new year are not being met. The truth is, the way you finish the year is much more important than how you begin. This is also true for our days – and at the end of a day, we always know the sunset is not the end of the story.

One night in Israel, the sun set fantastically along the horizon as we floated on the Jesus-Replica on the Galilean Sea. Two thousand years ago, the sun set on that same horizon line with Simon Peter, Thomas and Nathanael squashed together on a boat too small to host their discouraged and wearied hearts. The Son of God had hung high on a Roman Execution tree just days earlier, his blood mixing with tree bark and the disciples’ tears mixing with deep confusion. All was lost. The darkness of the night seemed inescapable. However, just as sure as the sunset promises a new sunrise, the disciples were about to see a Great Son Rise too. Discouragement can sweep in from all sides of life and the battles we face can rage. The darkness can feel encompassing, but be assured, the Sun will rise because the Son did rise. Hours after the sun went down around the disciples, light broke upon the shores of the sea and God himself stood in flesh. He was made new, and the disciples raced to the shore to experience communion and intimacy with Christ over a fish breakfast. Similarly, God can make every piece of your life and circumstances new through your intimate connection to him, made possible by the darkest night of all followed by the Greatest Son Rise known to man. With God, the dark night is never the end of the story.

Stop Signs

Stop signs can feel so annoying when you are in a hurry to get somewhere. No one rejoices at the blinking of a big old red light. But The lights are actually what keep us safe and allow us to travel with peace and security. Often, The stop signs we face in life feel limiting when in fact they are the protection we need to navigate with wisdom and to receive guidance from God. It’s often at those stop lights that we take a moment to reflect and even redirect our route to go where we most need to be and to do the things that are best to do. I’m learning to love the stop lights and learning to trust they are for my good and benefit. God has placed stop lights strategically and with love and they are more important than they seem.

“You gave your good spirit to instruct them.” – Nehemiah 9:20

Don’t Lose Sight of Light

Booster cables have become very important for my travel plans this month as unanswered car troubles have left me stranded in the funniest places. Although, it hasn’t seemed so funny in the moment … Inconveniences rarely are appreciated int he moment. Similarly, in any room, it can be easy to see inconveniences and frustrations and completely miss the light in a space. We often take light for granted – although we could do nothing without light.

Christ is Light.

Without Jesus, we are powerless.

I recently drove home after a day with inconveniences, car troubles, and frustrations – and while I drove, I recognized my misplaced focus. I had lost sight of light – and the moment I lose sight of light, I power right down.

I remember meditating on light in Nazareth Village one year ago in Israel…

I was given a gift there, a small clay lamp with a tiny wick. Jesus would have ignited lamps like this in the same way that he ignites and consumes hearts today with light – with goodness that blazes. There are certain aspects of our purpose and our lives that we question; however our call to be light is never a matter of confusion. God is clear in His word that we were made to be light in the world. The flashflood of God’s good presence is not meant for us to keep to ourselves, and we will not experience the fulfillment God intends us to until we let light shine through us. As we make space in our lives to experience more God-light, we will be compelled to let our own beams be a signal of God’s Kingdom on earth. It begins by choosing to see God’s light, and by choosing to believe that He is a God who sees, who cares and who acts mercifully towards us. This light knowledge and heart belief changes the perspective we have of our circumstances. We can see more clearly, our days don’t feel so blurred and we can help others do the same. We cannot offer what we do not have. May our own experience of God’s unrelenting light create hope for everyone we encounter today.