Looking Through the Lens of Victory

I don’t know about you but sometimes I find myself surrounded by negativity.  When I look around, sometimes I’m amazed by all of the negativity and despair that is spread through society today.  And the really sad part is that it’s contagious!  How many times have you gone in to work with the mindset that it’s going to be a great day and before you set your purse down, you’ve already jumped on the negative train.  You hear someone complaining and you can’t resist your opportunity to throw in your opinion.  I know this because I have done it more times than I care to admit!

Thankfully, God will not leave us hanging!  His word is full of stories….all true…of what to do and what not to do.  All we have to do is spend time in fellowship with Him.

To see a perfect example, go with me to Numbers 14. In a nutshell, Moses has sent 12 representatives, one man from each of the 12 tribes, to scope out the Promised Land.  They were to go check out the area and report their findings.  Out of the 12, Caleb and Joshua were the only 2 who had anything positive to say.  The other 10 came back with negative reports. As a matter of fact, their reports were so negative that they stirred great dissension and fear among the Israelites.  The Israelites were now afraid to go to the Promised Land and nothing Moses could say or do would change their minds. The entire nation was bailing on Moses, but in reality, bailing on God! As a result, God got swore an oath that none of them, with the exception of Caleb and Joshua, would enter the Promised Land. Why only Caleb and Joshua?  Numbers 14:24 says, “…because my servant Caleb has a different spirit…”.   Caleb’s attitude was what saved him!

So, we have 12 men, all on the same journey and experiencing the same thing but at the same time, not experiencing the same thing. How is that possible?  Why did they report fear when Caleb and Joshua reported victory?  It’s simple. Caleb and Joshua chose to stand on God’s promises. They did not give in to the doubt and fear planted by the enemy. They chose to look through the lens of victory. Caleb and Joshua did not doubt God’s faithfulness!

Just as Caleb and Joshua, we have a choice to make.  Are we looking through the lens of victory? Or the lens of defeat? The way we view situations is really up to us.  We get to choose how we view the world.  How do we change our habit of fear?  How do we flip our script? It’s really not that hard…but it will take practice.  My suggestion is this:  Start with being thankful…and I mean thankful for everything.  When you wake up every morning, before you get out of bed, say the things you are thankful for.  Just say them out loud or if you don’t want to wake anyone, whisper them.  God will hear you no matter how you say them. Before you realize it, this routine will turn in to a full conversation with God and your whole view for the day will be turned in to victory. You’ll crave the presence of God.  He will be in your every thought!

So, it’s basically up to you.  Are you going to choose victory or defeat?  Joy or sadness? I don’t know about you, my sweet friend, but I’m jumping on the Joy Train!

Consider Jesus

“Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was in all God’s household.

                                                                                    — Hebrews 3: 1-2

Consider Jesus. It’s only two words but they can change everything about who you are, what you do and how you do it. 

As we look at this scripture, we need to know a little about the author and who he is writing to.  The author of Hebrews was writing to a population that was in danger of falling to their unbelief.  They were close to renouncing Christ as Lord and going back to their old ways.  They were probably newish Christians living in Rome, a city full of false gods and an “anything goes” attitude.  “If it feels good, do it!” They were trying to hold on to the old ways, not moving forward with Christ.  Sound familiar?  Our Society is still struggling with a loose moral system.

The author of Hebrews is telling his congregation to consider Jesus in everything, not just a couple of things but everything. Consider means to fix attention on something in such a way that its inner meaning, the lesson it is designed to teach, may be learned. When we fix our focus on Jesus Christ, it allows us to take on his personality, His ways, His thoughts and His actions.  We become more like Him and leave our sin nature lying in the dust.  We become a society filled with love and compassion for our fellow man….something that I think you’ll agree…we all need a little more of. 

How many times do you consider Jesus before you make decisions of any type? My prayer for you, my sweet friend, is that you will make a more conscious effort to consider or remember Jesus through out your day in all of your decisions. It doesn’t matter the size of the task, just think about Jesus.  As the scripture states in verse 2, Jesus is faithful.   He is faithful to the Father and he is faithful to us.  

One last thing, when everything around you feels like it is falling apart or maybe just at a stalemate, remember Jesus! You just might be surprised at the outcome!

Don’t forget…Be a pineapple!  Stay sweet and Stand tall!

The Wonder of it All!

When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?
   Psalm 8:3-4 (NIV)

The verses that David penned so long ago are a testament of his awe at the overall majesty of God.  God set the heavens with the span of His hand.  Let’s think about that for a minute.  Look at the span of your hand. Spread your fingers wide.  The span is the tip of your thumb to the tip of your pinky finger.  With that in mind, breath in the fact that God set the heavens with the span of his hand, meaning, the Universe fits in the palm of his hand! Combine that thought with a few scientific facts: 

  1. With the naked eye, one can see 5,000 stars…on a clear night,
  2. With a 4-inch telescope, one can see about 2 million stars, and
  3. With a 200-inch mirror of a great observatory, one can see a billion stars. 
  4. The universe is so big that if one traveled at the speed of light, it would take 40 billion years to make the journey.  


Now consider the next verse.  This is where David’s true awe and wander take shape, “what is mankind that you are mindful of them…”   David didn’t question or doubt God’s love for him, he only wandered why a great big God would be mindful of him…of such a small human being.

Let’s look at the definition of mindful.  It means to be conscious or aware of something.  A better explanation:  to be mindful means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and surrounding environment.  For one to be mindful, one must be intentional.

Like David, we should rest in the assurance that God knows us, sees us and hears us. He is always thinking of us. Because of this, I can I look around at all that is happening in the world today, and know that nothing is taking him by surprise.  All of society’s events are pieces of a greater puzzle… a puzzle whose picture only God can see.  It’s ok if only He can see it because we know He is mindful of us… He’s got this! 

My prayer for you today, my friend, is that you never lose the awe and wonder of God that David writes about.  If you don’t have it, never had it, or have lost it because of a personal situation, I pray that you will open your heart and mind to the love of God.  He can bring you a peace and strength that passes all understanding.

You will truly be standing in awe and wonder!

One last thing, during your journey of today, go back and read the full chapter of Psalms 8.  Pray the words.  Take a moment and journal your thoughts.

Ringing in the New Year!

How many times have you heard someone say in the past few days or weeks, “I’ll be glad when 2020 is over!”?

I’ll be the first to admit that 2020 is definitely one for the books. I can remember in January sitting in church or listening to a podcast and everyone had picked up on the theme 2020 Vision. A New Year for a New Vision….or something similar. It was going to be a year of hope. We totally were not prepared for what we got. A pandemic, a failing economy, a ridiculous election year…just to name a few things. (Sidebar: I hate election year, mainly because of all the nasty ads and name calling.)

Many people around me decided to give up early in the game. They decided early on that 2020 was to blame for every hardship, every inconvenience….basically, anything that was going wrong. I saw a lot of people put their lives on hold in expectation of a better day.

As I look back, I have realized, 2020 was a very good year. It turned out to be my year for unwavering hope. It was my year for new adventures. It was my year for greater expectations. It has been the year that has pushed me out of my comfort zone and put me on a greater path.

Let me try to explain where I’m coming from. This past year, I have witnessed my dad’s health decline. We have made 4 trips to Vanderbilt Medical Center…just the two of us. As we made our journey to Nashville, (2 1/2 hours one way), he and I got into some great conversation. We got serious but we also laughed… a lot. He told me stories from his youth, things he has learned and things he’s still learning (he’s 84 years old!). I received confirmation in one conversation of his salvation! I say all of this for a reason: I could get bogged down in the mire of the situation regarding his failing health, or I can celebrate the renewal of our relationship. I have gotten to know a side of my dad that I never knew. In this respect, 2020 has given me something that no other year has been capable of.

Also in 2020, I left my comfort zone at work and transferred to a totally different department. Eleven years with a company and I have been able to learn a completely different skill set…more money and less stress! I stepped out of my comfort zone and started a blog, website and Etsy store…and in the process, inspired my adult daughter to jump out of her comfort zone and do the same!

I know may of us have experienced loss in 2020 but my hope for you, my sweet friend, is that you can look back and see the gain. What hopes and dreams came true? How have you grown?

I don’t know about you, but I have already made my list of goals and dreams for 2021! There’s no where to go but up!

2020 was a great year and I’m looking forward to a great 2021!