Thankful for Jesus and Girlfriends

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And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, Philippians 1:9-10 NIV

Today doesn’t feel special. The dogs started whining at 6AM like it was no different than any other day. I stumbled to the coffee pot to kick start my eyes and begin the morning routine, but today is not just another day, it’s my birthday. I remember when I would tell everyone weeks in advance that on September 30th the world revolves around me, but not this year, and as my social media feeds, emails and text messages ding they remind me that I’m older.

It could be maturity or it could be age, but I’m not feeling much like boasting. I even got out my iphone calculator in disbelief to do the math; 2018 minus my birth year. WOW! I’m really that number already and that much closer to the big 5-0. I remember when I used to label this number as old. I’m starting to realize that need to own it, but I will continue to refuse the label, “old.” On the contrary, I would argue that I’m just getting started.

Birthdays, especially this one, is forcing me to reflect. “Am I where I thought I would be?”, “If I could do things differently, what would I have done?”, or “What have I not done that I should set a goal to accomplish?” Regardless of the answers of these questions, my mind rests on the fact that I have Christ and Christ lives in me. What a relief!

I can’t imagine what my life would be without Christ; it is humbling to assess the transformation of my heart over my last 15 year walk with Him. As each birth year ticks by, I also have an even greater hope for the future and knowing He is with me makes any fears, regrets, challenges and hardships subside.

One of the things I am most grateful for are my Godly Girlfriends. Women who have, and are, pouring their lives and hearts into my life; helping me walk confidently and faithfully in the Lord. Women who listen to my pity parties, hug me often, encourage me daily and unapologetically scold me because they love me enough in truth and honesty.

I sure appreciate Jesus and girlfriends and I look forward to many more years to come as these bonds even grew deeper. I didn’t have these 20 years ago and if there is one thing I am most grateful for today is my journey in these relationships.

Bible Epiphany

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Do you ever read God’s Word and literally hug it? I do! About 6 years ago I gave myself permission to take the rest of my life to learn the Word of God. I’m not a bible scholar and as far as I can tell God is not calling me into full-time ministry, so I thought, whether I have a couple of days or another 70 years, why not go deep into God’s Word? Rather than rush through it or follow some plan that would put pressure on me to finish it – I would just take it one chapter, one day, at a time.

So here I am, 6 years (almost to the day) later that I started this blog and I started reading my bible at Genesis 1:1. I invited you on my journey back then, but after a short time, I felt convicted that I was making bible reading and blogging another box to be checked off of my daily to-do list. God clearly doesn’t want to be a “task”, He wants a relationship, so He showed me the opposite, “Remain in me and I will remain in you”. (John 15:4)

Confession: I have missed days and I have deviated from scripture to attend a bible study or five, but this is my marathon, not my sprint.

To date, I just finished up the book of Daniel and am well on my way into the depressing pages of Hosea. I think I may be on pace to be in the Genis Book of World Records for longest time taken to ever read the bible cover to cover. I googled it actually and there are some pretty hysterical records, and to be honest, I’m convinced that even the best bible scholar of today would still admit they have more to learn and it’s a book you can never put down. Here’s the bottom line, it’s not about how fast you read, it’s about knowing who God is. When you read the bible and spend focused time with God, un-rushed, and you can really absorb, even a mere glimpse of who God is, you hug Him, or at least the closest thing to Him, His written word.

My latest ah-ha is how much I wish I would have paid attention in history class. All of the historical significance that validates the accuracy of scripture is mind-blowing. Then, I always was under the belief that the bible was written in a timeline and in some sequential order; like the editions of encyclopedias. Oh – No – No! They are, in fact, written in perfect intertwined chronology. This makes it even more mind-blowing that the same facts that were witnessed and reported, where almost always written by complete strangers – who were not even related. *Poof goes my brain*.  For example. Jeremiah and Ezekiel lived at the same time, but never knew each other, yet what they write is 100% accurate from two completely different geographical locations and vantages points. God used them and their books are spot on – verified and validated by the other. I scratch my head, “How many times and how many ways can people be warned about their sin and idols and still neglect to acknowledge the one and only true God.” It hits a little too close to home, doesn’t it?

I pray that if you’ve read this far, that you adopt the same philosophy of committing your lifetime to knowing God and giving His Word a squeeze every now and then, in awe of who He is.