Fruit That Remains: Excerpts from my journals that nourished me and might encourage you, too!

 

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Fruit That Remains: Lessons from my journals. These are excerpts from my journals over the years. Some are more current than others. I love going back into my journals because I always get refreshed and re-learn the lessons that the Lord has taught me and that I have faithfully scribed.

I live to hear the voice of the Lord. There is absolutely nothing more empowering, uplifting and life-changing for me than hearing the Father, our Creator, our Redeemer talk to me personally about what I am going through.  I yearn to hear His perspective on the external and internal struggles I’m facing and about the vision of where I’m headed.  This is the most incredible part of being in relationship with Jesus, as far as I’m concerned.

Most religions have rules and doctrine and have good works that people are supposed to do.  But the Christian faith has a risen, living Savior who still speaks to his disciples and calls us His friends.

My journals are filled with notes I have taken when I have stilled my heart and allowed the Lord to speak to me.  Below is one of those journal entries.

Here’s the backstory: My husband and I were encountering a difficult season.  For me, much of the challenge was with thoughts and fears inside my head that were overwhelming me.  My fears were like virtual reality goggles: everything I saw in my mind’s eye was making me stop dead in my tracks, even though the Lord had promised me that He was working on my behalf in the challenging areas.

My husband and I were also facing financial and relational issues with family members that were making us stressed and sad.  John and I have found that it’s hard to encourage your spouse when you’re down yourself!

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Don’t Mess with the Perfect Recipe: The Basics of our Faith

057 soft chocolate chip cookies for blogI love Nestle Toll House cookies.  I love them hot out of the oven when the morsels are gooey and cookies are falling apart in my hands. Is anyone else drooling right now? Mmmm….Can you smell them in your imagination right now? Now why can most of us smell and taste that chocolatey greatness in our imaginations? It’s because the Nestle Toll House recipe has been pretty much unchanged for 100 years!  We have all experienced the same cookie at least once in our lives so we have the same frame of reference for Toll House cookies.

In our Christian faith, we also have a basic recipe.  We have some foundational premises that make up the tried and true building blocks of what we believe and how we execute our faith.  Or at least we are supposed to…

Years ago, I wrote down 6 Basic Premises of Christian Living.  They are the 6 basic “standards” that we can use to measure whether we are winning at this walk with the Lord or if somehow we have started playing games and calling it “Christianity”.  I haven’t referred back to these in a while, so it was really good for me to stumble upon them again in one of my old journals.  I needed the refresher, and thought I’d share them in case you do, too!

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Olympic showdown: Shut your mouth, get in your lane and let your actions answer your detractors

Michael Phelps swimming butterfly

Last night I watched Michael Phelps win his 20th and 21st Olympic gold medals.  The 20th medal in the Butterfly was the one that really struck me as it was a showdown like we see in old Westerns.  There was an adversary that had thrown slurs and was trying intimidation tactics to get under Michael’s skin.

I watched Michael as he sat in the preparation room waiting for the race to start.  The opponent in question, Chad Le Clos, kept looking at Michael, probably trying to make intimidating eye contact.  But Michael refused to engage. Although, at one point, as Le Clos turned around, you could see what looked like rage spreading all over Michael’s face as he glared at Le Clos’ back.  But throughout the prep time, Michael sat in his seat, stone faced with his noise cancelling head phones on.  He could hear neither the jeers of his opponent as he sat in the green room nor the cheers of the crowd as he entered the pool area.

I listened as the announcers questioned whether the intimidation tactics of Le Clos were going to rattle Michael’s confidence, distract him or fire him up.  And looking at Michael from the outside it was impossible to tell which would be the outcome.  Based on past races, you would think that he would come out swinging; but Le Clos had recently won World Championship gold medals in the Butterfly and he was itching to take Michael down.

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