Finding Your LIP! In Honor Of Veterans Day

veterans-day-image

Boot camp was everything the young man expected and then some! Grueling, exhausting even what some might label abusive at times but he embraced it all.  Small in stature, the young man went above and beyond to prove that there was more to him than just size.  He excelled in all the physical tests except one; he had not been able to successfully vault over a wall that was part of an extensive obstacle course. In every attempt, he always fell short of being able to grab the top of the wall and propel himself over.

The night before the final tests of boot camp, he was awakened by his Drill Sergeant and ordered to go outside. Sure that he was about to be chastised for his failure on the course that day, the young man stoically waited for what was to come. Instead, his instructor led him to his nemesis: The Wall.  Then the young man was given an odd instruction: feel the wall.  Disciplined to respond to orders, he did as he was told. He slowly walked the length of the wall as he ran his hands over the rough surface. Thoughts tumbled about in the young man’s head. This wall stood between him and his long held goal of becoming a Marine. If he wasn’t able to get over this wall tomorrow, he would fail and be sent home.

The graveled voice of his Sergeant barked at him.

“Find a way over that wall!”

The young man pressed closer and breathed a silent prayer, “I gotta find a way.” and then he felt it…. a small niche, a lip in the face of the wall. Stepping back, he marked where the lip was and then began the circuit of the obstacle course which included running, belly busters, slide for life and swinging from ropes. He smoothly managed through each of these and then the wall loomed darkly before him.  Heart pumping wildly, he raced towards it.  In one fluid movement, he leaped on the wall, his boot instinctively finding the lip. Pushing up with strong arms, he grasped the top of the wall and sailed over! As he hit the ground on the other side, excitement surged and tingled. He’d made it!  He knew in his heart that he’d be able to repeat this performance the next day and he did. But what thrilled him even more than that accomplishment were the words he received from his Drill Sergeant after graduation: “Good job Marine.” He’d successfully become one of the few and the proud.

(November 10th Marine Corp Birthday – Happy Birthday Marine Corp! Semper Fi) 

This story inspired me to find my own LIP.  Life presents us with obstacles every day and often they seem to be just as daunting as that wall appeared to be to that young man. But I learned 3 things from this story that I want to share with you.

  1.  Get yourself an accountability partner. Someone who will challenge you to do what’s in your heart and not let you back away from it
  2.  Be willing to face the obstacles that stand in the way of your goal. “Feel the wall.” You may find your  answer in the midst of your problem
  3.  Understand that your goal is worth every ounce of effort you have to expend to get it. Don’t back away from the challenges of reaching what you really want
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No More Guilt!

eraseworkingmomguiltI had coffee with the Lord this morning. As I sipped mine, I reflected on the choices I had made the day before and my biggest regret was that I hadn’t spent any time with Him. I thought about it, but got distracted and did something different. Which made my time with the Lord this morning a little less joyful because I spent a lot of that time apologizing. Is this what God wants?  I don’t think so, do you?

Guilt becomes a barrier that prevents warm interaction between your Creator and you.

God is light. When I spend time with Him, I am in the light also. His light is warming and comforting like a big bowl of mashed potatoes swimming in butter! His light heals like a soft blanket. Spending quality time with my Lord gives me direction for the day and guidance for my life. Why would I want to miss the best part of my day?

Because we don’t want to feel guilty or ashamed.

We usually shy away from things that don’t make us feel good. We count up our poor choices and assume that God gets some kind of a crazy pleasure in telling us how bad we are.

He doesn’t.

What our Father God does is open our eyes to help us see ourselves as He sees us and the first thing He sees is love and love, the bible says, makes us not ashamed.

Think about it. When we embrace God’s love and forgiveness, instead of shame and guilt, we’re more likely to go out and make better choices. Guilt and shame leads us to sabotaging our efforts and making the same poor choices again. It becomes a very discouraging cycle.

Here’s some good news…

We can change the cycle! Today, make a different choice. It doesn’t have to be something spectacular.

As you think about the changes you’d like to see in your life, what’s some small thing you can do that points you in the right direction?

Don’t measure this “small something” by how far it gets you down the road. Feel good that you’ve done something that gets you on the right road, going in the right direction! Ultimately, you will get where you need to go.

Here’s something else you need to know…

You’re not alone on that road! God is there with you. Walk with the Lord today. Do you need forgiveness for something you’ve done? OK, let’s fix that now….

Father we come before you now thanking you that when we ask for forgiveness, you give it… Every time!   Here’s what I’m asking you to forgive me of __________________

Lord thank you for forgiving me and I’m especially grateful that you’re not going to give this another thought so why should I? I am forgiven! Amen!

Alright! Are you smiling? Are you feeling better? You should be. You just touched the Father’s heart. He loves it when His kids come to Him.

Today is the day that the Lord has made… I’m going to rejoice and be glad in it. Join me!

An Eternal Transaction!

Recently, I swiped my red Target card to pay for a purchase so that I could get my 5% discount. Surprisingly, the POS terminal stated my purchase could not be completed . For the moment, the sales transaction was suspended. What?!  Was my first reaction but immediately on the heels of that I remembered the debit card attached to my Target card had not been updated. The Sales Associate was awesome and took the extra time to get me squared away AND  still get my discount!  This morning’s Jesus Calling devotion, brought that memory to mind. The Lord says that His love is an eternal transaction; nothing and no one can reverse it!  I don’t get to enjoy his love today and have to wonder about it tomorrow.  His love doesn’t expire nor is it attached to anything that will cause it not to work (like my debit card). Most of all, it’s not connected to performance. Crossing T’s and dotting I’s don’t win any brownie points with the Lord. Instead of that, God encourages us to bring our performance anxiety to Him and receive in its place His Unfailing Love!

I heard that! Somebody just said, “Why would God love me?”

Simply answer.  You belong to Him! He loves you because you are His. Period.  That love is what invites you to come to Him and have relationship. Not based on what you’ve done or can do but based purely on what He has already done to secure the relationship. He sent His son to die so that we could LIVE!  We get to have life with Him now AND when our time on earth is done. It’s an ETERNAL TRANSACTION and that’s better than any discount! Take time today to get “squared away” with the Lord. You don’t have to be in suspended animation mode trying to figure things out alone.

Here’s the Reality Check:  He’s waiting on you.

For  more encouragement check out the story link below

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“Who Am I? A Story of Self Discovery”

 

9/11 – When Words Are Not Enough

Scott Willens, who joined the United States Army three days after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, pauses while reflecting by the South Pool on friends he has lost while on deployment during anniversary ceremonies at the site of the World Trade Center on 11 September 2012 in New York, New York, USA. POOL/Justin Lane/EPA

Scott Willens, who joined the United States Army three days after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, pauses while reflecting by the South Pool on friends he has lost while on deployment during anniversary ceremonies at the site of the World Trade Center on 11 September 2012 in New York, New York, USA. POOL/Justin Lane/EPA

My fingers are poised over my computer keyboard, eyes closed, head bowed and I wait. Taking a deep breath, I slowly exhale as I open my eyes and stare at the blank page in front of me and try to wrap my mind around what could I possibly say about this day that would make a difference?

So much has already been said. News reports, articles, books, documentaries, and pictures, pictures, pictures… visual imagery that rock you to the core and tear at your soul as you consider the lives that were impacted on that day.

I Googled 9/11 and discovered that as horrific as the day itself was, the aftermath of the impact of this day stretched years beyond the actual event. Health challenges, for examples, of survivors who inhaled the toxic fumes and airborne debris from the collapse of the buildings are ongoing and even affected the health of babies who were in their mother’s wombs.

So, what can I say?

As a child and on into young adulthood, I always felt that there was a reason or explanation that could be shared that would explain most things. If someone was confused about something, that simply meant they hadn’t heard the right explanation yet. That naïve thought was shattered on 9/11. There is no explanation or reasoning that will soothe away the anguish of this day. No matter how long you sit and try to make sense of it all, no light bulbs come on, no revelatory sparks of insight prevail, just a numbness that remains after the initial emotions of anger have been spent.

I take another deep breath and pray.

I pray that the peace that passes all understanding will cover the hearts and minds of those who have struggled with the impact of this day.

I pray for comfort for those who lost loved ones and struggle with “Why?”

I pray that emotions that have been scrubbed raw and abraded by this day will be healed.

I pray that we as a nation will not neglect to “close the barn doors before the cow gets out” and that whatever national security measures are needed to protect the citizens of this country will be enforced. And although we take great care now to ensure that another 9/11 would never happen again, at the end of the day, Psalm 127:1 speaks loud and clear…

Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain

Therefore, my greatest prayer is for the Lord to do exceeding, abundant above all that I could ever ask or think for the United States of America; that we will truly be one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.

Excerpt from “Reality Checks” by Edwina Frazier (c) 2015

Follow me on Twitter @Realchecks

focusThis morning I spent so much time searching for the right picture to go with my message that I almost forgot the message!  Well, not really, but I lost focus of the main thing…. the message!

How often you find yourself spending too much time and energy focusing on something that yields little to no results AND if you could do it over… you wouldn’t?!

I throw that in because there are times that seemingly my efforts are not productive but a seed is planted.  I don’t see the fruit yet, but I know what I did wasn’t wasted. Those moments, I’ll keep.

But how do I keep from spinning my wheels on things that are not productive?

These five questions might help build a foundation for your focus.

Ask yourself:

  1. What do I  REALLY want?  This becomes your main objective before you even get started
  2. How will I or someone or something else be better off? (What’s the “win”)
  3. “Why is this important to me?” (Is it worth it spending time on this?)
  4. What happens if I don’t get the results I’m looking for?
  5. If #4 falls flat, will I be ok with that?

Do you need to go through this for everything? Probably not but doing this little exercise will cause you to think more deeply about what you choose to focus on and whether or not it’s going to be a good use of your time.  we get a 24 hour daily deposit, don’t fritter your moments away on things that won’t really matter at the end of the day.

Excerpt from “Reality Checks!” © 2015 Edwina Frazier

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new” -Socrates