Watch Where You Focus

I'm an observer. I like talking but I like watching as well. I like seeing how people do things and figuring out what aspects I can use for my own life.

I remember once in grad school, I looked to my mentor for guidance, the type where someone holds your hand because with a science background, a writing career was new territory and I needed all the help I could get. But then I realized he didn't have it for me. And that's nothing on him, he was a good mentor, but it was unfair of me to have that type of expectation not only for him, but for anyone else.

No one in this life has that type of holy-grail advice.

Don't allow anyone to tell you otherwise: No one in this life has that type of holy-grail advice.

But me being me, the habit of looking towards someone else to have that advice is hard to let go of, especially when the world is going bonkers.

I see myself going through timelines, on different news outlets, trying to make sense of these senseless killings and heated debates and I get more lost as to what I should think, how I should feel, what I should do.

And I come up empty. But then I remember what Jesus said to His disciples, "I have told you these things so that in Me you will have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

What's happening right now may be a surprise to you, it may be devastating to you, but it's not to God.

He doesn't share our perspective. You may not see a solution but God does: He makes all things good.

When you look to the world all you will see is trouble. The world holds no hope, that was stripped from it when sin entered the scene. When you look to the world, you won't see it point to God because it doesn't worship or glorify God. God is not its heart's desire. And if He is yours, it's nerve-racking not to see the same where you live.

But luckily, we don't have to look to the world for hope. We have Jesus. He came into the world to bridge the gap between us and God, our one true hope. We never have to accept anything from the world's brokenness, not when we have a Father in heaven who wants the best for us.

In this world, we will have trouble but in God, we will always have peace and hope no matter what happens.

And when you ask, God will answer you. When you seek Him, He will be found by you. When you knock, He'll open the door for you.

The world may have immediate delivery but it will never satisfy.

God, on the other hand, is worth the wait, always.

So when you're looking for answers don't look around. There's nothing here.

Shift your focus upwards and know He has everything you've been searching for.

Yes, everything.

Mini Bites 40.0

And John bore witness: "I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on Him. I myself did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God."

I have issues with God: trust issues. I want to see the whole picture for my life. Just knowing a corner of the frame is not enough for me. 

But that's how life with Him goes: no matter how many times I've begged Him for my life manual, the unabridged version not some pamphlet, God continues to shine just one part of the canvas, asking me to step into the current spotlight.

And I fight and I struggle because that small illumination does not quell my fears of getting it wrong, of failure, of missing Him. If I see one part, who's to say that in this part I would not make decisions that could mess up the rest of the painting? I need to see everything to make sure that no mistakes are made.

But with those fears, I forget that if I do get it wrong, if I fail then God will make it good and if I miss Him, then He will find me. I need to trust He is more than enough in those places where I lack.

God is not playing hide-and-seek. He's not hard to find. He wants to be in relationship with us. He wants to lead us and once we understand that, we can fearlessly go where He calls us, trusting He'll share the rest of the details when needed.

In John 1, John the Baptist is baptizing people in the Jordan River. He's making way for the Messiah but as the verses above illustrate John has no clue as to who it is.

But that doesn't deter John. John was committed to what God called him to do. He doesn't abandon his post when, after baptizing countless people (who came to the river to hear his message of repentance), it turned out that the Messiah wasn't among them. 

It didn't matter how long he had to stay in the water or how many people he saw: if this is where God wanted him, John knew it was for good reason.

And it was, because one day Jesus finally showed up. Although, John didn't know who He was, God clued him in when it was time. Jesus didn't have to introduce Himself, God did. John didn't have to guess, God pointed Him out.

We can learn a lot from this moment:
  1. Be committed to where God has you. It is not a waste of time, it is not a detour. It is a divine appointment where God is going to reveal something to you.
  2. Be committed to what God wants you to do in this moment of your life. John knew his purpose was to bring people to repentance so that the Messiah might be revealed. He didn't waste his time trying to unveil who the Savior was. John stayed in his lane of preparing the people to behold the Lamb of God.
    • What you are doing is important. If John got it inside his head to go find the Messiah then those people would have never been ready for Jesus' coming. Don't discount what God has you doing. It's important.
  3. Allow God to do the revealing. He will do it at the right time in the right way. He has all the pieces, He knows how everything works together. Rest in God, knowing that He knows what's best.
When you're on mission for God with three pieces of the puzzle, it can be frustrating because it seems that you don't have enough. But you do and when you've exhausted the three in your hand, He'll give you the other set of three when the time is right.

You don't have to relocate, you don't have to change lanes or do something different.

Where you are and what you are doing has purpose. And when it's time for the next thing, God will tell you. You can trust in that truth.

Mini Bites 39.0

Don't underestimate the little.

Don't do it cause you never know what that little can bring about.

A little faith enabled Peter to walk on water. Yea, he began to sink when he took his eyes off Jesus but none of that would have happened if Peter didn't have that small faith to step out in the first place.

A young boy's lunch of five loaves and two fish fed 5,000 hungry men and their wives and children. His one serving fed at least 15,000 people and there were leftovers that filled twelve baskets.

Don't underestimate the little.

David's huge faith in God brought him in front of the giant, Goliath, and all he had in his hand was a slingshot. He brought a slingshot to a sword's fight but David still brought down Goliath with a rock.

God put Gideon in charge of an army of 32,000 men then put them through a series of tests that left Gideon with 300 men to fight against the Midianites that were as numerous as the sand. Gideon won.

You never know what a little can bring about.

Because you can't put a limit as to what God can do. He has unlimited resources. God is the Source and He never runs out. Why are you so worried about the little you do have? Why are you worried when God can still do something with your small contribution?

Let it all go. The reservations, the fear, the mentality of lack. God's not worried about all that. He wants you to give it to Him.

Do you trust that God can do exceedingly and abundantly more than you can ask or imagine? Do believe that He can do more than what you have?

Then give Him the little and watch Him do more.

Jesus Comes Through

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim. Then He told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet." They did so...
John 2:6-8
The wine was finished and Mary brought it to Jesus' attention.

She turned to the servants and said, "Do as He says."

Then it got weird. Jesus instructed them to fill the ceremonial washing jars, which were probably used to wash multiple hands that day, with water and serve it to the master of the banquet.

He didn't pray over the jars. He didn't wave His hands over them.

The servants did everything: they handled the jars, they drew up the water from the well and now they were about to serve the host of the wedding with a cup from their work.

The only thing they had of Jesus was His word.

If I was one of those servants, I would be afraid. Although, I acted on Jesus' word, I can only do so much and one of the things I am sure about is that water from me will remain as such. Don't expect wine drawn from my cup.

I would feel confident if Jesus worked alongside me. Actually I would be confident if I was Jesus' helper as He did all the work. But acting on His word solo... yup, I would be terrified. My hand would shake as I hand over the cup and you would never find me praying harder than in that moment for Jesus to come through.

And He does. On His word, the water turned into wine and it leaves me wondering when did it happen?

Did it happen as the servants drew from the well? Did it happen when all the jars were filled to the brim? Did it happen when the cup touched the host's lips?

When did the miracle happen?

I'm not sure the moment could ever be pinpointed. You say a prayer, you stand by your convictions, you move by faith but it isn't until much later that you realize a change occurred and even with hindsight, the moment cannot be known definitively.

But one thing I do know is that nothing would have happened if a choice wasn't made by the servants to do as Jesus said.

The surest way to not see Jesus work a miracle in your life is to do nothing.

And the most definitive way to do nothing is to get caught up on what He asks you to do.

In these verses, Jesus took something unusual- ceremonial jars- and filled it with a common thing- water- to bring forth a miracle: wine.

Reality has taught us that jars + water = jars full of water. And we get into arguments with God because what He's asking us to do has not been done before, like why can't we go to the liquor store to get more wine? Shoot, wine coolers will be much better than jars full of water.

But they did it. And in their obedience, it happened.

We need to let go of our plans so that His can fall in place.

There's no timeline for God's word. Once it leaves His lips, the word is stationed where He placed it, ready to do as He said. Then when you make the decision, regardless of how ridiculous it may look, to follow Him, the word unfolds with each step you take.

You don't have to worry about making a fool of yourself. Before you know it, it's already done.

Mini Bites 38.0

I remember when I first read this verse. I was at risk of losing my scholarship and my friend sent me this verse to encourage me. It quickly became a staple part of scripture that I would recite whenever I was fearful, whenever I needed assurance that God was and always will be on my side.

So tonight, it pops up as one of the verses for the Hope devotional offered by the YouVersion Bible app.  And I've probably seen the heading of chapter 29 a thousand times but it hits me this thousand and one time.

The heading is A Letter to the Exiles and I got excited.

Context means everything especially in the bible. Although its truth lasts forever and can have an impact in the here and now, there was a reason why it was written in the first place.

When Jeremiah wrote this letter, it was addressed to the Israelites who were carried off into exile. The Israelites have this long history of turning away from God and following useless idols and turning back to God when they realize their mistakes. But this one time, God allowed the nation of Israel to scatter from its promise land and some were sent to Babylon.

The exiles thought life was over. Many thought they would never see their homeland again and that they were cast off from God forever. They probably thought that this was the last straw, that God wanted nothing to do with them.

But that's never the case with God. Jeremiah's letter was to remind the exiles that God didn't turn away from them, that God did not rinse His hands of them.

And that's what I want to remind you as well.

You can never be too far off for God. You may have gotten so off track that you can't tell what's up and down anymore. You may think that what you did is so unredeemable that God can't save you, let alone restore you. You may think you're finished but you're not.

God is not finished with you yet. You have to understand that you were born with a purpose, His word over your life. And God takes His word very seriously. When He speaks it, He expects it to happen. And that expectancy doesn't change when your life has been derailed by mistakes, by pain, by disappointments. He doesn't change His mind about you. He doesn't change His purpose for your life when bad things happen. He is as sure of you now as He was when you were first a thought in His mind.

God has a plan and it's the same one He had at the beginning of time.

It doesn't matter how long it's been, or where you are, God still wants to accomplish His personal word for your life.

He knew where you would be right now and He still put that plan into motion.

Don't write yourself off when God hasn't.

Bible Study: God's Word

It was a good day. My tummy was satisfied after a visit to Chilis. I sat in my parked car and decided to open up to the page above.

Then I started sobbing.

I did something different. I read those Scriptures personally. I inserted myself inside those words and read them out loud to God. And the floodgates opened.

It's been said to remind God the promises He made to you. Well, I just want to warn you of what might happen when you do: Snot will cover your face as you realize that you don't believe these words.

Or at least for me.
Is it just me?

Don't get me wrong. In my case,  I believe them for everyone else. My friends can tell you that I am quick to encourage them with God's word with conviction. But for some reason, the book that I've been studying, I haven't been living.

The words I've been reading, I haven't been holding as my own. Because they sound too good to be true to be true for me. I felt as if I was the exception.

As if it would work for everyone else but me.

So reading them out loud to God, it hit me, the words hit me and He asked me to believe in what I'm saying. To believe in what He's saying. To believe for myself.

And I'm asking you to believe for yourself as well. It's not enough to believe for other people. These promises are for you. This is personal. God is a personal God. He wants to have a relationship with you and in order to do that, you have to believe in what He says. You have to hold on to these promises in the bible even when they don't make sense in your circumstances. You have to hold on to these promises as truth.

And God's not asking you to believe Him without proof. That's why the bible is here: to remind us of His faithfulness, to encourage us in those difficult times.

In John 1:1, it says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God."

God = His Word

His word represents His character i.e. love, joy, peace, justice, mercy, patience, faithfulness. Just to name a few.

But it doesn't end there: because God stands forever, so does His word.

It doesn't matter how long it's been since you've received that promise from God it will happen because just as God is faithful so is His word.

Heaven and earth have to pass away before His word does (Matthew 24:35). His word has a longevity that surpasses this universe's expiration date.

What He spoke (and what He speaks) over your life weren't something made on a whim. They were intentional, He knew what He was saying. His promises were always in mind when He created you and they've been waiting for this moment. They've been waiting for you. And they aren't going to bypass you.

His eye is always on you. He remembers what He's said to you. He hasn't forgotten about you. His word is already set before you, waiting for you.

Don't give up waiting for it. It's coming.

A Little Exercise

Read them personally and to God:

As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is Your word that goes out from Your mouth:
    It will not return to You empty,
but will accomplish what You desire
    and achieve the purpose for which You sent it.

Not one word has failed of all Your good promise to me.

For Your word holds true,
    and I can trust everything You do.
You love whatever is just and good;
    Your unfailing love fills the earth.
You merely spoke,
    and the heavens were created.
You breathed the word,
    and all the stars were born.
You assigned the sea its boundaries
    and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs.

Jesus, It's A Trap!

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing Him.
John 8:3-6

These teachers and Pharisees were out for blood. They didn't really care about upholding the law, if so they would have dragged the man to Jesus as well. No, they wanted to use the woman's sin as a bait to catch Jesus in a lie.

They couldn't accept who Jesus said He was because He was nothing like what they expected Him to be. The Savior, the Messiah who hung out with sinners and who wanted nothing to do with their self-righteousness. This was not what the teachers and Pharisees signed up for so they wanted to oust Him for the liar they believed Him to be.

So they took advantage of this woman's sin. If Jesus told them not to stone her, then that would be against God's law. But if Jesus allowed them to kill her, then His testimony of grace was false. This was a situation where they knew whichever way He answered, He would lose.

Little did they know that their questions revealed more about themselves, their lack of faith, their doubts about Jesus. (And their evil intent)

Listening to the pastor preach on these verses last night, it hit me that I was like the Pharisees and teachers.

I'm not sold on who He says He is.

I approach every situation just waiting for Jesus to fail me.
I wait with baited breath for Him to prove Himself wrong because His promises sound too good to be true.
I'm at the edge of the shore, not willing to step in because I'm afraid to drown if I follow Him into the waves.

So I watch Him, waiting, trying to find His limit, to see where He can't be who He claims to be, to search for the places where I can't trust Him.

But that's not what I'm called to do. That's not the life God called us to have.

When you spend your time toeing and skirting around to find His limit, you get stuck living a cautious life instead of the abundant life He promises because you're bracing yourself against something that doesn't exist.

Jesus is limitless. He has no end. He never fails.

What are you looking for?
What are you waiting for?

God has no issue with your doubts. He's not afraid of them. He does not fault you for your doubts. But when your doubts influence your life more than your faith does, then there's a problem because that's when your doubts keep you away from God.

And He wants you to come close and cast all your cares onto Him. That includes your doubts. Bring them to Him and He'll take care of them. He is willing to show you the truth that would get rid of your doubts if you were honest with Him about them in the first place.

Don't be like the teachers and Pharisees.

There's no need to think that there's always a catch with Jesus, that He has a back door, a loophole to get out of any and every promise He's made to you. Jesus is not trying to dodge or skip out on you.

Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away but My words will never pass away" (Matthew 24:35).

You can trust Him even if your circumstances look crazy, His word reigns over your life, always.

Faith in the Waiting

A ruler came and knelt before Jesus and said, "My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her and she will live." Jesus got up and went with him... Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind Him and touched the edge of His garment. Jesus turned and saw her.
excerpt: Matthew 9:18-26
cf. Luke 8:40-56 and Mark 5:21-43

It's a small moment, imperceptible to everyone but you.

The moment when you lose hope. The moment when the light behind your eyes dim and the door to your heart closes shut.

A moment you replay in your head until it numbs the rage, the disappointment, the frustration surging through your veins into a cool indifference.

A moment where you were certain that one thing was going to happen but something else interrupted your thing and now you don't think it's going to happen at all.

It's a moment that I am all too familiar with.

It's a sucky moment to experience.

It's one of the reasons why I like isolation. When you're alone, when you don't have to see people get what you have been praying for, it's easier to deal with waiting.

Doubt and comparison don't bog you down. Insecurities don't crop up and strangle your dreams. You can wait without worrying.

But, we're surrounded by people. And we live on multiple timelines of social media. And we have eyes. We can see people get what we have been waiting for and the damning thoughts come up when we see
The girl who gets the boy
She's much prettier than me. Maybe that's why I'm still single.
The airplane tickets to Europe    
That's his third trip this year. I will never be able to save up enough money to travel.
The positive pregnancy test
They just got married and weren't even trying. We've been trying for years.
The new house
She has so much more room. I feel suffocated in my tiny apartment.
The bonus at work
When will I be rewarded for the work I've put in this company? 
The list can go on and on. And as the tally goes up, your expectancy, your hope decreases just so you don't have to experience the heart wrenching let down that's sure to follow when that thing you've been praying for doesn't come through again.

But what if your answer, the key to unlock your prayers, the end goal, just rolled up on the shores one day?

What would you do? Will you go after it, when it's so clearly in view?

What would you do when you see the answered prayer within reach but everyone else and their mamas within a 50 mile radius also see its approach? What would you do when a crowd surrounds the thing you've been waiting for?

That's what happened when Jesus entered any scene. He attracted the multitudes wherever He went. Even when He wanted to be alone with His crew, people just showed up expecting miracles and sermons.

And Jesus delivered: so much so that one time He provided lunch for 5,000+ people from seven loaves and two fish.

When people saw Jesus, they forgot what personal space was and pressed into Him on all sides. They just knew He had something to give and they wanted it.

And sometimes their need would form an impenetrable wall around Jesus. But that fact didn't deter two people who were in desperate need the day Jesus came back to his hometown.

One man, named Jarius, was a synagogue leader, whose daughter was dying. The crowd probably split open for him to fall easily at Jesus' feet to plead for His assistance. After all, who would deny a town leader access to the Savior? Jesus hears his pleas and agrees to come and heal his daughter and on their way to Jarius' house, someone intercepts.

This someone is a woman who has had the issue of blood for twelve years. Back in those days when a woman menstruated, she was considered to be unclean and had to isolate herself for the duration of her period. This woman had to bear that stigma for twelve years nonstop, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. She was shunned from her community and avoided at all cost. Because obviously menstruation is contagious...

(eyes rolling out my head and rolling down the street)

She probably has tried everything twice, three times for good measure, by the time Jesus comes. And she's probably heard the stories of the amazing blessings He's bestowed on people by the time He shows up. So, she comes to the conclusion that she needs what He has: she has to get it.

But the woman couldn't take the Jarius' approach: bold and direct. She didn't have his status at all. (She doesn't even have a name in the Bible!) If people saw her coming, they would sneer and snap at her to stop with the foolish thinking, that the Lord would have nothing to do with the likes of her.

And say that they did part a way as to avoid catching what she was carrying, who's to say that Jesus wouldn't take one look at her and turn His nose up at her? Who's to say that He wouldn't shun her as well, like everyone else has done for the past twelve years? Who's to say that He's nothing like them?

The woman isn't willing to find out. She's waited too long for her miracle and she's not going to forfeit. So using the crowd as a cover, she pushes through to touch the hem of His cloak, because surely the power He carries must seep into everything that touches Him?

Have you ever been that desperate? To think that something inanimate could change your life just because it belongs to the Person who could actually implement the change?

Her desperate thinking works. The instant she touches His hem, the power leaves Him and heals her. She feels the change immediately but the joy bubbling inside her stops short because she's not the only one who notices.

Jesus has felt it too. And He's making a scene about it as well, asking, "Who touched Me?"

Oh Jesus... (eyes roll into another city)

He's in the middle of a mob, random hands touching Him as He passed by. But none of those hands touched Him with the faith that nameless outcast of a woman had: she believed that His hem would heal her. That's amazing faith!

Of course that wouldn't slip His radar.

When the woman realizes she couldn't go unnoticed any longer, she steps forward and Jesus turns to her.

And He doesn't do what she fears. He doesn't do what the people surrounding Him expect.

He turns to her and blesses her. That simple, but profound, act shows something that God wants to remind those who've felt as if they've been disqualified, who've felt unworthy, who've felt as if they have become desperate in their waiting: God is willing.

He has not forgotten about you. He is not far from you. Whatever is happening with you, God sees and God knows and God is so willing to help you. Your waiting on Him is not in vain. He won't turn away from you when you call out His name. He will turn to you willingly.

But what if you're not like the woman with the issue of blood? What if you're like Jarius, who was upfront about his need? Who didn't sneak around because he didn't have anything to be ashamed about? Who was a upstanding citizen, a leader in the town who also desperately needed Jesus' help? And once he got Jesus' attention and was on His way to help out, he got highjacked on the way by someone else?

And what's worst is that by the time Jesus was done with the woman, one of Jarius' servants came to announce that his daughter was dead. There was no need to bother the Master any longer.

Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever been cheated out of your blessing? Have you missed the chance to get your blessing?

You did everything right but something happened and the opportune time, situation, person passed you by.

Well, God also wants to say to those who have felt that way that He is able. Our God is limitless. Our God is the Source. It all starts with Him. Our God has no end. Our God is not bound by time and His power does not yield to death. He wants to remind you that no one can tap Him dry, no one can exhaust Him, He hasn't spent Himself, He is never late. Never!

No one can ever steal your blessing. If it hasn't happened yet, it means that He's still on His way.

Wherever you find yourself today, remember that it is never in vain to wait, to hope and to trust in the Lord. He is willing and able and He is coming. Don't give up no matter how long it has been.

He wants to do it! He will do it! He is able to do it!

And for those who have dreams, hopes and faith buried and long forgotten, just know that Jarius' daughter came back to life once Jesus touched her hand.

It's time to dig up those bones.

As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you...
Do not be afraid... Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard...
excerpts from Daniel 9:23, 10:12

Mini Bites 37.0

Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there. Don’t prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom.”
Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’..."

Amos was stirring up some trouble. He had a word for the Israelites from God and the priest, Amaziah was not having it at all.

Because God's word didn't align with what the Israelites wanted to hear. They didn't want to hear what the Lord had planned if Israel refused to repent and turn back towards the Lord. 

They wanted to remain complacent, they wanted to delve deeper into the world's luxuries and riches. They didn't want to turn away from what pleased their eyes, their flesh so they closed their hearts against God.

Amaziah was in charge of keeping the status quo of his people, rather than raising the people up to God's standards and he asked Amos to leave and stop sharing God's word.

But Amos stood his ground. He wasn't going to be bullied by the priest. And you shouldn't either.

Stop settling for the status quo.

I'm not sure what is discouraging you from doing or sharing the word God gave you.

Maybe someone is trying to kick you out because you are disturbing the peace. Maybe you don't fit the mold or the vision that is normal, familiar to those around you. Maybe they don't understand where you're coming from. Maybe you're weird and no matter what you do, you cannot fit in the place to which God called you. Maybe you were better off where God got you from and maybe you're thinking of going back to that place...

Stop where you are. Don't you dare uproot from where God planted you.

People may try to label you, move you and misplace you but you've got to remember what God spoke over you.

Remember when you were minding your own business, tending to your own grass, occupying the lane you were in, then God interrupted and gave you a different agenda, a different lawn and a different street to take care of...

God did not make a mistake.


He called you to the place you are because He has a word, a purpose inside you that needs to be unleashed there. 


Because no one can move you.

Like what Amos experienced, God opened a door for you, gave you an opportunity that no man can alter.

People can huff and puff but no one can keep God's word from moving forward. No one can keep you from moving forward with His plan.

So do it, whatever it is that God gave you to do in this moment.

Don't give up because no one is rolling the red carpet to welcome and accept you.

Their reactions, your circumstances do not and will never null His word.

His word cannot be void. His purpose will be fulfilled.

So be faithful where He placed you.
Be faithful with what He entrusted you.

God did not make a mistake in choosing you to be a light.
He knows what He's doing although people might be looking at you, confused.

Remember He gave you the vision, not them.
Be faithful and walk it out.


It's 2015!!!

We've made it another year!

But to be honest, I am already nervous... 3 days in and I'm griped by fear. That has got to be a record!

Where's my prize???

This May, I graduate from my Master program. I'm crossing the stage to receive my degree in Creative Writing and...

Well, that's just it. I don't know what's next. And I'm scared.

I've been here 3 years ago (where does the time go?), staring at the unknown, not sure of which way to go.

All I do know, this time around, is that I'm seeking God's face about this issue. I'm not moving to the left or right until He tells me where to go.

But in the meantime, in perfect Regine style, I'm complaining to my friend on the phone.

And in her fashion, she interrupts me and says, "While you wait, don't just sit on your ass and twiddle your thumbs. Find out what your options are so that He can actually lead you somewhere."

Then in His merciful way, God puts a spotlight on Numbers 13 in my head.

In this chapter, the Israelites are approaching the promise land, so God said, "Send men to scout the country of Canaan that I am giving to the People of Israel."

"Go and see what I am going to give you."

God can tell you all about what He wants to do through you but if you don't step out in faith, if you don't walk out in faith, nothing is going to happen.

The Israelites had to go out into the unknown and get a vision of the promise that God gave Abraham many moons ago, who left everything that was familiar and comfortable because God told him to. Abraham didn't know where he was going but he knew that the One who called him was faithful to do it.

Now, centuries later they stood at the peripheral of the unknown that held their promise land.

40 days later, the scouts came back with good news: the land was exactly the way that God described it all along. A land overflowing with milk and honey, with massive grapes and pomegranates and figs...

But... there's always a but conveniently found when God tells you to do something (or is that just me?)

There were giants and lions and bears oh my!!!

Unfortunately, ten of the twelve men who were sent into the land, focused on the obstacles that the unknown held.

But... I'm grateful that God rebuffs our rebuttals; He isn't going to let go of you that easily.

Caleb butts in and said, "We should go up and take possession of the land for we can certainly do it."

Which is kind weird. I'm sure Caleb saw the same things that the other ten saw:

1) powerful, fierce people
2) large, fortified cities
3) and let's not forget about the giants

I'm sure they saw the same things, however, Caleb didn't allow what he saw eclipse God or drown out His promises.

He remembered what God said, "I will give you this land." Caleb was going to trust in God and go get that land.

Regardless of what they found, God said that it was theirs. It didn't matter what it looked like, it was theirs to take.

It doesn't matter how it looks like or how it makes you feel, if God said it, it's already done. Now walk in it.

Like the Israelites, we have a choice to make: will you listen to God's word or the circumstances' report? Whose voice will we listen to?

And I get it, the circumstances are terrifying but God's word reigns, His promises reign! His truth doesn't stop being the truth because it gets hard.
When you feel like you can't do it, then you need to remember that through Christ, you can do anything.
When you feel ugly, then you need to remember that God calls you beautifully and wonderfully made.
When you feel scared, then you need to remember that God said to not be afraid for He is with you and will never leave you nor forsake you.
When you feel weak, then you need to remember that God's grace is sufficient for you because His strength is made perfect in your weakness.
Stop listening to the lies, stop looking at the walls, the giants, the circumstances and remember His truth!

I think God allowed them a sneak peek, so that when the hard times came, they could remember what they were fighting for in order to keep on fighting.

But most importantly, He wanted them to know that they weren't fighting for victory. They were fighting from victory. It was already theirs. Their situation just needed to catch up to God's reality.

I love God. This chapter was what I needed: a reminder that, although it's horribly dark and frightening, the unknown holds the fulfillment of His promises to me and that I need to stop skirting around it and go get it. Otherwise, I will never see it.

And yea, I don't know what the promise looks like just yet but if I start looking, I know God is going to reveal it to me.

So, I need to start walking.

What about you? What do you need to start walking towards?