This journal

this journalIt has been since June that I resigned just after starting this journal. Journals have legs to walk with you through various journeys and seasons. Journals have backs and hearts to carry a great deal of things so you do not have to. This journal is a gift from a friend I have not seen or spoken with in many years. It was a random gift which arrived just before an enormous life change I did not foresee at the time. This journal came to me from a friend who has always been a strong encouragement to "Keep writing. Always keep writing." This journal came from this friend just before a season where it would have been easy to cease writing.

This journal has carried a lot of the things I never wanted to carry. If I could only displace those thoughts and processes on the back and heart of this journal, I could get through days, which would have been otherwise very discouraging and debilitating.

This journal contains the weak prayers of limping through the process of learning to ask God 'what' instead of 'why'. I rarely get answers to 'why' questions, but I have learned to look at any and all circumstances asking, "God, what are you doing in me through this?"

This journal contains notes for interviews come and gone for positions I thought were great, if not perfect, but clearly not where God was guiding and calling me.

This journal contains notes for sermons along the way for beloved groups who, unaware to them, gave shock paddles to my heart by giving me opportunities to do what I love in a season when my heart was weak and confused for the future.

This journal has been able to carry the promise of prayer my heart made for the new year. It proves that the challenge remains. It is written in ink after all.

This journal, #38, passes a baton to #39 with promise and hope attached. It uses the discouragement and healing as a springboard to speak to my heart, "You are a better leader, husband, and father than you were before we began walking together, but more importantly, you are closer to the heart of Jesus than you were before we met."

Owning what you are lent

I woke up a few days ago with a phrase on my heart and mind.

"you are believing or acting like you own what God has lent to you."

I liked the sound of it so much I went straight to facebook. I had not even got out of bed and I had to share it. I even added to it "selfishness is...". Lots of people "liked" in a matter of moments.

As I reflected on it throughout the day, I realized God had, in fact, lent me that statement at the beginning of my day.

Then I took and added to what God had lent me as if it were mine. Though it may be a definition of selfishness, that statement was for was what I needed to hear. I should share what God has lent to me, but I had not even possessed it long enough to sit with it before I shared it.

I am realizing now how much God has lent to me and I have treated it like it is mine. I get frustrated when those things are not as plentiful as I would like. I get frustrated when those things are not used as I think they ought? I get frustrated when these things have to be returned to God; these things which were never mine. Things like:

- My family - My tithe - My money - My gifts and talents - My Health - My Education - My Ministry - My time - My LIFE