Hey, all! So, Calculated Vendetta released May 1, 2017, so I put together a fun prize pack! To celebrate the releases, I’ve put together the prize pack pictured below. One randomly drawn winner will win the package. Want to join the fun? Read about the prizes and click the link below before 11:59 PM on May 31, 2017 to enter! Contest details and official rules are on the Rafflecopter site.
So, this morning, I was talking to a friend about tattoos. (Hang on with me here… I promise this is going somewhere.) She said, “If I ever get a tattoo, it’s going to say Be Still, because that’s what God’s been trying to teach me for years.”
For four months, God and I have been wrestling. We’ve gone around and around. I’ve cried. I’ve asked over and over for an answer. See, I want to be firmly in God’s will. I want to be doing what He wants. But I’ve felt for months like He isn’t telling me anything about anything, particularly about these things I have been praying about.
And then this whole tattoo conversation came up. It hit me that I have done everything except “be still.” I keep asking God to answer, to give me a path, to show me what to do… I’ve even listened.
But I haven’t simply stood still and laid the question at His feet.
“Here, Lord. Here’s my question. I’ll be over here continuing on in the way I’ve been going until You tell me to change course. I’ll be still. Right where I am.”
Because sometimes, silence doesn’t mean there’s no answer. It simply means “Don’t move. Not yet.” Because I find peace in plans and calendars, it can be hard to accept “Don’t do anything right now” as an answer.
That’s what makes it surrender.
Oh how we need to be emptied. It’s so easy to be consumed by the selfishness, the ambition, the pride, and all of the “foolish things” we cling to so hard in this world, the things that mean nothing eternally, the things that only distract us from God. Sometimes, when we draw close to God, when we get a few yes’s or “atta boy’s” from Him, we start to think every thought we have, every idea we get, every action we take is blessed by Him. We have an attitude that God is our God and He loves us, therefore He’ll back everything we do. And I’ve learned first hand–more than once–that every “good” idea is not necessarily a “God” idea. When we start to do that, we become our own gods. It’s a slow, stealthy, insidious little attitude that slips up on us, and we’re knee deep in the muck of it before we know it.
Every once in a while, shouldn’t we stop? Take stock of our motives? Sit still for a few minutes and ask ourselves–ask God–who is really driving the car? And then… kneel down and ask Him to empty us, so we can be filled with Him.
I guess today’s question would be… who are you full of? God? Or your own self? It’s quite possible the answer could surprise you, because it sure did surprise me.
Oh, I totally thought I knew what I was going to say this morning… and then I got out of bed. Ever felt like all you see is where Satan is ripping and tearing the lives of those around you? I know so many people in pain. It seems like everywhere I turn there are broken relationships, sickness, fears… The devil knows his time is short, y’all, and he’s mad about it.
And our nation… Our world… Oh, do we ever need Jesus now more than ever before, because there’s just no way out of anything without Him. And all my heart can do this morning is cry out this song and know He hears. And that’s all we need in the end, isn’t it?
Check it out! If you head over to Goodreads, you could win one of five signed copies of Calculated Vendetta before it releases on May 1! Stop by and check it out!
There are few things in the world I love more than walking on the beach at Frisco, North Carolina.
Very few things.
I know God is everywhere, all of the time. It just seems like there, on that beach, in that space, the veil is a little bit thinner. It’s like God’s and my special place. I can’t explain it to you unless you’ve experienced it for yourself… that one place where it just feels like you can close your eyes and feel God breathe.
Every single time I walk there, my spirit gets quiet and God says something. Every time.
Our trips to the beach have landed us in Avon the past few years, but not too long ago, I felt “my” beach calling when we were on the island. So I dragged my much loved friend and made her take the twenty-minute drive up the island to see my place and how it was faring.
She walked one way, and I walked the other. All I did was glory in being in my happy, God place. I hadn’t walked far when I happened to look down, and saw this etched in the sand…
Two trees. Do you see them? Trust me, in person, they were so much more amazing and three-dimensional than my trusty iPhone camera makes them look. Along the beach, there were no more, just these two, left behind by the receding tide. As much as God and I have talked on this particular stretch of beach, and with this being my first real walk there in several years, and with me being the only person standing in that spot, I had to feel like God left them there, drew them with His finger for me to find. See, we have a history there. He likes to tell me things there. Maybe because I’m more apt to listen.
And all I could think was Revelations 22: 1-5:
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. (NKJV)
I’ve been in a muddle lately, watching the news, seeing the world lose its mind. I wonder sometimes what’s going to happen next and how long we’ve got. And every time I go to the Outer Banks, I stand on the beach and wonder if it’s the last time. I’m not morbid, I’m not dwelling on it, I just wonder fleetingly, as I tell my happy place “see you later,” if this is the last later.
God’s told me a lot on that stretch of beach, but I think the most important thing is this: He knows the end from the beginning. He is always close by. He is never going to leave me alone.
He will always be God.
And I need to always be drinking Him in.