Tagged step forward

the shoreline of perspective

[cross-posted to www.kimberlygallagher.com]

[VIDEO CLIP]theshorelineofperspective

Standing on the shore, looking out at the expanse of water and sky – nothing but water…sun…clouds…and the whooshing sound of the waves as the tide goes in…and out.

Breathing in salty air…breathing out life.

Clearing my mind.

Clearing my soul.

Gaining perspective.

Sometimes God places us on the shore – to rest and retreat away from the crashing waves of chaos that push and pull at us: – that space of creative silence where we can’t generate content or pour ourselves out. That place of perspective and discernment where we don’t speak, but instead tune into what God is speaking to us.

This unexpected shore of perspective might be a job change, an illness, a shift in family dynamics…some life event or situation that causes us to step back and take stock of the situation, to reprioritize and reconnect with what is important.

“Since we live by the Spirit let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25)

Sometimes we feel sidelined on the shore.

Sometimes we feel passed by on the shore.

Sometimes we feel alone on the shore.

But the shore is a vital part of our walk with the Lord. If we live our entire lives walking on the busy, crowded water of our mission, or tossing in the chaos waves of the storm, we will miss what the Holy Spirit can only say to us in the quiet, decluttered spaces.

“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)

Stillness, retreat and silence are all necessary parts of our relationship with God. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily details of the task or mission, and even easier to make those details about the things we want instead of what God wants for us. Spending time in stillness and silence draws us closer to our Creator, deepens our faith, strengthens our relationship with Him, and reminds us that His plans are greater than what we can understand in our limited knowledge.

Time on the shore of perspective is time to allow God to bring the components of our lives into focus so that we can head back into the water with His Purpose, to let Him accomplish what only God can do.

Save

Save

beyond the tree

someday: beyond the tree

[cross-posted to www.kimberlygallagher.com]

Recently, I was cleaning out the unfinished side of the basement which involved reorganizing and digging through stacks of boxes. As I unwrapped a pile of framed items to investigate, I rediscovered something special: a framed picture of tree tops against a sunrise.  These trees belonged to a neighbor’s yard a few doors up and I could see them out the side door window of the house I grew up in. About 30 years ago when I took this picture with a film camera, I titled it “Sunrise Through My Favorite Tree”.

Now, as I pulled this framed photo out of its aged, faded newspaper, I remembered what that fluffy tree on the right represented, and I realized that all along it was my “Someday” picture.

How many seconds added up to minutes,
added up to hours,
staring at that fluffy tree,
marveling at the sunrise or the sunset or the pretty clouds or swirling stormy skies.

How many hours added up to days,
added up to years,
looking out the window past the tree tops,
knowing there was an entire world waiting.

There were days when that waiting world seemed impossibly far away, as if it would never arrive — but those days where tempered by the ones when the eager anticipation of hopes and dreams would swell in my chest and fizz through my body to the point that I felt like I could fly over the trees into my destiny!

This treed view out my side door window contained no ordinary foliage. This view was filled with all of the joy, sorrow, and ups and downs experienced up to that point mixed with all of the anxiety, anticipation, hope, excitement and unknown of the future I longed for.

Someday…

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
(Jeremiah 29:11).

At some point, the future (a.k.a. “Someday”) arrived and it has been beyond my wildest expectations. That’s not to say there haven’t been rough times, disappointments, etc., etc. but what God has planned is so much more incredible than anything I could plan on my own.

What about you?

Do you have a “Someday” picture tucked away in a box somewhere? Or maybe it’s a memory buried deep in your heart…?

“Someday I _____________” (fill in the blank)

Do you realize that “Someday…” is now?

If you’re an adult, the future has arrived. God has a plan for you and He’s waiting for you to take the first step toward a deeper relationship with Him, and journey with Him on this wild, exhilarating ride that life can be.

What is stopping you?

Someday is NOW.

unexpected

expect the unexpected

This week…

Live out your mission…Walk the path God has planned for you whether it’s overgrown with brush, clogged with mud, or barren and less traveled.

Expect the unexpected…When you step out and start walking, each step with your eyes fixed on Jesus, your whole body leaning toward Him, your heart open, you will journey deeper and be drawn closer to the heart of God.

gifts and talents

explore

Happy Friday from all of us at step forward! Approaching the weekend can be exciting or daunting depending on your schedule. Often, our days are crammed with activities making space and silence a hot commodity. As we wrap up this week, our prayer is that you will have an opportunity to spend time in conversation with God so that you can be spiritually refueled for the days ahead. We also pray you will have time to explore your gifts and talents and consider how God wants you to use them for His Glory.

 

faithfulness

[cross-posted from www.kimberlygallagher.com]

Focus on faithfulness and obedience in every task God gives you to do, no matter how small or insignificant it might appear. Maybe God gave you a big-picture vision and you have no idea how to get there. Don’t get mired down, worry, or lose heart. Focus on serving Him one step at a time, even if you’re on Step #1,247 wondering where the road is going to lead or when God is going to move. You never know what God will do next and He will direct your steps in HIS timing!

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” (Luke 16:10)