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It is hard to believe but we are less than 40 days till Christmas! WOOHOO!!! I love this time of year. I love the time spent with friends and family, I love the change in the season, I love the message that Christmas brings and I love the memories of holidays past that come flooding through my mind during this time.
I remember as a child impatiently waiting for Christmas to get here so we could open all the presents that I was expecting to receive. I had already circled everything I desired in the Sears catalogue and made sure my parents saw it as I left it open on the kitchen table! It was a time of expectation and wondering.
Some things never change…
I have been awake since early this morning, watching the sun rise behind the hills, casting an orange glow across the sky. I am not fully awake but I have this burning expectation in my spirit today. I awoke with a question in my soul early this morning. What am I expecting God to do today?
I know it is simple but yet it makes me stop and think about it – What do I EXPECT?
Let’s define what expectation is for just a moment:
expectation |ˌekspekˈtā sh ən|a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future
A strong belief that something will happen!! I want to have this type of awareness as I step into this day. You may be getting ready to go to church services this morning, so I would ask of you – what are your expecting? Are you just fulfilling religious duties this morning or just waiting for another “free” day to come to a close so you can hit the ground running again tomorrow? Or is there an expectation that today could be unlike any other time in your life? A day to expect and receive! A day to experience the goodness of life and God and all that He has brought your way.
There is a major theme that runs throughout the Word of God – CHANGE! There is written throughout the scriptures evidence that God desires change in us. He desires to see us give him our filthy garments so HE can clothe us with righteousness. HE promises us a GREAT EXCHANGE – give me your brokenness and I can turn it into wholeness – your emptiness and I will fill your life to abundance! Over and over again there is this idea that emerges out of the Word of a God that can take the shattered things of life and totally make something new out of it.
Why would I want to come into contact with The Creator and leave without some sort of change in my life? I think I will EXPECT God to do what He does best – CHANGE LIVES!
There is Power in Expectation!!
In my reading this morning, I came across a passage of scripture I found to be intriguing. Throughout the Book of Proverbs many of the words speak of what it takes to gain success in life. You have scriptures that speak to the importance of working hard in order to become successful, while others deal with the vital importance of gaining wisdom as the key component to understanding life and gaining perspective on what we are called to do and become.
There are many themes running through the collection of Proverbs, in fact there are too many to discuss in this one post, but today something stood out to me that caused me to pause and jot down a few thoughts. Take a closer look at this verse:
Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean,
but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox. (Prov. 14:4 ESV)
On the surface this seems to just be another random tangent Solomon travels down, but look closer and let it settle into your spirit –
- No oxen = Clean stall! This sounds rationale and wise. Makes total sense!! To put up with messy farm animals like an oxen is a lot of work and causes quite a stench. I grew up living out in the country in Idaho and we had cows from time to time and they take a lot of work and MAN do they like to mess things up! Plus they stink to high heaven. The easiest thing to do, the thing that seems to make sense on the surface, is to just not have any of these messy creatures in the first place!!
- But here is the deal: No oxen = Nothing to help bring about the harvest you are planning on in your future!! Success may take work with all of its messiness but it is the messiness, the hard work, the trouble you may have to go through, that provides the avenue for success.
We often do not like the struggle that accompanies success but it is the only way for it to come about. Learning to work through the difficult situations of life requires patience and perspective and both of those things require diligence to acquire.
Just a few thoughts I jotted down. Hope you have a great day!
This past week I sat in the home of an overcomer. Many of you may not even know who he is or have ever heard of him, but his story is one of the most inspiring stories one has ever lived. His name is Jeff Mallory and he pastors a church in Maui, HI. I know what you are thinking; sure he is inspiring – he lives in paradise! While that may be true, his story is much deeper than that. I have known Jeff since I was born and our parents have been friends before either of us were even thought of.
My family and I were on vacation in Maui a little over 3 years ago when Jeff first discovered something was wrong. In fact, the morning we flew in Jeff and his wife Brenda met us for lunch and told us they had just been to the doctor’s office and the doctors were concerned. At that time they really did not know what the problem was or how serious it would become. Things were still up in the air but you could feel the weight of the situation bearing down on Jeff and Brenda.
By the time we left the island on that vacation the situation was such that the doctors here in Maui did not feel they could properly diagnose the condition so they scheduled him to fly to the mainland and have tests conducted there. What was once a concern now was elevated to an emergency because once looked at here in the mainland, they discovered Jeff had a rare form of cancer that very few people live to tell about.
For the last 4 years Jeff and Brenda have lived on the edge, not knowing what was to come but believing in a God that was able to do miraculous things. Jeff was placed in a very selective program and after chemotherapy, three surgeries, an ileostomy, and a major bone marrow transplant from his brother, Jeff is a walking miracle. In fact a couple of years ago I asked Jeff to write a guest post here on my blog and you can read it by CLICKING THIS LINK.
While we were in their home this past week my mind began to think about the journey Jeff and his wife have been on and as I began to think about it I noticed three things about Jeff during this ordeal. Three things that I believe should be in every individual that desires to overcome:
I am thankful for the connections and friendships that God puts into our lives. Recently I was connected to a guy by the name of Matt McWilliams who is a pretty inspiring individual. We met through some online stuff we both are connected to and immediately began to notice we have some things in common. Matt has an awesome podcast called The World Changer Show and when I first heard his message I knew I wanted to be connected to him. His podcast keeps getting noticed and is in the top of his category on iTunes. Do yourself a favor and check it out!
Today, Matt wrote a blog post that mentions me and I wanted you to get a chance to read it. This guy is doing some amazing stuff and is helping people become the world changers they were created to be. I am honored to have him in my life and look forward to the future friendship God has brought our way. Thanks Matt!!!