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Yes, and…

mayyes-and-fancyWhile my husband and I were at a financial workshop designed for couples to communicate effectively in regard to the emotional impact finances have on their marriage, we did an interesting activity involving brainstorming. We were given a scenario and told to try to solve the dilemma using the phrase “Yes, but…” After a few minutes we were instructed to use the same scenario, but use the phrase “Yes, and…” while brainstorming.

What a difference one word makes! At the completion of the exercise, we talked about how easy it was to use “Yes, but…” to get our point across, yet, didn’t help us solve the problem. Using the phrase, “Yes, and…” took a little more effort but opened our hearts and minds to greater possibilities.

Later in the evening we had opportunity to brainstorm solutions for one of our own financial goals. While doing this, my husband and I found ourselves in a quandary because we were literally saying “Yes, but…” and tension was escalating. “Yes, I hear what you’re saying but you want me to do what?” “Yes, I hear what you’re saying but that’s ridiculous!”

We weren’t getting anywhere because we weren’t hearing each other. Suddenly it hit us! We were saying the wrong things! We smiled! We laughed! We regrouped! We started saying, “Yes, and…” We had fun! We brainstormed! We came up with a plan! We’re on our way to reaching our goal!

All this got me thinking though about something bigger! It got me thinking about the power of those two little words, “Yes, and…” AND what if we used those words with Jesus! What if we read His Word and always responded with those two words?

let_not_your_heart_be_troubled_mousepad-p144284209831913735envq7_400Here’s what it might look like taking John 14 as an example: Jesus says, “Don’t let your hearts get all out of whack! Don’t be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.” We say, “Yes, and how cool is it that we don’t have a trouble in the world AND how cool is it that we GET to believe.”

maxresdefaultJesus says, “Yes, and in My Father’s house are MANY mansions. I’m going there to prepare a place for you.” We say, “Yes, and when I die, I GET to live in the place You’re preparing.”

Jesus says, “Yes, and since I’m going away to get this place ready, you can believe I’m coming back to get you so where I am, you are.” We say, “Yes, and I can hardly wait to see what You’ve prepared for me.”

Jesus says, “Yes, and where I go, you know! AND, you know the way.” We say, “Yes, and we know we know the way because we know You.” (Yes, read it the way I wrote it)

imagesJesus says, “Yes, and there is more! I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” We say “Yes, and knowing You the way we do, we also know our Father.”

Jesus says, “Yes, and because you believe in Me you get to come to your Father.” We say, “Yes, and now because we know our Father, can you show us our Father?”

Jesus says, “Yes, and I can do more than that! Just so you know…you’re looking at Him…because when you see Me you see your Father who is in Me and I am in Him.” We say, “YES, and…Is there more, Jesus?”

He says, “Yes, and assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also and greater works than these he will do because I go to My Father.” We say, “Yes, and how excited we are to do these greater works. Is there more?”

20120319-231032Jesus says, “Yes, and whatever you ask in My name, I will go ahead and do it just so My Father will be glorified in Me.” We say, “Yes, and from now on I’m going to ask for all the “whatever’s” in Your name. Is there still more?”

Jesus says, “Yes, and if you ask ANYTHING in My Name, I will do it.” We say, “Are You kidding me?” (haha!) No, we say, “Yes, and if I ask for anything in Your name, I know You will do it. More Lord?”

Jesus says, “Yes, and if you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” We say, “Yes, and because I love You, it is truly an honor and privilege to obey You.”

pic twoJesus says, “Yes, and there is more! I will pray that My Father will give you another Helper who will stay with you forever.” We say, “Yes, and I can’t wait to get to know this Helper intimately.”

Jesus says, “Yes, and this Helper is the Spirit of truth and you already know Him.” We say, “Yes, and we know Him because He lives in us and is with us all the time,everywhere we go.”

Jesus says, “Yes, and you can believe something else too… I would never leave you fatherless. I’m coming back.” We say, “Yes, and I can hardly wait! I’m so excited for the time You are coming to get me.”

Jesus says, “Yes, and until that time the Helper, Holy Spirit, whom Father God is sending in My name will teach you everything you need to know and He will help you remember everything I’ve said to you.” We say, “Yes, and I am teachable and want to know and remember everything! Is there still more?”

images (1)Jesus says, “Yes, and I’m leaving you something real special. My peace! It will keep your heart from being troubled and afraid.” We say, “Yes, and Your peace is so different from the fake peace the world offers us.”

Yes, and I could go on and on and on in God’s Word! I could show you lots of examples where we see people saying, “Yes, and…” People like Abraham when God said He would make his descendants like sand on the seashore. People like Rebekah who went with Abraham’s servant when he met her at the well and said he would like to take her back to be Isaac’s wife. People like Mary, Joseph, Paul, and let’s not forget Jesus, who always responded to His Father with “Yes, and…”

There are lots of “Yes, but…” responses too. BUT, those don’t turn out so well just as our “Yes, but’s” don’t turn out so well today! It’s a choice! As for me, I’m going to make sure my vocabulary includes the phrase, “Yes, and…” instead of “Yes, but…” and I’m going to have some fun with the Lord today and everyday! How about you? My suggestion is you give it a try! What do you have to lose except some “but’s”!

 

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Posted by on July 23, 2014 in Peace, Uncategorized

 

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How Awesome IS Our God? #3

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This is Round Number Three of the “How Awesome IS Our God?” blogs using an acronym for AWESOME so we can see just how awesome our God really is!

A – Through Adoration

W – In Wonder

E – With Energy and Expectation

S – In Simplicity

O – By Obsession

M – Through Meditating on Him

E – With Excitement Everyday

We’ve talked about the “A” and the “W” (you can read installments one and two)! Now it’s time to investigate God’s awesomeness with energy and expectation! I think the best way to investigate anything in life is with energy and expectation… with vigor, liveliness, and forcefulness (energy), confidently believing with strong hope that we’ll discover something new (expectation). So, to discover how awesome our God is, we ought to go after Him with energy and expectation; with vigor, liveliness and force, fully confident and hopeful we’ll find ourselves overcome by His awesomeness.

8451914-image-of-energetic-man-jumping-high-against-bright-blue-skyEnergy in and of itself implies present tense. It’s tough to be energetic about something in the past.  Yet sometimes, that’s how we live as believers and followers of Jesus Christ. We’re grateful He saved us by grace through faith; we’re thankful He forgave and redeemed us; and we love the idea of living eternally in heaven with God! But, we often lack an energized, enthusiastic, vigorous and living relationship with God. We often take His awesomeness for granted; we relegate His awesome work in our life to something in the past; no less true but not a present reality for us! It’s great to have testimony of God’s goodness from the past but if that’s all we have, if we always have to reach back into the recesses of our minds to tell of the awesomeness of God, we’ll likely not be energized to explore more of His awesomeness today!

So let’s think present tense; let’s think of today! To explore the awesomeness of God with energy, think about how God has touched you in the last twenty-four hours! How has God revealed His awesomeness to you? If you struggle to come up with even one thing, it’s time to get energized and expectant once again. The neat thing is, we don’t have to drum up this energy and expectancy ourselves. We just get to tap into God’s power; His vigor, His energy, His expectation, His get-up-and-go oomph in life! We just get to talk about how awesome He is. When we do this, we get energized! The more we talk about Jesus, the more we’ll pay attention to Him, the more we’ll recognize Him, the more energy we’ll want to expend for Him, the more expectant we’ll be of Him, and the more we’ll explore His awesomeness all day long!

See…it’s amazing what happens when we stop letting everything else in life consume our time and attention; we start getting in tune with the awesomeness of God; we start adoring God and wondering more about Him; we get more energy to seek God, and our expectation to experience His awesomeness grows exponentially as well!  In fact, we might say when we seek the Lord with energy, God’s AWESOME FACTOR swells to “out of this world” proportion AND we expect to live in His awesomeness every day of our lives!

1641065_origThis all happens by faith!  Here’s the thing…energy, expectation and faith are closely related! “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) “Now” faith, “Now” energy, and “Now” expectation – these all keep us living in the moment, in the present, in today! When we exert energy in seeking after the Lord, expectancy is created, and by faith we’ll experience what we hope for; we’ll experience evidence of His awesomeness.

Let today be a day of discovering the great depths of the awesomeness of God with energy and expectation. Let me give you three things from Luke 24:49 to help us do this! Jesus told the disciples to wait for the Promise. “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

1. They were to “tarry”; to wait. I guarantee their waiting was with a great deal of energy and expectancy knowing by faith, power was coming! 2. To be “endued” means His power would literally sink into them; they would be clothed with power. It’s like sinking into bed, or sinking into something perfectly fit just for you! 3. The Greek word for this “power” is “dynamis”! It means with strength and vigor. It would be appropriate to say, this power was “energy” sinking into them, becoming one with them.

Today friends the promise is fulfilled! Wait expectantly, looking for the awesomeness of God everywhere you go and in everything you do! Know you are endued with power! So go ahead and exert what He has clothed you with; vigor and liveliness! Don’t be surprised when the awesomeness of God overwhelms you from head to toe, inside and out!

Oh, and by the way…have some fun too! Be energized! Be expectant! Be awesome!

Awesome-God

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2013 in Awesome God

 

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A Simple Story About Knowing God and Finding Him…Even at Church!

oldshackpicThere was an old recluse who lived deep in the mountains of Colorado. When he died, distant relatives came from the city to collect his valuables. Upon arriving, all they saw was an old shack with an outhouse alongside it. Inside the shack, next to the stone fireplace, was an old cooking pot and his mining equipment. A cracked table with a three-legged chair stood guard by a tiny window, and a kerosene lamp served as the centerpiece for the table. In a dark corner of the little room was a dilapidated cot with a threadbare bedroll on it.

They picked up some of the old relics and started to leave. As they were driving away, an old friend of the recluse, on his mule, flagged them down. “Do you mind if I help myself to what’s left in my friend’s cabin?” he asked. “Go right ahead,” they replied. After all, they thought, what inside that shack could be worth anything?

The old friend entered the shack and walked directly over to the table. Reaching under it he lifted one of the floor boards and proceeded to take out all the gold his friend had mined and kept over the past 53 years – enough to have built a palace. The recluse died with only his friend knowing his true worth. As the friend looked out the little window, watching the cloud of dust behind the relative’s car disappear, he said to himself, “They should have gotten to know him better.”

couiza_church_interiordrumheller-little-church-interiorDo we ever treat God and His Church this way? Do we think of Him as some old recluse living in the deep recesses of heaven? Do we just go to church to see if there is anything valuable worth collecting? Maybe you go to a fancy church with chandeliers and the latest, greatest of everything; new chairs with cup holders, a star-studded praise and worship team, a charismatic preacher, people laughing and conversing everywhere, a coffee shop, and lots happening! Or maybe you go to an old shack of a church with a bunch of worn-out stained pews, a ragamuffin praise team, a depleted and washed-up preacher, a couple of families just “hanging in there”, some grumpy old men, stale coffee, and a whole lot of things “not happening”. Or maybe you go to a church somewhere between these two extremes!

It doesn’t matter; many people go to Church just to mosey around, look at everything, pick up a few things here and there and then leave. They might find some things they like, especially in the “awesome” churches!  But unfortunately, we base so much of what we “want” out of church and what we think we need from God on what we can see by perusing our churches, failing to see past the “stuff”! We miss the value behind the chandeliers, comfortable chairs, shacks, outhouses, fireplaces, pots, cracked tables, windows, and lamps as centerpieces. All we see is “stuff”!

We saunter in and then out of Church without even noticing Holy Spirit waving us down saying, “Hey! Do you mind if I help myself to what’s left inside?” We dismiss Him quickly and casually saying “Go right ahead!” After all, we think, what’s inside worth anything we didn’t already take?

Holy Spirit enters our churches and walks directly up to the cross grabbing one of the many Bibles just lying around on His way! He opens it and kneels at the altar! For the umpteenth time He rediscovers the riches hidden in the pages of time; handles the treasure buried for those who take the time to dig; holds the prize concealed for those who want to know Him. Then He rises, looks out the door and windows and says “They should have gotten to know Him better.”  

The relatives knew about the old recluse; they knew they were related; they knew he lived where they didn’t want to be. They could have gleaned so much while He was alive and so much more after His death. As followers of Christ, we know about Jesus; we know we’re related! We know He lives where we want to be one day, but “not yet”. We can glean so much from Him but do we? Has He become an old recluse to us? Are we missing God’s valuables by living a distance away from Him? Have we undervalued His value to us? Have we undervalued His Church?

Matthew 13:44 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”

TheJesusYouShouldKnowUnlike the relatives, we still have time! We can get to know Him; the One who lived and died! We can be amazed by the treasures He has buried for us to find! We can dig for His valuables and find He has put everything away just for us to find! All we need to do is come to Him! He’s not so much interested in what we can see but in what we can’t see. When you go to church, look for the hidden treasures! Don’t just settle for the old (and new) relics of no value, the “stuff”! Don’t just check in with Him at church and then check out! Get to know Him better; in the simplicity of His life! Let’s commit to never hearing the words, “They should have gotten to know Him better!”

John 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

 

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