The key…

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Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.
Phillipians 2:1-4

Pure love, pure motive.

Don’t give in to the temptation to manipulate, positioning myself over or ahead of anyone else.
Don’t try to own it all and don’t try to take what belongs to someone else.

Listen for the whispers that instruct me and boldly take steps in the direction I am being led.
Cultivate my soil.
 That is the key to joy and contentment.

Nothing will be withheld from me.

Encourage others to own what they have been given.
Build up, cheer and affirm — wherever possible.

Understand that some rival because they are afraid.
Understand that sometimes — that might be me.

We weren’t made to self glory — we were made to reflect glory. 

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Photo art: kingabritschgi via Slowly Drifting

Stay focused…

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Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.
Psalm 16:5-6 NIV

You have assigned me my portion. This package has my name on it — the exact provisions and quantities are there. If I take the path you have designed for me — according to your instructions, without chasing after lies, without insisting on more or longing for different, I will succeed in living a rich and fulfilled life.

Stay focused — do not give in to insecurity, greed, lust for power or glory.

Simply inventory my provisions and follow you.

There is something freeing and immensely satisfying about beating the temptation to wish for what is not mine.

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Photo from: browndresswithwhitedots.tumblr.com/post/12028805342

Defy Nature

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In Matthew chapter 14 Jesus learns that John the Baptist, the one who had known his purpose,  even in the womb — had been viciously murdered. John and Jesus shared a special connection — they were purposed and were purposeful.

Jesus responded to this news by climbing into a boat and heading off to a place to be alone, but when the word spread that he might be within reach, he was followed by people in the nearby villages. Jesus could see them gathering and walking along the lakeshore and he was overcome with compassion. In all his grief — in his probable state of frustration and anger — Jesus still chose to give way to compassion, to engage and to heal crowds.

John’s senseless death only served to propel him forward.
Jesus so emptied himself of fear, hatred, and rage — he so surrendered — that the force of love yielded miraculous results.
That kind of infused love that changes everything.
He healed the sick and miraculously fed the 5000 men, women, and children that had gathered near the shore.

After Jesus dismissed the crowds, he sent his disciples off in the boat and climbed up the mountainside to be alone and pray. When he came down, just before dawn, the boat was a good distance away from shore in rough waves. Defying nature, Jesus walked on water to reach the boat.

All this…  just after the loss of John. The event could have shut him down.
He could have given up or given way, but the circumstances only proved to strengthen him. He hadn’t traded his faith for fear or unbelief.
What was it like that day as he took to the water?
Was there a gentle breeze that touched his face?

He was able to empty himself, listen, and receive the sustenance he needed to survive not only his own grief, but to pour out unfathomable love.

That’s the kind of pure love I want — the kind that banishes all that I could — and maybe should — feel.
The kind that overcomes my rights, my propensities, and my self consciousness.
The kind that defies nature and encourages miracles.

help me see past my feeble eyes.

thank you, God…

to know all you knew — and still press in — whoa.
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Photo by House and Garden