Preparation

Preparation. We are all in that mode right now. Back to school has us running around frantically trying to tie up all the loose ends. We want to be ready. We want our kids to step through those doors on the first day confident that they have all the tools they need to learn and to be successful. 
God feels the same way about us, but He isn’t frantic. Thank goodness He doesn’t wait until the last minute to take care of business. Currently pointing my finger at myself. 
He knew us before we were formed in our mother’s womb. Every minute, every hour, every single day – God has His eyes on us. He has watched us grow up, mess up, love, fall apart, and learn all while preparing our hearts and minds for eternity with Him. 
Preparing for the upcoming week is so important, but preparing for eternity – don’t let that slip through the cracks. As God is preparing Heaven for us, let’s prepare our hearts for him. 
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,

before you were born I set you apart;

I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:5 

Come as you are 

Come as you are. 
Broken 

Shamed

Depressed

Angry

Hurt
God will be waiting with open arms. He will wrap you up in the tightest hug you’ve ever experienced – even better than hugging your grandma. Let Him. 
Come as you are, but let God change you. 
The broken can be complete. 

The shamed can be esteemed. 

The depressed can be comforted. 

The angry can be calmed. 

The hurt can be soothed. 
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” -Isaiah 43:19

Don’t discount kids 

Don’t discount kids. Don’t discount people period. You may have preconceived notions about others due to their:
Clothes

Hair

Family

Race

Gender

Religion

Cleanliness

Socioeconomic status 
We don’t know how God is going to use these babies. We don’t know the direction God is leading them. But I do know this – God is going to take whatever adversity they are facing now, and He is going to use it to tell a story. His story. A testimony. And these kids that are often times moved to the back burner are going to do the most amazing things. They are going to be leaders. Game-changers. They are going to be mothers and fathers. They are going to move mountains. 
Don’t discount kids because God didn’t discount you. 
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there. -Matthew 19:13-14

Bad days 

Unexpected circumstances do not constitute a bad day. This is something I have to repeat to myself over and over again. It’s easy to be so set in a schedule that unforeseen glitches in our day can rattle us to the core. We let these snags dictate our entire world. 
Jesus, help me to be a more go with the flow type of person. Help me to remember that it is all going to be ok. That it’s all going to get done. And that there are far more worse things then a glitch in my to do list. 
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” -1 Peter 5:7 

The big picture 

Ruth could have easily been discouraged. 
Her husband passed away

Her father in law passed away

She was an outsider in a foreign land

She was poor

She was a woman 
However, if you look closely at her story you will see an intricately woven web of events that remind us how powerful God’s hand upon us is. 
She was a Moabite, a nation founded in sin. God still used her. She was displaced from her family. God still used her. She was a woman. God still used her. 
No matter how small and insignificant you feel right now, God is using you. You can’t see the big picture, but God can. You just have to trust that God’s powerful hand is working in your life just like It was working in Ruth’s. 
After all, Ruth ended up being the grandmother of King David. That’s a pretty important detail in this beautiful story that is still being written today. 
“But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.” – 2 Chronicles 15:7 

We need Jesus 

Hate is formed when a human being has a missing link within their soul. That link is Jesus. Until Christians reach out and saturate their brothers and sisters with the love of Christ -this world will continue to be bombarded with hateful acts targeting innocent people. 
Wake up and look around. Everything that God has touched is beautiful. This includes people that are different than ourselves. This includes people that you don’t agree with. They may not even believe in God, but He still created them. They are still His, and they are still beautiful. The true beauty within their heart just hasn’t been discovered yet. 
You could be the catalyst that sparks change within someone. 
With a smile.

With a kind word.

With open and understanding arms. 
Be the person that makes other people want to be better. Be Jesus here on Earth. 
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.In the same way, let your light shine before others,that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

 -Matthew 5:14-16

God’s big enough 

You don’t have to carry that burden all by yourself. In fact, you don’t have to carry it all. I know someone personally that will take the weight of the world off your shoulders, and in the words of Maggie Marino, “He has big mus-cools.” 
He spoke the world into existence

He formed man in His own image 

He raised the dead

Gave sight to the blind

Healed the sick

Parted the Red Sea 
Y’all. I can keep going and going. We know all of these things, but we tend to mess up big time in the “application of our faith department”.
God is just as big now as He was then. 

God wants to do big things in your life. 

You are worth it to Him. 

God wants you be be joyful not joyless. 
Give it to Him and trust Him. 

Let God do His thing. 
“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands.” – Psalm 90:17