restart blog

Stay Stuck or Restart

Anyone in my family knows that I hate to turn off my laptop and RESTART it. I keep opening more apps, downloading more files, adding more windows in my browser (my record is around 20 that I was legitimately using – ok almost legit). Until the inevitable happens…the “spinney wheel of death” descends and I have to face it – It’s frozen. I’ve jammed as many giga-whatevers onto my memory as possible and it needs a clear start! Sound familiar? Maybe it sounds like 2015 and it’s time for a new beginning.

Why do we hate starting over when a RESTART could be the answer to get us unstuck and moving down the path of purpose again?

Maybe because we feel:

  • A restart invalidates everything we’ve done before.
  • We don’t have the energy to start again.
  • Starting over is embarrassing. People have seen us try so many times before. It’s too late.
  • If we start over we’ll just be disappointed and fail again.
  • We don’t know how or where to begin again.

Or maybe these are just excuses to stay on the couch. (Ouch!)

Have you ever witnessed a piano recital student awkwardly stuck in the middle of a piece? The music was flowing along beautifully until the misfortunate-misplaced finger – plunk! plenk! They’re stuck and the more they try work it out, the worse it gets until the reassuring teacher asks, “Would you like to start over?” The decision lingers for silent debate…Run? Stay stuck? Or start over? No matter if it’s restarting your dream, restarting a decision to lose weight, restarting your budget to get out of debt or restarting on a failing relationship. God has a fresh start for you that regret can’t forfeit!

You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down. Mary Pickford

piano-beginI love King David’s prayer as he faced a defining decision to stay stuck in sin and failure or repent (which is just a sincere desire to restart & turn away from the wrong choice). The prophet Nathan confronts him with his mistakes with Bathsheba and he determines to make a RESTART and prays Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart O Lord, and RENEW a steadfast spirit within me.” The Message translation reads, “God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.”  Your past may have had it’s share of chaos, but God can create a new day for you.

genesisweek

I just discovered Jon Acuff’s book, Start: Punch Fear in the face, Escape Average and Do Work that Matters. In it he says, “You’re just going to be a Starter. The starting line is the only line you completely control.” We control it because it’s our decision. No one can do it but you. God is ready to give you the grace to forgive yesterday and empower tomorrow if you’ll let him create something NEW IN YOU! Ready, set, go! (I think I’ll shut down my computer now for a RESTART tomorrow, aren’t you impressed.)

JonAcuffStart

tableblog2

Clear the Table – Fasting Encouragement

Matthew 4: 2 tells us how “after Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.” Really? Okay, honestly, I was hungry after one night! I needed BREAKFAST — let’s break this fast…FAST!

Isn’t it hilarious how you usually aren’t hungry until you make the decision to fast, and then everything looks good—old, hard french bread (with maybe a little mold in the corner), two-week-old meatloaf, a tamale from Christmas, yep, sounds good, I’ll eat it. Put it on the table.

 Our Bridge community began our 21-day fast a few days ago, as we do at the beginning of every year. I have to admit, I might have had a few extra bites of christmas cheesecake and pumpkin bread with the thoughts of our New Year’s fast looming in the future! Now here we are. Time for a fresh start. Let’s clear the table.
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messblog

Bless This Mess

MESS: a disordered, untidy, offensive, or unpleasant state or condition (Merriam-Webster)

Today I ran across a picture of our house last October during the construction. It had rained for days. Mud was everywhere and it was a genuine MESS! It seemed like it was never going to be finished, and we were exhausted dealing with all the MESS of details that DID NOT seem to be working out in our favor! 

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Etosha Game Reserve

Top 10 Highlights of August Africa Trip

Duane and I just returned from a two week trip to South Africa and Namibia. Here’s a list of my TOP 10 FAVORITE THINGS from our trip…

 

1. TRAVELING TOGETHER

We usually don’t have the luxury of traveling together, so we’ve been very thankful for those opportunities this year. It is great to be able to minister as a team! This picture was taken in Namibia by a canyon close to the red dunes of Sossusvlei.

 

canyonblog

2. TCN CONFERENCE

Duane spoke at the annual TCN Conference in Pretoria (at Hatfield Christian Church) along with great friends, Stuart Bell, Dave Smith and Jack Groblewski. It was a great time of encouragement for leaders, and I so enjoyed the worship and seeing my sweet friend, from England, Irene Bell.  It was also a great blessing to minister at Hatfield Christian Church South on the Sunday–in the rain! It’s time for RAIN for Pastor Louie & Natasha! Continue reading…


huperteamblog

Huperwoman Conference Exceeding in Namibia

I had the honor of speaking at a National Women’s Conference in Windhoek, Namibia sponsored by TCNN at Christian Family Centre August 22-23. We drove through the beautiful city of Windhoek, passing meerkats along the way, (I kept saying,”Hi, Timon…Hi, Timon! I didn’t see Pumbaa in the city though. Yes, I love you, Lion King.) and my heart was so excited to meet these wonderful women. Pulling into the car park you could feel the women’s faithful anticipation. Many had traveled hundreds of kilometers from their farming communities around the country (some 7 hours!), and many joined in the fun never attending church or anything like this before. (Maybe the crazy Texan preacher was the luring bait!) Continue reading…