The Preparation is Aleady Made

How many times do I fret over my plans, checking every last detail, just to make sure it’s going to turn out well? There’s nothing wrong with a good plan, is there?

Jesus’ disciples didn’t think so either and in the final days before His death, they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Passover and Feast of the Unleavened Bread.

In case you’re like me and need to be reminded: Passover is a celebration and remembrance of the Exodus. The time when God freed His people from the bondage of slavery. He freed them by telling them to take the blood of the lamb and paint it over their doorposts and in the evening as the angel of death swept through Egypt, it would Passover the homes covered with the blood. (This is also symbolic of what Jesus’ blood does for us)

Anyway back to the story, there are a lot of things going on in the final week and days of Jesus’ life on Earth and I would encourage you to read them all. But for the first time today as I was reading through this scripture I saw something that stood out that I’ve never seen before and it blew me away!

As the time was drawing close to the Feast of the Unleavened Bread, also known as the Last Supper, the disciples asked Jesus, “And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?”

Mark 14:12 The disciples wanted. to plan but instead of making preparations on their own, they asked Jesus for direction.

Here’s where it gets really interesting. Jesus answers them. Pay close attention to what the passage says, “And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.” And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.”

Mark 14:13-16 ESV

Jesus tells them, do this and you will see that the preparation has already been made. God prepares in advance. This is something my mind just cannot fathom or lay hold of for too long. God always prepares in advance for me. He wants me to ask for His direction and He desires that I follow His direction and unfortunately I don’t always comply. Maybe that’s why Jesus only sent two. The two that would do precisely as He asked. The truth is, I don’t always seek God’s.guidance for my plans. This is probably why I fret so much during the planning and why I get so frustrated when things don’t go as I had planned. But today, as I read through this scripture I am reminded of my all-time, go-to, favorite verse, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, to do good works which He has prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 I am a work in progress. I am not complete and I am not perfect. I will not be either of these until Jesus calls me home but that doesn’t mean that I can not learn from my mistakes and refuse to repeat my foolish behaviors and above all love God with my whole heart and love His people, because we are ALL created in the image of God and know beyond a shadow of a doubt The Preparation has already been made….on the cross, Jesus bore my sin and shame. He took the punishment I deserved and He died in my place and now I am covered by the blood of the Lamb!

Sometimes I Struggle

Help! I feel like I’m drowning in my own overactive mind and imagination. I have these feelings of grandeur and yet I’m so trapped in my thoughts I cannot escape. They haunt me. They sit around and wait until I get motivated and then POW like a streak of lightning they’re back. They are both inhibiting and debilitating. I know them well and it’s called procrastination coupled with fear and anxiety.

Once I allow You to free me from my overactive thoughts and imagination, I can do anything I set my mind to and the crazy thing is that I accomplish both small and large tasks with zing. It’s just sometimes my mind wants to keep me from accomplishing anything.

So today I am calling it what it is. It is called anxious and afraid. I am anxious because I don’t often know what I should be writing and I am afraid because I don’t think people care. And so, today, I am going to pray and ask the Lord to help me through this anxiousness and fear.

First of all, he didn’t put the spirit of fear in me. The devil is crafty and I am allowing him to inhibit me with fear. Therefore the first course of action is going to be for me to proclaim that God has not given me a spirit of fear. God has given me a spirit of peace because I dwell in Him and His presence dwells in me.

So why am I allowing the devil to cause fear and anxiety? I am allowing him to tell me that I am not good enough. There are so many better writers out there than me. Nobody wants to hear your voice. Nobody cares what you have to say. Everybody is saying the same thing and you’re no different.

But essentially what I am telling God is “I don’t trust you.” You know why? Because God has called me to this journey of writing. That’s why. He called me and sought me out. I know that He has used my words to make a difference in people. People have told me so and I have no reason to doubt . Besides, isn’t my story, my story? Sure, I may have learned some of the same life lessons but maybe in a different way and maybe in a way that others can understand. My voice is unique and it’s a part of who I am.

Lord, You make my voice unique. You give me words that spill from my thoughts onto the keyboard and onto the page. What do you want to say in and through me? I don’t want to be a resounding gong, nor do I want repeat what others have said. I want my own voice, the voice that You have given me. The one that is unique to me.

I don’t take this assignment lightly. I know that it is a gift from you. A calling.

As I was reading and learned this morning, part of taking care of my spirit is being obedient to you. Also through Leviticus and Ezekiel, there are harsh warnings about disobedient. I mean, Aarons son’s flagrantly disobeyed and they were consumed by fire. You repeatedly gave the Israelites stern warnings about their disobedience and even when Ezekiel’s wife died, You asked him to keep proclaiming your word and not to mourn. Oh, how You wanted their hearts to return to you. But they were stubborn and obstinate. I don’t want to be stubborn and obstinate. I don’t want to be like Moses and list all the reasons why I am unqualified because the truth is: If you have called me to this, You will equip me for this. Therefore I don’t have to allow all these voices in my mind to counteract what you are clearly calling me to do.

And so I will write. Every thought, every word, every sentences that You bring into my thoughts and I will write them down. Then I will allow time to think and pray and process and together with Your help, I will weave and craft them into the masterpiece that You desire. A masterpiece that will bring honor and glory to You.

I Am Safe

I am finishing up an online bible study with P31OBS. The title of the Study is Psalm 23 The Shepherd With Me by Jennifer Rothschild I highly recommend doing it with a group or online.

From the onset of the study, Jennifer said one phrase that I have constantly been reminded of, “You are safe with your Shepherd!” Now I don’t know about you but I love to feel safe. In safety, I find myself at peace and rest.

Anyway, throughout the entire study I have kept that phrase in the forefront of my mind. Today I wrote this little poem and thought it my resonate with you the same way this study has resonated with me. My hope and prayer is that you’ll too find that you are safe with your Shepherd.

It’s my own paraphrase of Psalm 23.

I am safe

God is my Shepherd

I am safe

I am without nothing

I am safe

As I choose to follow Him

I am safe

He leads me to green pastures and beside still waters.

I am safe

He restores my weary and wounded soul and gives me hope

I am safe

His paths always lead me into righteousness because His name is at stake

I am safe

Darkness may lead me through a valley that seems endless but

I am safe

You are light and Your glory shines through through the darkness and I have nothing to fear. Your rod and staff protect me.

I am safe

You set a glorious feast for me and invite me to come and dine

I am safe.

My enemies are present but You are my shield and protection.

I am safe

You make me fragrant when I sit in Your presence and lift my head and there is no guilt or shame.

I am safe

You fill me up until I am spilling over

I am safe

You surround me with Your kindness and deep compassion and they chase me for the rest of my days on earth

I am safe

One day I will dwell in Your house forever and ever. Amen

I am safe.

Just for clarity sake, here is Psalm 23:1-6

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yes, though I walke through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table for me, in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house for the Lord forever .