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28 He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants asked him, ‘Then do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, because if you pull up the weeds, you might uproot some of the wheat at the same time. 30 Let them both grow together until the harvest; and at harvest-time I will tell the reapers to collect the weeds first and tie them in bundles to be burned, but to gather the wheat into my barn.’”

Matthew 13:28-30
 
I find sometimes I get lost in the weeds thinking my job is to identify and pull every single one...this busy task is not really my job and leads down roads of distraction, frustration and blocks the flow of unhindered love.  Much like the parable of the sower my job is to prepare the soil, sow the seed, tend the fruit, watch for readiness and bring in the harvest.  I cannot always prevent where the seed falls on unprepared soil, or a patch of weeds or rocks and if I focus on the places unprepared I will miss tending the fruit that is growing, needs pruning and is preparing for harvest.  This often looks like focusing on trying to control responses, diverting resources to a single issue, or beginning to believe that my efforts are futile because no matter what I do there are still weeds growing with the wheat and the fruit cannot be good.
 
May you not get lost in the weeds! May you see the harvest that is prepared!May you not grow weary of doing good! 
  

Galatians 6:9 (CJB)

So let us not grow weary of doing what is good; for if we don’t give up, we will in due time reap the harvest.

 

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2 Corinthians 6:12 (CEV)

12 We are not holding back on our love for you, but you are holding back on your love for us.

Hebrews 12:1 (CEV)

A Large Crowd of Witnesses

12 Such a large crowd of witnesses is all around us! So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won’t let go. And we must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us.

What would you do unhindered..."without hindrance?"  Life in Christ is the path to live unhindered...the process of yielding and addressing the unseen obstacles of emotion, pride, vulnerability, fear and relationship.  The place we go to live out true surrender and trust. 

Isn't this where we want to go?  Isn't this where we want to lead others? Isn't this the way we are loved by our Father God?

There are too many roads that lead to the hindrances of separation, anxiety, and self-righteousness...let us run the race ahead of us not seeing "each other" as the obstacles but as the path to live unhindered in our love!  This is no simple task but it is truly rewarding. 

Let us not withhold our love!  Let us throw off, get rid of, and put aside every hindrance!  Let us determine to run the race ahead of us!

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Psalm 139:10 (NKJV)

10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.

Even there...there is no there that you are not.  There is no there that I cannot get through.  There is no there, where I have no way out, no where to go or no where to be safe.  Even when there are no answers, Even when there is no reason, Even ...

There is much to learn about being the light in the darkness.  The "there" I go with those I am walking beside can take me places I wish never existed, consequences that seem irreversible, a future that appears hopeless.  When I walk in the "there" I find that there is a way out, a way through and a way home.  

Even through the realities of the traps of sexual exploitation, drug addiction, abuse, abandonment, torment, and fear...Even there.

Even through disagreements, broken relationship, disunity, and discouragement...Even there.

Even through illness, discomfort, rejection, loss and phyiscal pain...Even there.

Even when my sensebilities are challenged and I cannot see the step ahead...."Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me." 

May you know and experience the presence of the Lord in your "even there"!  

 

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Hebrews 11:25-27 (CJB)

25 He chose being mistreated along with God’s people rather than enjoying the passing pleasures of sin. 26 He had come to regard abuse suffered on behalf of the Messiah as greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, for he kept his eyes fixed on the reward.

27 By trusting, he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered as one who sees the unseen.

So many steps of this journey are taken towards an unseen end.  We must continue to choose to walk through the misunderstanding, the unresponses, and the mistreatment.  We choose to be kind, we choose to have courage, we choose a place that is uncomfortable and unknown.  WE choose to believe that there is more in life and that extending ourselves on behalf of another is never wasted.

Keeping my eyes fixed...asking for the Holy Spirit's vision to see and persevere towards the unseen goal.  I cannot go too far if I do not have a purpose and a plan but so often my vision is cut short by the immediate in front of me and the temptation to get stuck in the confusion of emotion. I must constantly yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit and learn the discipline of fixing my eyes on the unseen reward. 

 May you keep your eyes fixed!  May you persevere as one who sees the unseen!  May you know the surpassing greatness of His power working in you! 

 

Ephesians 1:18-20(CJB)

18 I pray that he will give light to the eyes of your hearts, so that you will understand the hope to which he has called you, what rich glories there are in the inheritance he has promised his people, 19 and how surpassingly great is his power working in us who trust him.

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Hebrews 11:1 (ERV)

Faith

11 Faith is what makes real the things we hope for. It is proof of what we cannot see.

Hebrews 11:1 (CJB)

11 Trusting[a] is being confident of what we hope for, convinced about things we do not see.

Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

11 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

There are seasons when the realities in front of me begin to erode hope, assurance and confidence.  I find that I no longer am walking  in Trusting Confidence but in a watered down version where I settle for less than.  I stop engaging fully in prayer to see someone made new.  I begin to join in the process of patch work almost afraid to really ask, to believe and to move in the unseen.  I leave the door only partially open not risking catching a glimpse of what God sees so that I will not be disappointed.  The work becomes moving away from disappointment rather than moving towards full assurance.

How does this translate into daily living? . . .my prayers become focused only on immediate needs, I pull back my interactions to the surface, I start to go down trails of discontent and it was not meant to be.  It is true that I must leave room for "other" and individaul choices but I must walk in faith when I cannot see evidence of what I am believing for...I am asked to seek the Lord to fully understand and fully encounter the what could be, the what will be, the what is the heart of God not only for me but for those I am working to serve.  If I do not carry in my heart a confidence that the "other" can move out of their place of despair, pain and disease than I am not truly standing in the gap to show them the way.  I must be moved to certainty...to a place of keeping my vision for them and the purpose of the work motivated by love fixed and settled.

Definition of certain 

1FIXEDSETTLED

I have learned in Equine therapy that there is a principle of congruence that a horse, through relationship, will respond to people whose insides match the outside.  That working with the horse can help me recognize where I am emotionally, cognitively and behaviorally incongruent.  This means my words and actions and thoughts must match or the horse will not fully engage.  When we walk through hurts or have worked with people intimately for a long time we become good at this too.  Recognizing if the person we are encountering is "congruent" , "safe", "sincere" helps us more fully respond and build trust with those who "match."  The principle of faith is no different...if what I hope for is not congruent with what God sees and has promised, then I will not be fully trusted nor potentially able to stand in the gap where I need to.  I will not be fully present remaining fixed and settled in the promises and hope given through the Lord Jesus Christ.  This is the one thing and one place from which I can be fully equipped and fully certain.  This is where I need to allow realignment and open the door fully in faith.

May we hold onto hope in the full assurance we have in Jesus Christ!  May we remain fixed and settled in seeing beyond the broken! 

May we be aligned in faith to move in congruence!