Sunday February 7, 2016 My Will

Posted February 8, 2016 by bgovanus
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If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it will be done for you. John 15:7

Scary when I read this verse and believe that whatever I ASK will be done for me. Guess I had better be careful and truly know my WILL. What I really need to examine in my heart of hearts is my active will. I rarely ASK God for anything for myself. I focus on those who have needs like healing, financial security, peace in troubled times like divorce or worrisome situations with their children who have made wrong choices. If I was to really search my soul and try to figure out my own WILL, what would I ask God for?

When I say “My WILL” to people they think of a Last Will and Testament. That document says how and where things should go when I die. Jesus was never about “things” but about people and actions. What if “My Will” came to take on a new meaning for everyone. What if it came to stand for the what I actively intended and achieved. At the end of my life, I would not need a piece of paper to distribute my things… Everyone would know by my actions what went where. My life would be easily interpreted for me as well as others. I would know what to ask of God and would be confident that I would receive it, because my life would have clarity of purpose.

When MY Will aligns with God’s WILL for me that is when the magic happens. When I am not selfish or focused on things that are not serving HIM and my neighbor but only serving myself is when I get into trouble. I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. Plans to prosper you. I never need to doubt or fear that God has my back but when I put Him in front to lead me… then the world is my oyster.

Lord help me to choose my WILL with careful consideration. Allow me to live a life of active grace and service. Help me be a better listener and always seek YOUR kind leadership so that My Will and Yours are one in the same. For then, and only then, do heaven and earth align.

Friday February 5, 2016 Divine Appointments

Posted February 5, 2016 by bgovanus
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Let your light so shine before others, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

In the course of my business I frequently stop by new merchants and meet strangers who were referred to me or who asked for a quote through our web site. Yesterday, I visited a store and was met by a woman sitting on a stool reading from Matthew in the entrance to her retail shop. After exchanging pleasantries I said how blessed she was to be able to take some time in the day to read her Scripture. She said she had some questions about the passage that she was reading and we discussed it for a few minutes. What a blessing that was for me.

I believe that God arranges divine appointments for His people. Opportunities for each of us to feed and be fed by our neighbors, friends and in some cases complete strangers. How important it is to be ready for these Divine Appointments. God asks me to be open and willing to let my light of faith shine. I am not a Scripture Scholar by any stretch of the imagination but love to read His Word and share what His Words mean to me. Seeking to be open to His plan for my life and allowing Him to direct my steps brings opportunity to be blessed and sometimes even be a blessing.

If I refuse to let my light shine, God’s glory is slightly diminished. I know that I have missed out on Divine Appointments because I was too embarrassed or fearful to witness in the marketplace for fear of offending or being accused of being a Bible thumper. I have learned that if I am embarrassed to be a witness for Jesus that He will not be a witness for me at my judgement. That is too big a risk to take. I am convicted now to always let God set my schedule and I willingly become a witness for Him.

Lord, I look forward to the Divine Appointments that You have set for me today. Thank You for giving me an opportunity to be a participant and a witness to Your love. Give me courage to be open in every situation.

Thursday February 4, 2016 Sovereignty

Posted February 4, 2016 by bgovanus
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Solomon was seated on the throne of his father, David, with his sovereignty firmly established. 1 Kings 2:12

I attended a meeting of Christian Women Leaders called J4 on Tuesday evening and the speaker addressed the group on Sovereignty. It is not a word that many of us use too often any more. Because today, I and most of my friends want to believe that we are self-determined and in control. She gave the 3 definitions from Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary: Supreme power especially over a body politic; Freedom from external control autonomy; Controlling influence over another. In Solomon’s day he had all three. What Marlee spoke about was giving “Sovereignty” to God over my life… decisions, thoughts, actions.

I have no power over a political body, I can hardly influence my own BODY! What I need to recognize is that God designed human beings with a desire to be under the guidance and protection of a leader. The Israelites demanded a King! So God allowed that to happen. When our forefathers started this country they designed a system of rule so that someone would be in charge. Other countries have dictators who take control. It seems to be the very nature of the human spirit. The important thing is deciding who or what to allow Sovereignty over my life.

If I give God the reins, I put Him in charge, to take the external control. Praying to Him for answers instead of following my own ideas is an acquired skill. From the time I was a baby, I pushed for autonomy so to stop and give God the power is not easy. I know I do manage it sometimes but keep grabbing it back. Much of it is fear. When I can’t imagine the outcome or see beyond the bend in the road, I want to take back my life again… put on the brakes or turn toward what appears the safer path. TRUST is a hard commodity to come by when the world is dark and the road is bumpy and narrow. That is when I need to do as Solomon did… let God be God in my life.

Lord, I know that my best and brightest future lies under Your Sovereignty. Help me to make the decision daily and sometimes hourly to give my life to YOU! Putting You in charge is the only way I will ever see my true path.

Tuesday February 2, 2016 Relevant

Posted February 2, 2016 by bgovanus
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He will sit refining and purifying silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi, refining them like gold or like silver that they may offer sacrifice to the Lord. Malachi 3:3

I once made a trip to a town that was an authentic recreation of a town setting in 1890. The houses and businesses were very small and craftsman worked in each of them selling the goods they made. I was particularly fascinated by the silversmith. He worked with the silver and talked through the entire creation of spoons, thimbles and jewelry but his eyes never left the molten metal. I asked about how long the process took being a person always consumed with time. He had a very interesting reply. Until I can see myself in the silver was all he said. Apparently, that is how he could tell that the metal was perfect because in each lump of metal the impurities were different and in varying amounts.

It really clarified for me the passages that referred to God working with His people like gold or silver. He never takes His eyes off of me when I am going through the fire that cleans me of impurities. Unlike the fine metal that is once purified, I keep getting myself embroiled in impurities… sin and situations that keep me from being close to Him. That is why I face frequent episodes of purifying fire… I want nothing more than for God to be able to look at me and see His reflection. How much fire will it take? When will I be ready and relevant to God’s kingdom? Only God knows.

Lord, I am anxious to present myself pure and dedicated to You. Thank You for Your constant care as the fires purify me. I know only You can keep me from being destroyed by the heat. I trust YOU!

Monday February 1, 2016 Potential

Posted February 1, 2016 by bgovanus
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Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God, still bearing fruit when they are old, and still full of sap, still green, to proclaim that the Lord is just.                              Psalm 92:14-16

I am excited about the next phase of my life. There have been so many people who have not even hit their stride until they were past 60. People who created businesses, like Mary Kay Ash and Colonel Sanders; people who continued to grow their service to the world like Pope John Paul II; Pope John XXIII and Mother Teresa; people who are raising their grandchildren and great-grandchildren to help their kids keep body and soul together. The important thing is that my generation is not going out to pasture. Baby Boomers are turning 65 at the rate of 10,000 per day for the next 15 years. There are plenty of us and none seem to want to go quietly into that dark night.

With all the medical advances, my generation is living much longer. This fact is stymying the Social Security System but it is also fueling creativity so that people in their 70s and 80s are still working and contributing… bearing fruit when they are old. I know two boomers who are working with men half their ages running technology companies, another has started a healthy food company with his grandson. Bringing Business wisdom and pairing it with the Social and Digital expertise of the Millennial is a combination that wins big! I love the description “being full of sap, still green” because when I was growing up… people in their 60s were dry, brittle and broken.

I relish the idea of making contributions and flourishing right into my 90s. Both my grandmother and great-grandmother lived to those ripe old numbers. When I think of my life in those terms, I have 30 more years to create and find my potential. I hold fast to the words in Jeremiah 1:6-7 when God said “You must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid… for I will be with you and protect you”. Even on my worst days, that promise gives me courage.

Lord I am grateful for the days that stretch out ahead of me. Help me to always be in tune with Your plan for my life. Anxiously embracing the potential that You see in me, I can create a life of service and love at any age.

Sunday January 31, 2016 My Word is “ASK”

Posted January 31, 2016 by bgovanus
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This is the confidence which we have in approaching God, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have whatever we have asked from Him. 1 John 5:14-15

Each year I challenge myself as the year begins to choose a word that will be my go to or guiding word for the year. 2016 is my year of ASK! So very often I assume that people will say no, so I don’t want to bother them. This does not work well in a sales environment or as a leader, a fund raiser or a spouse. It really does not work well in my prayer life either. God tells me that I need to ASK Him for what I want with confidence in His love for me.

God puts on my heart the importance of faith, mercy and obedience. I stand before Him each morning and pray for wisdom to discern what He would have me do today to serve Him and His people. With my word for the year burning a hole in my heart, I am ASKING Him too. I find the real trick when ASKING anyone anything is to be silent and listen so they can answer. It is an old selling adage that the first person to speak after a buying question loses… the silence can become deafening but it is imperative to wait quietly. I am not selling God anything but I know I need to be quiet so I can hear the answer and so often I do not stop long enough to get my marching orders! I had a priest friend who always responded to anything I asked with “Let me pray about that.” I was convinced it was His way of delaying… he just didn’t want to say NO. But as I have gotten older, I have come to embrace the wisdom of praying about things before I answer.

Discernment is a gift of the spirit. My job is to ASK. God will answer because I know He hears me. The answer may be a while in coming but He will answer! As long as I am asking for what is my best interest, He will give it to me. I have learned that when the answer is NO, He has something much better in store.

Lord, Thank You for loving me and listening to me. Help me discern the questions I need to ASK and always listen for the answers! Help me to be all ears in situations so that I can where I have a tendency to rush to rash conclusions. I know You are always aware of my needs…. My job is to ASK!

Friday January 22, 2016 The Devil Made Me Do IT!!

Posted January 29, 2016 by bgovanus
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I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate to do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it but it is the sin living in me. Romans 7:15-17

I am on a retreat and there has already been a recurring theme of frustration when one after another shares, I start out with great INTENTIONS but fail, get frustrated and then give up. I delighted this morning to read these words written by Paul to the Romans that says this is not unusual. It has been happening for at least 2000 years and probably much longer.

Paul says he was guilty of this behavior and I can certainly take heart knowing that if one of the earliest and most devout followers of Christ experienced this phenomena then I should not expect much less in my own life. The pull toward allowing the world and Satan to hold sway is truly an amazingly strong force. So often then, I am tempted to throw up my hands and say well “I just can’t win!”

It is then crucial to remember that God defeated the devil! He has the victory and as long as I keep my focus on Jesus and the way He modeled, I will be able to defeat the evil one. I know I cannot do it alone but I can with certainty succeed if God is leading me forward. My challenge lies in aligning my goals with those of my SAVIOR AND ONCE I KNOW THAT i am on His road, I can be assured that I can do what I want to do!

Lord, You are the alpha and the omega, the power that can defeat the devil, may I always keep my eyes on you.


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