Wednesday June 20, 2018 Even If

Posted June 20, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand.  But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:17-18

When you are faced with illness that you want cured, a wayward child that you want returned, a looming financial crisis, or a natural disaster, are you able to be as faithful as the three young men facing King Nebuchadnezzar with faith to say…  Even IF, I will follow God and believe in Him.

In crisis is truly when the rubber meets the road and faith is tested.  It is easy to believe when my belly is full and my bank account is not near the point of being overdrawn.  When I am full of energy and optimistic that I can conquer the world, I am not easily distracted.  It is MUCH harder to say like Shadrach, Mishach and Abednego that EVEN IF, I am tossed into the flames, I will not waver in my commitment to love and serve the Lord.

There is no reign of terror here but instead a rain of distractions and comforts that keep my mind from remaining focused on God and His will for my life.  Denial of creature comforts and being casually inconvenienced can be my only deterrent.  Grumbling and complaining can set me into a funk that if I was faced with a BIG problem, I would never be tempted to cry about.  I so admire those who when facing cancer, heat disease, the loss of a spouse or child… are trusting God and resting in His loving care.  I pray for this strength!

If today you hear God’s voice, harden NOT your heart.  God is expectantly waiting for each of us and will be with us in the small matters as well as the huge inferno.  It is important that faith and trust is there NO MATTER the size of the problem.

Lord You are my solace and my strength.  Guide me to rely on You for fortitude when I face the daily tortures both big and small. 

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Tuesday June 19, 2018 Enemies

Posted June 19, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

 But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you,  that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.  Matthew 5:44-45

Jesus asked His disciples to be different.  He asks the same thing of us.  I used this passage often when I was working with youth.  After 9/11 I asked the kids if they hated the people who flew those planes into the towers and the pentagon.  “Of Course!” They said.  I asked if Jesus would agree that is the way He was calling them to be.  It was often a very deep discussion which applied to the opposing team at football or someone who bullied them at school or even a rival gang.

Today it seems we have many “enemies”.  If we could love everyone as Jesus said, what a different world it would be.  Maybe the kids who lash out with weapons to kill classmates would not feel they had enemies there.  Maybe the gossiping and spiteful sniping on Social media would stop.  Perhaps even countries would respect borders and accept the rules of their neighbors.  Or perhaps we would welcome aliens who seek a better life.

God sends the rain on the just and the unjust.  He is the only one who can decide who is His enemy.  It is not for you or I to judge others.  Because isn’t that what viewing someone as enemy really is… judging them worthy or not to be a friend.

Lord, I open my heart and ask You to help me view everyone as friend.  Give me the grace to be patient and forgiving, understanding and welcoming to everyone.   

Saturday June 16, 2018 Whisper

Posted June 16, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. 1 Kings 19:12-13

Elijah was a tough guy.  He had stood up to his many detractors and taught many to follow his God through mighty works confidently performed.  Elijah however was running for his life as he was the last prophet and knew that nothing would stop them from killing him as well. God had told him to go to stand outside the cave where he was hiding on the mountain because HE would be passing by.   First a heavy destructive wind came but God was NOT in the wind, then a terrible earthquake occurred, then there was fire…God was not in any of those…  He was in the gentle whisper.  Then Elijah left the cave on the holy mountain and listened to what God had to say to him.

Many people curse God when the earthquake or destructive winds come into their lives.  God is not in any of that!  He is in the gentle whisper and He only speaks when we can listen.  It takes the sometimes-devastating event to bring us to our knees where we can be quiet enough to listen.  When everything is going along at light speed, we have a hard time hearing a helicopter landing in the backyard, much less experiencing God’s call.  Do you hear Him talking to you today?  He is speaking but only through quiet can you hear!

Searching for answers, try being quiet and waiting!

Lord, thank You for being in the whisper.  Thank You for bringing peace and clarity in the gentle moments when we can be together without distraction.  Then I know You love me and You reveal to me who I am in Your service, today, tomorrow and always. 

Friday June 15, 2018 Purpose

Posted June 15, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill His purpose in me.  Psalm 57:2

Today I am leading a Passion Test Workshop as a Fundraiser for a Memorial Scholarship in the name of my friend Gina Talley who died of Ovarian Cancer in May.  The Scholarship will go to a woman attending university in CFL. I have found my purpose in life, to help other people reveal their Passions.  It is a blessing to know what God put me on the earth to do.  Finding and focusing on our purpose is freeing and allows each of us to throw ourselves into dedication to God’s call.  It enables His children to hear His voice amid all the distractions and noise that is daily life.

TOO many people have no clue what they are passionate about.  This fact has created angst in our country and in most of the people around the world.  Depending on the Poll you study, Gallop says 67% and Harris says 80% of the people in the US are NOT engaged in their work.  They hit the snooze alarm and live for the weekends.  They give less than 50% of their capacity to their jobs because of this lack of passion.  What could be accomplished if people were living FULL out and focused?  God’s purpose for His children would be accomplished and signs of heaven could be seen on every street corner.  My doing what I love to honor my friend is fitting because she led a passionate life, loving and serving God and those lucky enough to know her.

When you meet passionate people, who are aligned with their purpose, you know it right away.  They have an aura about them that is real, and people are drawn to it.  It is God’s glow that exudes from every pore.

Lord help me be a witness for what is my purpose: to reveal passion in others.  Allow them to see that my purpose opens their minds and hearts to love and serve You in everything they do. 

Thursday June 14, 2018 Wise

Posted June 14, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life.  Proverbs 19:20

It seems like I never can keep up with all the changes happening so quickly but that does not deter me from trying.  In my lifetime we as a species have had the first open heart surgery, Invitro fertilization and flight to the moon.  Cell phones and the democratization of information that invention has brought make the poorest kid in the streets of Mumbai able to find the answers on Google just as easily as the Founder of Google, Larry Page.  In this very tiny and obscure verse from Proverbs, God gives the command to keep going after all the knowledge you can.  Advice like this to get ALL the instruction that you can sounds like something a science teacher would give, but here is God blessing us and encouraging us to keep reaching higher.

What is the difference between WISE and smart?  I have often thought that smart people know stuff where wise people know what to do with that knowledge.  Obviously, I would rather be wise since that is what God wants of His people.  To use the knowledge to better the planet and the people who live here.  I love that Peter Diamandis created the XPRIZE where someone who could solve a global problem would receive an astronomical prize.  Rewarding their efforts and their willingness to think outside the box.  He is working to make the human life span extend to 150-200 years where 100 is the new 60.  Since I am going strong at 67, I like that idea.

So, what have you learned today?

Father God give me a never tiring thirst to keep learning and to be wise in the ways of Your Son.  Help me to always look at ways to be true to this verse and seek to be wise all the days of my life.    

Wednesday June 13, 2018 Treasures

Posted June 13, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Do not store up for yourself treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  Instead store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…  Matthew 6:19-20

My mom had a Hope chest.  We stored things in this Cedar box with a lock that were special to her.  Her wedding dress, Doilies that my grandmothers had crocheted and tatted.  Afghans and other knitted items.  Mom told me the Cedar protected these items from moths and mice.  These were family treasures and when she died, I received the Hope Chest and some of the contents.  Did you ever ask yourself what the treasures in heaven might be?  How can we store them up if we don’t know what they are!  In the Gospels we are given the following:

Our standing with God as being fully forgiven… Matt 6:14

Answered Prayers Matt 7:7

Our names enrolled in heaven… Luke 10:20

The Father’s Love John 16:27

A welcome not only to mansions but the saviors own heart John 14:2,3

A life that will never end John 3:16

A hand protecting us and from whom we will never be snatched… John 10:28

A love from which we will never be separated.  Romans 8:39

God’s promises us an eternal life and with these wonderful perks, I know we will never be bored or afraid.  Abundance is what owning treasures promises.  As I look at my daily life, I can store in my HOPE chest these wonderful gifts that moths, and mice can never destroy.

I am blessed indeed.

Lord, thank You for the gifts that You give me.  I store these treasures in anticipation of an eternity with You! 

Tuesday June 12, 2018 Stay

Posted June 12, 2018 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

When Jesus reached the spot, He looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately.  I must stay at your house today.” Luke 19:5

Jesus had just arrived in Jericho.  Surrounded by people as He always was, He came across the Tax Collector, Zacchaeus, who because he was so short had climbed a tree to see Jesus.  Jesus stopped His progress and told this sinner, to come down because Jesus wanted to stay at his house.  Jesus changed his life that day.

There are many examples of Jesus stopping and staying with people who needed His touch.  He was like so many of us, always on the move.  But He was never too busy to stay in the presence of someone who needed Him.  On His way to the dying girl, Jesus stopped to cure the woman with the hemorrhage. Jesus lingered with those who He was teaching when He learned that Lazarus was sick.

He was always needed and yet He stayed with people that many of us would condemn.  The woman at the well could well be viewed as a distraction unworthy of the Master’s time.  Jesus teaches in everything He does and today He invites each of us to stop and connect with those in our lives.   He invites us to connect on a deeper level.  Really go beyond that superficial smile or cursory, “How are you?” There is so much more that we are capable of being if we just take the time  to stay!

God, You know that my time is my most precious commodity.  Help me to be generous with it to those who You placed in my life.  Allow me to stay with them for the time we both need to refresh one another’s spirit through Your grace.