Please Shine Down on Me

Today’s verse: Malachi 4:2 (Msg) “But for you, sunrise! The sun of righteousness will dawn on those who honor my name, healing radiating from its wings. You will be bursting with energy, like colts frisky and frolicking.” I love the sun! I love the warmth that is shares with me, I love the light that it brings, I love the way I feel when it is shining down on me. When the sun is absent (as in nighttime or cloudy days) I truly, truly miss it. I find that I need to close my eyes and center my thoughts on the sun and I feel a special peace that I am searching for. This last winter was hard for me. I missed the sun and its warmth. There were a lot of long dark days with cloudy, snow filled ski

We Are A New Creation!

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 Happy Easter Sunday! He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! During the Holy week, we walk the path with Jesus as he was crucified and buried. But on Easter Sunday, Jesus’ resurrection changes the story of death and grief. His resurrection reminds us that death doesn’t have the final word and that new life is not only possible, but readily available to all of us. The whole world watched as the Cathedral of Notre Dame burned this week. So many hearts were touched by the tragic fire and loss of large pa

Trusting Beginnings

Today’s verse: Jeremiah 29:11 “I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” I am preparing for a change in my life. Change is an interesting thing. It is something that we are guaranteed to have throughout our life and into our death. It is something that can be feared, and drive anxiety. It can be something that excites and brings joy. Sometimes it brings joy and anxiety at the same time or a whole rainbow of emotions. Most of the time, change is some combination of emotions in between the extremes. I know that what I am ch

Rest

Today’s Verse: Matthew 11:28-30 (Msg) “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” One of the definitions of Sabbath is “A time of rest” Sometimes, in our busy world, it is hard to find rest. When I was young, Sundays were our “down” time. We went to church, came home for lunch, read the comics. Now our Sundays are full of sports, shopping, work and tasks to prepare for the coming week, jus

Servant Leader

Today is Maundy Thursday. Maundy Thursday is all about the last Passover supper that Jesus celebrated with the disciples. One of Leonardo DaVinci’s most famous paintings depicts this “Last Supper.” It is a time that Jesus used to teach, direct, and model servant leadership. I cannot explain the first Communion any better than Paul does in 1 Corinthians 23-34: “ Let me go over with you again exactly what goes on in the Lord’s Supper and why it is so centrally important. I received my instructions from the Master himself and passed them on to you. The Master, Jesus, on the night of his betrayal, took bread. Having given thanks, he broke it and said, This is my body, broken for you. Do this t

Becoming Mary

Today’s verse: John 12:1-8 (Msg) “Six days before Passover, Jesus entered Bethany where Lazarus, so recently raised from the dead, was living. Lazarus and his sisters invited Jesus to dinner at their home. Martha served. Lazarus was one of those sitting at the table with them. Mary came in with a jar of very expensive aromatic oils, anointed and massaged Jesus’ feet, and then wiped them with her hair. The fragrance of the oils filled the house. Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples, even then getting ready to betray him, said, “Why wasn’t this oil sold and the money given to the poor? It would have easily brought three hundred silver pieces.” He said this not because he cared two cents about

Lessons Learned

Today's Verse: John 3:16 (Msg) “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted;" Holy Week! Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday is the culmination of our time together during this Lenten season. Holy Week. The cornerstone of my faith. The last days in the life, and the death, and the most amazing thing, resurrection of, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Chr

Help!

Todays verse: Matthew 7:7-8 (nrsv) “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” Why is it so hard to ask for help? At the first sign of struggle or loss, why do we struggle with the words, I need help? Sometimes our pride or our fears stop us from asking for help. Sometimes we just don’t know how or who to ask for help. The most interesting point for me is that we all need help sometime is our lives! I work a lot with support teams, care teams and Stephen ministries and the number one struggle with getting teams up

Keep Walking

Today’s verse: Joshua 1:9 (Msg) “Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.” A magazine that I get has a meditation on the last page. It always consists of an amazing full page picture and a quote. In the latest issue the quote is from Vincent Van Gogh; “Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” This quote really struck a cord with me, and ties into one of the reasons behind our Lenten Insights. The idea that, by doing small things for ourselves and within ourselves, they will become something great. Taking time each day to look inside ourselves, and to give

What if? -(revisited)_

Today's verse: Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God!" What and If, two small common words, put them together and they form an overwhelming question, What if? A question that everyone has asked themselves, perhaps many times, throughout their lives. This question can cause regrets; "What if I had spent more time with them?", "What if I thought more before I did that?" This question can bring hope; "What if I start doing things differently?", "What if I let go of my fear?". This question can wrap us up in a cocoon of fear and anxiety; "What if they don't like me?", "What if they leave me?" What if......you can fill in this sentence with almost anything and the results can be mind boggl

Speaking out

Today’s verse: Ephesians 4:15 (Msg) “God wants us to grow up, to know the whole truth and tell it in love—like Christ in everything. We take our lead from Christ, who is the source of everything we do.” In the past week I have had no less than eight people share situational fears and/or concerns with me. Five of them with basically the same concern and they had no idea anyone else felt the same way, me included! These people are all truly amazing, heart centered, Christians and true leaders that I look up to and respect. What to do? What to do! We all have or have had situations that we struggle with. Things and or people that we care about or know that are not “right”, and we are not exac

Who is your tribe?

The idea of who my tribe is has been a very important part of my life lately. By “my tribe” I don’t mean the polarizing tribalism that can divide people into us vs. them. What I mean by “my tribe” are those people who support you no matter what, who you can be truly and fully honest with, who have your back, but will also speak truth to you. I have also come to understand the value of having my own tribe. I have come to appreciate, need, and rely on the people in my tribe more and more. I know that I cannot do life all by myself. One of the basic needs of human beings is to belong, to be seen, accepted and supported by those around us, and to have a place of safety and security in our relati

Masked

Today’s Verse: Ephesians 3:20-21 The Message (MSG) “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” I always wanted to be the “good girl”. I wanted to be in the “in crowd”. I wanted to be a part of something that I could not quite grasp, and I was not really sure what that something even was. Here was not where I wanted to be, and I did not know where “there” was. I was lost. I was trying to find my place and direction in life. So, I figured out how I should act, and how to serve those around me so they saw me as good. I put on

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Today’s Verse: Psalm 139:13-14 says: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. As part of my self-care this Lent, I have been reading these verses from Psalm 139. God has made each one of us in a unique, special way. I would like to focus on one aspect of God’s unique creation today and that is our innate personality traits. In particular, I would like to focus on the distinction between introversion and extroversion. Lately, this become a very popular topic in understanding ourselves and others. So, let’s dive into what makes each of us

I Don't Want To!!

Today’s verse Ephesians 5: 15-16 “Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil.” I love to read, eat chocolate and spend time with my family. I am not fond of laundry, cleaning bathrooms, paying bills and shopping for shoes. When I have to do something that I am not fond of, I draw out the task. First I avoid it, then I huff and whine, then, I finally get around to taking care of it. When I am finished, I always realize that it was not as bad as I made it out to be. Ugh! I am stubborn, I don’t want to do it. I press in my heals and avoid the tasks that I feel are unpleasant. Sometimes being an adult sucks. We are forc

A Clean Heart

Today’s verse: Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.” This verse basically sums up Lent for me. It is a time for me to focus on cleaning out all of the clutter in my life, wherever that clutter may be. A time for me to take a look inward and see all of the garbage that I hold onto and all of the thoughts and feelings that keep piling inside my mind and heart. I always say I will get to it, but I never take the time to do so. I have taken to making excuses, so that I don’t have to face them, to a new high. Is that the life that God created me for? NO! This is why the season of Lent is so important. A yearly time to help us claim the

Beloved

Today’s Verse Luke 3:21-22 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) ”Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved;[a] with you I am well pleased.” One of my favorite words is “beloved”. To be dearly loved is high on my wish list and the word beloved just rolls off the tongue so smoothly and beautifully. It has so much depth to it. It is so important to me I put it in my personal mantra. (see my blog “Who Are You? March 27, 2019). The book that I am currently reading is Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Weber

Positively Absolutely!

Today’s verse: Philippians 4:8-9 (the Message) “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.” With God in as our center, keeping our thoughts positive is one of my takes on this verse. It sounds so simple, but can be difficult to achieve. I personally know that when I am in a positive frame of mind, life is a li

Who do you admire?

Today’s verse: Hebrews 13:7-8 The Message (MSG) “ Appreciate your pastoral leaders who gave you the Word of God. Take a good look at the way they live, and let their faithfulness instruct you, as well as their truthfulness. There should be a consistency that runs through us all. For Jesus doesn’t change—yesterday, today, tomorrow, he’s always totally himself.” One of the workshops that I used to do with my partner Robb was called Leader Visioning. It was one of my favorite workshops because, as the presenters, we never would know in which directions the workshop would go. It was the thrill of the unexpected! It started out with us asking the participants to name someone they admired, livin

What's your story?

Today's Verse: Psalm 78:1-4 The Message (MSG) “Listen, dear friends, to God’s truth, bend your ears to what I tell you. I’m chewing on the morsel of a proverb; I’ll let you in on the sweet old truths, Stories we heard from our fathers, counsel we learned at our mother’s knee. We’re not keeping this to ourselves, we’re passing it along to the next generation— God’s fame and fortune, the marvelous things he has done.” Stories are a huge part of our lives. We have shared joys and tears through stories. We have learned through stories. We have found hope and encouragement in them. In the workshops that we do, the most engaging time is when participants are given a to

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