Sweet spot

My family is shaping up to be a baseball family. I enjoy baseball. One of the coolest things about baseball is the sound you can feel in your gut when a batter hits the sweet spot of the bat making perfect contact with the pitched ball. You know instantly, "That's outta here!"

There's a sweet spot paragraph in the Bible for me. Romans 4:17-19.

This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing. Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, "That's how many descendants you will have!"And Abraham's faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah's womb. - NLT

Maybe you'd have to be a baseball person, or rather, a Christ-hoping person. Cause I really don't think I can explain it. The words, "...believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing..." Sweet spot. Can you feel it? Can you hear it in your inner person?

Faith in THAT God will knock any screw-ball pitch thrown my way in life out of the park!

Nothing. Not even a hundred year old man and woman's body. Not even a two year separation with no end in sight. Not even an addiction I cannot shake. Not even a history of failure I can not deny. Not even the obviousness that I'm not what I was made to be and have no ability to make myself otherwise as much as I try. Not even blood that reminds once again there is no life, no child, no growing family.

Even when there's no reason for hope. Even when all dreams are shattered. Even when logic says, "There's no way!" I believe in a God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.

"...and not having been weak in the faith, he did not consider his own body..." Romans 4:19 emphasis added

Here's the secret: Don't consider your own body. Don't decide what you believe based on your circumstances. Consider His body. Decide what you believe based on the One who forgives sinners.

"When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for sinners. Now most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though some might be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners..." - Romans 5:6-8 NLT

And since God would do this for us, and show us how much He loves us by being willing to walk in our shoes, humbly, and be rejected, even to the point of death, just to save us from being condemned, and to make us friends of God again... what circumstance is there that He won't redeem? What death is there that He can't bring life out of? What deep longing for what we were made for can He not quicken to life? This is my God!

Fast balls. Curve balls. Knuckle balls. Gonna-strike-you-out balls. Whatever comes my way... my God works ALL pitches together for good to make me the woman He created me to be. Every one hits the sweet spot because that's just how my God works!


A summer for new feet

There is a time and a season for everything. Sometimes it seems its time for the same thing every season. But this summer was different than other summers. I thought it was a season for me to enjoy the fruit of my labors, but it was actually a time for new feet.

This was a summer of getting to know neighbors, piano lessons, waiting on God and seeing His clear provision. It was a summer of discovering hidden dreams in my children and finding new ways to guide them in that direction. It was a summer of re-connecting with loved ones far away. This summer I planted a garden and stuck to a budget. This summer was a summer of planning and dreaming and letting go of what it’s not time for. I was a summer of choosing to do something good while I wait for the One who decides the times and seasons.

I have plans and dreams. I must plan and dream, but I also must yield to the One who created the times and seasons. My times are in His hands. I can build, but if He’s not building the structure will last as long as a tulip planted in the middle of summer. It’s not time. It’s not the season.

Long ago, a guy with a strange name had plans, but it wasn’t time. He saw destruction all around him. Nothing he desired was coming to pass. Yet instead of getting bitter he yielded to the reality that it was altogether a different season than he expected. He had every reason to grow depressed but instead he rejoiced in the One who makes seasons, the One who declares things that aren’t as though they are. This guy thought it was a harvest season, but it was a season of transformation. He thought it was a season for fruit, but it was a season for feet.

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights. –Habakkuk 3:17-19


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