2018 – Year of the Impossible

Now is the time to expect great things! 

We’re in a new season.

Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 4:6 ESV

We’ve shared in the last post how to envision your greatness; now it’s time to walk in it! It’s not about if God can do it. It’s knowing that He will!

01/16/18 – Prayer Call Sound is a little muffled on this week’s recording. Sorry!

My God, the Deliverer.

If you think about it, God has always been a great deliverer. He delivered Moses and the Israelites from the Egyptians by parting the Red Sea. More recently in 2009, 150 passengers were miraculously saved while their airplane plummeted into the Hudson River. There are some scenarios that are just unexplainable. 

Our trust has to be so invested in God. We invest time in so many things and people but what about the goodness of our Great God? His infinite wisdom captivates us every time we call and yet sometimes we take Him for granted. 

Tune into God.

Like your favorite tv show or channel, (Mines are the Food Network and HGTV!) tune in to His presence. God has some great resources for us and some of it is only discovered in our alone time with Him.

Question God.

Now my statement does not mean to doubt God asking if we’ll survive the turbulence in our lives. But rather, inquire about God’s perspective. “Lord, what do you say concerning this situation? What’s your heart in the matter?”

God what is your heart right now? What do you desire to hear? Tasha Cobbs in Heart. Passion. Pursuit.

Heaven has an agenda. 

Have expectancy in your heart. Partner with God to see His results in your life. The Lord your God shall provide! 

Declare: I shall see miracles, signs, and wonders this year!

Love In Action

This past week my main focus has been on being love. Not focusing only on myself but meditating on others and their needs.

being

  1. 1a:  the quality or state of having existence b(1):  something that is conceivable and hence capable of existing (2):  something that actually exists (3):  the totality of existing things c:  conscious existence :life

To be or not to be?

It has been my goal to be intentional in my efforts with people. To be present. To be real.

In a society where “get it quick” seems to be the motto, I’ve been focusing on getting it the right way. That means embracing the process and studying the necessary steps to achieving goals.

 

There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death. Proverbs 14:12 NKJV

The truth is, we have all struggled in some areas of our lives and one of my areas happened to be being intentional. Genuinely showing concern for people and being God’s heart on the earth. 

Truth be told, I use to brush through conversations with family members, give quick, haphazard responses to concerns, and bypass their cries for my awareness. I was truthfully selfish. It’s not that I purposefully sought to hurt anyone but truthfully, I had been learning the meaning of love myself.

What God has been showing me as of late is that being empathetic is apart of the human healing process.

True empathy requires that you step outside your own emotions to view things entirely from the perspective of the other person. Author Unknown

If we really want to change the world we must learn to become selfless. Putting our agenda and perceptions to the side and seeking the will of God. Allowing love to heal and cover.

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

I thank God for opportunities where I have been able to do just that.

Here are some forms of love in action!

My friends withLove put on a beautiful outreach event called the Love Sessions centered around bringing the community together.
These artists shared with me that paintings were about robots, dinosaurs, and family!
Such a pleasure serving food with Jerrod!
We put on a secret Open Mic night for Leviticus.
A group of friends and I came together to celebrate my brother Leviticus’ birthday! (He’s in the center).

Although it has been a process in understanding how to be selfless, I trust that through life’s experiences, the Word, and people I will continue to grow in that area. 

If you wanna make the world a better place take a look at yourself and made a change. Michael Jackson

 

 

Nature Walk with Mom

Last week, I did something exciting. I went on a nature walk with my mom. I brought my a Panasonic DMC-G3 camera along and we hiked toward the trail. As we embarked on the nature journey, I stood in amazement. All around there were vibrant, dynamic works of art. Trees, grass, twigs, flowers to name a few. Mom and I found a spot with a chopped tree lodged near the forest. The ridges were alluring. This was a perfect opportunity. Clean, crisp air. Neutral weather. We smiled the whole way to the park.

 

I recall mom saying “Shantel, it would be nice if you captured that over there.” We saw an old church building, enjoyed swings at a playground, and admired the vast land around us. We were amazed at God’s creation and drew closer to explore its beauty.

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This is used to be a railroad.

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Mom prefers to be behind the scene.

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As we captured what fascinated us, we came across a gazebo further in the woods. It was the perfect place to relax and enjoy more scenery. I was able to get some good shots and mom took nice ones too.

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After sitting and relaxing, we headed back down the trail and saw more fascinating sites. I saw a compass which which was settled atop a tree. Mom spotted a bench that had painted leaves on it. That became our new object target.

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Such vivid colors in this painting.
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Two worlds collide.
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Every direction leads to nature.
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A candid shot! I was getting photo ready.
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Much better.

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Leaves and pine cones are a perfect mix.

These pictures tell our story. As stated by Thomas Browne, “Nature is the art of God.”

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Photos courtesy of Shantel Gross. Request permission if you would like to use them.

What Seed Have You Put In The Ground?

This message is inspired by a journal post  that I wrote in 2014. I pray that it blesses you just as I am blessed by it.

\ˈhär-vəst\ the season when crops are gathered from the fields or the activity of gathering crops.

picking fruit

When I hear the word “harvest” I think of receiving something and having an expectation. I also envision fresh fruit and vegetables gathered from crops.

“As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.” – Genesis 8:22 NLT

In life we have many harvests. There are plentiful harvests and poor harvests. There is a principle in the earth of giving & receiving; sowing & reaping. For a crop to produce ripe fruit and vegetation, good soil and care are needed.

A farmer went out to plant some seed. As he scattered it across his field, some of the seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it. Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seed sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow.  But the plant soon wilted under the hot sun, and since it didn’t have deep roots, it died. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants so they produced no grain. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” – Mark 4:3-8 NLT

planting seed

When you sow seeds, with proper care, they grow out of the ground. Reaping is the process of cutting away. Jesus informed His followers that the time was now to reap the benefits of their labor.

God was a giver and He gave sacrificially. We should not give conditionally but sacrificially. The harvest after your suffering will come.

We are recipients of the promises of God but let us be mindful of what we sow in the earth. When you bless others, blessings will come to you. When you curse others, curses will come to you. When God blesses you, no man can curse you (Isaiah 54:17). Sometimes you may be discouraged when you bless others and don’t see results right away. But have courage; God sees you and will reward you (Matthews 6:3,4).

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. – Galatians 6:9 NLT

I encourage you to reach out to God today; show Him that You are available to be used. Sow acts of kindness, sacrifice, wisdom and love.

He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.” – Matthew 9:37,38 NLT