March 28, 2014

YIELD and find yield

I ran a few errands the other day.  There is one area that I hadn’t driven in awhile which had undergone road construction to improve traffic flow.  The third time I passed a yield sign a memory flashed to mind…

“yield, Yield, YIELD!!!”
(okay, so I’m one of those moms who when sitting in the passenger’s seat with a teenage driver suddenly says everything in threes and rising volume)
“Yes Mom, I see the sign…”

A slight smile crossed my face with the memory.  Then the “aha moment” hit that made me smile fully and shake my head. “Yes Lord, I see the sign…I saw it three times and said it three times… I see the sign…”  I said aloud.  It was time to Stand Still with this word.

YIELD. To abdicate, accept, acknowledge, acquiesce, capitulate, consent, give way, give oneself over, relax, relent, relinquish, submit. To let go.

Life has been filled with constant changes: new jobs, kids leaving home, health changes, relationship changes, challenges in school, plans in flux, futures uncertain and circumstances beyond control.  All of this brings the reality of two things: (1) I’m not in control; don’t even have control over a part of it; and (2) I have to change.  Ouch!

As I Stand Still with YIELD, I am purposefully acknowledging and accepting that I often do not have the strength or the wisdom to control circumstance try as I might.  I need to change; to let go.  Let go of control (which I never had). Let go of my own stubbornness and will.  Let go and Let God.  YIELD.

As I consciously YIELD I am struck with an analogy.
YEILDING is a safety issue.  By obeying the sign to YIELD there is well being – physically (less stress), emotionally and spiritually.

I was also struck with the realization that if I YIELD I will find yield. For you see, this peculiar word has a dual meaning.

Yield. To produce; a harvest; income; output; profit; a return; revenue.

By YIELDING I gain.  My yield?
His perfect will.  His greater wisdom.  His plans are far better for me than my own could ever be.  I have access to His plans.  Circumstance is actually less complicated when I YIELD to Him.  What I end up with is far better than what I thought I wanted.  I gain things I wouldn’t have otherwise have had – better job, new experiences, more wisdom, cherished moments, better and healthier relationships, new healthier priorities, strength, a better understanding of purpose, knowledge of who I am… a stronger faith.
I have comfort, peace and hope. 

So I will YIELD.  I will look to the Word.  I will seek Him.  I will Let Go, and Let God.  And I will yield.

Is it time for you to YIELD?

2 Chronicles 30:8 – Do not now be stiff-necked as your fathers were, but yield yourselves to the LORD, and come into His sanctuary.
Psalm 85:12 – Yea, the LORD will give what is good…
Proverbs 8:19 – My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver.
Matthew 13:23 – As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit and yields.
Hebrews 12:11 – For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Psalm 46:10 – Be still and know that I am God.
Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to five you hope and a future.
Ephesians 3:20ff – Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory.

March 25, 2014

It's own reward.

It seems that more and more we run up against people in life who possess duplicity. 
Dishonesty; dualism; twoness; double dealing; fraud; subterfuge; underhandedness; deceit; guile; falsehood; one-upmanship.
These encounters make people’s lives difficult leaving one exhausted, frustrated, hardened, and hurt.
Compounding all of this is the fact that in today’s world duplicity is accepted; overlooked; and in some aspects revered – those possessing it almost seem to breeze through life with success. 

However, here is the truth – the clear reality…

 "The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively."

Honesty; honorable; principled; sincerity; straightforward; fortitude; virtue.
A person of integrity will behave with honor even when there is no one around.  They are not self-seeking. They can be counted on to stand.  People trust a person of integrity because they know that there is value to commitment.  People know that a person of integrity possesses morals and values and seeks to live by them. He’s honest with others and himself. Integrity is evident in the way a life is lived and it is its own testimony.
The rewards of living a life with integrity are the richest life has to offer – respect, honor, peace, contentment.  The eternal rewards of living a life with integrity are even more rich:

Luke 16: 10,11  -  If you are faithful in the little things, you will be faithful in large ones.  But if you are dishonest in the little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.  And if you are untrustworthy about worldly things, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?

Psalm 25:21 – May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for Thee.

Psalm 42:12 – But thou has upheld me because of my integrity and set me in thy presence for ever.

Proverbs 10:9 – He who walks in integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will be found out.

Proverbs 11:3 – The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.

Proverbs 28:18 – He who walks in integrity will be delivered, but he who is perverse in his ways will fall into a pit.


So when we face those who act in their duplicity the best way to react is through our integrity and move on leaving them to the Father.

Psalm 101:2 – I will give heed to the way that is blameless…. I will walk with integrity of hear within my house.

Job 31:6 – Let me be weighed in a just balance and let God know my integrity!




March 22, 2014

Sympathy, empathy, COMPASSION

This week I was blessed to spend time with a dear friend.  When I walked in, I could tell she was a bit upset.  Someone close to her had made a negative and fairly condescending remark about a couple in a news article regarding a very difficult issue and decision.  The commentator was quite condemning toward this family’s situation.  While a certain faction would’ve jumped to harsh disdain, my friend immediately went to a different place with the situation and said “my heart hurts for that couple.  If I’m honest I can understand what may have led to that decision.  They aren’t in an easy place.  They need prayer more than anything else.”

What a witness my dear friend is. Where some maybe would’ve had apathy, she had sympathy – being able to feel for the couple.  Where many would’ve had lack of understanding, she had empathy.  Where others had condemnation flowing toward the couple, she possessed compassion.  She looked at the issue through the eyes of the couple – she could feel what they may have felt in the dark moments…sadness, fear, worry, troubled… she saw their place of dark doubt.  And then she gave gifts from her heart…understanding and prayer.

It is said that “the individual is capable of both great compassion and great indifference – he has it within his means to nourish the former and outgrow the latter. “  Sadly is seems more often the indifference overshadows the compassion. 

But why?

Why is it hard to acknowledge someone’s pain – “I can see you are hurting.  I’m sorry this happened to you.?” Why is it so hard to just listen? Why is it easier to sweep the pain/hurt under a rug, not acknowledge the issues? It won't go away but instead creates and enlarges a rift.

Indifference exists when one only looks through his eyes.  Indifference creates no one so blind as the man who refuses to listen.  Indifference exists in many a self-centered universe….not just exists but thrives.  Indifference is part of man’s inhumanity to man.  No allowances.  No consideration.  No sympathy. No empathy….

It hurts – not having compassion tears down instead of builds up.  Not having compassion doesn’t just allow poor behavior… it encourages it.

“Man may dismiss compassion from his heart, but God never will.”

I carry hurts from indifference indicating apathy.  We each, I’m sure, can identify a time that lacked compassion and were wounded.  It such a blessing that  we are able turn our hearts and give ourselves to the ONE who does not dismiss compassion.  We may call GOD Love, we may call GOD Goodness – But the base name for God is compassion. We can experience HIS compassion through HIS direct intervention, through HIS Word, and through those HE places in our lives.

And in response…

We can be the conduit trough which HIS Compassion flows to others…. Or we can hold compassion in prayer and watch as HE meets needs beyond our doing or expectation.

Compassion brings us to a stop, and for a moment we rise above ourselves.

It is my prayer that you each may stand still and rise!

.James 5:11  You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

Lamentations 3:32  but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love;

Isaiah 49:13   For the Lord has comforted his people, and will have compassion on his afflicted.

Psalm 135:14   the Lord will vindicate his people, and have compassion on his servants.

Luke 7:13   And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”