Friday, January 8, 2016

The Traveler

Hope has decided to visit me while I write.  There isn’t any sense continuing until I give her my undivided attention.

Picking up my cat and pulling her close, as I stroke her head the purrs get louder.  It’s her way of telling me she’s pleased; well at least I'd like to think that. 

Cupping her fuzzy head in my hands, it reminds me that hope is present …hope Jesus. The event of Christmas may be over, but Emmanuel, God is always with us. 

Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your city/state/country made the list. 

New on DFBHastings, England, United Kingdom;Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India; Lesotho; Namibia; Portugal; Palestine; Botswana; Gibraltar; Israel; Iraq; Morocco; Turks and Caicos Islands; Estonia. 

USA Riverside, CA; Magnolia, DE; Perth, WA; Appleton, WI; Davenport, IA. 

I am so happy for your visit and hope that you come back each week to participate in the weekly challenges.  God has been faithful and we expect His favor to abound in the lives of those who chose to Journey with Jesus on Daily Favor Blog.
You are welcome to leave comments or prayer requests below.  All are private. I would love to hear from you and how Daily Favor has worked in your life.  Contact me by leaving a message in the box at the bottom of this week’s post.  

Don't miss out on this week's challenge (below).
Read Messages, updates on Hubby’s Heart and visit the Q & A or other sections.

For Tradition Sake 

Christmas Day - tree up ...
The holidays are over and people have gone back to their regular routines for the most part.  School busses are buzzing about and all the city activity is in full swing. 

Our holiday seemed a little short lived with our Christmas tree lasting only twenty hours before one of the rescues decided to take it for a joy ride to the floor.  Hubby shouted for me to “Quick catch it”, but it and the
Christmas Day - tree down!

newest kitty were already in flight before I could do anything about it.
 The entire matter was hilarious to watch, especially as the other pets scattered as if they knew the “baby” would be in trouble. (I shared the photos on my Facebook page on December 28th, 2015. Just look for the crashed Christmas tree). 

We felt it best to take down the tree when we discovered the same “Oh she’s so cute” kitty chewed through the light cord on New Year’s Day (thank the Lord it wasn’t plugged in at the time).
I believe it’s the shortest time we’ve ever had our tree up for the holidays, but sometimes changing what you’ve done in the past is a good thing. 

Having to put away our tree decorations early shed light on some of the traditional things I do “just because I’ve always done it that way.”  Oh I wish I didn’t fall into that category, but I do with certain things. 

Not wanting to stay in the rut of tradition in my journey with Jesus, I began thinking about my life as a sojourner in the world.  Up until 2004 I thought I was a great traveler. 

Days on the “road” have really changed over the years.  When I first traveled I carried loads of luggage, wanting to be prepared for anything. It didn’t matter if it was a short or long trip; I always carried more than I needed.  You know the “just in case … better be prepared” syndrome that shapes the way we travel. The added pressure of “did I forget anything” everywhere I went took the joy out of the experience. 

It has taken lots of trips in all sorts of circumstances for me to learn that I no longer need to travel with the burden of heavy luggage. Learning to let go of some baggage didn’t come easy at first, but over time it has been a blessing. 

New Things 

As we begin the New Year there are things I’d like to do differently.  I don’t write down resolutions, because I think they are setting people up for disappointment if they don’t work out as planned. 

Instead I set short and long term goals that allow for “life” to happen along the way. I learned how to do this through writing lesson plans for my classes that had to be submitted to the school authorities.  

When my life course changed to teaching special needs children, it became important to set many types of goals to help them succeed at various levels.  It proved to be more helpful to me in all aspects of life, not just in the classroom.  

If goals aren’t met at the exact time, I keep plugging away but don’t browbeat myself which invites negative feelings.  I developed an attitude of “I’ve never failed at anything … I’m just not done yet.”   

You would be surprised how it changes the way you think of yourself with this mindset.  It sort of places one in the Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin, George Washington Carver, Marie Curie, Harriet Tubman or Eleanor Roosevelt category.  What fun! 

Last year I learned to quilt (semi-learned anyway).  This year I’d like to learn basket weaving. There isn’t any particular reason, just ‘cuz, as they say. 

Like my sister who is setting her journey to include at least ten minutes of vigorous daily exercises, I also have health goals figured in on my journey travels this year (along with other things).  Keeping my focus on “new things”, I began my first day of the year by cutting my very long hair for a “new do for a new you” (referring to myself) attitude I would embrace.  

With scissors in his hand I cried like a baby as I heard the snipping sound of my husband chopping away at my valued asset.  One word from me and he wouldn’t have gone through with it, but alas hubby took it well.  (Picture shows after the cut!  I held up a blanket so you could see it better.)
Trying to lessen my anxiety he took my now detached13 inch ponytail, stuck it in his nose and then the ear as if they needed major trimming. His humor distracted me from my sudden loss of brownish locks.  It was time to look at things in a new way, including how I perceived myself through God’s eyes inside and outwardly. 

“How frail is humanity!  How short is life, how full of trouble!  (Job 14:1 NLT) 

Last year was a tremendously trying year in laying hold to what I believed by faith. Hubby undergoing five operations along with being back and forth from the hospital over fifty times (not counting doctor appointments and cardio rehab).  We were physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausted.  Through it all we were incredibly favored by God and man with blessings, mercy and grace beyond what we could ask or think. 

Every time something tried to pull me off my faith walk, something happened to direct me back to where I could rest in the Lord.  That something was a someone - the Holy Spirit.  God also used His children to encourage, uplift and pray for one another.  This is why I am so pleased to be starting a new year with you whom my husband and I have come to love and cherish. 

Hope for the “New” Journey 

Sitting here at my kitchen table I’m reminded by my kitty that hope is by my side for this journey. 
There’s a song we sing in church called “Our Hope Is in the Lord.”  I rephrase it when I sing it to her, “My Hope is from the Lord, she is a gift from Jesus Christ.” 
It’s true.  The gift of hope is to help us stay in faith as we travel each new road God has set before us.  We often don’t recognize what’s happening right before our eyes. 

“Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it?  I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19 NKJV) 

It is not new to Him, it is new to us. 

 “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun!  Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19 NLT) 

We’re getting prepared for another “trip” by faith; one that will take us into new adventures as a believer.  I am so ready to see God do amazing things in the Body of Christ this year. There is something I have to ask though before we set out on this quest…  

What kind of traveler are you?   

Are you the type of traveler where the luggage is weighted with heavy burdens that should have been left at the foot of the cross? Do past sins, unforgiveness, guilt, envy and strife cause your suitcases to weigh in as “additional carry-on baggage?" 
Are you tired of collecting these badges along the way and it resulting in excess beyond what you can handle?

Until we learn to travel “light” with Jesus by casting our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7), we’re going to constantly be detoured away from our life’s goals.  As part of our New Year’s life plan, we’re going to stay focused on the prize of the High calling (Philippians 3:14).  It starts with unloading our emotional and physical luggage. 

All of Me, Nothing Else 

He commanded them (the disciples) to take nothing for the journey except a staff. No bag, no bread, no copper in their money belts nor a change of clothes.” (see Mark 6:8 and Luke 9:3) 

Jesus told His disciple to take nothing with them on their journey. You can imagine how flags went up in their thoughts and the “lack” mentality crept into their thinking. I can hear all the questions that flew out of their mouths as they tried to rationalize with the Lord about what He was asking them to do.   

Didn’t the Master realize they had expenses and families?  Certainly this was an unreasonable half-baked idea that couldn’t possibly work to their benefit.  Nonetheless, that’s what Jesus commanded. 

Already knowing God’s ultimate plan, Jesus really wasn’t concerned about the material aspect of what they would need, but used it to prove He would provide and supply for their every need for the road trips in life. (Philippians 4:19)  That promise hasn’t changed as long as our journey includes God’s plans. 

“And He (Jesus) said to them. When I sent you without money bag, knapsack and sandals, did you lack anything?  So they (the disciples) said, Nothing.” (Luke 22:35 NKJV) 

As time went by, daily events were to take a turn … 

Along their journey with Jesus the “game plan” and tides had changed. Times would be harder, but Jesus needed the disciples to trust Him like they did when they first followed Him.  

By following what the Lord said, it allowed God to give the disciples all they needed for their journey with Jesus.  They learned to trust Him to provide whatever they needed.   I mean come on… Jesus even used a fish to help pay their taxes! (Matthew 17:27)  Now how much more evidence did they need that God would always be there for whatever they would encounter? 

In other words, first hand they became well-educated on how to travel light with Jesus in confidence and without fear.  The disciples discovered how to be travelers for, of and with Jesus.  Obedience made a way for His favor. 

This Week’s Challenge:
Learning to Travel Light 

Learning to “travel light” to be a “traveling light” for Jesus may be a play on words, but it isn’t play when it comes to trusting God for everything.  

As in any trip, one needs to prepare for the journey.  First let’s begin with reading the third chapter of Hebrews as a base for our route.  
There are three main aspects we are to retain from this passage concerning our travel plans with Jesus. 

1 - Jesus was, is and always will be faithful. 

2 - We need to be faithful and listen to the Holy Spirit’s direction.

3 - Learn what happens to those who wander off the path. 

For the next few months we’re going to focus on being better prepared travelers for our journey with Jesus in 2016. 

Although we know life comes with trials and tests, we don’t need to keep piling them into our luggage. Instead, we should be emptying them out between destination points. 

Our challenge this week is to unpack our burdens and start this part of our journey with nothing, but faith, hope and trust as our suitcases.  Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and My burden (load) is light.” (Matthew 11:30 NKJV)  

Why do you think He made that statement?  I believe it’s because Christians have failed to empty their burdens on the Lord in prayers of confession before Him.  We want to question the decisions of God like the disciples may have done in the beginning of their fellowship with Jesus.   

In order to be ready for next week and move forward in hope, we have to unload, unpack and unleash what we’ve been dragging with us for years.  God promised He will be with us for the journey while on this earth, never leaving or forsaking us. (Hebrews 13:5) 

Spend time focusing on what God has already said in His word rather than always waiting to “hear” something your spirit wants to hear. 

Stop being deceived by satan and get rid of all sin (Galatians 5:7-10) and love God’s Truth (Jeremiah 9:3).

Start out with a new approach like we’ve done in the past. No more B.A.R. Hopping either. (If you don’t know what that is you’ll find it here.) It’s time we become earth travelers God can use. Right now take your first steps of this journey with Jesus on bended knee, at the cross of forgiveness, to help you become a better and more fit traveler. 

Our journey with Jesus isn’t always going to be “Heaven on Earth.” By stepping out in faith we understand that there are going to be both good and bad times as scriptures declare. We cannot escape what God has already said and He will not do anything against what He has already ordained.   

A “feel good” message isn’t what I present on Daily Favor, but one of “be not dismayed or discouraged, for I (Jesus) have overcome this world.” (John 16:33) Trusting the Lord has its rewards of new favor and firsts for all of us that will help us through it all.  That is what I truly believe. 

It’s a time to get excited!  We’re beginning our travels with hope by our side (I’m not referring to my feline companion) and renewed joy, as we venture into uncharted territories with the Lord together.  

Your journey may include cutting you hair, losing weight, writing a book or song, joining a ministry, changing jobs, opening a new business or moving to a foreign country, who knows but God?  

This is what I know:  God wants our undivided attention. Our journey will involve change, people, movement, traveling light, staying close by the Lord’s side and include FAVOR for the end times. 

Believing God for new and greater things for my fellow travelers who take on the Daily Favor challenges, I leave you with a prayer and blessings of favor as you prepare for this year’s Journey with Jesus. 

“Christ be with you always through the precious gifts of the earth and its fullness, and the favor of God who appeared in the burning bush before Moses, I declare these blessings to rest on your head as it did Joseph’s, crowning you royal above others as you obey the call of God on your life.” (*See below) 

Goal #1 – Travel Lighter with Hope Jesus. 

Journey with Jesus, He calls you friend. 

If this article has encouraged or helped you please consider sharing it by using the social media icons provided at the end of this post. 

Until next time, look for new favor to unfold! 

“I will show new favor you have never seen!”
Jesus Christ 

*My prayer is not to take away or change what God instructed Moses to do in Deuteronomy 33 as the Blessings of Moses on God’s people before he left earth, but to encourage, exhort and uplift the Body of Christ in Journey with Jesus.   

*The names in articles are changed to protect the individual(s) privacy. 
Note: The words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives. 

Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness. 

What’s New This Week: Click on book or link.
 eBook by Thomas Nelson publishers

Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy.  A.N.A. logo by J.C.Penney, Inc.
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Gateway Bible
Image credit: GoogleImages or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image:  Cat  Expert  Baggage
Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.