Search This Blog

Friday, September 29, 2017

Be Still and Know



“Be still know that I am God,” He speaks to your whirling mind (Psalm 46:10a, NLT). If you will be still, and dwell upon Him instead of your problem or worry, you will be filled with His faithful presence instead of consumed with fear of something you cannot handle. In any worrisome state, it is possible to be filled with fear that causes one of two things. Fear will either drive you to self-destructive despair where you retreat from life, or it will cause you to try to change circumstances or yourself without letting God have control. If you retreat because of fear, you isolate yourself from His healing hand. If you try to fix circumstances within your own strength without completely surrendering to Him, you will fail. The peace for which you desperately yearn is out of your grasp because you try to make happen what you perceive you need.

“The Lord’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call,” (Isaiah 59:1, NLT). Your attempts to save yourself are useless. In fact, they get in the way of His ability to help you. Without surrender, you will sink into the depths of your own despair. So why do you fight your rescuer’s attempts to pull you to safety? What you perceive to be safety has become your own destruction. When you surrender your fight to control what is beyond your ability, He hears your cry for help.

Often the struggles of life overwhelm, and you feel like the psalmist who wrote "all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me,” (Psalm 42:7, KJV). But the same psalmist also wrote, “He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings."(Psalm 40:2, KJV). Consider the wonder of that truth. He is your safety for He rescues you from the pit. He is your security because He sets your feet upon His rock‒solid foundation. He is your guide in all things because He directs the way that you go.

This is a beautiful picture of what He wishes for you—to save you from that which destroys your life and to impart trust in His faithful and unchanging love. If you will allow Him to direct your steps and not question His control, you will learn trust. You will continually give Him your worries and fears. You will be still and rest in Him—knowing that He alone is your deliverer and peace.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com

Thursday, September 28, 2017

My Mask

Have you ever tried to hide behind a wall you have created for protection? Have you ever worn a mask so someone else would not see what you are going through? On a day when my heart was broken, a friend asked if I was all right. I answered, “I’m fine.” I never considered that God might have sent my friend to help me at my point of need. I held my mask firmly in place. Perhaps I missed the very healing God wished to impart. Maybe you have also missed yours. I know that the Lord does not want us to expose our pain to just anyone. However, He wants us to be sensitive enough to the Holy Spirit to know when He has sent someone we can trust. He longs for us to know when we have the freedom to open up our hearts.


Perhaps the Holy Spirit wants us to open our hearts to someone who has been deeply hurt by something in the past or something that has bound his or her in the present. Do we hold the mask in place? Do we not share our own pain and experience because we are afraid of our own vulnerability? If we do, there is no freedom because the Holy Spirit is held out by our mask. Perhaps we have denied our own healing and healing for someone else.

We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:13–18, NIV)


Do we mask our hearts and not allow the Holy Spirit freedom to transform us? He wants to heal us, but He can’t if we hide behind self-imposed walls of protection. Christ has the power to set us free from the “old covenant veil” we hold in place so others don’t see our vulnerability and pain. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my mind and heart dull and hardened. I don’t want to wear a mask to hide joy that has faded because I don’t want to appear less than I have been. I want to be real and trust that the Lord who exposes my pain will also heal that which I have entrusted to Him.


Where the Holy Spirit is, I have the liberty, the freedom, the vulnerability, the faith, and the purpose to open my heart. In my giving, He will bring healing to those He has entrusted to me—and He will also bring healing to me.


Are you a living breathing letter of His love, or do you live an old covenant relationship that never allows the Holy Spirit a chance to set you free?  With your mask down, you have the potential to reflect His glory—to share without hesitation His very heart of forgiveness. Are you ready to live in the grace of His new covenant glory? There is nothing in your way, but your own will.


—From Form Me, Fire Me, Fill Me
www.lynnlacher.com


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Nothing is Impossible


“You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”


—Matthew 17:20 NLT



He had just returned to his room from breakfast. He had been unable to feed himself. He sat in his wheelchair, staring at the wall.


            “Lynn is in the ICU. She may not make it!” He said. He was remembering a wreck I had in 1966.  “And Laurelle totaled the Volvo,” he continued. His voice was rough and shaky as he talked about Mama and me.


            My heart broke for him. His fear was tangible. I looked into his face. “I’m Lynn, Daddy. I’m fine.” 


            He did not see me. “Lynn may not make it,” he said again. “Her lung is punctured.” 


            “Lynn is fine, Daddy,” I told him once more. “And Mama is fine. She walked away from wrecking the Volvo. Don’t worry. They are both fine.”


             I didn’t look as he remembered me in 1966 so he wasn’t sure who I was. Mama’s wreck happened in 1984. 1966 and 1984 were the same year to him this morning. He closed his eyes, and withdrew into his own world. The aide came in to help put him to bed. He had trouble transferring from the wheelchair. When he finally laid down, he couldn’t lift his legs to put them on the bed. His mind couldn’t tell his body what to do. So we lifted his legs and covered him with a blanket. He was sound asleep in a moment. Totally withdrawn from the reality of his life, he finally found a semblance of rest in sleep.


            It is difficult to visit him not knowing how I will find him. Some days he is better, but more often now, times with him are heart-wrenching. To see this intelligent and gentle man continually suffering in this way, takes a little more out of my heart each time. When awake, his eyes, which once twinkled, now are dark and opaque and empty. He tosses suddenly on the bed. He is restless in his sleep now. I hold his hand. He doesn’t know that I’m there. Whatever fear he faces in sleep, I cannot help him.


            Handling these times are getting harder. A little bit more of him is lost every day. I yearn for this mountain in his life to move—for freedom from this loss. I know that nothing is impossible with God. Yet I also know that I don’t have the answer to all the reasons of life. This isn’t punishment. This is life, and an opportunity for me to yield more and more to my Savior’s love and guidance. God is in control. I have His seed of faith alive in me. He gives me the strength to speak to my brokenness and encourage my own heart. Whatever comes, I can live in His peace. I can tell this mountain that it cannot destroy my peace. It might be just as large and real as it was the day before, but its power cannot defeat me. I shall become stronger because of it.


            I pray for God’s peace to take over Daddy’s fear. In a few minutes, He is more at rest in sleep. His body relaxes against the turbulent bedding. And he sighs as if letting out all that has wreaked havoc in his mind. I see his little grin, and he laughs. “Peace be still,” I whisper in my heart. It is this day’s miracle. And it is enough. Daddy is here—if only in sleep. Nothing is impossible.



© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www. lynnlacher.com

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Not About Me



Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

—Philippians 2:2-4 NIV



Do I offer hope? Do I encourage others when they are unable to encourage themselves? Am I sensitive to someone's hurt, or do I unconsciously throw fuel on the fire of their pain with casual words? Do I put the needs of others before my own, or do I find a way to “just do enough”? In my words or actions, I speak either encouragement or defeat to another person. I speak life or death to another heart.



As much as each one of us might like it to be, His life in us is not about what we want or how we feel or how we might like to prosper. It is about what He desires for us to sacrificially become for the sake of others. His desire is for us to love others as He loves usto tenderly and compassionately give ourselves away expecting nothing in return. Freely He gave. Freely we care called to give. He desires for us to encourage and speak life to those trapped in despair and pain—to bless those who are down-trodden with the healing presence of His love.



Now I look at my life. Whose needs do I talk about—who am I concerned about? Does my heart break for anyone other than myself? If my life is only about me, I offer nothing of value. If I want to see with His eyes, hear with His ears, and understand with His Spirit, I give myself away. I put another life before my own. I love with His love, and encourage with His grace and truth.



I want my life to be broken and spilled out as He was broken and spilled out for me. I want no masks that veil my heart. Revival of heart never holds back. It is always seen in loving action. I long to bring Him joy by encouraging with the love and grace He has brought me. I do not have to be perfect to give myself away. He uses my brokenness. If I encourage from my own weakness, I will strengthen my own heart. It is in giving myself away that I shall receive. And it is in receiving that I am blessed to give again.   



© 2017 Lynn Lacher




Monday, September 25, 2017

I Have Him

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.

—Hebrews 13:5b (NIV)



No matter what I face, I am never alone. He upholds me.

No matter what my weakness, I have His strength. He gives strength to the weary.

No matter what I feel, I have a spirit that rests in His Truth. Feelings will waver. His Truth stands firm.

No matter what my struggle, I have peace that He is in control. He takes care of what I was never meant to handle.

No matter what my failure, I have victory in His purpose. No weapon that tries to defeat me will prosper.

No matter what my sadness, I have joy in His unchanging promise. His timing is not mine.

No matter what my lot, I have faith in His faithfulness. He will always take care of the concerns of my heart.

No matter what, it doesn’t matter.

I have Him.


Form Me, Fire Me, Fill Me

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com


Friday, September 22, 2017

His Light to Guide



Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.
—Psalm 119:105, NKJV

It would be wonderful if life was consistent, but life continually presents challenges. As my father journeys this road of loss, nothing is constant. We never know when we walk into his room what we will find. Sometimes he is able to communicate his needs. At other times he exists in a world that we can’t fathom. We are challenged each day to trust God to take care of what we are unable to understand—to guide where we are unable to go. There is nothing we can do to change the challenges that are faced each day, but there is something we can do to walk this path in peace. We can surrender the struggle of heartache and despair, and trust God to steer us safely through the unknown.

When His Word guides and empowers my life, there is no problem or circumstance or difficulty that has the power to destroy my faith in Him. His Word gives direction to handle each circumstance that arises, but for the light of His presence to guide me safely through each moment of life, I surrender all of my will to His. I surrender not just some of my will, but all of it. If I try to handle whatever I face alone without His guidance, I will ultimately fail in my attempt. If I allow Him to direct each decision that I make and each step that comes, I will follow Him safely and securely into a future that He alone knows.

Circumstances lie ahead that I would never be able to handle in this present moment. Worry about what is unknown only destroys the peace I have in Him now. He gives me strength to handle what I face now, and He will give me strength for what I will face later. If I trust Him, I have peace in the present, and peace in His promise to take care of my future. As He accompanies me along my path, His light reveals only so far ahead. The path, as it twists ahead, is unclear and shadowed. It is darkened because the light of His presence lights my way now. When I reach another bend in the path, He will light my way then. I need not worry at what might come. As today passes into tomorrow, He will walk with me. The same light which has guided me–the same power–the same peace will continue to guide my way.

Today's path starts to dawn, and I anticipate my father’s needs. However life has a way of changing those needs. The path may suddenly bend with an unexpected challenge, and I must surrender to its lesson knowing the light of His Word—the light of His presence—will reveal, sustain, and guide me. Even though the path of life always changes, God’s strength and support are always constant. He never changes. I trust Him for my moments now, and I trust Him for those that are around the next bend. I agreed to this journey many years ago without knowing the pain it would one day bring. But it is my journey of commitment to not only my father, but to God. I will walk this path, with His guidance and peace, straight through this life right into the next.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com



Thursday, September 21, 2017

Choose Faith



God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

—2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV


“Where is my Daddy?” the little woman in the wheelchair asked me. She reached up and grabbed my arm. Tears poured down her face. “Where is he? I’m late. I need to call him or he will be mad at me.” She was afraid of something that was very real to her. Impossible in the real world, it was very real in hers.


Do you live in fear of what has not yet happened or of scenarios that your mind creates in response to problems you face? Perhaps your fears have a basis, or perhaps they have as much truth as this dear lady’s. Whichever the case, they have no power over you in Jesus Christ. He is greater than your fears. In her mind, this lady had no reality to grasp. Perhaps you feel you have no reality to grasp, but, in Christ, you have a reality that asks you to believe in what seems impossible—which asks you to choose faith over fear—which asks you to deny what your mind deems as being real.


Faith always defeats fear. God has not given you a spirit of fear—but one of power, love, and a sound mind. But do you live in fear of Him? And of everything real or imagined? Have you asked for forgiveness, but do not feel forgiven?  New Covenant grace that flows from Calvary is your only answer, and that grace speaks power and love to your tired mind and heart. You do not have to feel you are forgiven to be forgiven. If you believe in your heart that He has forgiven you and speak it, you are His child. You are forgiven. You have received His grace. You are free. Keep choosing to believe, and feelings will come with spiritual growth. Self and fears will be defeated. A sound mind filled with faith will be your reality.


I could not allow this little lady to cry in fear of a father waiting to punish her because she was late getting home. God does not want you to live in fear of His punishment, either, because you are late getting home. He always waits with open hearts to gather you into His embrace. 


“Your daddy loves you,” I told her, and she stopped her crying, and looked at me. “He forgives you.” 


Something in her little lost mind clicked. “He does?”


“Yes,” I said and stroked her arm. “He forgives you with all the love He has just for you.”


She smiled. For a moment she had received. Her moment of understanding can be your lifetime of knowing. Choose the gift of Calvary. Choose faith.


©2017 Lynn Lacher

www.lynnlacher.com




Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Free in You, Lord


You have given me so much responsibility, Lord, that I often don’t feel capable of handling your trust. I feel lacking, tired, and pushed to the maximum. But in the midst of all this pressure, you call me to realize that my burden is not heavy. It is light. You carry what I am unable to carry on my own. You carried the weight of my sin to the cross, and because of your love, I can know the freedom of your Spirit structuring my days—empowering what you deem important—letting me know when something is not a priority or when it is. The things that wait to be handled—both the real and perceived responsibilities—are in your control when I allow you to direct my days. 

 “Trust in the Lord and do what is good,” the psalmist wrote. “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desire. Commit everything to Him. Trust Him. He will help you. Be still in His presence, and wait patiently for Him to act” (Psalm 37:3-7). I trust you with all my heart—not just a portion of my heart, but with all of it. I surrender my understanding for yours. I seek your wisdom instead of my own. I look beyond my failures and weaknesses and realize you are my only strength. Fear is never my master. You are. I choose to delight in you, Lord. I choose to praise you in the storm. My sacrifice of praise is my gift to you. In my offering I discover that you have taken the weight of responsibility upon your shoulders. The things you have called me to handle are yours. If I allow you to guide and direct and choose what is important for each day, I am no longer overwhelmed. I am no longer lacking.

I will trust you. Not just say it, but live it—breathe it. I will not carry the weight you never meant for me to carry. I will rejoice and delight in you. You are faithful, and you never fail me. You never change. You are constant, and I can always rely on you. I commit every decision and every responsibility to you. I give you my tired heart, and I rest in your purpose. There is no rush. There is no struggle. There is no need to make something happen that perhaps you never intended. My will is no longer at war. It is free for you to make your own.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher




Top of Form


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

If Not For You



Do not let the floodwaters engulf me or the depths swallow me up or the pit close its mouth over me. Answer me, Lord, out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me. Do not hide your face from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in trouble.
—Psalm 69:15-17 NIV


There are days when life floods me with so much responsibility that I feel one more need will break me—one more painful crisis will swallow me up. But when the pit of despair attempts to pull me into darkness, Lord, your spirit within my heart cries out to you. You pray within me the need that my mind cannot perceive—the spiritual answer that is beyond my mind to comprehend in moments of traumatic stress. You come, Lord, and answer me from the goodness of your love. You never hide your face from me. You answer me in the time of trouble when the weight of responsibility is so heavy. You reach down and lift my load upon your shoulders, and my burden is lightened.


Your great mercy turns to me again and again. Peace beckons in my pain, and summons me to continually pray with thanksgiving that you will handle what is beyond my ability. Lord, I lay my weakness upon your altar so that I may rise up in your powerful strength to walk through each day with a joy that sustains no matter what may arise. I am your servant, and you, my Master, direct and guide and handle and manage. With no weight but the joy of your hand upon my life, I serve in peace. I rejoice in the journey which would have engulfed me if not for you.


© 2017 Lynn Lacher



Monday, September 18, 2017

Endurance


You know that when your faith is tested your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

—James 1:3-4 NLT


The years have flown. I will be seventy next year. Some days I physically feel my age, but most days, my spirit soars past how my age declares I should feel. The prospect of something new is always on the horizon. I see the past in shades of gray—never to be experienced again nor past mistakes needing to be redone. The past, though still in memory, does not hold me in bondage. Because of Jesus, I am free. I live the present in joyful anticipation of whatever He decides will come. Years of perseverance through many trials has taught me that I lack nothing in Him. He is all I need. I have His peace as I watch my father slowly slipping away before my eyes, and yet life is often a bursting wave of surging emotion that threatens to sweep me off my feet. God has granted me the gifts of peace and feeling in the same breath. My heart swells with grief, but in the same moment, I know that all is well—with me and with Daddy.


“Endurance develops strength of character,” Paul wrote, “and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love” (Romans 4:5, NLT). Hope is a gift which rises from within the human spirit. Through Jesus, hope springs eternal. It is resilient, strong, and irrepressible. It abounds with His promise that endurance grows character, and character produces hope—not only hope of an eternal promise of life to come, but also hope for abundant life now. Disappointment cannot stand in the face of hope.


“Do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you,” the writer to the Hebrews imparted. “Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised” (Hebrews 10:35-36, NLT). I am living His will for me—walking this road with my father. It is not easy, and I can honestly say that I get weary and tired. But I know what endurance is accomplishing in me. I am changed. I am not the person I was yesterday or the day before. Life becomes more about what God wishes, and less about my own desires.


Is my heart being stretched in a hundred ways worth this journey? Absolutely. When tested I have the opportunity to grow into His vessel that lacks nothing. I feel the loss of my father, but I know I do not feel it alone. Jesus feels it with me. God has given me the Holy Spirit to comfort—to carry—to strengthen—to encourage—to fill my heart with His love. And this is where my story begins and will one day end—in His love which looks beyond the gray of my past and sees the colorful promise of a future that I cannot even imagine.


© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com




Friday, September 15, 2017

Beyond Yourself


Are you discouraged?  Perhaps, you have done what the Lord desires, but you have seen little result. If you have done God’s will, the result of your effort is not your responsibility. It is His. He will bring about what He desires from your obedience.


Now is the time to be encouraged. David, the writer of most of the book of Psalm, knew discouragement. “My strength is dried up like a potsherd,” he cried, “and sticks to the roof of my mouth” (Psalm 22:15a, NIV). Called beyond his own strength, David chose to believe in God’s purpose and promise. When there was no one to build his strength, David encouraged himself in the Lord. He allowed the Lord to develop this valuable trait. Waiting for the fulfillment of God’s will, David feared for his very life. Chased by Saul—hiding in caves, he cried out, “You hear, O Lord, “ the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and in oppressed, in order than man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more” (Psalm 10: 17-18, NIV).


David had faith that God would give him the strength he needed for whatever he faced. But you, O Lord, be not far off,” he cried. “O my Strength, come quickly to help me” (Psalm 22:19, NIV). And then David reached beyond his weakness—his fear—his despair, and promised God his praise. I will declare your name to my brothers,” he promised. “In the congregation I will praise you” (Psalm 22:22, NIV). Praising God increased David’s trust in God’s provision for His promise.


David surrendered his discouragement and believed in God’s purpose—in his promise—no matter what his eyes saw or his ears heard. “Through Jesus,” the writer of Hebrews declared, “let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name” (Hebrews 13:15, NIV). Reach beyond your feelings, and surrender just as David surrendered his feelings. Speak God’s faithfulness. Encourage others, even when you least feel like it. Only through Jesus’ sacrifice can you offer a sacrifice of praise. God will honor your surrender by encouraging you. And you along with the psalmist will be able to declare, “I run in the path of your commandments, O Lord, for you have set my heart free” (Psalm 119:32, WEB).


© 2017 Lynn Lacher


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Have Confidence

From: Form Me, Fire Me, Fill Me
Book Signing Tonight 6:00 - 8:00, Edgewood Church, Anniston, Alabama


“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)


“You are never alone. I am with you,” He gently whispers. “Don’t worry about what tomorrow holds. Today is enough for you. Don’t dwell on what has not even happened. I keep your future from you on purpose. Your faith is precious, and it cost me my life. Don’t sacrifice my love for you by not trusting in me. Trusting and having faith in me comes by hearing and knowing my Word. It comes through an intimacy with me that creates absolute certainty in my faithfulness to you. Learn of me. No problem will be too great or horrible for you to handle. You will soar above whatever might come because you have waited on me instead of trying to take matters into your own hand. You have sought me. You have found my truth. You have taken my Word, and it has become your very life. No matter what your future may hold, it is secure in me. My ways are higher and greater than any other. I am your unassailable defense. Trust me—and nothing shall break the faithful confidence you have in my plans for your life.


—From Form Me, Fire Me, Fill Me

© 2017 Lynn Lacher




Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Lead Me




Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

—Proverbs 3:5–6 (NLT)



I trust in you with all my heart, Lord—not with just a little bit that I allow, but with all of it. I surrender all of my heart—all of the struggle—to find my own way through life. I surrender the pain of all my own failure to you. I surrender the hurt that has tortured my heart and the thoughts that have claimed my mind. I’m tired of holding on to all that I can’t control. I’m tired of insisting on my own way. I’m tired of trying to make happen what I desire. I have nothing left right now. I have nothing left but you. And you are exactly what I need now that I have been emptied of me.



Come, Lord Jesus. You are my Savior. Reach down and lift me from all that consumes me. My heart submits to you. When I’m drained of all strength, I trust in you. When I am empty with no purpose, I trust in you. When I am lost in a valley of pain and suffering, I trust in you. When my heart feels like it can’t take another blow, I trust in you. When I have lost that which I hold most dear, I trust in you. When I am so tired I can’t take another step, I trust in you. When I can’t hear you or see you or feel you, I trust in you. When I don’t understand why, I trust in you. I surrender all of me to know all of you.



Lead me, Lord. Lead me out of the valley. Whether it be of my own making or not, lead me out. I need you to make my path straight. I need you to show me the way to move forward. My hand is in yours. My heart rests in you. Your heart beats in me. You are my guide in all that lies ahead. You are my joy and my victory. Lead me, and I will follow. Lead me to the Rock that is stronger and so much higher than I am. You are my fortress, Lord God. You are my mighty tower. You are my deliverer.



—From Form Me, Fire Me, Fill Me

© Lynn Lacher 2017

www.lynnlacher.com


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Missing You

(My father has dementia.)

“Daddy,” I ask, “how are you today?”

          “They put glass in my food. I think I passed the test and didn’t eat any.”

          “I hope not, “I declare.

          “Did you fix that thing?”

          “That thing?” I respond. “Is it in here?”

          “What about my suitcase? Did you find it in Florida?”

          “How did your suitcase get in Florida?” I ask.

          “With the swim team.”

          “You were in Florida with the swim team?” I question carefully.

          “I threw up when I couldn’t swim. No one liked me.”

          “I’m sorry you threw up,” I sympathize.

          “Why?”

          “Because it hurts to be sick,” I answer.

          “Who was sick? Did you get my suitcase?”

          “Yes,” I tell him. “I found it. Everything is fine.”   

          “Did those things match?”

          “Those things?” I ask. 

          No response. He stares at the wall.

          “They match perfectly,” I promise.

“They didn’t like me so they left me.”

“Where did they leave you?” I ask.

“I’m so glad there are no more woods,”

“Did they leave you in the woods, Daddy?”

“Why do they leave me every night to sleep alone?”

“I’m sorry you were left,” I try.

          “I got to sleep at Autumn Cove for three nights.”

          “I’m so glad to hear it,” I say.

          “I need to figure this out, but I can’t.”

          “I have trouble figuring it out, too, Daddy.”

          “You can’t figure it?”

          “No, I can’t,” I tell him. “Sometimes it’s really hard.”

          “I’m sorry it’s hard.”

          “Me, too,” I speak, trying not to cry.

          He pats my arm. “It’s OK.”

          “I know, Daddy. It’s OK.”

          “Did you pay for my airline ticket?”

          “Yes,” I tell him. “I always do.”

          “Well, that’s good. I missed you.”

          “You did?” I ask.

          “I always miss you when I am asleep.”

          “Me, too, Daddy. I always miss you, too."


Even when you are old, I will take care of you. Even when your hair has turned gray, I will take care of you. I made you and will take care of you. I will carry you, and I will save you.

—Isaiah 46:4 ICB


© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com

           

No Fear in Perfect Love



There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.

—1 John 4:18a (NIV)

There is no perfect earthly love. Earthly love changes with circumstance, and it changes with feeling. However, there is a perfect spiritual love that conquers fear and lives in faith that God will take care of anything that comes against it. This perfect love carries me safely through all of life’s struggles and heartaches. It never deserts me, and it never changes. When this spiritual love is perfected in my life, it brings greater faith to believe in the impossible. What is this perfect love? It is the love of God who gave His Son, Jesus Christ, for me. If that is beyond my human capacity to understand, it is meant to be. I can’t understand such a perfect love with my mind. It is useless to try to analyze it. My mind can’t fathom the depth of this sacrificial love, but my spirit can receive it. 


The only way to receive this perfect love that conquers fear is to allow Christ into my heart. He loved me enough to die for my sin so I might be set free from its control over me. He, who was perfect and knew so sin, became sin so it might be crucified forever in my life and I might receive His perfect love. Fear can only be defeated with His perfect love living in me.


When I let go of what is imperfect in me, I receive His love. It washes away all that I have been so I may receive all that He is. With His perfect love in my life, continually changing me, His love becomes stronger in me and perfects me. Only His perfected love in my life can drive out fear and give me faith to believe. If I remain rooted in His love and growing in His grace, perseverance will finish its work so that I may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. I will be strong enough to choose faith over fear.


If I am dealing with great fear, then His love has not been perfected in me. My mind has been focused on my struggles, and my feelings have pulled me away from His promised fullness of life. The Lord will keep me in His perfect peace when my mind remains on Him instead of other circumstances. I cannot grow stronger in what I feel. I can only become stronger in what I know.


I rejoice in the knowledge that His perfect love drives out all fear. It drives it out as His love is continually perfected in me. My promise and my journey is to be perfected by the Lord who gave His life for me.

From Form Me, Fire Me, Fill Me
© 2017 Lynn Lacher

Monday, September 11, 2017

The God-of-Angel-Armies Fights for Me



God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him. We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in seastorm and earthquake before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains. Jacob-wrestling God fights for us; God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.
—Psalm 46:1-3 MSG


My refuge. My place of safety. My anchor. My help in time of need. He is all this and so much more. What do I ever face that He can’t and won’t handle?  Because of Him I stand without fear before any battle. I stand courageous before the unknown of tomorrow and the unrest of today. No storm of life is able to shake my assurance in Him. My world may surge with circumstances beyond my control, but they are not beyond His. No shock in my life is too great to defeat my faith in His unchanging truth. The same God who Jacob wrestled also fights for me. I may feel the wound of my own failure, but I shall become stronger because of it. I am healed only because He was wounded for me. The God of the angelic host fights battles beyond my comprehension—those battle of which I know nothing. I have no need to know. I don’t face or fight whatever lies ahead. He fights for me.


© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com

Friday, September 8, 2017

I Come


Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

—Matthew 11:28 NLT


I come to you, Lord, stripped of any pretense. I come abandoned. I come vulnerable. I come deserted. I come barren. I come forsaken. I come fearful. I come overwhelmed. I come anxious. I come rejected. I come hopeless. I come so that I might find respite from all the turmoil of my life in your presence. I come with nothing to offer but my brokenness. It is when I come broken of all that I have attempted to hold in place that I find you waiting. You accept and love me in my weakness and feebleness. I can be who I am with you. There is just you and just me. There is no image I have to keep. There is no mask I have to hold in place. There is no agenda that has to be met. There is no perfection that I need to maintain. You see beyond all my limitations, and you love me still. You always see my potential, and never my failures. In your amazing love I am no longer in bondage to my failure. I am free in your promise. I arise from my time with you accepted. I arise no longer deserted or abandoned. No longer forsaken or rejected, I arise free of the fear which has tormented. What has overwhelmed is now seen from your perspective. You have taken my anxious thoughts from me at your altar, and now I am at rest. I am broken of self, and restored in your power. I rise from my knees—revived and renewed. I know my hope is always in you, Lord, and it shall always be. I shall see you again in just a little while, because without my time with you, I am lost in my own weakness. So I come.



—from Chapter 5 introduction, Form Me, Fire Me, Fill Me

© 2017 Lynn Lacher

www.lynnlacher.com

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Only You



I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness
—Jeremiah 31:3 NIV


I look into my father’s eyes and see that he does not understand me. He is slipping away from me. There is nothing I can do to keep him close. I try once more, and nothing makes sense to him. The pain of loss grips my heart. If he realized his own loss, he would be devastated. I’m thankful that he doesn’t know, and that is the peace you have given him.


Loss brings grief. It should bring us closer to you, Lord, but many times grief pushes you away. Grief, even with a broken heart, can bring the sweetest peace when surrendered to you. You wait with open arms for that moment you are beckoned—you constantly wait for the realization that you alone are the answer. And then in yielding all that wearies, you come without hesitation to carry and comfort.


You walk with me in the pain of loss each day, Lord. Even with a grief that often heavily weighs on my heart, the pain is never too much because of you. Nothing would make sense to me without you. Surrender is where I find you. It is where I lay down my struggle, and have rest in your purpose for my life. You love me with an everlasting love. You are the reason I walk in peace in this season, and the next and the next.


Only you.


© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

In Your Valley



Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
—Psalm 23:4 NLT

You thought you would never find yourself in this dark valley. You have loved Him, and served Him for years. But here you are—unable to feel His grace that has been your constant companion—unable to move out of what John of the Cross termed “the dark night of the soul”. Trying everything that you know—pleading in prayer, reading Scripture, seeking direction from those you trust, you are just treading water. You believe if you let go of your struggling to stay afloat, you will drown. But that is what He asks—for you to let go and surrender—to stop striving and let Him bring you through this darkness.

You cannot bring yourself through on your own strength. You cannot lead. You cannot save. You cannot teach yourself the lesson. He alone can show you when you allow it. He calls for surrender of all you have perceived about yourself. He calls of surrender of feelings, and what you believe are your rights. It is so painful to fight against surrender to His lesson. If not given willingly, surrender hurts. If not given to God, as He gave the gift of His life to you, you remain in bitter darkness. But you do not have to be alone. You do not have to fear. He is with you—just waiting for your willing surrender. His rod and staff will teach you and guide you safely through your dark valley— if you will just permit.

Surrender in your valley is difficult when you cannot feel His grace. But surrender in your valley is where His grace sets you free. Begin the journey to freedom. Just let go, and trust His rod and His staff. You shall run in the path of His commands once again— when you have allowed Him to set your heart free.

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

I Am Yours


I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them.
—Isaiah 42:16 (NLT)


When I walk a way that I have never known, one that is unfamiliar but one you have chosen for me, I sometimes hold back. Something new is down that path. I know it is something that my human mind cannot grasp. I have been blinded to your purpose and to your heart by my own understanding. I have not leaned upon you until there is nothing left of my own desire. I have not sought your depths because of fear of losing who I am. Everything within pushes me to step out in faith and follow you into the unknown. I hesitate because I must let go of all that has been my security. I have been secure in my own strength—in what I have perceived as my purpose. You call me to let go and reach for your hand. The moment I let go is the moment that I am swept into your presence. It is the moment your light shines into the darkness and reveals your glory. You are more real to me than my next breath. I am known. I am loved. I am protected. The things that have seemed to be insurmountable are nothing. I see you—not them. I hear you—not the voices of those who say, “Be rational.” They do not understand this joy—this revelation of why I live and what is before me. This pearl is for me. You will do for me as you have declared. Others may not understand, but you know the way that I take. You know my path. My heart is yours. I never walk alone, and I am never forsaken. You have called me into the depths, and I am no longer my own. I am yours.

—From Form Me, Fire Me, Fill Me

© 2017 Lynn Lacher
www.lynnlacher.com


Monday, September 4, 2017

Sacrificial Best


God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.
—Romans 11:29, NLT
God calls you. He draws you. One day in response to persistent prayer, you realize what God wishes from your life. The realization of His will initially frightens you, but then apprehension finally gives way to surrender. With surrender anticipation builds. You live your purpose with fervent desire. You serve the Lord unquestionably, and believe that what you offer makes a difference. You experience the joy and fulfillment of knowing you are in the Lord's will. But in the midst of the joy of service you unexpectedly deny something that calls for a deeper level of commitment. You suddenly discover that you have failed Him. In guilt and grief you question your worth.
“Lord,” you cry, “what should I do?”
“Do you love me?” He asks. The unanticipated question strikes hard. You might be Peter on the shore, leaning over a bed of glowing embers, warming his cold hands, and remembering another coal fire where he had failed Jesus.
“Yes, Lord,” you manage to respond. “You know I love you.”
He repeats the question two more times, and each time you answer, you are abruptly aware of your failure. The Lord gently lifts your trembling chin to peer into eyes that also once burned into Peter’s. It is at this moment your failure is gone, and you, lost in His gaze, know you are forgiven. “If you love me,” He says, “then feed my sheep.”
His words are a statement to the fact that you have been called. Lovingly the Lord has brought you to your place of denial—your place of failure, and then called for your sacrificial best so that you might understand that your worth is not defined by your failure but is found in the humility of your heart. What is the actual price of your sacrificial best? Being sold out to the Master means that no price is too high to feed His sheep. You rise from the misplaced altar of your coal fire, and you choose to make Him your altar. He is your focus now, and not your failure.
 Never allow failure to hinder you, but to humble you. Continue to share Christ’s message, His heart, and His love. Learn from your failure, and move on. Remember that “feeding the sheep” is not about you. It is about loving Him. Leave the failure of your denial, just as Peter did, and rise once more to His calling.
—From Form Me, Fire Me, Fill Me
© 2017 Lynn Lacher

www.lynnlacher.com

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Because of Mama

I discovered something I wrote in 2014 one year after my mother died. I share it again in honor of her birthday today. She would have been 92 today.

I seem to always be discovering a treasure about my Mama. She passed away a year ago today. Somehow, after she was gone, I ended up with her workbook from a discipleship class she was in many years ago. It has been incredible to read in her own handwriting about her faith and love for God. Just two weeks ago I looked at it again and discovered something I had never seen before—a remark she had made about my life. In fact, it was something I had never known she thought about me, and reading it in her own handwriting brought me such joy. It was if she was speaking right to me.

How many times do we hesitate sharing our feelings with those we care about? What makes us hesitate?  Are we afraid we will be judged? Are we afraid that we will not live up to their expectations?  Are we concerned our words will hurt them? Are we even afraid they will not care about our thoughts?  Our human mind creates all kinds of scenarios, but in the very end, those scenarios mean very little. What matters is telling those we love how we feel, and just letting God take care of what must needs to be taken care of.

When Mama praised you, it was special. What I read that day in her work book, I would have loved to have known while she was living. If I had known she felt about me in that way, we could have shared our hearts in ways that might have made us so much more closer.

Thank you, Mama, for always sharing your faith and your love. You fought for me. You believed in me. You passed on your fighting heart to me, and your belief in other people's potential.  You passed from this earth strong in spirit just as you always were. You left behind your legacy of faith that always speaks peace no matter what I face. It is because of you that I believe today.


Friday, September 1, 2017

Greater Than Your Failure


Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.
—(Proverbs 16:3, NIV)

Do you yearn to be in God’s perfect will? Do you believe that you continually surrender your will so that any decision you make falls into the realm of His purpose? You make a decision to move forward in what you believe in His perfect will. Then without warning you face failure. That failure consumes your waking and sleeping moments. It eats at you until you question if you ever really understood His will.

You don’t own your failure. It belongs to Him. Everything you are belongs to Him so your failure also belongs to Him. You can’t keep that failure festering and hurting inside your heart until every sense of worth is destroyed. The “what if” you ask yourself will only bind you to that failure. Being consumed with that failure and what might have been only places your failure on a pedestal instead of placing it on His altar. Make that failure an offering so that you can learn from it and not dwell on it. He understands where your failure began, and He alone can make it right. Because you love Him and your heart longs to follow His will, He will take your failure and reclaim you. Move forward from your failure trusting Him, and He will guide you away from its condemnation. He has taught you a lesson that can keep you from another failure. Seek His will in every decision you make. Commit that decision to Him, and ask Him to make your plan His plan. He will establish the work of your hands—by teaching a lesson that grows His purpose in your life or by empowering your decision with His anointing.

Rejoice in His promise of restoration! Praise Him that you don’t own His plan or any failure! His plan is greater than any failure that you might make. Step forward from fear caused by failure, and move forward in faith in Him. Commit to Him whatever you do. Make your life and your plan an offering. He will make all right as He wishes. One decision at a time, obediently rendered, brings deep pruning and His greatest fulfillment.

From: Form Me, Fire Me, Fill Me

© 2017 Lynn Lacher

www.lynnlacher.com

A Revelation of His Love

God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. —John 3...