PURSUIT OF A PERSONAL BEST  By Lori A Alicea

I once read…

When you find your why,
You’ll find your way.
John C. Maxwell

You’ll find your way in the why of your purpose…
Your why in the fine print of your birth certificate…
Your why in the reasons to get up in the morning…

These whys are God’s plans to conquer the ground of our purpose; while armed with our gifts and our talents.

Gifts and talents perfectly fitted for each purpose.

Gifts and talents perfectly fitted for you.FINAL POSE

But how often when we face the mirror of comparison do we feel God packed the other guy’s tool box of gifts and talents more generously than ours; overwhelmed in our inadequacies for His plans.

Facing that same mirror with my writing and event decorating skills, I stand here just as guilty.

Lost in the words of other authors I question my own words.

The allure and breathtaking decorations of other events play with my mind of measuring up.

Yet, God did not call us to compare our talents.
God called us to trust Him in our gifting;

That a pursuit of a personal best in our gifting;
Will find us prepared to find our way in the why of our purpose.

We must strive for gold in pursuit of our personal best.

We’ll find our way in God’s word for our personal best.

Study to show thyself approved…
2 Timothy 2:15FINAL PLAN 2

Oh, that our falls and our fails be those lessons which teach us and keep us from giving in to giving up.

Sometimes you win,
Sometimes you learn.
John C. Maxwell

When the challenges are over our head,
Just close your eyes and do it afraid.

Do it afraid.
Joyce Meyers

Be your own person.
Improve your personal gifts.
Improve your personal talents.

Pursue a personal best.

You never know who’s watching?FINAL INFLUENCE

Keep your aim towards that pursuit of God’s purpose.

Eventually, you’ll hit the mark.

Remembering…

If you aim at nothing,
You’ll hit it every time.
Zig Ziglar

If God was giving out medals for personal bests,

He’d slip them in the purses of grandmothers,
And hand them out through her.

Such was the awards ceremony between me and my grandson Hollis.IMG_3502

Moving into a neighborhood where little boys learned to ride a skateboard first before learning to walk on two feet; my grandson took to the sport at a great disadvantage.

But it never showed in Hollis’ confidence.

Though awkward and unbalanced at times,

Hollis’ unrelenting tenacity to “try again” around the local boys his age who mastered their jumps and moves already, found this grandmother digging in her purse for medals of best attitude, best spirit, best attempts, and all-round personal best.

If this grandmother directed movies instead of decorating tables and authoring blogs,

I promise you a cartoon of neighborhood skateboarders would be encouraging other little boys and girls on Saturday mornings.

There’s a stage for every gift.

A man’s gift makes room for him…
Proverbs 18:16 NKJV

You don’t need big talent to make room for you,

When you have a big God who has talented you perfectly for the stage He sees you taking.

But before that moment catches you unaware,
We must be in pursuit of our personal best,

To be prepared and ready for that day,

When your name is called to take the stage.

Yes, if God awarded medals through grandmothers,

This neighborhood boy,

Would take the platform and be highly decorated for

Personal heart,
Personal courage,
Personal joy and,
Pursuit of his personal best.

The world is his stage.

God can always do what we on our own cannot.

We just have to see ourselves in the mirror this way.

FINAL STAGE 1

OUT FROM NOWHERE  By Lori A Alicea

God is always speaking.

God’s voice leaps off the pages from His written Word.
God’s words are echoed through the beauty of nature.
God’s thoughts are heard as an impression placed on our heart.
Our loving Father even speaks in an audible voice.

But we must be willing to listen…
In a posture of stillness…
In a state of patience…
In a intimate time to receive.

Yes, our God is always speaking.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
John 10:27 (KJV)

While travelling down a country road one summer morning with my husband, this cornfield caught our attention, though a familiar sight in the state we reside.

We pulled off to the side of the road and realized God was delivering a small sermon from the fields of this outdoor church.

Facing the first few rows from where God spoke, we sat in
Stillness from the church pews of nature’s sanctuary, to catch a message from the canvas’ He taught from.

Listen in on God’s sermon already in progress…

Out from nowhere there it is.

Attitudes we believed we had buried…
Fears we thought we could hide…
Disappointments kept to our self…
Worries we wrestle with in the dark…

And yet…

The fields of our lives are an open field
To those seeds we have yet to surrender to God.

Seeds which germinate and reproduce each planting season until our Father is granted permission to plow up the ground of our heart and cultivate a new thing.

Behold, I will do a new thing;
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall ye not know it?
….
Isaiah 43:19 (KJV)FIELDS OF ATTITUDE

Out from nowhere there it is.

Those dreams you sowed in seasons of yesterday…
Dreams you dared to have dreamed…
Dreams between you and God that seemed to bear no fruit…
Dreams still waiting their turn for a harvest…

And yet…

God says, “Look out at the fields for which you’ve planted.”

The roots of your faith have watered those dreams and kept them alive even when the seeds of your dreams appear to lay dormant.”

Yet are springing forth…

Be confident in me…

Behold, I will do a new thing;
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall ye not know it?

Isaiah 43:19 (KJV)

For with God nothing shall be impossible.
Luke 1:37 (KJV)FIELDS OF DREAMS

Out from nowhere there it is.

In the distance you barely recognize the crops your garden grows…

From far away, unknown hands have been cultivating and preparing fertile soil for you to receive, to be fruitful in the things of God, planting this heritage from generation to generation on their knees and watering in tears those…

Fervent prayers from your parents…
Prayers of God’s promises from your grandparents…

Don’t you see the answered petitions of the generations springing forth?

Behold, I will do a new thing;
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall ye not know it?

Isaiah 43:19 (KJV)

One generation commends your works to another;
They tell of your mighty acts.
Psalms 145:4 (NIV)FIELDS OF THE GENERATION

Out from nowhere there it is.

Don’t you see it?

A picture of fruitfulness…

When we die to ourselves daily…
Death to our attitudes…
Death to our fears…
Death to disappointments and worries.
Dying to self that Christ can live and be fruitful in us…

Through our dreams He has dreamed for us…

Through the seeds of promise we plant and water for the next generation…

unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone;
But if it dies, it bears much fruit…
John 12:24 (ESV)

Behold, I will do a new thing;
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall ye not know it?

Isaiah 43:19 (KJV)

FIELDS WHO YOU ARE TO BECOME

FAITH SEES FARTHER By Lori A Alicea

Faith is the substance of things hoped for,
The evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 KJV

Faith sees farther than the natural end of the road.

man walking in the forest
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Faith hopes.
Faith believes.

Faith doesn’t get discouraged when the “end of the road” is a mirage to the “bend in the path” ahead,

A traveler’s bread crumb in the forest reminder that the “substance of things they hoped for” is still a journey away; when the evidence remains to be seen.

photo of an empty dirt road between trees
Photo by sirpa jyske on Pexels.com

Faith sees farther beyond the sun’s lamppost illuminating our slow travels of “one foot in front of the other”.

green leaf tree surrounded by green grass field
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Because Faith Hopes in God’s gifts and promises.
Faith Believes in His perfect timing.

Faith doesn’t grow weary when the seasons change guard with the other, seasons handing over the spring months of peace and tranquility, to the fall barrenness exposed to those unexpected bumps in the road and delays.

autumn autumn colours brown countryside
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Faith doesn’t give up when our travel burdens become seemingly too much to carry.

road walking cute young
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Because Faith Sees Farther ahead to the still waters where God is waiting, to quench our thirst for another drink of His love, to refresh our souls for the miles which remain.

clear body of water between yellow and green leaved trees
Photo by Inge Wallumru00f8d on Pexels.com

Faith Sees Farther to those mountains of adversity, and travels with pockets full of mustard seeds.

When your mountain refuses to step aside, double-dog-daring you to stand up and fight,
A childlike faith clinches one small seed in his raised fist of defiance,

If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain,
“Move from here to there, and it will move.
Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matthew 17:20 NIV

Faith believes God sees us and trusts He hasn’t forgotten us.
Faith remembers God knows us each by name,
Just as He does for every bright star shinning in the midnight sky.

silhouette photo of trees during night time
Photo by Miriam Espacio on Pexels.com

Faith Sees Farther beyond what eyes can see because nothing is too hard for God.

Faith sees answered prayers even when the trails of our journey detour through the roughest terrain.  Faith hears the knock of the prodigal’s return.  Faith testifies the dry bones of a dead marriage come back to life.  Faith rejoices over sick bodies healed.

Faith sees provision for lack.
Faith sees a way out of a difficult situation.
Faith leads us to those lush green pastures of peace.

Faith hopes.
Faith believes when God doesn’t make sense.

Faith Sees Farther because:

Faith is the substance of things hoped for,
The evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 KJV

agriculture clouds country countryside
Photo by ge wang on Pexels.com

 

 

CONSIDER HOW… By Lori A Alicea

A Greeting Card for Faith…

 Consider how the wild flowers grow.
They do not labor or spin.
Yet I tell you,
Not even Solomon
In all his splendor
Was dressed like one of these.

If that is how God clothes the grass of the field,
Which is here today,
And tomorrow is thrown into the fire,
How much more will he clothe you—
You of little faith!
Luke 12:27-28 NIV

Consider How…

 Consider how the flowers grow,
Among these meadow fields.
Consider that they labor not,
Or toil their fragrant yields.

USE Wildflowers 1

Consider how and where they came,
Each wild bloom bouquet.

USE Wildflowers 2

As Heaven’s Gardener paints for us,
A masterpiece display.

USE Wildflowers 4

Consider how the eyes they please,
This secret garden place.

USE Wildflowers 3
All burst forth from the heart of God,
No earthly hands replace.

USE cova jake flowers

Consider how the grassy fields,
God clothes with blooms born wild.

USE ayva smelling flowers

Much more desires to do for you,
With faith, a little child.

ayva at flower park (2)

They toil nor spin beneath the sun,
The splendor of this view.

USE Wildflowers 5

Though God He tends these garden fields,
Much more He cares for you.

USE audra smelling flowers

Consider how we doubt His heart,
No song of faith or choir.
Consider how the flowers grow,
A child’s faith require.

USE flower pictures with kids (2)

EYES TO SEE By Lori A Alicea

Ever wish there was a special pair of glasses that’d give you
Eyes to see
What God is doing behind the scenes of your life?

We’ve all had those days where we’ve longed to pull the curtain back exposing the hidden wonders God has waiting for us in the west wing of His appointed time.

There are those days our inner impatient child begs for even a small glimpse, a preview, a trailer or sneak peek into “what’s next” to calm the waters of our wondering; well, for at least a day; let’s be real.

But God is always up to something good; really good.

While there are no
Eyes to see
or earthly minds to conceive,
to articulate,
or even imagine
what God has prepared,
brace yourself to be overwhelmed.

What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived, the things God has prepared for those who love him.
1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV

In the natural, I truly enjoy a good surprise.

I love imagining the thought behind those wrapped gifts chosen or made especially for me.

During both of my pregnancies, my baby’s genders were revealed at their birth. Nine months of ecstatic waiting was worth the mystery of the suspense.  Grant it, doctors didn’t order sonograms back in the stone-age like they do today.

Unlike my grandchildren or adult daughter who will pry out any information with a crowbar of begging related to their surprise, I muffle my ears to any revealing hints.

There are those days though during a long extended silence of God’s voice I find myself praying,

 Lord,

Give me eyes to see.

Lend me those special glasses that I might be able to trace your handprint, follow your intention and map out the direction of your heart concerning mine.

 Lord,

Illuminate the unknown.
Expose the hidden.
Unwrap the gift of “what’s next”.
Oh, that you’d allow my “wondering”
Eyes to see.
Ayva glasses 1
Jesus notices when we need
Eyes to see.

He cares when we doubt; when we tip-toe the line of unbelief.

Jesus noticed when His disciple Thomas also longed for eyes to see.

Doubting the resurrection, Thomas needed to see and touch the nail prints in His Savior’s hands first before he believed.

Jesus displayed his compassion to Thomas’ doubt with these words:

Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side.  Stop doubting and believe.”
John 20:27 NIV

But after allowing Thomas to touch the outstretched hands of his Lord,
Jesus in his amazing love encouraged Thomas and us to a higher place of trust with these words…

 …blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.
John 20:29 NIV

God has given every one of his children
Eyes to see
When we look through the lenses of faith,
Believing for what we cannot see.

By putting on our special pair of glasses of faith,
There is confidence in what we hope for.
There is belief that God is faithful to His promises,
Faithful to His word.
Giving us perfect vision,
Giving us eyes of faith,
Giving us
Eyes to see.

 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for,
And assurance about what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1 NIV

CHOOSE TO SEE By Lori A Alicea

Choose to see His blessings flow,
God’s promises to keep.
blessing 3Still see His tidal wave of love,
When waves are ankle deep.
blessings 1Choose to see from where they sit,
Advantage of their views.
To understand them, take and walk,
A mile in their shoes.
walk in their shoesChoose to see a father’s love,
In hugs and kisses gives.

His thoughtfulness revealed in gifts,
His life for you he lives.

Choose to see and stand with strength,
Your hero lives within.
hereo 1
You’re capable, you are enough,
Your story waits, begin.
hereoChoose to see and learn from those,
Your generation past.
Their wisdom gained, experience,
This sea of wealth is vast.

Choose to see a child’s joy,
Their laugh, a medicine.
LAUGHTERChoose to see you’re beautiful,
The outward and within.
cova 3Choose to see the little things,
The ties that bind love tight.

A walk, a talk or sweet embrace,
Or close beside at night.

Choose to see their will “I can”,
Though that their size is small.
kizzie 7Release them to the tallest wave,
Or scale the mountain tall.
kizzie 9Choose to see and celebrate,
Uniqueness’s inside.

For those who choose a different course,
Another wave to ride.

Choose to see your confidence,
You’re born for this you know.

So step out in your destiny,
Set free your dreams to grow.
cova 9Choose to see how fast time flees,
Like wind, her curls blow.
bride 5 keepFrom morning rise to evening set,
Your little girl will grow.
bride 1Choose to see the house you live,
Four walls for where you sleep.
home 7As home, a special place reserved,
For all the hearts you keep.
family 2Choose to see how big God is,
He longs to hear His name.
big God is 4Our restlessness His waters calm,
His beauty doth the same.
big God is 1Choose to see His promises.
Fulfilled though wonder why.
Yet wait in hope His promises,
Are written in the sky.
promise 3 (2) keepChoose to see that love is strong,
As ocean waves that flow.
Aloha bids a sad good-by,
Yet greets a sweet hello.

Choose to see the love you share,
Who set your heart aflame.
keep 16

And cherish every smile of theirs,
Who call you each by name.
aloha 10Choose to see when difficult,
When eyes are blind to thee.
Find hope and confidence in faith,
As this is how you see.
choose to see 1

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for,
and assurance about what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1 NIV
aloha keep

TRUST THROUGH THEIR EYES By Lori A Alicea

Ever wish you could be a child again and see the world through their eyes?

Ever wonder if you put on a pair of childlike glasses if their “land of make believe” really does come to life?

While we all know their “land of make believe” is just that, “make believe”.

But if I were a critic writing reviews of our grandchildren’s acting performances while playing, I’d give them all “five out of five” stars for their convincing character portrayals.

Children so easily trust.

You give them a pair of superhero glasses and they make-believe they can take out the bad guy.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Give a child a full superhero costume, a shield and their super power glasses, they make-believe they can dodge bullets and jump out the window to save the world.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Putting on their special childlike glasses,

Kids make-believe they are our furry friend.
Cute in my glasses

Kids make-believe they are a movie star.
daddies glasses

With the right make-believe glasses, kids can fix your problems.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

A child’s far away world is clearer and within reach of their fingertips wearing make-believe 3D glasses.
3D glasses

Sporting make-believe shades, details are crystal clear to a child and they take attitude, snap their neck and fingers above their heads when we adults can’t “see it” through their lenses.
see through it glasses

Seriously!

Even if a child’s world appears “upside down”, all seems to make perfect sense to them wearing their make-believe glasses.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Children so easily trust.

But in wearing their glasses, trust through their eyes says “seeing is believing.”

Yet God reminds us all, big kids especially, to take off your childlike glasses and see through His eyes, because “believing first is seeing.”

Why is it harder to have faith and trust through God’s eyes than our own?

 Why can’t we remember God’s past faithfulness to trust for his future faithfulness?

Why do we need to wear a special pair of glasses to see what God could do for us, when if we believe first, we will see His Promises in all that he will do.

Why did Thomas doubt seeing the Risen Lord until Thomas
…..put his finger where the nails were, and put his hand into the Lord’s side.
John 20:24-29 NIV

 Why did Martha doubt that Jesus would raise her brother from the dead when Jesus had told her earlier,
“Your brother will rise again.”
John 11:23 NIV

 In both situations, Jesus wanted Thomas and Martha to believe first to see when he had said,

29  ……blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20:29 NIV

Why do we ask for or need a sign from God to believe, even though his loving heart does send a sign in our unbelief at times.

Children so easily trust.
Why can’t we?

God would have us all be like little children with childlike faith, remembering though it’s not wearing a special pair of glasses that
We see to believe.

No, it’s ours hearts that believe first through God’s eyes to see His promises.

11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 KJV

Oh, to have a childlike faith.
Oh, to be as a child and see Through His Eyes.

aubrey in glasses