Lorri Dudley

Be moved. Be changed. Love because you are loved.

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woods

Beware the Woods

Woods

In golf, when a ball is hit into the woods, it usually spells trouble. Either the player takes a penalty, or they try to drive it out of the briars, leaves, trees, and other obstacles.

Stay out of the woods

I say it to my kids all the time: one because I don’t want them getting lost, two because of deer ticks, and three poison ivy.

In fairy tales, a forest is usually a place of false security. It provides shelter, but unknowns lurk in the shadows. Hansel and Gretel were left in the woods because their parents had no food but discovered a gingerbread house owned by a witch who wanted to eat them. A huntsman hid Snow White in the woods to save her from her wicked stepmother, but it wasn’t long before the witch fed her a poison apple. Little Red Riding Hood strolls through the woods taking a basket of goodies to her grandmother and happens upon a wolf who deceives her and eats Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother for lunch.

Dark eerie path in the woods

Beware the woods.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the beauty of the woods. I take my boys out there for hikes. However, I have a healthy respect for the forest. I stick to the safe areas and to stay on the right path. I know to coat with bug spray and what leaves to avoid.

“The forest swallowed up more men that day than the sword.” 2 Samuel 18:8

In 2 Samuel chapters 16 through 18, Absalom had just absconded with the throne. His good looks and politicking at the gate had given him the power he desired, and he used it to send his father, King David, scurrying for the hills. Still riding the high of the win, Absalom sent his men into the woods after David to finish the battle.

Beware the false sense of security.

The woods may seem harmless. It may even offer some protection. The forest was probably the last on Absalom’s list of concerns. That is until his hair got caught on a limb, and he hung there unable to free himself like a lamb waiting for the slaughter. Joab heard of his defenselessness and ran him through with a javelin, despite King David’s instructions not to hurt his son.

What may seem insignificant might lead you down the wrong path.

The acronym is SID, small insignificant decision, and represents something that seems mundane or harmless but over time leads to substantial problems or death. For instance:

Saying, “just this once,” or “no one will know.”

Buying that outfit or electronic device before you have the funds.

Your friends saying, “it’s okay,” but your gut doesn’t.

A little innocent flirting.

One of my favorite sermons on love, sex, and dating by Andy Stanley of Northpoint church discusses the Right Person Myth. Here’s a quick synopsis: A man or woman believes they’ve found Mr. or Mrs. Right and get married. After the honeymoon phase has passed, they wake up to the sound of their crying baby, roll over with morning breath, argue whose turn it is to get up, and start to second guess whether they truly married the right person. Then one day they’re at the gym or work, and the actual Mr. and Mrs. Right shows up. A little innocent flirting leads to them leaving their spouse and marrying the true Mr. or Mrs. Right only to wake up one morning, roll over to their 2nd spouse who also has morning breath, and argue. Rinse and repeat.

If you can’t stay on the path, then stay out of the woods.

We all have weaknesses. It’s good to evaluate them and in those areas give yourself a wide margin. I realize this is easier said than done, but if you struggle with drinking, don’t meet your friends at a bar. If your marriage is having issues, don’t go hanging out with a group of divorcees. If you’re in financial straits, don’t go for a walk in the mall. Keep the margin wide enough that if you slip-up you’re still so far from crossing the line that it’s easy to ask forgiveness and begin again.

Pray for wisdom to see the warning signs way up the road, and the courage to follow the right path.

And, if you have strayed deep into the woods, remember that God is a great redeemer. You can never wander so far that he cannot reach you and draw you back under the shelter of his wings.

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Heartstopper – How to Defeat Fear

A knock sounded on the front door, and I frantically dialed my husband’s cell phone. My heart stopped when it rang on the stand next to me. I usually don’t call my husband in a panic whenever someone comes to the front door, but the power had gone out ten minutes earlier. The scent of pine from the Yankee Candle we’d lit hadn’t even permeated the air. My husband had left for a meeting, and so we were alone in the dark. I hadn’t been expecting anyone.

The kids ran into open view excited to see who was visiting. I practically tackled them in my attempt to pull them out of the sight of our glass door. “Get back.” I waved them into the kitchen.

The knock sounded again.

My heart pounded in my ears louder than the cars that crank the base as they pass by my house late at night. Three little sets of curious eyes stared at me. “Who is it, Mommy?”

I raised a finger to my lips to hush them. Whoever was outside needed to know they picked the wrong time to come knocking. I would defend my children to my dying breath. I yelled out in my loudest voice. “I’m calling the police!”

Silence.

Several minutes passed without a sound. I started to breathe again. The kids whispered to each other. Their volume increasing with each sentence.

Footsteps sounded on the porch.

My heart collapsed in on itself and dropped to my toes. I reached for a knife out of the butcher block.

Keys jingled in the lock.

The mysterious knocker had keys? 

The door opened. “I forgot my cell phone.” My husband strolled into the foyer.

I melted into a puddle on the kitchen floor. If only I’d known he was the mysterious knocker. If I’d only had the nerve to ask “Who is it?” I would have recognized his voice instantly. Instead, I panicked, and we hid. When I finally did get the nerve to say “I’m calling the police.” My husband had chosen that moment to walk back to his car to get his keys. If it had been daytime, I would have recognized his shape outside the door. But in the dark, our fears can keep us blinded.

When we operate out of fear, we are quick to attack in anger or react in defense. We don’t stop to consider what is the wise thing to do. Fear may seem prophetic when we extrapolate out the worst-case scenarios, but fear is shortsighted and has blind spots.

  • Fear of failure has a blind spot that leads to cheating on tests.
  • Fear of rejection is shortsighted and keep some from trying out for the team.
  • Fear of not being loved strangulates relationships or causes them to go too far too fast.

Like Zack William’s song says, “Fear is a liar.”

We may not be able completely to regulate our initial response. Even Jesus’s disciples struggled. When guards came to take Jesus away, Peter reacted out of fear and cut off the guard’s ear. Jesus, on the other hand, remained calm and collected and put the soldier’s ear back on.  Jesus knew the horrific torture and death he was about to face. If anyone had the right to lash out or panic, it was Jesus, but he didn’t. He trusted God’s plan.

Dr. Katherine Brownlowe neuropsychiatrist at Ohio State Wexner Medical Campus calls Peter’s reaction the “amygdala hijack.” The amygdala overrides our conscious thought to enact the fight or flight response. Even if our amygdala initially gets hijacked, we can contain our second and third reactions. We don’t have to lash out in anger with hurtful words or shut down in self-defense. We don’t have to ice someone with a cold shoulder or make hasty erroneous decisions.

If we take a moment, to check our reaction, think, and listen, we may recognize God’s voice over the lies. We can tune out fear and dial into God’s wisdom. God is in control, and he is bigger than our fears and smarter than our problems.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1

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Taggin’-a-long

Me and my husband at South Beach, FL

I don’t deserve it, and I didn’t earn it, but I’m grateful to be a tag-a-long. As the company’s president’s wife, I get the privilege to go on all the rewards trips. The sales reps and production managers have specific goals and hefty milestones they have to hit in order to qualify for the annual cruise. As the year progresses, a lot of them will talk in terms of how much more they have to sell or produce to make the trip.

Miami, Florida

My ticket is paid. I don’t have to worry about whether I made the trip or not. Do I feel guilty? Sometimes, yes. Last week, while I basked in tropical 80-degree sunshine, in Boston the average temp was 30 degrees. It is a tough life having to sail to white sand beaches and have other people cook my food and make my bed for a few days.

I qualify not because of what I’ve done but because of who I know.

The annual cruise is not the only thing I’ve gotten that I didn’t deserve. I don’t deserve to be washed clean of my sins. I don’t deserve to spend eternity in heaven. I don’t deserve a life of freedom filled with purpose. But once again I get all the perks because of to whom I’m married. I’m grateful to be the bride of Christ. Because of Jesus’s love for me, I get to live a life I never deserved. I not only don’t qualify, I should get negative ratings because no matter how godly I try to behave, my temper flares, I say things I shouldn’t say, and have a propensity for being selfish. Yet, Jesus looks at me and sees a bride dressed in white. He draws me in close and says, come with me. I want you by my side for all eternity.

It’s an unexplainable love.

An undeserved love.

A love for which I’m grateful.

Jesus doesn’t just want you tag-a-long. He invites you as his honored guest. He’personally extends the invitation. He calls and follow-up. He longs for you to come and celebrate with him. But you decide whether to accept or stay behind.

(I’m telling you though, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.)

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Pink is the New Black

Guy with pink hair in sunglasses

Pink is the new black according to 2019 color tends from Elle Décor. If you’re into a fresh new interior, coral pink colors are slated to be hot for 2019. I love the idea, but in a dominantly male household, they may revolt if I painted the family room pink. Pink, however, has found its way into the male wardrobe over the years. Businessmen sport pink button-down shirts and pink ties. Basketball players wear hot pink athletic shoes on the court. Some don it in support of women’s causes, others to get attention, or to keep up with a fad. But generally speaking, pink has been a girl’s color.

Or has it?

In the 1800s and early 1900s in England, boys wore pink instead of blue. A 1918 article from Earnshaw’s Infant Department claimed pink was a strong masculine color more so than the dainty, delicate color blue. Strange? To us maybe. But when you consider the Red Coats the British army wore during that time, it makes sense. Boys were considered small men and pink is a lighter version of red. The trend became for boys to wear pink. This all changed with Dwight Eisenhower’s wife, Mamie, wore pink to his U.S. presidential inauguration. Suddenly, pink became a feminine color.

Fortnight Floss Dance

Over time trends come and go. Everything used to be fat-free. Now Keto diets are trending. Carbs are shunned, and fats are okay. Depending on the day or article you read, eggs, dairy, and salt can be healthy or killing you. Politicians flip flop on issues. Republicans and Democrats get elected and unelected. Celebrities and athletes rise and fall from fame. Fidget spinners and bottle flipping are a thing of the past. Dabbing was replaced by Fortnight dances.

It’s exhausting, if not down-right impossible, to keep up.

Change can be exciting, but it can also be nerve-racking. We can feel like Alice in Wonderland down the rabbit hole where up is down, small is big, and vice versa. Like Alice, we follow the instructions “drink me” and “eat me” to catch up with everyone else but end up overcompensating and becoming too big or too small, never just right.   

Thankfully, amidst all this change, one thing is consistent—one thing is constant.

God remains the same.

Hebrews 13:8 says, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” It almost seems surreal for something to stay the same, but God does. We can rely on his word. We can count on his promises. We can put our trust in Him for His word is truth. Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” He is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end. What he promised long ago still holds true today. It doesn’t fade or grow dim. It’s not swayed, persuaded, or altered. It is the same, determined by an all-knowing God before the heavens were created, before we were a speck in our mother’s womb. “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever” Isaiah 40:8.

We can release a collective sigh and know, that no matter how topsy-turvy the world is, God is steadfast and unchanging. He is our rock in a sea of change.

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Sleep by Salvador Dali

Who are You “Crutching” on?

Humans are notoriously good at one thing—messing up. Controversial as he was, famous surrealist artist Salvador Dali understood human frailty. Many of his paintings depicted people being propped up by sticks or crutches. In his unique way, Dali showed the weakness of the human body and spirit and our need to supply “support for the tenderness of soft structures” (daliparis.com/en/salvador-dali/dalinian-symbolism).

Sleep by Salvador Dali

Some of us use boyfriends, girlfriends, or spouses to prop us up. They become our crutch, and we rely more and more on them to bring us happiness and fix our pain. I’ve seen countless women and men pray for God to put someone in their lives, only to stop coming to church once He does. The problem starts when we try to patch our emptiness hole with a person. It’s like putting a Band-aid on a gaping wound. It’s too much to ask someone to fill a hole that only God can fill.

So how do we get healthy enough to stand on our own?

Realize we need a vertical relationship, not a horizontal relationship. Ask God to hold us. Cling to a solid foundation, not a spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend. Psychologists, Dr. Les and Leslie Parrot, talk aboutA-frame verses H-frame and M-frame relationships. An A-frame is where a couple or friendships leans heavily upon one another to support them. They are looking for what Tom Cruise in the movie Jerry McGuire said, “You complete me.” Unfortunately, when relationships lean entirely on the other person the pressure created is going to cause one side to slip, and in an A-frame when one side slips, the other falls with it. Conversely, an H-frame is independent. It stands on its own, and if one side falls, the other hardly notices. In an M-frame, each person is healthy enough to stand on their own but still feels a sense of loss if the other side stumbles. It has emotional stability but chooses to be together and have a mutual influence.

Realize we are deeply and wonderfully loved for ourselves. God created you, and he loves you for who you are. He has sacrificed much to be with you. St. Augustine said, “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” Scripture confirms it. Romans 8:38-39 states, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Psalm 139 says, “Where can I go from your presence… If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

Alexander Pope said, “To err is human.” Fallible has become part of the definition of being human. We can’t idolize a pastor or a parent, or a boyfriend or girlfriend or an athlete. If we do, we will be let down. They are human. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Thankfully we have a God who anxiously waits for us to ask for His help. He desires to uphold you with His righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

He longs to reach down and scoop His child up in His arms.

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Stone art people passing a Valentine

Love Because You Are Loved

Stone art made to look like people passing a Valentine

If you hang up the phone first, then you’re in control of the relationship. I don’t know why I thought this when I first started dating. My husband and I met over summer break during college and continued to date after I went back to school five hours away. Somehow, irrationally, I got it in my head that I could protect my heart from rejection if I could be the first one to say goodnight and get off the phone. The problem was he beat me to it every time. As soon as I’d pause and say “It was good talking—” he’d jump in with, “Yeah, miss you. Talk to you soon,” and then he’d hang up.

I’d stare at the phone gritting my teeth, torn between astonishment and outrage. Anger is often a coverup for a deeper fear—which in my case was rejection. We dated long-distance for two years. In all that time, I never was able to get off the phone before him. But he continued to call and, over time, his love and devotion allayed my fears. Now, I realize just how silly I had been.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.” (1 John 4:18). In my manuscripts, all of my heroines start with a fear:

  • the fear of not being good enough,
  • the fear of not being loved,
  • the fear of rejection,
  • the fear of their past defining their future,
  • the fear of lacking purpose.

We all can relate to these fears in some way because they are real-life struggles. How many of us ever …?

  • Checked our phone wondering if he or she will call you back?
  • Pushed a proposal across the table praying it will be considered?
  • Walked into the class reunion dressed to impress, hoping they won’t remember you as the dorky, shy, or strange kid from third period?

There are a hundred other scenarios. With my stories, somewhere around the midpoint to the last third, the heroine realizes she is loved. It gives her the confidence to drive out fear and leads to the happily-ever-after.

girl dressed as a princess in front of a play castle

Happily-ever-after isn’t just for fairy tales.

My husband says I won’t argue with anyone except for him, and he’s right. I like conflict in my story characters’ lives not in my own. So why would I argue with my husband? Because he loves me. His love has driven out my fear of conflict. I can argue with him knowing he’ll still love me. Most people might not find that romantic, but I do. I love my husband all the more because I have the security to speak my mind.

It is this kind of love that sets us free, not a box of chocolates, nor a bouquet of flowers (even though those are very thoughtful and much appreciated). But love is even bigger than that. We live in freedom without fear because God loves us. His love has removed the sting of death and the guilt of sin. We have confidence in the day of judgment because of Jesus’ sacrifice and his love for us. When we understand the depths of God’s love, fear shrinks back and looses it grip.

His love is so overwhelming, it fills to the brim, overflowing. Not only do we have plenty of love to give away, but we also have the confidence to do so. You’ll see Love Because You Are Loved on my website and in my emails as my tagline. It stems from 1 John 4:18 “Perfect love drives out fear,” and 1 John 4:19 “We love because He first loved us.” Because we know he has our best interest a heart, God’s love helps us relinquish the struggle for control. His love gives us freedom from fear and the courage to love one another.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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So, go ahead and love because you are loved!

New England Patriots

We’re Still Here!

New England Patriots lead by Tom Brady

Over the last month, “We’re still here!” has become the mantra of the New England PatriotsTom Brady, who has been called old man, washed up, peaked, and diminished, showed America he still has plenty in his tank when he and the Patriots worked together to win Superbowl LIII.

 Tom Brady, loved or hated, has to be admired for the fact he doesn’t accept being mediocre. He refuses to quit. He didn’t throw in the towel when he was the 199th sixth-round draft pick back in 2000. He wasn’t content to stay in Drew Bledsoe’s shadow. He wasn’t complacent after one Superbowl win, or a second, or third. Even after a record of six Superbowl wins, he still has no plans to retire.

Tom Brady doesn’t just coast through life and neither should we.

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6). It doesn’t mean only praise God when we’re in the mood or on the good days when we have more energy. It doesn’t state until you’ve read the Bible all the way through, led a church group, or taught Sunday school. It says if you have breath praise the Lord, and I can pretty much guarantee that if you’re reading this you still have breath. 

You’re still here. 

It is not a time to coast or grow complacent. We are to keep fighting the good fight until Jesus takes us home. Now, I’m not saying to grab a soapbox and go out and start preaching on a street corner, nor am I meaning to guilt you into taking on additional responsibilities. What I am asking is to look for opportunities to praise God through your words, actions, and deeds. If you keep your eyes peeled and your heart available God will provide.

Each season is unique.

Tom Brady doesn’t play the same way he did back in 2001. He has adapted to different players, strategies, and his own physical body. My husband and I are also not able to serve in our church in the same capacity we did before we had children. With the kids evening sports schedules, we can’t even participate the same as we did when they were young. But we still have breath, and God has given us other avenues unique to this season for us to be able to praise him and be salt and light to others.

Tom Brady throwing football
Tom Brady

How is God calling you in this season? Is He tapping you on the shoulder saying, “remember me? Come back to me. My arms are open wide.” Or is He nudging you to challenge yourself in other ways: lead a church group, bring a meal to a neighbor, watch a single mom’s kids, encourage a co-worker, write a blog. God works in mysterious ways, and He has a way of fitting you into that plan.

Because you have breath,

And, because you’re still here.

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Frog heart sculpture

Go Ahead and Look Foolish

“Excuse me, sir. May I have the honor of brushing your hair?” Beth Moore tells a story of being in an airport and seeing an elderly man with long, ratty, unkempt hair. As she waited for the boarding call, God nudged her to brush an elderly man hair. No way, she argued with Jesus, but He wouldn’t leave her alone until she approached the man with the strange suggestion. The elderly man consented, and after she worked out all the tangles, she noticed he was crying. It turns out the man had been in the hospital and was flying home to see his wife. God knew the man had been embarrassed about his messy appearance and needed his hair brushed before he returned home to his bride. Because Beth Moore obeyed and was brave enough to appear foolish asking a man if she could brush his hair at the airport, an elderly man’s prayers were answered.
Don’t let fear of feeling foolish kept you from God’s blessing. “In God I have put my trust. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Psalms 56:11NIV
I haven’t done anything as extreme as asking to brush a stranger’s hair. But, there have been times when I’ve wrestled with God because I didn’t want to appear foolish. I’ve argued with Him about not wanting to hug a stranger. I’ve explained to Him that there is a big difference between writing and public praying because you can’t go back and edit spoken words to make them sound better, but He told me to pray anyway. He’s asked me to reach out to old high school acquaintances and complete strangers.  Sadly, sometimes, I haven’t obeyed, but the times that I have, I’m not certain who was blessed more, the person I was prompted to help or me.
Trust God’s bigger plan. Don’t let pride stand in your way. “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” – Hebrews 10:35-36 NIV
Noah probably felt foolish building an ark in the desert. Sarah probably looked foolish knitting baby booties at age ninety. The Israelites probably felt silly silently marching around Jericho ready to crumble the walls down with their trumpet blasts. King Saul and two armies thought David foolish for going after a giant with nothing but a slingshot. And I’m certain the blind man probably felt awkward hearing Jesus spit into the mud and standing there while he rubbed it on the man’s eyes.
I don’t don’t believe God uses these scenarios to get a good laugh. These are opportunities for us to humble ourselves to let it all ride on God’s plan. It allows God to grow bigger in our lives and for us to become smaller. And, history has shown, God will reward those who aren’t afraid to obey his prompting.
So go ahead, be brave enough to be foolish.

Big Announcement

It has finally happened! Last week I was offered a book contract to be published. 

Lorri Signing Contract

Thank you so much for being part of this journey with me. 

My first book The Duke’s Refuge will be the first in a three-book series published by Wild Heart Books. If you’re looking for fish-out-of-water, case-of-mistaken-identity, love triangle, Christian romance with a happily-ever-after. Then stay tuned. 

Greater Things are Yet to Come!

I’m not a patient person. I never prayed for patience, because I was afraid to test the running joke that God would give me things to be patient about. However, God put writing on my heart. It is a profession 

where returned emails can take six months to a year. Criticism and critiques are frequent and so is rejection. There is even a website (http://stoneslidecorrective.com/select-your-rejection/) created for authors to help them become better at handling rejection. Writers give their email address and are issued various rejection emails until the author can easily brush it off. 

I have finished five 300-plus page manuscripts. (The first two will never leave my computer.) Writing has become a part of me, and I can’t even imagine not creating stories. The strokes of my keyboard have become a way that I worship God, but doors still continued to slam shut on my dream. However, God was and is faithful.

If you have a dream still left unfulfilled, please take heart. Here are some things I’ve learned from the process:

  1. God is good: Like mana given to Moses and those who wandered in the desert, he gives you just enough of what you need to sustain you each day until you reach the promised land.
  2. Keep your eyes open: There were times I felt inept or wondered whether I’d heard God wrong. But, if I paused from my sulking, I realized how God coaxed me along with tidbits of encouragement: placing in contests, interest from an agent or publisher, or an encouraging email from one of you.
  3. Encouragement from your peeps is invaluable: Friends are a source of strength. You may not know it, but by liking my posts, commenting, or emailing, God was using you to keep me writing. I could never have done this without your encouragement. I am so grateful for every one of you.
  4. Stay limber because you’re going to stretch: Learning is not always an easy process. Sometimes it comes through tough critiques sometimes it comes through failure, but if you can step back and remove yourself from the emotional aspect, you will grow stronger, better, and more refined.
  5. Trust in God’s timing: We live in an on-demand society, but sometimes right now isn’t what’s best. I have learned to trust God’s timing. He knows better than I. I thought the first book I wrote was amazing. Now, I can’t even stand to read it. I’ve tried to go back and revamp it a couple of times, but it needs so much work that I’d prefer to write a new one. Maturing is a slow process, and only God knows when you’re ready.
  6. Greater things are yet to come: My work isn’t over. It is just beginning. I now have deadlines I have to hit and people to which I am accountable. But God has big plans, and I want Him to use me. Who am I to think small when God is so big?
Lorri holding contract

I have had “get published” on my yearly goals for the past four years and have always come up short, but this year I get to check it off. If you have struggled with not receiving a desire of your heart, I hope this helps to encourage you. God hasn’t forgotten. Listen and look for his little pearls of encouragement.

“I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea. But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. 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 43:16, 18-19NLT (emphasis mine)

Thank you for being part of this journey with me. I’m looking forward to the greater things yet to come!

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The Risk – To Trust or Not to Trust?

One hundred and ninety feet above a gorge of swirling turbulent water on a rope 1300 feet long and only two inches in diameter, Charles Blondin was the first person to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope. In Niagara Horseshoe FallsJune of 1859, 25,000 people gathered to see him perform the feat or watch him plummet to a watery grave below. Not only did Blondin make the trip across and back, by 1896 he’d crossed over 300 times performing stunts like sitting on the rope and having a bottle of wine, strapping a Daguerreotype camera to his back and taking pictures of the crowd, crossing with his body shackled, and walking with a sack placed over his head. He even brought a stove upon which he cooked an omelet and lowered it by rope to the Maid of the Mist boat below.

Charles Blondin and Manager Harry ColcordIn my opinion, the most trusting feat was on the part of his manager, Harry Colcord, who crossed Niagara on Blondin’s back. Blondin told Colcord, “Look up, Harry…. You are no longer Colcord, you are Blondin. Until I clear this place be a part of me, mind, body, and soul. If I sway, sway with me. Do not attempt to do any balancing yourself.” (Daredevil of Niagara Falls, Abbot, Smithsonianmag.com Oct. 18, 2018)

Trust is a powerful force. 

Steve Covey in his book, The Speed of Trust, says if trust is removed it, “will destroy the most powerful government, the most successful business, the most thriving economy, the most influential leadership, the greatest friendship, the strongest character, [and] the deepest love.” (Soundview Executive Book Summaries, Speed of Trust, Vol. 28, No. 11, Part 1, November 2006)

Trust is risky.

Trusting someone is challenging. What if they let me down? Relinquishing control is hard. What if something I need doesn’t get done? We are an independent nation. We’d prefer to fix the problem ourselves. However, a lack of trust slows things down. It also keeps relationships superficial, measured, and distant. In order to reach a deeper level, in order to build trust, we have to take the first step and trust someone else. Steven Covey points out that trust “has the potential to create unparalleled success and prosperity in every dimension of life.”

It is even riskier not to trust.

Many of Blondin’s spectators believed he could make it across the gorge, yet only Colcord had the trust to climb onto Blondin’s back and cling to him knowing his life lay literally in the balance. He trusted Blondin enough to sway with him as the strong winds rocked the rope.

Life will have valleys and gorges. Who are you trusting to get you over them? Are you picking up a balancing stick and stepping onto the swaying rope yourself? Or, are you climbing onto God’s back and allowing Him to carry you over? Are you sacrificing trust to control the small, fleeting moments of your life, or are you trusting in the One who’s bigger than the gorge—the One who controls your ultimate destiny?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not trust in your own understanding. Agree with Him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6

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