Week Thirty-Eight, 2021

We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” Proverbs 16:9

All runners have to follow one basic rule. When runners start the race, their body is in perfect form and their feet are rested against the starting block. The moment the gun is fired, the runners take off. They can go as fast as they can but no matter what, they must always stay in their lane.

In a relay race, there are 4 runners who run a certain amount of the track and then they have to pass their baton on to their teammate. Each teammate must run their portion of the lane. Relay races require everyone to do their part, stay focused, and stay in their lane.

Paul often compares the Christian life to running a race: 1 Cor. 9 – “run to get the prize” Phil 2 – “not run in vain.” The writer of Hebrews, which some believe is Paul, in 12 says, run the race set before us with endurance and joy, fixing our eyes on Christ.

Get the picture of an Olympic athlete… on the starting blocks of a 200m race (halfway around the track). Get off the blocks as fast as you can, run as hard as you can, and stay in your lane!

As Christians, our connection begins with our relationship with God and then continues as we try to find and walk the path He has specifically chosen for us. This is where we learn to connect our passion and our purpose.

But you may have noticed something as you start down your path…there are others walking ahead, beside, and behind you. Right? Sometimes these people can encourage you on your journey. Sometimes they distract you. Sometimes they make it hard for you to see where you are going. But you must stay in the lane God has directed you to.

Look straight ahead and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out God’s path for your feet; stay on the safe path.”

• Seek to follow God first.

• Take it one step at a time.

• Accept the specific plan God has for your life (and do not worry about anyone else!).

• Yield to others on the path with grace.

• (in your)

• Listen to God’s voice as He guides (shut out the other noises and distractions).

• Ask others for support and encouragement.

• Navigate the obstacles by staying fixed and focused on your goal.

• Expect great things as you learn to connect your passion and purpose!




Now at vintage-time he sent a servant to the vinedressers, that he might receive some of the fruit of the vineyard… Mark 12:2

God loves to walk in His vineyard. Why? He is looking for fruit.

In John 15:8, Jesus says, “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit.” Paul goes on, in Galatians 5:22-23, to explain the fruit of the Spirit as being “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” This is the fruit God sought from the nation of Israel, and this is what the Lord is seeking from us.

In contrast to fruit is work. Fruit develops naturally as a result of relationship, whereas works are those things that are produced by effort, by organization and by coordination.

The Lord is not interested in coming to a factory and hearing the noisy roar of the motors and the clanging of the steel and seeing the grime that is usually found in such busy places. The Lord wants to come to His garden, that He might partake of and enjoy the fruit He finds there.

What fruit is coming forth from your life? Is it the works of the flesh, or the fruit of the Spirit? If you want to bear fruit for God-easily and naturally-then you need to attend to your relationship with Him. You need to seek Him, think about Him, and study His character.

Fruit will never come by will or determination. It comes by simply walking with the Gardener, and abiding in His love.

What fruit is coming from your life?

Marty Stubblefield

— o —

Healing is not about doing better or being stronger or going to church more. It is about experiencing a love that will never let you go.

Joni Eareckson Tada says, “Your deepest need when you are hurting is to have God, like a Daddy, reaching down and picking you up and holding you and reassuring you that everything is going to be okay. He lets you know that your life is not in nightmarish chaos, your world is not splitting apart at the seams. Somehow and somewhere there is order and stability to it all. And that’s why God never gives advice; He gives Himself.”

Let go of the shreds of your life you have been hanging on to and embrace God.

“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling” (Psalm 68:5).

“You hear, O Lord, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more” (Psalm 10:17-18).

Heavenly Father, hold me in Your arms and comfort me. Reassure me that everything is going to be okay. Amen.

— o —

A woman is reportedly suing McDonald’s after claiming that seeing one of its cheeseburger commercials made her break her fast for Lent. She accused the fast-food chain of breaking consumer protection laws and insulting her religious feelings.



Here’s to life and embracing each day with gratitude, passion, compassion, empathy, integrity, love, kindness, faith and purpose. Richard Gonzmart

We are in an economic boom and a spiritual drought. Bob Sprinkle

Never underestimate the importance of removing stuff you don’t need. The Minimalist

Thankfulness opens the door to His presence, and He is always with you, but Jesus has gone to great measures to preserve your freedom of choice. Sarah Young

Advertised humidity is not humility at all. Edgar Aponte

Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting some on yourself.” RALPH WALDO EMERSON

Fill your life with stories to tell, not stuff to show. The Minimalist

Whenever you are tempted to grumble, come to Jesus and talk it out.

The only way to be found worthy to escape the great tribulation is by receiving Jesus Christ and the forgiveness He offers. Dan Shock

We need men who can dream of things that never were. JOHN F. KENNEDY

Into each life some rain must fall. Longfellow

When it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow. G. K. Chesterton

If the crucified body of Jesus had stayed in the tomb, there would be no Christian faith, no church. Dan Shock