Tag Archives: restoration

Homesick


Have you ever been homesick? Or maybe you’ve been traveling or have been out and about, and just wanted to get home. Home is where we relax, unwind, and rid ourselves of our cares. It’s where we dress down and are our most true selves. It’s the place that smells the most familiar to us, and it’s where we truly rest. They even say that home is where the heart is. I think Dorthy had it right, there’s no place like home!

I recently went through “How’s Your Soul?” by Judah Smith. One of his first points is that while we are good at having that place called home for ourselves, our soul is looking for home as well. When God created man, he was loveless until God breathed into his nostrils. Judah says that our soul is really borrowed breath from God, and that it finds its home when we use that breath to praise God. That’s why worshiping God makes our soul feel the way it does. It’s when our soul gets to be home.

Think about David for a minute. He was chased by Saul for years. He lived in caves in one of the most inhospitable places on earth. If you’ve read the Psalms, you know that man was homesick both physically and spiritually. He longed for the courts of the Lord as much as he longed for being home. He even said that it was better to spend one day in God’s house than thousands elsewhere (Psalm 84:10). Why? Because that’s where his soul was at home. Even if he couldn’t physically be home, he wanted to have his soul at home.

I believe all of us are the same way. Our soul longs to be home. I think we misinterpret the signals inside a lot of times, especially if our soul has never been home. In Psalm 90:1, David wrote, “Lord, through all the generations you have been our home!” (NLT) If your soul is homesick, God is where you’ll find the peace you’re looking for. In Him is where you will find your truest self, and that place where you can rest. You don’t have to be homesick anymore. Spend time with God worshipping Him and loving Him today and let your soul be at home.

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Renovations And Transformations 

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.


Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come.

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:17‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

I watch a lot of home improvement shows on the weekends. It seems my tuner is locked on HGTV when Saturday rolls around. I like watching how they transform spaces. Some require major work where they tear everything out and others are mainly painting and getting the right furniture in the right place. Before moving walls though, they always check to see if it is a load bearing wall. Some walls run perpendicular to the boards that hold up your roof and some run in the same line. If you take out the perpendicular ones (load bearing) that section of the roof can cave in. 

When I think about my life, I’ve got a lot of walls up. I’ve got some in place to separate portions of my life from the other portions. I’ve got some up because I’ve been hurt and I don’t want that pain again. I’ve got some up where I hide all the junk I have in my life as well. Each of us have walls up in our lives whether we like to admit it or not. We build them to keep people and even God out of portions of our lives. We don mind letting them in certain rooms, but we don’t like to let them into our junk closet. 

Just like in a real house, some of those walls are load bearing and some are not. I’ve been thinking about what walls I’ve let God take down when He’s tried to do a remodel. I’ve given Him access to certain things and haven’t given Him permission to do others. I’ve let Him take out some of the non load bearing walls in my life. But like in a renovation, sometimes those walls have to come down in order to do what the master designer wants to do. One thing I’ve noticed is the more permissions or access they grant the hosts on those TV shows, the greater the outcome of the renovation.

In my own life, I want the amazing transformation that renovation can bring. I want to be stunned when I open my eyes and see what God has done with my life. In order for that to happen, I’ve got to give Him permission to tear down my load bearing walls. I’ve got to give Him access to every part of my house. I can’t keep anything hidden from Him. Our walls really don’t keep God out of those areas of our life and He really doesn’t need our permission to do things in our lives. I’ve learned that it helps my attitude in the renovation when I give those things to Him. It prepares me for the changes that are coming.

What walls have you put up to keep others or God out? Have you only given Him permission to knock down the non load bearing walls? What kind of transformation or renovation would you like? The greater one you want, the greater permission you need to give to Him. Just like at the end of those shows where people drop to their knees in awe of what has been done to their house, God can make that kind of renovation with your life. He can move walls, take out the mold of sin, repurpose your past, and create something beautiful out of your life if you let Him.

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Under Construction 


Several years ago, we experienced a crash in the housing market. It was the perfect storm or rising interest rates, a sluggish economy, and low cost construction. I remember my friend’s neighborhood most vividly. As you drove through it, there were many incomplete houses in varying stages of construction scattered throughout. For years they sat there incomplete. They were a constant reminder of the recession we were in.

As I drive through, I couldn’t help but think how each of those houses represented someone’s broken dream and unfulfilled plan. People had gone through the process of buying a lot, designing a house, choosing elevations, selecting tile, picking out paint colors, and imagining what it was going to be like. Now it sat there incomplete with no hope of fulfilling its purpose. Where others saw incomplete houses, I saw unfulfilled dreams. 

I’ve always imagined that you and I were a lot like houses under construction. God has a great blueprint for each one of us that He’s designed specifically based on who He created us to be. Unfortunately, many of us feel incomplete and that God has stopped working on us or in us. The truth is that God is always at work in our lives trying to help us fulfill our calling. No matter what mistakes we make, God doesn’t walk away from the construction site or leave a house unfinished. 

Philippians 2:-13 says, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (NLT). God has not given up on what He started in your life. He hadn’t walked away from you, leaving you like an abandoned construction site. He is still working in you, helping you and putting the desire in you to want to fulfill your purpose. You are still under construction and God still has an amazing blueprint for your life. He will complete what He started in you. 

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What’s Inside


Several years ago, my father in law was about to undergo surgery. To make sure he could handle it, the doctors gave him a stress test for his heart. He failed. They immediately called for an ambulance and sent him to the hospital. When they took a look at his heart, they found several blocked arteries and performed a bypass surgery. The doctor informed us of how serious it was, but assured us that he was better now.

Over and over I’m asked why we as Christians are allowed to endure hardships. I believe that part of it is that we are still under the consequences of Adam’s sin. If only sinners went through hard times, got sick, or died young then people would not choose God based on love. They would follow Him out of fear, and that’s not what God desires. So it rains on the just and the unjust alike. 

Another part of the answer is so we can see what’s inside of us. God already knows, but just like that stress test revealed my father in law’s heart condition, difficult times often reveal what’s inside of us. It proves what we really believe, and also shows any weaknesses we need to correct. Going through difficult times gives us a chance to truly walk out our faith so we can know how much we really trust God.

The great news is that we aren’t left in the stressful situation. Psalm 71:20 says, “You have allowed me to suffer much hardship, but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth” (NLT). Like my father in law’s surgeon, God is in the restoration business. He corrects and removes the things that hold us back so we can serve Him better. He brings us back up, out of the depths, so we can share with others the faith we discovered in the hardship. 

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The Hierarchy Culture


If you’ve never had the opportunity to go to a Disney park, you’re missing out on more than rides. They have built a culture at the parks where everyone is responsible for making sure all guests “have a magical time.” Part of creating that fantasy world us making sure the park is clean at all times. Whether you are a princess or a kiosk worker, you can lose your job if you walk past trash and fail to pick it up. No one is too important to not have to pick up trash if they see it.

Our human condition is such that we create hierarchies. At certain levels we think we are above doing certain things. At some levels, you don’t have to wait in lines. At others, people stand when you enter a room. Other levels mean never have to drive, cook, or clean. Many people spend a lifetime trying to achieve a level of importance where they don’t have to do certain things. However, no matter how important you get in this life, you will never reach a level, high or low, where you aren’t supposed to help others.

If someone has a flat tire, is financially destitute, has to move, or even has fallen into sin, it falls on each one of us to do what we can to help. Many of us don’t help because we feel we are at too high of a level or not on a level high enough to help. We must get beyond seeing these imaginary levels, look to the need and the person, and do what we can to help. If someone has fallen into sin, instead of announcing it on social media and talking about that person, go to them to bring restoration.

Galatians 6:3 says, “If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important” (NLT). Paul puts us all in check with this one verse right after he talks of restoration and sharing burdens. We can’t let the hierarchy culture of the world seep into the Church. We can’t think for one moment that we are better than someone else and that we are above, or below, helping. Each of us have a responsibility to share the load, help others, and fulfill the Law of Christ as Paul puts it.

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The Walk Of Shame

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.


One of the things I love about our car is when you get low on gas, not only does it notify you, the navigation screen automatically shows you where all the gas stations are. If I keep going, the alarm will continue to let me know every few miles that it’s time to fill up. So far I haven’t run out of gas in it. That’s a good thing because I know what it’s like to run out of gas and to have to do the walk of shame to the gas station.

What about you? Have you ever run out of gas? Have you ever run out of gas spiritually? Again, I’m guilt of that too. I’ve let myself run out gas spiritually and I’ve stalled. There were warnings that I over looked and things that I did that caused me to run out. One of the first things I quit doing was reading the Bible daily. It was more of a box to check off for me at the time and I saw it as a chore. When I quit reading my Bible, my faith took a hit.

Romans tells us that faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God. I increase my faith by putting God’s Word in me. I wasn’t doing that, and I quickly found out that I was susceptible to attacks. It turns out that faith is also our shield that helps protect us against the fiery darts of the devil. I then began to slip in areas I had never had trouble in. I started to go places and to do things that I never dreamed I would have.

After that, I noticed that my church attendance began to slip. “I wasn’t getting anything out of it,” I would say. I wasn’t getting anything out of it because I wasn’t trying to. I wasn’t listening because I didn’t want to be convicted of the things I was doing. I didn’t want to be questioned by people at church when I did go, so I started leaving as soon as the pastor ended his sermons. I cut myself off from the community of believers.

Hebrews 10 tells us not to forsake the assembling of fellow believers. I looked up “forsake” and dictionary.com said, “to quit or leave entirely.” Because I did it, I know why the writer said we shouldn’t. I left a group of people who loved me, prayed for me and lifted me up when I needed it. Church is more than just a group of believers going to hear a message. It’s a place where we connect and find a sense of belonging.

After I left, it didn’t take long before I ran out of gas. When I couldn’t move forward in my life anymore, I decided to take that walk to the altar. The good news is that this walk isn’t a walk of shame. It’s a walk of rejoicing because God comes in, fills us with His love and restores us to a right relationship with Him. If you’re on empty today, you might have made the same mistakes I did. The good news is that He’s waiting to fill you up again and to restore your life. He did it for me and my church accepted me back with open arms. There’s no shame in walking home. 

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Restoring The Broken


Being a father of a boy with toys means that I have to always have superglue on hand. I can’t tell you how many times he’s handed me toys that were broken in pieces. With tears in his eyes, “Can you fix this please?” Sometimes I can do it, and other times I have to tell him that it’s beyond my ability to repair. He doesn’t understand why there are some things that are just too broken and superglue just won’t work.

Like him, many times we have to take the broken pieces of our lives to God and ask Him to fix it. I don’t know if God has some kind of spiritual superglue or what, but I do know that He’s pretty good at taking our broken pieces and putting them back together again. In fact, there’s no life so broken that it’s beyond His ability to repair. He specializes in putting our shattered pieces back together and making our life better than it was. We just have to be willing to hand Him the pieces.

Here are some Bible verses on God repairing our broken pieces and making us whole again.

1. GOD made my life complete when I placed all the pieces before him. When I got my act together, he gave me a fresh start. Now I’m alert to GOD ’s ways; I don’t take God for granted. Every day I review the ways he works; I try not to miss a trick. I feel put back together, and I’m watching my step. GOD rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.
Psalm 18:20-24 MSG

2. He heals the broken-hearted and bandages their wounds.
Psalm 147:3 GNT

3. A Message from Israel’s GOD -of-the-Angel-Armies: “When I’ve turned everything around and brought my people back, the old expressions will be heard on the streets: ‘ GOD bless you!’… ‘O True Home!’… ‘O Holy Mountain!’ All Judah’s people, whether in town or country, will get along just fine with each other. I’ll refresh tired bodies; I’ll restore tired souls.”
Jeremiah 31:23-25 MSG

4. But because of our sins he was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did. We are healed by the punishment he suffered, made whole by the blows he received.
Isaiah 53:5 GNT

5. For a child has been born—for us! the gift of a son—for us! He’ll take over the running of the world. His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness. His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings. 
Isaiah 9:6 MSG

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Restoration Project


If you’ve ever restored anything, you know the rewarding experience it is. There’s something about taking something that is outdated, worn out and unusable and restoring it to its former glory. I’ve done it with furniture and also with cars. Once that project is restored, not only does it serve a purpose again, often it us worth more than it was before it needed restoration. Yes, it does take some work, but in the end, it’s always worth it. 

I’m so glad that God is in the restoration business. What we do with cars and other objects, God does with lives. He takes people who are broken, worn out and unusable and brings them back to life. When He’s done, those lives are more valuable because if the work He’s done. They have experienced the rebuild process and have come back from places where they thought restoration was impossible. 

The Psalmist understood that there is no life or nation that is beyond God’s restorative power and ability. In Psalm 85:4, they wrote this prayer, “Now restore us again, O God of our salvation” (NLT). Israel had disobeyed God and had experienced the effects of that. They knew that even though they had moved away from their purpose and had become unusable, God could restore them. They cried out to God and He was faithful to do it.

You may think you’ve gone beyond God’s ability to restore your life, but I’m here to tell you that you’re not. God wants to restore you and rebuild you. He wants to bring value back to your life and to make you useful for His purposes. You simply need to pray like the Psalmist and allow God to do the work. If He can restore my life, He can restore yours. 

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People’s Potential 


Years ago I knew a man who made his living on dumpster diving. During the day, and often at night, he would drive around looking in dumpsters for things people had thrown away. He would then take them home, repair them, refinish them, and then sell them. He had an eye for breathing life into things that had been discarded, and he wasn’t too proud to go into dumpsters to get those things.

He reminded me of the gardener that Jesus told a parable about in Luke 13:6-9. The master had purchased a fig tree, and year after year, he had come to it to get figs. After a few years, he became upset. He told the gardener to chop it down because it was a waste of soil space. But the gardener replied, “Leave it alone, sir, just one more year; I will dig around it and put in some fertilizer. Then if the tree bears figs next year, so much the better; if not, then you can have it cut down’” (GNT).

Out the gardener and my friend had an ability to see potential where others saw none. They both understood that it would take work to bring about restoration, but they were both willing to do it. It makes me question how I see people. Am I like the gardener or the master? Am I looking for the potential in others, or my self? Or am I quick to discard them as useless? I think if we truly looked in the mirror, most of us are like the master, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

When I was a kid there was a song about an auction. At this auction the auctioneer held up on old, dusty broken looking violin. He asked who would give him a dollar for it. Then a man walked up, dusted it off, tuned it, and began to play. When he finished playing, the auction asked, “One give me one thousand. Who’ll make it two?” The people asked what made the change, and he answered, “It was the tough of the master’s hand.” There’s no one that God can’t touch, repair, use and increase their value to others. 

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The Green Urn


Windsor Castle, the winter home of the Queen of England, was partially destroyed by a fire in 1992. As I walked through the rooms that had been restored, I couldn’t help but marvel at what great work they did to make it better than before. In one such room, there was a green urn. It weighed over two tons and the firemen couldn’t move it. The urn had also filled with water making it even more heavy. They were upset they wouldn’t be able to save it, but had to move on to things they could.

What they didn’t expect was that the water in the urn would preserve it. The water turned to steam and heated the urn. The malachite that covered the urn simply peeled off and dropped to the floor. After the fire was put out, they found all of the pieces of malachite laying there. They picked them up, cleaned them, and the restoration crew was able to painstakingly put them back on the urn piece by piece. It was one of the longest restoration projects from the fire.

In Mark 9:49-50, Jesus said, “Everyone’s going through a refining fire sooner or later, but you’ll be well-preserved, protected from the eternal flames” (MSG). Each one of us are going to go through fires in this life. Jesus made that clear. It can destroy us or we can rebuild from it. He promised us that we would be like that urn if we have Him inside of us. The flames may scorch and mar our outsides, but what’s in us will keep us from being destroyed.

I’m living proof that you can be rebuilt after the fire. When I looked at the pieces of my life laying on the floor after the fire, I thought things were hopeless, but God saw it differently. He took those pieces and painstakingly put my life back together piece by piece. Because of the restoration He did in my life, I’m closer to Him now than ever. If you’re going through the fire now, remember it’s not the end, but the beginning of a beautiful restoration to make your faith stronger and more refined. 

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