New Hope For The Day

Welcome to New Hope for the Day : My Personal Devotional

In the Indian language there is a greeting, 'Namante", which means "I honor the holy one who lives with in you." May you feel welcomed and honored as I share my strengths and weaknesses from my days which turn into years. I share from my heart, my spirit with HIS wisdom; never acknowledging that I have arrived, but always pressing towards the mark to be more like HIM.

If you are going to be used by God, He will take you through a multitude of experiences that are not meant for you at all, they are meant to make you useful in His hands."
Oswald Chambers

Please feel free to grab that cup of joe, or in my case a cup of hot chocolate, turn on some beautiful music, pull up a warm blanket, and let us together live life.

Thank you for "tuning in". I hope your day is wonderful and may HE bring you new hope for this day.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Remaining In His Love

It is my desire to come back to the place of balance. . .

The only way that I can bring that balance back is to follow the words of my Father that says,
"Come to me .... and I will give you rest"
Matthew 11:28
"Remaining In His Love" Oil Painting
 by Daniell Barton 5/2012
When I moved for a job transfer back in May, I was totally consumed with making it. I was launching a new company and I needed to perform. I had a year to get this company up and I thought, ninety days later they closed the doors.
I immediately reacted and went into a proactive mode. The very next morning, I went to the Secretary of State and asked if the company I had in Atlanta was available here in Indianapolis and they said yes, so I moved forward with no hesitation.
Within the month, I received a cease and desist letter from an attorney for "trade name violation".
I would just like to put a big ugly pause on my life at this point . . . . but I have no time.
I changed my name of the company and here I am restarting again . . . but this time, I am seeking the Lord much greater than I did the times before. I'm tired, I'm weary. I am going to Him.
We are coming into the holidays and I think it is best for me to take this time to meditate and prepare for 2014. I am going to Him.
As children bring their broken toys
with tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God,
because He was my friend.
But then, instead of leaving Him,
in peace, to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help,
with was that were my own.
At last I snatched them back and cried,
"How can You be so slow?"
"My child," He said,
"What could I do?
You would never let go."*
Letting go, relinquishing control and yet finding the balance to run your own business is never easy. Finding that balance is "resting" in Him daily. For me I have to consciously know that I am totally dependent upon Him and seeking His will for me that day.
If we will allow the Holy Spirit to help us live a balanced life of PRAY, PAY, and PLAY; we will never experience burnout or a nervous breakdown. Instead we will experience WHOLENESS and WHOLESOMENESS; our lives radiating with happiness as a testimony to the Lord Jesus.

Jesus says, "As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love." John 15:9

Here is to starting over again and remaining in His love.
Prayer: Father, forgive me for trying to control and fix everything on my own. It is my desire to let You have control, to come to You so that I might rest; to the place where I experience wholeness and wholesomeness. Father, help me to seek Your will for balance in each aspect of my life - PRAY, PAY and PLAY - and give me a willing heart to accept Your plan. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

*Excerpt taken from Through the Wilderness of Loneliness by Tim Hansel, pg.111


Monday, October 28, 2013

Life Is Messy

Why is it that we strive to be in a sterile perfect environment? Why do we work so hard to appear to be dignified and business like? Why is it that we want our emotions in check? Rather than risk the splendor of being genuine with real feelings. Instead, we have chosen to  reveal only what is safe and sterilized. We want to have a good "Christian reputation" over the genuine, unpredictable relationship with Jesus Christ.

After more years than I care to admit, thirty plus, I pretended to be that perfect person who loved to perform so that I would be accepted. I was so perfect that it wouldn't allow anyone in close enough to be real and true with. Those were my Liberty Church days as a young mom. I could have had so many friends from those years and so many that I would like to go back too and have a redo with. I was such a wounded, distrusting person that I thought if I could be perfect, perform enough who wouldn't want to be around me. Sure, I had some relationships that survived in spite of myself which I am very thankful for.

As I learned to resolve root issues in my life, it set me up for more of that "becoming perfect"...

It was in the days of Bethel that I learned that I could be my self, that I was loved for who I was not because of what I did. I began to understand mercy and grace. I was beginning to learn how to form more intimate relationships.

It was the days of  New Hope in Shamrock, that I found my place of brokenness. I was stripped, whipped and had nothing left. It was these days where I found my closest and best friends, genuine friends.

I find today, that I am having to bring all the past years to the place I am today. I have to have complete dependence on the Lord to love, trust, live and yes, every breathe I take is dependent upon Him.

In our new community, I find myself struggling with appearances; trying to have my act together and looking perfect. For gosh sake! I have a real estate company to run and in 90 days, I have represented three different company names.  What a mess!! Do I look like I have my act together? Sometimes in life we have no control of the environment we find ourselves in and life happens where we have to react. At which is not how I like to live my professional life. I like to have a game plan. I want to know what I will be doing. I am proactive, not reactive.

I am finding that the two worlds I have lived - a pastors wife and as a business woman can not be kept separate.  I can not appear to have a sterile, perfect professional life and in my Christian walk where I have surrendered to living the unpredictable messy life as a Christian. I am having to surrender the two together.

Again and again, I am having to remind myself that real life is messy, even in corporate America, if I am to be totally surrendered to the call upon OUR lives as Christians. Life is messy, untidy, not purified, inconsistent, full of surprises with unexpected detours...that is if I am following the One who is notoriously unpredictable.

So each new day is a new step towards a direction of the unknown. Sometimes we can only take tiny steps because if is dark and we are not sure what is ahead. I assure you though that the Lord is always there before during and ahead of you on your journey.

"The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness."
Psalm 18:28
Are you ready to take that step forward that He has prepared for you? It is not often easy, but it becomes easier the quicker you relinquish control. Allow God to direct you and to be fully Himself in your life.
"But this thing I did command them: Listen to and obey My voice, and I will be your God and you will be My people; and walk in the whole way that I command you, that it may be well with you."      Jeremiah 7:23
Prayer:  Father, I ask that you forgive me for trying to control.  I was worried about my appearance for reputation sake, forgive me for not trusting ultimately in You. I commit my schedule, my day, my week, and my life goals to find out what it is God that You want me to do, and what it is that You don't want me to do.  I know that You want what is best for me and I must listen to You for what that is. And by doing what You have showed me to do; You will bless me with joy, peace, rest, and wonderful relationships. I thank You, Father. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Am I Poking A Hole In My Cup?

In my quiet time this morning, I made part of it by reading "Through the Wilderness of Loneliness" by Tim Hansel. A book which I tremendously encourage anyone who has or is going through a season of brokenness and/or loneliness.

This book causes me to really examine my heart some more, look at root issues, encourages me and has me impart some practical life applications into my life as it has today.

Todays practical exercise is to try going the next twenty-four hours without complaining. I don't believe myself to be a complainer, I think of myself to be a positive person. As I thought about this, the Holy Spirit brought to my attention, "You may not be a complainer on the outside, but what about your thought patterns on the inside?" Oh! OH!!!!

Boy, am I glad this is a practical exercise to begin on a Saturday and not a Monday. . .

So peeps, am I alone in this one?

Are my thought patterns keeping me from my cup being filled? Is my cup perforated? Does the Lord try to fill my cup and do I put a hole in it?

Am I afraid to trust Him completely? Am I afraid to love others without  knowing whether or not I'll be loved in return? Are my thought patterns analyzing the situation and deciding based on past hurts and woundings to move forward or not with this individual or with this situation and are these thoughts and patterns lined up with the Holy Spirit or with my emotions? Have I just poked a hole in my cup?  Because His kind of love - expects nothing in return. OUCH!

Prayer: Father, forgive me for not loving as you love and running from people and situations based on the past. Show me over the next twenty-four hours how I am poking a hole in my cup. Holy Spirit I invite you to show me where I need to repent and change these thought patterns in my life. And Lord, I ask you to fill my cup to over flowing so that I can love like you love - expecting nothing in return. In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Mirror Mirror

At the beginning of the Disney story, Snow White*, a queen sits sewing at an open window during a winter snowfall when she pricks her finger with her needle, causing three drops of blood dripping into the freshly fallen snow on the black windowsill. Admiring the beauty of the resulting color combination, she says to herself, "Oh how I wish that I had a daughter that had skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood, and hair as black as ebony". Soon after that, the queen gives birth to a baby girl who is as white as snow, as red as blood, and with hair as black as ebony. They name her 'Snow White', but sadly, the queen dies after giving birth to her.

After a year has passed, the King takes a new wife, who is beautiful but also unutterably wicked and vain. The new queen possesses a Magic Mirror which she asks every morning: "Magic mirror in my hand, who is the fairest in the land?". The mirror always replies: "My Queen, you are the fairest in the land." The queen is always pleased with that, because the magic mirror never lies. But, when Snow White reaches the age of seven, she becomes as beautiful as the day and even more beautiful than the Queen and when the Queen asks her mirror, it responds: "My Queen, you are the fairest here so true. But Snow White is a thousand times more beautiful than you."

You know the story . . .

The pastor this morning, Aaron Brockett**, at Traders Point Christian Church brought forth a good teaching from Hebrews Chapter 4. Within his message he used the metaphors of the Bible:

2. seed
3. milk
4. light
5. mirror
6. hammer

The mirror stood out to me.

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.  But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing." ~ James 1:23-25

How often do we look at ourselves in a day? What is one of the first things we do in the morning? The mirror can be our friend or our enemy depending on how we see ourselves. To some it is an exercise in self-esteem: we see ourselves and say, "wow, I have a face that others could love!" But for most of us, it is more like an experience in reality: we see ourselves and think, "wow, I have a face that only a mother could love!"  In the case of the wicked queen who was so beautiful, yet her character was so unutterably wicked and vain that you could not see her beauty.

How we perceive what we see in the mirror as we look at it may be how we perceive it as we look at the Word of God. So often we don't like what we see, so we don't like to look at it. Perhaps this is why so many of us don't like to read the Word of God because we don't like what we see.

As a mirror, the Bible serves two important purposes: showing us the condition we are in and revealing who Jesus Christ really is—His transcendent glory and splendor. Both are vital to our Christian walk.

But I am so thankful that I know that my Heavenly Father does like what He sees in me. I may not be where I need to be and I sometimes may be disappointing to myself, BUT He does not see me the way that I see me. I am so thankful for that!!

The Bible tells us several truths about what He sees when He looks at us, but at this time we'll just look at one. Because He is using the "God Mirror"; He sees us as specially created and uniquely made individuals. David put it this way in Psalm 139:13,14:

 "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made..." 

As you look into the Bible and see the glorious Savior, that inner nature of Jesus in you responds to what you see, and you’re changed from glory to glory, transfigured into His likeness.

The Bible is not a “mirror, mirror on the wall”, but a mirror in your hand, transforming you from the inside out by the Word of God.

Next time you look at a mirror, use the "God Mirror" and  know that He is more than pleased with you. He loves and accepts you right where you are waiting for you and helping you on your journey from glory to glory.

* Snow White information came from Wikipedia
**This devotional does not represent the thoughts or opinions of Aaron Brockett

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Staying Childlike

I woke up with the same burden I went to bed with and I thought to myself, I have to let this wash away. As I looked out at the blistering cold weather with the rain falling down I thought to myself, I am literally going to go for a walk and let the Lord wash it way. I need to clear my body, my heart, my thoughts.

As I began to walk, my thought were still on the burden that I was carrying. Then my thought would wander to the cars passing by wondering what they must be thinking of this woman walking in the rain with white paint on her navy sweat pants. Did they think I was homeless? Did they even see me at all? Do they see the other man struggling to walk on the other side of road who is homeless? I know you must be wondering how did I know he was homeless and not just out walking like me. It was quite different. He had two different shoes on and had a shopping buggy. I looked pretty pitiful, but I didn't have a shopping buggy.

As I journeyed into a subdivision, I looked at homes that I would like to one day wish to live in. I saw garage sale signs and empty drives where the garage sales were being rained out. I saw squirrels as they were preparing for winter. I thought about when I was a teenager... I would get on my horse or my bike and do what I was doing at that very moment as I walked; wanting to get away from the problems that were weighing me down.

As I walked, I wondered how far I would walk. I decided I would walk until I could go for awhile without thinking of my burden. If I thought about my burden I needed to walk some more until it washed away. I prayed to my Father to wash it away. I forgave those who had hurt me. I prayed to forgive myself. I thought more of how my current actions reminded me of what I did as a child. I praised Him for where I was and where I was going to be.

Scripture encourages us to stay childlike. As an adult going into my 50's, it is very seldom if at all that I do anything child like. I think this is one of the reasons I desire a bike so badly. It would allow me to be childlike. As adults we get so bogged down with adult things that we forget what it is like to be childlike.

Mark 10:14-15 challenges us to be childlike. Not childish, but childlike. 1 Corinthians 13:11 is another scripture, as does Matthew  18:4. (I'll let you look them up.)

As adults we cling to the worst attributes of being childlike; selfish, unreasonable, helpless, spoiled, and I could go on. But Jesus encourages us to be childlike- curious, full of wonder, trust, and humble. We try to make children like us, behave like us, grow up like us; instead of becoming more like them. Where as I just shared the negative attributes we carry on into adult with loosing the good traits.

As I walked and walked dodging puddles in the 43 degree weather for two hours my burden didn't completely leave as I arrived back home. I was better, but what if I would have acted more like that child. I had those thoughts, but my adult voice sounded off. What if I would have opened my mouth towards heaven and allowed the rain to find its way into my mouth. What if I would have jumped in the puddle and just jumped up and down and laughed. What if I would just not be so serious and just shrugged it off and acted like a child because I knew that when I got home Daddy would have taken care of it.  I didn't. I didn't relinquish it all to Him.

Dance In The Storm by artist Christine Council

So this afternoon, I still am before Him, pressing in to learn how can I get through this. As my mother shared with me last night as I was in tears. "Daniell, it's not that you can't get through this; you just don't know how you are going to get through this."  I heard her. She is right. And there is a difference. Yes, I will get through this, I just don't know how....

So, I find myself today as a child waiting and listening for my Daddy's voice. Isaiah 40:31 reads,

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall sun and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."

As a child, there is no difficulty in trusting what their minds have not yet fully understood, and possibly never will. I too, find myself fully trusting, yet not understanding . . . Without hesitating or doubting, I listen for the voice of my Father and I trust in what it will let me know.  His voice bids me to stake my future on His promises and to obey His commands.  And why do I trust His voice?  Because I have learned and I have heard His voice tell me before: “I love you, I want the best for you and I always will”; and without questioning, I believe those words, and taken them into heart.

Sometimes, we may not know how, but I know He will and I encourage you as you learn to trust in Him.  He will.

In closing, I have this prayer by Jim Manney:

"My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone." In Jesus' Name I pray. Amen.

Friday, October 18, 2013

When Life Has You Overwhelmed

We've all had days where in one moment our world can be turned upside down.

My life seems to be one moment after another being turned upside down. This afternoon was one of those days... when my world was turned upside down, AGAIN, and everything that I thought was beginning to make sense....well, now doesn't.

My heart is overwhelmed . . . . pressures of life, a broken relationship with our son, inconsiderate people and you have that one more added "blow"...  This afternoon, I cried where I couldn't talk. I wanted someone to pick me up and make it all better.  I wanted to call my son and hear his voice and pretend all was like it use to be.  I wanted to be a little girl and ask my daddy to fix it. I am so overwhelmed with the demands and the needs on my life right now.  And yet again today,  I'm knocked down and I'm looking for something to grip on too, to pull myself up and in the natural I see absolutely nothing to grab hold of to pull myself up.

In recent days (knowing I can't do anything successfully without Him) I've pressed into Him more. Tonight, I find myself being reminded that when the demands of life are increasing, so is the need to press into Him, I must seek Him out and ask for wisdom and favor to get me through.

Why do I share this with you. It is therapy for me to write. I know that others, all of us, are going through something, I hope to encourage and give hope as an example that all will work out. But most of all at this time, I lean upon those that share my faith; to borrow some of your faith and hope. I need something to grab onto . . . . and yes, I know He's there, I plan to crawl up into His lap tonight and
this weekend and just cry and cry . . . . but every now and then we also need that tangible . . . we need each other.   

So, when life has you overwhelmed, follow my example. Press into Him. Lean on fellow brothers/sisters.

 “When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” God’s Decree.
“I’ll turn things around for you. I’ll bring you back from all the countries into which I drove you”—God’s Decree—“bring you home to the place from which I sent you off into exile. You can count on it." ~ Jeremiah 29:12-14

“I asked God for strength that I might achieve. I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey. I asked for health that I might do greater things. I was given infirmity that I might do better things. I asked for riches that I might be happy. I was given poverty that I might be wise. I asked for power that I might have the praise of men. I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God. I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. I was given life that I might enjoy all things. I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for. Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered. I am, among all men, most richly blessed.” ~ Unknown

Despite everything, I am still blessed! And so are you.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

You Are An Overcomer

I have had numerous people over the past few weeks who don't know me that well because we are new to the Indianapolis market speak of awe in how quickly I bounced back after my recent blow, how I didn't skip a beat, how I didn't let the situation keep me down....

At first, I kind of just mumbled out words because I didn't know how to respond, because I was for the most part just operating in a misty proactive shock type of routine.

As I reflect back, the misty fog is gone and the sky is becoming more clear. My actions were nothing but my Spirit operating within me then as it has always done for many other "shock and awe" events in my life over the last several years.

The Spirit within me is one that we all have if we are in a relationship with the Father. We are OVERCOMERS! "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death." (Revelation 12:11)

That’s right. You and I are overcomers! This is not to be confused with “I hope to be an overcomer,” “I want to be an overcomer,” or “maybe some day I will be an overcomer.” No, I am an overcomer today!

Now many of you may not be "feeling" this. This may have to be a choice. You have to choose to step into this by faith. Get you some Mandisa music on, "Overcomer" and let His Spirit move your faith!!  Living independently of our circumstances is what makes us overcomers. I think that’s worth repeating: Living independently of our circumstances is what makes us overcomers! It’s a matter of putting legs and feet to the promise that we find in Romans 4:17, which says, “Calling those things that are not, as though they were.” Faith will kick it into gear!!

But first, a clarification has to be made. Faith is not a power that we exert in order to change our circumstances. It is the assurance we have inwardly even if our circumstances do not look like it on the outside.

In other words, if I have no money, I still believe that God is my infinite supply. If I am still sick and not healed, I can believe that God is the life of my body. If I am attacked and even defeated, I still believe that today Christ is my victory!

Christ is our all in all no matter what the outcome. We have already won by simply standing on His side. "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – your faith." (1 John 5: 4, NKJV).

The Urban Dictionary says that an overcomer is, "A warrior, someone who battles no matter what task is ahead, someone that not only regains strength from his weaknesses but also sees life in a way no others can. Someone that doesn't laugh at racism, someone who doesn't feel pain, someone who has been through it all, and did it with a smile on their face. The true definition of an overcomer is a warrior.

The overcomer was ready for any kinda fool that stood in his way."
Whatever your situation today, realize God has a solution, determine to be an overcomer, face the problem head on and in your weakness, believe God for the Wisdom you so desperately need. And God help the fool who stands in your way!!! GO get 'em!!