Thursday, October 27, 2016

Choose Surrender Day 27: Gods Gifts and His Call

Romans 11:29 "For God's gifts and His call are irrevocable." 

We all have a place and a call in God's heart and in God's plans. 

One way for each of us to know what God's plans are for us, is by paying attention to the gifts and talents He has blessed us with. I also think those gifts and talents can change throughout our lives and therefore we always need to be present and paying attention to His call.

Early on in my career I was petrified of public speaking! I was so unsure of myself and not at all confident in myself or what I had to offer. But, God does equip the called...and sometimes equipping the called is by walking straight through a path of difficulty and challenges.

When I do leadership training and development, one of the things we talk about is the idea of "being" and "doing." The "doing" consists of those things that are rational and often times more comfortable because we have been educated and trained on the "doing". "Being" on the other hand can be more difficult because it is about being still and listening to our heart and our spiritual being. The challenge for us in using our gifts and paying attention to God's call is that we can't choose our head/doing over our heart/being. We must center ourselves with both.

The poem Footprints takes on a whole new meaning for me when I look back on my life and the challenges I walked through. During those times of struggle, we don't always feel God's presence with us, but when we look back on those times today, We can see Him walking right beside us.

The difficulties that I have walked through have definitely prepared me for my life today and I couldn't be more grateful. Public speaking is something that I still can't believe I am comfortable doing and yet I am. I think we know what God's gift and call are when we carry out the call and we say to ourselves...I have no idea where that came from, but it felt good. I believe it's because it came from the Holy Spirit.

God has prepared me for continuing to carry out His message that He called Sara to begin. Sara was faithful in using her gifts and following God's calling. Continuing her legacy and carrying out God's message of joy and surrender here on earth is humbling and rewarding. I pray that He will continue to equip me with an open mind, humble heart and faithful feet.

When we surrender our lives to the one who knows the call and knows the gifts He has blessed us with, our lives will be filled with Joy.

You can learn more about God's calling by reading the book Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Choose Surrender Day 26: Reckless Faith

"I love the recklessness of Faith. First you leap and then you grow wings."

As I was reflecting on the above canvas that Sara created and this quote from Sloane Coffin. The word that popped out at me was recklessness. I looked up the definition of recklessness and it says being "utterly unconcerned about the consequences of some action; without caution; careless."

Loving recklessness or unconcern for consequences is probably not the first thing I would jump up and say…yep that's me! I tend to be someone who likes to make sure I am following rules and that I have everything planned out. I am always thinking about the consequences of decisions that I have in front of me to make sure that I am doing the right thing for the right reason.

But when I think about recklessness in terms of faith, it really makes sense. Look how many times in the bible Jesus asked others to leave everything behind and follow Him. The disciples didn't plan out what following Jesus would look like for them. They didn't tell Him…wait…let me think this through! They took a leap of faith, trusted Him and grew wings along the journey.

Taking a leap of faith requires us to be brave, to trust Him with all of our hearts and to surrender our lives, knowing that He will help us grow and flourish as His faithful servants.

Mark 1:16-20 says, "As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets.  Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.

At once they left…Without delay…they followed Him.

My prayer is that I can surrender my life to Him so that I can live a reckless kind of faith. That I can take the leap He is asking me to take and trust that He will provide me the wings I need to fly…to soar in this life for Him until I am home with Him.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Choose Surrender Day 25: Be Intentional

In the book Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts, Sara talks with us about what living a life of intention meant for her. Being intentional was such an important part of her life, that she made it one of her life goals..."To be intentional in all things."

Sara believed that "everything we do, no matter how small, carries with it an impact. The decisions we make about who we want to be, how we want to live and how we treat others affects more than just our immediate surroundings. If  we come in contact with someone we either leave them feeling better about themselves or worse, but we never leave them unaffected." The way to make sure we are living intentionally is to first be sure we are really present in the moment.

It is important to make living with intention part of our day to day events and decisions, such as  greeting people that we pass by, or to stop what we are doing and give our full attention to the person talking with us. Living with intention can also exist on a much larger scale. Living with intention is being open to whatever God has in store for us. Sara said, "her biggest fear was that God had a purpose for her and if she wasn't paying attention, she'd miss it. Sara prayed for guidance and prayed that she would be intentional in all things. She paid attention when she felt a tug on her heart or had an idea of something to do for someone else." Sara taught us that those are God's ways of letting us know when we are needed.

Are you living a life of intention or a life of default?

Living with intention means living according to a plan in order to achieve our purpose in life. Living by default means just following the crowd and letting things happen as they go.

Ephesians 5:15 says, "Be very careful, then, how you live -- not as not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."

Living a life of intention requires us to surrender our lives to God. If we are not present and listening to the tug on our heart or the Holy Spirit whispering in our ear, we may miss God's calling when we are needed.  Remember...your life is with intention allows you to live your life to its fullest!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Choose Surrender Day 24: When we feel broken

As I have focused this month on surrender, I have learned that in order for us to truly surrender, we must first remove ourselves from the distractions of our crazy world and BE in His presence. When we are distracted, we are not able to hear Him clearly. Unless we are free from distraction, we aren't in a place to truly turn ourselves back over to Him and His authority.

Revelation 3:20 says..."Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

I think it is safe to say that each one of us have felt broken at different times in our lives. I remember talking with Sara when I was feeling sad, alone or hurt. The minute I would start sharing with her, I could feel the guilt start pouring over me. Who was I to complain when she was the one hurting...she was the one broken.

Sara was the first to stop me dead in my tracks. She would tell me that the pain each of us feel is real and no one person's pain is less significant than another persons. Sara wanted us to be real with her. She didn't want us to protect her. I think that is what God wants from us too ... to be real with Him. 

We can't hide anything from God. He knows our heart, he knows our spirit and He alone can bring us Joy, Peace and Refuge, so we can be strong when we are weak. 

I surrender to Him.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Choose Surrender Day 23: Focus

Wherever your focus is, your vision will be as well.  What you focus your life on will be what motivates you. What is motivating you today? Is your vision clear concerning the things of God and are you paying particular attention to His word and what He is instructing you to do today and again tomorrow?

There are so many things in life that focus our media, school, jobs, relationships, how we look, the clothes we want...the list goes on and on. When our focus is not on God, but on worldly things, that is what our decisions will be based on.

When God and His kingdom are your focus, then your vision will be to do everything you can to please Him. You will look to Him for answers when it comes to those decisions about school, jobs, relationships...all your needs, wants and desires.

When we get overwhelmed with our worldly desires, it is often because we lack the time and energy to be able to focus on all that we have in front of us. Time is a finite resource...there are only so many hours in a day. Energy on the other hand, is an infinite resource. How are you renewing your energy each day instead of draining your energy.

By focusing on God's message, His will and desire for your life, you will find that not only will your energy be renewed, you will find that the time in your day is better spent. By focusing on Him, your purpose in this life will become clear. 

Have you ever had someone tell you...don't take your eye off the ball? They tell us that because when we take our eye off the ball, we lose focus and ultimately we may lose in the end. It's the same when it comes to surrendering to God. If we don't keep our eyes on Him, we will lose our focus. When we lose our focus, we will feel lost from Him.

I really think we will find what we are meant to do when we keep our focus on Him. 

Surrender to Him.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Choose Surrender Day 22: Hands and Feet

"Just because my hands and feet  no longer serve me well physically, I don't want that to be an excuse for not being the hands and feet of God." Sara 'Gitz' Frankl

When you know someone's life is coming to an end, you do everything you can to take in and savor every last moment with your loved one. That is exactly how it was during those final days with Sara. Sara's life was an example of someone who chose to surrender their life to God...right up until her final breadth!

Sara's book, Choose Joy Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts provides readers with so many examples and ways to choose surrender...and her life was so much more than what could be captured in a book. Her love for God and others poured out of her! 

Even though the last three years of Sara's life were spent confined to the four walls of her home, she continued to surrender her life and teach us what it meant to be the hands and feet of God. One of the last things Sara said to me was that she wanted people "to continue to learn, trust and believe in God as she tried to be His disciple, but, she said, It's not about me, it's about Him.That's the message I want people to hear."

Now, let's remember...Sara was the writer and artistic one in our family. Me...I can hardly draw a straight line and was once asked if I spoke "Frankanese" (Assuming that meant an individual Frankl family language).

Even though I felt less than capable, my life these last 5 years has been one of surrender. There have been days when surrendering has been easier than others. I had no idea what God's plan was for continuing this Choose Joy ministry that Sara surrendered her life to, but I knew her wish and words to me were a calling from God and I didn't want my lack of knowledge, writing and artistic abilities to be an excuse for not being the hands and feet of God.

My surrender prayer each day is that God will give me an open mind, a humble heart and faithful feet to walk where He leads. He has been the one driving and opening doors. Some of those doors have been shut (and admittedly disappointing at times), but I didn't put a period and stop trying. I put a comma and continued to pray for His guidance.

There have been many humbling and blessed examples that have come from surrendering this ministry to Him, and I'd like to share a video of the most recent. I was blessed to host a Choose Joy and Lindsay McCaul event in Sioux City this past month. The below video gives you a quick snap shot of the event. Even if one person's life is impacted and brings them closer to God, it is worth it.


Surrendering to God and trusting this path has not always been easy and I am sure there will be more difficult days ahead, but the blessings have far out weighed the difficult days. I will not let my fear of surrendering keep me from not being the hands and feet of God. 

And, I will always remember, it's not about's not about Sara...It's about Him. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Choose Surrender Day 21: The Sparrow

Sara left many beautiful legacies for us, and one of them is the gift of her angelic voice. I was listening to her sing His Eye is On the Sparrow, and I couldn't help but think of how God is again reminding us to trust Him and surrender our lives to Him.

Take a moment to listen…

Matthew 29-31 says…"Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.  And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

In times when we are judging our lives against others, or when we feel that we have disappointed God because we gave in to our human weakness and sinned, let's remember the story of the sparrow. We often complain about sparrows and consider them pests and yet Jesus said, "not one of them falls to the ground outside your Father's care." This says to me that in God's eyes, no one is insignificant! And…"You are worth more than many sparrows!"

When God says no one is insignificant…Do you trust that? God has proven many times in word an action that we can trust Him…this makes worrying worthless. Worry wears out our mind and our body. It also impacts our judgement and decision making…ultimately showing God our lack of faith. 

We can show our Faith by surrendering our worries to Him. We are significant and He loves us…He has told us that over and over. Now He wants us to trust Him and show our love for Him by surrendering our lives and worries to Him…with Joy!

Hab. 3:18…"I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior."