The Secret of the ‘Next Chapter’

14 Nov

I love mysteries … the humorous kind. I ran across a website called “Stop, TrustGodWithTheNextChapterOfYourLife_LOLwithGodYou’re Killing Me” that made me think of a funny Christian mystery I read in the past. I wish I could find more of them.

I think I love mysteries because there is the “thrill of the unknown.” Part of the adventure is not knowing what twist might occur in the story.

And I love humorous mysteries because I love to LOL with God … especially in the middle of a surprise!

Years ago, I was one of those people who skipped to the end of a book. I wanted to see how everything would end before I decided whether I’d buy it. It finally “dawned” on me how I was destroying the mystery of anticipation!

So I stopped reading the ending and now read each new chapter of a book in succession.

(The only exception is when I read the Bible. Sometimes I skip to the end because all those last chapters remind me God has a plan, and that gives me hope in the midst of the world’s chaos!)

I think I’ve learned the secret of life’s “next chapter” … the anticipation of a new adventure with God. I don’t have to know what’s going to happen tomorrow.

In fact, that might not be best.

In a negative sense, we’re not to worry about tomorrow. Matthew 6:34 says, “…do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

Worry doesn’t make sense (Matthew 6:25, 27), because the eternal God is already present with us in our future. God invites us to throw all our anxieties on him, because He truly cares about us and cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). He will give us the strength we need to face anything that it tough, but our worrying about it today won’t help.

But in a positive sense, is it really best to know everything about tomorrow? Might it steal something precious from those moments?

Think of a child’s anticipation of a trip to Disneyland, or waiting for gift-giving on Christmas Day. Think of a bride’s anticipation of her wedding day.

NancyAndRobertWolgemuth_WhatASurpriseMy friend, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, is marrying Robert Wolgemuth today, November 14, 2015. Her story about their love and courtship is just plain amazing. And it’s something that totally surprised her.

She wrote, “… no one could have been more caught off guard by this turn of events than I. In recent years, I have found myself in the most settled, contented, healthy, fruitful place of life and ministry ever. I did not have the slightest inkling that He was about to call me to step out into a whole new realm of faith and service.

“Enter the God of love, mystery, and surprises!”

Nancy tells women,

“…God is good, and He can be trusted to write your story.” 

Yes, the will of God is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2). It may lead us through seasons we cannot understand this side of heaven, but we can rest in Him and believe He is writing a big story for His glory, our good and—in working through us—blessings for others.

He is preparing unimaginable things in heaven for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9), and we get to experience a foretaste of that on earth.

In the words of an old hymn:

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine; Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine … Watching and waiting, looking above, Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.  This is my story ….”

The secret to receiving and enjoying God’s good will is to trust Him with the next chapter of your life … and the next … and the next.

It is anticipation with surrender and contentment.

Anticipation with surrender says, “Yes, Lord, I will follow You” all along the way—even when my story’s chapters don’t unfold exactly as I thought they would. Even when I might have written my script in other ways.

Anticipation with contentment allows me to rest in God and His will for my life and leaving lots of room for Him to take me on unexpected detours.

In the big story of our lives, each unfolding chapter allows us to LEARN DEPENDENCE on the Lord … and to praise Him for His goodness and grace as our story unfolds.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I don’t think Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth would either!

Are you worrying … or are you anticipating the next chapter of life with Your Creator? Be ready for the God of love, mystery and surprises!

– Dawn

Graphic adapted from photo at Pixaby



Life Is Like Baking a Cake

6 Nov

Some of the funniest Cake Humor I’ve read is on Pinterest:

IEatCake_LOLwithGod“The only way I am eating healthy is if I write ‘HEALTHY’ on top of this cake with frosting.”

“If it’s got a candle stuck in it, the calories don’t count.”

“I just had an egg white omelet.  For flavor I added yolks, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract, baking soda, flour and chocolate chips!”

“Vegetables are a must on a diet. May I suggest carrot cake?”

I recently saw a photo of a box of cake mix with a large dinner candle taped to the box. The caption?

“The Laziest Birthday Party ever!”

I read a thought-provoking statement about cakes in a book about trials and suffering (of all places). It was one of those statements that brings a fresh perspective.

In the book Refined: Finding Joy in the Midst of the Fire by Carol Burton McLeod (Bridge Logos, 2015), the author writes, “Life is a lot like baking a cake from scratch.” You can read the rest of her quote here:

LifeIsLikeBakingACake_LOLwithGodIt’s true. When a baker bakes, the ingredients—all laid out on the counter—aren’t always appetizing. Some ingredients might even be bitter and we would quickly spit them out (like pure vanilla or raw cocoa powder).

But the baker knows what the finished product will be like. Ingredients are skillfully blended and the result is a tasty treat!

Ever read Romans 8:28?

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Sometimes we take Romans 8:28 as a blanket statement that God will work every single circumstance in our lives individually for good, but McLeod suggests, “the cumulative effect that God evokes does not take one thing at a time and work it for our good. … God causes all things to work together for good.”

God takes the bitter vanilla and cocoa circumstances in our lives and blends them with the sweet sugar of His blessings to create something incredibly good.

“God is well able to take what is perceived as bitter by itself and turn it into a revolutionary force in one’s life that transforms anyone into possessing the character of Jesus,” McLeod says.  And isn’t that God’s purpose for us? (See Romans 8:29.)

God’s good plan (to conform us to the image of His Son) “trumps the devastation of the enemy every single time,” she says.

Everything that comes into our lives is Father-filtered. It’s true! All of life is filtered through our Heavenly “Abba’s” love and goodness.

And He is a good God. His goodness is abundant, strong and steadfast (Psalm 31:19; Nahum 1:7; Jeremiah 33:11).

We see God’s good purposes in Joseph’s life. He endured so much at the hand of his brothers and while under others’ control—and no doubt wept many bitter tears—but Joseph testified later in life: “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good ….” (Genesis 50:20).

What are you going through today? Does it feel bitter? Unbearable? Are you tempted to blame God rather than embrace His goodness and praise and worship Him? 

Remember: Life is like baking a cake from scratch, and the Eternal “Baker” knows what He is doing.

– Dawn

Birthday Cake graphic adapted, Image courtesy of Ambro at

Take Off the Mask

30 Oct

Many Halloween masks are ugly and grotesque, but some are just strange!

This three-faced mask from Pinterest* made me laugh … and shudder! Strange, right?


And that hamburger mask gives new definition to the term “Meathead!”

Some of the “masks” we wear every day are pretty strange too.

Just a few:

  • A drama queen (or king) mask might be hiding a cry for attention.
  • An obnoxious mask might hide an insecure or frightened personality.
  • A cynical mask sometimes hides a lonely, unhappy person.
  • A know-it-all mask can actually hide a person looking for respect.

As a Christian, the mask that bothers me the most – because I often wear it myself – is the PIOUS MASK.

It’s so easy to be a Christian “pretender” when it comes to spiritual growth.

Think about it . . . we masquerade in many ways.

We might mask our lack of time in the Word of God or prayer with ministry to others.

We might mask our nervousness about coming to God with our sins with a busy schedule.

We can mask our failure to walk in the Spirit with a list of rules.

We may even mask our disobedience with sacrificial living.

Our masks might look good to others, but we forget God sees our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7; Jeremiah 17:10). He sees past the masks. He knows who we really are.

Our masks may give us some measure of comfort, but they also hinder true intimacy with God and others.

God wants us to be authentic. We can’t impress the Lord, and He wants us to be real with people. He wants us to live to please Him alone, and not worry about what others think of us (John 12:43; Galatians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:4).

Our identity is to be found in Christ and a biblical view of who we are (1 John 3:1-2; Colossians 2:9-10; 1 Peter 2:9. We are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). We rest in His love and forgiveness, not the ever-changing perspectives of the culture.

And when we discover His plans for our lives, we can get busy following Him -obeying and serving Him – instead of worrying about the need to impress people (Ephesians 5:8-10; Colossians 1:10; 3:1-2).

We can come out from behind our masks and shine in a dark world (Matthew 5:16).

Are you trapped behind a mask? How would embracing what God says about you destroy this mask madness?

~ Dawn

* Three-face Mask – Paul Fuller Art (UK)


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