My6inchchallenge's Blog

Tackling difficulties and overcoming the challenges life serves up – by Dona Halliday

Archive for Max Lucado

A worthwhile exchange: releasing it all for God

Max Lucado tells a story of this six-year-old girl who had a string of pearls – they were fake, she loved them — she wore them everyday, everywhere with everything.

She was a daddy’s girl – she loved her daddy. He traveled often and was gone for days, but the first day of his return was a day of celebration.

This particular day they had played all afternoon after he returned from a week-long trip to the Orient. That evening as he tucked her in bed he asked, “Do you love me?”
“Yes daddy, I love you more than anything,” she answered.
“Anything?” he asked.
“Anything.”
He thought for a moment, “More than your pearls? Would you give them to me?
“Oh daddy, I couldn’t do that, you know I love my pearls!”
“I understand,” he said and kissed her goodnight.

That evening and the next day she thought about what he had asked. That night, offering her pearls to him, she said, “Take them daddy, I love you more.”
“I’m glad to hear that,” he answered as he reached for his briefcase. “I brought you a gift.”

She opened the small box, gasping with surprise, her dad had bought her genuine pearls…

The challenge is to offer things to God before I wrap my emotional arms around them – relationships, things I would love and stubbornly refuse to release once I become attached. I’ve never seen relationships that seemed perfect gone wrong so quickly once offered to God. Things exposed that I did not want to see, words that revealed hearts I thought I knew, and the whisper of God made crystal clear – would you willing exchange what you think you have/need even though you don’t know what I have in store?

I ask you the question that Max Lucado asked me — What pearls is God hoping you will release?

Song: Burn it all down by Lexi

“I’m so tired of dirt” – the challenge to endure

I felt like the little boy in one of the stories Max Lucado told in his book, Traveling Light. I felt a groan, a whine, a good cry coming on. “I’m so tired of dirt!” Normally I’m a pretty tough cookie, I don’t allow the things of life to beat me down so badly that all I want to do is cry. But that’s how I felt. I just wanted to rest my head on my Daddy’s knees and weep. I knew tomorrow would be better, but I had been physically drained and exhausted for days, and everything seemed overwhelming.

But life goes on, pour, fill, stack; pour, fill, stack.

That’s also how the boy in the story felt. He lived in the valley at the base of a large dam. Every day his father would go to work on the mountain behind the house and return home with a wheelbarrow full of dirt. “Pour the dirt in the bags, Son,” his father would say. “And stack them in front of the house.” The boy obeyed but he also complained. Why didn’t his father give him what other fathers gave their sons? They got toys and games; he got dirt.

He objected to his father, “They have fun. I have dirt.” The father would smile, place his arm on his son’s shoulders and say, “Trust me, son. I’m doing what is best.”

Every day the father would bring the load of dirt and every day his son would fill the bags. “Stack them as high as you can, Son,” the father would say as he went for more. And so his son filled the bags and piled them so high that he couldn’t see over them.

“Work hard, Son,” the father said one day, “We’re running out of time.” As the father spoke, he looked at the darkening sky. The son stared at the clouds and turned to ask about them, but when he did the thunder cracked and the sky opened. The rain poured so hard he could scarcely see his father through the rain. “Keep stacking, son!” And as he did, the son heard a mighty crash.

The water of the river poured through the dam and toward the little village. In no time the tide swept everything in its path, but the stacked dirt gave the boy and his father the time they needed and the father led his son to safety.

They ran to the side of the mountain behind their house and into a tunnel. In a matter of moments they exited the other side, hurrying up the hill they came to a new cottage. “We’ll be safe here,” the father told his son.

Only then did the son realize what his father had done… he had denied him fun and games for a season so that he could prepare a safe passage and a safe place for him.

That night after I had wept at my Daddy’s feet I had gotten up with renewed strength to face down any challenge. My circumstances had not changed, I still had to get up the next day and pour, fill and stack. But I’ve found that taking time to sit at God’s feet empowers me to overcome life’s situations. Seeking Him reminds me I am loved well and I can trust Him completely.

So bring more dirt, Daddy. You know what’s best. See, I’m pouring, filling and stacking as you transform me, prepare me and use me.

The Challenge: Endure hardship like a good soldier…
The Promise: You will seek me and find when you chase after me with all your heart

From Desperation to Transformation — Seeking God

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 23:13

Develop a heart that's seeking after God

I get very excited as the week draws to a close and finally it’s the weekend. I love having time to unwind and get refreshed. I especially love Sundays, a day to get rested and replenished, the opportunity to gather with others in the place where God is and experience His presence and power. But it was not always that way…..

Do you go church? If you do, may I challenge you to examine 6 things…
1. Why do you go?
2. Does it do anything for you?
3. Do you see visible signs of growth and change from this encounter?
4. Do you have any expectations and are they met?
5. Is your relationship with God growing stronger, more intimate?
6. Is your commitment to God increasing?

These are some questions I keep before me, and I want to share something with you that is transforming my life:

Sometime ago I read this book by Max Lucado, “He Still Moves Stones”, and one of the characters he wrote about is “the woman with the issue of blood” (Mark 5: 24-34). He describes this woman who had been sick for 12 years, she’d tried everything without positive results, in fact, her situation grew worse. She hears about Jesus and knows she has to find him. She gets to the place where Jesus is, filled with expectation, but He is encircled, a crowd pressing close to Him. But, she is desperate, her deliverance depends on her getting through to Jesus. She pushes, extends herself and then, she connects with Jesus, she touches the hem of His clothing and the bible says instantly her bleeding stops, instantly her life is transformed.

But it’s this observation that is transforming my life. The author observed that in spite of the crowd in Jesus’ presence, the Bible records only one act of healing, one life is transformed in this setting. I was so stunned by this that I raised this question to a friend, “Do you realize it means that we can show up and be in the place where God is, (you know, like, Sunday school, Wednesday night Bible Study, Sunday Morning worship, our one-on-one with God), we can be in God’s presence and leave totally untouched, untransformed?

Is this really possible to be in the presence of such power and not be changed? Let’s take a look:
• King Agrippa who said to Paul, I’m Almost persuaded …. (Acts 26:28)
• The rich young ruler who felt following Christ required the one thing he was not willing to give up(Mark 10:21)
• The people in Jesus’ hometown (He could not do any miracles there,… He was amazed at their lack of faith). (Mark 6)
• …and possibly you, or the crowd at your church

The thing that is transforming my life is this commitment I made,  “I refuse to keep showing up where God is and not extend myself, engage, connect, desperately seek Him and activate faith in Him so that His power can transform my life.”

When you invest your time in attending a church service, make it more than just going to church, if you genuinely seek God He promises He will show up!

This is Dona Halliday challenging you to press through your challenges to your transformation

Check out this song, one of my favorites “Moving Forward” by Israel Houghton. Don’t miss the resolution and commitment at the end of the song

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