Monday, November 05, 2007

The Source of Significance

Significance. A very important word in the English language, but not one that we spend a lot of time pondering.

I love this image of a person searching for significance. Keep this in your mind as you read this post.

Wikipedia defines significance as it relates to people as:
  • People who are the world's best at something significant.
  • People who have helped us understand or think about who we are.
  • People who have made a significant, lasting difference or impact - meaning that the world is a different place because of them.
  • People who have captured the public imagination over a significant period of time.
  • People who have created, invented, inspired or contributed something of long term significance.
  • People who have achieved something.
  • Those admired for rolling up their sleeves and doing something .
  • People who have achieved something, rather than drawn attention to themselves and maybe achieved some passing fame in the process.
Let's look at each of these. Think about where you are in each of them and who comes to mind as you read each one.

Being the best in the world at something takes an investment in time and sometimes in money. And once you've achieved that level of significance, it takes more time and hard work to maintain that level. Finding significance in something you have done is often fleeting.

Being the best at something significant, well that is a little more difficult. First you have to find someone to help you understand who you are and how what you are relates to others. Usually that would be someone who in and of themselves were significant, making the world a better or different place just because of who they are. It could be anyone, it doesn't have to be someone famous.

Mine was my mom. She was the best in the world at the most significant thing of all, unconditional love. She made me believe that I could be or do anything that I wanted, just because she loved and believed in me. She planted significance in me when she planted love and didn't attach it to performance or achievement.

In history, think about those that have made a lasting impression, capturing public imagination over a significant period of time. Often it is those that have created, invented, inspired or contributed to our world. Each of them are remembered for achieving something special and are often famous, such as those winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

If rolling up your sleeves and doing something were the only measure of significance, much of the world's unsung heroes would find themselves in the "significant camp". Often these are the ones that allow others to achieve something because of making it possible by something they have done (while not attracting attention to themselves). My mom again....

Lasting significance would appear to be the most elusive of the bunch.

As I was out for my walk this morning, I was listening to a song (I could sing of your love forever by John Tesch, from his album "A Deeper Faith") written about the most enduring and significant thing on our planet - love, as outlined in 1 Corinthians 13. Love you say? Yes love.

Creation is an act of love. God created the world itself and has spent the rest of time since creation trying to show Himself to us, to show us His love. He sent a piece of Himself, Jesus, who Himself made a lasting impression. He not only captured public imagination over a significant period of time, but we even mark time with his birth (BC) and his death (AD).

I have enjoyed a life of personal significance and yet, have had the privilege of seeing and knowing that everything that I do is not of my making. All of my talents are a gift from the creator of the universe Himself. And if He uses me to start something, He doesn't need me to finish it!

Most of the things that we do in life eventually fade from memory. In some cases, other people even take credit for what we ourselves have done. Finding significance in titles is fleeting, as jobs and companies can easily disappear. Thousands of people daily lose their jobs. Finding significance in a relationship can be equally disappointing. Divorce is rampant in our country. Even the various roles in our lives (mother, sister, brother, daughter, son, friend) that provide a source of significance can change overnight when loved ones are taken from us.

As you continue on your search for significance, I encourage you to not start with WHO you are, but determine WHOSE you are. Like the picture on the cover above, look up, lift your hands to the heavens.

Serving the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob provides not just significance, but eternal significance. Being a daughter of the King of Kings, who owns the cattle on 10,000 hills is just about as significant as it gets.

Who I am can change over time. What I do can fade away. But I am HIS forever and the beauty of that is that He never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

My significance is sealed in Him.

Chicke Fitzgerald


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Moses 2007 AD

Imagine Moses in 2007. The Red Sea in front of him (with the Promised Land on the OTHER side). Hundreds of thousands of Jews behind him, fleeing the oppression of the local government. What would the dialogue in his head have sounded like??? Let's take a glimpse....

Big problem... Insurmountable even! The circumstances are dire. The proverbial "no way out". Look at that water churning. We'll never get across. What was I thinking to bring them here????

But there has to be a way. Do I dare even venture to believe that God could rescue us before the government changes their mind?

What if I didn't really hear from God to go plead with the leaders to let my people go?? What if I really did all of this on my own steam just to show everyone how powerful I am?

Well, it worked didn't it?

Moses then began to reminisce about how it felt to demand "Let my people go" when he met with the leaders of the government. It was a pretty powerful feeling.

OK, maybe God is punishing me for those feelings of pride. And now I'm here in this mess, no way out, nowhere for my family to live and all these people depending on me.

What a mess.

I know! Perhaps we build a human bridge. I saw an old army movie last week where they did that to get across a river. That's it, we will get one person to hold onto something stable on this side, then each person holds hands with the next person and the next.

Wait a minute! We don't know how deep the water is. We'll never make it in time. The current is too swift. And besides, now that I remember, in the movie, lots of the people actually died trying to cross the river.

No, that will never do.

Wait! I can send someone upriver to buy or rent a boat.

No.... it will take too long and besides, we would have to barter our things because we don't have money.

Oh, it will never work. It is just hopeless. We should just give up now while we still have something to salvage. I'm sure my job making bricks out of mud is still open. It wasn't such a bad job.....

What am I saying (never mind who am I saying it to!). Have I forgotten the Promised Land?

Hmmm... the Promised Land (looking across the river).... It sure looks dusty over there. In fact, it looks like sand. I thought God said something about milk and honey.

What if I'm making this all up and none of this came from God to begin with. Not the promises, not the plagues, nothing.

Oh no. What if it was really from the enemy, trying to lure us all out into the desert?

Our luck, we'd get there and get lost. 40 years... yeah, that's what will happen if we try to cross the river.

Maybe we should just follow the river south? No.... I remember that awful story on CNN about the Sudan. that would never work.

Maybe I could just quietly slip away and no one would notice.

MOSES?

Yes?

You have not because you ask not.

Lord, is that you?

My sheep know my voice.

Sheep? I'm busy here. A lot of people are depending on me to get us out of this awful place.

You? Depending on you? Are you sure?

Of course. I'm in charge here. If I don't figure it out, who will? There is no other way.

I am the way.

I love you Lod. You know that. I'll pray when I'm done. And for sure will give thanks when we're on the other side, away from our oppressors.

How will you get there?

I haven't figured that out yet.

I have.

You what? How?

Just ask.

Ask who?

Me.

Lord I ask you for things. Spiritual things. Why, just last week.....

Moses.....

Lord, you were the one that gave me the guts to go plead with the leaders for your people, right? And they aren't my people and they never were. I think I'm starting to get it....

Now you are back on track.

I have exhausted all my options. I have no more ideas.

GOOD.

Good? What am I going to do now?

Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find. Knock and the door... no make that the river will part..

No way. Part? Do you know how wide it is? Where will the water go? We'll all be drowned. The people will be afraid. They won't cross! Oh, this is impossible.

No, you are impossible, but I love you anyway.

Do you really believe that I would leave you here in this place of despair, hopelessness and let you die, or perhaps worse be humiliated in front of everyone?

Ummmmm no.

I love you. I care about more than just your spirit. I care about you and every one of those that you are leading.

I care enough to part the waters so you can just walk across.

Oh, but the mud.. we'll get stuck. The animals will never make it.

Moses, stop second guessing and trust me.

But they will be scared!

Let me comfort them. Walk, lead them and don't stop until you get to the Promised Land!

From the moment you were conceived Moses, there was a plan for every moment of your life. I crafted it just for you myself. Just ask and every day I will show you the way. It won't always be easy and you do have the freedom always to ignore me, or worse, to try and do everything yourself., relying on your own intellect, the counsel of those that you believe to be wise in the ways of the world, your instincts and all the other things that keep you so occupied that you don't hear my voice clearly and you don't ask for my help.

Right-o Lord. Now can you please just part the waters now? We've got a Promised Land to visit!

OK, but just one more thing Moses. Please ask me for directions once you get to the other side. The desert is big, but it shouldn't take 40 years to cross.

Sure thing Lord!!






Pressure yields beauty and strength

Most of us know that diamonds are the hardest known natural material in existence. Their beauty and strength is no accident.

One of the laws of nature is that pressure yields that beauty and strength. This is true not only of gems that come from the depths of the earth, but when we go through what seems like the depths of depression - from that comes strength and beauty as well.

Those that know me will attest that I rarely get to a place where there seems to be no hope. My faith carries me through most anything and even through difficult storms, I know that my life is in God's hands.

But about a month ago, I found myself in a funk that I just couldn't shake. The last year has been a difficult one, building a new company, keeping the team motivated while we raise the funds necessary to get our new product launched. I was feeling the pressure and the responsibility and it was a difficult time.

Over the past few weeks though, I have been reminded that I don't have to carry that weight and that the company wasn't mine to begin with. In remembering God's promise to not give me more than I can bear, I found that diamond strength that I needed and emerged stronger than before.

Isaiah 40:29

He gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak.

During that time where I didn't see that strength and wondered if I was indeed strong enough to make it through, I remember saying to my husband that I can't imagine living with that kind of depression and despair every day without hope.

Pressure is an every day part of life. We can choose to rely on our own strength or we can remember that He who created the earth that yields diamonds has stronger and broader shoulders than we could ever have.
Phillippians 4:13

I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

I am grateful that I serve a God that cares not just about the spiritual things in my life, but the practical as well. If you suffer from depression, I pray that you will find His strength to see you through.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I hear you loud and clear!!!

Sometimes in order to get our attention God has to talk to us in ways that we don't expect.

We all recognize the shape of a stop sign. In fact, there are many things in our lives that cause us to stop dead in our tracks. Fear, worry, a lack of resources, a shortage of time, discouragement, disillusionment.

There doesn't seem to be any shortage of those things when we look at the natural circumstances around us.

God's promises are not subject to natural circumstances. The sign isn't red and it doesn't say STOP. When you have clearly heard His direction, no matter what signs you see along the way, His sign reads totally differently. It reads DON'T STOP.

The message is clear. Don't stop believing. Don't stop moving toward the vision and the prize. Don't stop showing people that there is more than what they can see.
Outside of the natural realm is the realm of the spiritual and it is the only place that we can find hope and that we can see our dreams fulfilled.

While my life seems full of traditional red stop signs right now, I know in my heart of hearts that I have heard His voice and that He will see things through to completion, despite turns and bumps in the road. He has said as clearly as if He were here beside me in the natural not to stop, not to be discouraged, not to worry.

He never changes. He cannot lie. His word is true and He is faithful. So, once again, I have only one choice. I will be desperate for Him and as for me and my house, we will continue to serve the Lord.




Thursday, July 19, 2007


IS IT ALL JUST ONE BIG COSMIC VIDEO GAME???


Does God really care? Is my life a game to Him? Does He just care about spiritual things, like being "good" or getting "saved" or does he care about the practical things in my life?

So, what if God only cared about our soul and not the practical side of life??? Yikes. Somehow I don't think He would have many followers.

Tonight I was thinking about all the ways that we limit God. In many ways, when we worry it is like we are confirming that he does not really care about our day to day issues and only about the life or death ones.

If that were true, they would have to change all the great worship songs:

"How great thou art (except as it relates to my finances), How great thou art."

and for the more contemporary worshiper:

"My God is an awesome God (except as it relates to non-spiritual things)
He reigns from heaven above (except as it relates to my job)
With wisdom, power and love (and accolades for the things I manage myself since he is too busy)
Our God is an awesome God."

Sort of loses the tempo, doesn't it?

God cares about every aspect of our lives. Matthew 6:28 says:

"And why do you worry about clothes?

See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin."

And remember the old hymn "his eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me". Luke 12:6-7 says:

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?
Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.


A God that cares how many hairs I have on my head cannot be unconcerned about my finances, my work, my children or even my weight. He wants wholeness for me.

Even the old testament (Deuteronomy 5:33) promised us prosperity if we would be obedient:

Walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.

The God that I serves cares about every area of my life. Oh, I am SO glad that is true. Otherwise the weight of it all would more than I could bear and I would be destined to live in depression constantly. Thank GOD I don't have to bear it alone.

one who seeks his face,

Chicke Fitzgerald

Friday, July 13, 2007

Passion


Passion is a funny thing. It can mean so many things. It is hopefully obvious to all that know me that I am passionate about my love for my husband and my children. At times I am passionate about my work or about a movie that I've seen or a particular red wine that has just the right amount of spice and fruit.

In one of my favorite songs by Isa Couvertier called My Passion she describes her passion for her Lord. I know it may seem really foreign to those that don't consider themselves at all religious, but there is nothing like the passion for the one that I owe everything to. The song says "who can compare with you?" and declares "you are so beautiful to me!".

Think about loving the way the wind feels on your face when you are riding down the highway on a sunny day in a convertible. It is really very similar to that. Just as you can't see the wind, but can see its effects, so is the way of God in my life. I can't see Him, but the effects on my life are as clear as day to me.

Today I thank God for the people that He has brought into my life (or back in my life) this week. I don't always know how it will play out, but I am SO thankful that He is in control and not me. I am passionate about the possibilities!

Chicke Fitzgerald - one who seeks His face

Friday, June 15, 2007


Life Lessons in Faith: Muses from London

This morning at 6am, as I caught a cab from my hotel in London to the train in Stansted, it occurred to me that traveling abroad can be an interesting mirror of a walking a life of faith.

In both cases, the rules change.

Driving on the wrong side of the road is, of course, all subjective. What works well in your native land, is "backwards" when you are abroad.

So it is, that a life of faith is perceived to be "backwards". Matthew 20:16 says "the last shall be first and the first shall be last", which in the natural makes no sense whatsoever. In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Paul recounts God's words "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" and later in verse 10 says "That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." Talk about not making sense and appearing backwards to the world!

Matthew 5, known as the Beatitudes, says it best:

3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.


If you are "driving" down the road of your life and you hit severe bumps in the road and shaken, you encounter someone "driving" on the other side of the road that is not only unshaken, but peaceful after encountering the same bumps, it could just be that they have found that amazing grace is more than just a song, it is a way of life.

Indeed, I know that in my life that I can actually get excited about encountering difficulties. It means two things. One, that I am on the right track and someone wants to knock me off that track and second, it means that I have to opportunity to become strong through a power much greater than I could possibly possess on my own.

The other thing that strikes me is that the "currency" in which we trade abroad is much like the difference in what is valued in a life of faith.

Matthew 6: 25 says:

25 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

While everyone scurries about trying to take care of their natural needs - food, drink, clothing, bigger and better jobs and places to live, in a life of faith, it is possible to rest - secure in the fact that if God in heaven will take care of the birds, how much more will He meet my needs. It is not just words, it is a peace that passes all human understanding. Whew...... why choose to worry instead?

Stephen Curtis Chapman has a wonderful song, called His Strength is Perfect.

His Strength Is Perfect

I can do all things Through Christ who gives me strength, But sometimes I wonder what He can do through me; No great success to show, No glory on my own, Yet in my weakness He is there to let me know . . . CHORUS His strength is perfect when our strength is gone; He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on. Raised in His power, the weak become strong; His strength is perfect, His strength is perfect. We can only know The power that He holds When we truly see how deep our weakness goes; His strength in us begins Where ours comes to an end. He hears our humble cry and proves again . . .


So now, as I await my plan to go home after a long week away from my family, I rest in the power that His strength is perfect to get me through the search for funding for our new business, for search for the perfect executive team, through making it through technical difficulties with foreign outsourcers and with trying to make content "perfect" for our rollout and most importantly, for finding the life balance that allows me to be more present for my family when I am home.


Chicke Fitzgerald
wife, mom, CEO and "One who seeks His face"

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

God's Word is not confusing!
It may seem like it though. Did you ever think that God could speak to you through His Word? He wants to do just that.

Here is a way to visualize what is perhaps the most quoted scripture of all - Psalm 23. Let Him speak to your heart.





The Lord is my shepherd - that means RELATIONSHIP!










I shall not want - that is umlimited SUPPLY!









He makes me lie down in green pastures - that is REST!







He leads me by still waters - that is REFRESHMENT!








He restores my soul - that is HEALING











He leads me in the path of righteousness - that's GUIDANCE










For His name's sake - that is PURPOSE









Though I walk through the valley of death - that is TESTING








I will fear no evil - that is PROTECTION!







You are with me - that is FAITHFULNESS!











Your rod and your staff comfort me - that is DISCIPLINE!








You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies - that is HOPE!






You anoint my head with oil - that is BEING SET APART










My cup runs over - that is ABUNDANCE!










Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life - that is BLESSING!












And I will dwell in the house of the Lord - that is SECURITY!









Forever - that is ETERNITY!




There is a place, referred to as paradise. He has reserved a spot just for you. But while you are still a part of this earth, He has something for you too. Relationship, unlimited supply, rest, refreshment, healing, guidance, purpose, (and yes) testing, protection, faithfulness, discipline (to make us strong), hope, being set apart, abundance, blessing, security and eternity in paradise. Oh, and did I mention that the price for all of this has already been paid?

Today you may know WHO you are. I pray that you explore now WHOSE you are. If you don't know Him, get to know Him through His Word.

If you have gotten frustrated trying to read the Bible, try a new translation. The Message is written in everyday language. And you can even read it online! Or have it read to you!

Look at the Bible online

Joshua 24:15

15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.

Chicke Fitzgerald

Lord I'm Amazed

This past weekend I served on a women's retreat known as Tres Dias. It is an encounter with the living God. There were nearly 40 attendees on the weekend and over 100 of us serving them. We had many jobs, but the most important was demonstrating to them that they are loved.

What struck meis how consistently God shows up at these weekends, which are held twice a year. He changes lives, again and again. He frees these women from fear, from being ashamed about things that they had no control over. He helps them to give up anger and unforgiveness of those who have hurt them. He changes their self-image. It is truly amazing.

Isaiah 61:3 says that he gives a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. I saw it with my own eyes. The gift is free.

God is ready and willing and just waiting. Ask him for beauty, for gladness, for the lightness that comes with a garment of praise. Leave behind the ashes, the mourning and the spirit of despair.

Today choose freedom, mercy and grace and be amazed.

You dance over me
While I am unaware
You sing all around
But I never hear the sound

Lord I’m amazed by You
Lord I’m amazed by You
Lord I’m amazed by You
How You love me

How wide
How deep
How great
Is Your love for me

Music and lyrics by Jared Anderson
© 2004 Vertical Worship Songs





Chicke Fitzgerald

Sunday, April 08, 2007


Redemption - The Stuff of S&H Green Stamps
Today is the day of redemption - Easter 2007. This morning at church we sang a song written by Jesse Dixon called I Am Redeemed. The first verse says:


I am redeemed, bought with a price,
Jesus has changed my whole life!

If anybody asked you just who I am,
tell him: I am redeemed!

Where there was hate,
love now abides,
where there was confusion,
peace now reigns.
I'm walking with Jesus,
all because, all because
I am redeemed.

Redemption is one of those words that is not common in the English language and it is tough to truly understand its full meaning, let alone to be able to declare that you have been (or even need to be) redeemed.

I grew up in the midwest where each week when we went to the grocery store we were issued S&H Green Stamps corresponding to our purchases. It was fun to collect them and even more fun to redeem them from the catalog. Other friends of mine had mothers that faithfully clipped coupons. They too could redeem the coupons, but there were often limitations, such as expiration dates or rules and regulations surrounding what they could be used for.

Today's version of S&H Green Stamps in my world is frequent traveler points and miles. In exchange for loyalty, a travel supplier (such as an airline or a hotel) grants me points or miles and when I have amassed enough, they allow me to redeem them for goods and services.

By themselves, the stamps, coupons and miles are not valuable and can't be traded for money, just goods and services.
The price that I pay for them is actually greater than money, as I pay for those goods and services with time away from my family.

The price that Jesus paid for my redemption is even greater than that. He paid a debt that He did not owe. I owed a debt I could not pay. There was nothing that I could do to redeem myself from my bad choices and mistakes, but the amazing thing is that I didn't have to. The price was already paid.
He paid with his life and bought love and peace in the place of hate and confusion.

But remembering that today is Easter begs the reminder that He is not dead, He is alive. In fact, 1 Corinthians 15, verse 4-5 says that after His resurrection over 500 people saw Him alive!

So we serve a living, loving God. And if anybody asks you, just tell them, that I am redeemed.

Chicke Fitzgerald

Saturday, April 07, 2007


INTERVIEW WITH GOD - UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL
This morning on the eve of Easter, after a busy week on the road, I was thinking about how curious it is that the world can so easily dismiss the existence of a personal, living God.

It would be unusual to look at a gorgeous house and not know that somewhere there was an architect or eat a delicious dessert and wonder who the pastry chef was, or view a spectacular painting and look for the signature of the artist. Yet every day we see the wonders of God's creation, not only in nature, but in the tiny hands and sweet faces of newborn babies or in the miracle of our spouses or partners who know us and still love us! We mark time from the birth of His son and we joyously celebrate His resurrection on Easter. Yet for so many, He doesn't touch and make a difference in their lives.

My sister-in-law sent the following link to us today for a wonderful powerpoint that reminds us of God's perspective on us.

I share it with you hoping that you are touched this Easter season in a special way that gives you peace and provides you practical direction for each day.

INTERVIEW WITH GOD


Chicke Fitzgerald

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Rough Seas


This week Michael and I went on a boat trip from Tampa to Marco Island. On the trip down, we had 5 hours of relatively calm seas (for a 26+ ft boat on the Gulf) and then over an hour of really awful 3-5 ft seas just past Sanibel Island as we cut over the last little bit to Marco. During that last bit as we were tossed up and down, pounding from wave to wave, I was in the passenger seat, inwardly praying for God to reach down and calm the seas.

As we were pounded, I observed Michael who struggled to keep control as the waves crashed over the front of the boat into our faces. He was able to hold on to the steering wheel which, coupled with using his legs as shock absorbers, gave him a little stability.

Watching him reminded me of people who know about God and who pray but only during hard times. Oh God, if only you will get me out of this I will never again......

While Michael was tossed about, it was not with the devastating impact that was hitting me. I had absolutely nothing to hold onto to steady the course. All I could do was hope that Regal did a good job in stress testing the hull of the boat when they built it and made a mental note to send them a note about adding a strap to the side of the passenger seat so you can hold on in rough seas.

I thought how awful it would be to not believe in a God who would get us safely to our destination. It would be just like not having anything to hold on to when the real storms of life confront us and toss us about.

Off in the distance I saw a passenger sightseeting boat, a small cruise ship. The people on board, while likely experiencing some rolling back and forth were steady in their sailing, as they were grounded in a much heavier boat that plodded on [rapidly compared to us, as it often felt like we were moving backward].

That grounding is like being firm in the arms of God, knowing that He will get you to your destination and not being tossed about, even though the same seas were confronting the bigger boat.

Psalm 36 talks about the refuge that we can find in the shadow of His wings:

5 Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the skies.

6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your justice like the great deep.
O LORD, you preserve both man and beast.

7 How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men
find refuge in the shadow of your wings.

8 They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.

9 For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.

10 Continue your love to those who know you,
your righteousness to the upright in heart.

I thank God for his faithfulness - on our boat trip this week, for getting us to our destination safely and for showing me how important it is not only to have something to hold onto, but to ground myself in him in such a way that I am not tossed about by the things that come against me.

Thank you for your unconditional love and for your abundance Lord.

I give today to you and sit in the shadow of your wings, eagerly awaiting what you have for me today. I am yours and I'm pressing into you Lord. Protect me from the high seas.

Breathe on me breath of God

When I was young, we attended the Presbyterian Church. There was a hymn that we sang with these words.
Breathe on me, Breath of God, 
fill me with life anew,
that I may love what thou dost love,
and do what thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
until my heart is pure,
until with thee I will one will,
to do and to endure.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
till I am wholly thine,
till all this earthly part of me
glows with thy fire divine.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
so shall I never die,
but live with thee the perfect life
of thine eternity.
If you can look past the "dosts and wouldsts", the message is clear. I need your breath in me to make me more like you. To make me want what you want and to do what you would do. That breath is the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit.

The part about purity talks about endurance and I realize that the tests that I face now in my life are all a part of that process of achieving purity and that without running the entire race to the finish, I won't build up the endurance that is needed. It is a bit like a doctor putting a heart patient through a stress test to see the baseline of where the heart is for building it up and making it strong. [OK Lord, have you seen enough of the baseline? I'm weary of the stress!!!]

I like the part about glowing with His fire and that when people look at me they would see His reflection. That is my heart's desire.

Yesterday at our Tres Dias meeting for those of us serving on the upcoming weekend, I was talking with my prayer partner and she was talking about a challenging time in her life where she felt she hadn't been able to "exhale". I related to that and realized that those words perfectly described where I was as well. After the prayer time, the very next song was Michael W. Smith's "The Air that I Breathe":

This is the air I breathe
This is the air I breathe
Your holy presence living in me

This is my daily bread
This is my daily bread
Your very word spoken to me

And I I'm desperate for you
And I I'm I'm lost without you

This is the air I breathe
This is the air I breathe
Your holy presence living in me

This is my daily bread
this is my daily bread
your very word spoken to me

And I'm, I'm desperate for you
And I'm, I'm lost without you

And I'm desperate for you
And I'm, I'm lost without you.

I'm lost without you.

I'm lost without you.

I'm desperate for you.

I'm desperate for you..

I'm lost, I'm lost, I'm lost without you..
I'm lost without you

I'm desperate for you

Oh, this song showed me that as long as God is the air that I breathe, it is ok not to exhale! But if what I am breathing all day long is toxic, then not exhaling is a very bad thing.

The last few months I have been desperate for God, for His love, for His peace, but most of all for His direction.

As you read this blog today, if you have been unable to exhale due to stress or just plain being too busy to enjoy life, make sure that the air you breathe is the daily bread kind and not the toxic kind. He can and will get you through and while being desperate for God sounds like a place of weakness, I can assure you that I've never felt stronger in my faith than in this place of desperation.

Breathe on me breath of God......


Chicke Fitzgerald

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Awesome God

Our vision is so limited by our experiences. Sometimes the things we are up against in our lives seem like mountains and in the face of them we feel small and even powerless.

In contrast, God's vision is unlimited. We only have to view His creation to understand how awesome He really is. He not only creates the mountains, but His Word tells us that He can also move them.

I stand in awe of the mountains that He is moving in my life. As David wrote Psalm 8, I believe he was experiencing something similar. My favorite verse is verse 4 of this Psalm.

Psalm 8

1 O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.

2 From the lips of children and infants
you have ordained praise because of your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.

3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,

4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?

5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings [c]
and crowned him with glory and honor.

6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet:

7 all flocks and herds,
and the beasts of the field,

8 the birds of the air,
and the fish of the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.

9 O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Today I thank God for praise and the ability to raise up above the mountains in our lives by acknowledging who He is. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that we aren't here by accident. We are part of a grander plan. Show me the steps for today in that plan Lord. Create in me a clean heart and renew in me a right spirit.

Chicke Fitzgerald

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Futility


Have you ever felt like everything you do is just an exercise in futility? Like all the hard work is for nothing?

Well, I am well acquainted with that feeling and so was the author of Ecclesiastes.

Here is the way he articulated it in Ecclesiastes Chapter 2:

17So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.

18Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must leave it to the man who will come after me.

19And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is vanity.

20Therefore I completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun.

21When there is a man who has labored with wisdom, knowledge and skill, then he gives his legacy to one who has not labored with them. This too is vanity and a great evil.

Unlike the man on the top of the mountain in the cartoon, I know that everything does have a reason and that my laboring won't be in vain, although some days it feels that way.

My name is written in the Lamb's book of Life and every single day is ordered, if I will just listen to His voice. I can live in the center of His will for me and not be subject to the futility of life. His joy is my strength.

But as the writer of Ecclesiastes goes on to say, there is a time for everything. We remember it as a popular song of the 60s, but it actually comes from Ecclesiastes 3:

1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.

God's promise is not that we can avoid all of the hardship of life, but that through it all, He will be there - watching our back, covering us under fire, nurturing us and healing our wounds.

Lord, may today be a time of love, one of dancing and one of harvest of my labors. Bless those that have been supporting Michael and I through these challenging times.



Chicke Fitzgerald



Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Hope


Romans 8:24 Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Sometimes we have been in the dark clouds for so long that we fail to remember that the sun is and always has been behind them. We hope for the brightness, even though we cannot see it, because we know it is there. We can wait with patience because we know that the darkness and dreariness can't last forever.

Today I know the sun is there. I wait to feel its warmth and to see the reflection of its brilliance on everything it touches. After weeks of stress and turmoil in my business, even though it is a new day and I can now move forward unincumbered, I feel week and need strength and wisdom.

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Today I know this. I love God. I believe His word that says that all things work together for good, even though I can't see it or understand it.

Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Lord, your Word is my hope. Today I need your restoration, your strength and your wisdom. Fill me, teach me. Let love be my guide and my agenda.

Chicke Fitzgerald

Monday, March 05, 2007


LOVE as an agenda

1 Corinthians 13:8 Love Never Fails

Over the course of the past few weeks, I've been going through a particularly challenging set of negotiations in my company and my husband and I have been seeking God's direction in what often felt like a desperate way.

As we asked for support and prayer from various people around us, one of them who is particularly insightful told me last week that the word that kept coming to her was LOVE and that through everything that my husband and I were going through, the words from 1st Corinthians 13, verse 8 kept going through her mind "Love Never Fails".

While I knew that the premise was totally correct, I had no idea how it could play into a business negotiation.

I kept seeking God's face and I kept asking in my prayers to be in the center of God's will. The Lord kept impressing on me that to be in the center of his will was safe, but it isn't always comfortable. So I was prepared that if the negotiations broke down, which could mean bankruptcy for our new company, that somehow God would use that for His own glory. I didn't know what that really meant or looked like, and certainly didn't want that to be the outcome, but my husband kept reminding me that the "How is God's department" and that we had to just trust that He was in control.

On Saturday at a meeting to prepare for serving on the next Tres Dias weekend in April, I felt led to share one of my favorite scriptures with two of the women on my team. It is from Psalm 139.

15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

The circumstances behind why I shared it with them had to do with something totally different than God was about to use it for in my life.

On Sunday morning, our pastor Dan Dunn shared, you guessed it, from Psalm 139 and talked about this passage in particular and explained that this scripture talks about the fact that before we were even born, God's personal plan for our lives was written, day by day. As Christians, we refer to this as "God's Will" for our lives.

Yesterday I shared with my kids, before the final negotiation call was scheduled with my partner, what being in God's will is all about. I told them about God's book of life for me, their mommy, that had a page for March 4, 2007 and how His ideal outcome for my day was written there. We talked about how much happier their lives are when they do what mommy and daddy ask of them and how we have an ideal way that we'd like to see each of their days unfold. I asked them to get on their knees at 1pm, precisely when I'd be on the phone with my partner and pray that mommy would see what was on today's page for me.

When I got to the office to prepare for the call, I cleaned off my desk and grabbed a couple of packets of sticky notes. I'm famous for using them to lay out various plans and things to be done in my office. One packet was lime green, a color that God reminded me is the shade that a plant takes on when there is new growth. The other was purple, the color of royalty. I was reminded that I am a child of the King of heaven and earth and that I have the right to come before His throne and ask for His wisdom.

On the green notes, I wrote the ideal outcome of the negotiations, knowing that the HOW was still God's department. Then I wrote down on the purple notes, the key words from the chapter of 1st Corinthians that Pastor Dan reminded us that he would be preaching from next week, the chapter on LOVE. I started to see how God would use LOVE as the agenda for my call. I highlight the words that I wrote on each of the purple sticky notes.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails.

The outcome of the call was better than I could have asked for or expected. I was able to share my heart's desire for restoration of the relationship and the place we got to in the business negotiation was a place where I did not feel taken advantage of. In fact, after the call, in the final agreement documents, I found myself putting in elements that my partner hadn't even asked for in the settlement. I was led by a power much much higher than myself.

In fact, the earlier part of 1st Corinthians 13 reminds us that without love, we are nothing.

God's agenda is a good one, a practical one. God's ideal for our lives involves peace and safety and if we ask Him for wisdom about what He wants us to do today, He will show us, a step at a time.

I am still desperate, but it is not being desperate wondering what is going to happen next, instead I am desperate to know Him more deeply and to be totally in tune with what is in the page for March 5, 2007 as his perfect, ideal outcome for today. Let me be in your will, wanting your outcome, not mine.

I pray that if you are facing difficult decisions in your life, that you will seek God's agenda and remember that LOVE NEVER FAILS.

Chicke Fitzgerald

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Direction

Psalm 119:105 tells us that God's Word is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path. Today I press into Him for direction. I am at my office before dawn to work on the operating plan for my new business, and I begin my day by looking to Him for his strategic path for my life -- my operating plan.


As I drove to the office, the Lord spoke to me to begin my day with His Word - James 1:

2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,

3knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

4And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

5But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

6But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.

7For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,

8being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

9 But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position;

10and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away.

11For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away.

12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.

13Let no one say when he is tempted, " I am being tempted by God"; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.

14But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.

15Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.

16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

17Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

Thank God that HE never changes and that I can rest in his direction. In the face of what seems to be incredible opposition, HE prevails.

Lamentations 3: 21-25 says:

Therefore I have hope.
22The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
For His compassions never fail.
23They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
24"The LORD is my portion," says my soul,
"Therefore I have hope in Him."
25The LORD is good to those who wait for Him,
To the person who seeks Him.

I am so greatful for His lovingkindness and compassion in my life. I cling to the promise that He is faithful and that I can have hope in Him that He will finish the work in me that he has begun.

The road before me is well lit by His words -- by His direction. Lord God, give me wisdom, generously and without reproach today. Keep my feet and my heart in the center of your will for me.

I wait for you Lord. My hope is in You alone.


Chicke Fitzgerald

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Tangible Faith


Matthew 17 20:21 I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

I have a daughter that is 8 1/2 and a son that is 6 1/2. When they pray, they know that God will answer. The faith that a child is able to have is unconstrained by life experiences and disappointment and most of all, it is unconstrained by self.

Yesterday, in the midst of a particularly difficult trial in my life, one of my friends from church admonished me to "Stand back and let God be God". It occurred to me that as long as I continue to look for solutions, that I continue to get in his way.

Have you ever had a child try to help you cook? You know what you are trying to accomplish and they have their own way of thinking and doing and they just keep getting in the way and in fact, sometimes they downright mess things up, both figuratively and literally. So as a parent, you patiently wait for them to finish, you gently redo that which they messed up and you clean up the mess left behind. Sometimes you may get frustrated and just say "stand back and let the chef be the chef". You get the picture.

God IS God. He never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He has the recipe and truly, it will turn out better if we just stand back and let God be God.

He can move mountains. We only need to ask and believe that He is capable. He feeds the birds, how much more will He take care of His children.

Today I speak to the mountain in my life. And I thank God that it is in the process of being moved. I eagerly await the outcome of His plan. It is tangible and it is good.


Chicke Fitzgerald

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

God's promise

Genesis 9: 12-16 "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and everything living around you and everyone living after you. I'm putting my rainbow in the clouds, a sign of the covenant between me and the Earth. From now on, when I form a cloud over the Earth and the rainbow appears in the cloud, I'll remember my covenant between me and you and everything living, that never again will floodwaters destroy all life. When the rainbow appears in the cloud, I'll see it and remember the eternal covenant between God and everything living, every last living creature on Earth."



In Genesis chapters 4-10 the story begins with Adam and Eve and their children and many many generations leading up to Noah and the story of the flood. The message included in these passages is very simple. Man when left to his own devices could not please God.

In fact, over the course of the many generations leading up to Noah man continually embraced evil and moved further and further away from their Creator. Their thoughts and actions were so totally abhorent to God that He decided to "make a clean sweep" and rid the earth of his creation.

The story of the ark is well known, as is that of the dove that went out when the floods started to subside. My favorite part of this whole story is that of the rainbow and God's promise to never destroy the earth again.

Genesis 8,
20-22 recounts what happened after they got off the ark:

Noah built an altar to
God. He selected clean animals and birds from every species and offered them as burnt offerings on the altar. God smelled the sweet fragrance and thought to himself, "I'll never again curse the ground because of people. I know they have this bent toward evil from an early age, but I'll never again kill off everything living as I've just done. For as long as Earth lasts, planting and harvest, cold and heat, Summer and winter, day and night will never stop."

God's promise to us is one that we can count on. He will never destroy everything on earth again. Note that He didn't promise that we wouldn't attempt to self-destruct or to destroy the earth by our mis-use of His gifts to us.

I am thankful for God's faithfulness to me and to my family and our business. I hold on to the rainbow as a sign of His love and His faith in His creation.

While we are not expected to build altars and sacrifice burnt offerings to Him, in every circumstance we need to be grateful and thank him for his promise. Hold on to the promise of the rainbow today.


Chicke Fitzgerald