Reflections from the Gulf

Verna and I spent a few days on the Gulf Coast after Christmas. Strangely the beach is a great place to be the end of December (at least with no little ones wanting to play in the ocean). The beach was quiet and deserted. A surprising place for solitude where I found some needed space to rest, listen and reflect. And whenever I create the space to listen Father loves to speak.

As we begin 2009 there were a couple of journal entries I thought might encourage you

December 30, 2008

Father as I look over the Gulf this morning I am reminded of the scope and depth of your love for me. You are big enough and your resources vast enough to meet every need in my life. They feel so big at the time. In comparison they're actually quite small. The thought has a calming and comforting effect on my soul. I so want to rest well in the sufficiency of your love and goodness. As I watch the waves gently but consistenly lapping onto the beach I am remided that your provision is like that - gentle but consistent. Too much too fast would overwhelm the capacity of the beach to contain it. So it is with your goodness. Should you provide too much too fast my soul could not contain it. So you are wise to release your goodness to me in gentle but consistent waves.

On another morning while reading Psalm 52 Father gave me a word that captures His desire for me in 2009. David writes, "But I am like an olive tree thriving in the house (presence) of God. I trust in God's unfailing love forever and ever."

The word Father gave for 2009 is "Thrive!"

Sunday December 28, 2008

Father as I move into this next year I do so with a ruthless trust in your direction, provision and blessing. I don't know what what opportunities and obstacles lie ahead in 2009 - but I purpose to embrace each day from a place of faith and peace...not fear and anxiety. My heart's desire is to thrive this year. Thrive as your son in my spiritual journey. Thrive as a husband in how I love and lead Verna. Thrive as a father in how I love and lead Timothy, Jonathan and Elizabeth. Thrive as a pastor in how I love and lead my community at Grace. My invitation is that your work in my life converge so that I experience and express the full measure of your design for my life story this year. Allow me to live and lead from a place of trust, calling, courage and freedom.


As we continue our journey together this next year I invite you to join me. Let's rest in the gentle but consistent goodness of our Father. And let's thrive because we trust him with our lives.

I changed the banner on my blog with the hope it serves as a visual reminder of the vastness of God's presence and provision for us in 2009!

Fighting for Your Heart,

Gary Franklin