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September 11: Perhaps Today…

Man removing shoes

The date September 11 (9/11) is on the mind of many this month. The 20th anniversary brings memories flooding back. Most who were alive during that day, can even tell you where they were when they first realized what was happening.

This will be short today.

When you read the title above. what did you think? My thoughts are:

  • Don’t get too comfortable here
  • This world is not your home
  • It’s a “transitional” place
  • Jesus is coming again
  • PERHAPS TODAY

How then shall you live?

Are you fearful? Are you hopeful? Do you need someone to talk to–to process what is rumbling around in your head? You don’t have to figure it all out alone. Christian Life Coaching is a pathway to grow in your faith and relationships.  But, first things first…

“Jesus said, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”

John 14:6 (NIV)

Jesus is the Way…

Jesus is the ONLY Way, the ONLY Truth, the ONLY way to ETERNAL LIFE. How are you with Him? Are you in a vital relationship with Jesus? If not, why not?

Don’t miss out. Don’t wait another day to develop a deep, abiding vital relationship with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Let’s talk…

My Father For Children: Praising God Through the Alphabet

With an easy-to-follow, alphabetical format, your child will discover how God cares for them in this new book from Pamela A. Taylor.

This interactive acrostic devotional journal is designed to draw your child into the extremely personal and abundant love of Jesus.

My Father For Children: Praising God Through the Alphabet

Let's Connect!Until next time,
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com


Distractions vs Focus

Man on phone and computer
Life is full of distractions and fears, but if we fix our minds—our thoughts—on Jesus, life is so much more rewarding and do-able.

Turn our eyes on Him

There’s a song that speaks of turning our eyes and looking intently at Jesus, rather than focusing on the distractions that are causing fear. To focus on Him, rather than the things of earth that will grow strangely dim because of focusing on His Glory and Grace.

Encounter with God devotional

”Jesus is better than who or what might compete with Him. Besides Him, all else pales into insignificance. It is He who will offer a secure hope.” Nothing or no one else can promise that. Only Jesus.

Worship Leader, Sean Feucht

When speaking about the Lord’s Prayer, he said, “Let’s do HERE what they are doing in Heaven. WORSHIP!”

There was something about the WAY Sean said that, that it really impacted me. WORSHIP is key. And it so easy to neglect in practice.

He also said, “I am as filthy rags. Without Him, I don’t DESERVE anything. HIS BLOOD makes us worthy.”

Nothing about ourselves makes us worthy

Knowing what we know, how can we do anything but confidently follow Him with devotion? Do you ever find yourself acting more like a human DOING rather than a human BEING? The pressures of life makes it hard to focus on Jesus. He just wants to BE WITH you and me. So…

What if we set an alarm for times during the day to purpose to think about Him? To draw us away from distractions. Such a small thing, yet it can bring amazing changes in the way we view life. He is worthy!

This is how we fight our battles

Remember the story of the 12 spies? They went to spy out the land and 10 of them came back with a bad report. I don’t want to be like those 10 grumbling, fearful naysayers. I want to be like the 2 who saw Victorious God as BIGGER than any giants or problems ahead. For the ten, life was about “me and the scary problems”..But for the other two, their life was about “me and the problems PLUS GOD!” The two welcomed God into the midst of the problems and shared a good report–that God is BIGGER than anything they might fear.

”For my determined purpose is that I may know Him That I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person, more strongly and more clearly!”

Philippians 3:10 (Amplified)

Problems begin to fade when we focus on Him. He will never leave us alone. Never ever!

God Loves Aardvarks: And God Loves Me

"Thank you, God, that you love all the animals and bugs. You love funny looking aardvarks and you love me."

Thankfulness through the alphabet. That's what this fun book will teach the kids in your life.

God Loves Aardvarks and God Loves Me

Let's Connect!Until next time,
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com


Hearts Don’t Need Words to Communicate

Group of Friends

A car load of women. Lessons learned.

Fresh out of High School and driving a car load of women the 12 miles to the next town for work each day, I was a sponge, soaking up all the wisdom those women offered in our daily conversations back and forth to work. They were wise and also fun. And free with advice and life lessons.

Not speaking

One memory is deeply imbedded in my mind. Margaret (not her real name) was talking about a car ride she and her husband had taken the day before—not speaking to each other the entire time. Think of it—neither of them saying a word. What would you have thought? My thoughts were how awful that they were mad with each other, or how boring it would be. Everything I thought was negative.

Stunning

Yet, she was smiling and said it was comforting and comfortable. They had been married a long time. They knew each other so well, they had no need to speak. Say what??? Seriously?? That sounded rude to me. She meant it though.

What about our relationship with God?

And now, with the memory of my car pooling days of my youth, I am reminded of how we are to enjoy the company of God in much the same way. We don’t need to always be talking and asking for stuff. We tend to waiver back and forth between being a human BEING and being a human DOING. He loves just being with you and me. In our very LOUD world, it can be difficult to wrap our minds around this.

In The Pleasure of His Company book

Dutch Sheets shares: “Take some time to stare at Papa God. I promise you He’ll gaze back, straight in the eye.

Words aren’t needed. I’ve spent hours conversing with God without saying a word. Hearts don’t need words to communicate; they just need to be together.”

“Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10 (Amplified Bible)

Shut off your computer or other device and go and just SIT AWHILE with your CREATOR. He longs to be WITH you!

God Loves Aardvarks: And God Loves Me

"Thank you, God, that you love all the animals and bugs. You love funny looking aardvarks and you love me."

Thankfulness through the alphabet. That's what this fun book will teach the kids in your life.

God Loves Aardvarks and God Loves Me

Let's Connect!Until next time,
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com


Where Is My Neighborhood?

Neighborhood
A few weeks ago, God impressed on me that I was not obeying His command to love my neighbor as He intended. I have been asking Him for clarification. Where is my neighborhood and who is my neighbor? Specifically, WHERE and WHO? Did I need to do something differently? I wasn’t feeling condemned by God. Rather, I felt joy that He was taking me into a deeper understanding what it means to be a Follower of Jesus Christ. Here’s some of what I have been processing…

Who IS my neighbor?

“…When the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power to testify about me with great effect, to the people in Jerusalem” [where they were residing…in their own back yard] “throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth, about my death and resurrection.”

Acts 1:8 (TLB)

They simply did not understand. Things were not turning out as they thought or hoped for. What was Jesus talking about and what were they supposed to do now? And what does that verse have to do with my new “assignment” from God? (To love my neighbor) Wasn’t I already doing that? As a mentor life coach, I love encouraging friends and clients. I support ministries and I write blogs and books to encourage people to love God and have a relationship with Him. What was I missing? What specifically am I not understanding?

Now what? Their friend was gone

:12, 13 “…They were at the Mount of Olives, so now they walked the 1/2 mile back to Jerusalem and held a prayer meeting in the upstairs room of the house where they were staying. This prayer meeting went on for several days…about 120 people were present…”

They waited a long time

Acts 2:1 “Seven weeks had gone by since Jesus’ death and resurrection and the day of Pentecost had now arrived.”

What happened?

The Apostles were still in Jerusalem when the Holy Spirit descended on the group in that room. They had been waiting seven weeks. Confused. Their Best Friend had left them. And now, in that room, the Holy Spirit arrived. And…at last, they KNEW what Jesus had been trying to tell them. He HAD to leave them so that each of them could receive for themselves the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT residing in them.

But now what?

The people from many nations ran to the house to see what was causing the commotion in that upper room. And the people from those other nations heard these people (the disciples and apostles) from Galilee speaking in their own language “…about the mighty miracles of God.” (v. 11 TLB)

The sentiment of that day was:

Can anything good come from Galilee? And yet, MUCH good was coming from those in the upper room who had prayed and waited for direction. For the Holy Spirit. And each person heard the message in their own native tongue.

(Peter speaking) :

:18, 19 “ Each of you must turn from sin, return to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ or the forgiveness of your sins, then you also shall receive this gift, the Holy Spirit: For Christ promised Him to each of you who has been called by the Lord our God, and to your children, and even to distant lands.”

Where is my neighborhood?

So, what I am learning anew is my current “neighborhood” is the apartment building where I live.

My profession:

I am a writer…a published author. I write books, blog posts, and newsletters. That takes quiet, solitude, concentration, and setting myself aside to think and to study and to write. But, like most things, I had taken it too far. I was isolating and would get frustrated if my solitude was interrupted.

God changed my priorities

He lovingly convicted me that my immediate neighborhood is a blessing from God to me. Each is a gift. I am grateful for each of my neighbors. May I continually seek ways to encourage and bless each one.

I’m sure this is just the beginning of God changing my mindset. But this part so far has been a joy!

“…the direction of Divine living is a deliberate surrender of our own point of view in order to learn Jesus Christ’s point of view and seeing that men and women are nourished in the knowledge of Jesus. The only way that can be done is by being loyal to Jesus myself.”

Oswald Chambers

God Loves Aardvarks: And God Loves Me

"Thank you, God, that you love all the animals and bugs. You love funny looking aardvarks and you love me."

Thankfulness through the alphabet. That's what this fun book will teach the kids in your life.

God Loves Aardvarks and God Loves Me

Let's Connect!Until next time,
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com


Law vs Grace

Stairway

Two Husbands

I once heard a story that helped me understand the difference between OT law and NT grace. Here it is…

There once was a woman married to a harsh task master of a husband. He made her a long list of what he expected her to accomplish. She found it impossible to complete and always felt lacking and a bit frightened of his reaction. She never felt good enough. She daily felt like a failure. She had no relationship with him. And, she was very afraid of him.

One day, her husband died and she put the list away in a drawer and forgot all about it.

She later met another man. He was a wonderful, kind, thoughtful, soft-spoken, loving man. She married him. They had a wonderful relationship, based on mutual respect.

As she was cleaning out that old desk one day, she found the list and when she read it—much to her surprise—she was automatically doing all the things on the list for her current husband. Without even trying. It was so easy to bless and serve him.

Comparison

That was an illustration I heard many years ago to compare the inability to keep the Old Testament laws. Always attempting to please & appease God. It was never enough. There were so many rules!!!

THEN, along came Jesus, who became our sin and died in our place, opening the gates of Heaven to all who choose to believe and accept the marvelous gift of forgiveness God offers us through His Son, Jesus. He is wonderful! We no longer fear we are not good enough and we can choose to live in the joy and pleasure of His company NOW, under grace. The Lamb of God, Jesus the Christ, our Savior,

“God of unconquerable Love, each day you surround me with Your unfailing Love. Today, I am going to remember that!”

Mary Ann Radmacher

It’s a good thing to give thanks to the Lord for His boundless Love!

God Loves Aardvarks: And God Loves Me

"Thank you, God, that you love all the animals and bugs. You love funny looking aardvarks and you love me."

Thankfulness through the alphabet. That's what this fun book will teach the kids in your life.

God Loves Aardvarks and God Loves Me

Let's Connect!Until next time,
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com


What Do a Fleece And a Parking Space Have In Common?

Full Parkng Lot

Parking spaces

New Christians pray for parking spaces close to the door, and almost always, God gives it to them. Why?

Gideon’s Fleece

These new Christians, like Gideon in his new walk with God, are also asking for confirmation and needing ADDED confirmation through the “fleece test”. God patiently and kindly gave him affirmation, as He gives it to them.

Faith walk

“There are degrees of faith. At one stage of the Christian experience, we cannot believe unless we have some sign or great manifestation of feeling. Like Gideon, we feel our fleece; if wet, we are willing to trust God. This may be true faith, yet imperfect. It always looks for feeling or some token besides the Word of God.” – G. H. P. –From Streams in the Desert devotional, p. 229-230)

3 Phases of faith

  1. Believes when there are favorable conditions.
  2. Believes when there is the absence of feeling.
  3. Believes God and His Word when circumstances, emotions, appearances, people, human reason all urge to the contrary.

Back to the parking space analogy

A new Christian always gets the parking space near the door when she/he prays.

A mature Christian prays for a space near the door and God says, “NO, you need the exercise. I love you too much to grant your request.”

Which one are you?

God Loves Aardvarks: And God Loves Me

"Thank you, God, that you love all the animals and bugs. You love funny looking aardvarks and you love me."

Thankfulness through the alphabet. That's what this fun book will teach the kids in your life.

God Loves Aardvarks and God Loves Me

Let's Connect!Until next time,
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com


Life Is Like an Elevator

Elevator Display

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

I Thessalonians 5:11

This world is not our home. We are merely passing through. It is a journey.To encourage one another is to give courage where it is needed. The Christian life requires moral courage. That’s where we come in. Encouragement can come through prayer or in speaking the truth in love, and through blessing others with words and deeds.

Life is like an elevator

When you are in an elevator and another person gets on, you say, “What floor?” If they tell you “2”, you know they want to get off on the 2nd floor. You know their destination and you know how they are going to get there. What if you don’t pay attention or you think they should get off on 4 (the 4th floor), so you push 4? You will have done them a dis-service. You are not the elevator operator. You merely pushed the buttons. But you have affected their lives one way or the other. Either for good or not.

Life is like a spiritual elevator

The same thing happens when you try to push someone to a level in their spiritual life before they are ready. They may do all the right things but their heart is not ready and they fall down. They will get discouraged. Some quit and fall away. Only the Lord knows when they are ready for the next “level” of their walk with Him.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

Ephesians 4:29

What are we to do?

  • Discernment and encouragement are needed
  • Encourage—give courage—to the fainthearted in each step they take toward maturity
  • Look for ways to bless those who are floundering
  • Discern what they are saying BEHIND the actual words
  • Pray for them and with them
  • TRUST that GOD is guiding them. YOUR job is to encourage and to bless and walk alongside with your “atta boys” ringing in their ears

GOD is the ELEVATOR OPERATOR

You are merely along for the ride in each person’s journey to their DESTINATION. TRUST them to take the right floor. GOD will take them there. Sometimes we just need to get out of the way.

Until next time…

God Loves Aardvarks: And God Loves Me

"Thank you, God, that you love all the animals and bugs. You love funny looking aardvarks and you love me."

Thankfulness through the alphabet. That's what this fun book will teach the kids in your life.

God Loves Aardvarks and God Loves Me

Let's Connect!Until next time,
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com

Filed under: Christian Life Coaching,Strengths Mentor Coach — Tags: , — Pam Taylor @ 7:00 am

The Secret

Door into a Garden

I have been set aside these last few weeks. I thought I’d share with you a bit of what God has been impressing on me.

Elisabeth Elliot

“The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.”

Change for change sake is not the answer. The secret is believing. Trusting that God means what He says. He is with us and within us always.

John Piper

”God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”

God created our hearts with a thirst that can only be satisfied in Him.

Psalm 63:1

“O God, Thou art my God. I shall seek Thee earnestly. My soul thirsts for Thee. My flesh yearns for Thee, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

The Psalmist reminds us that our entire being literally longs for God and no matter what else we seek to fill that void, that God-sized vacuum in each of us can only be satisfied when He is truly our first love. When we earnestly seek Him above all others.

Hudson Taylor describes “The Secret”

“It is the exchanged life…. No longer I…” No thought of imitating Christ. Rather, “It was in the blessed reality: ‘Christ liveth in me’…

“No longer bondage, but liberty. Instead of failure, quiet victories within; instead of fear and weakness, a restful sense of sufficiency in ANOTHER.

Encouragement

I Thessalonians 5:24

“Faithful is He who calls you and He also will bring it to pass.” He promises! He keeps His promises.

1 Thessalonians 5:28

”The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”

Until next time…

God Loves Aardvarks: And God Loves Me

"Thank you, God, that you love all the animals and bugs. You love funny looking aardvarks and you love me."

Thankfulness through the alphabet. That's what this fun book will teach the kids in your life.

God Loves Aardvarks and God Loves Me

Let's Connect!Until next time,
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com


Wedding Plans and Alpha Moms. Finding Joy in the Journey.

Wedding party tug of war

Most couples have expectations that after the engagement, there comes the blissful and effortless planning of a wedding celebration. However, sometimes, one or more Alpha Moms vie against the Alpha Bride for the power to plan.

Let’s be fair. Seldom does the Alpha person see the relational fractures they are causing. What could be some of the possible reasons this is happening?

Alpha Manifestations

  1. The money rules. Whoever pays the most thinks (and rightly so) that they should have a greater input … but unfortunately that often translates into the “Right to Rule” all things attitude.
  2. Power struggles. “Where, what, who, when” decisions become nightmares as formerly sane people try to be heard. It appears that they feel that their way is the only reasonable (translated: correct) decision.
  3. Focus on tasks/decisions. It is easy to forget to be kind when so many tasks and decisions are piling up.
  4. Past experiences. Perhaps their own Mom was a Wedding Alpha Mom and they don’t know there is another option.

Is there an alternative? Is this all inevitable? Does the best Alpha win?

Advantages in the Christian Wedding

We can choose to keep God in the center…to pray first, pray during, and pray after each decision, each meeting, and each event.

  1. The wisdom of the Word of God is the Rock to stand on. Reading the New Testament book of Philippians is a good place to start each day. It helps to keep our focus on the Joy in the Lord…to keep our thoughts of Him front and center.
  2. It helps to keep reminding ourselves that God is on our side. He wants us to ask for His help. He desires the wedding plans to be as blissful as the joy of the engagement was. Jesus’ first recorded miracle was at a wedding feast with his mother. He understands.
  3. A priority must be in keeping our guard up against the evil one that desires to destroy the good testimony that can come from a Christian wedding done well.
  4. We can choose to have an “accountability partner” to help us keep focused on what is eternal.

It is also important to remember that just because we are Christians, we are not immune to the temptations brought on by wanting everything to be just right. With all the busyness, it is easy to forget we are sinners needing God’s mercy, guidance, wisdom, and grace.

In Luke 18:9-14

The Alpha church leader – the one that knew and taught the Scripture – the one that spent most of his days in a religious lifestyle (and should have known better) tried to convince God of his “Alpha-ness” (translated: worthiness).

In the story, we also see the contrast of the lowly, despised man – feeling his sinfulness (translated: UNworthiness). He is begging God for mercy.

The question is

In any of life’s circumstances – do we want to be the Alpha person or the one asking for the Lord’s mercy and guidance…and receiving it because God sees our heart. Being an Alpha person is a hard habit to break. But the first step is awareness that it’s not worth the ultimate price of being out of God’s favor.

Perspective

It helps to keep the perspective that it is truly only one day. Future relationships can be strained when we insist that the Alpha way is the right way…controlling things with either attitude, tears, or outbursts of anger. Whether you are the bride, the groom, the mother, the father, a relative, or friend, it simply is not worth it in the long run. How much better to seek to be a blessing in the planning of a wedding.

Decisions

Yes, decisions have to be made and deadlines have to be met. And yielding is difficult, but done with eyes wide open and on the Lord, it can be the difference between being a Kingdom Person rather than a Church Person. Our ways are earthly. His ways are Heavenly.

Luke 18:14 “I tell you that this man {the UNworthy one…the one who knew that he was a sinner}, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled; and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

For His glory!

If you are now or soon to be involved in the planning of a wedding, I pray for God to bless your wedding plans, your wedding, and all the rest of your days on earth. I’d love to help you through the process. Let’s talk…

My Father: Experiencing God's Love A-Z

Pamela Taylor invites you to join her in this interactive acrostic devotional journal designed to draw you into the extremely personal and abundant love God has waiting for you. Experience the "Just ask..." of His love for you!

My Father: Experiencing God's Love from A-Z by Pamela A. Taylor

Let's Connect!Until next time,
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com


Coping with Chronic Migraines with Heather Hart

In the very midst of pain, in the midst of a migraine, God called Heather to record a masterpiece.

Heather is my author assistant and she has been struggling with a chronic migraine for four years. She’s on the Joni & Friends podcast today sharing some of her story.

She says, “I’m not some Christian superhero, but God is good and all we can do is lean into him.”

Tune in below to hear more:

You can grab your copy of Heather’s book, “Clinging to Jesus” on Amazon.


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