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A Willing Heart

A Willing Heart

Mary, Mother of Jesus

“We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.”

–1 Thessalonians 2:4

Mary’s life never robbed Jesus of His glory.

Her mission was to witness the Glory of the Son of God. She was a woman of courage and character. A poor girl in an insignificant town, from a humble family with little expectation her life would be different than most. Then, angel Gabriel came to Mary. (see Luke 1:38)

Why did God choose Mary?

I’ve been studying the Scriptures about Mary the last few days. And with my knowledge of the Leading From Your Strengths characteristic & personality strengths, I think I know WHY God deliberately chose this Golden Retriever type of personality, because of the particular situations she would need to endure in her adventure as the mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Seeking approval

Mary sought approval from the One that matters most. Seeking God’s approval means turning FROM the desire for the applause of others. She went against social and cultural norms. She trusted God would not let her down. As she yielded to the purposes of God in and through her, she was able to anticipate the approval of the One who matters most without fear of public outcry or condemnation.

Mary surrendered to God’s plan

She was able through the power of the Spirit, by CHOOSING to be willing to lose all that defined her,  in order to become who God had CHOSEN her to be. He wants that for all of us.

What can we learn from Mary?

I’m not a scholar, and I’m not Jewish, but, I believe that when Mary, an innocent VIRGIN, courageously told Joseph, her beloved betrothed love of her life, that she was pregnant,  she knew that he KNEW it was not HIS baby she was carrying. The penalty for adulterous betrayal was death by stoning. BOTH their lives actually were in peril in that culture.

She gave her life & reputation to God

When angel Gabriel gave Mary God’s message, Mary answered, “May it be to me as you have said” (See Luke 1).  She had responded with a willing heart, ready to do whatever the Lord asked of her. Praise God for her response, which played a part in the blessing you and I have in Jesus.” (Anchor Devo December 2019)

The angel called her highly favored

He said to her, “Do not be afraid.” Angels aren’t sweet & pretty with flowing robes that flutter into your life to bless you. Rather, they are fierce looking warriors. Why else would their first words (whenever they appear to people) are some variation of FEAR NOT.

So you might think Mary was different than you or me

You might think you could never do what she did, yet I’m pretty certain that you would obey whatever an angel told you YOU to do, too. Her first response was a question, asking how it could be that she would bear the Christ Child, since she was a virgin. (Luke 1:34) And she most certainly had intended to stay that way before her marriage with Joseph. He also told her that her barren Aunt Elizabeth was now “with child”. Her next response was one of surrender and trust.  With a willing heart, accepting the consequences. “I am your servant. May it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38) The angel left her.

Aunt Elizabeth is 6 months along

Mary went to see her aunt Elizabeth. Upon hearing Mary’s greeting, baby John leaped in Elizabeth’s womb. And Elizabeth gave Mary an important affirmation. Any Golden Retriever personality’s indecision or concern would have melted away when Elizabeth said, “Why am I so favored that the mother of my Lord should come to me.” (Luke 1:43) Mary stayed 3 months, until John was about to be born. Golden Retrievers are people people. They are loyal. They are “let’s do this together” people.

Fear

Goldens greatest fear is loss of security and they don’t like change. From others, they want sincere appreciation and harmony. When stressed, Goldens can be indecisive and unenthusiastic, so you can see why God gave her so many clear affirmations. God knew she would need them in all the future trials and testings she would endure.

So, as each affirmation came,

“Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)

  • The Angel Gabriel’s visitation to Mary to tell her of God’s plan and to tell her not to fear
  • The Angel also spoke to Joseph to tell him that Mary was still a virgin and that he also was chosen to marry Mary and to care for her and Jesus
  • The Shepherds in the stable immediately after His birth
  • Both Simeon and Anna affirmed who He was, when Jesus was taken to the temple for his purification
  • The Wise Men when he was a bit older and in the house with his parents

Courage

She had been told that she was the woman with whom God entrusted His Son. Her heart had responded with praise and joyous song (see the Magnificat in Luke 2).

As we think about her courage, let’s think about the the time she rebuked her 12 year old son (JESUS) for staying behind in the temple. Think about the wedding in Cana where adult JESUS did his first (and non-public) miracle. She had courageously pressed Him to make water into wine. Think of the time that Mary took her other children to try to get JESUS to come home because there was so much demand on Him. She was concerned about him. Because she truly cared about the people in her sphere of influence. Let’s look at some general Golden Retriever characteristics and see if they fit Mary’s personality characteristics based on what we know from Scripture about this amazing woman:

  • Patient & Willing
  • Caring & Thoughtful
  • Steadiness
  • People person
  • Let’s do this together
  • Loyal & Nurturing
  • Tolerant
  • Slower Starting
  • Quiet & Reserved
  • Other-centered

Golden Retriever personality types deal in the PRESENT.

Their focus is on what is happening right now in front of them. You can definitely see that in Mary. When someone is hurting and needing a friend, or water made into wine at a wedding, the Golden Retriever is joyfully there! They have a caring heart and listen carefully and attentively to others (including angels 🙂 ). They are always loyal and faithful to friends and family. However, if there is tension, they want to withdraw.

Mary’s willing heart

Mary was a person of discipleship, with a willing heart, and great faith. The first true follower of Jesus. Her calling was great joy in motherhood, but required tremendous suffering. The worst was watching her son on the Cross in such unspeakable agony–knowing He had come to do just that. For you. For me. And for Mary. She knew how costly her submission would be, yet she CHOSE to SUBMIT to GOD’S plan. For that, we can ALL be grateful!

God bless you bunches!

Until Next Time,

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

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


Lord of the Loaves and Fishes

Lord of the Loaves and Fishes

The Lord of the Loaves and Fishes meets the needs of His children.

And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 in the New Testament of the Bible)

What’s your life look like right now?
Are you facing one problem after another? Feeling unfulfilled in your life’s work? In your family life? In your church life? Inside your own skin? Does it seem like something is missing?

Maybe something is missing. Maybe you are looking in the wrong places.

Are new needs arising?
Are you even thinking “And now there is Christmas with additional financial needs and relationship needs”? Do you feel pulled in all directions and do you feel like you simply cannot make ends meet?

What if it is true that you simply can’t make ends meet on your own?

And…what if there is a better plan?
What if you decide to talk it over with the Lord of the Loaves and Fishes? What if you truly and honestly seek HIS plan for your life? What if you ask HIM for help?

When we daily/moment-by-moment consciously and deliberately look to God for help, (“Give us this day your daily bread.” Matthew 6:11), we are acknowledging our own inability to meet our own needs. We are looking to Him as the Lord of the Loaves and Fishes.

How can we bless the Lord?
It blesses Him to know that we realize that He is the Source for all that we need. And He loves blessing His kids. (Of course, sometimes HIS idea of blessing is not what we were thinking would be a blessing, but it’s also true that: Father knows best!)

The foundational principle of my business:
There are true stories in the Bible that teach us about God multiplying what is offered up to Him. I believe that so strongly, that it’s actually the very foundational principle that my whole coaching business is based on.  loavesandfishescoaching.com  You will notice that theme in many of my blog posts as well.  Joyfully, I can testify that the Lord has empowered my clients to experience and then also reflect that foundational principle, as they travel the coaching and mentor/coaching journey. I am truly blessed by each uniquely individual  person that God sends my way.

Acknowledging God as provider
The very first step that Jesus took when he fed the hungry multitudes in the middle of nowhere, was to acknowledge that God Almighty is the One True God. He worshiped God the Father. He knew the Source of the provision of the needs of the people that were hungry. And–in response–God provided more than enough for all.

God responds
Over and over again in my own life, I have seen God multiply the meager offering I have to give. Whether it be time, money, or possessions. Jesus is the Lord of the Loaves and Fishes, and He’s with you in the boat on the rough sea of life. He’s promised to supply all your needs. Yes! He PROMISED! And He keeps His word. He can be trusted. The real question is: Do YOU Trust HIM to supply those needs?

The first step after giving
We need to ASK. To ask. To seek. To knock. We have to acknowledge the Source. He will do it even when we don’t see how it is possible. In fact, the Lord of the Loaves and Fishes…the Lord of the stormy seas…He is the Lord that loves the word IMPOSSIBLE!

I’d love to hear your stories of how God has met you at your point of need. What Loaves and Fishes has He supplied just when you needed them? Share your story. We all want to hear from you!

Merry Christmas!

The season of GIVING! Don’t let it end in January!

God bless you bunches!
Awaiting His shout,
Pam Taylor


CHRISTMAS: BELIEVE and RECEIVE

Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Lying in a Manger
Holidays can be delightful or they can be the worst time ever. They can be lonely or overwhelmingly busy. They can be a time of illness or health.

All of that is true, but mostly, Christmas being “good” rather than “bad” in your experience, depends on your relationship with the One we are celebrating. His birth (Christmas), life, death on the cross, resurrection and ascension back to Heaven.

AND the best part of it all, is that He is coming again for YOU. For Me. IF you have believed and received the Gift of Salvations He offers. There is ONLY ONE WAY to the Savior. ONE WAY to Heaven. ONE WAY to salvation. JESUS is that ONE WAY. He offers you salvation through believing and receiving that He is the One way for you to be His Child. Without Easter, Christmas doesn’t make any sense.

  • Receive the GIFT offered
  • Receive the GIFT of salvation
  • Receive the GIFT of eternal life

ACCEPT that the price has already been paid

  • Receive the GIFT that cannot be earned
  • Receive the GIFT that has already been paid for
  • Receive the GIFT that YOU cannot earn

ACCEPT that you cannot earn it
TRUST that it is finished
BELIEVE that nothing more is required

Believe that the work of Jesus sacrificed on the Cross made a way where there was no other way.  It is because Adam and Eve did not trust God but believed satan instead. That is why Jesus BECAME the sacrificial Lamb to make atonement for sin.

The work is done. PLEASE believe and receive the GIFT of eternal life that is offered to you. Don’t delay. This is serious! You never know what a day can bring.

To summarize:

  • Believe
  • Receive
  • Embrace the GIFT
  • Rest in Him
  • Walk out of the penalty of the shadow of death into His glorious light
  • Live like you believe you have been saved, and are saved for eternity
  • Each day, let your heart’s attitude be one of gratitude to the Lord for ALL His benefits

Live at peace with great joy. It is finished. You are His and He is yours. Forever and ever. Amen.

Please share…

Until Next Time,

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

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