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Murmurming or Gratefulness?

Today I Am Grateful Book
Which will we choose? Murmuring or gratefulness? Can we actually learn to overcome grumbling? There are certainly lots of challenges to capture our attention and direct it toward the negative aspects of life.

Job (of the Old Testament book named after him) had friends that were miserable comforters. He lost all but his wife and yet he did not curse God and die as his wife suggested. Job had lots of questions. He didn’t know that he had been chosen to be an object lesson to satan to prove how authentic Job’s faith in God was.

It is possible to recognize a true follower of God by observing their lives. Did Job grieve over loss? It hurt him as deeply as it hurts one who has not yet experienced the transforming light of God. The difference is, those with a relationship with God have hope…even if they don’t understand. They trust that God is The Lord God Almighty. Maker of Heaven and earth. Creator of all that exists. And much, much wiser than our own limited earth-bound understanding.

Those with a relationship with Father God know that whatever trials…whatever painful ordeal…whatever suffering…whether it is character-building or whether it is to show the world how a Christian reacts to crisis, they continue to follow…maybe with sadness, and a sense of loss, but also with hope. Maybe with confusion, but also with trust in the God of the Bigger Picture. We earthlings see through earth-bound eyes. God knows how it all fits together for the Bigger Picture. He sees through the lens of Eternity.

Murmuring or Gratefulness?

Which will you choose? I keep a daily Ebenezer journal. Ebenezer is an old word that means, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” No requests. No murmurings. Only gratefulness. Through this daily evening written record, I see major interventions of God in my life. I begin to see a trend of God being involved in my life. My dreams are sweeter and I wake more refreshed and at peace. I begin to actually look forward to each new day as I look expectantly for God to show up. I am actually recording His involvement in my day-to-day life.

Try it…and then let me know how it changes your outlook on life.

Maranatha!
Come Lord Jesus!

God bless you bunches!

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


Don’t Look Back

Farmer plowing with ox
Jesus said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62 NIV)

Yesterday is gone.

You will never have a better yesterday. What is done is done! So, if you look back to your yesterdays, the farrow in front of you (the row) will be crooked. It will not be a fit place to sow seeds. The past is past. Moses looked at his past and felt inadequate. And he even reminded God that he was a nobody, so why would God send him out to do anything. But God reminded Moses what He also reminds us: It doesn’t matter who I am. It doesn’t matter who you are. It only matters who GOD is.

Don’t look at the things you left behind. Go forward into today. Knowing that God will be with you. He promises:

“I will be with you.” (Exodus 3:11)

Tomorrow is not here yet

Focus on today. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Because God says: “Don’t boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” (Proverbs 27:1) My Dad used to say: Don’t borrow trouble. Today has enough trouble of its own.

Looking forward

Mentor Coaching is different from Counseling. Coaching is about being forward looking. We look at the past to learn from it, to see if there is something we need to confess, or pay restitution for, but not to stay there in blame, regret, or remorse. Then, when we decide to follow Jesus, we put our hand to the plow…and we do not look at the things we left behind in regret or “what ifs” of wishing things had been different. We rejoice at what is ahead of us. Of possibilities. Of potential in the “seeds” we will plant, with the Lord as our constant Companion.

A Sneak Peak into My Personal Journal

I’m going to do something I haven’t done before. I’m going to give you a peak into my journal and share a bit of what God showed me yesterday morning as I ruminated on this Scripture lesson from Jesus. About not looking back. About putting my hand to the plow…

“While I cried out to You, this morning about “evil” winning – You reminded me that evil has NOT had the victory because I have “put my hand to the plow.” Praise the Lord I STILL follow You, wherever You have led me, Lord. It’s been hard, but You have never forsaken me. NEVER EVER. And You have not let my hands grow limp to fall from the plow. I am still PLOWING A STRAIGHT FARROW (row) because YOU have held my hands onto the plow and kept my face forward.

…When a farmer looks back, the row gets crooked. My “row” (my mission) is to follow you. I remember the song, “I have decided to follow Jesus. (3x) No turning back (2x). Amen. Thank you, Lord.”

God’s reminders

The last two days, God has often reminded me of this lesson. So I decided perhaps He wanted me to share it with you. It felt like SOMEONE besides me needed to hear this today.

Prayer:

Father, Thank You for Your persistent love and promptings to follow You behind the plow, facing forward. Please bless and minister to whoever reads this, Lord. Thank you God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. For Your mercy, protection, provision, wisdom, and for Your continuous reminders that whenever we have a problem we can turn to You. We will thank You for the “crop” that will grow out of the seeds that are planted because You do and will remind us to hold our hands to the plow and not look back. Maranatha. Come Lord Jesus.

Philippians 3:10 (Amplified)

“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.)”

God bless you bunches! I would love to hear from you!

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Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
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How to Conquer Anxiety and Fear

A woman sitting on the floor

“GOD met me more than halfway, He freed me from my anxious fears.” –Psalm 34:4 (The Message)

Is that true for you? It CAN be…Let’s talk a bit about that…

Billy Graham speaks clearly how to conquer fear, anxiety, tension, and worry.

“Mankind has always been beset by worry, and the pressures of modern life have aggravated the problem…Many of you are filled with a thousand anxieties. Bring them to Jesus Christ by faith…”

He continues: “I am learning in my own life, day by day, to keep my mind centered on Christ; the worries and anxieties and concerns of the world pass, and nothing but ‘perfect peace’ is left in the human heart.”

Billy Graham reminds us, “Memorizing is most important. Thinking God’s thoughts will take the place of worried, anxious concerns.”
The Christian Workers’ Handbook

“The Quality of Fear” by David Brooks (New York Times – 10/20/2014)

“Fear, of course, breeds fear. Fear is a fog that alters perception and clouds thought.”…”you wind up with an emotional spiral that develops its own momentum.”

A Fear-Busting Fog-Clearing Promise of God

“Know this well, then. Take it to heart right now: God is in Heaven above; God is on Earth below. He’s the only God there is. Obediently live by His rules and commands which I’m giving you today so that you’ll live well and your children after you…” –Deuteronomy 4 (The Message)

Here’s a Plan for Conquering Fear

  1. First pray to try to discover the source of your fear
  2. Set aside special time for Bible study for wisdom & prayer for insight. Do a word search to find fresh verses to “chew on”
  3. Write down and memorize Scriptures that pertain to your concern/fear. Add verses of praise/thanksgiving
  4. When anxious or afraid, stop to remember and meditate on God’s promises. Carry them with you in your pocket or purse.
  5. Serve others (it gets your mind off yourself and your fears)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV – emphasis mine)

“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” –I Peter 5:7 (KJV)

I’ve shared some “ammunition” to fight fear. To choose God. To choose faith. To choose trust in God’s tender loving care for His children.

What will you decide to focus on?

(As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.) The Lord God tells us that whatever we focus on will grow.

So, dear ones, it is time to choose: Will you follow God or will you allow fear to snuff out your peace?

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” –Isaiah 41:10 (KJV)

Know this: God can be trusted. He’s GOT this…WHATEVER “this” is for you. We are all different…

“God is the Blessed Controller of all things.” –I Timothy 6:15 (Phillips New Testament)

Beloved, God absolutely can be trusted. Even when things don’t make sense. Especially when things don’t make sense! He is a GOOD FATHER. He watches after His children.

The question is: ARE you one of His children? It is a conscious choice we must each individually make.

If you are not sure if you are His child,

It is time to get that settled. I’d love to talk with you, to help you understand just what that means to be in the family of God. Send an email through the contact form on the website, to set up an appointment. I will respond as soon as possible and we can compare calendars to set up a time to talk. (I know times are tough for many of us. So, I wanted you to know there is no charge for the inquiry call.)

Questions? Just ask…

Or…please leave a comment. It matters! YOU matter!

Until next time…

God bless you bunches!

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


Is This The Removal of a Nation’s Hedge of Protection?

Castle Surrounded by Hedge
What do you do in the midst of a world-wide pandemic? How does one cope? Should we hope or despair? Is it more than just an illness or is this a message? What could that message be? And why?

The 7:14 Challenge

I accepted a challenge to set the timer on my phone for 7:14 as an encouragement to pray the 2 Chronicles 7:14 Scripture over our nation. Our leaders need wisdom. And the citizens need peace and wisdom. Will you join me in the challenge? Every day. Either once or twice/day.

Exactly what is that Scripture telling us to think and do?

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

II Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

  • First, it is conditional. IF we do our part.
  • Who will God hear? It is an exhortation from God to His people. Not to everyone. Just those called by His Name.
  • We are to humble ourselves. To ask God to show us about what we are doing or saying that is displeasing to Him.
  • THEN we are to pray for the purpose of seeking His face. To truly seek HIM. Because we love Him. Not stuff or blessings. But Him.
  • AND we are to be specific what we are doing that is against His will. “Wicked ways” are those that are Unholy. Ungodly. Selfish. Immoral.
  • THEN, and only then does God promise to hear from Heaven and forgive our sins..the “wicked ways” we have confessed and turned away from.
  • THEN, and only then will He heal our land…when His people follow the plan.
  • And then, and only then will He forgive the collective sin of that nation.

And then we are in the position to receive our assignment: we are to share everywhere…the Gospel message.There is forgiveness for sin. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf. The GOOD NEWS! Jesus is ALIVE! And coming again!

“He said to them, ‘Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that REPENTANCE and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.’”

Luke 24:47

Have we been taking God’s protective hedge for granted?

I hear the 2 Chronicles 7:14 scripture quoted often. And often, the phrase “And turn from their wicked ways”is  left out. (That is selective praying.)

“You can’t solve a problem by dealing with the symptoms…its manifestations. You have to deal with the cause behind it.”
– Jonathan Cahn

Let’s now take a bit of a different direction…

Extraordinary! Stunning! Mind Blowing!

Those are words on the cover of the New York Times Best Seller
The Harbinger (My copy says: Over 1,000,000 copies sold … and that was 7 years ago). WOW!

“EVERY POLITICIAN, EVERY LEADER, AND EVERY PERSON IN THE UNITED STATES should not only read this book but also understand the divine implications it contains. Jonathan Cahn’s book, The Harbinger, is far more than a prophetic warning to the United States; it is an unveiling of the ways of God. Cahn carefully unfolds how God renders His judgment of a nation in perfect balance with His mercy. Those who read it will be captivated by the narrative, convicted by how blind we are to God’s ways and in awe of how thorough God is in His warnings.

John Paul Jackson

Jonathan Cahn says

“Ten years after removing prayer and Scripture from its public schools, the nation legalized the killing of its unborn. The blood of the innocent now stained its collective hands. Israel had sacrificed thousands on the altars of Baal and Molech. But by the dawn of the twenty-first century, America had sacrificed millions. For its thousands, judgment came upon Israel. What then of America?”
– p. 22

Nine Harbingers

“Each was a sign for ancient Israel. Each was a warning of judgment…of their end…the Nine Harbingers of judgment…Each one containing a prophetic message.” – p. 23

What application can we make about God’s warnings and blessings concerning what we are experiencing?

The Breach

“America was the most blessed nation on earth, its blessings shielded by a powerful hedge of national protection. As its founders had foretold, if the nation followed the ways of God, it would be blessed not only with prosperity and power but also with peace and security. But if America turned away from God, its protection would be removed!” – p. 29

God desires to bless us, BUT there is the pesky word “if” which speaks of OUR responsibility if we want to REMAIN in the place of His blessings. WE are the ones that moved away from what God intends.

Think 9/11

“On September 11, 2001, the walls of America’s national security were breached…The most powerful nation on earth and the most sophisticated defense system ever built by man…The wall of defense…breached.” … “Then came the mistake. Then came the repeating of the ancient mistake. America responded to the calamity as if it were only a matter of security and defense…and nothing more. It would strengthen its national defenses and fortify its walls of protection. There was no pausing to ponder whether there could be anything of deeper significance behind it, no asking if something could be wrong, no searching of its ways.” – p.30

We all ran to our churches and prayed out of fear and that continued for a short season, but we didn’t turn from our wicked ways. We fell back into going our own way. We became even more lukewarm as a nation than we were before 9/11. And we didn’t stop murdering innocent babies in the womb and we didn’t stop trafficking our children and women. Sadly…we walked OUT of the blessing God intended for us as a nation. We forgot the “if” … and expected to benefit from the “then God will…”

Can God turn it for good purposes?

What could we possibly call good about 9/11? He was trying to get our attention. To wake us out of complacency. “The sounding of an alarm to wake up a sleeping nation, to change its course, to save it from judgment.” – pg 30

Could it possibly be that God is again sounding the alarm with the China Virus? The Coronavirus.

Enough of quoting from the book

I am hoping to inspire you to purchase the book and read it. Or take it off the shelves and read it again, as I have been doing. See if you agree that it is applicable to what we are now experiencing in our nation and around the world, in fact.

God has not forgotten us.

He still has the same plan: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” — Acts 3:19 (KJV)

Know that I am praying for you.

And I’m here to encourage and to help you through this, if you’d like. Just click the button to send me an email if you want someone to talk to, to pray with, or vent about whatever is on your mind and heart. Each of us has our own unique circumstance we are working through during these uncertain times. TOGETHER with GOD, we shall overcome…

God bless you bunches!

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


Virus Survival Ideas: Let’s Get Practical

Cross in front of a parking lot

Our world is in a mess

And yet, I am encouraged. Odd? Let’s look at what is going on. Everywhere we look, things are changing. Like the picture here, even church parking lots are empty. Life is confusing and a bit difficult to navigate. All things are different than they were even just a couple months ago. We pray. We order supplies. We try to encourage those around us. We have to find new ways to do everything that needs doing. And all while practicing “Social Distancing”.

It can be easy to get distracted

“Faith feels. But feelings can never produce faith…Faith knows God truly but not fully.” (Anchor Devotional March 2020). We cannot know what God knows in the way that God knows it. We do what we can do and we leave to God what only God can do. We put our faith in what Jesus has already done; and we put our HOPE in Him.

The feet of faith is HOPE

Yes. When we feel fearful, we remember we put our faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and ONLY in Jesus Christ. In times like these, when it is a bit scary, we remember. It’s a journey. One step at a time. HOPE is what makes us long for His return. It is like watching out a window for a loved one to return. We wait.

What an amazing time to be alive

It is all so hard, and yet, when we look below the surface, Philippians reminds us that God truly is working all things for good… but, we are also reminded that that working for good is conditional. That promise is for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. This is a great time to re-evaluate our relationship with God.

We are coming up on the Palm Sunday/Easter weeks in the United States. Such a special season for the Followers of the Way.

The issue of faith is not so much whether we believe in God, but whether we believe the God we believe in.
– R. C. Sproul

What do we do while we wait?

O that Christians would learn to live with one eye on Christ crucified and the other on His coming Glory. –Richard Baxter

The Easter season. Passover. Remember I said in the first sentence that I am encouraged? Here’s how and why:  As followers of Christ, we are victors; and part of being a victor is making well-thought out choices. So…

As we sit in our homes and model the faith for our children and try not to worry during this “Pandemic”, we can make some important and lasting choices…

Let’s get practical. Here’s some things I’ve been doing & you can too:

  • Anoint the doorposts with olive oil (Praying for the protection of our homes by the Blood of Jesus Christ. Remembering Passover.)
  • Memorize Psalm 100 (Such a joyous psalm.) And speaking it out loud often.
  • Create acronyms of Names/Attributes of God ( A – Z) You can even make a game of it. Or a poster. Together.
  • I made posters for each room of my apartment. I wrote: S M I L E and a big happy face under the word (I was forgetting to smile).
  • Tired of singing the 20 second happy birthday song, I learned an alternative from mcleanbible.org . (To be sure I washed my hands long enough to get rid of the germs. AND to keep my focus on God.) I put it on an index card that I placed where I wash my hands.

Here’s what it says:

(Jesus said) “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
– Matthew 28:18b-20 (NAS)

I’m praying for you as I am typing this.
Keep looking UP, brave warrior. The Lord is on your side!

Let me know how you are doing. I really want to know.

Let's Connect!Awaiting His shout,
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Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com


Are YOU Resting In Jesus in These Perilous Times?

Train passing through a mountain tunnel

In perilous times, we need Courage

David Wilkerson was small in stature; however, when the Lord called him to evangelize in New York City, he did it! He became a street corner preacher and God continued to use him for the rest of his life. He trusted the One Who holds the world in His hands. He knew there was no safer place to be than to be right in the center of God’s will for his life.

David Wilkerson was also a writer

David Wilkerson wrote about resting in Jesus in perilous times. In his inspiring newsletter, he said that God had impressed on him a single promise from God’s Word (the Bible) that if he would commit his very life to it, this promise would keep him through any and all perilous times. It would be a daily power source of faith. For him. In New York City amongst the gangs. AND for you and me, too, right where we are right now.

Coronavirus

Right now, the United States, and the entire rest of the world is suffering loss. There is grief over the isolation and changes we have no control over. Sickness. We are fighting an unseen enemy. And we are suffering for fear that there will not be ENOUGH of what we need. Of what we are used to. Businesses, schools, churches, and all other events are being closed and cancelled. Bars and casinos are closed. There is fear and there is confusion. There is loneliness from the isolation and the lack of the regular routine. What is a person to do? Some are not heeding the warnings. Others are hoarding. Others are reaching out to see where they can help those in need of help.

Here is David Wilkerson’s “promise verse”:

“Your Father knows what things you have need of before you ask Him.”
–Matthew 6:8

There is only one reliable option

Surrender to the One Who loves you. The Lord wants each of us to find that “sweet spot” of fellowship with Him. God wants you to CHOOSE to give Him “quality” time. Focused attention. And He wants each of us to trust Him! Because He is trustworthy. He is DAD! And like a good father, he knows what we need before we even ask Him. He is our Provider. Our Source of EVERYTHING we need. That is a foundation we MUST stand upon, or we will fear and fall.

Wisdom

The necessity is resting in (trusting in) the Fatherhood of Almighty God, Creator God, Restorer of the Breach, Savior, Blessed Redeemer.

Fear not

I have been hearing that there are approximately 365 verses that state: “fear not” in the Bible. God speaks those words to many fearful people in Scripture. They were just like you and me and yet they learned to fear not! We can, too! 🙂

God can be trusted

When Corrie ten Boom was a child, her dad comforted her fears with this illustration: “When a train goes through a tunnel, and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” God is not only our Creator; He is our Engineer. He knows what is best. Trust Him even when you don’t understand and when you go through the trials and dark “tunnels” of life. Trust Him. He adores you!

Here’s what you CAN do…

“Casting all your care upon Him, because He cares for you!” (I Peter 5:7)

That verse is powerful! The Creator God cares about you…about me! WOW! And He is patient while we learn to trust Him on a deeper level each day. Little by little. We can learn to be resting in Jesus in perilous times.

Don’t give up. It will be worth it all! I promise!

Better still…HE promises!

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Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
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Forget the Former Things

Baby Crawling

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)

Endings. Happy times or sad?

The end of one thing is always the beginning of another. When anything ends, we tend to believe it’s the end, when truly it is THE beginning. Think back over some of your “endings”. Here’s some examples:

  • The end of crawling was the beginning of walking.
  • The end of babble was the beginning of talking.
  • The end of pablum was the beginning of solid food.
  • The end of your tricycle was the beginning of your bicycle.
  • The end of picture books was the beginning of word books.
  • The end of elementary school was the beginning of junior high school, and the end of that was the beginning of high school.

Grieving over the past

We tend to grieve over endings and actually they can be a good things. What mother hasn’t cried a tear or two over each and every one of those endings with her child? The grieving of the loss can then turn into the embrace of the new beginning. To say goodbye to one thing is to say hello to something else. ALWAYS.

As we mature in years, and the endings become more consequential, we have TWO choices: to be bitter OR to be better through these changes in life.

It is a choice

There’s always a choice how we will react. Better or bitter is a choice between grumbling or gratitude. It is realizing we are not the Master of our fate, but our God is the Master of our fate. Loss is gain when left in the Father’s hands. When faced bravely and with our eyes on Jesus.

Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT)

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy He knew would be His afterward. Now He is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in Heaven.”

Abundant Grace

God’s sovereignty provides abundant grace to endure even trials and sufferings, even like Job’s famous,
“Though He slay me, Yet will I trust Him.” (Job 13:15)

Corrie ten Boom

She was a women who endured unbelievable suffering in a Nazi prison camp. We could call her an expert on looking for God in the midst of all things. She is known for this statement: “No pit is so deep that He is not deeper still.” Amen! God is in the circumstances. He is in the details. We can trust Him. When we trust Him, we will find He is worthy of that trust. Worthy of our love. Worthy of our gratitude. And HE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH in all things. ALWAYS. All Day. Every Day. No matter what! For those who have put their trust in Him, the end of life on earth is THE beginning! Heaven awaits!

What about you?

Have you asked Jesus to be your Savior? To be your Lord? Are you living for Him? Where will you spend eternity? Let’s talk…

Until next time…

Let's Connect!
Awaiting His shout,
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Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com


Hard Lessons in God’s Faithfulness


“Now then, go, and I, even I, will be with our mouth, and teach you what you are to say.” – Exodus 4:12 (NASB)

Spanish Language School

While in language school in Costa Rica, I struggled over basic grammar rules, the meanings of words and the tenses of the verbs. I often felt frustrated. Like Moses, I reminded God that I was slow of speech. I knew He wanted me to go out and speak anyway, even though I was afraid. There are no good excuses when He says “go”. And of course, He was faithful through it all.

WHERE do You want us to go?

Another time, after Spanish language school, the mission group sent us to Haiti, where they speak French and Creole. I felt like I could have written the book about When God Doesn’t Make Sense. I struggled with everything. I was unprepared for the culture and I again struggled over basic grammar and word meanings and tenses of verbs. I most definitely felt frustrated and actually I felt betrayed by the mission group. But once again, God’s faithfulness was evident, as He once more reminded me that it was He who told me to go; and that He would teach me what to say.

Communication is more than just words

I learned that when I smiled a lot and used my hands a lot I was able to find ways to communicate with the people of the countries where we were sent. I’m grateful that I did not let my fear win the battle. It was actually hard to leave both countries because God had been so evident in my daily survival there; and He taught me what to say, just like He promised.

Inadequacy is a condition, not a place

Just because I am no longer in a foreign country doesn’t mean that the days have ended for my stepping out and “going” when I feel inadequate for the task. He reminds us that it is the very definition of the Christian life. His sufficiency in exchange for our insufficiency. Every day. All day. No matter what. No matter where. No matter who. No matter when. He is our “How”. Always.

Let’s pray together:

“Where do you want us to go today, Lord? Thank You for the examples of Your proven faithfulness in Your Word. Help us to remember times past when you were faithful, so we have courage for today to trust You to be faithful again. Always. Thank You for the testimony of other believers. It gives us courage. May we bring You joy this day. Amen.”

Until Next Time,

Let's Connect!
Awaiting His shout,
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Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com


Touching the Hem of His Garment

A Woman Praying to God
In Matthew 14, the people brought to Jesus all who were sick. They begged to just be able to touch the hem of His garment. We are told that those who touched the hem of His garment were “made perfectly well”. That is a powerful statement.

I want to be made perfectly well. Don’t you?

What does it mean to be made perfectly well?

I don’t think this story is so much about physical healing as it is about being made perfectly well. Our earth-bound bodies and minds are puny and can’t comprehend the greater picture. We want what we want and we want it now. We want NO problems. We want physical healing, but there is so much more to desire than physical healing.

A courageous woman desperately in need

In Mark 5, A woman who had been ill for 12 years had spent all her money on doctors, yet she was worse than when she started. She was in need. She was desperate. She was brave. She did the unthinkable. In the midst of a crowd, she reached out and touched the hem of Jesus’ garment. INSTANTLY she was healed. Instantly she KNEW she was healed. “And Jesus, IMMEDIATELY KNOWING in HIMSELF that the power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said “who touched my clothes?”

She knew and she worshiped

The woman was afraid. She was trembling. But she also knew what had happened to her. And she knew how it happened. So, she worshiped. She “came and fell down before Him.” She “told Him the whole truth.” (Of course He knew it anyway, but this woman who had been bleeding for 12 years and was considered unclean and could have no human contact for 12 years. THAT woman knew immediately that she was “made perfectly well”. MORE than physical healing. She was made perfectly well. That is powerful.

The safest place to be

Jesus cares. The safest place is to be bowed down, reaching out to the hem of His garment, pleading with Him to give the healing that is needed. The soul healing is the greatest need of all…the soul—mind, will and emotions. This woman was desperate enough from the failure of human intervention to reach out to Jesus. Jesus was her last resort. And He made her “clean” and “whole”. Her shame was gone. I don’t think she probably ever forgot the compassion shown her that day.

Yes, Jesus heals. Some of us are healed here and some on the other side. It is a mystery.

Pray with me?

Lord, may I stay that close to you today—that I continually touch the hem of your garment—that my soul may be made perfectly well. That I may have full strength to bless—MAKE me a blessing, Lord…Help me keep my eyes on you and my hands on the hem of your garment—bowed down (in order to touch it). When I start to sink because I have taken my eyes off you, help me remember to cry out to You and reach out to You, so You can pull me out and “catch me” as you did Peter when he began to sink that day he stepped out of the boat toward You!

Please share your thoughts and experiences. Either here on the blog or privately. How can I pray for you?

Until Next Time,

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

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


We Are All Hansels and Gretels. We Leave Behind a Trail

Hansel and Gretel Stamp

Funny story

Once upon a time, at the apartment building where I live, there was a strawberry salad thief. A resident was planning a party. She had stored the food in the refrigerator of the Commons area kitchen. Thinking it safe, she went to her apartment and to bed, looking forward to the next day’s celebrations. Only to discover the next morning that her strawberry salad was missing.

It was quickly discovered that there was a RED trail from the kitchen, down the hall, and up the stairs, right to the door of the thief. There was no doubt what had happened. It is funny to think back on, but at the time, it was upsetting to my friend who was planning a party.

The story of Hansel and Gretel

Remember in that story there was a trail of white stones that caught the moonlight and led the children back home. (We won’t discuss their home life in this article. YIKES!!!)

AND, the second time they were left in the woods to die, there was a trail of bread that was eaten by hungry birds. Eventually, they got home again, but it was a much harder journey.

What kind of trail am I leaving?

A story in a devotional book is actually what started me down this path: “Earlier this year, the owners of a restaurant called Build-A-Burger in New York State called the sheriff’s office to report their cash register was missing. Deputies checked a nearby hiking trail and found a steady trail of macaroni salad. Hansel and Gretel didn’t leave a better trail; and within a short time, a gang of three men was captured and charged with theft. It seems that along with the register, the men had also swiped a large bowl of macaroni salad.” — Turning point devotional for Thursday, Sept 17.

Scripture reference

“Be sure your sin will find you out (Numbers 32:23) Hmmmmm…Even when we think we are pulling off the “perfect crime”! 😉

Isn’t that amazing?

What got them caught was their lust of the flesh. They were apparently hungry, careless and sloppy (leaving a trail of macaroni)!

Challenge question

Years ago, a group of us were asked the challenge question: How will you live your life? What would you like your tombstone to say?

I decided right then that I would want it to say: SHE CARED!!! Of course I too often fall short in my selfish humanness, but it is ever in the back of my mind, driving my behavior and attitudes.

Another Scripture verse

Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 6:11-13 “We have spoken freely to you…and opened wide our hearts to you. We are not withholding our affection from you, but you are withholding yours from us. As a fair exchange…open wide your hearts also.”

It is a fearful thing to open our hearts to others.

To trust. Opening our hearts to others can only be done by the power of the Holy Spirit. The people at Fort Street Christian Church in Omaha Nebraska opened wide their hearts to me about 40 years ago now. They were patient and kind. Gentle. And they loved Jesus above all else. Their “trail” was one that led me to the foot of the cross.

And in this month of greater focus on Gratitude and Thanksgiving, I am thanking them for that trail! They showed me the way HOME!!! To my REAL HOME!!! To JESUS!!!

What do you see as you look at YOUR life?

Isn’t it great that you can actually CHOOSE what kind of trail you leave behind! AND…it is true that…

It is never ever too late to tweak the trail of your life. I can help with that…

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


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