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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!

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


Sure You Can!

Women Jumping

It is never too late, until that day when you unzip this earthly body and step into eternity to see Jesus face-to-face. On that day, you will either be His or you will not. Your choice. I can help you with understanding that choice. And then walk alongside you as you discover how best to direct your life for your greatest fulfillment.

This is the first day of the rest of your life!

You can—beginning this very day— choose more deliberately and thoughtfully how you spend the gift of your life. It is not too late. You can readjust your course. Get out of the rut! Sure you can! I have, and you can, too!

Let’s talk!  I’m available for a FREE call. Contact me and we can set up an appointment. As you learn to walk more fully in your God-given gifts and strengths, you will find new energy and greater satisfaction in your relationships. What have you got to lose? It is definitely a win/win situation. No doubt about it! Get coached!

Ignatius of Loyola prayed: “O heavenly Father…give us the sense of Your presence, Your love, Your strength. Help us to have perfect trust in Your protecting love and strengthening power…for, living close to You, we shall see Your hand, Your purpose, Your will through all things. Amen.”

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


Are You Good Enough?

Woman standing next to a wall.

If you are like me, there have been times when you have felt like a failure & unfit for God to use. Maybe this winter or some other circumstance is draining you of joy. Maybe you are weary of feeling NOT good enough. Let’s take a look at God’s list of “losers” …

  • Noah got DRUNK.
  • Abraham was too OLD.
  • Jacob was a LIAR.
  • Gideon was AFRAID.
  • Rahab was A PROSTITUTE.
  • Jeremiah and Timothy were considered TOO YOUNG.
  • David had an AFFAIR.
  • Moses was a MURDERER.
  • Elijah was SUICIDAL at one point.
  • Jonah RAN FROM GOD.
  • Peter DENIED CHRIST.
  • The Disciples FELL ASLEEP while PRAYING.
  • The Samaritan Woman WAS DIVORCED five times.
  • Timothy had AN ULCER.
  • John the Baptist ATE BUGS.
  • And Lazarus WAS DEAD!

So what’s your excuse?

(The list was from: Greg Laurie “A New Beginning” )

Joy sometimes needs pain to give it birth

God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. That is actually good news because we are ALL ordinary people. God chooses what the world calls “losers” and “failures” and shows us how to be “fit for the Master’s use”. Let us not confound physical weariness with spiritual weakness. During a season of testing, God wants most to prove His faithfulness to you. It’s not who you are that matters. It’s who God is! It’s not what you can do; it’s what GOD can do! It’s not what you know; it’s WHO you know: GOD! God does not call the enabled. He enables the called.

The above list is just a few Biblical examples to encourage you. You can be healed from your past (every one of us has things in our past we wish we had done differently.) With Him, you CAN be fit for the Master’s use. You (and I) are not good enough. But HE is!!! Now THAT is really, really “GOOD NEWS”!!!

No matter where you are in your life with God,

HE is qualifying you for his service. He can even use the mistakes you have made to help others. So, choose to allow Him to do that!

God will not look you over for medals, degrees or diplomas, but for scars. — Elbert Hubbard

The Lord is your strength

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.” – Psalm 28:7

Nehemiah said: “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

A joyful heart causes good healing.

“A joyful heart promotes healing; but a broken spirit dries up the bones.” — Proverbs 17:22

Two peoetple leaping at suns

When you feel you have no strength to go on.

When you feel like a loser. When you are weary of the battle to survive. When you think everyone has forgotten you. Rise up, O woman of God. CHOOSE JOY! Your Savior will redeem the locust eaten YEARS and use you in the midst of all that He is accomplishing.

Surrender to the One who loves you above all others. Jesus Christ, THE LORD!!!

Teamwork

Let’s start TOGETHER this journey of discovery of your strengths and God’s plan for you. Let’s find the path to your EMBRACING your strengths and then LIVING them to the fullest. BE who God created you to be. He has a plan and YOU are part of that plan. Just click the button to connect.

Until next time…

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


The New Year Cometh

The New Year Cometh

Fresh new starts

To me, it always feels like a fresh new start. And this December 31 ends one decade and the next day begins a new decade. So it is even more special than usual! We go from the 2010’s to the 2020’s. That seems BIG! And it should make a difference in more than a calendar-page-turning event.

High points

Let’s both take a few minutes here to think back over the last decade. What were the high points? For me, when 2010 rolled in, I had just officially become self-employed, as a Christian Life Coach. That is really BIG!! What about you? Big or small, what are the high points for you? Write them down. Think it through. You will be really glad you did. You will discover that God has been active in your life in ways you had forgotten.

Changes

For me, it has been a refreshing change from the cubicle job in the huge open room with lots of other people. It was a debt collecting place. Undoubtedly, not a good “fit” for this introvert with the spiritual gift of encouragement. I was miserable there for 5 years. Grateful for a job, but miserable.

Freedom

And now, I have the freedom to create my own schedule. I work from home. So the introvert part of me is very happy. I get to encourage people every day now, rather than making them mad by working for the company that had the sole goal of collecting their debt. Now, I have no time clock to punch in and out for the long days with 2 short breaks and the 1/2 hour lunch break. Now, I am FREE to freely use my spiritual gifts to ENCOURAGE people to be all God created them to be. Encouraging them to embrace their lives with joy and expectation. Doesn’t that sound good to you? I am daily blessed with amazing people that God has sent to me.

Magnificat

As I write this now, it is still 2019 and Christmas is on the horizon, so I am reminded of Mary’s Magnificat.

Luke 1:46-49

“And Mary said ‘My soul exalts the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has had regard for the humble state of His bond slave…for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is His name…'”

Joy and expectation

I am filled with joy and expectation as I await the next decade, knowing that God will continue to send me the people HE wants me to encourage and mentor AND also hoping—for me—that my time as a student at Christian Book Academy will be fruitful and that many of my writing creations will be published and bear fruit in people’s lives.

What about you?

What are you rejoicing about from the decade between 2010 and 2020? What new thing do you hope 2020 begins for you? Do you have plans to grow as a person? Would you like to explore Christian Coaching to see what God can do as you discover more about your own personality strengths and spiritual gifts and even the way God wired you personally to be drawn into worship of Him? We can do all of that for you, together.

The dawning of a new decade cometh

Wouldn’t you love to keep on learning and to discover ways to live “outside the box” where you safely continue the same ‘ole, same ‘ole. Wouldn’t you like to explore something new and different than what has “always been” for you? Wouldn’t you love to have your own advocate to help you discover and embrace and live your strengths, and realize your full potential?

Let’s chat a bit and pray together about what the next decade holds for you! You don’t have to do this life alone! I promise to be your biggest cheerleader, cheering you on to “what if I…?” This 2020’s decade could be your best decade ever!

God bless you bunches!

Until Next Time,

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


The Blessing of Encouragers

An encourager can help you find your voice.

What does that mean?

Each of us has a unique way of expressing ourselves. We are not created to be a carbon copy of another. What we believe that we “ought” to be able to do can sometimes cause a type of emotional or spiritual paralysis and/or an inability to move forward. Finding your voice comes from discovering your strengths. And then using them to grow stronger and more confident each day. It is YOU being YOU. The God-given you. The you that Creator God chose for you to be.

Encouragement is a two-sided coin

It actually is the Spiritual Gift of Exhortation. It is more than encouraging the discouraged or afflicted. The other side of that coin is afflicting the comfortable. Think of the many prophets that displayed that second side of the coin: Afflicting of the comfortable. Think of King David and the Prophet Nathan: “YOU are that man!”

The King’s Speech movie

“When England’s throne is suddenly thrust upon him, amidst royal family scandal and impending world war, King George VI must overcome a lifelong, debilitating speech impediment to lead his nation.”
– from the back of the DVD cover

King George VI’s wife

Elizabeth adored her husband and was an absolute rock of support and encouragement to him. She believed with all her heart that her husband could overcome his speech impediment. He was a stutterer. She had great compassion and continually tried to find someone to help her husband to find his voice and move forward. She was like the first side of the coin (encouraging the discouraged and afflicted king, her husband). He trusted and adored her.

The Speech Therapist

The King’s wife found and enlisted the help of an eccentric man, who had been highly effective with soldiers returning from war, helping them to recover and rehabilitate. But, this speech therapist was the other side of the coin type of encourager. He was a true exhorter. He afflicted the comfortable King. He challenged him. He was absolutely devoted to the king. But, he refused to “baby” him or make excuses for him. He absolutely believed the king could overcome his affliction.

True friends help you overcome your fears

The king (Bertie) and his speech coach (Lionel) learned to trust each other and became great and loyal friends to each other. “…the two men forge an unlikely friendship that will ultimately empower the monarch to find his voice, inspire his people and rally the world.”
– from the back of the DVD cover

Sometimes pain precedes the healing

The King had resigned himself that no one could truly help him. He was thoroughly discouraged. He felt inadequate to lead the nation. And yet, we see it took both sides of the coin to help someone so deeply damaged by his past care-takers and father. People who should have helped him, actually shamed him! And that made him go deeper into the fear of failure.

Who has helped you find YOUR voice?

A Christian life coach is a lot like the speech coach that helped the king find his voice. Sometimes we will be one side of that coin. Sometimes, the other side of the coin, but ALWAYS with the goal of challenging you to achieve the greatness God had in mind when He created you. We work alongside God to help you find your strength…you wholeness. All for the purpose of greater peace and joy.

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


Back to School Days – 17 Ways to Keep Your Sanity

It’s that Back-To-School time of year.

Back to scheduled days. Scheduled bed times. Scheduled meals. Back to busy days. To car pooling the kids to sports and fun events.

What is a Mom to do in order to keep her sanity?

What can you do to keep the home a safe place for everyone? A place where they want to bring their friends. I can still remember when September came around, the whole world of lazy hazy days of summer came to an abrupt end. So, whether you are a single parent, a homeschool parent, or if your kids are in public or private school, I’ve been pondering today what might be helpful for you right now.

Start each day smart.

With the Lord, no matter what else is going on. Each morning, turn your face toward Heaven and start confessing who the Lord is. Name His qualities. (Shepherd. Healer. Protector. Provider.) Name His titles. (Lord. Savior. King. Creator. Father. Friend.) Praise Him for His attributes. Behold Him and Believe. Believe He will meet your every NEED. EVERY DAY! Share what you are learning with the kids! And don’t forget: Get in the Word as soon as you can each day.

Now, for the day-to-day back-to-school stuff. Here are a few ideas…

  1. Figure out what is working.
  2. Do more of it. Stop doing what’s not working.
  3. Start with 5 minute wake-up snuggles in bed. Prayer. Bible verse. Then, a good nutritious breakfast. No less than 10 grams of protein for each of you.
  4. Send them off with kisses on the palm of their hands. If they miss you during the day, they can put their hand against their face to be reminded of your love.
  5. Send them off with fun little sayings like: I love you. You love me. Have a great day and I’ll see you at three.
  6. Send a family picture along in their lunch pail. Laminate it after you glue it to a red construction paper heart.
  7. Keep adjusting the model. Stay focused on the vision of your individual family plan. That plan will be different than any other family you know!
  8. Don’t take anything or anyone for granted.
  9. A calm household has regular routine bedtimes. For kids and for Mom. Well rested people get along with each other better than tired people.
  10. Never get “comfortable” with what you do.
  11. Keep learning. Keep fresh. Be teachable.
  12. Find your own “voice”. Be willing to be unique. Don’t “follow the crowd”. Follow your Lord and ask Him for His plan.
  13. Trust the process.
  14. Don’t get impatient with the process. An oak tree started as a tiny acorn.
  15. Ask for help when you need it.
  16. HAVE YOUR OWN COACH THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE PROCESS. Everybody needs their own “cheerleader” (coach).
  17. Discover your strengths. May I suggest Leading From Your Strengths assessments? I promise that it will give you fresh heart. You will discover a new understanding of yourself and each family member. Recognizing, understanding, and embracing each others’ strengths is a VERY GOOD plan! Contact me for more information. (It is so much better than trying to change each other, which NEVER works anyway. ).

And over all these things, spread a covering of prayer to the One who believes in you. Choose to trust that He truly wants to help you be successful this school year. Just ask. He has the “gift” of “helps”, btw

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