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Life’s Constantly Moving Targets. Setting Priorities.

Woman looking at camera

Here we go again.

It is that time of year to begin taking stock of you life. Setting goals. Are there changes you need to make? What do you like/want to keep? What do you want to work on? What do you need help with?

January is just around the corner.

And leading up to January is typically the time for evaluating last year; and for setting fresh priorities for the new year.

Reprioritize your focus.

Setting priorities in the middle of life’s constantly moving targets should probably be done in sound bites rather than all at once. Take time to do it deliberately and with mindfulness. It is just too easy to get discouraged in that “not yet” state of being…So, take it slow and deliberately. Examine family, work, church, play obligations. What goes? What stays?

Ask yourself: most important priority?

The Apostle John teaches (see John 3:1-21) you MUST be born again. It is not an option. It is by God’s design. You can be assured that out of this flows all the power of God to help you accomplish all He has for you. It is not an option. We are each created by His design. Our God knows what is best for each of us individually. For our eternity. This is the starting place and is non-negotiable if you want TRUE success.

What is evidence you are born again?

You become a follower of Jesus. You get to know Him through His Word…the Bible. It is not the words you speak. Or any act you do. It is WHO are you following? WHO is your role model?

What is evidence you are a follower of Jesus?

You long for and have a relationship with Jesus. You look forward to time reading and studying His Word. Memorizing it. The sword of the Spirit. The weapon you can pull out to fight the devil’s discouragement and roadblocks along the paths of life.

You begin to talk with Him about what you read. Learning to trust Him more with each passing day. You can’t see the wind, but you can observe its power. You can’t see the Spirit but you can feel it each day as He encourages and guides you as you spend time with Him. He desires to disciple you. And that takes time. This is: Priority #1.

What is evidence you have a relationship with Jesus?

You are steadily becoming more like Him in thought, word, and deed. It doesn’t happen overnight. It is a gradual process. Just like the parent/child relationship. The child has to learn the various aspects of growing up. So does the child of God. You start with milk and you graduate to meat. You begin to show evidence you are: The follower of Jesus. The disciple of Jesus. YOU! 😉

In a nutshell.

Re-prioritize your focus. Your #1 focus is your relationship with Jesus as a follower of Christ. God will take care of the rest. You will be amazed how things fall into place when you turn to Him for guidance about everything.

Separation Anxiety.

When you first make that step, there can be a separation anxiety. Things may feel strange. And even periodically along the way, it is common to lose focus and suffer from separation anxiety. But do what you did at first and peace will return.

The solution?

Always: Come “Home” to Jesus.

“Father, I easily drown in a sea of priorities. Give me grace to accept that my relationship with You should be the most important goal of my life.”

Scripture Union’s Encounter with God. November 17, 2016.

I’d love to talk with you about your goals and priorities. Click the blue button and let’s get started!

God bless you bunches!

Discover Living From Your Strengths (LFYS) Life Changing Mentor Coaching.

Do you have questions? Through the Ministry Insights assessment, you will Discover your strengths. And then, through mentor coaching, you will learn how to daily Embrace and Live out your strengths. You can contact me by clicking on the blue button beside the signature line. Or leave me a private message on Facebook.

Leading from Your Strengths

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

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


Bake Your Enemy a Cake

Making a cake

Take no Offense

It is a challenging lesson to master. When something hurtful happens to me or a friend, I sometimes laugh and say “life would be great if it weren’t for the people in it.” Of course, that is silly, but it gets me OFF the MAD train and brings my sense of humor back. What I am meaning is that people interactions are where the rubber meets the road and shows us truths about ourselves. People are like a mirror that James speaks about. Reactions from people show us clearly how closely we are in reflecting Christ in our interactions.

God has been teaching me the phrase: “I will take no offense,” To CHOOSE to NOT take offense is so freeing.

When someone is rude, or unkind or negligent to show love or kindness, I can just re-focus my feelings by saying “I will take no offense”.

War Room Movie

I am reminded of the War Room movie and the phrase from Elizabeth, as she talks with God: “I’m not their judge. YOU are, God. But please…if they are doing something wrong/sinful, don’t let them get away with it.”

It’s all a way to remind me that GOD is GOD and I am NOT. It actually causes me to relax and to keep my joy! It keeps me from taking up an offense. It keeps me from getting angry and blaming others for my angry attitude. Anger is exhausting. Plus…it accomplishes nothing but giving me a headache or a stomach-ache.

Derek Prince

taught on the reality that we must go the FIRST mile of doing what is necessary and required, before we can go the SECOND mile of doing more than is required.

Bake Your Enemy a Cake

Many years ago, at the Christian Brotherhood Fellowship, Buddy Medlock taught on forgiveness and turning the other cheek. On going the extra mile.

Buddy did not function well in the kitchen, but when he and another person had a disagreement, he would go to apologize, but he would first do something that was difficult for him.

Forgive and Bless Your Enemy

He would bake a cake. And he would take that cake along with his apology. The apology was the FIRST MILE. The cake was the SECOND MILE.

(Love is…)
“Never rude; love is never selfish, never quick to take offense. Love keeps no score of wrongs.”

1 Corinthians 13:5 (Revised English Bible)

We ask you, brothers and sisters, to warn those who do not work. Encourage the people who are afraid. Help those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. Be sure that no one pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to do what is good for each other and for all people. Always be joyful. Pray continually, and give thanks whatever happens. That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:14–18 (NCV)

Loaves And Fishes Coaching

How long has it been since you have visited the website? By the way, I have rewritten the home page. I’d love to know what you think. Does it answer your questions about what I do and why I do it?

Discover Living From Your Strengths (LFYS) Life Changing Mentor Coaching.

Do you have questions? Through the Ministry Insights assessment, you will Discover your strengths. And then, through mentor coaching, you will learn how to daily Embrace and Live out your strengths. You can contact me by clicking on the blue button beside the signature line. Or leave me a private message on Facebook.

Leading from Your Strengths

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

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


Not for One Second

Man crossing a bridge

These are confusing times. Times of wondering who can be trusted. WHO do you believe? WHAT do you believe?

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

(Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT)

You are not alone. Many are feeling those same things and asking the same questions. But, what does God say about it? He tells us we are not alone. We might feel alone, but we are not!

Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close.”

(Psalm 27:10 NLT)

Truth vs feelings

These are the days to make a definite choice to believe TRUTH from the Scriptures and not be fooled by our feelings. The devil is the author of the “d” words: despair, discouragement, and depression. God is the author of HOPE: joy, encouragement, and contentment. Sometimes we want a reason when what we need is JESUS.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand”

(Isaiah 41:10 NLT)

You are not alone—not for one second. He is with you every second of every single day. He is closer than your breath.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

(John 14:27 NIV)

Max Lucado:

“In the ultimate declaration of communion, God called himself Immanuel, which means, God with us. He became flesh. He became sin. He defeated the grave. He is still with us. In the form of his Spirit, he comforts, teaches, and convicts. Don’t assume God is watching from a distance. Isolation creates a downward cycle of fret. Choose instead to be the person who clutches the presence of God with both hands. We can calmly take our concerns to God because he is as near as our next breath. And because the Lord is near, we can be anxious for nothing.”

Practical stuff

Be sure you are getting adequate rest, and plenty of time in the Scriptures—the Word–truly SEEKING God and also healthy nourishment, so your are in the best shape physically to hear that still small voice of God. He is a gentleman. He does not SHOUT.

Elijah was discouraged, and that is exactly the “prescription” God gave him when he was worn out from the spiritual battle and was listening to his feelings rather than the truth he had witnessed. We all get there at some point. And we all need a hand UP to the higher ground again at some point in our lives.

I can help

I am a trained life coach. I am a living your strengths coach. It’s what I do! If you are finding life less than joyful, we should talk. That is exactly my specialty: Helping women figure out how to navigate this moment in their lives. Helping you restore the joy of your salvation. I LOVE my “job”. My “calling” to the body of Christ. For many, coaching is a bit confusing. It is not counseling. Coaches don’t fix people. We help you believe that who God created you to be is a special treasure, dearly loved by your creator. I will be your greatest cheerleader as you navigate new ways of thinking and processing life. BTW, I just want you to know: YOU are His “favorite” Winking smile

Curious? Let’s talk soon! I offer a free inquiry call so you can explore if coaching might be the missing link in your life right now. If you decide not, we still will have had an amazing conversation getting to know each other. What have you got to lose? Contact me to set up an appointment. Don’t put it off. Or just click on the Blue Button next to the signature line.

You don’t have to walk through life feeling alone. Not for one second. I would love to be that one clutching the presence of God with both hands together with you! To God be the Glory.

Until next time, I am…

Discover Living From Your Strengths (LFYS) Life Changing Mentor Coaching.

Do you have questions? Through the Ministry Insights assessment, you will Discover your strengths. And then, through mentor coaching, you will learn how to daily Embrace and Live out your strengths. You can contact me by clicking on the blue button beside the signature line. Or leave me a private message on Facebook.

Leading from Your Strengths

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

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


Don’t Fear the Shaking. Just Think Differently.

Depressed woman looking out window

Why are we here? As Christians, why are we here?

In these confusing and often perilous times, are their any good answers? What should we do? What can we do? What should we focus on and what should be our priorities?

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren begins with this first sentence: “It’s Not About You.” I was still a relatively new Christ-follower when I read Warren’s book, but that first sentence is seared into my brain forever. It was a stunning realization. How much of my life has been about ME? God regularly brings that sentence to my mind: “It’s not about you, Pam.” So, WHAT is it about, friends?

Being about God’s business

We all know that we are to be about God’s business “saving the lost”. Perhaps using the “Four Spiritual Laws,” for instance, is a great beginning to keep you on track when you talk with someone about the need for surrender to following after Jesus. The need of dying to self-interest.

We know in our “know-er” that there is only ONE way to God and that is through Jesus Christ. But, then what? What else is there to do?

LOTS!!!! For instance…

Step 1: Leading people to Christ.

Jesus said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

Mark 16:16 NIV

Step 2: Obedience, all the while knowing we are not responsible for the outcome.

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.
When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.

Matthew 28:17 NIV

Step 3: Discipleship of those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ, the Lord.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Therefore go and make disciples  of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”{emphasis mine}

Matthew 28:18-29 NIV

Step 4: Remembering we are not alone.

”And surely I am with you always, to the
very end of the age.”

Matthew 28:30 (NIV)

Have we helped to create this mess by skipping step 3: Discipleship? Have we neglected to keep God relevant and alive in our daily lives? Are we aware of His presence throughout the entire day and night–in our work, recreation, churches and in our family lives?

Is our neglect and lack of focus on the Lord the reasons why the carnal life is getting so much stronger than the spiritual life of our nation and yes, the world? Did we forget our purpose? Have we forgotten our assignment from Jesus: GO. And MAKE DISCIPLES. Baptize them. Teach them. EVERYTHING He commanded us.

Is that how we started losing the battle?

We got too busy. Too preoccupied. Too satisfied with our lives.

Step 5: We repent.

We bring every thought captive. We stop fearing the shaking. Rather: No matter what we are feeling, we change our thinking. We think differently. We move with Jesus. We pull the plug on deception and lies and evil thinking. Moment by moment. And in those times when we can’t shake the negativity and the depression, we dump our pride, we cry out to God for help, and we ask mature believers to pray for us when we are in the pits of despair. We stand together as one!

Step 6: We rejoice.

God is on the move. People are turning more to prayer. More are regularly reading and studying their Bibles. More people are surrendering to Jesus’ Lordship. More are beginning to see that Jesus really is the only WAY, and the only TRUTH, and the only LIFE.

Do YOU believe that?

Step 7: Watch for Him. Watch for signs that He is with you.

To God Be the Glory! Great things He has done—and is doing every day!

Until next time…

Discover Living From Your Strengths (LFYS) Life Changing Mentor Coaching.

Do you have questions? Through the Ministry Insights assessment, you will Discover your strengths. And then, through mentor coaching, you will learn how to daily Embrace and Live out your strengths. You can contact me by clicking on the blue button beside the signature line. Or leave me a private message on Facebook.

Leading from Your Strengths

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

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


King David. Golden Retriever: From Unknown Shepherd Boy to King of Israel

Loaves & Fishes Coaching Logo

Remember, I am only guessing on each of these profiles. We are unable to have these Bible characters take the assessment, so after thinking about this for months, here is what I think we can glean about David—unknown shepherd boy turned King of Israel. What an amazing journey this man survived. And I believe he survived it all because of his amazing, golden retriever ability to bounce back even after betrayals.

Let’s get started looking more closely at his life

From David’s beginnings, he was not driven by his emotions. He was steady. Calm. And he was unassuming, dependable, and faithful in his care of the family’s sheep. As the youngest in the family, it seems that he was not held with high regard. They took him for granted. He was just the kid that took care of the sheep in the field. Away from the home.They all knew they could count on him. He didn’t need supervising. So they kinda forgot about him. He did what he was told.

When the prophet came to anoint one of the sons, NO ONE thought of David as an option. But all his brothers were eliminated. So David was chosen and anointed and sent right back to care for the sheep. There he learns to create beautiful music. Psalms. And he learns how to fight lions and scary beasts in his job protecting the vulnerable sheep. He learns how to use a sling-shot. He is dependable. Faithful. Loyal.

A few various encounters (Not in any particular order)

  • David’s father sent him to take some supplies to his brothers fighting the Philistines. David was the shepherd. His brothers were the warriors.Yet…when he heard the giant Goliath insulting God, he used the skills that he learned while alone with the sheep, fighting off scary predators. Saul was scared of the giant too. Saul tried to give David his heavy armor to use. But David’s God and his sling shot were all he needed. All of Israel was cowering. So, he did what he did best. He protected the vulnerable. He used his sling shot.and killed the giant.
  • At one point Saul was troubled with evil spirits and finally someone thought to call David to play the harp to soothe the king. It worked. Until it didn’t. Saul tried to kill David. David leaves the scary situation but returns to the king every time he is summoned. Loyal. Dependable. But it does get so bad at one point, he has to totally leave.
  • At another point while he is on the run, everyone deserts David and all he has is a loyal band of misfits that follow him. His misfit army. King Saul takes his men and chases David, wanting to kill him. This KING is threatened by this humble man. He knows in his heart that David is the better man. And that makes him angry. He wants to eliminate the competition. It sure looks like Saul is jealous.
  • So, another time, King Saul is in a cave and David sneaks up on him and cuts off the corner of his garment, and shows it to Saul and reminds him that he COULD have killed him but did not. He wanted Saul to know he was NOT trying to usurp his authority. David – waiting on GOD’s timing. Even with Saul pursuing him to kill him, David STILL was loyal to the king. To the “throne”. To his God! Saul SAYS he is grateful, but continues to turn on David at every opportunity. Yet, David bounces back after every betrayal, from his family, from Saul, from his men, from his wife who despises him when…
  • When David brings back the ARK and is so delighted, he dances and jumps around with utter joy. He loves his Lord. But his wife simply does not understand him. She is angry. Maybe she is jealous. The love of his life. David was always faithfully walking in THE PRESENT. Making the best of THE PRESENT. Not living in the past. Not trying to bring about THE FUTURE before God’s perfect timing. Yet his wife wanted him to be other than what he was…

The elephant in the room

How could this wonderful man, a man after God’s own heart, beloved by God…how could he fall so miserably? I believe it was because he was a golden retriever. A home-body. I don’t think he ever really wanted to be king. He had been content being with family and the sheep. He loved playing his harp. I don’t think he wanted to sin. He loved his God and he loved the laws that Jews were to live by. I don’t think his favorite thing was fighting.

It was the spring of the year, when kings go to war but David stayed home. Maybe he was just exhausted. Exhaustion always makes us vulnerable. Plus, it seems like he was alone. No accountability. Maybe it was hot in the “house” because he went up to the roof in the cool of the evening and saw a woman bathing on her roof top. Maybe she thought it was safe to bathe in the cool of the evening because David was supposed to be away and fighting a war.She probably didn’t expect him to be on his rooftop in the middle of the night. Scripture says she was beautiful. Temptation. So he sent for her and slept with her and she became pregnant. She was married to one of David’s warriors out on the battlefield. Uriah the Hittite. David was terrified when he found out she was pregnant. So, in an attempt to cover his tracks, he manipulated all kinds of circumstances that did not work so, he finally had her husband killed on the battlefield. And brought her immediately into the palace so it would look like the timing of the pregnancy would not be in question. However…God is in the business of setting things right. He spoke to the Prophet, who confronted David with his sin!

When David was confronted by the prophet, he was devastated. He cried out for mercy for his unborn child. He went without food. He prayed his ill son conceived in that sinful situation, would live. God forgave him, but, his son died. God always forgives when we ask, but we still have to face the consequences of our sin. David again laid “with” his now wife, Bathsheba, and she became “with child” again. This time, the fruit of the womb is Solomon. But that is another story…

Twists and turns

David’s life is full of twists and turns, but I think this is enough to get the idea.

Characteristics of a Golden Retriever

  • People person. Slower pace
  • Has a caring heart
  • Dependable
  • Faithful/Loyal
  • Bounces back even after betrayals
  • Tolerant
  • Other-centered
  • Lives in the PRESENT
  • Wants to know “HOW can I please you?”
  • HOW do you want me to do this?

Are there any Golden Retrievers in your life? Or is it you? Would you like to know more about Personality Strengths? Understanding is the first step to successful relationships. And one of the basic needs of each of us is TO BE UNDERSTOOD. And the best gift we can give another is TO UNDERSTAND. Then, we can learn to work together like a well-oiled machine. Amen? God bless you bunches!

Personality and Jesus

Do you know who God created you to be? Have you ever stopped to think about how your personality affects the way you interact with others? Find out more in this new book by Pamela A. Taylor.

Personality and Jesus

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

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


Daniel. The Prophet Who Always Put God First

Daniel and the Lion's Den

The book of Daniel paints a portrait of a man throughout his entire life. It is a snapshot of how to trust and serve God faithfully even when ripped away from all you have known and loved. He is the example of how to honor God even in the middle of a corrupt world and how to persevere in hope even with no immediate solutions to the problems that normally drag people down, and cause despair and depression. Daniel was neither depressed nor in despair. He was steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord—never forsaking His roots or His God. Faithful in all His ways.

Daniel was among those young men of the royal family (probably 10-18 years old) removed from their homes when King Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem. The King took them with him to serve him in his court. The young men were chosen because of their physical appearance, wisdom and intelligence. Each of the captives had to pass a 3-year course in Babylonian language and literature. Amazingly, Daniel and his friends were found to be 10 times wiser than the most experienced wise men and magicians in that kingdom. Daniel was especially well known for his wisdom.

Daniel is know for his faithful purity

From the very beginning of the exile, Daniel chose not to defile himself with the king’s food. It would have made him ceremonially UNclean. He also defied the orders to worship the king. Daniel and his friends had ample opportunity to fall into error, yet there is nothing recorded that they did so. Daniel stood firm in his faith in dietary regulations and worship practices. He was faithful to God Most High. The entire time in captivity, he continued his regular practice of praying to God. His political opponents tried to find something wrong with Daniel, but they could NOT. So all they could think of was to make it illegal for him to obey His God. They were successful with that edict from the king and Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den.

The Lion’s Den

Daniel’s ministry spanned the entire 70 years of captivity. King #4 (King Cyrus) then decreed the Israelite exiles could return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple that Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed. So we can figure that Daniel was probably in his 80’s when he was thrown into the Lion’s Den. There are many twists and turns in the story of Daniel as he served under 4 different kings in Babylon. Even today, he continues to be a great role model.

Characteristics of a Golden Retriever
And how it applies to Daniel in particular

He is a godly young man. Loyal to only ONE GOD and does not compromise. He has only one MASTER and he seeks him out regularly, spending time in devoted worship and prayer throughout the day. He is a good listener and responds with wisdom to what is spoken. He seeks for ways to feel secure and also please those around him, without compromising his values. He finds ways to manage change, which took great people-skills as he ended up serving 4 different kings.

  • Dependable – He proved that in every way in his captivity.
  • Not driven by emotion – He was calm and deliberate. Predictable.
  • Faithful – He was trustworthy and loyal to his God even in a decadent society.
  • Fears loss of security – He created routine, and he knew his God was predictable. He finds his security in his God.
  • People person – He was very good with people, even those he disagreed with.
  • How Can I please you?” – From interpreting dreams to accepting responsibilities in a foreign land, he seeks to do an excellent job.
  • He is uncompromising —trusting God in all things – even in the lions den.
  • He was greatly loved and had influence over his captives, to the point that they trusted him.

What about you? I’m only guessing about Daniel, but I believe him to be a Golden Retriever. Studying personality types can be a great way to understand each other and help us each realize why we do the things we do…why we see things so differently and how we can be in the exact same situation as someone else and each of us walk away with an entirely different interpretation of what happened.

Have you wondered why you do what you do? Do you ever find yourself wishing you were different? Perhaps you would benefit from exploring which personality type God has given you. So you can KNOW, EMBRACE AND ENJOY your life to all the fullness God intended.
Click the blue button below…

Personality and Jesus

Do you know who God created you to be? Have you ever stopped to think about how your personality affects the way you interact with others? Find out more in this new book by Pamela A. Taylor.

Personality and Jesus

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

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


Begin Today!

Woman standing with arms apart

“The tragedy of life is not that it ends too soon, but that we wait so long to BEGIN!”–W. M. Lewis

Can there really be a way that God has already created to avoid the tragedy of coming to the end of your life one day…never having begun to live your life? I believe there is!

I used to always be looking forward to the next stage of life. Not content with my current circumstances. You know: The old “grass is always greener…” syndrome.

Then…one day, I realized how much I was missing with that attitude.

What are you waiting for? Don’t be like I was. Don’t let circumstances or people dictate your mood. Choose to live your life with arms wide open. Begin anew! Embrace today as a gift! Follow my lead and choose joy! You can choose to live moment by moment with delighted expectation!

Can this be God’s way to avoid the tragedy of never having begun to live your life? From my own personal experience…Yes, I believe it is.

What about you? Are you living “grass is greener” or “embracing life as it comes”?

Personality and Jesus

Do you know who God created you to be? Have you ever stopped to think about how your personality affects the way you interact with others? Find out more in this new book by Pamela A. Taylor.

Personality and Jesus

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

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


Christmas. What Difference Does It Make?

Woman in coat under snow and lights

Christmas!

Are you like me? Do you ever get caught up in tasks and forget the purpose of Christmas? It can be easy for me to forget the other-centeredness plan Jesus taught us by His example. The joy. We can even lose sight of the Savior.

WHY do we do this to ourselves year after year? Every year we promise ourselves that this year will be different, and yet here we are, just days before Christmas and many of us are beginning to feel like failures. Overwhelmed. With more tasks still to do than we have days left.

And then—just like it came, it is gone! Another year is GONE!! The REASON for the SEASON got lost in the decision to try to make it PERFECT. Better than anyone else. MORE. Seldom LESS.

Single People. No “prospects” in sight. Divorced. Widowed

This is the time of the year when single people feel empty. Lonely. Disconnected. Nobody’s “First choice”. As my Dad used to say, “Feeling lower than a snake’s belly.”

The holidays are definitely for couples and families. And to be left out hurts, no matter how spiritual you want to be. So, what’s a person to do? I’ve been single more years than I have been married now. And I still don’t know the answer to that one!

Sometimes, what I do is just withdraw from everything until the holiday has passed. Not ideal, but it keeps me from going into a deep depression! I plan “projects” to keep me busy. And make sure I have “comfort food” on hand. I watch the Christmas movies … ALONE. (It’s really not so bad for an introvert! I’m learning to look for the silver lining.) 🙂

Dysfunctional Families. Old “baggage”. Betrayals. Disappointments. Anger.

Comparisons. Single-ness vs. couple-ness. Creativity vs. being all thumbs. Families vs. singleness. Each has its down side. Each has its benefits.

Much of my life was spent wanting our family to be healed. Wanting us all to live close geographically. Wanting to be loved. Believing I needed to be something I am NOT. Trying to be an extrovert. Trying to be easy-going. But that’s not me. I spent many wasted years condemning myself. Wanting to be different. I knew God loved me. But I was not able to accept WHO I am. I focused on the ways I differed from you. I wanted to BE like YOU!!! Or anyone else but me!

So, I was prone to be very critical of myself. Dissatisfied and depressed. But then…

God stepped in and changed all that for me.

In the blink of an eye. It was like Christmas to me. God With Me in a fresh new way. Immanuel. Truthfully, my eye-opener was the Biblically-based Leading From Your Strengths consultation. It was so life changing that I decided to take the training to get my certification as a consultant. I wanted to be a “change agent”. Leading others to embrace who God made them to be. Like He did for me. I am a different person. I am now content MOST of the time. I now embrace WHO I am. And WHY God created me. His PURPOSE for my life.

Are you asking: Who am I?

That is a good question to ask! Not just when we are at crises points or major life change events. (Like graduating college or getting married or being hit blindside by a divorce or a death!) None of that takes God by surprise; and it does not anger Him for us to ask questions. Because we know that when we ask the Lord, He promises He will lead us. He will be there in the midst of the “whatever” that takes us by surprise!

And since God has purposefully equipped each of us with carefully chosen traits, personality types, and spiritual gifts, when we learn to embrace who He created us to be, that’s where contentment is birthed—being true to our God-created selves. Some call it “staying in your lane”. (Rather than moving into someone else’s lane through envy, discontentment or disillusionment.)

I was in my 60’s when that happened.

I pray for you, that you do not wait that long to discover how to “stay in your own lane”.

Contentment.

It comes when you embrace WHO you are and WHY you are here on this earth at this time in history!! The Leading From Your Strengths assessment and consultation is a great place to start. What do you say? Are you “ready” to move into your destiny? Why wait another day to be all you were meant to be…by God’s design.

Contact me today to set up a FREE inquiry call. Just click here:

YES! I’m ready!

(FREE assessment included with your scheduled Leading From Your Strengths consultation.)

Merry Christmas! God bless you bunches!

Personality and Jesus

Do you know who God created you to be? Have you ever stopped to think about how your personality affects the way you interact with others? Find out more in this new book by Pamela A. Taylor.

Personality and Jesus

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

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


Guest Post: Emily’s Journey with Jesus

Nativity Set

Background

It was perhaps a decade or so ago that Emily Forsyth and I first met at church. She was young and pregnant with her fourth child. She was weary, but hungry to be all God intended her to be. Little did I know that the Lord would allow me to be a part of her “story” for all these years. I love being in the background, watching God work as he is molding her into a thing of beauty, fit for the Master’s use. She has found the path to the source of Joy.

God adores His “girls” and He is a good, good Father. He can be trusted to direct our steps if and when we surrender to His leading. He wants us to know that He is intimately involved in our lives, just as He has been in Emily’s. We are each a work in progress. And we all need someone to remind us it is not about us. We are merely to allow ourselves to be vessels through whom God works.

Emily has given me permission to share this article with you. She originally wrote it for her church newsletter. My prayer is that you will be inspired to stop and think how God might help you to more fully find your own unique path of decrease so that He might increase in your life.

And now…Here’s Emily……


…Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.

John 3:29-30

I just love how our church is buzzing with excitement over the children’s Christmas program! I can’t help but remember back in 1991 when the words were announced by the Sunday School Director, “and the role of Mary goes to…Emily!” That moment, my ten-year-old heart must have skipped a beat. I couldn’t have been more happy to have been chosen to wear that sky blue robe and hold the plastic baby Jesus as the congregation sang Silent Night. At that year’s Christmas eve program, I’m sure I was beaming with delight.

I have always felt the urge to be front and center. What is that about me? It’s not that I have many skills or talents to offer. It’s just that I sometimes don’t mind the “story” being about me.

Several years ago, I had taken a stance in front of a group of people, and in the days following, I began worrying. I found myself at an emotional low. I turned to an older, wiser sister in Christ for counsel. She patiently listened while I shared my heart. I told her of the people, and the things I had said, and how I must have sounded stupid, or unkind. They must have thought I was hateful. I carried on… After a while, she stopped me. She gently put her hands on my arms, and looked into my eyes. “It’s not about you, Emily.” What did she mean it’s not about me? I was the one with anxiety because of this stance that I had taken. Didn’t I have to get it straightened out to be myself again? But as she paused, that truth struck me. This. was. not. about. me. This was about GOD. Everything is. The moment I took myself out of the picture, and focused my concerns on the story being told about God through that situation, I could breathe again. Not only could I breathe, but I felt joy! John the Baptist said “…Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.”

From then on, I realized how much of my life I spent trying to play the starring role in a story that was never about me to begin with. I realized that I was created for a purpose, with giftings, and talents, and passions that were given to me to play a specific supporting role in God’s story. I was created to direct all attention to Him, like shining a spotlight, or making the announcement, or opening the curtain. I no longer had to be the shining star, because in His eyes, I already was! He made me precious in His sight! There is nothing more, nor less I can do to be worthy. And the joy is found when each of us works together to fulfill our supporting role as part of the body of Christ to further His kingdom and shine the light on Him.

When I adapted the principle that “it’s not about me,” everything changed. I stopped striving and over-preparing, and watching to see what others were thinking of me. I knew that it no longer depended on me to get it right, but that God would always get it right. My relationships, my health, my finances, and my faith all grew stronger. Now, whenever I feel consumed with thoughts about what people think of me, or whether I am succeeding or failing, I stop and find a way to serve someone else in the name of the Lord Jesus. It’s amazing how small acts of service toward others can relieve feelings of anxiety or depression. It’s a way of directing our attention away from ourselves. It’s because we were created for that — to play a supporting role in God’s big story! If we do His work, we will find a joy that passes all understanding.

So, to that ten-year-old little “Mary,” I would say, “hold that Jesus high and make sure the light shines on Him. Don’t worry if you fall out of the spotlight, because there is no greater blessing than to be the one who makes great the name of the Lord.”


Emily ForsythEmily Forsyth

Emily finds her joy in Jesus, coffee, and people. As the only extrovert in her family, she admires her quiet, steady husband, Aaron, and their four children. They homeschool and live in Clear Lake.


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


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