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

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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


Coping with Chronic Migraines with Heather Hart

Coping with Chronic Migraines

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

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

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

Tune in below to hear more about coping with chronic migraines:

Coping with Chronic Migraines

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


Walk. Sink. Cry Out. Reach Out. Grab Ahold.

Jesus and the Disciples in a Storm

Wow! I’ve been resting on Matthew 14:16 the last few days. For days I couldn’t seem to get past this single verse: “But Jesus said to them, ‘They do not need to go away. YOU give them something to eat.” (emphasis mine)

Confusion

What was I supposed to glean from that verse that would be applicable to my life now. My “nest” has been ruffled up. My comfort zone is not “comfortable” right now. What do I have to offer…to GIVE…Feeling off-center and a bit like I was sinking.

What Do I Have to Offer?

Meditating on this single verse has been a lifeline…pointing me to clarity of purpose once again.

There were leftovers

This verse is part of the story of the 5 loaves, 2 fish. AND of the 12 baskets full left over. (After feeding 5,000 + people!)

The disciples were frustrated with all the people that would need something to eat. Unfortunately, there was no fast food restaurant nearby. They were concerned. So, they went to Jesus to tell Him the problem (because maybe they thought He didn’t realize the problem. 🙂 All they had was a little boy’s lunch. They had their own ideas what needed to be done, but Jesus had a different plan. That is where Matthew 14:16 comes into the picture.)

Blessing and breaking

Jesus had taken the 5 loaves and 2 fish that the disciples had brought him. He then looked up to Heaven, blessed the food and broke it into pieces and gave all of it to the disciples to distribute to the MULTITUDES. (Do you ever wonder what they were thinking right then?? I do! Kinda funny to think about!) So, back to our story…They gave Him what they had. He multiplied it, but THEY had to “give them something to eat.” THEY had to distribute what God had multiplied. (Reminds me of a poem by Annie Johnson Flint “Hands and Feet for Jesus”.)

They ate what had been multiplied and were FILLED. No more hunger. Filled. Filled with what was first given to Jesus and blessed by Him. FILLED…with much more left over than they even started with. Twelve baskets full LEFT OVER!!! (Here’s where I have been stopping to talk to Jesus a minute. Will you join me?)

Thank You, Lord, for the LITTLE I have to offer. Thank You, that when I give it up to You for Your purposes, You will multiple it to meet the need…and sometimes with some left over. You multiple my LITTLE for others’ sake! Not to hoard, but to give out…to the multitude!

Resting and chewing

I seriously have been resting on this story for days! There is so much there to “chew on”. (Sorry…I couldn’t help myself there!)

After the Offering

Then, after all were fed, Jesus sent them all away—even the disciples—and then He went away—alone—to pray.

He prayed MANY hours. It is stunning that He went away alone. He didn’t “work” the crowd. He didn’t seek glory, attention, or honor or praise for all He had done. Rather, He went to talk with His Father…to spend time alone with His Father. He had merely been doing what He was created to do.

They still didn’t “get it”. Nor does Peter, the Otter personality.

Even after the miracle of the loaves and fishes, the disciples still didn’t “get it”…which they prove by their reactions while in the boat, without Jesus,  experiencing a storm with strong wind. Note they all were very fearful. Even Peter. Let’s call this the “Peter walking on the water” story.

Peter was different than the others. You know Peter. He often spoke whatever came to his mind, and often acted impulsively. Peter was an Otter personality type (Leading From Your Strengths).  He liked to be right in the middle of the action. The party doesn’t start until the Otter arrives! They are FUN!

Without thinking it through, Peter couldn’t wait for Jesus to come into the boat with them. He wouldn’t wait! So, he  stepped out of the boat. And, he was actually safe UNTIL he took his eyes off Jesus and onto the stormy seas.

Typically, Otters love adventure, new things, and get excited about every new opportunity.  They don’t have to think about it. OF COURSE NOT! After all, what could go wrong, right? 😉

They want what they want NOW. They don’t like to wait. It is not surprising Peter did not evaluate the options before flinging himself into the middle of the action. So he stepped out of the boat and walked on the water. BUT when he took his eyes off Jesus and onto the turbulent water, he began to sink! And then he cried out for help. Then he reached out his hand to grab ahold of Jesus. And Jesus saved him. He did not drown. And they got in the boat together.

(Otters are wonderful adventurers, but often bite off more than they can chew, and right smack dab in the middle of their adventure, they just might need some assistance. And then, they let you take over because they are on to the next adventure. You can’t keep a good Otter down.)

And now the storm is past and all was well…

UNTIL the next time Peter and friends forget what they have learned from the provision of the loaves and fishes and on the stormy sea…

What Do I Have to Offer?

Are you like me?

I think there’s an obvious reason why God impressed on me to call my business Loaves and Fishes Coaching., so many years ago. I have always loved this story. And that theme of the loaves and fishes is on my mind often:

What do I have to offer? Am I willing? Do I trust GOD to do with it as He sees fit? It is a timeless principle. A theme that I have to keep re-learning. I have to ask myself. Do *I* REALLY “get it”???

What about you?

Do you have to keep re-learning things about Jesus’ trustworthiness that you thought you already knew?

Can you honestly answer the question, “What do I have to offer?”

My Father: Experiencing God's Love A-Z

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

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

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

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


It’s Not about the Feet

Bare feet through mud and what it has to do with washing feet in the Bible

Washing Feet in the Bible

David Jeremiah teaches that in the ancient world, to share a meal with others is an intimate activity. It affirms mutual trust. It would be inconceivable to eat with one’s enemy…making Judas’ actions incomprehensible. And yet, Jesus again went against tradition. His love has no conditions.

The roads were dusty

Washing feet in the Bible, why was it so important?

Everyone wore sandals. Feet got really dirty. A servant normally met travelers at the door and washed their feet. However, against tradition, that did not happen to this “crew” of fishermen and a tax collector in John 13. Dirty feet entered the room unwashed.

Their hearts were exposed

“(He) rose from supper and laid aside His garments, and taking the towel…” (John 13:4)

Jesus and the disciples were already at the table. No servant is mentioned. And not a single one of them had chosen to wash the feet of their weary friends. The mismatched crew of travelers simply all sat down with dirty feet. So against the norm, Jesus rose from supper… and washed their feet.

Serve or be served?

  1. Jesus did not summon a slave or servant to make them do the task. Rather, after seeing the need, He acted. He served. Washing their feet.
  2. He saw the opportunity for an object lesson and seized the teachable moment.

Peter the Missionary (pre-Pentecost)

No wonder Peter was confused. Against tradition, this King, this Healer, this Teacher, the One they had all hoped would rescue them from the Roman tyranny…this Jesus had gotten up from the table in order to wash their feet. This was not very Kingly! This is not what they had signed up for. Peter doesn’t like weakness.

Outspoken, impulsive, rash, Peter

What happens when Jesus wants to wash his feet? Surprise! Peter forcefully objects. *sigh* A work in progress, pre-Pentecost Missionary Peter is horrified!

Washing feet in the Bible is not about the feet

Jesus explains to Peter that he needs to submit. And of course, “my way or the highway” Peter with his worldly mindset, tells Jesus what to do. Peter is quite the leader, don’t you think? He will instruct Jesus to wash not only his feet, but his hands and head as well.

But, John chapter 13 is not about washing feet. If it were, then Jesus would have gotten each of them to immediately get up from the table and wash each other’s feet.

What IS it about?

  1. Jesus willingly did the job reserved for the lowest of all slaves.
  2. He did not think Himself above anyone.
  3. It was a SYMBOLIC act of humble service. Done with love. Done willingly. Joyfully.
  4. He was not forced to do it. He chose to.
  5. His true followers will follow His example, with the same heart and enthusiasm.

And best of all…

Impulsive, rash, loud-spoken, forceful Peter, a (high “D”) Lion personality has been chosen by God to be part of His “team”. Jesus sees Peter’s value. He understands He is a work in progress. Peter loves Jesus. But he continually fails Him. Jesus knows a secret that Peter and friends do not yet know: Holy Spirit can round off the rough edges. Peter wants to be like Jesus, but he is not quite there yet. Not here…not in Chapter 13.

Submission & service

This is a lesson every follower of Christ, (whether a foreign missionary or not) must learn and put into practice. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we joyfully serve. We DO what Jesus DID. Submitting to what He SAYS. And we learn to embrace our personality type rather than fight it. We realize our strengths are necessary in the Body of Christ. But we also realize that we are all just a single piece of the bigger puzzle picture. Always remembering to not think of ourselves more highly than we ought. We need each other’s strengths. TOGETHER we make a beautiful and complete picture in Christ.

Missionary Peter learns this

…but not until he has even more slip-ups of rushing into situations without being led by the Spirit. So, only after being filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost does Peter become the person Jesus always knew he could and would be. Over time and with the Spirit’s leading, he learned to use his strengths wisely. So you see, there is hope. Always hope. For you. For me. For the Peter’s in your life.

Are you ready…

to learn to appreciate what God intended when He created you? To find your God-given purpose in life? The abundant life is where you and the joy of the Lord intersect; and remember it is not about the feet… 😉 It is about so much MORE!

It begins with Leading From Your Strengths. I am only a click away…

My Father: Experiencing God's Love A-Z

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

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

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

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


Important Announcement – A New Beginning

July 4th - New Beginnings

Loaves and Fishes Coaching is coming back!
I’m back to my original business: Loaves and Fishes Coaching, because it better explains and expresses what God has called me to do.

My calling from God
He has equipped and called me to find people feeling a bit dissatisfied with their life; maybe feeling stuck—like there’s “more to life” than what they are doing. Perhaps they feel they are merely existing and not really living. The exciting thing is that God has something better for each of us. And, he has equipped us to live out His plan and call.

At Loaves and Fishes Coaching,
We know that God desires you to take the LITTLE you have, give it to Him to use for His Glory; and He then multiplies it—like the times recorded in the Bible where Jesus took the FEW Loaves and Fishes, praised God for them, and then BROKE them, so they could become food and blessing for others. You will be blessed as a result of giving what you have been given; but not from taking what you think you deserve. Gratitude is the key.

Through much personal sorrow and struggle, I’ve learned:
We’re not here on this earth, at this time in history, to BE BLESSED, but rather to BE A BLESSING! God’s ALWAYS got a plan. In discovering your strengths and talents, through coaching, you will begin to live in that knowledge, make decisions based on that knowledge. And wonder of wonders, you will actually end up BEING BLESSED because you have been a blessing.

God wants us to discover our strengths and live them out for others. NO ONE is beyond finding God’s forgiveness AND their place in God’s plan. Maybe today God is calling you to YOUR new beginning/second chance/fresh start. Let’s talk.

Contact me for a FREE inquiry call to see if coaching is for you…

Thanks for all you do…

Until next time…

God bless you bunches!
Let's Connect!
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

The MomCourager™

Filed under: Living From Your Strengths — Tags: — Pam Taylor @ 7:00 am

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