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Hard Lessons in God’s Faithfulness


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

Spanish Language School

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

WHERE do You want us to go?

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

Communication is more than just words

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

Inadequacy is a condition, not a place

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

Let’s pray together:

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

Until Next Time,

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

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


Touching the Hem of His Garment

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

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

What does it mean to be made perfectly well?

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

A courageous woman desperately in need

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

She knew and she worshiped

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

The safest place to be

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

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

Pray with me?

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

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

Until Next Time,

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

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


Lord of the Loaves and Fishes

Lord of the Loaves and Fishes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Merry Christmas!

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

God bless you bunches!
Awaiting His shout,
Pam Taylor


Meeting Jesus Face-to-Face

A tribute to a life well lived

I originally wrote this, many years ago, in 2007, as I grieved the loss of a dear friend many miles away. Since that time, many others I held dear have joined my friend. Diane, in the presence of Jesus. Though they are blessed and full of joy in Jesus’ presence…

I find that today, I am again grieving my own loss in the death last evening, of another dear mentor and friend, Leota Mether, many miles away. It has been many years since we have seen each other, but her steadfast love of her Lord and Savior was palpable and she longed for Heaven to be with Jesus from the day I first met her. Her example has continued to give me a good foundation from which to build my own trust and faith in our Lord. Leota was our family’s piano teacher, but she was so much more. She was our mentor in how to live a faithful Christian walk. So, I share this piece, Welcome Home, again, knowing that everyone reading it will be thinking of someone that they miss…mindful of the transition from here to there…I pray this comforts you in your own loss…


Welcome Home

The story begins in Delaware. One morning, so many years ago, a dear friend kissed her husband good-bye, left to go jogging with her friend, was hit by a truck, and immediately left to be with her Lord. I’ve written from the perspective of my friend, Diane, and now from the perspective of my friend, Leota, as she meets King Jesus face-to-face in Heaven.

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”
—Jude 24, 25, NAS

Today, at 6:40 a.m. (Earth-time)

I stepped from your world into the peaceful beauty and splendor of Heaven. It was an easy passing…there was a quietness and a calm in the air as I passed from one world and into the next. It was a lovely journey.

King Jesus was on the Bema Seat. I was not afraid to face Him. We discussed my life and I quietly asked, “but Lord, what about when I…”

FORGIVEN

(In blood red)

suddenly appeared on my hand. “Oh, my Lord,” I whispered, as He stepped down from the Bema Seat. The jagged scars from the rough-hewn nails on His wrists made me weep as He wrapped His lovely arms around me. That simple act of His hug has totally healed me of my earthly experiences. Those beautiful scars! I laid my head on His shoulder and wept for joy. Such love. I looked down and saw the scars on His feet…love marks to me. Such glorious, pure, untainted, unconditional love. I am in the home of the forgiven.

He placed a crown on my head. On me! How could this be? And yet, it is true! Glorious love! Somehow, I don’t feel unworthy. It feels natural to be here. As though I have always been here. Then I remember: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1, NAS).

“Oh, my Lord…my glorious Lord!” I fell before His feet. I touched the scars. “They are there because of my sin, not Yours!” He lifted me up, and escorted me – His bride – to the banquet table. “How is it possible, with so many others here, that I feel as though I am alone with You”? I asked Him. Those beautiful expressive eyes drew me closer – ever closer to an understanding of the purity that love can possess.

The clutter of the things that were important in my earth-life is gone. “Life is so simple here. There is love and there is purpose; and I know that You have prepared this destiny especially for me. You have used my earth-life to prepare me for what You were preparing for me – here – after the banquet.”

“I have been healed with Your loving embrace,” I whispered. “Your banquet table has nourished me. I have walked down the path with You – on Your arm as Your bride. Oh, the wonder of it all! Now, You have said that we have work to do – together – in every sense of the word. You have made me worthy to be here and You have proved it by placing this crown on my head.”

I tried to kneel and He told me, “No, STAND before Me…I have made you worthy.” So, I stood…in my glorified body – before King Jesus and He embraced me again, and said, “You have been faithful. Well done, My lovely one. My bride. You are here, not for what you have done in My Name, but because you have loved my Glorious Appearing. That is all that I have required. There is no need for My bride to ever fear My appearing. You were created for this purpose. Your earth-life was preparation for all of this. I often told you, “I have My way. You have yours. Mine is better. You see…I was right. My way is better.”

Then He said, “Here, My love…let Me show you how My Light sparkles through this bottle of your tears that I have kept. Not one tear was lost…and see how they add to the beauty of Heaven—the home of the forgiven.

“WELCOME HOME!”


Meditation:

This might be a good time to think of what it might be like for you your last day on earth. Are you ready to meet your Maker? I’d love to hear your story. Let’s talk!

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

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


Sleep Deprivation. A Gift From God?


I want to say a little bit to those who suffer from sleep deprivation. Those who wake in the middle of the night and can’t go back to sleep. Have you ever thought of it as a gift from God? Maybe He is calling you to a closer walk to Himself.

Thinking back…

I’m thinking back about those morning feedings with my children and it seems like it was often about 4:00 or so in the morning. Somehow it was like God was calling me in a very special way to Himself and I was almost sorry when the children grew older and I slept through those times.

The 4th Watch

Just recently I’ve discovered some things how Jesus comes to people during the 4th watch. I also noticed that often He would pray to His Father during the 4th watch. So I did a little bit of research, and I discovered that it happens to be between the hours of 3 and 6 in the morning. I have a feeling many of you suffering from sleep deprivation might say that often that is the time when you are awake and frustrated.

What’s the significance?

I noticed that the 3rd watch was often during time of trial or battle. Remember the disciples on the sea, struggling during the 3rd watch of the night? That would have been sometime between 12 midnight to 3 in the morning.

The weather was bad and the boat was tossing around and they were struggling and crying out for help. Then, Jesus came and walked to them. That was during the 4th watch when he appeared. The hours between 3 and 6 in the morning.

What if…?

So, what if he lets you struggle. He lets me struggle? And what if we take the time to look for Him during that 4th watch? What if He is there? What if we have been missing Him?

Mindset shift

What if you just decide to change your mindset…your way of looking at the sleep deprivation…and just decide to embrace that time and spend it with Him in the wee hours of the morning?

A blessing in disguise

I know for me, it has been a blessing in disguise to change my way of looking at the wakeful hours. Surrendering, rather than fighting it to no avail. CHOOSING instead to relax and visit with My Father in His Word and prayer. And spend some time with Oswald Chambers “My Utmost For His Highest” devotional. And journaling. Somehow, it is so much better than later in the day. The 4th watch. And then, often, I go back to bed and am able to sleep for another hour or two.

Give it a try. And let us know how it goes…

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

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


Increase Your Energy

This is a busy time of year coming up. Summer is drawing to a close and highly scheduled lives begin again. We know that with God, anything is possible. Faith, Hope, Love and Laughter are all part of God’s energy plan.

Learn from the past

But, don’t LIVE there in the past. What did you do last year that you want to do the same?

Life is full of lessons

Maybe you have disappointments, failures, and things you wish you had done differently. You know that no re-do is possible. You can’t un-do what has happened. But you can learn from it and choose a new path. Rehashing the past is energy-draining! You can move into an amazing fresh new start. Here’s how…

Learning from the Apostle Paul

“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended, but one thing I do; forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this in mind…
Philippians 3:13-15a

In summary, the Apostle Paul’s 3-part plan was actually a goal toward maturity. And you and I need to follow the same plan in order to be effective in the Kingdom work He has called us to do.

  • Forgetting what’s behind
  • Reaching toward what’s ahead
  • Pressing on with the goal in mind

You can’t change the past. But you can reach out toward what is ahead of you, and with the energy of the Holy Spirit in you, believing God, you can press forward toward the goal always in your mind. What are you working toward? In the Lord, you have the energy/the power/the ability to do what He has called you to do. Remember…

A definition of energy:

the power and ability to be physically and mentally active. Sometimes, you can sabotage the plan, so…

Here’s some ideas to increase your energy so you can reach toward accomplishing your goals

  • Don’t skip a good protein breakfast
  • Drink lots of water
  • Walk whenever you can, rather than jumping in the car
  • Take 3 deep breaths whenever you feel like you can’t cope
  • The Psalms can be helpful in times of great pain and sorrow
  • BELIEVE GOD. “Act as if…” you have it all together. When you are faithful with this, the FEELINGS will soon follow and you will be surprised at your coping ability!
  • REMEMBER: You and God can do this together. Believe that! He is only a prayer away!

Listen to Classical Music* every chance you get (to minimize energy-drainers)

  • Decreases the stress hormones causing overeating and excess belly fat
  • Decreases depression, anxiety and physical pain
  • Improves sleep and decreases nightmares
  • Encourages faster healing after surgery
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Increases energy and endurance while exercising by 10-12 percent

*(The benefits of music list is from: 700 Club’s “Increase Your Energy. You can get the energy you need to live a full life.”)

Until next time,

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

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


You Will Never Have a Better Past

Are you stuck?
The reality is that many of the conversations we have on a daily basis are about what went wrong in our past. What’s that about? God clearly instructs:

“…Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press towards the goal to the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13, 14) He wants you to release the past because you will never ever have a better PAST. No matter how you try. The past is…PAST…

What keeps you from letting go?
My prayer right now is that you will STOP and actually prayerfully look at your life and listen to what God is trying to say to you.

Stop blaming
The past is past. You cannot make it better. There are consequences and there are results. But it is past. Deal with what you need to deal with and move on.

There’s no sense in BLAMING anyone. But you can look at your own attitudes and listen to your own words. We are what we think. And we are what we speak about ourselves. I can remember saying often to myself: “What is WRONG with me?” I wasn’t seeing myself as God sees me. The life of a new creation cannot be lived looking back, but rather by looking ahead toward today and beyond.

Potty training
When I was MUCH younger, the big thing was blaming our mothers because of the way they potty trained us or whether they nursed us or not. That is unproductive. The past is past. Move on. Let it go! What you are right now today is not your mother’s FAULT! You have God and His Word to help you be an overcomer. No more “excuses”.

God has SO MUCH MORE
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us…” (Ephesians 3:20). God actually wants to bless you! But, He leaves it to you and me to embrace Him and believe His plan is for you and me to let go of the past and move forward WITH HIM.

What are you clinging to?

  • Has someone hurt or abused you?
  • Has someone disappointed you?
  • Have you been abandoned maybe as a child or by a husband?
  • Has someone manipulated you with guilt or fear?

CHOOSE to rise above it
Much in our lives can be solved, simply by realizing that we are all living out the personalities that God has given us, in an uninformed way. Often we see our strengths as weaknesses. Sadly many do not even want the abundant life because they would have to stop clinging to victimhood and blame. I don’t believe that is you, or you would not have read this far!

Manipulation & domination
However, If you want to continue to manipulate people to feel sorry for you, or if you want to continue to have inauthentic surface-y relationships, then don’t keep reading. I won’t coddle you in your victimhood. I’ll listen and affirm your life was tough (because who’s life hasn’t been?) BUT if you decide you want to work with me, I will help you discover your personal God-given strengths, so you can embrace and joyfully walk in them. AND I pledge that I will encourage you in every single tiny step forward.

Leading From Your Strengths
It will be glorious watching you do the hard work of re-programming your mind to think GOD’S thoughts and seek HIS plan as you walk away from your past failures and disappointments. God wants you to walk away from the past and toward your future. Because you will never have a better PAST anyway! It is impossible to change the PAST! So…

Let it go!
You won’t forget about it, but it’s behind you. Your past is part of what made you, YOU! I believe you are still reading this because YOU want to see your life through fresh eyes. You actually can move forward with the Lord Jesus Christ as your Source of everything, and trusting you no longer have a desperate need to “please” or “blame” any single person.

Gratitude
CHOOSE to do what you do out of gratitude. For what the Lord has done for you. For your salvation. For your future in Heaven with Him. For His unending unconditional love of who you ARE, because HE is the one who designed you to have the gifts, personality, strengths, and talents that He knew you would need, in order to do what He has prepared in advance for you to do!

Onward!
Are you ready to begin the discovery process? If so, you have come to the right place. Let’s get started…

Thanks for all you do…

Until next time…

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

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


What’s Wrong With This Picture?

lindsay-baby-airport-web

Put yourself in this Mom’s place. Traveling alone with a baby.

Look closely and then tell me…What’s “wrong” with this picture? Maybe “wrong” isn’t the “right” word. Maybe “unusual” is the right word.

I’m pretty sure this would not be what I would look like if I were at a major airport, ready to travel a number of hours with my baby on a plane…ALONE! What about you?

Here is what is (wrong/unusual) = remarkable: She is smiling! She is a real, live person and she is smiling! And at peace! How did that happen?

Lindsay sent me this picture. It inspired me so much that I asked her if I could use it on my website. I figured if it inspired me, it would inspire you, too. (I’m passionate about helping Overwhelmed Moms find their way out of the fog. And this picture speaks volumes!!!) And then…when I heard her response, I just had to share it with you right away.

Because…here’s something else that is remarkable about this Mom: Her response was “Yes…but…I wasn’t overwhelmed.” WOW! She wasn’t overwhelmed??? Astounding!!!

What do you suppose was Lindsay’s secret?

Lindsay had a plan. She had spent the days leading up to this day (as she prepared to move to another continent in a few short weeks) speaking God’s promises out loud to herself as she packed and as she took care of her baby. Her husband was far away…on another continent because of his work. It was unavoidable. This was a fog she was going to have to find her way through without her husband’s help. She wanted to be victorious, even though her life was in an uproar! But you would not know it to look at her, would you?! She had chosen the HIGHER ROAD.

Life is a series of choices. Flesh or Spirit. Which will rule? Which will we “feed”? The Spirit or the flesh?

This Mom had chosen to listen to praise music even though the things in her life were in chaos. While helpers were shouting questions at her. While she had to make a ton of last minute decisions. While she had to remember to eat. While she had to remember to change the diapers and nurse the baby. While movers came and went. While her apartment looked more like a war-zone than a home…with all the sorting and packing materials all around. Lindsay had chosen to have God on the throne, rather than let her feelings rule her. She did what she could do. She fed her Spirit Soul food and it nourished her to the point that her countenance would actually shine! You can see that for yourself!

She did what she could and left the rest to God. He likes that! 🙂

lindsay-baby-cropShe is an amazing woman. She is one of my favorite people and I wanted to share a bit of her story with you. I pray it inspires you to take the time to stop, drop and pray. To remember that nothing is too big for God to handle. IF we let Him.  She made a conscious choice to meditate on the promises of God. To feed her soul with music. Not just any music. She chose music that nourishes and exalts God. Proving: You definitely are what you “eat”. His Word (the Bible) is her nourishment. AND…Praises helped her rise above her circumstances. God has a plan and she followed it. And this is the result!

Please take time to comment and let us know what this has stirred up in you. And please also share stories of times when God’s Spirit has ruled and you, too, have been victorious in a difficult circumstance. We would love to hear from you. And as Lindsay prepares to move from her familiar surroundings, your remarks could be perfect timing and have the same effect on her to encourage her to keep looking UP because GOD is BIG.

“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work,” Jesus said. (John 4:34 NAS)

{{Lindsay Nichols Estes has a message for women in transition. She walks her talk and more often than not, she comes forth trusting God’s promises. She knows the secret of success. If you are in transition, and want a coach to walk through it with you, you can find her here: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lindsaynicholsestes }}


Don’t Quit! Joseph… A Story of Success… via Blood, Sweat and Tears

Have you heard a version of Anything worthwhile is worth fighting for. Worth waiting for?

I know that’s not a happy thought that success comes via blood, sweat and tears, but it seems especially necessary to say that today. The media would have us believe that we “deserve” success. When we get a college degree, we “deserve” a job. And not just a job, but a job starting at the top. Because we are “qualified”, right? Isn’t that the way it works? Or maybe we believe that when we start our own business, the clients/customers will flock to us. Because we did the right things, so of course we will realize our dreams complete and full…immediately. Right? That when we do the right thing, all falls into place. Blog posts tell us that. Facebook and Twitter posts all claim that if we buy their program, we will get skinny, we will grow new hair on that bald spot, and we will be able to run a marathon if we eat the right energy bar. That’s what we hear from all forms of media. But…is it true???

My inspiration today is the story of Joseph in the Bible. Joseph had a dream. Have you had a dream? Are you continuing to pursue it, or did you quit when it got hard or took too long?

You know the story. Joseph was his Dad’s favorite. And his brothers knew that. It was way too obvious. So, when they got a chance, they got even. Not with the Dad who chose him as favorite, but with Joseph. They tried to eliminate their problem. They wanted him out of the way. The only problem was, even though the Dad thought Joseph was dead, Joseph was STILL his favorite. The empty space at the table was NOT occupied by another. His Dad’s heart was very sad. And none of the other sons became the favorite in his place. So what did they accomplish by taking matters into their own hands?

What about Joseph? At the hands of his brothers, Joseph suffered bullying, abuse, betrayal and great loss; and at the hands of others, he suffered slavery.

He waited. (What else could he do under the circumstances?) But somehow, Joseph never seemed to see himself as “under the circumstances”. He believed in a BIG GOD. THE big God!

Then, he began to find the Favor of the Lord. And he kept his integrity. He faithfully walked honorably, even when tempted to take the lower road to destruction.

He took the higher road to the Favor of God. Those appointed to keep him in line saw clearly God’s favor or him and they appointed him to positions of leadership. And they indirectly received God’s Favor through Joseph. But betrayals and disappointments continued. And he remained a man of integrity. No matter how much power he was given, he remained a man of God. A man faithful to the Lord’s ways.

And the final outcome? Remember his outrageous dream that his brothers hated him for? Hated him enough to try to get rid of him forever…

Well, that dream came true and they literally owed their lives to him…the one they had sought to destroy was later their rescuer.

Blood, sweat and tears…walking that faithful life with our eyes on the Lord of the blood, sweat and tears…not giving up…but going forward…one step at a time. Little by little. Trusting the God of the outcome.  A heart on fire for Him.

Now THAT is “success”! That is God’s definition of “success” and that is where the joy lies. Peace that passes understanding. Don’t quit. Press on. Press through. Keep looking up to the Creator of real success…via blood, sweat and tears!

Easy? No! But ask Joseph someday: “Was it worth it?” And I have a feeling he will shout out, “Yes! Undoubtedly, YES!”

Do you have a dream you haven’t yet followed through on?


Legendary Super Hero.

My Dad was a legendary super hero. He was also a single parent. That’s part of what makes him a super hero. Parenting is tough. Single parenting is tougher!

He used to say, “When my ship comes in, with my luck, I’ll be at the airport!” Then he always laughed! (My Mom’s medical bills had undoubtedly taken a toll on the bank account.) In my eyes, my Dad was a rich man. Not from wealth, position, or possessions. Rather, he was rich with integrity and steady resolve.

I knew I was loved. I knew what his values were. He lived his values. He was his values. He was deeply respected in his community.

I also knew things I could count on about him.

  • He always straightened up the house before bed.
  • He’d be there waiting for me when I got home from school.
  • He showed up no matter where I was when I was with my friends. (I liked that.)
  • He cared enough to be sure I was safe. (My friends were jealous.)
  • He never forgot a holiday.

(Whether Valentines Day, birthday, or whatever holiday…there was always a card and a gift on the kitchen table waiting for me when I came down for breakfast.)

He wasn’t a hugger, and he didn’t speak his love much, but his actions spoke volumes. I felt safe, secure and loved.

I’ve been wondering something lately…

When we read and hear the dogma about what parents should be, should do, should not do, etc., do we lose something precious and important by not rather focusing on and appreciating what our Moms and Dads did well? Does our “idea” of the “ideal” bring us into a continual state of disappointment to the point of dis-honor/anger/ & distance?

What if we step back a bit and take an honest look. If this were someone else’s parent, would we be jealous…as my friends were of me because my Dad was so predictable, available, and “protective”?

“Knowing what we are called to do is a greater blessing than striking it rich.” (Turning Point devo. 8/16/12)

My Dad knew he was called to be a single Dad when my Mom died…and he did it really, really well!

Thanks, Dad! You will always be my super hero. I miss you terribly.

 


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