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Stepping Confidently into the 4th Quarter of 2021

Sun setting over a pumpkin patch

Can you believe it? 2021 is 3/4 behind us. Many of us have been like a fish out of water. Our regular routines have been disrupted and our plans have been smashed against the proverbial rock. So, now what? I don’t know about you, but I want to finish out this year well. How about you? Join me? Can we do this deliberately and confidently? YES! I absolutely believe that we can!

John 16:33

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

How shall we start?

Let’s start with prayer: Lord, Jesus, we want to honor You in the midst of confusion and scary things. We have not come this far to give up now. But we turn to You as our Guide. Our Ever-Present Help in times of trouble. Our Strong Tower. Our Wisdom. Our Provider. Our Healer. Our God.

You are our Creator–You created us just the way You knew we would need to be in order to finish the work that You prepared in advance…before the creation of the world…in fellowship with You! You knew what TODAY would bring and what we would need in order to navigate through it. For Your Glory!

Two Choices

I am reminded that there are ONLY TWO choices. We are either seeking God or forsaking God. There is no lukewarm middle ground. It is either one or the other. And…Since you have already read this far, I am going to assume that you are SEEKING GOD. Praise the Lord for that!

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts to us in our pain.”

C. S. Lewis

Anchor devotional September 30, 2021

“We need God. He cares about us.He promises that one day He will end all brokenness and suffering. We may not understand why He has not ended it yet, but we do know that He came and entered into it with us through Jesus.”

He is with us in our laughter and in our tears.

I want to stop a bit here to meditate on the “WITH US” part of that last quote. He entered into it WITH US THROUGH JESUS. That’s BIG! That’s how we are able to continue. We are not alone. He is Immanuel. WITH us.

Psalm 27:8

“My heart says to You – Your Face, Lord, do I seek.”

Actively seeking

That is a choice that sets you and me apart from others. Unfortunately, some are getting into Heaven “by the skin of their teeth”, but we want something more than that. We want the joy that comes from being in communion with God when we ACTIVELY seek the Lord and His Word and His ways. And, that, my friend, puts you and me right smack in the middle of a deep joy-filled relationship with the Lord. And THAT, is…

the safest place to be AND the wisest place to be—right in the center of His will—in a two-way, back-and-forth relationship with the Lord.

Take time to step back and PLAN to finish this year well…don’t leave it to chance…

I would love to hear about your plans.

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


Creative Injuries

Woman teaching a class

Continuing Ed Classes

I had been teaching a continuing ed class at my community college. The room was full of people that actually paid for me to teach them. Wonder of wonders, many were public school teachers. The class I was teaching was “Spalding, The Writing Road to Reading”. It is an amazing language arts jewel. The class was going well and the adult students were engaged with lively interactions as they learned new techniques. They were excited about the potential for their students. It is actually fun!

Homeschooling and Tutoring

Having taught my own children and also having tutored other people’s children, I was confident and enthusiastic because of the excellent results I had gotten using this method–even when the child presents a dyslexic challenge. All children benefit!

I had begun sharing an experience I’d had with a distraught and frustrated mother who had come to me for help. Her dyslexic teenage daughter hated reading. The mother had gotten all sorts of reading material for her, to encourage her to read ANYTHING. Nothing had worked.

Sidenote: I have a rule

I won’t teach another person’s child the Spalding method unless at least one parent goes through the training of the basics, with their child, because when the parents also learn the Spalding method they can reinforce at home what their child has learned in my tutoring sessions. We all need to be on the same “page” with the same direction and goals so their child has the greatest opportunity for success. So, the mother learned the basics along with her daughter.

A phone call

Then, one day after just a few months of learning Spalding, the mother called me. She was over-the-roof ecstatic! She had come home to find her daughter reading THE NEWSPAPER of all things. She was reading EVERYTHING in sight. Talk about a joyous conversation! Wow!

The Continuing Ed class reaction

As I was sharing that story with the continuing ed class, I mentioned that I homeschooled my own children. This was many years ago, when homeschooling was almost considered child abuse, and the Teachers’ Unions and Legislators were fighting against homeschooling. I once even had a teacher tell me she was actually TAUGHT in college that parents were INCAPABLE of teaching their own children. So, when these “educated” teachers found out I homeschooled, suddenly what they thought was wonderful, COULDN’T be because I had taught it and I did not have a teaching DEGREE.

That, my friends is an example of a Creative Injury.

Success no longer mattered

They were furious at me—this UNSCHOOLED ordinary woman. Never mind that I had had great success. And never mind that they had been so excited about all the possibilities with their own classrooms of students. Never mind that it actually makes learning FUN!

Suddenly, I was an “ordinary woman”

I suddenly had no credibility in their eyes. It was a stunning experience. But one for which I am grateful. Do you wonder why I am grateful?

This is not a new thing.

We humans do it all the time. We put education and degrees above knowledge and wisdom and experience. We are impressed when someone has a bunch of degrees after their name. Sometimes, all that means is that someone is very good at taking tests. Or something else as simple as that.

But God has a different criteria

I knew that I was not as smart as the experts were, but I also knew that God sent me the kids HE wanted me to teach, encourage, and influence—Including my own. I also knew that I had been trained and was qualified to teach the Spalding method. I knew that I had experiences they did not have. I had proven the effectiveness of the methods in the trenches, where it matters.

I am grateful Jesus chooses misfits

He loves to astound the elite. The educated. The prideful. So, He chooses people who are willing to be ridiculed as they follow in His steps, seeking His wisdom and guidance all along the way. I’d love to hear your experiences from either side of this equation.

An example from Scripture that there is nothing new under the sun..

”The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as men who had been with Jesus.

Acts 4:13 NLT

As each of us deasl with our own experiences of “creative injury”, may people be able to say of you and me that they recognize that we had been with Jesus.

Life is challenging and sometimes people hurt us, but God is good all the time. BE with HIM and all else will fall into place in your life and you will have JOY because you have lived your life in His presence.

Daddy, Daddy! Guess What I Saw Today?

From a flock of geese to a dog on a leash, the pages of this winsome little book are filled with things we see around us every day. Pamela A. Taylor takes those everyday items and looks at them through the eyes of a child; making them seem exciting and new while also teaching children how to be grateful for the God who created them. Take a walk with Pamela through the pages of this book and help your little ones see God’s hand in the beauty of life.

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

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


The View from My Window

Illustration of man walking dog

A man and his dog

This morning as I gazed out my apartment window, I noticed a man leisurely walking his dog on a leash. They made such a peaceful and fun picture together.that i lingered at the window awhile, just enjoying them.

All was leisurely and calm, UNTIL…

they got within view of the bank parking lot. Then, that sweet docile creature on the leash changed from docile to ALERT. Ears perked up and the dog was on a mission.

SUDDENLY…

I was literally laughing out loud at the funny antics. The roles reversed and it looked like the dog was walking the man who could barely hold onto the leash. He was being dragged straight up to the drive-through window.

Background

My local bank has a bowl of doggie treats at the drive-through window.

The treat was received

and peace returned. The dog was calm again. He was enjoying his treat. The man looked relieved.

So, let’s think about our relationship to our Lord and Savior

Oh, to be that enthusiastic for the TREAT of feasting on Your Word, Lord. Give us that passion and sense of mission, letting nothing hold us back!

Prayer

Dear friend, may it be said of you and me that the treat of the Scriptures daily calms us as our furry friend was calmed with his treat!

To God be the glory!

Daddy, Daddy! Guess What I Saw Today?

From a flock of geese to a dog on a leash, the pages of this winsome little book are filled with things we see around us every day. Pamela A. Taylor takes those everyday items and looks at them through the eyes of a child; making them seem exciting and new while also teaching children how to be grateful for the God who created them. Take a walk with Pamela through the pages of this book and help your little ones see God’s hand in the beauty of life.

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

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


September 11: Perhaps Today…

Man removing shoes

The date September 11 (9/11) is on the mind of many this month. The 20th anniversary brings memories flooding back. Most who were alive during that day, can even tell you where they were when they first realized what was happening.

This will be short today.

When you read the title above. what did you think? My thoughts are:

  • Don’t get too comfortable here
  • This world is not your home
  • It’s a “transitional” place
  • Jesus is coming again
  • PERHAPS TODAY

How then shall you live?

Are you fearful? Are you hopeful? Do you need someone to talk to–to process what is rumbling around in your head? You don’t have to figure it all out alone. Christian Life Coaching is a pathway to grow in your faith and relationships.  But, first things first…

“Jesus said, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’”

John 14:6 (NIV)

Jesus is the Way…

Jesus is the ONLY Way, the ONLY Truth, the ONLY way to ETERNAL LIFE. How are you with Him? Are you in a vital relationship with Jesus? If not, why not?

Don’t miss out. Don’t wait another day to develop a deep, abiding vital relationship with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Let’s talk…

My Father For Children: Praising God Through the Alphabet

With an easy-to-follow, alphabetical format, your child will discover how God cares for them in this new book from Pamela A. Taylor.

This interactive acrostic devotional journal is designed to draw your child into the extremely personal and abundant love of Jesus.

My Father For Children: Praising God Through the Alphabet

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

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


Distractions vs Focus

Man on phone and computer
Life is full of distractions and fears, but if we fix our minds—our thoughts—on Jesus, life is so much more rewarding and do-able.

Turn our eyes on Him

There’s a song that speaks of turning our eyes and looking intently at Jesus, rather than focusing on the distractions that are causing fear. To focus on Him, rather than the things of earth that will grow strangely dim because of focusing on His Glory and Grace.

Encounter with God devotional

”Jesus is better than who or what might compete with Him. Besides Him, all else pales into insignificance. It is He who will offer a secure hope.” Nothing or no one else can promise that. Only Jesus.

Worship Leader, Sean Feucht

When speaking about the Lord’s Prayer, he said, “Let’s do HERE what they are doing in Heaven. WORSHIP!”

There was something about the WAY Sean said that, that it really impacted me. WORSHIP is key. And it so easy to neglect in practice.

He also said, “I am as filthy rags. Without Him, I don’t DESERVE anything. HIS BLOOD makes us worthy.”

Nothing about ourselves makes us worthy

Knowing what we know, how can we do anything but confidently follow Him with devotion? Do you ever find yourself acting more like a human DOING rather than a human BEING? The pressures of life makes it hard to focus on Jesus. He just wants to BE WITH you and me. So…

What if we set an alarm for times during the day to purpose to think about Him? To draw us away from distractions. Such a small thing, yet it can bring amazing changes in the way we view life. He is worthy!

This is how we fight our battles

Remember the story of the 12 spies? They went to spy out the land and 10 of them came back with a bad report. I don’t want to be like those 10 grumbling, fearful naysayers. I want to be like the 2 who saw Victorious God as BIGGER than any giants or problems ahead. For the ten, life was about “me and the scary problems”..But for the other two, their life was about “me and the problems PLUS GOD!” The two welcomed God into the midst of the problems and shared a good report–that God is BIGGER than anything they might fear.

”For my determined purpose is that I may know Him That I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person, more strongly and more clearly!”

Philippians 3:10 (Amplified)

Problems begin to fade when we focus on Him. He will never leave us alone. Never ever!

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


Hearts Don’t Need Words to Communicate

Group of Friends

A car load of women. Lessons learned.

Fresh out of High School and driving a car load of women the 12 miles to the next town for work each day, I was a sponge, soaking up all the wisdom those women offered in our daily conversations back and forth to work. They were wise and also fun. And free with advice and life lessons.

Not speaking

One memory is deeply imbedded in my mind. Margaret (not her real name) was talking about a car ride she and her husband had taken the day before—not speaking to each other the entire time. Think of it—neither of them saying a word. What would you have thought? My thoughts were how awful that they were mad with each other, or how boring it would be. Everything I thought was negative.

Stunning

Yet, she was smiling and said it was comforting and comfortable. They had been married a long time. They knew each other so well, they had no need to speak. Say what??? Seriously?? That sounded rude to me. She meant it though.

What about our relationship with God?

And now, with the memory of my car pooling days of my youth, I am reminded of how we are to enjoy the company of God in much the same way. We don’t need to always be talking and asking for stuff. We tend to waiver back and forth between being a human BEING and being a human DOING. He loves just being with you and me. In our very LOUD world, it can be difficult to wrap our minds around this.

In The Pleasure of His Company book

Dutch Sheets shares: “Take some time to stare at Papa God. I promise you He’ll gaze back, straight in the eye.

Words aren’t needed. I’ve spent hours conversing with God without saying a word. Hearts don’t need words to communicate; they just need to be together.”

“Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10 (Amplified Bible)

Shut off your computer or other device and go and just SIT AWHILE with your CREATOR. He longs to be WITH you!

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


Law vs Grace

Stairway

Two Husbands

I once heard a story that helped me understand the difference between OT law and NT grace. Here it is…

There once was a woman married to a harsh task master of a husband. He made her a long list of what he expected her to accomplish. She found it impossible to complete and always felt lacking and a bit frightened of his reaction. She never felt good enough. She daily felt like a failure. She had no relationship with him. And, she was very afraid of him.

One day, her husband died and she put the list away in a drawer and forgot all about it.

She later met another man. He was a wonderful, kind, thoughtful, soft-spoken, loving man. She married him. They had a wonderful relationship, based on mutual respect.

As she was cleaning out that old desk one day, she found the list and when she read it—much to her surprise—she was automatically doing all the things on the list for her current husband. Without even trying. It was so easy to bless and serve him.

Comparison

That was an illustration I heard many years ago to compare the inability to keep the Old Testament laws. Always attempting to please & appease God. It was never enough. There were so many rules!!!

THEN, along came Jesus, who became our sin and died in our place, opening the gates of Heaven to all who choose to believe and accept the marvelous gift of forgiveness God offers us through His Son, Jesus. He is wonderful! We no longer fear we are not good enough and we can choose to live in the joy and pleasure of His company NOW, under grace. The Lamb of God, Jesus the Christ, our Savior,

“God of unconquerable Love, each day you surround me with Your unfailing Love. Today, I am going to remember that!”

Mary Ann Radmacher

It’s a good thing to give thanks to the Lord for His boundless Love!

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


What Do a Fleece And a Parking Space Have In Common?

Full Parkng Lot

Parking spaces

New Christians pray for parking spaces close to the door, and almost always, God gives it to them. Why?

Gideon’s Fleece

These new Christians, like Gideon in his new walk with God, are also asking for confirmation and needing ADDED confirmation through the “fleece test”. God patiently and kindly gave him affirmation, as He gives it to them.

Faith walk

“There are degrees of faith. At one stage of the Christian experience, we cannot believe unless we have some sign or great manifestation of feeling. Like Gideon, we feel our fleece; if wet, we are willing to trust God. This may be true faith, yet imperfect. It always looks for feeling or some token besides the Word of God.” – G. H. P. –From Streams in the Desert devotional, p. 229-230)

3 Phases of faith

  1. Believes when there are favorable conditions.
  2. Believes when there is the absence of feeling.
  3. Believes God and His Word when circumstances, emotions, appearances, people, human reason all urge to the contrary.

Back to the parking space analogy

A new Christian always gets the parking space near the door when she/he prays.

A mature Christian prays for a space near the door and God says, “NO, you need the exercise. I love you too much to grant your request.”

Which one are you?

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


The Secret

Door into a Garden

I have been set aside these last few weeks. I thought I’d share with you a bit of what God has been impressing on me.

Elisabeth Elliot

“The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.”

Change for change sake is not the answer. The secret is believing. Trusting that God means what He says. He is with us and within us always.

John Piper

”God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”

God created our hearts with a thirst that can only be satisfied in Him.

Psalm 63:1

“O God, Thou art my God. I shall seek Thee earnestly. My soul thirsts for Thee. My flesh yearns for Thee, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”

The Psalmist reminds us that our entire being literally longs for God and no matter what else we seek to fill that void, that God-sized vacuum in each of us can only be satisfied when He is truly our first love. When we earnestly seek Him above all others.

Hudson Taylor describes “The Secret”

“It is the exchanged life…. No longer I…” No thought of imitating Christ. Rather, “It was in the blessed reality: ‘Christ liveth in me’…

“No longer bondage, but liberty. Instead of failure, quiet victories within; instead of fear and weakness, a restful sense of sufficiency in ANOTHER.

Encouragement

I Thessalonians 5:24

“Faithful is He who calls you and He also will bring it to pass.” He promises! He keeps His promises.

1 Thessalonians 5:28

”The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”

Until next time…

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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