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Do You Ever Feel Like a Failure in Your Relationships?

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that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You;
that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

John 17:21 NKJV

What did Jesus mean?

When Jesus speaks of oneness, is He telling us to be in oneness with each other? That is what I had been taught for many years and I simply could not measure up. I have tried and tried to be in unity/oneness in thought and deed with all Christians. Jesus and God are ALWAYS in total agreement/unity/oneness about every single thing. Did he mean Christians would be able – even in the Spirit – to be in total agreement with each other about every single thing? If so, we have failed miserably!

Or…

is He telling us to choose to make it a priority to get to know God in such a deep personal relationship, so that the mind of Christ rules our thoughts. So that we are one in thought with God and Jesus. Is He calling us to a relationship that is like the oneness that only comes through surrender/submission to the Lordship of Jesus over us. As is between God and Jesus.

Jesus Himself

was not in unity with all the leaders or people in the “church”. He was not in total agreement even with His disciples. He was in total agreement only with GOD HIMSELF. As we are to be…

Is TRUE unity even possible human to human?

Have we been striving to make it happen? Does that striving kick God off the Throne and put ourselves there instead? Have we been thinking we are capable of being in unity with another person? Or with a group of people?

What if our goal is actually to be to SUBMIT to GOD and seek ONENESS with HIM only…To choose to seek friendship and fellowship in true Christ-like relationship with Him. And then, HE—working THROUGH us—will allow us to be a conduit of HIS power, HIS love, HIS mercy TO those He puts in our path. That would be UNITY/ONENESS with God, right? What is impossible with men is possible with God, in God, and through God.

Unity wasn’t forced in the Early Church.

People walked in unity only as a direct result of each one having a close personal walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. That caused them to experience times of having one heart/one mind. And, truthfully, they often failed miserably. STRIVING for UNITY doesn’t work. TRYING TO HAVE UNITY doesn’t work. Only SUBMISSION to GOD “works”.

UNITY cannot be the GOAL.

The GOAL is JESUS HIMSELF!!! Looking unto Jesus…personally, individually…each one for himself/herself is the ONLY WAY to UNITY/ONENESS. There are no shortcuts. There are no “programs”.

It is only through deep personal relationship with the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. And then, we become LIKE HIM whom our HEART LOVES because it is actually HIM shining THROUGH us!!!

It is a journey we travel daily all our earthbound years!

Like John the Baptist stating that he, himself, must decrease, so that JESUS might increase. He knew that JESUS HIMSELF is the GOAL!

Isn’t that actually what our heart longs for in our human relationships? Jesus Himself. Unity with God, which then brings about HIS unity with us to human relationships. Because our eyes are then directed off of humans and onto God Himself. Isn’t that when the devil FLEES from us?

“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

James 4:7 (NKJV)

After all these years of following Jesus, since 1975, I am still struggling with the “submit” to God part. I think I have it and then He shows me another layer of ME ON THE THRONE. UGH! But, I get back up, dust myself off, ask forgiveness and realize He has not given up on me. What a blessing!

What about you? How are you doing?

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


Make Your Bed. A Book Review.

Make Your Bed book cover

Make Your Bed.
by Admiral William H. McRaven
A Book Review.

This book will make you rethink your life.

Your values. Your dreams. Your possibilities. How many times do we blame someone else or circumstances, whine that life is not fair, or play the victim card? How many times do we believe we can’t do something because it is too hard? How many times do we make excuses, rather than take the bull by the horns and look to God to help us. To follow the dreams that He has given us. To believe He is our strength. To remember that with Him, all things are possible. Here, in this book, are lessons learned in his Navy SEAL training, and taught to us in story form. Like Jesus taught in story form. Lessons taught that way seem to remain with us and inspire us toward action.

Admiral McRaven says change can begin with one simple daily task. Making your bed. If this sounds silly to you, then you most definitely NEED to read this book as soon as possible. Because you are in for a delightful experience of re-thinking…

Big things come in small packages.

Little tasks completed can change your life. They can bring a sense of order and a feeling of accomplishment, which can move you forward and onward with a more positive outlook on your life. These are most certainly tough times. We can feel like the whole world is a mess and yet by implementing these 10 lessons, we can change our lives and maybe our little pieces of the world as well.

Book subtitle: “Little Things That Change Your Life. And Maybe The World”

This is without a doubt, one of the most unique and inspiring books I have ever read. It’s written by Admiral William H. McRaven, (U.S. Navy Retired). The title is: Make Your Bed. The book is small in size (5×7). 130 pages of timeless wisdom. Practical advice. Based on his Navy Seal training. It offers encouragement even in the darkest moments. Admiral McRaven’s bio says he: “served with great distinction in the Navy. In his thirty-seven years as a Navy SEAL, he commanded at every level. As a Four-Star Admiral, his final assignment was a Commander of all U. S. Special Forces. He is now Chancellor of the University of Texas System.” He has something to say that we would be wise to listen to and put into practice.

Here’s a short summary of the treasure you will discover in this powerful book.

Ten Lessons (Chapter titles)

  1. Start Your Day With A Task Completed
  2. You Can’t Go It Alone
  3. Only the Size of Your Heart Matters
  4. Life’s Not Fair—Drive On!
  5. Failure Can Make You Stronger
  6. You Must Dare Greatly
  7. Stand Up to the Bullies
  8. Rise to the Occasion
  9. Give People Hope
  10. Never Ever Quit!

Each chapter tells a story to illustrate the lesson in that chapter.

So…If you want to change the world…

  • Start off by making your bed
  • Find someone to help you paddle
  • Measure a person by the size of their heart
  • Get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward
  • Don’t be afraid of the circus
  • Slide down the obstacle head first
  • Don’t back down from sharks
  • Be your very best in the darkest moments
  • Start singing when you are up to your neck in mud
  • Don’t ever ring the bell

Page 103

”Life is full of difficult times. But someone out there always has it worse than you do. If you fill your days with pity, sorrowful for the way you have been treated, bemoaning your lot in life, blaming your circumstances on someone or something else, then life will be long and hard. If, on the other hand, you refuse to give up on your dreams, stand tall and strong against the odds—then life will be what you make of it—and you can make it great. Never, ever, ring the bell!

“Remember…start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone. Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if you take some risks, step up when times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden, and never, ever give up—if you do these things then you can change your life for the better…and maybe the world!”

Commencement Speech

The book ends with the May 17, 2014 University of Texas Commencement Speech. The University slogan is “What starts here changes the world.” The speech is super inspiring. And down-to-earth … exactly where we all live. The book is based on that speech.

He said that on that night 8,000 students were graduating from that University. And if every one changed the lives of 10 people, in five generations (125 years), 800 million lives would be changed! It’s the little things that build up and make a difference. And, if you are a Christ follower, you also have the power of the Holy Spirit to guide you. So, what are we waiting for?

Final thoughts

First of all, I recommend you purchase the book. And read it more than once. And gift it to many! What a great graduation gift it would make.

All my life I have made my bed every morning. It really, really is a powerful way to begin the day. I never knew WHY until reading this book. It makes sense that it is a perfect way to give yourself an immediate sense of order and accomplishment. Our God is a God of order. This is a way to reflect Him from the very start of your day.

When all strung together, it is the multitude of small things accomplished throughout the day, every day,”that can change your life and maybe the world.”

This is an amazing little (but POWERFUL) book with lessons taught through STORY. Enjoy! And pass it on…

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


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


Needing God Desperately

“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered…”

Hebrews 5:7-9 (NIV)

When life changes your plans.

Joni Earekson Tada is an author, painter, public speaker and a quadriplegic. Her story is well-known, but what she has to say to us may be a bit difficult to hear. Joni is not a stranger to the world of suffering. She was very young when her life was forever changed on an ordinary day while swimming with her family.

She broke her neck in a diving accident.

We know her now as a beautiful soul fully surrendered to God. But it was not always that way. Of course…it was all difficult to accept at first. She had been an active young woman. But God had given Joni a loving family and at least one good friend that patiently helped her to see her life was not over. It had just taken a different path. She has learned obedience through what she has suffered.

Mindset matters.

Her other-worldly mindset gives her the strength to endure through her life challenges. Challenges that most of us cannot even imagine. Things we take for granted. It has been said that Joni begins her day EVERY day with the realization that she needs God “desperately”. It is not a theory for her. It is a reality. She simply cannot do even the simple tasks of “life” without help.

Reality check.

Joni believes that the “really handicapped people are those who don’t really know of their desperate need for God.” Amazing perspective from one confined to a wheelchair, needing someone to assist her with everything she does.

Jesus paved the way…

Through Jesus’ “reverent submission” He became the Source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him. Jesus’ suffering made it possible for Joni and for you and for me to endure until we meet Him face-to-face. Amazing love. Love that gives us wisdom to understand the concept of the necessity to grasp the idea that we truly are beginning each day “needing God desperately”.

What about you?

It is in accepting that fact – that we need God desperately – that we are empowered to follow wherever He leads.

Food for thought : What can we learn from Joni Earekson Tada?

This week as we celebrate Valentines Day, let’s take time to stop and think:

  • Can you honestly say that God is your FIRST love?
  • Do you stop daily to remember how how much you actually DO desperately NEED HIM for absolutely everything?
  • Is time with Him your FIRST priority every day?
  • Is He your last thought before sleep, or are you busy rehearsing the next day’s “to do” list?

Let’s talk about where He is leading you!

Do you have questions about the actual process of coaching? Or questions about how to get faith like Joni? Let’s talk about it. Remember, You don’t have to do this thing called “life” alone. Click the blue “Let’s Connect!” button below, to contact me and/or to set up a *FREE* inquiry call together…

Until next time,

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


My Prayer For You This Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from Loaves and Fishes Coaching

 

My prayer for you this THANKSGIVING:

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

I am reminded of one of the first sermons I actually HEARD. The pastor said “If all we receive is our salvation, it should be enough.” Amen? Amen!

So, this Thanksgiving, as we remember all that the Lord has blessed us with, may we begin with gratitude for our salvation. All else is OVERFLOW.

And, as with the cornucopia, may your overflow flow over to all you meet each and every day from now until you see Jesus face-to-face.

In Jesus’ Name!

Be blessed to be a blessing!

Thank you for all you do.

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!Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

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


How Do I Get What I Want from God?

Woman in coat walking down street
The book of James says that if I resist the devil he will flee from me. Well, that sounds easy. But IS it?

It must be a conscious choice to not only receive the salvation of our Jesus, but to be certain He is on the Throne as Lord of our lives.

There are immediate and serious challenges in our world today. Challenges we cannot ignore.  We are now and have always been in a war for our mind. And the mind is the devil’s playground. He loves to manipulate Scripture to get us to stray away from God. Just think about his manipulations of Scripture with Eve in the garden and even with Jesus in the wilderness. The first step to get the devil to flee, is to submit to God. So, the “formula” is this:

  1. Submit to God (turn toward God) SO THAT you will have the power, the strength, to…
  2. Resist the devil (turn away from the devil) SO THAT…
  3. He will flee from you.

It sounds simple and is truly is. But this is also very serious business. It takes daily deliberate thought and action. And even moment by moment.

The devil wants you to fail. Remember, he wanted Eve to fail and he wanted Jesus to fail. However, the Lord God wants you to succeed and to have that inner peace and joy as you walk in the midst of His will. Our relationship with God must be our priority.

So, how DO you get what you want from God?

ASK

In the beginning verses of chapter 4 of James, the Word is clear that when we don’t get what we ask for it could be because we don’t actually ASK God. We don’t take the time to talk it over with Him. To seek His will. To ASK. Crazy, but I know I am guilty of that. I can’t believe I still, after all these years of walking with Him, I actually forget to do the actual ASK. Lazy? Preoccupied? Pride? (We think we can do it ourselves.) Is that why God tells us in James 4 verse 6 that He resists the proud but gives grace to the humble? When we find ourselves coming up short with anger, irritability, confusion, could it be we just forgot to ASK God for His help and His will? It never ceases to amaze me that I can actually forget to ask! What about you?

Wrong motives

And sometimes, we don’t get what we ask because, when we DO ask, we ask with wrong motives. Selfish motives. Only to satisfy our own desires. We have our SELF on the throne. Wanting what will make others’ lives or our own lives easier. I am actually guilty of that as well. But God has a bigger plan. I am so glad He is patient to teach us the same lessons over and over again. Isn’t He amazing? He wants us to ask Him what HIS plan is for our friends, family, co-workers, our town, our state, our country and our world. Our big assignment is to train ourselves to remember to always ask God for HIS heart for all the things I mentioned…and MORE!

We are merely instruments through whom God works. It is not about YOU. It is not about ME. It is about GOD and HIS plans.

Now, let’s go back to specific points

He tells us we must first humble ourselves before God. What does that look like to you? Humbling yourself. That’s really what we have been talking about throughout this whole post. Choosing a Godly mindset. Asking for the unselfish Mind of Christ. Humbling ourselves. Getting ourselves off the throne. Seeking God before moving forward. Before speaking. To take control of our thoughts. Turn them toward God. And then we can walk in the light of the following verses…

Let’s look at the surrounding verses in chapter 4 of James in a version you might not be familiar with. (The J B Phillips New Testament version.) I’m sure like me, you’ve also realized that when we look at the same verse in different versions, it gives us fresh insights. It expands the meaning for us.

But resist the devil and you’ll find he’ll run away from you.
Come close to God and he will come close to you.
You are sinners: get your hands clean again.
Your loyalty is divided: get your hearts made true once more.
You should be deeply sorry, you should be grieved, You should even be in tears.
Your laughter will have to become mourning, your high spirits will have to become dejection
You must humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord before he will lift you up.”

James 4: 7-10 (Phillips)

Pretty stiff conditions, huh? But all for our good. All for our peace. Our joy. God created you and me, and He knows how to bring out the best in us. He made the rules of the “game” of life. Of Eternal Life with Him! And if we want close fellowship with Him, we will stop trying to make our own rules for this earth-bound life. So that things will go well with you and me.  And THAT, my friends is how we get what we want from God. Because we come to realize that what we want is actually what He wants.

Just like if you play a game of Monopoly. You can play by the rules—OR–you can decide you are going to make up your own rules. I am pretty sure making up your own rules will NOT go well with you in Monopoly. And, the “game” of life eternal has much more serious consequences than a game of Monopoly.

Choose wisely, remembering God adores you. He even sent His son to die for you. Let’s talk…

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


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


Life Is Like an Elevator

Elevator Display

“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

I Thessalonians 5:11

This world is not our home. We are merely passing through. It is a journey.To encourage one another is to give courage where it is needed. The Christian life requires moral courage. That’s where we come in. Encouragement can come through prayer or in speaking the truth in love, and through blessing others with words and deeds.

Life is like an elevator

When you are in an elevator and another person gets on, you say, “What floor?” If they tell you “2”, you know they want to get off on the 2nd floor. You know their destination and you know how they are going to get there. What if you don’t pay attention or you think they should get off on 4 (the 4th floor), so you push 4? You will have done them a dis-service. You are not the elevator operator. You merely pushed the buttons. But you have affected their lives one way or the other. Either for good or not.

Life is like a spiritual elevator

The same thing happens when you try to push someone to a level in their spiritual life before they are ready. They may do all the right things but their heart is not ready and they fall down. They will get discouraged. Some quit and fall away. Only the Lord knows when they are ready for the next “level” of their walk with Him.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

Ephesians 4:29

What are we to do?

  • Discernment and encouragement are needed
  • Encourage—give courage—to the fainthearted in each step they take toward maturity
  • Look for ways to bless those who are floundering
  • Discern what they are saying BEHIND the actual words
  • Pray for them and with them
  • TRUST that GOD is guiding them. YOUR job is to encourage and to bless and walk alongside with your “atta boys” ringing in their ears

GOD is the ELEVATOR OPERATOR

You are merely along for the ride in each person’s journey to their DESTINATION. TRUST them to take the right floor. GOD will take them there. Sometimes we just need to get out of the way.

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

Filed under: Christian Life Coaching,Strengths Mentor Coach — Tags: , — Pam Taylor @ 7:00 am

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


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