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Daniel. The Prophet Who Always Put God First

Daniel and the Lion's Den

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

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

Daniel is know for his faithful purity

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

The Lion’s Den

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

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

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

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

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

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

Personality and Jesus

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

Personality and Jesus

Let's Connect!
Awaiting His shout,
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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


God’s Love Letter to You!

Woman reading book

God does the choosing

“God’s choice of you was not rooted in your usefulness, but in His sovereign love, displayed in the perfect obedience and atoning sacrifice of His Son who took on weakness and shame. You were not useful TO Christ—you are made useful IN Christ.”—Anchor Devotional. (emphasis mine)

He chose YOU to love

He wants you to love Him back. And, that actually happens when you read His love letter written especially for you and to you, His beloved! And when we love, we also want to be known and to be wanted and to be useful, right? The very best way to do that is to read His love letter to you–in its entirety. Don’t miss a word of what He wants to say to you!

Read through the Bible in 2022

No study guide or special homework. Just encouragement in the journey as you choose your own plan to read through the Bible in 2022. Becoming “equipped” to BE more useful…

The point is to do it!

It is a choice. Use any plan you like. Choose to read through or even choose to listen through–as some are doing. Great blessings await you when you practice this discipline.

And, if you already are doing this anyway each year, try a new version of the Bible for a fresh look and some fresh insights.

4 Benefits

  1. The WHOLE counsel of GOD is necessary to observe and learn how it ALL fits together, rather than just picking and choosing your favorite parts.
  2. The WORD of GOD provides wisdom and understanding for daily living. Sometimes you receive a direct word and other times you learn from an example provided in the text.
  3. JESUS IS THE WORD. Reading the WHOLE WORD of GOD helps you know Him better each day. He was with God in the beginning. He is, was, and always will be the very Word made flesh. He came and dwelt among us for a season. Now He is with God interceding for us.
  4. We learn to know on a personal level–Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit. And we become acquainted with His BEST plan for living the life of a Follower of Jesus Christ. It takes time and effort to develop that relationship. Reading the Word daily gives us the wisdom to know how to live out the Christian life that honors God, our Father.

When to get started

Now is the best time to start a Bible Reading plan. Today.

My plan

I am choosing to read two Old Testament chapters and one New Testament chapter each day; and on Sunday, I read a Psalm or two, along with the 2 Old Testament chapters…rather than the New Testament. That plan should get me through the whole Bible in a year!

5 Options

    1. Some are reading a new version of the Bible. This is my first time reading from New Living Translation. It can give a fresh perspective when you change to an unfamiliar translation. There are LOTS of options.
    2. Or read your familiar version. That is also a great idea! There is no right or wrong version. Just choose one and take the plunge.
    3. Some are listening to an audio version, because they are audio learners …. or they can listen while they travel to work in their car, for instance.
    4. One person I know is writing out in her own handwriting what she is reading. She says it helps her concentrate on the text better.
    5. I found this example through a Google search: NIV Reading Plans

There are all kinds of options out there for you. Just choose something and get started. TODAY!

Don’t try to make up for missed days.

Just start today and finish a year from now. Don’t get legalistic or bogged down or discouraged if you miss a day or so. Just pick up where you left off and keep going. All is well. Give yourself GRACE. Missing a day is not the end of the world. Just START and then take one day at a time. Before you know it, you will be finishing up your plan by reading Revelation!!! YAY for you!

Until next time…

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


My Father. An Acrostic Devotional.

My Father - An Acrostic Devotional

My Father, thank you that you are My Provider

Your Word says…

”The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” (Psalm 18:2 (KJV)

Whatever I need, dear Father, You are it…whether it be physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, or financial. You are my provider.

Thank you.


My Father, thank you that you are Quiet-Spoken

Your Word says…

”the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.” (I Kings 19:11b-12 NKJV)

In this noisy world, where so many people are raising their voices in order to be heard, You lower Yours. You are quiet-spoken.

Thank you.

–Excerpts from My Father, An Acrostic Devotional. Experiencing God’s Love A-Z  by Pamela A. Taylor

Why I wrote the book

It was a way of coping. I was experiencing so many changes. Some good, but many not so good. And sometimes it was difficult to settle my mind enough to pray. When experiencing unsettling times, I find that having structure in my life is very helpful. That’s why working through the alphabet with God in mind, was a great coping tool for me. And it continues to be. It is even now my current practice to use this book in my morning daily devotional times. I take one “letter” per day. for 26 days. In the book, I’ve even provided a blank page for each “letter” for you to write your own thoughts or prayers.

I shared only yesterday’s and today’s pages…the 16th day of the month – My Provider, and the 17th day of the month—Quiet-Spoken as examples…

Additional Personal Reflections

I wanted to share with you what I had in mind for possibilities. Here’s some things I added on my blank page next to

The 16th day of the month —

The alphabet letter “P”

  • Purposeful.
  • Passover Lamb.
  • Powerful: (You defend me from whatever threatens me harm—even the things within me that threaten to undo me.)

From the Introduction in the book:

”My hope is…{to} get you started seeing God with fresh eyes. Helping you feel more confident in your relationship with Jesus in thought and prayer.

“Perhaps you will find this A-Z approach to be a fun activity with your kids. Maybe on a road trip or walking outside in nature. Finding additional words to describe your Father God. The possibilities are endless. I’d love to hear from you about how A-Z has enriched your relationship with God.”

In closing, I was just remembering: women have shared with me their joy that they have found all kinds of uses for this A-Z discipline. When anxious or having trouble sleeping it is helpful to go through the alphabet with God in mind. The structure settles our minds and emotions. It helps to put things into proper perspective.

I hope you will be blessed by this and decide to purchase the book for your own times with the Lord.

If you already have the book, please share a review on Amazon so others can discover this sweet way to draw closer to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Thank you for all you do.

Until next time…

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


Learning to Lean

Boy leaning head and looking out window

I was grumpy yesterday.

My plans went south. And I had to WAIT for someone before I could move on with my day. I was frustrated. I like routine and dependable people. So I was grumpy and feeling miserable because I could not have MY WAY! I was at the mercy of another. I went to bed late and had troubled sleep.

So, when I woke up this morning, I realized I did not want to be grumpy anymore. I DECIDED to be content. I CHOSE joy as I awakened and a song popped in my head. Not sure I have the words exactly correct, but here is the gist of it: “To God be the Glory. To God be the Glory. To God be the Glory for the things He has done. By His blood He has saved me, by His power, He has raised me…And if I gain any praise, let it go to Calvary. To God be the Glory…”

I’m sure I left something out, but it got me back into right perspective. Truly, God had ministered to me and my spirits lifted.

Then, I asked God, “Why is it that I don’t “wait” well, God? I get grumpy. I feel like so much time is wasted waiting. HOW can I have a better response as I am going through the “waiting”???” (That is kind of a risky prayer, because God gives us opportunities to see if we really want an answer to that kind of prayer. 😉

How do we do that?

How do we learn what is right in the sight of the Lord? We learn by reading the Word and then applying those Biblical standards to our personal lives. Our faith is nurtured through extended and deliberate time spent in the Word of God and in prayer. Spiritual wisdom comes little by little throughout our earthbound days, maturing and growing us daily.

We learn to trust

Trust develops over time, and we learn to experience and believe that all that happens—the blessings AND the sufferings—are God’s ways of teaching us reliance on Him. He never ever leaves us alone. He walks through ALL of life WITH us. The good, the bad and the ugly.

An attitude

Learning to lean is an attitude toward God—a mindset—an awareness—of what He wants, and then desiring to do it. And then following through on that desire. He renews our mind, resulting in Godly living. Leaning guarantees the Lord’s guidance in all things so that we may live rooted and grounded in Him. He is the vine and we are the branches. We stay connected. This is where that peace that passes understanding comes in. Even in the midst of storms of life, we can be peaceful on the inside. Blessing upon blessing.

Solomon teaches in Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own understanding…Acknowledge Him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight.” Again…This is a choice.

Living under the influence of just our own understanding…

  • can lead to MISunderstandings
  • can lead to fear
  • can lead to poor responses
  • can lead to assumptions based on past experiences

However…

To trust in the Lord and acknowledge His authority and leading in all our ways…

  • dispels fear
  • brings inner rest and peace
  • leads to trust that today is a “new day”
  • daily new beginnings

And these Godly responses lead to peace, joy, rest and confidence moving forward.  Learning to lean!

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!Until next time,
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 2021 Christmas Card

Mary and Joseph, the Shepherds, and the Three Wise Men

2021 Christmas Prayer. For Uniquely You!

I keep thinking how God deliberately created you to be unique and special. And that He has a purpose for you. I am also wondering if you have FOUND your purpose. Life is so much richer when we figure out WHY we are here.

“May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of Glory, give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation, in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but, also in that which is to come.”

Ephesians 1:17-21

What more is there to say?

May Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection and His coming again be at the center of your thoughts and plans as you celebrate this season that we call Christmas, remembering that He left Heaven to join us here on earth…to show us the way HOME! You are God’s workmanship, created unique. And special. You are loved. By Him.

God Bless You, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

I’d love it if you leave a comment about your favorite Christmas memory.

I’ll get you started. My Christmas memory is:

As a child, it was exciting to be able to stay up till the midnight Christmas Eve service. I wish I could say I understood WHOSE BIRTHDAY we were celebrating. I just knew I was able to stay up REALLY late. And that made Christmas come that much sooner (which to me meant merely the opening of presents). What kid is going to sleep, anyway on the night before the “opening” day! Now, as a Follower of Christ, Christmas has real MEANING to me. And I look forward to it as a remembering time that His PRESENCE is better than the PRESENTS!!

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!May we always live in anticipation of,
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

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

Filed under: Christian Life Coaching — Pam Taylor @ 6:00 am

Christmas. What Difference Does It Make?

Woman in coat under snow and lights

Christmas!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God stepped in and changed all that for me.

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

Are you asking: Who am I?

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

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

I was in my 60’s when that happened.

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

Contentment.

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

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

YES! I’m ready!

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

Merry Christmas! God bless you bunches!

Personality and Jesus

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

Personality and Jesus

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

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


Is Compliance Obedience? Is Disobedience Rebellion?

Gavel

Lately, I’ve been pondering the question:

Must we, Biblically speaking—as Christians—ALWAYS obey ALL authorities? I am just guessing, but I believe this has been an often debated question from way back when time began. Think Adam and Eve.

Dictionary.com defines compliance: “the act of conforming, acquiescing, or yielding, a tendency to yield readily to others, especially in a weak and subservient way.” Kinda mindlessly following. God wants us to have the heart of a servant, not to be SUBservient out of fear or dread. We must not check our heart at the door. Whatever we do, must be with our whole heart, in response to the love we have for our Creator God. Our Father. He always wants our best. And He has a plan. The plan He has for me will NOT look like the plan He has for you or for any other person. We are unique and each of our paths are unique.

I want to tell you a story.

Many years ago, I think it was 1986 or 87, I came face-to-face with that decision. Did I have to obey? Was I facing a forced compliance? It is not a frivolous question. And there are no easy answers. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me give you a bit of background.

The Mission Field.

When we had our initial interviews, the mission authorities understood that my husband and I believed with our whole hearts that God had called us to homeschool our children. We felt we could not compromise that “calling” in order to join in ministry with the group. They would be with us wherever we went.. And…Thankfully, the authorities agreed. We had a green light that all was in order. We were delighted that they honored our commitment.

However, when we came back to the mission headquarters in California–from language school in Costa Rica—we needed to go through some additional intense training before we were released to our assigned country.

Things changed.

THAT is where we had to make a decision. Must we, Biblically speaking—as Christians—ALWAYS obey ALL authorities? The “authorities” said EVERYONE had to put their children in California schools or daycare during the training season. We reminded them of our agreement. They said “No exceptions”. We were stunned. What happened? What were we to do?

We didn’t argue. They ran the mission. We had to obey the rules. Or did we? We prayed for wisdom. Our pastor’s daughter was willing to come to our headquarters apartment to stay with our kids during the day while we were in training. And then I could go down between classes and during lunch and other breaks and check on my kids.

We presented that option to the “authorities”.

They said they would consider it but we would have to pay for the nannie ourselves. It costs a fortune in California, and we did not have that kind of money available to us and there was no time to raise that kind of additional support. It was “D-day”. NOW! we had to have a solution. So,we asked if the money they were going to pay for us for the California Day Care could be used to pay our “nanny”. They said NO! Absolutely not. They couldn’t set a precedent. So, I was beside myself with grief. It looked like we were up a creek without a paddle.

What would YOU do?

My husband was busy in flight training school.

I was alone with the children. I talked to God about what to do. I cried and prayed and cried and prayed and prayed some more for God to provide.I felt POOR. And forsaken. I felt betrayed and confused. Why were they making it so hard for us? Where was their compassion? Shouldn’t they be keeping their word? Shouldn’t they be delighted we were committed to obeying what God had clearly told us to do to raise our children? After all that crying and questioning and praying…I began to ask…

What did God want me to do?

He tells us in Hebrews 13:17 NLT “Obey your spiritual leaders, and do what they say. Their work is to watch over your souls, and they are accountable to God. Give them reason to do this with joy and not with sorrow. That would certainly not be for your benefit.”

I didn’t want to give them grief.

But I simply could not do what they asked. But 1 Peter 5:5-6 NLT instructs: “In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for God opposes the proud but give grace to the humble. So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.”

And Romans 13:1-2 NLT teaches: “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.” Does that mean that someone else makes decisions about how I am to raise my children? No, I don’t think so. There is a Higher Authority that decides the family structure.

What does Peter mean when he says to humble myself?

Does that mean that they are right and I am wrong? It was a horrible testing time. I was so grief stricken. The Webster dictionary defines humility as “not being proud, haughty, arrogant, or assertive.” I truly don’t think I was doing any of that, but was I being a rebel?

Was I in rebellion against my “authorities” like Romans teaches?

Rebel is defined by Webster: “to oppose a person or group in authority: to refuse to obey rules or accept normal standards of behavior, dress, etc.“ I didn’t feel like I was rebelling, but rather reminding them of our original agreement and their promise to us. Was I rationalizing? NO! I know that I had to do what GOD said. Not man. I knew that I would have to accept the consequences, however it turned out. And I was willing to do that, but I was so very sad. I trusted God but I wondered if I had misunderstood Him. But I knew I had NOT misunderstood God. Too many things along the way since BEFORE the children were born, convinced me that I was on the right path. Our “sending” church from back home was fully behind us homeschooling our children. But perhaps we had misunderstood going to the mission field?

What would YOU do?

And then, there is also the other side of the story. The mission “authorities”:

“The authority by which the Christian leader leads is not power but love, not force but example, not coercion but reasoned persuasion. Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve.”

John Stott

I prayed and cried some more

It all seemed impossible. We were going to have to leave the mission and go back home…failures!! Quitters!!!

There was a knock on my door.

It was a missionary neighbor. She said she had just gone up to headquarters to get her mail and she had received a letter with a check in it. And she didn’t need the money. And…

Are you ready for this?

She felt that God had told her to give it to me. And…are you ready for this? It was the exact amount we needed to pay a “nannie” to stay with the kids in our apartment so I could attend the meetings and come down often to check on the kids during the breaks.

THE EXACT AMOUNT NEEDED

AT THE LAST HOUR
CONFIRMATION THAT WE HAD INDEED HEARD GOD’S PLAN FOR OUR FAMILY.

So, I immediately went up to headquarters and told them the news. I hate to say, but truthfully, I can’t remember what they said in response. (I was kinda floating around on a cloud of joy.) But I do know that everything fell into place and it all worked out beautifully.

So, back to the initial question:

Must we, Biblically speaking—as Christians—ALWAYS obey ALL authorities? It’s not just cut and dried one size fits all, is it?

If you ask Father God, He will tell you when to stand firm and when to yield. It won’t be easy, but it will be GOOD! And you will know in your “knower” when He has given you your answer…

I’m praying for you right now…

My Father: Experiencing God's Love A-Z

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

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

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

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


It Is Written…

Woman readıng Bıble on dock
It’s been awhile since I read through the whole Bible in a year. I’m not sure what happened. Why DID I stop?

It is time for me to begin that blessing again

I am hoping you might want to join me in this adventure in 2022. I really, really, hope you will! So, I am writing this blog post, as though you have said YES that you will join me!

Bible Reading Plan

The Our Daily Bread devotional has a Bible reading plan at the bottom of each day’s page. I have ignored that reading plan up until now. So, it is TIME to honor their hard work to provide it!

I plan on reading those Our Daily Bread through the Bible verses in the evening before bed. What a great way to end the day. I’m excited to begin!

Do what works best for you

What will YOU do? And WHEN will you do it? The point is for each of us to use the plan and the Bible version and the system that works best for you/me. I have tried many different Bible reading plans through the years, and each had different benefits.

Each Day

Each year, I notice creative new reading plans to choose from. You can follow my same plan or you can choose another. The point is to read through from Genesis through Revelation in a year. It will be such fun sharing this experience with you. Please let me know if you are joining me. We can pray for each other to complete the successful journey.

Delighting God

I can’t think of anything that would delight God more than His “kids” spending extended time together in His LOVE LETTER to HIS BELOVED (you and me) as we read through all of His word this year.

Which translation will you use?

I haven’t decided YET which translation to use this time through. I had wanted the Passion translation I’ve been hearing so much about. But when I went to order it, it looks like to me that it is only the New Testament. So, now I am not sure. What about you? Which is your favorite? Will you try a new version for this journey through the Bible together, or do you prefer staying in one and the same that you started years ago. There is no wrong or right way. We just need to commit to DO IT faithfully and daily. This is to get a full picture of the entire Bible every year. Not just our favorite books and verses.

Practical stuff

What time of day will you read these extended passages? Morning, lunch break, afternoon coffee break, evening? When? Where?

This is a time for expanding our knowledge of the WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD!

Remember, this is different from your devotional morning time, which is meant for connection. For fellowship. For direction.

December 31, 2022

On that last day of December, we can know that we know in our knower that we know our FATHER, SON, and HOLY SPIRIT in fresh, new delightful ways. And we will know that we have grown in our faith and accomplished what we set out to do. To be “hearers” of the entire Word. Which leads to being “doers” of the Word.

Thoughts

I want to remember to ask God to bless the reading of His word, and to speak to you/me as we read. You may want to keep a journal nearby as you read, to record fresh insights—or make notes in your Bible as God expands your knowledge and understanding of Him. Keep it simple so you don’t get overwhelmed to the point of quitting. And if you happen to get behind, don’t try to catch up. Just pick up where you left off. There’s no LAW that you have to FINISH on December 31. The point is that you DO FINISH what you start. Not WHEN you finish. But THAT you finish.

This week

So, now, this week, decide which version of the Bible you will use and if you need to purchase it, do it right away. AND decide if you want to use the same reading plan as me, or if you want to use another. DECIDE THIS WEEK. Decide if you will keep a journal handy with colorful pens to record your thoughts as you read and ruminate. Decide what time of day you will read. Make a notation in your appointment calendar. Be deliberate. Decide where you will read. Will you have a special Bible Reading Corner?

OK, then…

ONWARD, fellow warriors. Grab your sword (the Word of God) and let’s enter into the battle armed and ready to deflect the enemy’s arrows—prepared as as our Lord was, when satan tempted Him in the wilderness after His baptism. It was the official beginning of His ministry and He was prepared with the Word on His lips – the Sword of the Spirit – And His response to satan was … “It is written …”

May that be our goal.

Join me? I hope so. I pray so…

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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