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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


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


Wedding Plans and Alpha Moms. Finding Joy in the Journey.

Wedding party tug of war

Most couples have expectations that after the engagement, there comes the blissful and effortless planning of a wedding celebration. However, sometimes, one or more Alpha Moms vie against the Alpha Bride for the power to plan.

Let’s be fair. Seldom does the Alpha person see the relational fractures they are causing. What could be some of the possible reasons this is happening?

Alpha Manifestations

  1. The money rules. Whoever pays the most thinks (and rightly so) that they should have a greater input … but unfortunately that often translates into the “Right to Rule” all things attitude.
  2. Power struggles. “Where, what, who, when” decisions become nightmares as formerly sane people try to be heard. It appears that they feel that their way is the only reasonable (translated: correct) decision.
  3. Focus on tasks/decisions. It is easy to forget to be kind when so many tasks and decisions are piling up.
  4. Past experiences. Perhaps their own Mom was a Wedding Alpha Mom and they don’t know there is another option.

Is there an alternative? Is this all inevitable? Does the best Alpha win?

Advantages in the Christian Wedding

We can choose to keep God in the center…to pray first, pray during, and pray after each decision, each meeting, and each event.

  1. The wisdom of the Word of God is the Rock to stand on. Reading the New Testament book of Philippians is a good place to start each day. It helps to keep our focus on the Joy in the Lord…to keep our thoughts of Him front and center.
  2. It helps to keep reminding ourselves that God is on our side. He wants us to ask for His help. He desires the wedding plans to be as blissful as the joy of the engagement was. Jesus’ first recorded miracle was at a wedding feast with his mother. He understands.
  3. A priority must be in keeping our guard up against the evil one that desires to destroy the good testimony that can come from a Christian wedding done well.
  4. We can choose to have an “accountability partner” to help us keep focused on what is eternal.

It is also important to remember that just because we are Christians, we are not immune to the temptations brought on by wanting everything to be just right. With all the busyness, it is easy to forget we are sinners needing God’s mercy, guidance, wisdom, and grace.

In Luke 18:9-14

The Alpha church leader – the one that knew and taught the Scripture – the one that spent most of his days in a religious lifestyle (and should have known better) tried to convince God of his “Alpha-ness” (translated: worthiness).

In the story, we also see the contrast of the lowly, despised man – feeling his sinfulness (translated: UNworthiness). He is begging God for mercy.

The question is

In any of life’s circumstances – do we want to be the Alpha person or the one asking for the Lord’s mercy and guidance…and receiving it because God sees our heart. Being an Alpha person is a hard habit to break. But the first step is awareness that it’s not worth the ultimate price of being out of God’s favor.

Perspective

It helps to keep the perspective that it is truly only one day. Future relationships can be strained when we insist that the Alpha way is the right way…controlling things with either attitude, tears, or outbursts of anger. Whether you are the bride, the groom, the mother, the father, a relative, or friend, it simply is not worth it in the long run. How much better to seek to be a blessing in the planning of a wedding.

Decisions

Yes, decisions have to be made and deadlines have to be met. And yielding is difficult, but done with eyes wide open and on the Lord, it can be the difference between being a Kingdom Person rather than a Church Person. Our ways are earthly. His ways are Heavenly.

Luke 18:14 “I tell you that this man {the UNworthy one…the one who knew that he was a sinner}, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled; and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

For His glory!

If you are now or soon to be involved in the planning of a wedding, I pray for God to bless your wedding plans, your wedding, and all the rest of your days on earth. I’d love to help you through the process. 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


Marathon Running

People that run marathons are a dedicated bunch.

They train faithfully, in all kinds of weather…always with that focused attention to detail that produces “winners”. Some hire coaches to help them train and to endure to the end.

Marathon running…it can be grueling before, during, and after the event. One friend actually lost a toe as a result of being determined to finish the race. She persevered in spite of the pain. Maybe even because of it. She had worked so hard to get to this point. She simply could not give up! Would not give up!

I know that the water stations along the way are like an oasis in the desert. Along with the refreshment of the water, they are also a place to receive encouragement to persevere. People cheer you on at these specially prepared refreshment stations. It is critical to be reminded of the goal to finish.

Marathon Running

Time on this earth–as followers of Christ–can seem like running a marathon.

It is critical to keep focused toward the goal. Christian Life Coaches often help people to hold their focus toward their goals: “Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead…the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14). Paul also said in that same verse: “…but one thing I do…”

Is that the one thing we do?

To press on with our eye toward the goal of spending eternity with Jesus? Is that our joy and focus? Do we love Him enough to go through the grueling training before, during, and after the event of “going home to be with the Lord”? Are we willing to lose a toe …or worse…in the process?

Or are we distracted toward the worldly prizes more than the heavenly ONE? Do we try to take shortcuts because the training is so hard?!

Run Your Race

Today is a new day! Let’s keep cheering one another on. This is a great day for a fresh start with a fresh perspective. Which marathon are YOU running? And which prize do you most value?

I’d love to hear from you. Have you done any marathon running?

How have you found it to compare to the walk of a disciple of Christ?


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