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“Where Two or Three Are Gathered”

“Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”

What encouraging verses! Full of promise…

The wonderful blessing about the Bible is that there is always the opportunity to get fresh insights and learn new principles. That happened to me just this last week.

For many years when praying with others–whether with seasoned saints, or in a group setting–inevitably there will be someone asking that we “agree with them” in prayer. I would wonder: Is there more power if someone AGREES with us in prayer?

They would pray something like: “Lord, you promise:  if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them; …Thank You that You promise wherever two or three have gathered in Your name, You are there.

The implication has been that if He is here, listening to our prayers, then naturally, He will say YES to whatever we are praying. (IF there are two or three of us agreeing, that is.) It felt kinda like a good luck charm. A genie in a bottle type of magic prayer. A name it, claim it and bag it kinda prayer.

It has made me uneasy for years, but I didn’t know why. I never bothered to look up the verse in context while someone was praying (Or even afterwards, either). These were seasoned saints. Mature Christians. It was a given. No questions asked. But it still felt off to me somehow. Yet, I just shrugged it off and went on with my life. Until I couldn’t anymore.

Mystery Revealed

I have learned that if I wait long enough, God will reveal what has previously been a mystery. I LOVE when that happens.This last week, my Encounter with God daily devotional lesson was God’s instrument to enlighten me. God loves to surprise us like that!

Wonder of wonders! By reading verse 20 in context. (Matthew 18:15-20 NAS) as part of my assignment that day I discovered the TRUTH. And I finally understood my uneasiness. That verse was being taken out of context in those prayer meetings. It is a great verse, but it is not for the purpose of answering just any prayer we might pray. It is addressing a specific issue. It is actually part of a teaching of reconciliation in a Christian setting, where one person has gone astray and the TWO or THREE are those attempting to restore the ONE. The TWO or THREE are to be witnesses to the conversations about the offense or sin. Like in a court of law.

It is FIRST to be handled privately. If unsuccessful, then two or three witnesses go with the one. If that is unsuccessful, then it is taken before the church/group. And when done according to Scripture, the Lord will add His blessing, by being there with you through it all. He will never leave us or forsake us. Even if the ONE refuses to reconcile and goes their separate way.

It is a beautiful plan. But sadly, it doesn’t seem to be practiced much. The plan is hard work. It is focused work. Focused on the outcome of reconciliation for the ONE going astray. The enemy of our souls knows that it is much easier to get us distracted from the context of the verse, which is ultimately for the good of all.
(It is much “easier” to ask someone to agree with you in prayer, rather than doing the “grunt” work of restoration.)

Application

“Care and a loving attitude should go hand in hand with such discipline…This is all very challenging, but Jesus promises His blessing on action properly taken to try to reconcile believers to one another.”

–Encounter with God (November 2022)

Discipline, Prayer, Reconciliation (Let’s recap it all … in Biblical context)

“Now if your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that ON THE]TESTIMONY OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY MATTER MAY BE CONFIRMED. And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, he is to be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. 20 For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”

Matthew 18: 15-20 NAS

Discover Living From Your Strengths (LFYS) Life Changing Mentor Coaching.

Do you have questions? Through the Ministry Insights assessment, you will Discover your strengths. And then, through mentor coaching, you will learn how to daily Embrace and Live out your strengths. You can contact me by clicking on the blue button beside the signature line. Or leave me a private message on Facebook.

Leading from Your Strengths

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Awaiting His shout,
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Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
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Bake Your Enemy a Cake

Making a cake

Take no Offense

It is a challenging lesson to master. When something hurtful happens to me or a friend, I sometimes laugh and say “life would be great if it weren’t for the people in it.” Of course, that is silly, but it gets me OFF the MAD train and brings my sense of humor back. What I am meaning is that people interactions are where the rubber meets the road and shows us truths about ourselves. People are like a mirror that James speaks about. Reactions from people show us clearly how closely we are in reflecting Christ in our interactions.

God has been teaching me the phrase: “I will take no offense,” To CHOOSE to NOT take offense is so freeing.

When someone is rude, or unkind or negligent to show love or kindness, I can just re-focus my feelings by saying “I will take no offense”.

War Room Movie

I am reminded of the War Room movie and the phrase from Elizabeth, as she talks with God: “I’m not their judge. YOU are, God. But please…if they are doing something wrong/sinful, don’t let them get away with it.”

It’s all a way to remind me that GOD is GOD and I am NOT. It actually causes me to relax and to keep my joy! It keeps me from taking up an offense. It keeps me from getting angry and blaming others for my angry attitude. Anger is exhausting. Plus…it accomplishes nothing but giving me a headache or a stomach-ache.

Derek Prince

taught on the reality that we must go the FIRST mile of doing what is necessary and required, before we can go the SECOND mile of doing more than is required.

Bake Your Enemy a Cake

Many years ago, at the Christian Brotherhood Fellowship, Buddy Medlock taught on forgiveness and turning the other cheek. On going the extra mile.

Buddy did not function well in the kitchen, but when he and another person had a disagreement, he would go to apologize, but he would first do something that was difficult for him.

Forgive and Bless Your Enemy

He would bake a cake. And he would take that cake along with his apology. The apology was the FIRST MILE. The cake was the SECOND MILE.

(Love is…)
“Never rude; love is never selfish, never quick to take offense. Love keeps no score of wrongs.”

1 Corinthians 13:5 (Revised English Bible)

We ask you, brothers and sisters, to warn those who do not work. Encourage the people who are afraid. Help those who are weak. Be patient with everyone. Be sure that no one pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to do what is good for each other and for all people. Always be joyful. Pray continually, and give thanks whatever happens. That is what God wants for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:14–18 (NCV)

Loaves And Fishes Coaching

How long has it been since you have visited the website? By the way, I have rewritten the home page. I’d love to know what you think. Does it answer your questions about what I do and why I do it?

Discover Living From Your Strengths (LFYS) Life Changing Mentor Coaching.

Do you have questions? Through the Ministry Insights assessment, you will Discover your strengths. And then, through mentor coaching, you will learn how to daily Embrace and Live out your strengths. You can contact me by clicking on the blue button beside the signature line. Or leave me a private message on Facebook.

Leading from Your Strengths

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

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


What Do a Billboard and a Cake Have in Common?

Socal Harvest reg Laurie Billboard

A Billboard Company & An Evangelist

A billboard company in Southern California changed their mind about running an ad “… for an evangelist – simply because he is holding a Bible. For 28 years, world-renowned evangelist Greg Laurie has been holding evangelistic crusades in Southern California, where he has led tens of thousands to Christ and encouraged millions in their faith.” – One News Now (AFR)

The pastor/evangelist had arranged for a billboard company to create and post his ad on their billboard. In the ad, a silhouette of the pastor was holding a Bible (no cross or even the word Bible on it) in his hand.

Push Back

So the ad was posted on the billboard, the sign company got some push back and asked Laurie to remove the image of the Bible from the picture. The pastor agreed. And on that very day the new image was to be installed, the sign company came back and said, “Well, we’re not going to put that up, and the other one’s coming down – and we’re not going to put up anything.” (They did refund their money.)

I first heard about this billboard spiritual battle on American Family Radio (AFR) .

A Cake Artist and the Courts

Embed from Getty Images
Another example of a spiritual battle from the news that morning was about Jack Phillips and Masterpiece Cakeshop. In his first legal battle, Jack was accused of discriminating against a same sex couple wanting him to bake a cake for their wedding. He is an “artist” and he expresses his artistic talent through his cake decorating. But, he could not and would not bake a cake with a message that would violate his freedom of speech by expressing a message that went against his Christian faith. He felt it would be endorsing a same-sex wedding, which he could not and would not do. There was much push back; and he suffered great losses on many fronts. But, because he felt he was treated unfairly on the basis of his religion and he knew it represented more than just cake baking, he took it all the way to the Supreme court and he won the case. The majority in the court agreed with him.

Jack is Consistent in Walking Out His Faith

“On the very day the Supreme Court decided to hear Masterpiece Cakeshop (June 26, 2017), a caller asked the bakery to make a cake with a pink inside and a blue outside, celebrating a gender transition from male to female. The shop politely declined, but Phillips believes that the same lawyer, on other occasions, requested that he create other custom cakes with messages that violate his faith — a cake celebrating Satan and a cake with Satanic symbols. The lawyer…a man identifying as a woman…” – PJMedia.com

I first heard about this 2nd spiritual battle for Jack on pjmedia.com .

Sloppy Agape or Dressed for Battle?

What do a billboard and a cake have in common? Both stories are about serious spiritual battles. This is old news, but these battles continue to this day.  What is a person to do? Pray for wisdom and favor, friends. Our country was founded on Biblical principles. The Bill of Rights was thoughtfully planned out and purposefully written as the authors realized that the each “right” was necessary. We must honor what our founding fathers intended. The battle between good and evil is intensifying. We cannot live our lives exercising sloppy agape. This is serious business. We must remain dressed for battle in our spiritual armor (Ephesians 6) and continue to keep our relationship with the Lord Jesus strong.  Always alert, because the enemy prowls around looking for someone to devour…

Loving the sinner, but not the sin

If an evangelist and a cake maker must go through such battles, then we must not think we will be immune. We must be supportive of them. And, we MUST be ALERT IN THE SPIRIT!!! We must be proactive, seeing clearly the signs of the times. Loving. Kind. Respectful. YES! AND at the same time, also realizing we are in a battle for souls! Loving the people, but hating the sin.

Setting the captives free

In the strength of the Lord, we are blessed and equipped for healing the broken-hearted and setting the captives free. Are you willing? Our battle is NOT against flesh and blood but against a spirit world that has been working to thwart God’s plans from the very beginning. We are “awaiting His shout” together. Occupying and working until Jesus comes again…

Until next time, I am…

Discover Living From Your Strengths (LFYS) Life Changing Mentor Coaching.

Do you have questions? Through the Ministry Insights assessment, you will Discover your strengths. And then, through mentor coaching, you will learn how to daily Embrace and Live out your strengths. You can contact me by clicking on the blue button beside the signature line. Or leave me a private message on Facebook.

Leading from Your Strengths

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

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


Not for One Second

Man crossing a bridge

These are confusing times. Times of wondering who can be trusted. WHO do you believe? WHAT do you believe?

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

(Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT)

You are not alone. Many are feeling those same things and asking the same questions. But, what does God say about it? He tells us we are not alone. We might feel alone, but we are not!

Even if my father and mother abandon me, the LORD will hold me close.”

(Psalm 27:10 NLT)

Truth vs feelings

These are the days to make a definite choice to believe TRUTH from the Scriptures and not be fooled by our feelings. The devil is the author of the “d” words: despair, discouragement, and depression. God is the author of HOPE: joy, encouragement, and contentment. Sometimes we want a reason when what we need is JESUS.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand”

(Isaiah 41:10 NLT)

You are not alone—not for one second. He is with you every second of every single day. He is closer than your breath.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

(John 14:27 NIV)

Max Lucado:

“In the ultimate declaration of communion, God called himself Immanuel, which means, God with us. He became flesh. He became sin. He defeated the grave. He is still with us. In the form of his Spirit, he comforts, teaches, and convicts. Don’t assume God is watching from a distance. Isolation creates a downward cycle of fret. Choose instead to be the person who clutches the presence of God with both hands. We can calmly take our concerns to God because he is as near as our next breath. And because the Lord is near, we can be anxious for nothing.”

Practical stuff

Be sure you are getting adequate rest, and plenty of time in the Scriptures—the Word–truly SEEKING God and also healthy nourishment, so your are in the best shape physically to hear that still small voice of God. He is a gentleman. He does not SHOUT.

Elijah was discouraged, and that is exactly the “prescription” God gave him when he was worn out from the spiritual battle and was listening to his feelings rather than the truth he had witnessed. We all get there at some point. And we all need a hand UP to the higher ground again at some point in our lives.

I can help

I am a trained life coach. I am a living your strengths coach. It’s what I do! If you are finding life less than joyful, we should talk. That is exactly my specialty: Helping women figure out how to navigate this moment in their lives. Helping you restore the joy of your salvation. I LOVE my “job”. My “calling” to the body of Christ. For many, coaching is a bit confusing. It is not counseling. Coaches don’t fix people. We help you believe that who God created you to be is a special treasure, dearly loved by your creator. I will be your greatest cheerleader as you navigate new ways of thinking and processing life. BTW, I just want you to know: YOU are His “favorite” Winking smile

Curious? Let’s talk soon! I offer a free inquiry call so you can explore if coaching might be the missing link in your life right now. If you decide not, we still will have had an amazing conversation getting to know each other. What have you got to lose? Contact me to set up an appointment. Don’t put it off. Or just click on the Blue Button next to the signature line.

You don’t have to walk through life feeling alone. Not for one second. I would love to be that one clutching the presence of God with both hands together with you! To God be the Glory.

Until next time, I am…

Discover Living From Your Strengths (LFYS) Life Changing Mentor Coaching.

Do you have questions? Through the Ministry Insights assessment, you will Discover your strengths. And then, through mentor coaching, you will learn how to daily Embrace and Live out your strengths. You can contact me by clicking on the blue button beside the signature line. Or leave me a private message on Facebook.

Leading from Your Strengths

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

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


Don’t Fear the Shaking. Just Think Differently.

Depressed woman looking out window

Why are we here? As Christians, why are we here?

In these confusing and often perilous times, are their any good answers? What should we do? What can we do? What should we focus on and what should be our priorities?

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren begins with this first sentence: “It’s Not About You.” I was still a relatively new Christ-follower when I read Warren’s book, but that first sentence is seared into my brain forever. It was a stunning realization. How much of my life has been about ME? God regularly brings that sentence to my mind: “It’s not about you, Pam.” So, WHAT is it about, friends?

Being about God’s business

We all know that we are to be about God’s business “saving the lost”. Perhaps using the “Four Spiritual Laws,” for instance, is a great beginning to keep you on track when you talk with someone about the need for surrender to following after Jesus. The need of dying to self-interest.

We know in our “know-er” that there is only ONE way to God and that is through Jesus Christ. But, then what? What else is there to do?

LOTS!!!! For instance…

Step 1: Leading people to Christ.

Jesus said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”

Mark 16:16 NIV

Step 2: Obedience, all the while knowing we are not responsible for the outcome.

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.
When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.

Matthew 28:17 NIV

Step 3: Discipleship of those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ, the Lord.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Therefore go and make disciples  of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”{emphasis mine}

Matthew 28:18-29 NIV

Step 4: Remembering we are not alone.

”And surely I am with you always, to the
very end of the age.”

Matthew 28:30 (NIV)

Have we helped to create this mess by skipping step 3: Discipleship? Have we neglected to keep God relevant and alive in our daily lives? Are we aware of His presence throughout the entire day and night–in our work, recreation, churches and in our family lives?

Is our neglect and lack of focus on the Lord the reasons why the carnal life is getting so much stronger than the spiritual life of our nation and yes, the world? Did we forget our purpose? Have we forgotten our assignment from Jesus: GO. And MAKE DISCIPLES. Baptize them. Teach them. EVERYTHING He commanded us.

Is that how we started losing the battle?

We got too busy. Too preoccupied. Too satisfied with our lives.

Step 5: We repent.

We bring every thought captive. We stop fearing the shaking. Rather: No matter what we are feeling, we change our thinking. We think differently. We move with Jesus. We pull the plug on deception and lies and evil thinking. Moment by moment. And in those times when we can’t shake the negativity and the depression, we dump our pride, we cry out to God for help, and we ask mature believers to pray for us when we are in the pits of despair. We stand together as one!

Step 6: We rejoice.

God is on the move. People are turning more to prayer. More are regularly reading and studying their Bibles. More people are surrendering to Jesus’ Lordship. More are beginning to see that Jesus really is the only WAY, and the only TRUTH, and the only LIFE.

Do YOU believe that?

Step 7: Watch for Him. Watch for signs that He is with you.

To God Be the Glory! Great things He has done—and is doing every day!

Until next time…

Discover Living From Your Strengths (LFYS) Life Changing Mentor Coaching.

Do you have questions? Through the Ministry Insights assessment, you will Discover your strengths. And then, through mentor coaching, you will learn how to daily Embrace and Live out your strengths. You can contact me by clicking on the blue button beside the signature line. Or leave me a private message on Facebook.

Leading from Your Strengths

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

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


Quick & Easy School Day Breakfast “Cookie” (Save: Recipe included)

Flustered woman

School’s starting. Details. Details. YIKES!!

Is your head spinning, trying to remember all the details for everything you need to get accomplished for this new school year? There’s shopping, organizing, school physicals, car pool schedules, garage sales to make room for the new stuff you bought, and the need to get back into a good sleep routine.

And then, there is meal planning. Do I hear a SIGH?

Let’s talk about breakfast! You want your kids to start their school day (whether Traditional, Christian, or Homeschool) with a good & satisfying meal. Kids NEED breakfast!

I know you are so busy right now. I’m praying for you, Mama. We are on the same “team”. I want to help you with breakfast. Little successes lead to bigger successes as you walk out your daily routine in your career as Mama to your kids. And these successes help you begin to feel like the best mama ever! YAY!

Complete Meal in Cookie Form! YAY!

School Day Breakfast Cookie

(Preheat oven to 350 degrees)

Mix ingredients together with a large spoon, in a large bowl:

  • 2 cups oats (I use quick oats)
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1/3 cup or 1 small individual size applesauce (unsweetened)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup or 1 individual size box raisins
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/3 cup crushed walnuts (I crush them in a plastic bag with a hammer…to the consistency of flour.)

Baking time is: 15-20 minutes…depends on how big you make your cookies. The bigger the cookie, the longer it takes to cook! 🙂

Tips:

  • If the mixture seems a bit too thick, I sometimes add a 1/2 cup or so of water to make it better consistency for mixing.
  • Sometimes for variety, I add 1/3 cup or so of Cocoa Powder or 1/2 cup of peanut butter for more protein.
  • Grease the cookie sheet.
  • I drop the dough by the spoonful and flatten with the back of the spoon.
  • I make my cookies as big as the ones at Starboard Market or Cookies, etc. or any other “Monster Cookie” shop, so that one cookie is a full meal.
  • I freeze them, for times when I’m in a rush.
  • Sometimes I add a glob of peanut butter on the top, for extra protein.

When running late in the morning…

  • I take one out of the freezer and either let it sit while I get ready for the day, OR I can heat it in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds. YUM!!!
  • The kids can take a breakfast cookie with them in the car. No sticky mess. What do you think?

Would you be so kind as to share on FB to help other Moms start the school/work day with a “cookie” 🙂

And, please…share in the comment section below, your own yummy and time saving school morning recipes. Thanks bunches!

Discover Living From Your Strengths (LFYS) Life Changing Mentor Coaching.

Do you have questions? Through the Ministry Insights assessment, you will Discover your strengths. And then, through mentor coaching, you will learn how to daily Embrace and Live out your strengths. You can contact me by clicking on the blue button beside the signature line. Or leave me a private message on Facebook.

Leading from Your Strengths

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

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


Charlie Brown and Friends

Charlie Brown and Snoopie

I’m usually the strong one.

The encourager. The listener. The coach. The mentor. I LOVE that! I LOVE listening to people’s stories! Hearing how God is challenging them and working in their lives. I love crying with them and laughing with them. I love reminding them what they are doing well. I love praying with them. All the people in my life are a blessing. Truly!

HOWEVER…

This week, I felt empty…for me it has been a week of sadness. Normally, I CHOOSE JOY. Normally, I CHOOSE CONTENTMENT in all circumstances. I have trained myself to CHOOSE GRATITUDE rather than grumbling…To TRUST GOD is the BLESSED CONTROLLER OF ALL THINGS and I can TRUST HIM.

I KNOW that in my “know-er”.

BUT…

That wasn’t working for me this week. I FELT like an orphan. I AM an orphan. I FELT like a widow. I AM a widow. I had heard of another of my friends who died. I FELT lonely and very much ALONE. And I felt inadequate…

Like Charlie Brown’s friend, Linus, I wanted my Mommy. But that is not possible. She died when I was 12. I want my Dad, but he’s gone, too. Like Linus, I want my “security blanket”. And, like Charlie Brown, I want my friends around me, but they, too, are having a week of busy-ness, challenge and/or sadness of one sort or another. The news is grim. The weather is hot and humid. I am concentrating on what I LACK. I know better than that, but I can’t seem to snap out of it on my own. I count my blessings and then I hear a SIGH escape from my mouth. What’s THAT about?

I know what to do.

And, I have been doing it! I know to CHOOSE to praise the Lord IN every circumstance. And I’ve been doing it! I know to cry out in Jesus’ Name. To read the Psalms. To pray, pray, pray. To turn on praise music. To go for a walk. And…to remind myself of all that God has already done for me.

Yet, I was still “feeling lower than a snake’s belly” (Daddy-ism). I was feeling a bit like PigPen in the Charlie Brown’s gang. There has been a dark dust cloud over my head and it has been swirling around me. My projects are on hold for various reasons, and the computer likes to confound me and it seems to have a mind of its own at times like this. I was feeling like Charlie Brown…ready to kick the football, and Lucy yanks the ball away just as I am ready to kick it!

No GOOD reason.

There has been no GOOD reason to feel this way, but I know I am not alone. Many of you say the same thing from time to time.

Each friend I tried to connect with was too busy to talk. Or in the midst of their own crisis so were just plain unavailable. Actually I needed someone to LISTEN and help me hear where my stinkin’ thinkin’ was on the wrong base. I needed someone to just LOVE me through it…

Yes, I know I have Jesus, but I desperately needed “Jesus with SKIN on”…a person…a friend…

AND THEN IT LIFTED!!! The best way ever…

God did not send me a self-righteous Lucy, or a needy Linus, or a messy PigPen.

He sent me…

My dearest friend for over 40 years. We “connected” today by phone. I told her how I felt. She listened. I could totally be honest with her without fear of being judged or criticized. She KNOWS me inside out. I am blessed. Before I knew it, I was hearing myself laugh; and the dark “PigPen” cloud lifted off me. I could think CLEARLY again. I could BREATHE again. And my head cleared so I could think.

I had been unable to sit and write my weekly blog post.
During our conversation, the example of Charlie Brown’s friend, PigPen popped into my head. And here I am…ADULT-ING again! Writing this blog post.

God allows the valleys, so a friend can join us there and lift us back up to the mountaintop again.

To God be the Glory!

God has AGAIN proven His timing is always perfect!

Discover Living From Your Strengths (LFYS) Life Changing Mentor Coaching.

Do you have questions? Through the Ministry Insights assessment, you will Discover your strengths. And then, through mentor coaching, you will learn how to daily Embrace and Live out your strengths. You can contact me by clicking on the blue button beside the signature line. Or leave me a private message on Facebook.

Leading from Your Strengths

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

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


Expectation Management

Perhaps Today

Download Photo for Your Desktop

Today is the seed for tomorrow.

When we decide that we have come to the end of ourselves, and we finally surrender to the Lordship of Christ, we come to Him as broken vessels in need of repair and restoration. ONLY GOD can do that. Some come with expectations that there will be an instantaneous change. Some expect that wealth and prosperity will follow. Some will sit back and have the mental attitude that they will merely wait for Christ’s return. Some will believe that all relationships will be restored, thinking they can bypass consequences of previous decisions and actions.

Giving and getting.

Some will believe they can pay the bills and have some fun, and whatever is left over, will go to God. The only problem with that is God asks for the First Fruits, not the left-overs. He has expectations, too. He expects to be FIRST in every aspect of our lives. He instructs us to GIVE. He promises that then, it will be given to us, good measure…running over…However, the GETTING is not to be our GOAL. The GIVING is to be joyful and off the top. The BEST. FIRST. THAT is GOD’s expectation before He grants ours. He wants our hearts. Not our leftovers.

Time management.

Some will daily meet with Jesus to get their marching orders for the day. And to surrender their will for His will. To submit to God so we have the strength to resist the devil, so that he will flee from us. It is a moment-by- moment conscious decision to follow after Jesus.  Managing our time to give First Fruits of time to developing a relationship with God is essential.

THY Kingdom come.

“When you pray, pray ‘Your Kingdom come’ and ask God to rule in your life until He returns to rule the world.“
{However}…”Before we can pray ‘Thy Kingdom come’, we must be willing to pray: MY kingdom GO!!!” –Alan Redpath

“Your Kingdom come…” Is our agreement and expectation of God’s right to rule!” –David Jeremiah

God’s Kingdom is within us. He is always in our midst! Are we living our lives with that expectation? That understanding? We must choose to manage our expectations from worldly expectations to Godly other-worldly expectations.This world is not our home. We are merely passing through. And then we enter eternity.

God’s will.

God’s will and God’s rule are the same. God’s will is always done in Heaven.
It is done on earth when we submit our will to Him—as Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane”
(See Luke 22:42 ) – David Jeremiah

What about you? What is an expectation, anyway?

Expectation: ”The feeling or belief that something will or should happen.”
— The Cambridge English Dictionary

Expectation: “A mental attitude. A prospect of future good or profit. The degree of probability that something will occur” — Dictionary.com

Synonyms: Expectancy, anticipation, hope, trust.

Verses about expectations

In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice;
In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.

Psalm 5:3

“And now, Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in You.

Psalm 39:7

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

1 Peter 1:3

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.

Luke 6:35

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

Proverbs 13:12

What seeds are you planting, friend? What are your expectations? Do you have some re-planning and re-planting to do? Tomorrow may come sooner than you planned. What if TODAY is the day of His return? For over 30 years, I have had this quote (the graphic) on my kitchen counter. It is part of my expectation management. It helps keep me focused.

Perhaps Today

“Don’t get too comfortable here. This world is not your home.
It’s a transition place. He’s coming for me”

Discover Living From Your Strengths (LFYS) Life Changing Mentor Coaching.

Do you have questions? Through the Ministry Insights assessment, you will Discover your strengths. And then, through mentor coaching, you will learn how to daily Embrace and Live out your strengths. You can contact me by clicking on the blue button beside the signature line. Or leave me a private message on Facebook.

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Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

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


A Chapter From My Story. Fighting the Good Fight.

Woman holding hands

I married young. I was 19 years young. I grew up in a small town back east. I knew about the Bible and God, but I had never met Jesus. I had tons of friends. My Mom died when I was 12. She had been in and out of hospital, and was sick most of my young life. My life was not like my friends’ lives. Most days I came home from school, did the ironing and started the evening meal. I did my homework while sitting on the floor  in front of the TV.

My life had been so protected. So much so, that when I was 14 or so, my boyfriend kissed me good night on my front porch (a little peck…not at all passionate), and my tummy felt funny, so I feared I was pregnant. Don’t laugh. It is true. I really thought that. I was scared of the feelings I had. There was no one to talk to. My Mom had died.

Then, I graduated high school, went away to college, lived in the dorm and was horrified about what I witnessed. The stories the girls were telling in the dorm when they returned from their dates stunned me. I had never heard of such things as they were saying. They had blown up what I thought was balloons and they laughed at my innocence.

I went on a blind date on Friday the 13th. We saw a really funny movie “It’s Never Too Late” about an older couple with grown children that suddenly find themselves facing the birth of another child. The husband was actually embarrassed because people would know what he had been “doing.”

My blind date, Harry, was a really nice guy. He had never dated. Never went to a Prom. Never played in sports. Was skinny like me. The kinda guy that bullies picked on. So I felt compassion for him. I think I confused compassion with love.

He went away in the army, was stationed in Hawaii, working in the office at night and spent the days on the beach. He began to discover girls. I’ll just share the part of the Hawaii story that was about me. Because of the time difference, he called me in the middle of the night. His job was secret and mysterious. It all sounded interesting. He got in trouble at his job and in his personal life. I think I confused compassion with love.

When he came back to the US, he got a job as a traveling salesman. (His bosses told him they believed their MARRIED salesmen were more stable and better at their job than the SINGLE salesmen.) (BTW, I didn’t know that until many years later in our marriage.) So out of nowhere, he traveled to my home to meet my Dad and to ask me to marry him. His life was so exciting. I said yes. Both our parents wanted to meet each other, so my Dad, my brother and I flew for the first time to meet Harry’s family. Both our parents wanted us to wait. I think I confused his sense of urgency with love. (Now I know he could not have kept his job if he did not marry. Unbelievable, huh?)

We got married and moved to the midwest. Far away from my family. He was indeed a traveling salesman. He was gone 5 days a week almost every week of the year. He drank a lot. All the time. To excess. He was a wonderful, fun, kind man…until he drank. Then, he became what has been called a “mean drunk”. He hurt me, he broke things, and yelled at me and pretty much told me I was worthless.

We moved to Omaha Nebraska. Marriage counseling didn’t help. One day I was looking in the paper and I saw a church with evening Sunday services, so I got all dressed up and drove myself a couple blocks away. It was more like a Bible Study. I liked it. I had never experienced such a thing as that. The people were amazing. They SHOWED me the LOVE of CHRIST. They SHOWED me unconditional love. They welcomed me into their lives.They were kind and loving.

Out of curiosity, Harry began to go to church with me. They treated him the same way. They were the REAL DEAL. Nothing fake about them. They loved Jesus and they loved people. The pastor was amazing. Kinda like Jesus with skin on. And he was even a carpenter like Jesus. God used all of them to teach me how to fight the good fight.

My husband was still drinking. He had had a low self-esteem much of his life. Drinking kinda masked it for him. So we decided to throw him a party at our home and show him how much fun you can have WITHOUT BOOZE. So, there was no drinking. But TONS of laughter as each person was told to bring a GAG gift for Harry. Something to make him laugh. I remember one person gave him a plastic hand that looked real. And the card said something about wanting to give him a “hand” whenever he needed it. The cake and NON-alcoholic punch were all a big hit. Everyone stayed and just enjoyed exchanging stories and keeping Harry in the middle of it all. He felt so special. It was the beginning of his giving his life to Christ. It was a beautiful thing. God is amazing, and He proves it when you invite Him into your everyday life to BE GOD!

So, that is a snippet of MY STORY

Watching THE WAR ROOM movie (5 times this last month) has reminded me that Harry and I were Elizabeth and Tony. I was bitter and he had a roving eye and drank a lot. And now, after all these years, I am like Miss Clara. She says in the film that she was not the faithful prayer warrior her husband needed. She was angry and jealous of his work. As was I. Then, many years later, Miss Clara confessed and asked God’s forgiveness for her selfish pride. And then learned HOW to pray not FOR victory, but FROM victory that comes only from the Cross.

She said, “There is no grief as great as denying the TRUTH until it’s too late. I always felt pushed to the back burner. I was bitter. It was my selfish pride. I confessed it. I repented. I asked God to forgive me. I spent more time with Him, and He taught me how to “fight”.       Me too.

Then she said, “I realized I hadn’t passed on what I had learned. I asked Him to send me someone to tell what I had learned.”

And that is what I try to do with every blog post, every article, every newsletter, every book, every conversation. To pass on what I have learned. Hoping you will choose to avoid so many of the mistakes Elizabeth, Miss Clara and I have made. Onward!

Until next time…

Discover Living From Your Strengths (LFYS) Life Changing Mentor Coaching.

Do you have questions? Through the Ministry Insights assessment, you will Discover your strengths. And then, through mentor coaching, you will learn how to daily Embrace and Live out your strengths. You can contact me by clicking on the blue button beside the signature line. Or leave me a private message on Facebook.

Leading from Your Strengths

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

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


Legendary Super Hero.

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

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

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

I also knew things I could count on about him.

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

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

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

I’ve been wondering something lately…

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

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

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

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

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

 


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