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Acknowledge He Is God.

Loaves & Fishes Coaching

For many years, I have added to a list of requests for God. I pray through the list daily. However, I was beginning to realize something.

First, I’ll give you the prayer list. Then, at the end, I will share with you, how God opened my eyes. Ready? Here goes…

Father, Please…

  • Make me a blessing (to bless means to bring out the best in another)
  • Give me favor
  • Give me wisdom
  • Give me understanding (of that person/situation)
  • Cleanse me of anything not of you
  • Lord, refine and purify my motives
  • Protect me, Lord, that I may be your “yielded vessel”
  • Give me integrity and contentment
  • Don’t give me the desires of my heart if it brings leanness to my soul
  • Give me discernment and knowledge
  • Don’t allow me to enter into temptation
  • Give me strength for today
  • Bring me to the one you have prepared
  • BE my strength
  • Lord, what would you have me do today?

He opened my eyes

I was beginning to be aware of something new.(Of course there are specific things that God tells us to ask Him for.) But…these things on my list…subtly, without realizing it,  I had been believing if I didn’t pray these specific things, they wouldn’t happen. Then, this last week, I suddenly realized, as a follower of Jesus Christ, I already have all those things. He promises to provide all our needs in these earthbound lives.

Then, I remembered…As with any gift anyone gives us, we have to reach out and receive what has been given.

My suddenly was to realize… My prayers needed to be tweaked. They have now become prayers of gratitude for each of those things in my list–for what He has already given. And to believe He means what He says.

 

Thank Him for His blessings

My prayers are now...Father, Thank You that You have already supplied all I need for every situation. You have blessed me beyond measure. You had already given me what I had all those years been asking for. Forgive me for thinking it depended on my asking for them. I just needed to receive what was already offered. (A small “tweak” but so very important.)

Rather than “GIVE me…” or “I need… I say “Thank You Father, for…

I now choose to believe and embrace what my Father has already given.

I still go through the list daily, but now it is a reminder of my blessings rather than a list of requests.

I thank Him for His patience with me as I continue to learn what it means to be a fully devoted follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I thank Him that He continues to convict me, teach me, disciple me, forgive me, and love me through the many seasons of life.

What about you?

Has God tweaked your prayers, or has He taught you something new lately? Please share…

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


What Is the Purpose of Lent?

Loaves & Fishes Coaching Logo

Some call it Lent

The period from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. A time set aside to deprive ourselves. To do without certain luxuries or indulgences. To GIVE UP something.

Others set aside that time to ADD something. Like more Bible study. More prayer. More church activities. Things like that. All those are good things. But is there something better?

I wonder what God desires

Perhaps this time called Lent is not so much a time to better your life, but rather to center your life. To take a mental assessment of “Why am I here? On earth. At this very time in history. What did God have in mind when He created me/you?”

40 days

Forty days has great significance throughout Scripture. Is that why we celebrate 40 days of Lent? Tradition? Is it just a habit with no Scriptural underlying goal/purpose in mind? Does God require it?  What does Scripture say?

Once I was blind but now I see

Is that the true purpose of Lent, and actually of our entire Christian walk? Why would these 40 days be any different than what God desires from us every day of our lives in our earthbound bodies? I submit that they should NOT be different days. I submit to you that what God desires is for us to SEE what is before us. To SEE what has always been there. To be aware daily, moment-by-moment of God’s presence and His voice. His word. To see through HIS eyes the creation, the people. the life He has given us.

Fearfully and wonderfully made

I am fearfully and wonderfully made. YOU are fearfully and wonderfully made. And everyone in our path has been fearfully and wonderfully made. The mean people and the nice people. He made you. He made me. ALL are fearfully and wonderfully made by our Creator God Almighty. All have opportunity to hear and obey Jesus’ invitation to “Come. Follow Me.”

Marvelous are His works!

His works are marvelous EVERY day. Not just during happy times or times of celebrations. Not just during Lent. EVERY day in every way. God does all things well. He died for me. He died for you. Marvel over that! It is a BIG DEAL! Stop and think about that fact! Make time in your day every day all day for what really matters to God. Glorify Him in your responses to the opportunities and challenges that come your way daily. Think of Him as being right beside you throughout your day. Because he IS! Right there with you!

Get to KNOW your Bible better every day

Get to know the author. Read John chapter 1 “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God…He was with God in the beginning…”  And Jesus (the Word) continues to be with God. And His Spirit is with us even now…

And forever…

Make space in your head for thoughts of Him and His sacrifices. Not just His death on the cross…but consider that He actually willingly LEFT HEAVEN in order to be called a liar, a drunk, to be betrayed, humiliated, spit on, tortured, and other horrible experiences. Those who he had discipled for 3 years deserted him in his time of greatest need. Even his own family questioned his sanity. I venture to say that nothing any of us suffers can ever compare to what the lover of our souls did for you and me.

So…when the devil comes to “visit”, respond like Jesus did: It is written…

Lenten focus

Jude 24, 25 “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
To God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.”

Keep listening for the trumpet call…it could be any day now…
See you there?

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


Guest Post: Emily’s Journey with Jesus

Nativity Set

Background

It was perhaps a decade or so ago that Emily Forsyth and I first met at church. She was young and pregnant with her fourth child. She was weary, but hungry to be all God intended her to be. Little did I know that the Lord would allow me to be a part of her “story” for all these years. I love being in the background, watching God work as he is molding her into a thing of beauty, fit for the Master’s use. She has found the path to the source of Joy.

God adores His “girls” and He is a good, good Father. He can be trusted to direct our steps if and when we surrender to His leading. He wants us to know that He is intimately involved in our lives, just as He has been in Emily’s. We are each a work in progress. And we all need someone to remind us it is not about us. We are merely to allow ourselves to be vessels through whom God works.

Emily has given me permission to share this article with you. She originally wrote it for her church newsletter. My prayer is that you will be inspired to stop and think how God might help you to more fully find your own unique path of decrease so that He might increase in your life.

And now…Here’s Emily……


…Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.

John 3:29-30

I just love how our church is buzzing with excitement over the children’s Christmas program! I can’t help but remember back in 1991 when the words were announced by the Sunday School Director, “and the role of Mary goes to…Emily!” That moment, my ten-year-old heart must have skipped a beat. I couldn’t have been more happy to have been chosen to wear that sky blue robe and hold the plastic baby Jesus as the congregation sang Silent Night. At that year’s Christmas eve program, I’m sure I was beaming with delight.

I have always felt the urge to be front and center. What is that about me? It’s not that I have many skills or talents to offer. It’s just that I sometimes don’t mind the “story” being about me.

Several years ago, I had taken a stance in front of a group of people, and in the days following, I began worrying. I found myself at an emotional low. I turned to an older, wiser sister in Christ for counsel. She patiently listened while I shared my heart. I told her of the people, and the things I had said, and how I must have sounded stupid, or unkind. They must have thought I was hateful. I carried on… After a while, she stopped me. She gently put her hands on my arms, and looked into my eyes. “It’s not about you, Emily.” What did she mean it’s not about me? I was the one with anxiety because of this stance that I had taken. Didn’t I have to get it straightened out to be myself again? But as she paused, that truth struck me. This. was. not. about. me. This was about GOD. Everything is. The moment I took myself out of the picture, and focused my concerns on the story being told about God through that situation, I could breathe again. Not only could I breathe, but I felt joy! John the Baptist said “…Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.”

From then on, I realized how much of my life I spent trying to play the starring role in a story that was never about me to begin with. I realized that I was created for a purpose, with giftings, and talents, and passions that were given to me to play a specific supporting role in God’s story. I was created to direct all attention to Him, like shining a spotlight, or making the announcement, or opening the curtain. I no longer had to be the shining star, because in His eyes, I already was! He made me precious in His sight! There is nothing more, nor less I can do to be worthy. And the joy is found when each of us works together to fulfill our supporting role as part of the body of Christ to further His kingdom and shine the light on Him.

When I adapted the principle that “it’s not about me,” everything changed. I stopped striving and over-preparing, and watching to see what others were thinking of me. I knew that it no longer depended on me to get it right, but that God would always get it right. My relationships, my health, my finances, and my faith all grew stronger. Now, whenever I feel consumed with thoughts about what people think of me, or whether I am succeeding or failing, I stop and find a way to serve someone else in the name of the Lord Jesus. It’s amazing how small acts of service toward others can relieve feelings of anxiety or depression. It’s a way of directing our attention away from ourselves. It’s because we were created for that — to play a supporting role in God’s big story! If we do His work, we will find a joy that passes all understanding.

So, to that ten-year-old little “Mary,” I would say, “hold that Jesus high and make sure the light shines on Him. Don’t worry if you fall out of the spotlight, because there is no greater blessing than to be the one who makes great the name of the Lord.”


Emily ForsythEmily Forsyth

Emily finds her joy in Jesus, coffee, and people. As the only extrovert in her family, she admires her quiet, steady husband, Aaron, and their four children. They homeschool and live in Clear Lake.


God Loves Aardvarks: And God Loves Me

"Thank you, God, that you love all the animals and bugs. You love funny looking aardvarks and you love me."

Thankfulness through the alphabet. That's what this fun book will teach the kids in your life.

God Loves Aardvarks and God Loves Me

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

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


September 11: Perhaps Today…

Man removing shoes

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

This will be short today.

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

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

How then shall you live?

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

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

John 14:6 (NIV)

Jesus is the Way…

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

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

Let’s talk…

My Father For Children: Praising God Through the Alphabet

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

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

My Father For Children: Praising God Through the Alphabet

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

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


Hearts Don’t Need Words to Communicate

Group of Friends

A car load of women. Lessons learned.

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

Not speaking

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

Stunning

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

What about our relationship with God?

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

In The Pleasure of His Company book

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

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

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

Psalm 46:10 (Amplified Bible)

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

God Loves Aardvarks: And God Loves Me

"Thank you, God, that you love all the animals and bugs. You love funny looking aardvarks and you love me."

Thankfulness through the alphabet. That's what this fun book will teach the kids in your life.

God Loves Aardvarks and God Loves Me

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

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


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


Who Needs a Baby?

Baby

Progressive ideals

When I married, I held tightly to the progressive ideas of my Baby Boomer generation. One of those ideas was that society was so evil and corrupt, I couldn’t stand bringing a child into the world.

The Vietnam War had become ugly. I didn’t want my child to grow up and have to fight in such wars. Racial riots flourished. What kind of person would bring a child into such an environment? My arguments sounded so noble.

Children are expensive and messy

“Besides,” I thought, “children are expensive—and time-consuming. They drool and mess their pants. Their noses are always runny, and they throw food at the table. They cry, too, and whine.” I had never baby-sat, because small children seemed so helpless and messy, ungrateful and self-centered.

Baby showers

I especially hated baby showers, but because I had a lot of friends, I was invited to many. Nothing could have irritated me more.

One day, a baby shower, of all things, started a huge turnaround that would challenge my self-centered ideas and change my life. I was sitting inconspicuously in a group of gushing, sentimental women and becoming more disgusted by the moment. I glared, thinking, “This is ridiculous! I don’t need a baby to prove my worth as a person!”

What is going on?

During refreshments, the veteran mothers compared horror stories of their birth experiences. The mother-to-be got more pale with every story. I thought, “Who wants kids? I’m glad I’m smart enough to avoid such foolishness!”

Looking around, I saw how many women had brought their babies along to the shower. Then it happened. Someone handed me her baby to hold while she went to the restroom. I had no time to protest. The baby looked at me straight in the eyes, cooed, and smiled.

Oh no, what is happening? I felt a strange stirring in my stomach. I couldn’t breathe. “What is going on, Lord? I can’t be attracted to this child.”

That was the beginning.

It seemed as though everywhere I went, people asked me to hold their babies. Each time, I could hardly wait to hand the baby back to its owner. I began to develop a reputation for being a baby hater.

Yet, I began to realize I longed for my own child. That was a surprising revelation.

Prayer. Barrenness hurts. Fasting.

One evening I knelt at the foot of my bed and read about Hannah’s plight in I Samuel 1. I was beginning to relate to the pain of barrenness. Nobody knew about the new stirrings that softened my heart, so people teased me just as Peninnah had teased Hannah. It hurt.

That night before God, I committed myself to fast and pray for my own child. “Lord, I promise to rear the child to honor You. I’ll give it back to You if You will just bless me this way,” I vowed.

In the midst of that fast, the Lord impressed upon me my need to yield my personal rights to Him. I prayed, “It’s okay, God, if I never have children. I want what you want.”

I finally felt peace.

Amazingly, my spirit felt as though God said, “Finally!” I felt peace for probably the first time in my twelve years of marriage. I had surrendered my will to Him.

Children are expensive and time consuming!

That very day I conceived my first of two children. Sure enough, my beliefs turned out to be true. Children are expensive and time-consuming. They drool and mess their pants. They sometimes have runny noses and play with their food. They cry and whine, but so what? They were my babies, and it somehow didn’t matter.

A secret.

My friends had a baby shower for me and for my first child, Rebecca. I remember the day she looked me straight in the eyes, cooed, and smiled—as though she knew a secret. Somehow I felt that Rebecca and God had been in alliance, all along knowing what I really needed and wanted.

To God be the Glory! He knows what is best for each of us!

—First published in Women Alive! July/August 1998

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

Filed under: Christian Life Coaching,Spiritual Life — Tags: , , , — Pam Taylor @ 7:00 am

Virus Survival Ideas: Let’s Get Practical

Cross in front of a parking lot

Our world is in a mess

And yet, I am encouraged. Odd? Let’s look at what is going on. Everywhere we look, things are changing. Like the picture here, even church parking lots are empty. Life is confusing and a bit difficult to navigate. All things are different than they were even just a couple months ago. We pray. We order supplies. We try to encourage those around us. We have to find new ways to do everything that needs doing. And all while practicing “Social Distancing”.

It can be easy to get distracted

“Faith feels. But feelings can never produce faith…Faith knows God truly but not fully.” (Anchor Devotional March 2020). We cannot know what God knows in the way that God knows it. We do what we can do and we leave to God what only God can do. We put our faith in what Jesus has already done; and we put our HOPE in Him.

The feet of faith is HOPE

Yes. When we feel fearful, we remember we put our faith in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and ONLY in Jesus Christ. In times like these, when it is a bit scary, we remember. It’s a journey. One step at a time. HOPE is what makes us long for His return. It is like watching out a window for a loved one to return. We wait.

What an amazing time to be alive

It is all so hard, and yet, when we look below the surface, Philippians reminds us that God truly is working all things for good… but, we are also reminded that that working for good is conditional. That promise is for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. This is a great time to re-evaluate our relationship with God.

We are coming up on the Palm Sunday/Easter weeks in the United States. Such a special season for the Followers of the Way.

The issue of faith is not so much whether we believe in God, but whether we believe the God we believe in.
– R. C. Sproul

What do we do while we wait?

O that Christians would learn to live with one eye on Christ crucified and the other on His coming Glory. –Richard Baxter

The Easter season. Passover. Remember I said in the first sentence that I am encouraged? Here’s how and why:  As followers of Christ, we are victors; and part of being a victor is making well-thought out choices. So…

As we sit in our homes and model the faith for our children and try not to worry during this “Pandemic”, we can make some important and lasting choices…

Let’s get practical. Here’s some things I’ve been doing & you can too:

  • Anoint the doorposts with olive oil (Praying for the protection of our homes by the Blood of Jesus Christ. Remembering Passover.)
  • Memorize Psalm 100 (Such a joyous psalm.) And speaking it out loud often.
  • Create acronyms of Names/Attributes of God ( A – Z) You can even make a game of it. Or a poster. Together.
  • I made posters for each room of my apartment. I wrote: S M I L E and a big happy face under the word (I was forgetting to smile).
  • Tired of singing the 20 second happy birthday song, I learned an alternative from mcleanbible.org . (To be sure I washed my hands long enough to get rid of the germs. AND to keep my focus on God.) I put it on an index card that I placed where I wash my hands.

Here’s what it says:

(Jesus said) “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
– Matthew 28:18b-20 (NAS)

I’m praying for you as I am typing this.
Keep looking UP, brave warrior. The Lord is on your side!

Let me know how you are doing. I really want to know.

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

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

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