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God, Where Are You?

Homeless Man in Subway

The disciples wanted to know the answer to that question. They thought they had it all figured out.
Their Savior (from the Romans) had arrived and would conquer their enemy. But, then He died. He left them. Why? Why did He leave them? How could they ever go on without Him? How could they have been so wrong about Him? He died! And worse yet, they thought someone must have stolen His body from the tomb! They were lost. They were purposeless. Can you relate? I know I can!

And then, He appeared ALIVE in their midst

“The touching part of this story is where and how Jesus appears…He doesn’t call the disciples to the temple, or to some other place to see Him. He comes to them where they are, both literally and spiritually. He shows them that He’d kept His promises.” – Anchor devo, July 2022

I love that Jesus meets us where we are, just as we are. No pretense. In real life right where we are, spiritually and literally.

Object lessons

God is faithful to send object lessons along the way in order to solidify any lessons He is currently teaching us. Often, for me, it comes in the form of a song, a devotional, a comment from a friend, a radio Bible lesson, or a movie. And often, it comes in all of those things one after another. I guess I am a bit dense, so He has to repeat His messages to me in multiple ways. THIS week, it is about God meeting me right where I am.

Movie title

The title of this post is actually the title of a movie I watched this week: God, Where Are You? The man—the subject of the story–had been on top of the word. Famous. Rich. With lots of “friends” and admirers. And then his world totally fell apart and he was homeless, filthy, hungry, and absolutely alone.

Kindness reminders

The movie is actually a great reminder of our mission on earth. To help those God sends our way to see that God does indeed meet us right where we are. Everyone. Always. We don’t have to wait to be (almost) perfect, in order to help others (as we discussed last week in the post.) To LISTEN to their story. To feed them when they are hungry. To NOT TAKE OFFENSE when they get angry with our lame attempts to help. To be PATIENT with them in their inability to trust that we don’t have a hidden agenda in our helping them. There are so many lessons in this movie. I hope you will take the time to find it online and watch it with an open heart to what God might be teaching you through it. We all need kindness reminders that God is in our midst. Always. Sometimes the smallest act is exactly what is needed to begin a mindset shift.

A dark tunnel

One of the characters is a woman that had found her way out of the dark tunnel of homelessness. Malachi encourages each of his “customers” (as he refers to them) to keep a gratefulness journal and to write down each thing that BY CHOICE they are grateful for. This woman had learned “Being grateful for all that I have is the biggest step to get away from what I didn’t have”.

It reminded me of life coaching. Yes, it is important to look at the past because it made us what we are today, but it is important to not stay there. Rather, to look to the present and what we can be grateful for and then to look forward to what is possible. To NOT GIVE UP!

We CAN. With JESUS

So when we ask: “God, where are you?” He responds: “I am right here with you every moment. Look for Me and you will find Me!”

All things are possible…

ALL things are possible. All THINGS are possible. All things ARE possible. All things are POSSIBLE. Always! To God be the Glory! Don’t give up!

Gratefulness Journal

Those of you who know me well, know that I have kept an Ebenezer (Thus far God has led me) Journal every since I went through a very difficult crossroads. It can be like throwing a life raft to a drowning person. To choose to walk in an attitude of gratitude and keep a gratefulness journal to read when you go through dry seasons…as a reminder of what He has done and so will do again! To help those God sends our way, to see that God does indeed meet us right where we are. Everyone. Always. Whether we realize it or not. HE is faithful. We don’t have to wait to be (almost) perfect…We can start today…

Amen? So be 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

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Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
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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,
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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,
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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.

 


Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Loaves & Fishes Coaching

“…Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

Philippians 4:8

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

Matthew 7:12

“Love does no wrong to a neighbor, therefore, love is the fulfilling of the Law.”

Romans 13:10

After a walk by the swimming area of the lake today, I prayed for the men of our town. How difficult it must be to control their thoughts with so much FLESH visible that it leaves little to the imagination!

No matter what the foolishness of the current culture is trying to tell us, men and women are different. In all aspects. And I am praising the Lord for that. I wish I knew how to get that message out so it would truly be heard. My soul was grieving at what we are becoming as a society.

(As I was walking away from the area, today, I thanked God I am not a man. I’m not sure I would be strong enough to keep my thoughts pure. It’s not just on the beach, but also around town.)

Then I noticed some men sitting alone–some in cars–some in work vans (the names of their businesses were on the side of their vans)…They just sat…looking toward the swimming beach. I prayed for them to take their thoughts captive.

(There were plenty of parking spaces by the sea wall where they could have sat and not viewed the FLESH that leaves little to the imagination…and yet they were there…at the swimming beach area…just sitting and watching.)

I began to fear a bit for the women and the young girls. And to pray that they will be wise and thoughtful to help men to wrestle LESS with their thoughts, by choosing to reveal less. To be feminine and modest. To be prudent and wise and kindhearted.

On my way back home from my walk, I prayed some more for the men and boys of our town. That they will be strong and resist following through with the temptations that their eyes cannot resist. It’s not MY idea…

God made His message clear Throughout the Old & New Testament:  Job said in Job 31:1 (Good News translation) “I have made a solemn promise never to look with lust at a woman.” And Jesus said in Matthew 5:28 “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”  And James in James1:14, 15 taught, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed…”

May women see the need to not entice men and may men choose wisdom and strength and look away.

Lord, have mercy.  We desperately need You. We are weak but You are strong! To God be the Glory!

Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!

–Adapted from a post from 2015. Still very relevant today. Sadly so.

 

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


Mothers’ Day. Walking a Tightrope.

I love you, Mom

A new twist on discrimination.

It has been said that celebrating Mothers’ Day actually discriminates against the rest of the population. So, am I recommending that we eliminate Mothers’ Day? Not on your life! Let’s look at this through the eyes of the child…

My own mother

After numerous illnesses and many long periods of hospitalization, my Mom died when I was 12. And now she is out of my life forever. We never think that can happen to us and yet it did! How I wish I could spend the day with her on Sunday. (Does anyone ever stop missing their Mom?)

Unsung heroes

Mom’s are unsung heroes most of the other 364 days of the year. We just kinda get used to them being there whenever we want them to be. Taking them for granted. Sometimes we want our “Mommy” and other times we want to be an adult and stand on our own two feet…without their “interference”. And that can change back and forth even within a five minute time period. Being a mom is like walking a tight-rope.

Moms sacrifices go unnoticed

Many don’t realize their Mom’s sacrifices until they have a child of their own. T H E N … they understand and grieve the lost opportunities to connect on a deeper level all those years before the birth of their own child/children. And Moms must again walk a tightrope of wondering which hat they should wear at any given time, when–even as their children are parents themselves–they are back and forth between wanting their “Mommy” and standing on their own and making their OWN mistakes.

Challenges vs rewards

Sadly, many would love to be a mother and are unable for one reason or another. That is heartbreaking. I was barren for 12 years myself. So I understand that longing. But this post is not about what we lack, but about the mothers that we have been given. God chose our mothers. We mustn’t forget that. How do we think about them? How do we treat them? As a gift or as a curse? I am a mother and I am grateful. It has been a privilege praying with and for my children and my grandchildren. Glory! Praying for them through each phase of their lives. Has it been a challenge? YES! Every step along the way has been a learning process. And each step has its own reward, as well.

A mother’s influence

It has been said, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” I was fortunate that my mother was a Believer and Follower of Jesus. My mother had a great influence on me. Her faith in the Lord made me hunger for what she had, even though I didn’t really understand it at the time. We never had a chance to sit down and talk about it, but I knew she had something very special that I wanted…and…after her death, I searched and searched until I found the Source of her strength – Jesus, the Christ.

Is perfection even possible?

Nope! Are mothers perfect? Not on your life! Yours wasn’t and mine wasn’t and I am not. Moms are sinners and their kids are sinners. Do Moms and their kids make mistakes? Numerous ones and often! Even if the relationship is strained for whatever reason, would we die for our children? In a heartbeat! Isn’t that what childbirth proves?

Back to the original question:

Should we eliminate Mothers’ Day because it is a discrimination against others? Or rather, should we decide to make EVERY day Mothers’ Day, forgiving her for her mistakes and all her sins and choosing to enjoy her with all her warts and flaws…every day. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. I know. I was not guaranteed even the 13th year of my life with mine.

Onward…

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

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


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