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What’s Going On? And What Can I Do About It?

Woman Looking Confused

A Christian Perspective.

Our Creator knew what would bring us the most peace and joy and even “influence”. We are told in 2 Corinthians 10:5 to “take every thought captive unto obedience in Christ.” We must guard against the temptation to let our emotions rule, but rather to take the time to stop and ponder what we hear and then to carefully choose the course of response. Sometimes that does mean stepping on a few toes. Sometimes it means remaining silent and prayerful for a more opportune and wise time. Sometimes it means an immediate response is necessary.

How do we know?

Where do we begin? As followers of Christ, each day must begin with spending time in the Word of God, and praying for wisdom, favor, insight and courage to do whatever GOD directs us to do and say. We all KNOW that! but…do we practice that as a priority routinely? These are very difficult days. Emotions are high. Lots of things do not make sense. There is a lot of confusion, which causes fear and anger.

Our Role model.

At the times when we’re offended, we’re wise to remember our Savior, Jesus, was often misunderstood but His only INFLUENCER was GOD HIMSELF. He did not cave in or run away when it was difficult. He cared about every single person. Whether they agreed with Him or not. However, He stood strong and faithful to His calling to GLORIFY GOD in everything He did and said. No matter what it cost Him personally. He is our role model. Getting to know Him intimately must be our single greatest goal. That relationship with Him is where we get the wisdom and power to be a true disciple.

What is going on?

As I am typing this, I am wondering: what’s going on in our wonderful country? And in our world! Taking offense is like a badge of honor. Each “side” trying to put the other one straight. Bullying is rampant. There is a palpable need to be RIGHT. As Christ followers, we must fight the emotion of NEEDING to be RIGHT. The strength to do that comes from seeking extra time with the Lord. It is an act of will to CHOOSE to embrace the mind of Christ. He will not force Himself on us.

What are your triggers?

For each of us, it is so important to understand our own personal strengths and the uniqueness of your own personality. Know WHAT are the “triggers” that set you off. Recognize them when they come cloaked in a new way. Know yourself well enough to know when you can be effective and when you are tempted to react in the flesh rather than yielding to the spirit of God. This is a life-long process—maturing in Christ. BECOMING what He intended when He created you.

Appreciate differences

It is important to recognize the uniqueness and various personality strengths of others, as well. Some take offense more readily than others. Some step back into a safe space, hating any form of disagreement or confrontation. They may get their feelings hurt easily, taking offense at things not even meant the way they interpret them They do that to their own harm. They begin to dislike themselves and feel unloved and unimportant. That is a lie, but it can cause them great distress and maybe cause them to join up with someone more aggressive so they feel like they gain a degree of POWER back again. That is the wrong reason to join forces. It is just one more way to put “self” on the throne.

Aggressive people are valuable

Some people are aggressive and forceful in their personalities. Not wanting to wait for things to work out. They are the pioneers. What would we do without them? They seem to want to MAKE things work out quickly so they can move on to the next thing that needs “fixing”. However, they don’t like anyone disagreeing with them. They take offense if questioned and may get angry, causing others to cower and give in to them. They may be impatient and not want to take the time to understand that others bring much needed  “value” to the situation. Their lack of consulting with others–often simply out of expediency–actually causes great harm to all, unless they learn to appreciate each others differences and value.

If only we could all learn to play nice together.

But, that would be Heaven, wouldn’t it? Someday, someday, dear friend. But, in the meantime, we must all go through the process of maturing in Christ. It is definitely a process. We can choose to do it the hard way or the easy way. Either God will do the humbling (the hard way), or we can choose to humble ourselves before God (the less painful way for the true disciple of Christ).

Seeking to understand the whole picture.

Life is hard, but God is always good. He created each of us with our unique personality. It is up to us, to make the best of it. To embrace who we are–who GOD created us to be–and to cooperate with the Potter as He patiently molds us into vessels fit for His use.

Study people.

It takes a willingness to ask questions and to actually make a decision to STUDY people in your realm of influence. It takes a desire to bring out the best in them, rather than to be right. I, too, have struggled with this my whole life. So, don’t give up. It is worth the struggle. Worth the hard work. Worth the extra time in the Bible and in prayer. To God be the Glory is our goal.

Contentment.

Like Paul. He said he had learned the secret. The secret is choosing to be content. Take every thought captive. Rather than struggling to be personally “understood”, contentment comes with choosing to love GOD above all others, and then having the Holy Spirit power to love ONE ANOTHER—the goal in the Scriptures. It is a daunting task when we try to do it in the flesh. But in the Spirit, it can bring healing. Of course, it takes BOTH people willing to yield, but SOMEONE has to START. Someone has to go FIRST.

So, if you find yourself doing any of these things:

  • Taking it personally
  • Defending yourself
  • Having a bruised ego & counterattacking
  • Fuming with anger
  • Feeling sorry for yourself
  • Wanting to retaliate or hoping harm comes to the other person

Step back, take a deep breath, and ask God for His perspective. Pray for wisdom and the power to understand the true issue and what part YOU are playing in it!

Is there something you need to think or do differently? Are you willing?

It does not mean you are WRONG. Perhaps the other is absolutely totally wrong, but responding in kind does not help. Always remembering Jesus is our role model. We absolutely can DO this!

If you need a listening ear or some clarity how to move forward in your journey in this crazy world that is not your home, use the “Let’s Connect” blue button below. Remember, this world is our training ground. We are only passing through on our way HOME.

Jimmy Learns about Life

Join Jimmy and his mama in this lighthearted book of character traits for kids. Jimmy is your average 7-year-old. He is going through life, having fun, and learning a lot along the way. Through mishaps, ministry, and more, Jimmy learns that there’s more to life than first impressions. Each chapter of this book contains a character trait Jimmy learns during teachable moments of life.

Jimmy Learns about Life by Pamela A. Taylor

Let's Connect!Until next time,
Awaiting His shout,
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Christian Life Coach
Leading from Your Strengths Mentor
www.loavesandfishescoaching.com


Be Strong. Clothe Yourself In His Armor.

Woman reading her Bible on a dock

The joy of the Lord is your strength.

What does it mean to strengthen yourself in the Lord, as David did in I Samuel 30:6? It seemed like the whole world had turned on David. Everything had gone wrong. And his loyal band of men even turned on him, with good reason, actually. But, David knew God. They had a deep and real relationship. So, when he had nowhere to turn on earth, he turned to the Lord, “But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.”

How are you doing at the end of 2020?

Way too many things are swirling around in my head this week. It is hard to focus my thoughts to go in one direction for a blog post. So, I sat down here, at my computer; and decided that if I strengthened myself in the Lord, that perhaps what I discovered here today, would strengthen you, too. So, I am praying for God to lead me into something here that will encourage your heart, because I am pretty sure you may be suffering from the very same “malady” as I am.

Philippians 3:10 (Amplified Version)

“For my determined purpose is that I may know Him, that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly.” Lord Jesus, help us to have a deep awareness of Your presence, so it changes how we go through transitions, especially difficult ones.

1 Peter 2:9

We are “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people.” We belong to You, Almighty God and we are Your peculiar treasure, so the essence of who we are matters! Give us wisdom and unstop our ears so we can hear You in these very confusing and frustrating times.

C. S. Lewis

“You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” Father, help us to choose to spend more time maturing our soul (mind, will and emotions) to see you more clearly and love you more deeply.

Archbishop William Temple

“Coincidences occur much more frequently when we pray.” I don’t know about you, dear friend, but I don’t believe in “coincidences” and that is the essence of this quote. Prayer matures us to think more like our Father in Heaven. So, as we get to know Him better, we begin to think more like Him, and things “coincidentally” happen. Frequently!

Joni Eareckson Tada

“When life is rosy, we may slide by with knowing about Jesus, with imitating Him, quoting Him, and speaking for Him. But only in suffering will we know Jesus”. Joni is speaking not of knowing ABOUT Jesus, but actually KNOWING Him, in relationship. Joni is an expert on experiencing suffering. A diving accident when she was very young, brought the reality that she would never walk, run, swim, or do anything physical again. She would spend the rest of her life in pain, unable to care for herself, and totally dependent on others. We should always listen when the Joni’s in our lives speak truth from experience. Like the Bible’s Hebrews 11, the hall of fame for the suffering saints.

Like Jesus (Hebrews 5:8)

Though He was God’s Son, He learned obedience from the things he suffered. Amazing. Our Lord learned obedience through suffering. So, why should we be any different? No one ASKS for suffering, but when it comes, what is our response? Lord Jesus, I remember reading a book many years ago, entitled Don’t Waste Your Sorrows. It was an eye-opener to the GIFTS of sorrow and suffering. So, Father, please make us grateful for the past and open to the future. Ever watching for how You will use those sad times for good and not for evil. Realizing we are experiencing a bit of what You suffered for us, in order to make it possible for us to have personal relationship with You. To God be the Glory!

Consider Him

“For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:3) How often we lose heart, Lord. Thank you for Your example. Forgive us and help us to be be better “Soldiers of the Cross” as the old Hymn describes. Give us wisdom to be like King David, strengthening and encouraging ourselves in the Lord GOD!

God is good. All the time. All the time, God is good.

“The greatest need of every human being is not self-improvement but self-abandonment” – Anchor.org devotional Thank you, Lord, that in every circumstance, You are Sovereign and You are Good! All the time! You are faithful even when we are faithless. Lord, we believe. Help our unbelief.

Psalm 127:1

“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.” Great and Mighty God, may we have an unhindered view of Your majesty and assurance of Your power within us. – Encounter with God

Thank you for journeying with me just now

We are on this journey together for such a time as this. Hopefully, as I encouraged my own heart in the Lord God today, that you, too, feel stronger as–together–we clothed ourselves with His armor—the Word of God—and the testimony of the saints that have gone before us.

Until next time. And until the Lord comes again…
Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!

My Father: Experiencing God's Love A-Z

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

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

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

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


The Vaccine of Joy

Young girl looking upward with joy
Joy is the vaccine against the spiritual virus of discontent. “Grumbling and complaining against God’s provision is complaining against God Himself.” –The Encounter With God devotional. As I pondered that powerfully convicting statement, God reminded me that He calls us to CHOOSE JOY.

Jesus calls us to higher ground. “…Truly, truly, I say to you, if you shall ask the Father for anything, He will give it to you in My name. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be made full.” – John 16:23, 24 (NAS)

Like Moses, we can find ourselves discontent with God’s marching orders—not trusting in God’s Almighty arm of protection and His provision. It’s a continuous daily lesson we must learn, isn’t it?

For Your Joy-filled Medicine Cabinet

  • JOY at salvation — Luke 19:6-10 – The story of Zaccheus
  • JOY at baptism — Acts 8:36-39 – The story of Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch
  • JOY in reading the Word of God — Jeremiah 15:16 – Jeremiah’s prayer
  • JOY in prayer — John 16:24 – Jesus’ promise
  • JOY in trials and troubles – James 1:2 – James’ instruction
  • JOY in persecution – Acts 5:41 – Peter & the apostles boldly testified their faith. This is after their “punishments”.
  • JOY in dying as a believer – Acts 20:22-24 – Paul’s Ephesus speech, as he left for Jerusalem

“And now, behold, bound in spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit, solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me. But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I man finish my course, and the ministry which I receive from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

Acts 20:22-24 (NAS)

In 1987, those were the verses that called me to the mission field. I pray they will be your heart’s cry to God as well!

Many, many times, I have wanted to give up. To throw in the towel. To walk away. But even in the many, many trials and terrors and challenges that faced me in those years and since then, I have discovered that the Vaccine of Joy continues to be the best medicine through it all. Life is hard but God is good ALL THE TIME! No exceptions. No matter what is going on in your life, God will never ever let you down. He is steadfast and sure.

Willingly embrace the JOY vaccine and choose to walk away from the disease of discontent. Be healed, in Jesus’ Name.

Please pray with me:

Lord, keep me from a complaining spirit, so that I don’t spread a spiritual virus that infects others like wildfire. Guide me daily Lord, that I may act wisely to safeguard my contentment today. Remind me that when I complain against Your provision, I am actually complaining against YOU YOURSELF. Forgive me, Lord, whenever I take You for granted. When I don’t trust You fully. Whenever I forget to embrace my “daily bread” with joy and gratitude that everything comes from You, my Provider. My Protector. My Lord..

Philippians 2: 14-15 reminds me to do all things without grumbling or disputing; that I may prove myself to be blameless and innocent, a child of God above reproach, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom I desire to BE a light. Holding fast Your Word, Lord, so that in the day of Christ, I may bring You glory because I did not toil in vain.

Marantha! Come Lord Jesus!

My Father: Experiencing God's Love A-Z

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

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

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

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


Don’t Look Back

Farmer plowing with ox
Jesus said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62 NIV)

Yesterday is gone.

You will never have a better yesterday. What is done is done! So, if you look back to your yesterdays, the farrow in front of you (the row) will be crooked. It will not be a fit place to sow seeds. The past is past. Moses looked at his past and felt inadequate. And he even reminded God that he was a nobody, so why would God send him out to do anything. But God reminded Moses what He also reminds us: It doesn’t matter who I am. It doesn’t matter who you are. It only matters who GOD is.

Don’t look at the things you left behind. Go forward into today. Knowing that God will be with you. He promises:

“I will be with you.” (Exodus 3:11)

Tomorrow is not here yet

Focus on today. Not yesterday. Not tomorrow. Because God says: “Don’t boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.” (Proverbs 27:1) My Dad used to say: Don’t borrow trouble. Today has enough trouble of its own.

Looking forward

Mentor Coaching is different from Counseling. Coaching is about being forward looking. We look at the past to learn from it, to see if there is something we need to confess, or pay restitution for, but not to stay there in blame, regret, or remorse. Then, when we decide to follow Jesus, we put our hand to the plow…and we do not look at the things we left behind in regret or “what ifs” of wishing things had been different. We rejoice at what is ahead of us. Of possibilities. Of potential in the “seeds” we will plant, with the Lord as our constant Companion.

A Sneak Peak into My Personal Journal

I’m going to do something I haven’t done before. I’m going to give you a peak into my journal and share a bit of what God showed me yesterday morning as I ruminated on this Scripture lesson from Jesus. About not looking back. About putting my hand to the plow…

“While I cried out to You, this morning about “evil” winning – You reminded me that evil has NOT had the victory because I have “put my hand to the plow.” Praise the Lord I STILL follow You, wherever You have led me, Lord. It’s been hard, but You have never forsaken me. NEVER EVER. And You have not let my hands grow limp to fall from the plow. I am still PLOWING A STRAIGHT FARROW (row) because YOU have held my hands onto the plow and kept my face forward.

…When a farmer looks back, the row gets crooked. My “row” (my mission) is to follow you. I remember the song, “I have decided to follow Jesus. (3x) No turning back (2x). Amen. Thank you, Lord.”

God’s reminders

The last two days, God has often reminded me of this lesson. So I decided perhaps He wanted me to share it with you. It felt like SOMEONE besides me needed to hear this today.

Prayer:

Father, Thank You for Your persistent love and promptings to follow You behind the plow, facing forward. Please bless and minister to whoever reads this, Lord. Thank you God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. For Your mercy, protection, provision, wisdom, and for Your continuous reminders that whenever we have a problem we can turn to You. We will thank You for the “crop” that will grow out of the seeds that are planted because You do and will remind us to hold our hands to the plow and not look back. Maranatha. Come Lord Jesus.

Philippians 3:10 (Amplified)

“For my determined purpose is that I may know Him (that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly.)”

God bless you bunches! I would love to hear from you!

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

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


Who is the Master of Your Fate?

Woman with raised fist and "Focus" on back of hand

WHAT defines you? WHO defines you?

This shut down of much of our country and the world can be challenging to say the least. Who IS the master of your fate? Is it the United States Government? Is it a foreign power? Is it just “chance”? Is it God? Is it satan? These scary times can bring loss, fear, and a sense of betrayal. Some of you come to the table with challenging questions, trials, and decisions that must be made quickly. It is more than “Should I wear a face mask or not?” It is big and it is serious!

Quotes from my past

I grew up in the 50s and 60s. It was definitely the years of great confusion, fear, and rebellion against government who was leading us into fearful situations. We called it the LOVE generation. The songs were about war and love. And we claimed we knew the answer. Our expressions of love would fix the world. But it was really rebellion against all authority. I can still personally remember my generations struggles to understand, which caused us to rebel against what we did not understand. We see a lot of that with the youth of today, too. Has it always been that way with each generation? I can only speak from my own experience.

We would say with firm sarcasm: “Who died and left you in charge?” And then there was the: “You’re not the boss of me!” (FYI neither of those worked well with my father.) My Dad was most definitely IN CHARGE. He was also the most loving person I can remember in my whole life. He was not huggy feeley, but I absolutely knew I was loved unconditionally by him.

Does rebellion make you into a master of your own fate?

My Mom was ill much of my life and she died when I was 12 going on 13. That is a bad time for a girl to lose her mother. I must have had a dozen crushes on guys. I know because I wrote their names on my notebook. Thankfully, there was little time to pursue my crushes. I missed much of the rebellion of that season because I had to go home, do my homework, and start dinner every day after school. And do the ironing. Those were the days when we ironed EVERYTHING…even the bed sheets. We used cloth handkerchiefs, so even they had to be ironed, too. (No such things a disposable tissues…at least WE didnt have them in my family home.)

The Master of My Fate poem

I remember learning a poem in high school about being the master of my fate. The poem has stuck with me throughout my life. For many years, it confused me because I subconsciously thought, “If I truly am the master of my fate, why cant I make my life work right?” And even though I didn’t rebel much on the outside, the poem affected my attitude on the inside. For many years. It was very bad theology!

A Bible teacher shared a story

Many years later, I began to question what I had carried with me in that poem. I knew something was “off”. I began a search for God. (I wrote about that in an article “Maybe I’ll Try Church.” I had tried everything and nothing worked. So, at a Bible study taught by a former rebellious youth, now matured in the faith, he shared a story that thankfully now overrides the poems instruction that encouraged rebellion.

The illustration

Its all about where your focus is placed. Maybe you have heard the story he shared that night so many years ago: It is as though there are two “dogs” inside of each of us. A black dog and a white dog. And whichever one we feed the most, will be the strongest.

Of course, the black dog illustrates our sin nature and the white dog illustrates life after surrender to Jesus Christ the Lord. And the feeding is our focus and all the conscious choices we make that can cause us to either be better or bitter.

Haven Ministries devotional

A few years ago, a devotion published by Haven Ministries started me thinking about “fate” and “masters” again.

Heres what it said:

“Society teaches us constantly that we are the masters of our destiny, that we are what we make of ourselves, that we write the script. Knowing Jesus Christ as our Savior, however, shows us otherwise. Christianity is not about me and what I make of myself; its about Christ and what He has done for me. He is the author of my faith;…all my days were ordained in His Book before a single one of them came to be.”

It goes on to say: “Those lessons come to us over time when our best-laid plans fail and we are forced down other paths. Instead of feeling that we write the story of our lives, we see that every day is a journal page – a record of all the Lord has done for us. He is the author of our lives! With our eyes fixed on Him (not ourselves), He carries us through and writes us into the wondrous plan of His Kingdom.”

Jeremiah 10:23 states:

“I know, O LORD, that a mans life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.”

Coming to terms with the truth

So, have you come to terms with who truly is the master of your fate and the author of your life story? Maybe its time to do what I finally did: surrender all of the questions and doubts and rebellion to Creator God and trust that “Father knows best.” Because He truly does! 🙂

Your whole life will take a turn for the better as peace and joy show up in your life on a routine basis because you realize that Gods “got your back”. Amen? Amen! So be it! Come Lord Jesus!

Questions? Id love to talk to you about this!

God bless you bunches!

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

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

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

Shaken

“God’s way is always the way of suffering, the way of the long, long trail.”

–Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

God’s way is to shake us into reliance, dependence, and trust in that which is UNshaken. We want blessings and fun and abundance. We want to be happy. But God knows the path through suffering is the path to His Light and Truth and Wisdom.

JOY is not the absence of suffering, but the presence of God. – David Jeremiah

We don’t want to hear that. We don’t want to hear that we become like Jesus through the fellowship of His suffering and that is the ONLY way that we can truly be like Him. It’s difficult to face the fact that when we lack joy, we likely are skipping our time for “refueling” in the Word, in God’s presence. He hasn’t moved. We have.

When the foundations are shaken through loss or disappointment or pain. When the things we knew we could count on are not so reliable anymore. And when many we look to as examples are shaken to their core, where do we turn?

“I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) That, my friends, is an amazing promise from the Lord. Stop and ask yourself, honestly: Do you believe that promise? If you do, then you too…

“…can confidently say, ‘The LORD is my HELPER, I will not be afraid. What shall man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:6) An amazing promise. When eternity is your promised hope, what can anyone REALLY do to you?

In John 17, you learn how deeply Jesus loves you. Loves me. An agape, sacrificial, unselfish love.
Other-centered. So, in that love, there are some things we CAN count on to NOT be shaken…

  • The Father is NOT shaken. He created you to be what and where you are. He knew what you would do.
  • Jesus is NEVER shaken. Not ever! He is with the Father in Heaven, praying for you. He believes in you.
  • The Holy Spirit is NEVER shaken, He is the Helper through it all. Coming alongside. Always faithful.
  • The Bible is the Truth and shows us the Way to live now and prepares us for Life Everlasting with Him.

Jesus truly and deeply understands when life rearranges and you don’t know what to do. What DO you do when you are shaken?

The enemy of your soul, satan, wants you to forget that you are loved unconditionally. He wants you fearful and shaken. His goal is to make you miserable. Discontent.

BECAUSE he knows that Jesus loves you, this I know. For, the Bible tells you so.

And satan hates that that is true! He will nip at your heels trying to discourage you, but don’t let him win. Let’s see what Corrie (a woman who went through unbelievable suffering in a concentration camp, and yet, she found the Truth in the midst of an intense suffering as few have experienced.) Here is what she has to say about that…

If you look at the world, you’ll be distressed.
If you look within, you’ll be depressed.
But if you look at Christ, you’ll be at rest.

–Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983)

Here’s to the army of the UNshaken. Our God reigns! He is mighty to save!

Until Next Time,

God bless you bunches!
Let's Connect!
Awaiting His shout,
pam_signature-c49a6c

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


Resting in Jesus in Perilous Times

David Wilkerson wrote about resting in Jesus in perilous times. In his newsletter, he said that God had impressed on him a single promise from God’s Word (the Bible) that if he/we would commit his/our very life to it, this promise would keep him/us through any and all perilous times. It would be a daily power source of faith.

He goes on to quote the verse…the promise from God’s Word. “Your Father knows what things you have need of before you ask Him.” (Matthew 6:8)

God wants you to give Him “quality” time. Focused attention. And trust Him!

Resting in (trusting in) the Fatherhood of Almighty God, Creator God, Restorer of the Breach, Savior, Blessed Redeemer. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Many, many times in the Bible (His words to us), He says to “fear not”. He speaks those words to many fearful people in scripture. They were just like you and me and yet they learned to fear not! We can, too! 🙂

Corrie ten Boom’s dad comforted her fears when she was a child with this illustration: “When a train goes through a tunnel, and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” God is not only our Creator; He is our Engineer. He knows what is best. Trust Him even when you don’t understand and when it is dark when you go through the trials and “tunnels” of life. Trust Him. He adores you!

I Peter 5:7 says, “Casting all your care upon Him, because He cares for you!”
Can you believe it? The Creator God cares about you…about me! WOW! And He is patient while we learn to trust Him on a deeper level each day. Little by little. We can learn to be resting in Jesus in perilous times. Don’t give up. It will be worth it all! I promise! Better still…HE promises!


Do You Believe God…?

Do you believe in miracles? I do. Do you believe God cares? I do.
Do you believe God has your best interest at heart? I do.
Do you believe that God cares what you do with your life? I do.

Do you believe God hates sin? I do.
Do you believe we are all sinners? I do.
Do you believe God winks at sin? I do NOT.
Do you believe that He loves sinners? I do.
Do you believe He loves you? I do.
Do you believe God wants what’s best for you? I do.

Do you believe that God chose your parents? And your personality? And the country you’d be born into? I do.
Do you believe that God wants you to read the love letter (the Bible) He wrote to you? I do.
Do you believe that He wants you to find Him in the midst of that love letter…the Bible? I do.
Do you believe that He wants to have a personal relationship with YOU? I do.
Do you believe that He wants you to make that a priority? I do.

Is there anything stopping you?

I’m praying for you to find this Friend that is closer than a brother to be your very closest relationship from now until eternity! He’s waiting with open arms. Whenever you take the first step forward He’ll meet you there. Jump into the Word of God…the Bible…and devour every word. Ask Him to reveal Himself in a deep personal way like you have never known before and He will delight to answer that request. He speaks to us from every single page. But the trick is that we have to stop long enough to listen (read it).

There are lots of translations and paraphrases to choose from. Choose one that is most understandable to you. Some still love the beauty of the Kings James Version. Others find it cumbersome and so love the Message version or the Amplified Version or the New International Version. Many choices. Just make that choice. Do that and He will meet you in those pages of His Holy Word.

Tell me: How do you make the Bible come alive to you personally? How do you keep reading/studying the Bible as a priority in your own life? Share your story. We can encourage each other in this way. We can help each other come closer in relationship to the Source of all life. Temporal and Eternal. Praise the Lord God Almighty. Father. Son. And Holy Spirit. Praise His Glorious Name.

Do you believe that will make Him happy? Do you believe God? I do.

 


The Only Thing That Really Matters Is Your Relationship With Jesus

Every few months, I need a little something to freshen up my devotions. That’s also when I get my old journals and notes out and look for something that made an impact on me in the past. Something that made me get fresh perspective into what really matters in this life here on earth. Are you wondering how can I so boldly title this blog post, “The Only Thing That Really Matters Is Your Relationship With Jesus”? I’m glad you asked!

First, I can say it because it is true (because the Bible tells me so), (and also because I have proven it true in my own life). When it comes down to the bottom line…NOTHING else matters but a personal relationship with Jesus. It is a relationship that needs nurture and time and purposeful seeking…

Here’s an illustration of that very truth that I found in my notes from November 1998. (It is from Our Daily Bread Devotional.) The story is about Henri Nouwen. As many of the spiritual fathers & mothers from former days, he was not afraid to speak Truth into people’s lives.

A lady had come to Henri Nouwen…complaining about her husband. He wasn’t abusive. I think she was just tired of him and his habits. And it seems she wanted to change him. She definitely wanted Henri to tell her she was right and her husband was wrong. Henri listened and had two things to say to her. One a rebuke. The other a suggestion.

The rebuke: “All that is a distraction. I don’t mean to denigrate or even dispute your complaints, but those are beside the point. The only thing that really matters is your relationship with Jesus.” (Now you know where I got the title.)

The suggestion: “Just take 5 minutes every day for two weeks to sit quietly and ask to be with Jesus; ask for His presence. And then…come and tell me what’s important.”

Choosing to be with Jesus (yes, it’s a choice…just like any relationship)…in His presence…puts a whole new perspective on things. So, whether you are a long-time follower of Jesus, or brand new at this, I offer you the same challenge: Every day for two weeks (and beyond), sit for 5 minutes (or longer) and ask to be with Jesus. Ask for His presence.

Then, let me know what’s important.

Let me know if you have new perspective and if you also experience anew or afresh, that the only thing that really matters is your relationship with Jesus.

“God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us, that Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. Let the people praise You, O God; let the peoples praise You.” Psalm 67:1-3


Time with God Grown Stale? Try This…

Has time with God gotten a bit stale lately? Do you need some ideas to help freshen up your devotions — your meetings with the Lord God Almighty? Here’s a list I have often referred back to over the years since I began my personal relationship with Him through faith in His Son…the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. Maybe this will bring fresh life to those times for you, too.

You can pick and choose, or do them all!

Every day (ideas to freshen up your devotions):
* Give thanks to the Lord for something that happened yesterday
* Praise Him for some attribute He has that you need today
* Go through the alphabet re what you know about God. (e.g. A= Always there)
* Romans 12:1 = Purposely present yourself to Him
* Psalm 96:1, 2 = Sing a NEW song = it is important for new life
* Ephesians 5:18 = Keep on being filled
* Psalm 139:23, 24 = ASK God to search your heart (We have the capacity to “fool” ourselves)
* I John 1:6-10 = Remember that sin is “missing the mark”…like an archer missing the bulls-eye.
* Romans 8:29 = Purpose to be conformed to the image of His Son = the reason for Romans 8:28 = the GOAL
* James 1:5-8 = ASK for wisdom
* Ask for supernatural ability to love God with supernatural agape love
* Pray for Israel. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Bless Israel
* Pray for your family, your church, your hometown, your state, your country
*Thank Him that you are His child! Not yet? Why not? Questions? Just ask Him. He’s listening. What matters to you, matters to Him.

Ask Him. You’ll be glad you did. I promise!

Hebrews 2: 2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith…”

He will show you the way “Home”

 


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