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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”

 


God’s Wedding Vows

Is it time to renew your wedding vows with the Lord? Or is it time to finally make that commitment to the Savior? What are God’s wedding vows?
The Lord beckons us to relationship with Him. He’s always wooing us to become His own. Since before you were born, He has loved you. He is continually seeking to get your attention. When you awaken in the night, He is in the middle of a thought about you. Doesn’t that knowledge make you want to dig into His Word (the Holy Bible)…the place where He shows you (over and over) the stories of how He relates to His people. To you. You are “His people”. Love Him back. It’s that easy. His Word (The Bible) will tell you how to do that.
If you have loved Him in the past and now your love has grown cold, renew your “wedding vows” with the lover of your soul. He longs for His “called out ones”… His Bride…to intentionally maintain the relationship with Him.
You’ve heard the song, “I have decided to follow Jesus”? Yes, it is a decision. One you will never regret. Will your life be easy after that decision? Most likely, no! But why would we expect our life to be easier than the One (Jesus) who gave His ALL for us. The New Testament books will explain that in ways that will draw you to Him.
I heard a song on the radio and don’t know the title/artist or the exact words, but it goes something like this: God loves you and made you for the pleasure of knowing you. God made you for the pleasure of loving you.
How can we resist an offer like that? Even with all your warts and even with all the baggage of your past the Creator God thinks that knowing you  is a pleasure. And…that loving you is a pleasure. No strings attached. All He wants is your heart.
Would you like to have God in the center of all of your life? Would you like to talk about ways to make that happen? I know where you can find a good Christian Life Coach to help you with the process of discovering who you can be in Christ. 🙂

To learn more about God’s wedding vows what that can mean to you personally, contact me at  loavesandfishescoaching.com


Just Sit Back & Close Your Eyes

“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

A simple little children’s song? Not at all! It is a deep and profound fact!

I could write pages of text to try to convince you of that–but why not let HIM convince you. Just sit back, close your eyes and say that phrase over and over a few times: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

Let it sink in.

Amazing! How often do we take the time to do something as simple as that?
Now what? How do you know it’s true that Jesus loves you…YOU…personally.

“The Bible tells me so.” Really?? Really!!

The Bible is full of stories of how God relates to people–all kinds of people in all kinds of circumstances. And EVERYTHING He does is from the motive of love. The more you’re alone with Him in His Word, the more real that fact will become. Guaranteed!

Don’t believe me? Let’s talk about it. I’ve tried it and tested it and proved it to be true! Want to stay on track? I’d love to walk the path with you. Just let me know. You can find me here:    loavesandfishescoaching.com

Filed under: Spiritual Life — Tags: , , — Pam Taylor @ 2:35 pm