RSS

Category Archives: How Is Your Faith

Move, girl!

Hmmmmm……looks like they finally moved that thing. How many times did I ask for that very same thing to be done?

Wow! Really? I put that request in years ago, and now it’s finally important to someone?

This is how it begins. A blast into the past. Recounting all the hurdles I had to jump. Lamenting over things He had already gotten me through. Just not in the way I wanted. Then wondering why in the world that “assignment” was so hard for me?

In high school for two spring seasons, I decided to join the track team. Somehow, during that first season this short girl was encouraged to try the 100 meter hurdle race.

In high school I was also persistent. I didn’t give up easily, and even though I trained painfully to clear that bar, I missed it each race. Tumbling to my feet, onto the ground. Humiliated and defeated.

I needed a new assignment. A different race. I needed to move.

My perseverance and persistence has not faded since high school. Which means I still painfully work to clear hurdles from my path. In ministry. At work.

I get frustrated each time I don’t clear that bar. Upset each time I fall. Each time I hit a road block. Crying out for help in my suffering because surely if He called me here…well, I should not be set-up just to be knocked down. Humiliated. Defeated.

They went to Phrygia, and then on through the region of Galatia. Their plan was to turn west into Asia province, but the Holy Spirit blocked that route. So they went to Mysia and tried to go north to Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus wouldn’t let them go there either. Proceeding on through Mysia, they went down to the seaport Troas. That night Paul had a dream: A Macedonian stood on the far shore and called across the sea, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” The dream gave Paul his map. We went to work at once getting things ready to cross over the Macedonia. All the pieces had come together. We knew for sure God had called us to preach the good news there. Acts 16:6-9, MSG

Move, girl! This isn’t the place for you. You belong in Philippi.

I had to move.

He had a different place for me. A different assignment. And, he set up some roadblocks where I was for a purpose. Just like he prevented Paul and Silas from preaching in Galatia and Bithynia.

He had to get me to Philippi.

And if I stayed comfortable where I was. If I stayed happy where I was. If I never fell over another hurdle, or had someone or something block my path-I never would have moved.

Move, girl!

So, I did.

Which means…who cares who moved those darn pictures? It was not my assignment. Who cares who blocked the way at work? I was never meant to stay where I was. It was no longer His place for me.

He gave me a new assignment. He sent me to a new place. To tumble over some different hurdles I am sure. But…when he says, “Move, girl!” He will also provide the way for me to clear them, too.

Move, girl!

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 26, 2018 in How Is Your Faith

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

And I know He watches me…

I don’t like birds. May seem like a random bit of information. And, it could even seem a little strange, since as a child I used to watch them. Study them. Wonder where they were going. Had been. What their behavior said about them. However, I also remember walking to the school bus and getting pooped on by a bird. I remember getting attacked by one as my brother and I walked through our neighborhood as kids. I don’t really like the gulls who think I packed all those sandwiches on the beach for them.

No. I don’t like birds.

Yet, a bird is the subject of one of my favorite songs when I used to sing in high school…before I ever knew God. Two are tattooed on my hand to remind me of this song, and it’s corresponding verse:

“What is the price of two sparrows-one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.” Matthew 10:29

But, I hate birds.

God. He has a sense of humor.

For two summers, I found the time to enjoy my front porch. I wrestled with some hard stuff there. I cried many a tear. Screamed many times at God.

And, was visited each summer by a bird. Tiny little sparrows. No. I ain’t lying.

Yes, during those times when I felt distant from Him-much like a forgotten sparrow that had fallen to the ground-I have watched one of these lonely birds calling to someone in the distance. Pleading desperately on my porch railing, as I pleaded desperately for it to just fly away. For any ole bird out there to hear its call. To come help him so he can fly home, to where he or she was going. Or was supposed to go.

Two years later. I sit again. On this porch. Watching this squeaky little bird That I just want to go away. And, I stop for a minute and remember God’s promise in Matthew 10:29. In that song I used to sing so long ago: His eye is on the sparrow. And I know He watches me. 

See, I had just asked Him: What is the point of all this? Why did all this happen, and when the heck are you going to give me any answers? Are you ever going to listen? 

I had been wounded. I had been attacked. I had felt abandoned, like a lost bird, and I didn’t understand it. And I needed his help, and I felt like he was silent.

Sometimes I feel like a wounded sparrow desperately calling out, and no one hears me. Yep…not even Him. He won’t give me the directions, and sometimes He isn’t telling me where to go.

When, in fact…He does. His Word. The very One that said I would never be forgotten in the first place. So, I opened my Bible, turned to a page at random and read Jeremiah 30 and 31 finding some of His promises:

“I have wounded you cruelly, as though I were your enemy. I will give you back your health and heal your wounds. In the days to come you will understand all this.” Jeremiah 30: 14,17,24

“I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Jeremiah 31:3

Tears of joy will stream down their faces, and I will lead them home with great care. They will walk beside quiet streams and on smooth paths where they will not stumble.”  Jeremiah 31:9

He is telling me to trust Him. To stop worrying, and he promises he won’t leave, He won’t drop me on my face, even though it feels like I am suffering down here.  He will pick me up when I fall, and he won’t ever let me go. He loves me.

I may feel like a lost bird some days. I may feel like that sparrow on my porch howling for someone to please come get me. To hear my little shriek down here below.

I may “feel” like he isn’t listening, but just like he gives flight to those birds. Gives them a place to land. Watches them, and won’t let them fall. He won’t let me either.

His eye is on this little sparrow, and I know He watches me.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 8, 2018 in How Is Your Faith

 

Tags: , , , ,

Need an answer? Don’t Google it…

“I saw it on the internet.”

“I don’t know. I googled it.”

This. This is how we get our answers to many of life’s problems. To the things we don’t know.

I am of the generation who had to research via encyclopedia. Trying to find out information on anything took more than 30 minutes; sometimes even days, and if the World Book didn’t write about it, well you had to trek to your local library hoping to find an actual book that was written about it. Then read it.

These days you can pick up your trusty phone, ask Google and she (or he) will come back with a number of “hits” all about your chosen topic in a matter of seconds. Problem is…most are not based on fact. And, many…many are definitely not family dinner conversation worthy.

We decide what’s right or wrong based on what we read on websites, or see on YouTube.

We can determine our level of “cool” based on what everyone else is doing on social media, or what our friends tell us.

We look for “signs” from Insta-worthy quotes.

We can even ask our “friends” for recommendations on the best places to go, the best movies to see, even the best way to handle a nasty co-worker, or a salty spouse; and get a ton of advice. Some probably really great. And none at all the same.

Instead, we either listen to the wrong voice, or simply just give up.

Rarely do we dial up God about something. You don’t hear in our daily conversations “Oh, I read the Word, and this is what it said about that.”

I have asked God recently over a number of months the same question. I have prayed the same prayer over and over. I have come away not hearing the answer.

Searching instead for a sign on the internet to solve my problem. Hoping Google will provide me with some answer. Ready to give up, because I came up empty each and every time.

Until, I opened up His Word, and was given the answer that I needed.

The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. Psalm 23:1-2

See, I had been hanging on to the past. To the hurts of the past. To those who had harmed me. To those who had mistreated me. Used me. Manipulated my compassionate nature.

I was no longer in that place physically. Yet I was still living there in my mind and heart. Looking for answers and healing from worldly devices.

When it was right here in His Word all along.

Those people are not here, where I can rest in a green meadow if I so please. Walk across a bridge, through a path, and meander by a rock-strewn stream if I desire. Those people didn’t come with me.

But, He sure did.

He had never left me. He had come with me. He was simply waiting for me to let all that other stuff that I left behind go, so He could do something greater here.

I didn’t find that answer on the internet. Because it wasn’t going to give it to me.

I found it by looking around at the beauty He had placed around me. The place He had put me. I found it by praying. By listening. By surrendering my need to fix the past, and focusing on one truth: His Word.

Which provides the answer every time. Google can’t hold a candle to that.

So, need an answer today? Don’t Google it, or expect Facebook to provide it…ask God. Or even better-open up His Word, and read what He has to say about it.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 23, 2018 in How Is Your Faith

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Me, of little faith

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me! Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:29-31

“Are we walking on the ocean?”

“Well, not ON the ocean…unless we are Jesus.”

Of course at the time I thought I was pretty witty. Until I was schooled by an even sassier, younger version of myself who broke it down for me…like only a preteen girl can do!

“Um, no honey! Jesus said, ‘Why do you have such little faith, Peter?’ Don’t you know we can walk on water, too!”

Me of such little faith. Without even knowing it, my sassy eleven-year old had gotten it right. I was like Peter. Not convinced I could walk on water.

There have been times recently when my faith has been fleeting. When I have fought battles, convinced that God had stopped fighting for me.

When I thought the waves were going to take me under, and I have also cried out, “Save me, Lord!” Hearing. Feeling nothing. Doubting that He was going to deliver me from my mess. From chaos.

Like Peter, I have ventured out at His leading, and become discouraged when things didn’t turn out the way I hoped. Started sinking in doubts if I faced opposition, discouragement, or hurdles along the way.

I began to drown out His purpose and His mission in my doubt.

Me, of such little faith. “Just like Peter, Momma!”

I don’t know what boat you need to get out of today, but I do know this-He is there to save you. To guide you out on the water. He won’t leave you. He won’t let you drown. He won’t let you rock around helpless in the waves. Being blown over by the wind.

He will help you. He only asks you step out of the boat in faith, so that you can walk on that water to the place He is leading you, too.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 2, 2018 in How Is Your Faith

 

Tags: ,

A rainbow, a promise

IMG-9780

“For even if the mountains walk away and the hills fall to pieces, My love won’t walk away from you, my covenant commitment of peace won’t fall apart.” Isaiah 54:10

It seemed to be a morning like most. While I was in a different zip code, state, and porch, my morning routine had not changed. Wake up. 7AM. Make coffee. Then head outside for time with God and the Bible.

Except this morning was a bit different. I had not woken up in the greatest of spirits.

Maybe it was that paper I had turned in the night before. The one that I knew I had not put my best into, that was also 2 days late to boot. And even though I had just declared I was giving this “no” thing a shot, and letting go of whatever had me needing to achieve so much (I’ll get to that at another time), I still had a ways to go.

Because, there was still a ton I just didn’t understand.

Still a lot of “why’s” God still had not answered.

“When the rainbow appears in the cloud, I’ll see it and remember the eternal covenant between God and everything living, every last thing on Earth.” Genesis 9:16

Then a rainbow appears. Out of no where, really. Right before the clouds descended over that same water. The same clouds that had seemed to match my mood the last few days.

But, He sent a rainbow, nonetheless.

To remind me that I may not have all the answers right now. I may still wrestle in my spirit over things I cannot understand. Things I can’t fix (and probably never will, because gee, January…only He can!).

To remind me that He keeps His promises, and He promises this:

“For as long as Earth lasts, planting and harvesting, cold and heat; Summer and winter, day and night will never stop.” Genesis 8:22

He will provide all I need.

There may be seasons of suffering. Seasons of delight. Oh…definitely seasons of darkness, but in every season there is a purpose.

The nights may be tough to get through, but joy comes in the morning.

And, some mornings, He sends rainbows to remind this weary heart that He is a God who keeps promises. And, He promised He may not give me the answers until it’s time, but He sure won’t leave me struggling alone.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 30, 2018 in How Is Your Faith

 

Tags: , , ,

The lost (beans) get found

IMG_7767

Anyone that knows me well, knows that I have a slight, unhealthy dependency on coffee. So much so that I have been known to plan entire road trips around stops at Starbucks (don’t judge!).

My husband also knows this about me. Thankfully, he also understands my obsession, and the fact that it is essential to his health that I remain caffeinated. For this reason, he will often come home from Costco shopping trips with the newest seasonal Starbucks blend…and, while we are still working on the “He-Brews” part of the deal, this one is still pretty sweet.

This past Christmas season I found myself in a bit of a tizzy when my “bean” jar had dwindled, and I could not locate the remaining beans from that bulk bag. It was quite possible I had gone through 2.5 pounds of coffee in a month, but I was pretty sure I had hidden those things somewhere in this house. Somewhere I would remember, of course. Or not.

That somewhere was never found.

Until 3 months later. In a cabinet I open every night at home during the dinner making hour. Sitting right next to my beloved casserole dishes, and my well-used measuring cup, were my “missing” coffee beans.

“I found them! I finally found those darn coffee beans! I told ya! Things are finally looking up!”

My husband was slightly (well, probably more than) amused that I had missed them each time I had opened this cabinet. I, however, was not. These beans were just one more “wink” from God that I can miss a whole lot when I am distracted from my purpose.

See, I looked everywhere for those coffee beans, but never once thought to look in that cabinet.

We look everywhere for love, peace, joy, healing…but never once think to look to Jesus for these things.

I have been feeling lost myself. Like everything I touch crumbles beneath me. Clinging to hope in a dark world. And, praying that God would restore some fire in me to keep fighting.

And, somewhere in a dark cabinet, he shows me some missing coffee beans. The ones I had totally given up on. But showed up, unannounced 3 months later, exactly where I left them, mind you.

To show me that yes, even in those struggles, things are looking up! That good things do exist in a dark world, if you can rid yourself of the world’s distractions and look in the right places.

That he won’t stop pursuing. Won’t let go. Won’t give up hope. For His people. That lost sheep. His purpose. Even missing coffee beans.

Because what was once lost, can always be found!

I once was lost, but now am found; t’was blind, but now I see. 

 

 
 

Tags: , , ,

Are you up there, God? It’s me, January…..

And we are confident that he hears whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for. 1 John 5:14-15

Are you there

I have this routine right before I put my “game” face on at work. Before the kids roll in the door, and a moment of peace is no more. Originally, this routine consisted of administrative tasks. See, my “day” job doesn’t involve simply talking to children about making better choices, teaching them to think before they act, and cope with their big emotions. I have the pleasure of documenting all of this for proof that all of it actually occurred to insurance companies.

Those administrative tasks are important. But, I quickly began to abandon them each morning to begin my school day with my Father. That’s right. Because this better choice giving, think before you act speaking, and emotion coping can’t happen on my own.

I need someone to work through me to give these children what they need. Because on most days, I make poor choices, think before I speak, and handle some tough emotions, too. And, I need the help of my Father on the days I am barely hanging on.

Lately, I’ve had these doubts if He has even heard me. Has He heard my prayers and pleas in the morning? My cries at night?

God, are you even listening to me? Don’t you hear me down here? 

On this particular morning as I sat at my desk like any other, frantically praying over each student, each situation they and I would face, I heard the chorus of the song I was playing in the background:

I believe you are listening. I believe you move at the sound of my voice. -Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Dove’s Eyes

I stopped….and I wept.

How could I doubt that he heard my call? Had he let me down before? Most certainly not!

Maybe I can’t see it now. But, He is listening. The boulders. The mountains. In my life. In every life of those for whom I am praying. He hears my calls. My pleas. My strangled sobs to him.

God. He is still there. He hears this voice. And, He is listening to this willing servant.

You will pray to him, and he will hear you. Job 22:27

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 8, 2018 in How Is Your Faith

 

Tags: , ,

 
National Day Calendar

Fun, unusual and forgotten designations on our calendar.

Kids Ministry Leadership

by Carolyn Burge

r e F o c u s

a ministry for transition

My Planner Life

free happy planner printables

thenotsosecretlifeofus

Motherhood marriage insanity friendship family

God, Sports, & ProWrestling

A journey through the life of an aspiring youth pastor, sports broadcaster, and possible pro-wrestler.

Mom Life Now

Finding beauty in the everyday living.

MIRACLES EACH DAY

Devotionals on A COURSE IN MIRACLES, A COURSE OF LOVE, and THE WAY OF MASTERY Platform . . .with Celia Hales

Godinterest Christian Social Network

A place to talk about God, Culture, Life and all that other stuff

Muffin Topless

A life dedicated to health, fitness & happiness

Hair Say

Hair: The Mind, Body, and Spirit of It

Arinuck ptl

Praising the Lord, the King of Kings, Jesus Christ! Having Joy!

Kindness Blog

Kindness Images, Videos, True Life Stories, Quotes, Personal Reflections and Meditations.

Tales from the Mama Duck

Family-Life. Faith-Life. Mid-Life. Sharing-Life!