from and through

If you’re like me, I often pray that God would deliver me from stuff (hardship, struggles, etc).  But often, I experience that God brings me through stuff (hardships, struggles, etc).  While I prefer to not have to go through stuff, I’m grateful that God helps me regardless of how – from or through.

The value of through is that I often get stronger, learn more about God, deepen in my faith, understand who I am better & become more grateful for God’s help and moment by moment presence 🙂 – Noah went through the flood, Paul went through the storm

The value of from is that I often stand amazed at God’s power, preservation & wisdom 🙂 –  God delivered Daniel from the lions, God delivered Israel from Pharaoh, but through the Red Sea 🙂

From & Through – both are important ways that God participates in our lives!

drinking from a fire hydrant

Have you ever had seasons in your life where you feel very overwhelmed?  Sometimes we go through times where it seems like everything is broken & sometimes we go through seasons that just have lots of demands.  Last week, I had one of those weeks – it was the kids last week of school, I had a couple of sermons to prepare, some work deadlines and a few other spinning plates.  I felt like I was drinking from a fire hydrant on full open :/

gushing-hydrant-2

Thankfully, this week has a little more breathing room.  Regardless of the demands & pressures on our lives, it always helps me to remember that God is in charge & that I don’t have to be an “expert” on water pressure, time management, resource allocation, solution provision, energy distribution, etc.  While I may have a few talents & skills, God is an expert at everything – most of all, God is an expert at loving us & helping us in our daily living, with or without fire hydrants ,)

Rocks & Hard Places

Sometimes I get in situations that seem “tricky” – like being squeezed between a rock & a hard place. I can’t say that I find these experiences to be very enjoyable nor pleasant. In fact, if I had a vote, I’d take alterior routes to avoid the rock & hard place spots. Nevertheless, we all have these kinds of situations & “opportunities” – so what do we do with & in them? Here are a few ideas:
*pray a lot & ask for God’s intervention
*work hard & keep you eyes on God (helps the attitude)
*work out / exercise because it helps to burn off some stress
*drink a lot of water (less caffeine & sugar)
*snag a few Bible verses to memorize so that if your thinking gets whacky, you have some healthy fall back thought replacements 🙂

Remember that God made rocks, rivers & erosion ,)

getting stronger

This has been a fairly crazy year for me with travel, particularly during the 1st half of the year.  As a result, it has come to my attention that I’ve put on a few pounds (did you like how I suddenly got formal? smile).  Thankfully, no one has made any overtly rude comments or observations, but I can most definitely tell a difference with my clothes.  So I’m getting my rear in gear to see what great things can happen from endeavoring to get back into shape 🙂

In order to be more fit, to be stronger & more healthy, I have to put some work into these areas – a truth that can apply to every area in our lives.  Discipline, effort, work & committment can have some very glorious results in our lives, particularly when we join with God’s grace & power working in our lives.  Without some effort & engagement I can quickly get flabby – just a little food for thought ,)

Goliath’s sword

Recently, I read the story about David killing Goliath – it’s always inspiring & encouraging!  As I read the story leading up to Goliath’s death, David recounted how he had fought off a lion & a bear to protect the sheep under his care.  David used this memory to encourage Saul that with God’s help, David could overcome Goliath.  Futhermore, when David confronted Goliath, he boasted that he would use Goliath’s own sword to cut off Goliath’s head, which is exactly what happened.  Later in David’s life, David again acquired Goliath’s sword from a helpful priest for his own weapon as he was running away from Saul to save his life.  Goliath’s sword was a turning point for David’s life – shifting away from sheep & moving toward kingship.

In our lives, there are turning points, like Goliath’s sword.  God uses unique things & experiences in our lives for both victories & encouragment at very strategic times, particularly for me with Saving Moses.  We can trust God to direct our steps and give us the resources necessary for each step 🙂

be encouraged :)

You & I have various challenges that are happening in our lives & sometimes the challenges are big & many but other times the challenges are small & few.  Nevertheless, we all have challenges.

Here are some benefits of the various challenges that we have:

  • challenges can force us to look outside of ourselves to get help and for resolving
  • challenges can help us to get stronger
  • challenges can foster teamwork & creative solutions that can be amazing!
  • for me, challenges often force me to trust God more and trust myself less, which ultimately helps me to be closer to God
  • challenges often help me to get more focused & less distracted
  • challenges make me pray more 🙂

balancing multiple demands

Well friends, I’m back from Angola with Saving Moses & life continues to maintain its seemingly hectic pace.  Do you ever feel like there’s more work than time or energy?  It seems to me that often when I return from int’l trips that I have lots to catch up on & this return home seems no different than any others:  using a snorkle to keep swimming until I can come up for air.  But here’s something that is really encouraging to me today as I try to catch up from last week’s travels:  keeping my focus on Jesus helps me to not get overwhelmed with all of the things I need to get done.

As I was praying this morning, I just was encouraged to remember that Jesus already knew about everything that I need to get done with the limited quantity of time that I have.  With this in mind, I receive great strength knowing that if I keep my eyes on Jesus, He will help me.  It’s when I get my focus off of Jesus & onto the Mount Everest size work in front of me when I seem to get discouraged.  So, let’s keep our eyes on Jesus & keep swimming ,)

Opposition & Resistance

Lately, it seems like I’ve had a lot of opposition & resistance. To be clear, some of this is self inflicted but it seems to me that many of the difficulties in which I find myself are kind of random & just the nature of remaining faithful to God. It’s easy to stay faithful when things are smoothy, groovy. But it can get tricky when we seem to be continually bombarded with opposition & resistance.
Here are some things that are helping me now:
*”now” is a key word – rehearsing the past & worrying about the future can deflate & contaminate the present
*keep going & trust that God will give you wisdom, rest & strength for each moment
*learn – take full advantage of this season to increase your wisdom & trust in God
*get strong – opposition can build strength if we don’t quit
* smile & be confident that God working out everything way beyond well as we stay in love with God & aligned with God’s purpose 🙂

Wait a second!!

I was in a security line at the airport early this morning & it was moving rather slowly. Thankfully, most of us in the line were still pretty groggy so there wasn’t much complaining, except for the guy right behind me. He was really gripey & for me, gripey & groggy aren’t a good combination. Thankfully, God helped me to keep my mouth shut because when it was all said & done, we weren’t waiting for more than 10minutes – which points out a bit of a challenge for our modern living.
I think that if we aren’t careful, we can easily fall into the impatience trap & neglect to learn & practice waiting on God. There are LOADS of verses that speak to the importance of waiting on God & I would encourage you to explore what God says about waiting. But from my personal experience, waiting on God is a great way to be in God’s presence & God’s presence is my priority 🙂
So wait a second & grab some God time ,)

Something encouraging

I was reading this morning about how Jacob in the bible married Leah & Rachel. The Bible says that Leah was hated but Rachel was loved. There’s lots to be said about these marriages, but I love that Leah looked to God for strength & help – naming her 1st 4 sons: Reuben (God sees me), Simeon (God hears me), Levi (attached) & Judah (I praise God).
Regardless of what’s happening in your life:
*God sees you & has compassion on you
*God is listening with ears of lovingkindness
*attached – let yourself be completely attached to God
*never neglect to praise & give honor to God 🙂